Well, it’s been quite a while, and the entire summer has already gone by in a flash! Working as a TA/RA/counselor/coordinator/student/etc. for a summer program for the deaf can take a lot out of you, and so it suffices to say that real life has taken a full toll on my online presence. Now that I’m back in college, time has finally started to ease off on me and I can now finally focus on getting caught up on anime. So, I apologize if I disappeared for about four entire months without leaving a message (but I did mention it briefly over Twitter!). Now then, as I have been unable to catch up on anime of late, I think it’s time that I make do on my long overdue promise to FoxyLadyAyame with her blog carnival, Our Genshiken Diaries.
One great thing about being in an anime community is the sense of camaraderie, where every anime fan can frolic or discuss about their top favorite anime, show off their fandom and pride, and meet new people with a common pastime. Anime clubs and anime conventions are great examples, though they’ve been less ideal for a person in my situation. I won’t go into further details as I’ve already written a piece on my experience with anime conventions, but it’s still quite an ordeal trying to communicate in person and I can easily get worn out.
Veering to the aniblog/twitter community, I have gone to an off-kai (a meeting offline) before to meet up with draggle, @balloon_thief, and GuardianEnzo. This was about a week before I departed for Seattle, and it was quite interesting! Granted, I didn’t talk so much (well, it didn’t help that the izakaya was noisier than I thought it would be), but it was still very nice to meet these anime fans in person. Was I nervous about meeting the faceless people behind anime avatars? Certainly! And it’s understandable since we would be meeting up in person instead of through the Internet, shattering the anonymity of our identities. In fact, I did fuss over all my preparations in the hours (and the previous night) leading up to that meeting, wanting to make a good first impression very much like 2DT did. Speaking of which, I’ve also had an opportunity to meet up with 2DT and @c2switch at Fanime 2012 as well. Although we only spent a brief time together, it was also a pleasure to meet them as well. That marked my first time doing an off-kai, with my second off-kai with draggle, balloon_thief, and GuardianEnzo taking place a week after.
A bit off-topic, but one of my students boldly proclaimed himself a brony (a fan of My Little Pony) in front of the entire summer group during the introduction orientation. With the exception of me and another fellow TA, the entire group was clueless as to what a ‘brony’ is. I honestly could not stop myself from chuckling out loud, and my fellow TA did raise an eyebrow. Of course, I had to explain what a brony was later on, but that’s a story for another day. So, I chatted and interacted with him for some time throughout the past summer, and he had this to say about being a brony and as part of his local MLP community: “I don’t mind the stares and raised eyes, because I’m darn proud of it. I really enjoy and love it.” Good boy, or rather I should say, man! And it didn’t hurt that he was also an anime fan as well, as I learnt shortly after his declaration. Although the My Little Pony phenomenon is different from anime fandom, his situation as a brony is still familiar akin to that of an anime fan’s situation perhaps.
So I feel happy that I’ve met another fellow deaf anime fan since this demographic within the anime community is very small, I believe. Thus far, I have met three deaf people who liked anime, but I haven’t been able to discuss anime with them as often as I’d like. One came by to interview me as a deaf anime blogger and we never met again, and the other two are my now former summer academy students attending a different university. In truth, perhaps the reason for the lack of anime fandom in the deaf community is simply that I have not reached out far enough to connect, mostly due to my personality. It’s rather ironic then, that the best place to find fellow deaf anime fans is here in Gallaudet University, the world’s first and only university for the deaf where I attend, and that I’ve yet to find anyone with an interest in anime.
So, that’s my contribution to Genshiken Diaries as a deaf anime blogger, but in actuality I think there’s more to be revealed from the deaf community and perhaps I shall start reaching out more. It’s a starting point, but still better than nothing.
- I would later discover that another student in the same summer program was beginning his first foray into manga and anime as well. I have suggested some recommendations, and the conversion is proceeding smoothly… ;)
- It’s been a while since I’ve written a post, so you’ll have to excuse me if my writing’s not quite up to par.
- My schedule is still irregular, but I’ve got some post ideas brewing up now, so you can probably expect a post sometimes next week or so. ^_^’
- Also, one last thing. It’s nice to be back!