Canne’s Criteria for Identification of True ‘Anime Fan’ (plus common scenarios!)

This post is a direct continuation of ‘When did your anime fandom truly begin?’ in which I talked about the time when anime fandom truly began. After I wrote that post, it occurred to me that I was also discussing about the nature of ‘anime fan’ as well. What I wrote could be used to identify a person who was an anime fan.

So now I’m writing this post based on the information from the previous one. This time, I will try to propose a set of criteria to help me (and other people) identify a true anime fan. It’s of course not easy to do so. Anime fandom, like everything else involving human, has a wide range of possible features and diversity.

My criteria for identification and classification of anime fan are as followed.

Here’s the rationale for my criteria.

  • First Item represents awareness and independence
  • Second item represents quantity and diversity
  • Third item represents duration and consistency
  • Fourth item represents application and inspiration

All four items in combination represent ‘passion’ which defines being anime fan.

The strength of this definition is that you can be confident that the person meeting all four criteria is not just a brief enthusiast that will drop out of anime after a few months. So you can save the space in your facebook anime friend list and not make a mistake by talking too deeply into anime and end up as a weird person in your friend’s eyes. The criteria also include potential or growing anime fans whom you may be interested in further encouraging him/her deeper into anime fandom.

But be warned that anime fandom is a dynamic event. The criteria only capture the person at only one point in time and re-evaluation is warranted especially for those initially classified as ‘possible’ and ‘probable’ anime fans. Another issue that is probably up for debate is the number of shows a person must have watched. Setting the bar too high will unfairly exclude many anime fans and setting the bar too low will include too many people who only watch a few shows (which is a very likely scenario since anime has become more widely available these years).

Now, I’ll give you some possible scenarios using these proposed criteria (the names of the subjects in these scenarios are fictional-any resemblance to any real person is purely coincidental).

Scenario 1: Yii believes she is the most avid anime fan. She has been watching dozens of anime series of varying genres per year for 3 years now. She maintains her own anime blog which talks about anime she has watched and she frequently participate in her local anime conventions. Using Canne’s criteria, is Yii an anime fan?

Answer: without any question, Yii is a definite anime fan because she fulfilled all 4 criteria.

Scenario 2: Kluxx has many friends who are anime fans. She hates being alone so she always accompanies her friends to anime clubs and watches every anime her friends watch. She occasionally contributes in her friends’ anime blogs. When she is alone at home, Kluxx loves listening to R&B music and even writes songs by herself. Using Canne’s criteria, is Kluxx an anime fan?

Answer: No, she is excluded because she does not fulfill the first criterion on being independent in watching anime (which by the way is the most important thing).

Scenario 3: Valenz has just discovered the brilliance of the media called ‘anime’ a couple of months ago. His love is fierce and burns brighter than the sun. He watches anime all night and day and by now, has devoured 50 series. He also reads a number of anime blogs but remains silent so far. Using Canne’s criteria, is Valenz an anime fan?

Answer: No one dares question Valenz’s love of anime. But he still needs to prove that he can carry his love pass the ‘anime honeymoon period’. Using Canne’s criteria, he now only fulfills the first two items and is classified as ‘possible’ anime fan. He will possibly become a definite fan afterwards.

Scenario 4: Gloe claims he is the number one anime fan in the world. He has watched anime every week for more than five years. After intense interrogation, it is revealed that the anime he has been watching was Bleach which has been running for like 110 years. He does cosplay as Ichigo more than once and owns every figures of Rukia ever sold on Earth. Using Canne’s criteria, is Gloe an anime fan?

Answer: He is definitely Bleach fan but unfortunately, he is not yet a definite anime fan. The only thing he lacks was diversity in anime watching. In Gloe’s case, he is identified as ‘Probable’ anime fan.

Scenario 5: Baka-rapper has been a prominent anime blogger and a respected figure in anime community for several years. He has watched all kinds of anime and in numbers beyond count. But for the past two years he suffered an accident and he has to stay in rehab center. As a result, he has not watched a single show or updated his blog in two years. Using Canne’s criteria, is Baka-rapper an anime fan?

Answer: If it was two years ago, Baka-rapper undoubtedly fulfilled all 4 items. But now, since he has to take a break from anime watching, he cannot be identified as an anime fan. This scenario showcases the limitations of the criteria. In Baka-rapper’s case, he must be re-evaluated after he has recovered from the injury.

