I’m Andrew Cook, a member of the class of 2014 with intentions to get into business school. I grew up in the nineties/early 2000s, so anime was just a regular part of the Saturday morning line-up; being interested in it never struck me as unusual until publications started running features on “otaku” and the spread of Japanese culture in the West. Then I was all, “Hey, how about that,” and went back to watching Digimon.
These days, I thrive mostly on doujinshi, Vocaloid, and indie games, most of which are inspired by innovations created or made famous by the Japanese. I think it’s really amazing how a fandom can grow to the extent that it eclipses the actual thing that it’s based off of; these days, Touhou doujins draw more from other Touhou doujins than they do from Touhou itself.