Passion, love, interest, attachment, regardless of how you put it, it’s something that I’ve had a bit of an obsession with over this last year. Everywhere I went, in everything I read, and with everyone I spoke to, this idea always came to mind in one form or another. This kind of thing feels almost fundamental to us; its abundance or absence can easily dictate how we choose to live our lives, and this is especially the case, I find, in the communities that I’ve associated myself so closely to. It’s something that I really love to see and something I’ve struggled to find for myself this year.
Maybe it doesn’t seem like it now with all that I’ve posted in these last twelve days but way back in April, around the time that I watched Aqours’ first live, I was finding it hard to express my love for the things I cared about in the same way as other fans did. Part of it was embarrassment, but mostly, I felt like I didn’t have the ability to properly articulate and defend my passion for the things I liked. For me, the ideal fan was one that knew of and acknowledged the problematic parts of what they loved and loved it regardless. But for the life of me, I couldn’t quite ever reach this ideal of mine.
Growing up as weak as I was, I always felt the need to maintain positive or neutral relations with everybody that I ever met, and with the way that I saw myself, I never valued my own opinion very much. This combination meant that whenever something of mine that I loved was criticized, I’d lose a little bit of that love I held for it, and if it happened enough times, it’d be hard for me to justify loving it at all. This was something that I carried with me all throughout high school and into university. Even now, my opinion is, in no small part influenced by the opinions of the people I respect and care about.
If it hadn’t been for how much my friends and I got into Love Live, I wouldn’t have even been at that Live that day, I wouldn’t have loved the series as much as I do now, and I certainly wouldn’t have felt as strongly as I did that day, that I needed to change. And in the months that followed, I tried.
Getting out of my comfort zone by interacting with the community and finding a little bit of confidence in other things helped a lot to this end. I started somewhat live-tweeting the shows that I was watching and infrequently chatting with the people that liked those shows – many of whom fit this image of the passionate fan in my head. I watched Aquarion EVOL in its entirety, a show so incredibly in love itself and its expression of love. I found it hilarious, thoroughly enjoyable, and honestly, a little inspiring with how unabated and self-indulgent its passion was.
And then the second Live came around. I met with my fellow ani-twitter-ers Taira and Zubat who were every bit as passionate and amazing as their online personas led me to expect. I went in with the hopes that I’d grown a little since that day in April and by the time the credits rolled, I was sure that had.
My singing sucked, I definitely swung the king-blade that Zubs so graciously lent to me, out of sync, and I knew almost none of the calls, but just by standing shoulder-to-shoulder with all the other excited fans that night, I couldn’t help but think that something had changed in me, if only a little bit.
I always have and always will love seeing people be as passionate as they are about the things they love. I love following the people that love themselves for loving what they love. You could go as many levels deep in that recursion as you’d like and my feelings would remain the same. It’s the best thing about our crazy corner of the Internet (as evidenced by this whole event), and as much as I’ve maybe changed, I still want to grow a little more to be a person that can proudly claim to be a part of it.
I can’t help it, it’s just something love.
Thanks for reading,
This is my twelfth and final post of the 12 days of Anime event and as tough as it has been, it’s been a blast! Be sure to check out all other amazing writers that have participated in this year’s event here.