What's so cool about anime?

Grey street seeks to erase these meaningless classifications

What’s really cool?

I remember the first time somebody turned me on to anime. This guy was really the biggest geek in my junior high school. To give you a quick idea of just how geeky and nerdy this person was, he was really big into Dungeons And Dragons before Dungeons And Dragons was even a thing in the United States. To say that he was several steps ahead of all the hot trends in geekdom would be to put it mildly. The great thing about this dude (His name was Adam.) was that whatever he turned me on to, I really dug. He got me into Dungeons And Dragons and sure enough, in no time, I became the baddest and most imaginative dungeon master in our community. He then got me into Goth music and sure enough, after a while, I really got into The Cure, Siouxsie and The Banshees and the whole nine yards.

He also got me into existential literature and without taking too long, I knew the ins and outs of Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus novels. Adam was kind of like my personal gatekeeper or personal herald so to speak for everything arcane, esoteric and yes, nerdy. So you can well imagine my excitement when he came home telling me all about anime characters. When I looked at the first batch of comics he showed me, I really didn’t feel much of anything. I was so wedded and used to Western cartoons that the very basic line work and the raw rendering of anime pretty much left a lot to be desired as far as I was concerned. I thought that they were leaving out too many details. I thought whoever came up with this stuff was simply just going through the motions or zipping through their drawing assignments. It’s not like they’re putting a lot of details, and I’m talking about layer after layer of details into an image. It was as if they would draw the image, quickly get the basics down and move on to the next panel and so on and so forth.

As you can well imagine, it wasn’t really the graphics or the virtuosity that got me. Instead, it was the whole array of emotional versatility and spontaneity that anime truly delivers. If you can spend a lot of time working on panels so that it can be all things to all people, good luck. You’re probably not going to accomplish your objectives. It’s probably much better to go for the quick impression and then take another shot with the next round. That’s precisely the graphical strategy that anime takes, and guess what, it absolutely works! After reading my fifth anime comic book, I was pretty much hooked. To say that that experience opened an amazing door for me would be to put it lightly.

Still, just like any scene, the anime scene has its own fair share of challenges. If left unaddressed these challenges can torpedo the scene not just in part but totally. Chief among these challenges is the tendency for people to separate themselves. From normies to real deals to posers, there are many sub-groups in our scene. Grey street seeks to erase these meaningless classifications and replace it with one: either you’re a fan or you’re not.