Showing off My Love for My Hobbies in Social Life – The Idea of Masculinity


I remembered Silvachief asking me a question a long time ago in, about showing my hobbies in social life. It was an interesting question and it was something I was thinking about for awhile, so I decided to talk about it some more in this post.

Before I begin though, I would like to talk about the local community here in Brunei and what do they see anime as, at least within my circle of friends. I always feel like Brunei isn’t a country to label people as otaku or weebo and stick all kinds of negative implications to them. In contrast, they are ignorant. They aren’t knowledgeable about the inner workings of anime culture, and not a lot of them know about anime terms. In fact, it’s not even until around early 2009 where I only just learned what is “tsundere” and has since been sharpening my knowledge in the art of anime tropes.


Most of the time, my friends are just more keen on mainstream anime for example; talk Naruto, Bleach, One Piece or if we were to give newer examples, Jojo, Fairy Tail, Attack on Titan, quite a number of them would know it. In comparison, try to say anime like OreImo or OreGairu and not a lot of them will know it. Don’t even get me started on cute girls doing cute things shows. OreImo and OreGairu are rather mainstream too, admittedly, so I think it has a lot to do with demographics than mainstream, although mainstream appeal still definitely plays a factor in it. “Shounen” and “seinen”, and especially those genres which appeal to masculinity, I find those were the type of anime which were talked more often within the circle of my friends.


Most of my friends are huge gamers, but I find even the games I played from them differs. While I mostly prefer to play Japanese games with anime-influence nowadays, my friends usually play Western games with realistic graphics. Personally, I always find the appeal in both, it’s just that with my time and money, I really just had to focus on one and I chose the former. I did managed to finish a few of these Western games in recent years, like GTA V (never tried out the online mode though) and older Assassin’s Creed games, but it’s really hard for me to keep up now. So when my friends were bickering to me about Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed (the newer titles), Bloodborne and Witcher 3, my reactions would be like “Huh?”.

Indeed, while my friends were busy planning heists and shooting down people in GTA Online, I’m busy with my Harem Conquest route in Persona 4 Golden.


Furthermore, aside from my sis, I seldom told anyone about my visual novels hobbies. Even for my sis, she knew about it purely by accident. There was one time where I tried to show some visual novel screenshot-a typical one with a sprite and a dialogue box; my poor attempt at introducing someone into it, and the only response I got is “What’s this? Hentai?”.



From what I had described, yeah, I personally think the Brunei community is just ignorant, but, which is also exactly the reason why I was so surprised when I found out Brunei decided to air the Love Live movie soon this October, something which I’m not sure if I want to watch since I probably know no one in my vicinity would be appreciative of it, and when you’re watching a movie from a series you really like, with a group of people who you know will never appreciate it-that really kills the fun. I also can’t go waifu-ing too, which is also an important factor. Unfortunately, I will probably wait a bit more and just watch it alone on my PC.

Either way, I find I always has a sort of subconscious reflex to conceal my otaku identity. I never wear anime T-shirts out in public (not like I have any), and before I knew it, I’m setting my smartphone and ipod with wallpapers of cool video game characters rather than cute anime characters. I also has a habit of hiding myself when I play LLSIF outdoors (playing it when my family’s near is fine for me though), I’m sure I will be more confident playing it out in the open if there’s someone else playing it too… but everyone’s playing Clash of Clans.


Anyway, I said “subconscious” because I was never ostracized or bullied from the little weebo-ness I had revealed (which is a blessing in itself since I had heard worse), I think the reason I seem to have a habit of subconsciously concealing my otaku identity in public was a combination of different things-the community’s ignorance and lack of cultural knowledge, the bad things I heard in other communities, the only one being left (remember? Me=LLSIF, Everyone=Clash of Clans?) and pretty much, my community’s affiliation in masculinity.

Guys are always likened to masculine stuffs like robots and supercars. In fact, most of my friends and coworkers spent thousands in modifying sport cars, meanwhile, I’m spending thousands here collecting figures and commissioning moe artworks. Then again, there’s also the possibility that my friends are also subconsciously hiding similar otaku facets of themselves due to similar reasons, but if that’s true, that means every one of my “friends” and I were interacting with each other on our hobbies while hiding a part of ourselves-a superficial social life. Why can’t we just be more genuine?


Then again, that’s a big assumption of my part. Anyway, that’s how is it for me. I really wish Brunei and the community would be more open with anime, at the very least, within the circle of my friends. Having more major anime conventions would be great too, but it could be worse, and I’m fine with what I got for the moment. How’s your community towards the anime fandom like?

