Every now and then, especially on the internet, you hear people talking about their love for anime. Perhaps not even anime in general, but let’s say, a specific series such as Puella Magi Madoka Magica. While people tend to say “OHHH I LOOOOOOOVE THIS ANIME“, what is the true extent of their so-called “love”, and what way do these people demonstrate it?
No, I’m not telling you to go out there and literally become an anime hoarder, but what I’m saying is, if you’re going to proclaim that you’re a fan for a show, don’t just torrent the anime and watch it over and over again.
However, what you should be doing is, “watch it over and over again”, but you should also support the show by buying basic anime merchandise. Anything from a simple omamori to a full-on ero-dakimakura would be sufficient to qualify you for the “I’m a fan” club for a certain anime. Obviously, you can still hoard to become the ultimate fan, but that’s entirely up to you.
Since most people who can have the choice whether or not to buy anime merchandise are living alone, or at least, self-powered; it is obvious that the amount of money an individual can divide towards their hobbies is rather limited. While I’m encouraging everyone to go to vendors and buy anime-related products, I do have to caution everyone that anime merchandise is not cheap at all.
To all those that don’t watch anime, a $100+ figure would seem absurd, as it’d simply be a decorative piece of plastic, but to us, it means a lot more. However, not everyone can shell out $100 each month just to get a figure; and that’s not even talking about other merchandise too.
Obviously, as I said before, the support you show for an anime is not by how much money you spend on the products, but rather if you have the incentive to buy the stuff in the first place. Surely one will feel kind of stingy if he/she only bought an omamori, but what about buying relatively useful items like CDs or even posters? While $30-40 USD won’t “save” the show or fund a second season, at least you can be at peace, knowing you’ve supported your show.
Here comes the catch. What if you “over-hoard” on anime merchandise? As most of you may know, otakus are generally quite fanatic about their hobbies, thus over-spending on merchandise can occur frequently. Obviously, when you ask them: “Do you think you’re spending a bit too much on Touhou merchandise?“, the most likely response is: “NO! There’s no overspending when it comes to Touhou“. While that may be true (for some people), it’s too easy for you recognize the symptoms of sleep or nutrition deprivation. I don’t think buying anime merchandise should come at a cost of your health.
So alternatively to hoarding items for yourself and living a life with no time for socializing, there can be a “way out”. Simply just buying a DVD or Blu-Ray and organize a watch with your friends can be as equally pleasing as buying aÂ bucket-loadÂ of merchandise. That way, you’ve bought something related to that anime, and you’re keeping your social life. No one should sacrifice that in the name of anime.
As I am getting slightly off topic already, I might as well mention “my collection“. I own a total of 3 figures (Siggy [NSFW], Yui Takamura [NSFW], and Nendo Ikaros), a plethora of anime magazines, loads of manga, and the occasional odd anime merchandise. In total, I’ve only spent about $500 USD, which, if you think about it, is not that much over a 3 year-span. Obviously, for those that know me, this does not include my GunPla collection. GunPla is not the same category as anime merchandise and cannot be overspent on (see, I’m talking like a fanatic).
While I may be Mr.Hypocrite #1, and going back to the main topic, it is important that we aren’t just “all talk” when we say how much we love a show. I don’t care how much you love the show, but if all you do is “torrent the show and watch it over and over again”, then frankly, you don’t “love” the show, you’re just addicted to it and not a “true fan”.
By speaking of a “true fan”, it’s not like you have to hoard (as I’ve said many times before), but definitely chip in a couple of bucks here and there, just to show a little bit of support. Over time, you may have inputÂ a lot of funds, but as a “true fan”, that shouldn’t be a problem, right? Just keep in mind, don’t go crazy on buying ALL the items andÂ jeopardizeÂ your health in the process.