My nephew has been watching me watch anime since he was born. 7 years he witnessed his uncle laugh, yell, cry and headbutt Japanese 2D images on his now-retired desktop LCD. Despite that, he never got into Japanese anime (or maybe PRECISELY because of that), preferring the fare that Cartoon Network spews. (Alright, it’s not that bad really. I actually enjoyed Spongebob Squarepants’ quirky humour.) That was until Naruto began to air on Central last week. 5 eps into the show, he was a fan.
It’s great to meet a fellow fan even if he was your nephew and more than 20 yrs younger. He started to call frequently to discuss about the show/characters and I prepped him for the Haku arc (which incidentally is my favourite of the Naruto anime). In fact, just talking about it got me so excited, I went out and bought the Naruto DVDs for him (Vol. 1) – 4 DVDs which he devoured immediately. Now he can’t wait for the start of the Chuunin exams and I can’t wait to get the DVDs from him to relive Haku goodness (who must be one of the finest traps even more the term was coined.)
I personally believe one’s reaction to Naruto fandom is one of the most telling things about his anime fandom. The anime elitist would deride it as a mass-market product designed for the inferior mainstream palette while the Narutard would try in spoil your anime experience by flaunting how much he knows. But honourable is a fan who seeks to enhance another’s anime experience via nurturing instead of neutering interest. (And neutering interest includes posting anime spoilers as entry titles, spoiling everyone and anyone visiting just the aniblog aggregators hosting these sites.)
Now I can’t wait till weekend to pass my nephew Vol. 2 of Naruto. Man is he in for a ride.