Note: Aforementioned, I got a lot of things I want to talk about in regards to this subject, and even when I worded everything out, it still doesn’t feel like a very good post-feels incoherent and more like ramblings. I think I might revisit this topic again soon.

This entry was posted by Kai.

31 thoughts on “Showing off My Love for My Hobbies in Social Life – The Idea of Masculinity

  1. As for me, I kept it mostly to myself, especially during high school since I attended high school that are filled with mostly snobby students. Back then, I only watched Pokemon and played it while classmates were interested in other things such as sports, dating and such. While I do have friends during high school, they weren’t interested in Anime and quite a few of them played western games.

    During college, while I know some people in college that watch Anime, I kept it to myself although I know a student that was in my group for a group project during my master’s degree that said that he watched Neon Genesis Evangelion after asking me if I watched Anime. Yep, I mostly kept it to myself since, well I watch a lot of shows with cute girls. Didn’t bother participating in the college’s Anime Club

    Talking about the Love Live movie, while it’s not airing anywhere in Pennsylvania where I will be moving to, let alone Philadelphia, although it’s airing in Manville, NJ, which is apparently 10 miles away from Rutgers, which is the biggest state university in New Jersey. Not sure if I want to go or just wait for the release, although I will be back in New Jersey to check up on my thyroid. I can imagine that there are a lot of college students in that university that enjoys Anime, let alone Love Live.

    • Pokemon was also fairly played by a lot of people when I was in middle school, much lesser when I’m in high school though. My parents were really restrictive of me playing games before (it’s almost a miracle we managed to get a PS1 and PS2) so obviously I don’t have a Gameboy, lol.

      “although I know a student that was in my group for a group project during my master’s degree that said that he watched Neon Genesis Evangelion after asking me if I watched Anime.”
      Lol, some guys think they had finished everything anime has to offer just watching extremely mainstream shows.

      Well, if you’re going to watch it, hope you make it. What happens to your thyroid?

  2. You don’t have worry if it sounds like rambling…think I get the gist of it. As for myself, with the expection of my girlfriend that shares a similar interest, I really have no reason to bring up my hobby. If I did, people would be like “What is anime? Isn’t that for children?” Then would have to explain. Other than play games like Neptunia or Etrain Oddssey in public, that is as far as I go in showing my nerdiness. I’m more like Umaru-chan and go full nerd at home.

    • I don’t think I was ever told that, but I can totally expect some people thinking like that, especially with how mainstream some anime like Pokemon/Digimon is, lol. Lol, I don’t think I would be “comfortable” enough to even play games like Neptunia in public.

      “I’m more like Umaru-chan and go full nerd at home.”
      Oh, so that means you’re fabulous max in public?

      • Unless their from the city, most people in my area – with the expection of a few wouldn’t seriously know what is without explaining it , lol.

        In some situations, but I’m just an extremely in the closet nerd in public, lol. Although, since I have like a 2 day train trip home – I might read some of the manga/watch some anine on my tablet. I’ll be sitted next to my folks anyway and have abit of privacy, lol.

        • Ahh, I see. Guess you really do need something to do with that much time to kill, lol. I still wouldn’t normally watch anime in public though, nowadays, I just watch shitty wrestling videos in public, lol.

  3. Yeah, you don’t need to worry because to me it doesn’t really sound like rambling. It’s pretty coherent, if you ask me, and we get your point, we understand your situation.

    I also can’t go waifu-ing too, which is also an important factor.

    Crap. I didn’t think of this. I only have a handful of friends who are also into anime, but I don’t think they’re also into the likes of LL!

    Though I haven’t seen the series at the moment (I’ll eventually get to it), I always try my best to watch anything anime or Japanese movie that will be shown in local cinemas. I’ve watched Rurouni Kenshin 1 in cinema alone, but it’s nothing compared to when I watched movies 2.1 and 2.2 with my friend–having a companion to fangirl/boy with makes the experience a whole lot better. Now I’m having second thoughts on watching LL! movie in cinema.

    As for the anime community here, I might think about it for a while and maybe come up with a response post to this.

    • Cool :p I originally wanted to avoid making this post too personal and wants to write about the underlying issue, but ended up doing just that, lol. Oh well, at least this serve as a good introduction if I were to expand on this some more.

