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The Asian ApertureHow To Be An Anime and Manga Fan On A Zero Budget
POSTED BY JASON FETTERS, June 13, 2013    Share

You find yourself uber enthusiastic about fandom, yet there is no money in your wallet and you bank account is currently at five bucks or less. You may be a student struggling through the public school system and Mom and Dad are not giving away any allowances. You could be a college student who just spent your last hundred bucks on a dull boring textbook that you will gladly sell back after the required course only to get $20 back, which barely covers gas anymore. I have a job that barely covers living expenses and it feels like a waste of time.

However you reached this miserable point in your life, there are still a lot of things you can do to fuel your addictions. The first one requires some type of transportation. Check out local bus schedules, beg a neighbor, call a friend, or you can always walk. If you are hikkomori, the extreme harden otaku that never leaves home, you probably will be better off left alone in a darken room somewhere.

The public library has a lot to offer the anime and manga fan.
First, browse online and see if your favorite manga is available, assuming you are a picky fan that wonít just read anything. If you are a board minded fan then your library should have some manga available that you can randomly pick up and see if it is for you. Something the random option will turn you on to a series that you might have otherwise overlooked. Another option, for those who hate looking up stuff on a computer and still like to get out and visit bookstores, is to just show up at your library and head to the fiction section.

Just glancing around I found an old favorite that I didnít expect to find called Battle of the Planets, granted a badly localized US version of the darker plot of Gatchaman, but still good retro candy for the mind. So old school fans are covered and newer fans can read Ooba Tsugumiís Bakuman. Everyone is covered. Now you have manga to read.

Second, head over to the DVD section and pick out your favorite anime. Even if you can only find Bleach Volume 5 that contains episodes 17 -20, you can still get a general idea if that series is for you, just by jumping in. A quick glance at my local libraryís online catalogue search, revealed a few complete collections, box sets, and movies.

Third, assuming you can walk up to another person and say hello, you can connect with fellow fans. Just go to your libraryís homepage and look for Events/Classes, I found it at the top of the page. Then choose your program, adults, children, cyborg, (just kidding,) and use the handy Keyword search. Just by typing in anime I saw that there is an event called Anime for Adults. This is a great and free way to meet other people. You donít have to spend your life savings going to an Anime con.

Now as you head back to whenever you choose to live, you have manga to read and anime to watch. You can also try looking for books relating to manga and anime like Gilles Poitrasí The Anime Companion: Whatís Japanese in Japanese Animation, available in two volumes, and a guide to learning about what you are seeing that you might not be understanding.

This last section is for fans with no transportation that have no way to get out. You can always take a sheet a paper and a pen, if you have colored pencils or markers, that is a bonus, and draw your own manga and create your own universe and characters. All manga and anime start with imagination and if you get to work, the results may surprise you. After drawing your manga you can animate it using a simple method I learned in elementary school art class. Take a small note pad and start on the last page. Draw a simple background and two characters, even stick figures work. The turn to the next page and you can see what you drew so you can copy your background and move your figures a little bit at a time. When you have finished you have created a flip it book that you should be able to flip and see movement. I was a big fan of Spy vs Spy in Mad Magazine so I would draw two stick figures, one with a black hat and the other with a white hat and create stories where they were trying to beat each other. It provided me with hours of enjoyment and gave me a better appreciation of animation when I experienced firsthand how much work is involved.

You donít have to stop at just being an anime and manga fan, the public library has something for horror fans, comic fans, SF fans, action movie fans, and whatever other kind of fan you can dream up. Donít despair, go out into the world.

"The Asian Aperture" is ©2013 by Jason Fetters. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2013 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.

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