You Either Die Hopeful or You Live Long Enough to See Yourself Become A Jaded Anime Fan

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?

17 thoughts on “You Either Die Hopeful or You Live Long Enough to See Yourself Become A Jaded Anime Fan

  1. There’s a huge difference between the catching-up and up-to-date phases of an individual’s fandom. In the first phase, you have access to the cream of the crop series from the last thirty years, and only pick crowd favourites, recommendations or that which perfectly suits your genre tastes. Once you catch up, the average show to masterpiece ratio goes down to a mundane level (it’s often cited as a 20-80 good to bad ratio regardless of medium). Not only that, the odds of the masterpieces overlapping with your favourite genre are even lower. That’s why I often see JAFs coming from fans of shows like Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop etc., who don’t get that many shows aimed at them.

    That said, masterpieces are still coming out. I’ve been watching anime for around twenty years, eleven or twelve of those years as an aware and up-to-date fan, and every three years or so there is at least one title which overwrites the limits of what I thought possible in the medium.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Makes sense to me. It is a bit sad to hear that the ratio of good to bad goes down so much (and I guess I have to agree even though I only have my own anecdotes to consult), but hearing that you still come across titles which are innovative and refreshing (well, those are not the words you used) is encouraging.

      Like

  2. Right now I’m the furthest thing from becoming jaf, I’m a new and hopeful fan still, but I can see how one could become jaded.

    I’m somewhat jaded when it comes to comic books and no longer buy new series knowing they’ll just try to suck me into huge crossovers that have little pay off and will eventually be retconned over anyway. It took me a good 8 years to reach that point, but I still love and enjoy reading the medium, but just have a different outlook on it.

    I could see myself reaching that point with anime in certain areas, but I don’t ever see it effecting my enjoyment as a whole.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad to hear it. Your excitement is so refreshing!

      Ahh…yeah I can see that. Comic books do like doing that.

      Awww hopefully not. But maybe it’s not a bad thing. Happy to hear you think you won’t becoming that bitter if it comes to that!

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  3. Aha now I get what a JAF means!
    If I have to choose what I think of them… it would be that they’ve had so much to read that they’re slowly not liking manga anymore (or watch and anime).
    I also think the betrayal thing would actually fit….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can understand some people becoming jaded with anime. If you force yourself into one genre or a small bubble, than you are bound to get tired of things eventually. Especially if you watch everything in that bubble, there is a lot of bad anime out there too. However, I’ve stuck with this interest longer than any other and haven’t gotten bored with it yet and that is because there is so much variety in anime. I don’t see how I could become jaded towards the whole thing, maybe specific shows, but that’s about it.

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  5. It’s the elitists who become jaded, thinking hating on things with quasi-academic, pedantic writing will somehow earn them respect. I’ve seen this happen with the likes of K-On! some years ago, where they claimed shows like that were somehow harmful to the industry and bollocks of that sort.

    As far as I’m concerned, everyone else watches what they like, and do other things when no shows catch their interest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “It’s the elitists who become jaded, thinking hating on things with quasi-academic, pedantic writing will somehow earn them respect.”

      Can’t agree more. I don’t know if they’re better or worse than so called “analytical” critiques that are little more than curse laden rants, as both tend to be willfully ignorant of how purpose, narrative style, and even cultural influence can differ from anime to anime, and certainly differs from whatever they hold as their golden ideal.

      It bothers me when a person’s motivations are more toward aligning themselves with a certain camp than saying something interesting about anime. I have strong feelings about this, but I’ll stop before I go into a sociopathic rant myself.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Ah, is that so? I would consider myself to be pretty jaded but I don’t think I attack shows like that (I do have a few reviews in which I now realize I was being silly, though). How terrible of them.

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  6. I think everyone gets jaded about things they really like after a while, they may come back, they may not. I think sometimes it’s just an over-saturation, or “bad” choices. I get this way with both Anime and books sometimes. You hit that patch where everything you pick just feel the same and lack luster and sometimes you just have to change things up in a bigger way, or take a step back and a little time before you can come back with fresh eyes and thing “ah yes… This is why I loved this in the first place”.
    It’s like eating a favourite food every day… Eventually, everyone needs a break from the things they love.

    Liked by 2 people

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