      “Crap. I didn’t think of this. I only have a handful of friends who are also into anime, but I don’t think they’re also into the likes of LL! ”
      Aww, guess you’re watching alone :p Unless you don’t mind watching with them.

      There’s barely any anime/Asian movies here, they mostly just show English movies, lol. So I mostly just watch the former on my own computer, even if releases are late and the experience is totally different. Last I remember, the only anime-like movie here was a Doraemon CG movie or something, lol. So I’m really surprised about Love Live airing here, doesn’t seem like the kind of shows Brunei would air.

      “I’ve watched Rurouni Kenshin 1 in cinema alone”
      Awww, I know that feeling. I once did that and it feels so lonesome, honestly don’t want to do that again, lol.

      Looking forward to your post :)

      • Same here, though I guess PH has more of the Asian movies than Brunei. The only titles that make it the cinemas are those that are popular enough that the average person has at least heard of it–Rurouni Kenshin (the anime was widely known as Samurai X, which aired in English dub), Naruto movies (w/c started with the sixth installment), upcoming Attack on Titan, and recently also Doraemon Stand by Me, the 3dcg you mentioned (the anime is fairly popular because it aired on morning local TV). So I was also surprised when LL! will be aired here. But perhaps that’s a direct move by the Japanese publicity staff of the said movie, and not a solely a marketing ploy initiated by local cinema owners.

        Yeaaah. It was a lonesome experience. There was no one to discuss the movie with, although I had friends and acquaintances who watched it separately and posted Facebook statuses about it–and I’m not the type to post everything that I watch/experience on Facebook.

        It might take me a while to publish it, because I don’t always have internet connection at home.

        • Ahh, so that’s the name of Doraemon CG movie, I don’t really care much about it to look it up :p Speaking of Attack on Titan, it’s interesting though, looks like they will be adding a lot of original characters, and the story looks like it will be an original one. Oddly, those original characters seem to be of Japanese-origin, since they have quite a Japanese-sounding name, kinda ruins Attack on Titan’s multi-nationality setting :p

          “But perhaps that’s a direct move by the Japanese publicity staff of the said movie, and not a solely a marketing ploy initiated by local cinema owners.”
          I’m not sure how it all runs behind the stages, but won’t the local government need to approve of this first?

          Me neither, lol. I usually use Twitter, but also barely tweets about movies and stuffs.

          Alright :p

          • Attack on Titan part 1 will be shown here in PH next month. I think I won’t be seeing it in cinema because I’m penniless.

            Yeah, seems like it won’t be following the manga or the anime. It might be disappointing to a lot of fans. I’m also not a fan of the very bad CG and special effects. Japanese films somehow suck at combining live-action and CG/SFX.

            I’m not an expert on these behind-the-scenes matters too, but I do know that some of the previous Japanese films shown in PH needed some close negotiations with the Japanese distribution companies, so they were clearly a big effort and initiative on our (PH’s) side.

            I think some local government agencies overlook the process, but only the smaller institutions like MTRCB are directly needed to evaluate and approve of the films being shown.

  4. I never brought up the anime topic around other people I really have no interest to explain or even worse to justify myself. Since I started watching anime after my Highschool years there weren’t such things like, oh no I have an unusual hobby, I’m gonna get bullied. Well, my parents often say you only watch your “japanese movies”, but they let me be.

    What I do is using anime illustrations and the likes as wallpaper on phone and pc, because it makes me happy.

    Obviously I can’t hide my figures, I’m the figure collecting dude to everyone and thats ok. He knows about my figures, but I haven’t told my best friend about Mirai, he probably think I’m more nuts XD He is an agriculturist machine otaku, maybe he also understands my figure hobby a bit (^▽^)

    I noticed that terms like manga, anime, girls dressing as anime characters are mixed together here in Germany and people think if you are interested in one you automatically like everything. I really feel annoyed when someone wants to talk about cosplay with me, which I really have no interest in, except the cosplayer looks hot XD

    • There’s no need to justify yourself in liking the things you like-it’s not even a bad thing after all :) It’s nice to hear that you wasn’t ostracized or bullied.

      Yea, I can do that on my PC but not on my phone, since it’s something I usually carry it out with me on the go, lol.

      I still don’t know how you can collect lewd Orchid Seed figures without a care in the world, lol. Well, judging from what you said, it doesn’t even seem like a problem if you told him about Mirai :) Nice friend you have there.

