Of course, I wasn’t dreading their visit or anything, but I definitely did not expect to sit through two hours of immensely entertaining storytelling. I was all ready to ask Beryl and Addie about their most unusual experience as staff members at the anime convention, but obviously, it would have been like asking a mother to pick her favorite child. It was very reassuring to hear Beryl confirm my theory of the power of “mega-subcultures” being derived from the nature of their various intersections, as well as from the celebration of the minority. As Beryl said, “if we learn about each other’s differences, we start seeing our similarities…and all of a sudden those guys don’t seem so strange anymore. A-Cen in itself is going to be about the celebration of a foreign culture that people find cool. Our facination with Japanese culture is a direct expression of American culture…we’re open to see what’s good about people outside our world. As Americans, we’re always looking for the next fresh thing.” Evidently, the anime culture has persistently leaked into the American mainstream. From my experience at the convention, it is apparent that, as with”the geek,” the otaku has unashamedly embraced its own creation, took back the power of their name, and declared their rightful foothold in the world of “the mundanes.”
Indeed, “art is in the hands of the people now.” We no longer have to be elitist and selectively chosen artists to create.