I used to gag at those groupies, who’d foam in the mouth and recessitate on the ground over some guy who just tosses his head and issues signature moves… but nowadays, I look back and think, “Well, at least that ‘thing’ they’re obsessed about is alive and human”.
Yes, as strange as it sounds, it happens. You enjoy something and then one day you realize that you (and countless others) fall for a groupie-like obsession with an actor that doesn’t exist; the actor being an animated character. Thinking about it from an outsider’s point of view, it is downright strange. At this point in time I believe that most people has heard of the term “anime” or “manga”, possibly called it “Asian/Japanese cartoons”, or something along those lines. Usually the hard-core fanbase is found among the adolescents and even young adults—of course there the kids who fawn over shows like Pokémon and Naruto but kids are kids and they don’t really have that much of a groupie/fan-girly attachment. (Kids are tape anyways—they attach themselves to everything XD)
Anime is significantly different from your average afternoon cartoon shows watched on American TV channels. It’s animation that chronicles a story. Very much the same way a person would fawn over an actor in a movie/TV drama, a person could fawn over a character in an anime. Such can be true with “moe” characters. “Moe” (although interpreted in different ways) is generally described as a character with characteristics that reaches out to the viewer. They have tragic pasts and personalities that allow the viewer to relate to him/her, creating a certain attachment.
I really haven’t seen fandom in any genre or category that is as intense as the Anime/Manga fandom. I consider it unreal…