      Try to show them pictures of guys dressing up as magical girl outfits. I would show you the one picture I found last time when an old man was cosplaying as Sailor Moon, but that means I have to find and see the picture again myself, so you’ll have to make do with my description, lol.

      • Ah good to know ^^

        I still put these on my phone only tasteful pictures obviously, haha

        Oh, I actually care about the level of lewdness ;D There are still figures I would feel uncomfortable to have and show.
        Figues should wear pantsu, thats a cornerstone of my criteria, ok I have two that don’t follow that routine, but the critical area is hidden XD Haha there is already a figure on the way that will probably make me fell embarassed, guity pleasure ftw (//∇//)

        Nooo, thats the worst kind of cosplay lol

  5. WE ARE IN THE SAME BOAT. The Philippines also has the same lack of cultural stuff and a love of mainstream anime. I’m personally peeved when cosplays are not cosplays but a way for a wanna be model to gain fame. I hate Alodia.
    I never really care for status though. When people asks me if I’m a fan then I just nod. I don’t hide it but I also don’t flaunt it. None of my friends know I’m TPAB though and I prefer it that way. If given a chance to go out in public as an anime addict, I find no problem with it. Thankfully, society here is judgmental but tolerant so no one really cares if you’re an obese person with a love live t-shirt on. They’ll whisper and talk about it behind your back but your feelings are spared atleast. We have bronies here and obnoxious comic book fans so otakus isn’t a rare thing thankfully. XD

    • I don’t know much behind the culture of cosplayers so that’s interesting to know. I saw some adequate cosplayers here in Brunei in some minor event, but don’t think any of them are or soon-to-be models. Do a lot of Filipino cosplayers use cosplays as a catalyst to gain fame and recognition as a model?

      I believe that’s the right way to go about it. In my case, I just have trouble answering when I’m being asked “What anime do you watched?” I found myself subconsciously “retreating” to any mainstream anime instead of genres like cute girls doing cute things/slice of life shows. I don’t think anyone know I’m “Kai Percival” too and that’s the way I want it too, lol. Keep my online and real life identity separate. My Google+ at times recommended people to add that are from RL though, lol. It must had been detecting from my Samsung phone, thank you google.

      “Thankfully, society here is judgmental but tolerant so no one really cares if you’re an obese person with a love live t-shirt on. They’ll whisper and talk about it behind your back but your feelings are spared atleast. We have bronies here and obnoxious comic book fans so otakus isn’t a rare thing thankfully. XD”
      That’s nice :)

  6. Mine is similar to yours, especially in regards to my #1 genre. When it comes to Love Live! I doubt any of my fellow local animeniacs know or care about it. Thing is if there are animeniacs who like Girls Club and yuri they are very well hidden. For now I consider myself a rare breed amongst Aruban animeniacs…the few I am aware of.

  7. I wrote a post about our hobby being a secret several years ago after watching Midori no Hibi. I don’t hide my hobbies from anyone and was even recommending and talking about anime and figures all the time.

    That was then.

    Things changed these days not because of any societal pressures but mostly because I myself have spend lesser time with anime and figures. I find myself not talking about anime let alone figures anymore unless the other person is also watching anime, which is similar to your case: mainstream anime. They probably don’t know anything about anime seasons, which is something I discovered way back in 2010 after some digging around online.

    I do get that it’ll be a little harder talking with friends when it comes to shows that we watch, pretty much like your situation in games. My friends mostly watch K-Dramas or Hong Kong dramas while I watch anime. In that respect, we have nothing in common. So I’m usually loss in those conversations and will feel a little left out sometimes, lol.

    Well, as long as we’re happy with how we spend our time and money, it’s probably all good.

    • Eh, that’s always a sad aspect of our lives where we had to spend lesser time with the things we love, but nothing can be done about it. It was nice to hear that you were so actively recommending anime and figures to other people though. Yea, I actually don’t know why so many people doesn’t seem to be aware of anime charts-they seem rather easy to find for me, I think it’s mostly the case that they just don’t care much about anime to actually google anything about it, which is kinda sad now that when I think about it.

      Yea, that happen to me too xD Some people here are just in love with Asian drama, but oddly enough, more common during my high school days but lesser now. Personally, with anime keeping up most of my time, I really can’t catch up if were to include any Asian drama too (not that I have much interests in them to begin with). I can watch movies though.

