I think the most interesting part about talking to Beryl and Addie was the fact that both of them are part of the “older” anime crowd. At the convention and even online, I get the feeling that most anime fans are in their teens or early twenties, and it’s some sort of phase people go through and leave by the time they’re thirty…but that definitely isn’t the case, obviously. Beryl in particular knew all the ins and outs of anime conventions, and on top of that he really knew about cult-fandom in general in the U.S., which I found really interesting. I know this sounds like I’ve built all sorts of stereotypes about “typical” anime otaku, but I think I kind of forgot that they have real lives. While there are some fans who make their fandom their life, Beryl isn’t one of those…and I get the feeling that Beryl’s closer to the norm for an otaku than the stereotypes I have in mind. He rides his bike regularly, he has a regular job, he can hold a normal conversation about something that does not have to do with anime/sci-fi…and then if you happen to share his interest, he’ll talk about. He separates out those two aspects of his life. I really found that enlightening.
Beryl & Addie