Nerdy

Anime Fans and Depression

So I was going to write this blog article earlier in the year, and I was going to question why I see so many Anime Fans being angsty and or depressed. I was going to open with a joke about fans making so many Linkin Park AMVs, but due to recent circumstances I find it inappropriate to do that, but still it’s one thing to joke about the sheer amount and another to observe how many people created or reposted Linkin Park AMVs on Youtube. And rather than make a joke, I guess I should ask, what was your favorite Linkin Park AMV? I’d probably decide to give a basic answer and tell you it was a Naruto vs Sasuke AMV from eleven years ago that probably used either “Numb” or “In the End”. The use of Linkin Park to accompany anime has always been a thing and is still a major factor of the fan community.

And it wasn’t just Linkin Park being used, I just decided to open with it. When it comes to AMVs there’d be Avenged Sevenfold, All American Rejects, Evanescence, Fall Out Boy, Panic at the Disco, My Chemical Romance, Drowning Pool (Bodies), System of a Down and many more bands with songs that veered on the more sad side of the emotional scale. Though there were positive songs to be used by The Fray we’d still see more “Cable Car”, “How to Save a Life”, and “Look After You” AMVs than peppier songs like “She Is” (though I’d always find it amazing when I’d find AMVs set to “Vienna”). In 2009 you’d find plenty of AMVs backdropped by Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida” set with tragic scenes of your favorite anime (mainly Death Note or Code Geass was accompanied by the song).

And though it’s perfectly fine to choose these bands and songs to make your AMVs, I’d always wondered why we’d make so many of them. Is it because anime’s inherently sad? While that could be the truth, most anime does have a balance for positive and negative emotions especially with the Shounen genre (which is one of the main genres chosen for AMVs i.e. DBZ, Naruto, Bleach, One Piece). So after a while you might question if it’s the fans who might be depressed or sad. As an anime fan who went through an edgelord “phase” and then went through an actual period of being recommended to go to a psychiatrist, I guess I have to question if quite a few other fans were in a position similar to mine. And no, I’m not saying that anime makes fans depressed or that anime fans are inherently depressed, I was (yet still am) wondering if there are other fans who suffered as I did/ still do and what those factors might be.

Might part of the reason be our isolation? As I mentioned in my Goodbye Naruto blog, I’ve noticed that there’ve been quite a few Naruto/ general anime fans who aren’t understood by parents and how that eventually led to me being isolated from “normal” kids. Maybe our difference led to some sort of loneliness. Maybe we felt insecure or felt shame in what we liked due to our perceived notions of what was normal?

And though you’ll find tons of comments on Crunchyroll or anime related sites that seem ironically pessimistic, it’s the point that that pessimism is still there regardless. As with most of my blog articles, I never really answer the topic at hand, because the truth is that I don’t know the answers. I don’t know why anime fans may or may not be depressed. I refuse to make this into a study or turn you into a number or statistic. But as with a good number of people, there’s a good chance that a good number of anime fans are depressed. And if that may be the case for you, my dear reader, I hope that you find help and recover. If you’re ever feeling dark or in a troubled spot, please don’t give in. I leave you with an AMV set to my favorite Linkin Park song, “Waiting For the End”. Have a great day today. Later days.

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