      “Well, as long as we’re happy with how we spend our time and money, it’s probably all good.”
      Indeed :3

  8. Thanks for the mention! =P

    We’ve discussed this before but I may as well weigh in. I’m relatively new to anime (which i’ll have to stop saying soon, since i’ve been watching for nearly 5 years) but i’ve always been into gaming so i’ve had to confront the same issues as you have. For me, however, rather than an issue of masculinity it’s one of childishness. The idea that people need to “grow out of” games and anime is pretty pervasive, and in my line of work you simply can’t be seen as childish. Therefore, my work and hobbies never mix.

    Still, I identify strongly as someone who enjoy video games, visual novels and anime among other things so most of my good friends know i’m into them, even if they’re not too keen themselves (like your situation as well, I suppose). I also don’t know anyone personally who’s as into my hobbies as I am. I guess i’d say i’m in the intermediate stage with how open I am: I don’t hide them but I don’t openly display my affiliation with them.

    • Yea, I think looking at anime and games as “childish” can be another common misconception as well-especially since mainstream-wise, Pokemon had been doing so well, both in anime and games. More and more games for children (*cough*Nintendo*cough*) probably doesn’t help either. Somebody need to get these kids more eroge-hell, let them play Saya no Uta.

      Speaking of games, just recently, I just remembered when a friend of mine asked “What games had you been playing?” I just straight up say “hentai game” half serious, half joking-there’s ironically some semblance of truth too, considering I just finished Akiba’s Trip at the time, lol. For the record, he was the same guy I mentioned in my post who said “hentai” the first thing when I showed him the visual novel screenshot. He just seem to have a tendency to categorize any type of fanservice (not the sexual meaning here obviously, but the cute/”flowery” type of artworks) as hentai, so I really couldn’t be bothered explaining myself, lol.

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  12. Masculinity has nothing to do with anything like this. There was a post on a Reddit thread that I responded to with a following comment on what makes for masculinity and this pretty much has nothing to do with anything bad. The idea that masculinity ever hinders anything is a Feminist idea.

    I think it’s very hard to find these in anime today.

    Most men in anime today lack what makes people like Goku so masculine. An unconditional drive for self improvement of strength and skill. In the words of Vergil in DMC3…

    Without power you cannot protect anything, let alone yourself.

    And in the case of power, without a constant unconditional natural desire for more improvement, you cannot obtain power and be operating at a truly worthy consistency.

    The man who first knows how to protect himself will protect others better than the man who only protects others better than himself.

    People will tell you that the Feminism of the West does not exist in Japan. But it does. They too think there is such a thing as toxic masculinity. And it is what will kill the male populace and prevent them from ever achieving anything other than being herbivore men. They have no male role models that are worth attention past VERY few. More and more men are going full stereotypical Weeaboo and only watch either shows with cute girls doing cute things, or they watch shows like SAO and DxD which both can get SUPER white knight-ish. They can always hate a man but can never find it in themselves to fully hate any woman in those kinds of shows.

    So basically, most anime will disappoint. Of the top of my head…

    Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Fist Of The North Star, Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball Super, One Punch Man, Golgo 13, G Gundam, Cowboy Bebop (A little less than the others)…

    Maybe shows like Toriko and HxH though I haven’t seen them. But they seem, from a quick glance to fit the mold of shows with characters that, even without some altruistic mission, they will still carry themselves forward in life and continue to live even without some altruistic reasons. A man who does not need an altruistic reason to live, is a man who will be the builder of society for eons to come.
    Becoming embarrassed of a hobby has nothing to do with masculinity. If someone tells me I should stop watching Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure because it’s a cartoon, then why would that suddenly scream “STOP WATCHING IT BECAUSE MASCULINITY!”?

    Seeing the devil where he doesn’t exist will lead to you becoming the devil.

    In this case you end up becoming the problem by failing to see the problem. The problem is the idea of adulthood. Don’t try to blame or equate masculinity to being a part of a unrelated problem.

    Masculinity is a core of something. A part of any man’s nature. You can try to bury it because something like Feminism tells you it’s toxic. But you won’t even know why. And in the end you’ll find out too late that it’s not.

    It’s far less subjective than adulthood because adulthood was always changing even at it’s core. It use to be that 13-14 was the age of coming and expecting of marriages. Masculinity however in the sense of self improvement and such does not. If you self improve as much as possible with an unconditional desire to self improve, you will eventually look like Kenshiro as a man. But you will never look like him, and still be young enough to pass for him, if you lack that desire and think you need an altruistic reason to live or fight or do anything.

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