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Friday, February 7, 2014

Dear AnimeNation: I Am A Woman Who Buys Anime

Dear Anime Nation: maybe putting the death of an entire industry upon the shoulders of all women because we apparently don't buy anime was not the best idea.

Sakura has absolutely no time for your BS.
Perhaps responding to some hapless misogynist write-in who thinks the (false) movement of 'fake otaku girls' ("wishy-washy American fangirls", as if fanboys have never flitted from one fandom to another) killed anime by liking shojo titles by saying no, it's because girls don't buy anime and I don't have any actual data to back this up was not your finest moment.

The majority of anime fans I knew in the time period that the Ask John column cites - 1998 to 2008 - were female. They bought DVDs. They bought books. They bought merch. They were the ones at conventions and watching Toonami/Adult Swim/G4/Fox/whatever channel was showing dubbed anime when it was available. And it was certainly not a small number of them.

I buy anime. No, seriously. I buy anime. I have been buying anime since Pokemon mania first swept our shores (and damn, do I wish I still had my original Pokemon VHS collection!). I also buy and watch titles other than shojo too, so if we could stop equating female anime fans with exclusively shojo anime fans, that would be cool. The above isn't even my full collection; I've traded and given away and loaned quite a few anime titles, and it also doesn't reflect my VHS collection which is still growing every year, albeit slowly.

But go ahead. Tell me women aren't a valid part of anime fandom. Tell me that my monetary contributions meant nothing, or that men don't buy anime originally geared at female audiences. Maybe one day, I'll take that argument seriously. Or not.