Somehow, it’s a form of bullying.
This post may contain profanity or bad languages. Please read at your own discretion. It talks about a psychological issue.
Cover screenshot is from SSSS.DYNAZENON Anime, Episode 6.
Anime gatekeeping is a term in which one person is hoarding, abusing, and even controlling an Anime industry, fandom, or even a larger community or groups in a selfish way.
Somehow, this is a form of bullying that targets people who were fans, but ‘not true fans’. The term ‘normie’ is used for people who already knew Anime, but they were limited in some older Anime shows, and even limited up to Manga and Anime which were published under the popular Shonen Jump label (i.e. One Piece, Dragon Ball Z, and My Hero Academia).
So why is this term had become an issue to most Anime fans worldwide? Read more below to find out.
Anime Gatekeeping, as a Form of Bullying
Why bullying is involved in this term? Basically, it is something that makes an individual or an Anime fan to be sad and become like a crybaby. Yep, bullying is an old, yet a present term today.
So, gatekeeping someone who is a fan of that Anime Series, same as yours, can make things don’t look good. Why? For example, you are a fan of One Piece manga series. Then, a fellow fan same as yours ask you some questions like “Who were the Shichibukai?”, “What are the kinds of Devil Fruits existed?”, and so on. Either you don’t answer them correctly or if you don’t answer them, that fellow fan may call you as ‘not a true One Piece fan’. Hearing those words, and that person walks away from you, what would you feel? Are you feeling sad and depressed now?
Let’s have another example. In some SNS (acronym for social media or social networking service) like Facebook, there exists many groups and communities. Sometimes, they were labelled as ‘(insert series or Anime title here) + International Community’, or even as ‘(Anime title here) + (Country name) Community or International Community’. When you send some requests in joining that group, you shall have to answer some security questions given by that group and you must agree with their rules in order to join that group. And some other groups do have some GC’s or Group Chats, just in order to interact with the community in real time by sending and receiving messages. But then, the bullying part may come when you just post something in that group containing your appreciation with that certain Anime character or series that you love, and others may do ‘thumbs down’ or they could even ‘Haha’ on your post. Most people who are in the Anime fandom have different tastes, so they may either like or dislike that certain Anime series that you are posting in the group wall. Just remember that there are people out there who appreciate your post, while the others do not.
Anime Gatekeeping: Your Fandom Sucks
Basically, there are really downsides when you are just focusing on one series, fandom, or universe.
First. If your fandom is mostly focused on 2D Idols (i.e. The Idolmaster), then there is a little possibility that you can be gatekeeped. And for people who were about to step in to that fandom or universe for the first time, he or she can be gatekeeped also. Something like “ABCXYZ girl is my best girl, and your best girl sucks!” are something to watch out for here.
Second. If your fandom is only focused on only one Anime series, then you can be gatekeeped, also. Basically, they said that “SAO is trash”, and you watch SAO (Sword Art Online acronym). If they call your series a trash, then call their series or fandom, a trash also. But then, exchanging of those words can only lead to violence or harassment.
And Third. If your fandom, universe, or series is lesser known, then you are considered to be included in a tier level of fandom which was created by people who do Anime gatekeeping to his or her fans by the means of an Internet meme.
Why Anime Gatekeeping Should Not Be a Practice?
There are reasons why it should not be practice to most Anime fans worldwide. Basically, it is not just a form of bullying. But, it is something like:
1. It Promotes Discrimination
The first one is that you gatekeep somebody, and at the same time, you promote discrimination. Anime fans must never have a right to discriminate their fellow fans if they are just focusing on one fandom, etc.
Also, it tells that Anime fans in a community must never do something, like banning a certain Anime series due to toxicity caused by its fans. In the past time ago, a certain Anime series has been banned in their group due to the fact that it is already being posted excessively, and its fans are toxic. Something like this can be considered as gatekeeping, and the admin of that Anime group is already gatekeeping its fans. Unless if those fans of that series are really toxic, then it’s really their time to leave that group, and they create a separate group for their own fandom of that series.
This is where many Anime groups, as well as dividing them according to series or fandom, have existed, especially in Facebook or even at their new home called the Discord server.
2. It Breaks the Rights of People in Becoming Anime Fans
So then, this reason is simple. Basically, if you ridicule somebody’s fandom, then you are considered as a bully. Fellow Anime fans (Otakus and Weeaboos) don’t have rights to call somebody’s fandom a trash. Who were usually the people who are calling a fandom a trash? It is just people who were in the same fandom, but in a different series or universe. Basically, your fandom is also a trash to other Anime fans, and then you call theirs a trash, also.
3. It Destroys Friendship
So basically, you are no longer friends with that Anime fan if you are keeping to ridicule with their fandom or series. Not only it destroys friendship, but it also allows you to create more rivals and mortal enemies in the Anime community. So gatekeeping can really put many rivalries, and they are just like creating their own stories (can be like a manga or Anime series, but in real life)!
There are still many reasons on why Anime gatekeeping should not be a practice to most Anime fans (Otakus) and Weeaboos, aside from breaking their rights, discrimination, or even destroying friendships of every individual or group.
Yep, this is something that Anime fans like me should pay attention and to avoid.
Anime gatekeeping is something that you ridicule someone’s fandom or Anime series in the Anime World. They can be a form of bullying, or even a practice of promoting discrimination to people.
That’s an issue which somehow present until today. But then, being just an Anime fan has several downsides, after all. Firstly, I am an old individual, while my fellows are still at a younger age. Basically, you are an Anime fan, irregardless of your age and status.
Therefore, Anime is made FOR EVERYONE. And it is not created for people who can ridicule other people for their fun, yet abusive purposes.