Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Inside the Mind of an Anime Stan

Michael Delgado
Juan Contreras sits and poses for the camera.

What began as curious viewing of a single show has since morphed into a mountain of completed series and shows that compose a shrine of Juan Contreras’ love of Japanese animation.

The 21-year-old Palmdale native believes anime stans like himself aren’t afforded the same respect as other entertainment fans of bands, social media starlets, and movie franchises.

“I understand there are some of us that are weird in a way but there’s no reason why we should be judged because of what we like,” said Juan Contreras, who like many others his age, loves anime

“I think we are misunderstood, when people see us or hear about us they just assume we are all weird but in reality, we are just like everyone else,” he said, “but people’s perception of us is wrong and unfair.”

Anime fan Juan Contreras poses for the camera. (Michael Delgado)

Anime stans are some of the most passionate fans of all and most of them aren’t shy to show it.

Some will show it within their personality, and style and can even go as far as sexual preferences.

There are different levels to anime fandom, you have the normal fans people who stand on the base level they know about it but aren’t too crazy about it.

There is also what is known as ‘weebs,’ A weeb is a term used for someone who is obsessed with Japanese culture.

It is used in the anime culture to stereotype fans who show an extreme amount of characteristics.

Lastly, you have the Otakus. They’re different from weebs because weebs are directed toward non-Japanese individuals. A otaku is a more common slang used in Japan, but can be used often in the United States.

Juan’s only real only real interest was to learn how to speak their language but he is not too obsessed with Japanese culture.

“Yeah, I would say that watching the amount of anime I have the past couple of years has definitely influenced me to want to learn how to speak their language.”

“Also going out to Japan is on my bucket list, at first I never really had any interest in going out there but now that I love anime the way I do it is a place I would love to go in the future.”

His otaku traits show when you look at the things he owns, wears, and sometimes even the way he acts.

“I for sure see myself in Naruto, the way the shows portrays him as a person that no matter what it is he’ll never give up on his dream because in his words that’s the ‘ninja way.’

Juan Contreras shows off his Naruto collection with a drawing, full frame photo and action figure. (Michael Delgado)

Juan added, “Or even the moments where he’s in his darkest stages of life like the loneliness and the times he felt misunderstood as I see myself in those moments.”

“The drive and ambition he has inspires me to do better,” Contreras said.

Juan likes various shows like, ‘Akame Ga Kill’, ‘Rascal does not Dream of a Bunny girl Senpai’ and ‘Gleipnir’ but he found his most interest in watching ‘Darling in the FRANXX.’

Akame Ga Kill is a more violent anime, while Bunny girl Senpai and Darling in the FRANXX land on the more romantic side of anime.

“After I finished Darling in the FRANXX it made me feel a way I’ve never felt towards an anime like it was something I didn’t expect to feel. I can say it’s what started my love for anime”.

Two years ago Juan was just your average day-to-day young man after he graduated, just trying to find himself, his passion, and who he truly was as a person. Ultimately unsure about his future.

In the past two years, his obsession with anime changed him forever in good and even some bad ways.

The influence of his friends and being locked in his house due to the COVID-19 pandemic brought him into the Anime world.

But he has no regrets, he understands the stan culture of anime has its critics worldwide but he doesn’t let that stop him from doing what he loves most.

“Honestly….no I wouldn’t change a thing because anime has brought me some of my closest friends I have today,” Contreras said.

“It introduced a whole different side of me and regardless if it’s done any harm or not I’m thankful I found this side of me, I love the way I am today because I love myself.”

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About the Contributors
Michael Delgado
Michael Delgado, Editor in Chief
Michael Delgado is the Editor in Chief for Talon Marks. Outside of the newsroom, he enjoys listening to Hip Hop and R&B and hopes to work for Fox Sports in the near future.
Rogelio Estrada
Rogelio Estrada, Staff Writer
Roger Estrada III is a staff writer for Talon Marks who covers breaking news, events in the community and sports. Other than covering news he enjoys exercising, traveling, playing video games and watching sports. He hopes to transfer to Cal State Fullerton and work for ESPN.
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Inside the Mind of an Anime Stan