And is there even such a thing as an “anime hipster”?
I have a very open (and sometimes vocal) distaste for the mainstream. To some that automatically labels me a hipster (which has become a running gag among my peers). I’m the guy who’d you be walking with through a theater, see a poster for the super popular Something-Something 3, and when you ask me if I wanna watch it I’d go out of my way to say “Nah. It’s too mainstream”. The same thing with books (especially since “Young Adult” has been in some sort of audience boom as of late). It’s not as bad with music though, thankfully, since there is a genre for popular music.
It comes around full circle though with anime and manga. I care very little for the “Big 3” as it is. Not that I’m saying Bleach, One Piece or Naruto aren’t worth watching, because I really do believe that they’re all great franchises (otherwise we wouldn’t be calling them big). It’s just that, you know. I’m not buying into it. I mean, I watched Naruto when I was a kid, sure, and I thought it was a great series then. I’m sure it would’ve been the same with Bleach or One Piece if I started out as early. Now, however, I dunno. It doesn’t invest with me as strongly as would the current fans of these titles.
I said this to my anime-watching friends and, as I said earlier, I became (to them at least) an anime hipster. It’s not that I’m offended by it (for all I know it could be true), but it does make me a teeny bit curious. One of the main reasons why I still haven’t watched Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is because of how much people I know admire it overly so. Again, not saying that TTGL doesn’t deserve the praise it gets even now, and I’m well aware how important the success of TTGL was to making anime more popular in the West from a contemporary stand-point (which gave way to more localizations and simulcasting).
Something inside me just doesn’t want to watch it, for some reason.Then it just becomes the opposite when I sometimes recommend titles that seemingly only a handful of people know of. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve recommended Wakusei no Samidare or Dance in the Vampire Bund (these two are apparently my best examples of unpopular titles, lol)
Saying all that, it’s not like I hate everything that’s mainstream. I mean, you could definitely make the argument that Shingeki no Kyojin is rising up to the mainstream, but I didn’t drop it the moment it became popular. I think SnK is pretty darn good. The same is actually true for a lot of shows in my archive. Even my favorite franchises (anything Type-MOON, -Monogatari) are widely popular as well.
My best guess at what my feelings are towards mainstream media is; I don’t like it when people start liking a show or something because it’s popular, which then makes me start disliking the show altogether.
I now dare ask; am I an anime hipster? 😀