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Lonely Location, Lonely Life


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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?

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Welcome to AF! Your struggle is all too familiar to me. 🤣 I live in a scarcely populated, small-minded, and rural town in the middle of nowhere that's covered in snow half the time. Seriously we don't even have a Starbucks anywhere closer than maybe a couple hours away. There is nothing here but places to drink, a few churches of varying denominations, and sometimes we do rodeo and play hockey.

Despite all that, my husband and I managed to identify a handful of other weebs. I suppose the key item here is being able to ask it up front if they like X or Y. As long as you have a little circle of people you're comfortable being around (safely, of course, minding the pandemic,) then that's all you really need. If cons are more your thing, I suppose it'll just have to join the queue (Coachella, Olympics, Sturgis, TED, etc.)

All said, covid hasn't been making it easier, especially for us rural folks. Social functions have been largely trampled on in just about every way and Japan has already appointed a Lonliness Minister to address this very problem. Maybe more of us could use such a reach out. 😅

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I grew up in a rural community too & was introduced to anime via  syndicated series like Star Blazers, Robotech, Voltron etc. I’ve moved since but still not a hotbed of anime culture.  Went to a few screening of anime films that weren’t Ghibli before COVID. While never a situation where I was the only one in the theater, nowhere near capacity & very lowkey. Most anime merch is in Hot Topic or FYE, where I stick out like a sore thumb. It was a bit better back in the day with Suncoast & comic book shops (I was into the Xmen & Spiderman titles back then too). But pretty much relegated to online forums now. Though even there, I’m not really comfortable with the more high profile ones (Reddit) because too much trolling & toxicity. Likewise, not really a fan of the whole Youtuber culture either. Would much rather just interact with fellow fans not aspiring influencers.

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2 hours ago, Wedgy said:

Welcome to AF! Your struggle is all too familiar to me. 🤣 I live in a scarcely populated, small-minded, and rural town in the middle of nowhere that's covered in snow half the time. Seriously we don't even have a Starbucks anywhere closer than maybe a couple hours away. There is nothing here but places to drink, a few churches of varying denominations, and sometimes we do rodeo and play hockey.

Despite all that, my husband and I managed to identify a handful of other weebs. I suppose the key item here is being able to ask it up front if they like X or Y. As long as you have a little circle of people you're comfortable being around (safely, of course, minding the pandemic,) then that's all you really need. If cons are more your thing, I suppose it'll just have to join the queue (Coachella, Olympics, Sturgis, TED, etc.)

All said, covid hasn't been making it easier, especially for us rural folks. Social functions have been largely trampled on in just about every way and Japan has already appointed a Lonliness Minister to address this very problem. Maybe more of us could use such a reach out. 😅

Still trying to figure out how forums work haha, but I think this is how one would respond? 

That's the thing I am just suuuuper antisocial haha. Like I can think of only a hand full of places where one could meet up with fellow weebs, but none of them are really places I feel I could just walk up and talk to random people.  And on another sad note, I haven't ever had the chance to go to a con actually. Yet another reason to be disappointed in last year and this one... I actually have the means to go (T.T). But I suppose I'll just have to wait it out.

 

Us rural folks will have to be each other's ambassadors to keep the lonelies at bay!

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On 2/22/2021 at 4:38 PM, chibicharlie95 said:

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?

Not really in touch with that particular problem.  With the exception of living in Huntsville, AL for about a year in 2nd grade pretty much all of my existence has been in extreme urban areas.  Currently I’m in So.  California in the foothills near Los Angeles.. it was somewhat rural when I got here ~40 years ago but it rapidly filled in.   Nothing but assholes and elbows as far as the eye can see around here now.

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40 minutes ago, efaardvark said:

  Nothing but assholes and elbows as far as the eye can see around here now.

Haha that is much too crowed for me! But I would like to have just a few more weebs in the Midwest. Feels like the really concentrate or are super spread out. There isn't really a happy medium.

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52 minutes ago, chibicharlie95 said:

Haha that is much too crowed for me! But I would like to have just a few more weebs in the Midwest. Feels like the really concentrate or are super spread out. There isn't really a happy medium.

I wouldn’t mind having a couple more local anime fans around myself.  The ones I know are mostly into just the popular stuff like DBZ or Naruto (and always dubbed).  I once tried to get a binge party going for 魔法使いの嫁 (Magician’s Wife) and got a resounding “meh” in response.

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7 hours ago, efaardvark said:

 I once tried to get a binge party going for 魔法使いの嫁 (Magician’s Wife) and got a resounding “meh” in response.

Geez, that’s not even that obscure. Guess people swoon over sparkly vampires or moody werewolves, but no love for guys with a longhorn’s skull for a head 😂

And I would’ve thought Cali would have one of the more active & diverse anime communities.

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8 hours ago, Ohayotaku said:

And I would’ve thought Cali would have one of the more active & diverse anime communities.


I’m sure there are more around but I have no time (or social life) to connect with them.

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