Morgan Armor | Reporter
The genre is called “anime”, not “MANime”. Yet, some members of the male anime demographic struggle with this concept.
Anime is for anyone who would enjoy watching animated series’ ranging from intense action to shows packed to the brim with heartwarming romance and everything in between. Despite this, female anime fans continue to be perceived as “band wagons”. In fact, Junior Morgan Hoard said that she rarely meets a male anime fan that doesn’t immediately try to test or discredit her authenticity as an anime fan.
“I either get two reactions, they’re excited about it and start a conversation, or guys kind of view me as a fake and then ask me a bunch of questions about anime. Kind of like a test and then proceed to not believe me,” Hoard said. “The first ones are a lot rarer though.”
Hoard proceeds to explain why she believes most guys have this automatic reaction to female anime fans being more open about their interests in the genre.
“I feel like it’s been normalized that there are things for guys and things for girls,” Hoard said. “The guys who are critical refuse to accept the fact that we have progressed past that idea of certain things for certain genders.”
Junior Halima Alloosh, has a similar belief to Hoard about the combative nature of male anime fans. She goes on to say that it is possible that these boys do not want to share anime with women and do not like the fact that girls are becoming more involved in the community.
“I guess it is because anime is becoming popular and trendy because of quarantine when before Covid you were seen as weird if you liked it,” Alloosh said. “These boys don’t like women joining what’s seen as a male interest because of the hype.”
Alloosh also explains her experiences with male anime fans, which is similar to Hoard’s. She said that normally when she tells a guy she likes anime, their first reaction is to gatekeep and ask her several questions to prove her legitimacy.
“A lot of men have a tendency to gate keep anime, so their first reaction is to ask me a series of questions about certain animes like Naruto or Dragon Ball Z,” said Alloosh. “It is almost as if that will prove I watch anime.”
Junior Quintin Zeigler has also noticed the mistreatment of female anime fans. He said that he has seen male fans make hasty judgements based on the genre of anime they enjoy or the amount of animes they have seen.
“Some guys ask them how many they’ve seen and judge them by their taste. Most of the time they ridicule them for liking “Slice of Life” or romance more than Shonen,” said Zeigler.
Zeigler then explains the reason for these reactions. He said these male anime fans react this way because of generalization of gender roles and overall fear from being made fun of for watching anime in the past.
“I think it’s because they are sexually generalizing females due to their fear of being made fun of for watching anime,” Zeigler said. “It was seen as something only males watched and enjoyed.”
As a male anime fan, Zeigler said that when a girl tells him that they like anime, he tries to learn more about their interests and even recommend his personal favorites if it is welcomed.
“I usually ask what anime piqued their interest and give some suggestions if they’re willing to watch them,” said Zeigler.
He then expressed his opinion on how anime should be an inclusive community where people, no matter their gender, can have their own interests and voice them, free of judgement.
“The anime industry is not geared towards any gender, it is geared towards people’s preference,” said Zeigler. “Whether it is romance, drama, or action; you should be able to watch what you want without being criticized for not having similar taste to someone else.”
“Hunter,” this article’s featured image, is an anime often stereotyped to only be enjoyed by males.