Yes, I know it’s Sunday, but still.
A lazy Saturday afternoon, too lazy to study, coupled with NPCC work in the morning all the way to 4pm.
So I was flipping through my closet, looking for something to wear to my family dinner, upon which I saw my anime shirts, perfectly new and clean. I have 3 shirts, 1 by a translation company in Singapore, which I had wore to a crematorium (Shakugan no Shana shirt, cost cheap, so I bought it on impulse.) The other two shirts by Cospa (Toradora and Clannad) , perfectly new and never worn. I wondered : why have I not worn them before? They’ve been lying in my closet for almost two months now; I have lots of opportunities to wear them out , but why did I not wear them?
That’s when I realised : Fear. Fear of getting mocked. I had bought the Cospa shirts on impulse as well, since it was a one-for-one shirt sale and the shirts I really wanted were sold out. Why the fear of getting mocked?
The notion of plastering a 2D female character’s face or if not, the character itself, suddenly reminds me of photos of those creepy otaku on the internet, eyes wild, hair undone, looking as creepy and lonely as hell – and wearing an anime shirt.
The media does not like fandom.
The media gives the general public this concept, this perception that “XXX fandom is bad.” There are always photos and news articles to support their idea. For example, what about Warcraft players? A murder case in Hong Kong (?) simply because they did not want to help him hack the game. Soccer fans? Soccer fans trampled upon after rowdy matches. Anime fans? The skeleton is obvious – one news article alone spreads and multiplies- there will be an infinite amount of cases which are similar to their predecessors. This is what gives all fandom a bad name – the media casting these superimposed opinions upon us.
What would it be like in a world without media? Such a world would run completely on its own opinions, its own notions, its own thoughts and reflexes. There will be no late night talk show to influence our thinking, no ink-stained newspapers to change our thoughts, no vast internet to instill in us the general public opinion. The world would truly be free ,at the expense of knowledge , entertainment and morality.
Yes. Have you ever thought ,just once, that you did something wrong? For example, claiming to be proficient in a skill, yet not understanding its background and usage?
We are an intellectual species. We survive and are “superior” because we use our knowledge to our advantage. Our brains are hard-wired to acquire knowledge and implement it in our activities, as well as sharing information with the rest of the world. We all desire and crave the sweet nectar that is knowledge. We want to learn. There is an undeniable, innate lust for knowledge. All that matters is how strong that lust is.
That crave is strong within me, I must admit. And it sucks.
It affects my daily activities. I feel more and more awkward watching Anime as the days roll by, simply because I don’t understand the language. “What’s the point in watching them and downloading their songs, listening to them all the damn time – and not understanding anything?” – I asked myself. That’s when I also realised that I seem to have a split personality.
Sometimes I’m harsh and critical of everything. Sometimes I’m just relaxed and open-minded, accepting everything that happens. It’s like game theory, something I learned from that sabbatical course I attended recently, albeit in the wrong situation. