Image source: 「アニメガタリズ」公式 on Twitter

Being an otaku. That’s what we do. It is our love of anime that brings us to sites like this. And yet, as the latest episode of Anime Gataris shows, sometimes it is that very mutual love of anime that can drive a wedge between us.

[Note: This article contains spoilers for the second episode of Anime Gataris.]

In Anime Gataris, the protagonist, Minoa Asagami, is a young girl with a passing interest in anime. It is this interest that drags her into the world of high geekdom anime obsession via her classmate Arisu Kamiigusa. Together they seek to revive their school’s anime club. Their first successful recruit is the quiet bookworm, Miko Kōenji—and almost immediately conflicts arise.

Image source: 「アニメガタリズ」公式 on Twitter

Arisu is an anime fan. She watches various series, and sometimes—if she feels a series is good enough—she will dabble in its source material. Miko, on the other hand, will primarily watch a series that she has read the source material for and enjoys. This difference leads the two into an argument about one of the ongoing series, Roux:Zero—the Anime Gataris world version of Re:Zero.

Arisu complains that the latest episode of the show is confusing and doesn’t make sense. Miko replies that an important scene from the original light novel was cut in the anime adaptation. She admits that the scene that was cut would have been time consuming and doesn’t directly tie in to the scenes that come before and after. However, she also argues that taken as a whole the scene in question is still vital in making sense of the whole episode and adds depth to it. The fact that it is missing is why Arisu found the episode confusing.

They both seem to agree that the episode is confusing, and yet they’re still arguing. Arisu is annoyed that Miko is acting like she knows better because she’s read the source material, and Miko is annoyed that Arisu finds the episode irritating for what Miko perceives is the wrong reason.

The conversation quickly devolves into an argument with Arisu stating that she doesn’t appreciate Miko’s attitude—that knowing the source material makes her better. Miko retorts that the fact that Arisu thinks less of the series because something from the source material was cut is proof that Arisu’s love for the series is nothing more than superficial.

Image source: 「アニメガタリズ」公式 on Twitter

I think we’ve all had an argument like this at one point or another. Having your love for something brought into question by someone who loves the same thing. Being told that you’re not a “real fan” by someone because your views do not meet some unspoken criteria of fandom despite you both being fans. It is objectively one of the most ridiculous arguments, and yet it is also one of the most common.

Thankfully in the episode the two girls’ argument is brought to a close by Minoa who splashes a bit of figurative cold water on them by reminding them how irrational it is that they’re arguing when they both love the same thing. How much better it would be if they could appreciate that they both can feel so passionate about something. To be honest, it’s a interjection that would help in a lot of internet arguments…

Image source: 「アニメガタリズ」公式 on Twitter

Anime Gataris is a humorous series overflowing with references and little anime in-jokes. But it’s also a series created by people who love anime, and in that, its love feels very genuine. How funny that an anime about loving anime can poignantly point out the pitfalls of loving anime.

Anime Gataris can be viewed with English subtitles on Crunchyroll and English dialogue on FUNimation.

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