Q: –What about worries about the opposite sex?
Isayama: That could have been part of it too. I grew up in a rural area, so I was surrounded by the same people ever since preschool, and it felt pretty weird when people started dating all of a sudden in junior high school. It seemed gross to me — we’d grown up together almost like siblings.
Q: –Wouldn’t that same group of people have gotten shuffled around in junior high school?
Isayama: There were just the two elementary schools feeding into the one junior high school, so in each grade, you had two classes of just over forty students, and it was not a fun situation to be in. It wasn’t so much the dating as it was the peer pressure, and the whole rah-rah school spirit mindset, that I just couldn’t deal with.
Q: –When was it that you started getting into manga and video games?
Isayama: Junior high school. I’d watched anime and read manga up until then as much as the next kid, but I didn’t know that there was this whole world of otakudom out there until I became friends with a Sega fanboy in junior high.