Contrary to popular belief, anime fans are not all the same. Anime fans are both very diverse and similar at the same time. What I mean is that people who watch anime have their different reasons for watching it, their different interests and types of anime that they’re inclined to watch, but they all do not disregard anime and are similar and unified in that aspect. But as with any fan of anything, there are different types and levels to the fans of anime. If you’re curious about where you fall on the spectrum, here’s a short, fun list that I compiled.
The hardcore type will watch anything and everything. If you’ve watched it, they’ve probably already watched it, rated it, maybe watched it again, and reviewed it. They’re not scared to watch anime out of their comfort zone or anime that are unpopular or just overall bad. They will watch things for the sake of watching it as well as for their own self satisfaction. These are the people whose myanimelists are disgustingly long and filled with series you’ve never heard of. They’ll probably be the ones to judge how much of an anime fan you are by the length of your MAL rather than the quality of the series you watched. They’ll respect you if you’ve watched good series, but won’t acknowledge you as an equal to their level of devotion and most likely see you as a casual. Hardcore anime fans will be the ones you want to ask for anime recommendations. Their wealth of knowledge of anime across all genres means that they will be more likely to help you pinpoint an anime that will fit your preferences.
They’ll typically watch any popular series such as Naruto or One Piece and think they’re some kind of guru on anime. They’re the ones who will be most likely to freely use otaku as a label for themselves just because they’re watching anime. Casuals can also be people who maybe just watch one or two series a season and are content with that. Casuals will be the ones who are first to defend huge series like DBZ or Naruto, saying that they’re one of the best things to ever grace this world.
They’ll watch anything that gets popular and stick on it like glue. Different than casuals, bandwagoners watch anime mostly because of other people’s evaluations of anime. If an anime is receiving great acclaim, they can’t stop themselves from following suit and watching it. They’ll giddily watch a show and be excited to discuss it with friends while pretending that they knew about the series from the start and started watching it from the beginning with no prior prompt to do so. They’ll overvalue the show they watch because it’s one of the only good shows that they’ve actually seen, so it’s all they really know. They won’t back down until the popular opinion of said anime changes and then they’ll “suddenly” start to see the anime in the same light.
Only watch and support the more unknown anime. Will definitely go back to watch older anime that no one has ever heard of just to say they’ve watched it. They will also be the first ones to support an anime that is not as popular and say it’s one of the best series of the season. They will find all sorts of criticisms about more popular series while throwing softballs at the criticism of the anime they’re supporting. They will always tend to overvalue anime that aren’t as popular but aren’t bad enough to completely dismiss. If an anime adaptation comes out of a light novel, manga, or visual novel that they’ve already read, you can be sure that they’ll be the first ones to come out and talk about how they feel about it especially if it turns out to be good.
Not too into anime but will watch whatever someone recommends them as well as the occasional ongoing series. Different than a casual, they recognize that they’re not really too into anime but will still not dismiss its value. They probably won’t watch too much anime on their own but instead watch it with friends. Dabblers will never go too far out of their way to watch anime but will not avoid the action entirely. Dabblers tend to have more realistic, objective opinions on anime but still do have a very rudimentary understanding on anime and won’t be able to appreciate it as much as more devoted/knowledgeable people.
Will only watch anime that they think are good and will think they have godlike tastes because of it. Elitists will look down on unworthy plebs who do not share the same tastes as them or plebs who watch series that are beneath their tastes. Similar to hipsters, they will shy away from calling a more popular anime one of their favorites, but will still recognize their value. Elitists tend to rate older anime higher than newer ones and will always find a less popular show of a season to call the best. Elitists are basically snobs, but snobs who know their shit. They will have legitimate reasoning why an anime is good or bad that might sound very subjective, but most of the times is not. These are not the people you want to take anime recommendations from though if you are a casual or dabbler. They will probably try to recommend anime that are good, but only good to people who are more familiar with the anime culture.
Doesn’t matter as long as it’s cute. Moe watchers will warm up to any series as long as it’s cute. Moe watchers will consciously choose a series depending on how cute it is but will not always say that the series is good. Moe watchers (usually) have a brain, so they will not say that a moe series is good, but will instead deny that it’s bad. This won’t stop them from having the time of their lives while watching moe series, but at least they kind of understand that most moe series aren’t that great. Moe fans are annoying though because they will more than not try to advertise their favorite moe series with profile pictures, YouTube clips, etc. Sure, other fans do this too, but moe watchers tend to go overboard. When they think something is cute, they want to try and share it with the world because they think it’s the best thing ever.
These people are actually probably one of the worst groups of people on this list. They will only watch ecchi series and actually hold them in high regard. How they can think an ecchi series actually has depth and value, I have no clue, but somehow they do. They will jump on any ecchi series as soon as its available and watch the hell out of it. They get their maximum enjoyment the more lecherous a series is and the more risque scenes it features. Plot is an afterthought for these people as boobs and panty shots are the things that fill up their mind. Ecchi fans are most likely too distracted by the bountiful “plot” jiggling in their face to realize that what they’re watching is actually crap. Ecchi fans are like drug addicts. They won’t listen to your solid, sound reasoning about how bad the anime they’re watching is and will continue to keep watching it regardless of what you say or think. They’re addicts to the ecchi and can’t stop watching the lewd scenes unfold time after time.
These people will only watch anime in one of these particular genres and completely reject the other. Shounen fans will only watch the more action oriented scenes while dismissing Shoujo series as being “girly.” On the flip side, Shoujo fans will only watch Shoujo series because they think that Shounen series are all action and no plot. Both fans think that there’s something crucial missing form the others’ respective genre. Different than casual fans, Shounen/Shoujo fans will watch any show that is labeled as such regardless of if it’s mainstream or not.
Devoted fans will only watch something that features one of their favorite creators, characters, or voice actors. They will watch even the shittiest anime if it means being able to support their favorite creator. They will go to lengths to prove their devotion including actually buying merchandise, trying to go to fan meets, and waiting with baited breath for their next work. Devoted fans can basically be synonymous with otakus since they are technically otakus of their respective fandom. They will know everything about everything their favorite creator has done, will probably own more than the average person will of their merchandise, and will definitely go to greater lengths to show their support than the average person. I’ll skip over the part where there are crazed fans that go too far and just stick to the anime part though. Devoted fans will watch all the anime that their favorite creators are a part of and maybe even watch the show a second time or a third time despite its quality or lack thereof. If you have a differing opinion than them about their favorite creator, you should probably hold your tongue otherwise they’ll explode on you and you’ll never hear the end of it.
For those who don’t know, Fujoshi literally means “rotten girl” in Japanese. Fujoshis are the type of fans that will ship everyone/everything together especially Yaoi couplings. They are definitely better known as hardcore Yaoi fans and making OTPs and just shit posting about pairings. However, not all Fujoshis are horrible people. Fujoshis are either really rotten or actually ok to talk with– there really is no middle ground from what I’ve seen. But Fujoshis are probably one of the most annoying types to deal with if you get the more rotten ones. They will not listen to reason or rhyme if you dismiss their OTP. Fujoshis are admirable in the fact they will not back down from their beliefs, but very annoying for that same reason. They are always constantly on the prowl for new pairings and new ways to get X character and Y character together even if they’re not from the same series. Expect them to have some fanfic hidden on their computer that they add to daily.