Many of you may know that I’ve been on a mahjong playing journey for a while now. I decided to take a venture out in person (twice) to meet up with a fully-vaccinated group of riichi mahjong players called Riichi Nomi NYC in my area. It was a lot of fun and I got to meet people I’ve played with online.
I still can’t help but shake off some anxiety as RiichI Nomi were the only ones that made me go “Okay, let’s have some fun.” when no other group (or even my closest friends) made me want to go out. Not even Otakon 2021 made me go “Anime con happening with a decent level of safety, let’s go~”
I now wonder what is my connection to the anime community as a whole. I’ve always considered myself to be in the middle. Now, that connection is more or less “I don’t keep up with most anime anymore.” I still am connected to the manga community on both the professional and fan side of things. I’m very active in talking about manga and mahjong (and Japanese video games to a certain extent) in various chat channels.
I think about mahjong fandom and it’s made me go “Maybe it’s because corporations haven’t taken a huge stake in it and that’s why I’ve really enjoyed my time here.” A lot of fandom discourse is weaponized by corporations and media outlets these days. It drives me nuts that excessive consumption seems to be the only thing that matters and is used as the only outlet to process life’s BS. I still believe that anime did save my life at one point and I believe that anime doesn’t really serve me much anymore.