Why am I making all these criteria? You may ask. The answer is simple; it’s for fun. I love exploring and observing people and events. Plus, I’ve heard too many people claiming to be the most avid anime fans only to be found dead in the water a few months later. But the most important reason is probably to establish some commonly accepted standard definition of anime fandom. And having a standard definition will facilitate further exploration and discussion (by either me or other writers) on the subject in the future.

Being a lonely anime fan in the world full of non-anime fans, I have no way to experiment the criteria with real-life person. In the end, these criteria are still not validated and are subject to further revision. Your expert comments and suggestions will be most welcomed.

Note: your opinion will be taken into consideration upon future criteria revision. I’ve also invited some experts to give their opinion on this.

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64 responses to “Canne’s Criteria for Identification of True ‘Anime Fan’ (plus common scenarios!)

  1. Huh? I LOL’d reading those scenarios XD

    Kluxx is definitely not an anime fan but I think Klux is definitely one because she fits all four criteria. She used to be a figuretard but lately, even though she still has the passion for those figures, she just doesn’t have enough time to spend with them so gradually (but not permanently) she stopped buying them. However she is (sorta) active in the aniblogging sphere. She never tried cosplaying though.

  2. Pingback: When did your anime fandom truly begin? | Canne's anime review blog

  3. I think your four criterias are more than enough to identify an anime fan, but maybe the way how to combine them for me is a little different.

    I’d say (1) and (2) are REQUIRED for me to see a particular person as an anime fan. If you watched less than 5 shows in an year then you’re not an anime fan anymore in my books…:P

    (3) is also important to understand if its a temporary effect or a lasting relationship.

    (4) is just there for extra points! :D

    • Thank you for your time!
      Number is a tricky thing especially when there’s no solid data to back it up. I agree that quantity is important and in this criteria, quantity is required to identify anime fan. Without which, the subject will be classified as ‘possible’ or ‘probable’. As for the 4th item, its necessity may depend on how we define fandom. If watching and enjoying anime is enough then the 4th item is only an extra. But my rationale is that if the 4th item is present, fandom is definite. While if the 4th item is absent, we cannot be sure.

  4. Very interesting idea here. I believe I would pass all four points of the criteria: I’ve always been watching new anime, 95% independently, since the early 2000s. During that time I’ve watched 10-30 new titles a year and have over 300 on my completed list now. And of course I’ve been blogging about anime for years and my room is covered in anime stuff. I’ve never experience anime burn out either…but I wonder if it’s possible for someone to pass the criteria, then burn out, and then come back to the fandom at a later date?

    Anyway, this was a good post =)

    • Thank you for your comment!
      Yes, it is possible. The criteria can only serve as a snapshot evaluation of a fan. So it only represents one point in time and it cannot tell whether the person has had burnout or is about to do.

  5. Independent exploration of the medium, regularity of consumption, and tangible expression of passion are the things I’d look for to identify fans of anything. I don’t want to put a number on the things consumed or years participated because interests and circumstances change all too easily. The important thing is the here and now. A fan is a fan when his and her friends know they are one. It’s intuitive rather than definitive. Also, there’s nothing wrong with being just a dabbler either. I think all of us are dabblers in many interests, and fans of just a few.

    Anime is particular is so eclectic in appeal, with decades worth of titles from different artists and eras, that we’ve all seen various specialized kinds of fandoms. A fan of Bleach might not be a fan of all anime, but shounen fighting anime. Can we deny another’s passion even if it is only for a niche or tiny fraction of the whole? Again, this comes back to the fact that in this life, we only have limited time to devote to our little eccentric hobbies, so we pick and choose the ones we enjoy the most. Just being able to share thoughts and opinions with others is plenty good enough for me, whether it be a fan, dabbler, or complete neophyte who’s simply curious.

    • Thank you for the insightful comment (I knew you were the expert!)

      I couldn’t agree more with you. Dealing with human whose lives are influenced by various factors is not easy. And like you said, anime fandom, in a sense, can be perceived as a spectrum of passion and behavior. What this criteria capture is probably only one central part of a wider spectrum of fandom, leaving a variety of other, more specific, kinds out. This can potentially lead to discrimination of some group of anime fan.

      From what you said, I should emphasize that the criteria should be interpreted with care. If the criteria are met, then the person is surely an anime fan (in general sense). But if a person does not meet all four items, he may not be a fan or he maybe a growing fan or maybe he is a fan in other specific subgroup (eg. Bleach fan). I think what I need to do is to make this limitation known and make it clear that the criteria should not be used to leave people out but rather to classify and let people in.

