Response to This Week's Geek - Outgrowing an Interest

Do we outgrow our interests, do we have a change in taste within the interest, or do our tastes change so much that we really do outgrow them and leave to join something new?   I’ve been having these thoughts lately about many of my current interests.  It has been brought forward again more sharply from Assimilator’s latest This Week’s Geek.  Have my tastes really changed in the past few years from things I use to hold dearly and in high esteem?  The more I think about it, the more I’m coming to the conclusion, I think they are.

Since Assimilator called me out and we had been talking about anime, I’ll stick with that subject.  I started watching anime in the late 90’s and have continued ever since.  Recently though I have felt more and more out of touch with it.  I keep having a harder time finding new anime to enjoy.  I check out titles on Funimation and on Netflix, which the later led me to Rosario + Vampire as stated by Assimilator.

I thought it had an interesting premise when I read the brief description, but it did nothing to prepare me for the amount of fan service.  I know fan service practically goes hand-in-hand with some anime titles, but this one was over the top with panty shots, many of which are with underage girls, that I just couldn’t try watching any more.  I don’t want anime that spoils a good concept with fan service debasement to try and lure in viewers.  It feels like pandering and it panders to a juvenile audience of the mostly male persuasion in this case.  This experience got me thinking about newer anime titles I had recently watched, I felt like I just haven’t watched a lot that really was good to me.  Granted I’ve watched some older titles (ones that have been released domestically in the past 5 years.  New Zealand left me a little behind) but there just hasn’t been anything I would recommend to someone else to watch or to buy.

I know Assimilator mentioned Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which I did watch within the past 6 months or so and I really did enjoy it, but I feel that it was the exception to the rule.  I felt that most of the anime I’ve watched recently has been mediocre at best or had major fan service pandering, which I’m just not interested in.  I had the major splashes of Slayers, Cowboy Bebop, Sailor Moon, Miyazaki films, etc. that really put my expectations higher for anime.  Granted, anime is like any other sort of interest that has both high and low points, but I keep feeling anymore that the high points are becoming few and farther between the multitude of low points.  It just isn’t holding my interest like it use to.  Granted there is a large range of genres explored in the vast world of anime, I just personally feel that the ones I have interest in are just coming few and farther apart.

These thoughts have left me to begin to realize that I think I am outgrowing anime in terms of enjoyment and what I expect out of it with the time I do have.  I don’t hate anime, I just don’t feel the attachment I once did for the interest.  I’ve gained some new interest in the past few years such as homebrewing and gardening.  These new interests have changed the way I’d like to invest my time and energy.  I want to put more into these new interests than what I’d like to put into anime.

Ultimately my consumption of anime has changed.  I’m not writing off the interest completely, I’m just selective now compared to what I have been in the past.  It’s something I like, but don’t love anymore.  This realization has come to a head even with the fact that I’m starting to sell off my entire manga collection.  It has even gone into my anime collection. I’m picking out series I just don’t want/watch anymore and going to be selling to others who have more interest in it than I.  It’s a hobby I’m just going to spend a lot less time with.  Maybe something in a future release will pull me back deeply into the fold, but I don’t see that happening unless it is an impactful series.  I haven’t written anime off, but it is a smaller bit of what I am interested in.  Have you had these changes at all readers?  Sound off in the comments section.