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The Pros and Cons of Being a Female Anime Fan
By Tena Mastrangelo
A minority among a minority
Every time I go into a room as an unknown into a group of anime or role-playing fans, the same thing always happens. People stop all conversations momentarily and stare at me and I feel dozens of eyes boring into my back.
What is this? Have I sprung horns and a tail, two heads and scales? Close enough ... I am a female. And seeing a woman in a normally male-dominated fandom usually starts guys out of their reveries.
Although more females are joining the anime fandom fold - and more of us are seen at anime club meetings, events and conventions - we are still little fish in a large sea.
And of course, like everything else, there is always a good and bad side of every situation.
Most of the time I enjoy being one of the few (if any) females who attend my local anime club. Once in a while guys will hold back their language, keep flatulating and belching to a minimum, and pretend they really only watch hentai for the art and story, not the sex. (Yeah, right.)
The amusement factor goes up after you've been there awhile and your sex is virtually forgotten. Then you get to listen to deep discussions of the comparison of kendo and martial arts displayed in various series, how many times Naga's breasts really bounce in a scene, and who everyone would want to be marooned with on a desert island.
Once in a while a poor soul might brave his lack of social skills (and personal hygiene) and try to entice me to see their 15-year-old, out-of-print laserdisc collection. Oh well. At least I let them try ... before bashing them over the head with an oversized mallet. ;)
On the other hand, being one of the only females around can get stale after a while. I am not a big fan of hack-and-slash shows like "Berserk" and I always fall asleep to "M.D. Geist," "Fist of the North Star" and "Dominion Tank Police." And when conversations stray toward mecha, I tend to start counting the holes in the ceiling. During times like these I wish there were more females around to talk to, or even more shoujo playing in the viewing area.
However in the past couple of years, a greater of variety of anime is shown at the clubs/events I have attended, and you get a larger mix of people. Guys I once knew who where totally obsessed and absorbed in one or two styles of anime are seen cracking up watching "Dragon Half" or showing sympathy during intense moments in "Fushigi Yuugi."
So for all you female anime fans that may feel a little isolated, take heart. Suggest (no, demand) more shows of your liking to be added to the viewing list to your local anime club to add more variety. Take the initiative and get more of your own female friends interested in anime by having a "girls' night out." And watch the guys get jealous knowing they can't be there too.
You can read more about Tena's shoujo and Sailormoon obsessions at her web sites, www.eternalsenshi.net and www.sailorstarlights.com