      Setting a rather low threshold for the number of anime watched will also help include fans in very specific genre but not all. Further expansion of criteria to include more subgroups of fans may be warranted but that is for another time.

      Again, thank you for your time and comment :)

  6. I’d agree that independently seeking out anime to watch is probably the must have criteria in identifying an anime fan. The simplest expression of interest in anything is going looking for more of it by yourself after all.

    I myself easily satisfy all four of your criteria, although I personally don’t indulge in the social aspect – have never attended a Con or cosplayed, nor do I own any anime merchandise beyond my substantial anime/manga collections. I personally don’t feel the need to present physical evidence of being an anime fan.

    To me the most important aspects in identifying as an anime fan would be simply watching and enjoying many titles over a prolonged period of time – you don’t have to engage in the anime community (Internet or IRL) to be a fan of the medium – fandom is a personal thing.

    Of course most people who develop an interest in something want to seek out others to discuss it with, that’s certainly why I entered the anime community online, and ultimately started keeping my own blog – however I don’t think it is absolutely necessary to be engaged in the community to be considered a true fan.

    • Thank you for your comment!
      I have somewhat foreseen the controversy on the requirement of the 4th item since I wrote this post. Requiring the 4th item may seem a bit discriminative. When I think of this item, there are two ways to go;
      First is to make the 4th item optional. So anime fan is identified when only three items are fulfilled. But this way, many people who only watch a lot of anime will all be included.
      The second choice is to set the bar a bit higher by requiring the 4th item. This way, we are sure that the subject is really passionate about anime to the point that anime affect his/her life. But some fan will not meet this higher criteria. In which case, I chose to label them with ‘probable’ fan which means that the subject is very likely to be a fan.
      In the end, I went with the second choice.

  7. Ok, here goes. Apologies in advance for inflicting my research methodology training trauma on you.

    Presently constructed, (1) is a necessary condition (or two necessary conditions?) and thus the keystone of your framework but its definition is vague, compared to the other three: what are your metrics for (a) active and (b) independent behaviour? What if behaviour is active but not independent and vice versa?

    In contrast, for (2) and (3), a priori definitions are often a contentious issue when trying to settle on objective criteria, e.g. Why 10/5? Why one year? Does someone who has watched 500 anime over 15 years have the same status as someone who just squeaks in at 10 anime over 1 year? Also your criteria has a bias towards current anime. How would you classify someone who no longer watches new anime but regularly watches and blogs about older and/or classic anime?

    How would you account for self-perception? E.g. someone who fits (1) to (4) but adamantly refuses to be called an anime fan, much less a ‘true’ anime fan? Conversely, what about social construction of fan identity (how do others react to one’s claims of fandom/non-fandom, elevation of some to genre expert status, dismissal of others as wannabes etc.)?

    How do you account for reporting bias? E.g. someone may claim to be and even build an extensive online identity around the claim of an avid anime watcher but he/she has never actually watched any anime, culling all knowledge from secondary sources? Another e.g., more commonly, MAL users who write reviews of a series as a whole even though they’ve only watched the first episode?

    My two cents. Hope this made some sense.

    • Thank you for your opinion and suggestions. They are very interesting.
      Your comment point out several flaws of the criteria (some of which may be hard to amend, I admit).

      First of all, the criteria can be used by an observer who observes and assesses other people in question. It can also be used as a self assessment by any anime lover. In both case, the evaluation is made based on the perception of the criteria user. In case of self-evaluation, I assume that there’s no reason for the person to lie to himself. And in case of the observer, bias and prejudice will surely exist especially in the first item. But under the presumption that anime is not a very serious business, such bias or desire to discriminate should not be very strong. And like most of other things, the assessment should be made by someone without conflict of interest to the subject. In the end, we’ll have to watch out for who we are listening to. As for being active and independent, both are required to fulfill this item.

      Concerning the second item, the number of anime is still up for debate because there’s no solid data to determine any specific number but I was inclined to set it a bit low in terms of number of anime per year and set the number higher when it comes to total accumulative number. From the criteria, the subject may have watched enough total titles or enough titles per year. In this sense, even fans of old anime who stop watching new shows can fulfill this item using accumulative number.But in this case, will he be counted as an active anime watcher (item 1)? I have to give this scenario some more thoughts but when someone stop watching new anime altogether, his passion of the medium as a whole can reasonably be in question.

