How do you feel about JAFs? Or Jaffies? Is Jaffies a better term?
I think it’s almost inevitable for most anime fans to become a little cynical after a while. It’s normal. It happens.
So whenever I think about this phenomenon, I always start wondering about why it occurs. That’s about as useful as reading someone’s opinion on an anime series they’ve never watched since I only have conjecture to go on. But I still ponder nevertheless.
Maybe it’s because some people actually think of and treat anime as an inferior media to consume. Nomenclature such as “weeaboo” is not meant as a compliment, after all. It’s not unreasonable to assume that prolonged exposure to such sentiments can possibly cause some hopeful anime fans (HAFs) to become JAFs.
But it doesn’t have to be due to disparaging outsiders, necessarily. Sometimes other anime fans will attack your preferences and actually judge you on that basis. Some anime fans can act like elitists and will dismiss your opinions altogether. There are even some anime fans who do outrageous things, such as sending death threats to seiyuu (voice actors/actresses) or directors. I can very easily imagine being around this sort of environment for an extended period of time can cause one to become jaded.
Perhaps it’s due to anime itself. Maybe one particular series really won you over but all of the other shows you watched afterwards simply couldn’t compare and felt lackluster. Or perhaps you stuck around and followed a show from beginning to end only to become disappointed in how the series never really seemed to improved. It’s possible that an anime adaptation of a light novel or video game or manga you love went wrong and was a betrayal of your expectations.
The thing is, we’re all different so it goes without saying that there’s no universal answer to be found here.
But I will say that it’s not too hard to spot a jaded anime fan. Some like to point out common story threads or character beats that are unfolding in a particular series. Others like to just list out everything a series or episode is doing wrong and seems to only have negative things to say. And some like to remain pessimistic and cautious about shows even when things are going good and a series has repeatedly demonstrated competence (that’s definitely me). I can’t think of a way to stop being a jaded anime fan. It just sucks you in and doesn’t seem to let you go (so it’s like the exact opposite of this blog). But here are 3 measures you can try out in order to manage the tellings symptoms.
Stop Comparing Everything to Your Favourite Series
And this is the point where I realized I don’t have a solid enough image of jaded anime fans to write more about this topic in good faith. My reasons were probably going to be targeted towards people who are or at least act like elitists. There’s probably some overlap, but it wouldn’t be entirely sincere.
And so I’ll ask the same question I opened the post with. What do you think about jaded anime fans?