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Smiling in the face of opposition.

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This is my first journey through the “100 Days of Anime” Challenge, an ambitious project that I’ll be taking. For the full list of prompts, click here.

“Share an experience where you were bullied for liking anime.”

I was never bullied for liking anime. As a matter of fact, past middle school, there was hardly a confrontation that could be deemed bullying. I definitely attribute that to the amazing group of friends I managed to make through my high school years. Yes, I’m one of the lucky guys that can say high school was an amazing time. My love for anime was sparked around that time after all. Saying all of this, however, doesn’t mean I never bumped into a rude comment here or there. According to some, I suffered from shit taste: whether it referred to my love for fantasy and Isekai, or my indifference to mechas, they made their opinions clear.

But to me, that was fine.

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Because only I knew what I liked. My freshman year of college played out almost exactly like freshman year of high school. I was lost, struggling back and forth between classes, finding a rhythm in my busy schedule, and looking for a like-minded group to hang out with. Club signups came, and I found myself visiting the makeshift club room of the “Anime/Gaming Club”. Introductions were exchanged, small talk was made, the question of favorite animes came up.

“Wow, you actually like Grimgar?”

It was a harsh slap, but one that lasted for only a brief moment before it faded, like it was never there. My answer to him was still the same. Yep. I really liked Grimgar.

Yes, I watched it.

Yes, I enjoyed it.

Yes, I loved it.

We moved on to other things.

It can be hard for some people to brush off criticism, even if it’s from a stranger. It’s an issue that may leave you afraid to voice your opinion. But let me tell you something.

Like what you like.

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Every single person around you is filled with self-doubt. Self-conscious, no matter how big or insignificant it may be. Most people will be understanding, self-aware about their own likes. The few that make fun of you for it only do so in a futile attempt to hide their own insecurities. But no matter how many people make fun of you, always stick to your opinions. Not only will others respect that, but the “bullies” will tend to end up fussing over nothing. It’s only enjoyable to bully you if YOU actually get offended.

It’s okay to have fun. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

I’ve found that the most important trait I person can have is understanding. Be open. Find a group of likeminded people to share your interests with, whether it’s online in a wonderful blogging community, or with a group of friends. Because despite the negative stigma anime gets, we’re still an awesome medium that just keeps getting bigger and bigger. We’re becoming mainstream.

And eventually?

Those guys that made fun of you for watching anime will be closet-Isekai fans, themselves.