      I do not worry about self-perception very much because the criteria help that person identify himself but it all depends on the person whether he wants to call himself anime fan or not. As for other people, they can easily identify the subject and connects with him with ease. On how others react to the result of this criteria, it could be either way depending on individual factors. And for reporting bias, it will regrettably continue to exist like it has always been especially for online community. The criteria does not and cannot rectify such bias or a person’s claim to be a fan in the situation that no other data can be obtained.

      Thank you for your trouble and thoughts :)

  8. Love the scenarios.

    I think as a loose guideline, these criteria are very nice to quickly sort through any large social circle to identify potential fans.

    However, I do wonder if it’s too inflexible, that is if the timings and such seem arbitrary. For example, why one year? Is it based on personal experience of what makes anime fandom sticks?

    I’d also like to know your opinions on self-identification. For example, if someone maintains that she is an anime fan, although she has not fulfilled any of the four, does her passion count? Or would you view it as a temporary… infatuation? Perhaps Valenz’s scenario answers that, although it seems your emphasis is more on absolute time having held onto this hobby.

    Another note, under these criteria, fandom can be lost eventually unless it constantly updated or revisited. This is a fascinating claim, I feel, and I’d love to know your reasoning behind that.

    With all that said, I think as a criteria for defining others from a personal use (that is, finding friends who really are into anime from those who aren’t), this set of criteria is super nice. I’d use it to weed out “fans” from “non-fans” on FB or whatever. However, for categorizing personal involvements (that is, asking myself whether I’m an anime fan), I think some more issues need to be explored further, such as a few I mentioned above.

    Love this post! Super fun and I’m now going around pegging people in mind as fan/non-fan. Haha.

    p.s. Yii has a nice ring to it. ^ ^

    • Thank you for the comment!
      As more comment came in, it got clearer that it was impossible to capture the diverse human passion. As an observer, all I can do is make an observation base on what my perception but I cannot dismiss other people’s claim of what they are or what they are not. And the criteria is inevitably arbitrary, I admit that. Maybe in the end, the only place to use this criteria in in the users’ minds for their own amusement and should not be spoken of out loud lest it create unnecessary feeling of being ‘labeled’ for the subjects.

      • I wouldn’t say that’s the only use. It’s actually a surprisingly effective for someone to quickly weed out non-anime fans in a social situation.

        I imagine a scenario. You’re new to a social setting (say, a tour trip to Japan with a loose strangers). You want to explore your passion for anime, but at the same time, don’t really want people to know just exactly how… into it you are due to the stigma in your area about “pervy/children’s cartoons.” This guide might allow you to quickly gauge who’s worth your time. Something like that.

      • @ Yi, thank you for the quick reply!
        I love how you can always be optimistic and encouraging. And I agree with you. In fact, the scenario you raised is very common and we, as an anime fan, do the ‘initial assessment’ on other people all the time but only without very rigid guideline. And when used in that way, we don’t have to conspicuously label anyone ^_^

  9. You sent me a PM for this!? xD (j/k)
    Nice job, I’d say your criterion is pretty broad and well covered, which takes some doing as I know some very odd not-anime-fan who would fool just about anyone who didn’t know them ^^;; (i.e. there are two ppl in my anime club who fits 2, 3, and 4 [clubbing+conventions], but are not enthusiastic about anime at all and only watches 5+ shows a year because most of their friends *are* anime fans; so, failure of #1).

    I would recommend “collection of manga/novels” not be considered part of #4. I could be wrong, but iirc manga and light novels are considered a lot more ‘socially acceptable’ in East Asian culture than anime fandom is. There are simply too many people who are massively interested in manga and the only anime that catches their attention half the time are adaptations (technically they are *active choosing*, but only based on the adaptive material, but nevertheless fit all 1-4 despite not *really* being an ‘anime fan’).

    • Thank you for sharing your opinion!
      You are probably right about large group of people who are more into manga/novels than anime. I did give that point some thoughts but ultimately decided against being too specific. I fear that setting up too rigid criteria would leave more people out than include people in which wouldn’t be good. Like many commentators had said. Fandom is very diverse and surely a large portion of anime fandom overlaps with manga/novels enthusiasts. So I think I’d rather let those groups in than trying to leave them out and risk cutting out some anime fans in the process.

  10. When it comes to defining what a “fan” of any media is, it basically comes down to this: do you like it? If that is the case, then yes, you are fan.

    However, when people think of fans, it’s not only people who likes something casually, but perhaps likes it… a bit more, if you get me.

    So, if we think like that, I would add these two criterias:

    1. You’re somewhat active in what you do and you take your own initiative to do so. It is okay to be recommended anime, since that means you watch it because you are interested. But if you’re merely forced, then no.

