I’ve been a fan of Anime, comic books, and video games for as long as I can remember. For me, growing up around mostly Black and Latin peoples nerd related things were a foreign concept. So when I dabbled in these mediums the idea of equal representation never crossed my mind until I became an adult.
Maybe it was the fact that diving into these pieces of fiction was an escape for me. Something I learned when I reconnected with a longtime penpal recently. Someone whom I bonded with thru our shared love of all things nerdy. Maybe it was the fact that we unknowingly filled that void by roleplaying online. My OC was pretty badass.
The first character connection I ever made was when I watched Yu Yu Hakusho for the first time. I found my likeness in teenage delinquent Yusuke Urameshi. And while I was never the same sort of delinquent, I could relate to his struggles. (In real world context) I also found my likeness in Haruhi Fujioka from Ouran High School Host Club. And within the realm of manga, Hikaru Takabayashi of Tenshi Jai Nai.
And even though, none of these characters resemble me- physically in the slightest. Reflectively, I can see how those connects molded me. And at times, it helped me G check myself. And learned from it. How differently would my experience had been if these characters looked like me?
I’d imagine, feeling a level of acceptance would be present. In turn, a boost in self-esteem. Essentially, where all searching for a place where we fit in. The prospect of other career paths also becomes possible. Overall good stuff.
I was lucky enough to find different people at different times in my life that I could bond with over my love of anime/comics and stuff like that. My experience if probably a bit different than other blerds.
So what are your thoughts on Representation? Let me know in the comment section below.