So I know that we are in a pandemic and all, so meet ups and con's are pretty much off the table for a while yet. But I wonder if there are any of you on here, like myself, who live in really rural areas and have limited access to the anime/manga community outside of online? Growing up I had no idea that anime or manga even existed. Growing up in a pretty conservative house I had only brief glimpses of such things through mediums like Pokémon and my friend's interests, but even these influences were limited by my parents.
When I was in probably the 5th or 6th grade was my first real introduction to anime through some fellow classmates, mostly because they wanted me to understand why it was so cool. Soon after I began spotting Japanese styled books and shows everywhere and became pretty obsessed with the language and culture as well. I even started a club with my school mates (though honestly there were only like 4 of us and all we did was meet at my house to watch shows and eat snacks). But soon enough that small group disintegrated, either by moving away or the slow ebb of communication once I went off to high school.
In high school I went to a coed academy in the middle of nowhere (very generous private sponsors my whole life), filled with lots of young people my age from my church denomination. Strangely enough there were quite a few like myself who enjoyed the medium! To the boys dorm I became the download queen (Our school rules prohibiting private movies and dvds for our laptops), they would come to me for absolutely any and all anime, because unlike the other girls in my dorm I liked ALL anime and manga, not limiting myself to genera. Several of us made far off distant plans to travel to cons and experience the American world of anime, others (including myself) wanted to travel to Japan someday (though by this time my interests were not solely weeb and I had actual interest in the country itself). But time went by and people moved on. I graduated and went to China for 2 years (again sponsors), and while there never really lost my love for Japan.
After two years I returned to my small hometown in the middle of the US. and here I have remained for about 6 years now? But unlike the rest of my story I have been pretty alone in my interests up to this point. There are a few fellow weebs where I live, but I am not particularly close to them. My closest book/entertainment store is severely limited in both the anime and manga sections, with prices being jacked through the roof for conveniences sake. So now at 25, with two years of Uni down and another two to go, my single and alone ass is out here looking for other people like myself just to have a conversation with about our mutual interests.
I am also wondering where all the guys from my church who liked anime and manga went... did yall fall off the face of the planet? Yall need to come back because ya girl never left.
But seriously though, I'm not alone in this problem right? At least the rural living, with limited access and few if any friends who share this interest?