    2. Watch at least more than 5-10 shows before claiming to be a fan.

    That’s all.

    But I’d say the fact that you like something is enough. I like movies, but I rarely watch them nowadays. Does this mean I’m not a fan? I wouldn’t say so.
    I like Douglas Adams and have read his books. But he’s dead, so I cannot read more by him. Does this mean I’m not a fan? I wouldn’t say so.

    So, well, it all comes down to how you define it. I’ll just go with “if you like it, then you’re a fan”

    • Thank you for you time and comment!
      The two suggested criteria you mentioned were similar to mine which I agree that they are important for being a fan.
      Your definition of fandom is very simple and open and it’s true. One only needs to like it to be a fan. Though using only that, it would be personal and not possible to be perceived by other people. So when I wrote the criteria, I try to capture the expressions or visible effects of that said love. About in doing so, I have to admit that there are countless of people with passion hidden inside being left out. They simply cannot be identified.

  11. Canne, Thanks for inviting me to comment! I think this structure is a lot of fun – definitely a setup coming from a scientific mind!

    My biggest issue in your previous discussion was this – what if an individual has suddenly become addicted to anime. Why can’t that person, under your previous criteria, become known as an anime fan? Valenz’s scenario is closely related to this and provides a good answer – that person could have a qualifer before his or her name (possibly, probable, etc.). Also, you emphasize the need to reevaluate, so such a person could be reevaluated after a year and a qualifer could be adjusted or removed. This is excellent!

    I thought about two types of friends I had/have and used this test with them. One type only watched/read Naruto, though did so extensively. This type was a possible anime fan by your structure, which I think is a good representation.

    Another friend used to meet all the criteria. After being reevaluated, he is no longer an anime fan – also accurate.

    This was great fun – thank you for working up this structure! :)

    • Thank you for your comment and even trying to utilize it ^_^
      The fan identified by this criteria is only the fan in general sense. But I still have to do more work on it to include other groups of fan, if that is possible. Ultimately it was a good exercise for me and I am glad you had fun :)

  12. Wow, maybe people don’t think us anime fans are elitist enough. I kid, of course. I think the key to being “AN TRUE ANIEM FAN” is both interest and dedication, qualities captured by the categories you listed. Of course, I excel at all four points, I like the stipulation that you have to be independent in your decision to watch anime. You have to do your OWN research and search out for shows that you enjoy. As time goes on, you develop your OWN unique taste, and that’s the defining trait of fandom. I could hold someone’s hand and tell them to watch a bunch of shows, but if their choices of anime consumption only comes from other people, then I wouldn’t consider them an anime fan. Good post. :)

    • Thank you for the reply!
      I suppose I sounded like an overt elitist. The post itself might be a bit too judgmental but I tried my best to make it a fun read and not too serious. Though Shance of Rainbowsphere used to call me ‘borderline elitist’, I still insist that I am not (yet?). -_-
      Well, I am glad that you like it :)

  13. Requirements 1-3 seem fair. Like feal87 said, I see requirement 4 as bonus points. You can be a very serious anime fan without being involved with it socially. In fact, I suspect most anime fans are that way. Maybe you could do 26 anime/year (a new one every other week) as a substitute for requirement 4. If you’re not into any anime community activities, you should still be considered a definite anime fan if you watch a lot more anime.

    • Thank you for your suggestion!
      I see your point and it’s very interesting. The 4th item probably make anime fan according to this criteria a bit too exclusive. I was aware of that but on the other hand, if the 4th item were not required, I feared that too many would be included. Nevertheless, I may have to adjust the 4th item again by calling the person who fulfills all 4 items a superfan and person who fulfills the first 3 items a general fan. That sounds quite good…

  14. The scenarios were amusing. Here’s my testing methodology for determining if someone’s an anime fan.

    Me: “A-san, are you an anime fan?”
    A-san: “Yes” / “No”

    If someone says they are / aren’t an anime fan, then who are we to disagree? Even if they only watch Naruto / Bleach / One Piece, then they may be a dumb anime fan with awful taste, but they’re still an anime fan.

    • LOL, thank you for the comment!
      In your scenario, we cannot argue with A-san about what he said about himself or we would risk getting into trouble. But I might secretly evaluate him and decide for myself.

  15. While I don’t disagree with the numbers, I guess in order to support this notion we have to consider the other underlying (multi)variables and biases that come into play. Say for instance, some people might still claim to be anime fans however due to other circumstance(s)—time, status, gender, etc—these people might not logically fit the category consider… which is unfair.

    But forget about my statistical views, I’d like to think that anime fans are always going to be anime fans if they believe that they are. And, instead of measuring the watching number of years and number of anime that a person had seen, I think it’s better to ask how they feel whenever they watch anime and how knowledgeable they are about this culture.

    • Thank you for sharing your opinions. They are very interesting! (^_^)
      It might be better if we use this criteria only as a loose guideline and use it by ourselves rather than use it to publicly exclude other people. That would be troublesome and too judgmental. And of course, we cannot not say that a person is not the person he claims to be. The criteria may be used secretly by us, as observer or by that person in terms of self evaluation. I think that is the most practical way to use it if you want to.

      It’s also very interesting when you mentioned feeling and knowledge. Feeling is hard to be observed by a third person but from my rationale, feeling may be implied by observing some behaviors which I tried to put those into the criteria. As for knowledge, it would take a lot of work to measure that either through in-depth conversation or by reading that person’s work if he has any. It’s a very good indicator of both passion and dedication but it cannot be measured at a glance. Plus, there’s not clear threshold on how much knowledge is considered worthy. But then again, there’s no clear threshold for anything -_-

  16. Let’s see… I’ve got all four requirements satisfied, so I’m a definite anime fan. ^^

    But you know, I was a lurking anime fan for some 4-5 years before becoming a blogger. I never collected, contributed, participated, nor cosplayed but I was (and am still!) a big anime fan back then. Like the other commentators said above, I think (4) should be considered more of as a bonus point.

    And Zyl does bring up a good point about self-perception. If a person, who secretly is a big anime fan, claims not to be a fan, then how do we define him as a fan when he doesn’t believe himself to be one? To answer this, we might have to look at his own reasons for doing so. It could be out of fear for prejudice, pride, or various circumstances. Self-perception is a factor very well worth considering, I suppose.

    Great post!

    • Thank you for your comment!
      As more comment comes in, I am more and more convinced that the 4th item maybe a bit too hard core. So I am thinking about calling someone who fulfilled all four criteria something more than just a regular fan.

      About self-perception, the criteria cannot intervene into that and in the end, we can’t do anything about what other person chooses to be called. But we, as observers, can assess and categorize that person as a fan anyway without dealing with his self-perception. ;)

  17. I don’t want to sweat on the numbers. kadian is also completely correct.

    We may have some funny ideas with what constitutes as a fan, but I feel that it’s disrespectful for someone to apply a bunch of criteria on a person, in order to validate if they are indeed a fan of something. It smacks of trivializing someone else’s life experiences. Okay, they’re not a fan. Now what? Is that supposed to instill a sense of condescension or superiority in me? I know this isn’t your intent, but I find it hard to be emotionally-detached when passing such judgment on people.

    Fandom is a dynamic event, yes. But the person most qualified to pass judgment on whether one is a fan or not, is one’s self. Ask yourself from time to time, “am I [still] a fan?” The answer shouldn’t be hard, nor do you need to evaluate yourself strictly. These criteria are flawed, and impertinent.

    • Thank you for commenting, really!
      Different perspective is always welcomed and it is the reason I asked for your opinion. I sincerely hope that the post didn’t frustrate you too much cause in retrospect, I did write this post in quite serious tone and it sounded admittedly judgmental. (=_=)

      The pointlessness of categorizing and labeling other people is indisputable. And personally, I do not use this criteria openly with anyone. In this post, I mostly wrote down my way of thinking when I observed other people. In the process of writing, I surprised myself constantly by the content I wrote. What’s more, I also have no intention of pushing people who have different spectrum of passion away.

      So in the end, the post is my way of making an observation and I use a very rigid format in doing so (I blame that on my educational background). I hope that people who read this post will not use it in discriminative way. I believe they won’t, of course.

      Again, thank you for you time. I learn a lot from your comment :)

    • I’ll have to agree with Schneider here. I, for one, have tried to question the tenets of fandom myself, and the answers have yet to present themselves. Trying to question what constitutes a fan based on another’s criteria should not let anyone judge people based on it. Rather, it should improve both by integrating characteristics that are seen as good. It’s all part of an introspective process if you ask me (which I hope is what you’re doing), but some of us are just quick to judge.

      The closest thing I can think of that lets you “judge” people according to their fandom is to make a control graph that lets them “peg” themselves based on how they consume visual media. I talked about it in Super Fanicom, so it should give you a good start if you want to keep on going with the idea you have on this post.

      • Thank you for sharing.
        I don’t know how I missed that post in SuperFanicom but it was really interesting and more open.

        About this criteria, I’d say this is part of my introspective process but I also have to admit that the way present this post was rather too judgmental. That’s probably another big flaw of this article which I should have foreseen.

  18. Thanks for calling me an expert =)

    It actually depends on your definition of an ‘anime fan’. if you went with the simplest solution – fan being ‘fanatic’, then perhaps Yii would be an anime fan, no doubt. But the implications of this means that in order to be an anime fan, you have to had been into it for a long period of time as well as spend lots of time in other factions of the hobby itself.

    Diversity: I don’t really see how this is exactly a quantifier for whether someone likes anime or not. (liking anime -> fan, 2nd definition). if someone only watches Yuri anime, but is very passionate about it, is he/her not an anime fan? Logically it seems thus impossible to fit what defines a fan into 4 sets of criteria.

    If one considers oneself a fan of anime, do we have any right to stop him/her from doing so? Not really. ‘True’ fandom is something that’s very loosely defined and differs from person to person. Some may think just having one episode a week makes them a fan. Some may think it needs to be part of their daily schedule in order for them to truly be a fan. Some find the need to express themselves in other avenues such as blog. There really isn’t a standard definition for fandom.

    Also, you can be an anime fan and not be completely independent. Some people are just like that. They like watching anime with others, like my cousins who like to watch anime in their entire family. It’s part of their family life. Can I call them out for being fake fans just because they prefer watching with others instead of watching along? Logically it seems like a hasty generalization to say that only people who are independent are true fans.

    Scenario 5 is a bit extreme though. I’m quite sure eye cancer isn’t a joke or a method to judge one’s liking for anime, which has been stopped due to unfortunate circumstance. It’s true that it’s a limitation but the way in which it is described isn’t exactly fitting. But you may not think so: you may think it is an apt example, a straightforward example, or even a humorous example.

    This is yet another illustration of the central problem: attempting to come up with a one-size-fit-all definition of the anime fan. The same problems popped up during the Otaku Elimination Game where they eventually dropped the game entirely when they realized they couldn’t judge what was ‘otaku’ and what was not merely by reading websites. Same thing here. People will definitely have their own definitions as to what constitutes a true anime fan, and I suppose it isn’t too much of a problem that we need to address.

    • Thank you for your time and comment! ^_^
      I am somewhat taken aback by the seriousness in your response. First of all, I feel sorry about referring to Baka-rapper that way and I’ve made some change to the 5th scenario to make it more appropriate. Similar to Schneider’s comment, the main point of your comment was the lack of purpose in applying the rigid criteria upon people which was very true. I tried to ask myself if I would use the criteria seriously, my answer was no. Though I sometimes passed the judgement on other people in my own mind using similar indices, substantiating these indices into established criteria was not practical. And even if the person is not actually anime fan of the similar nature as mine, will I dismiss him and stop being friend? Of course, that’s not the case.

      After contemplating on the reason I wrote this post, I’d say it’s just an observation by me and I presented it in somewhat unconventional way.

      Oh, I have completely forgotten about the OEG. I remembered that back then, I was briefly interested by that game. Come to think of it, when the game was on, I refused to call myself otaku and still do. Your analogy was quite spot-on. I’m glad I asked or your opinion.

  19. I like your criteria, but I had some problems with Baka-rapper’s case, because I can sort of relate to. Not that I had an injury, but for a couple of years I had no access to internet or new anime material, so all I could do was read manga and dream of the day when I could watch all the anime I wanted again (of course that day came and now I’m a sane person who watches anime on a daily basis ^_^ ) but though I had some hard times, I still considered myself an anime fan. Also, nice blog, it’s the first time I see it :)

    • Thank you for sharing your experience! Something like yours is what I could not clearly think of when I was writing this post by myself so your comment is very welcomed. Undoubtedly, your case represents the big flaw of this criteria; inability to capture temporal dynamic of fandom and inability to display inner passion. No one would question your passion and no one could. ^_^

  20. I fall under the possible or probable fandom categories. Mainly it is because I am not very independent in selecting titles. I don’t have a lot of free time so have to divide it among my (perhaps too many) hobbies. So, often I look at what anime people with similar interests as mine enjoy.

    I also suffer from periodic anime burn out. In fact, I am heading for another period soon since my interest in waning. But then, it isn’t anime so much as watching movies/television that burns me out. I find it difficult to stay interested in television and movies lately when I could be reading, programming, drawing, painting, or otherwise doing something more interactive and “constructive.”

    • Thank you for sharing your story!
      This is really interesting. Based on your description, you are probably anime fan when evaluated by an observer using the criteria. But do you think of yourself as anime fan before reading this post?

  21. Wow, you made the title of an anime fan sound like a lot of work…

    I’m pretty much with draggle. If someone tells me he’s an anime fan because he’s been on One Piece, and only One Piece for a few years, I’m not going to disagree with him…

    If course if we’re talking about “how much of an anime fan are you”, then that’s a totally different question…

    • That’s true. This criteria should never be used to dismiss or contradict other people. After all, One Piece fan is also part of anime fandom. We all know the difference but we look at it as a welcoming diversity :)

      Also, talking about “how much of an anime fan are you” is quite similar to this post. I am afraid that it may face the same problem.
      Thank you for the comment! ^^

  22. I’ve tried to read this post 3 times, but every single time I was extremely tired so I gave up and went to bed. This time, I read it in the morning after I was well rested.

    The one piece of criteria that I don’t really think matters is number 4.

    Technically, watching anime is anime related activity. I don’t feel like writing about anime or whatnot should really factor into whether or not a person is a fan. For example, you can be a fan of baseball or football even if you don’t play it.

    As for the Bleach fan (me I guess); that’s a tough one. They’re fans of Bleach and Bleach is an anime, so technically they do like anime, just a very small sample of it. I mean, there are some anime genres that I don’t like or watch, but I still consider myself an anime fan. That’s really a tough one it will probably always be debatable to be honest.

    Bleach has been going on longer than 110 years I’m pretty sure. On that note, time for me to pick up the manga again.

    • Thanks for the time! It feels great to know that you tried to read my post, seriously read it.

      As for the points you raised, I have come to realized the same fact after I read the comments here. It’s not fair to cut people whose interest may limit to narrow area of anime. And requiring too much out of them will probably make our friends list grow short.

      I will write a follow-up post soon (and by soon, I mean around mid-May). I may or may not revise the criteria but I will definitely give extended discussion on this matter using both my own thoughts and others’ who were so kindly shared them here.

      Thanks again!

  23. i think it should be like this

    - First Item represents awareness and independence
    - Second item represents quantity and diversity
    - Third item represents duration and consistency
    - CERTIFIED OTAKU

    So far I just completed items 1 – 3 but I consider myself an Anime Fan :P

    • You maintain anime blog too, don’t you? So, you are certified.
      But those things are not that important as long as you love anime and you realize it :)

  24. There is only one thing I can say about it, a true anime fan watches anime everyday!

  25. I’m not sure to call myself a total anime fan. I’d leave that judgment to you.

    • I wouldn’t want to judge you like that. I’d rather you use it on yourself just for fun or better, use your very own definition :)

  26. Would you consider card collecting (such as the original Pokemon, Yu-gi-oh, ect…) anime related items for number for? And are collecting action figures valid too? I have limited edition Goku figures to wing gundam zero figures soo…

    • LOL, of course everything you said counts!
      Everything that represents your passion counts. My criteria can never cover every items so it depends on our judgements :)

  27. Well, according to Canne, looks like I’m a real anime fan.
    I didn’t doubt it to begin with. I love looking up these types of posts, though. I find fans’ interpretations of “fans” to be quite fascinating.

  28. Pingback: Life can always start anew: 2012 wrap-up and 5th year anniversary! | Canne's anime review blog

  29. I think some people may be confused by your graph Canne at the bit were it says collecting anime items. As they may think you mean you have to collect some to be a anime fan.

    I’m planning on buying a Naruto book about Sasuke but it may take a long time for this book to come out. The book is out in Japanese but it will take a while to translate it.

    • Thanks for the comment.
      Like many others have pointed out, the criteria was sort of experimental and flawed.
      I do not collect anime-related merchandise except for the first X/1999 art book.

  30. I think category #4 is missing something, which is present elsewhere – anime watching. To be an anime fan, watching anime is enough.

    If I spend 5 hours a week watching anime, every week, for the past 15 years, it’s fine if I never create anything to share, I’m still a hardcore anime fan (this doesn’t describe me, so ignore the pronoun).

    It’s like saying if someone doesn’t publish what they write, they’re not “True writers”, except, the definition of a writer is one that writes, quite simply.

    • Thanks for the comment :)
      I agree with you. Actually, anime fan is a really loose term. How can anyone dismiss a person who has watched only a handful of anime as not being a fan? Discussion in this post has really broaden the horizon for me.

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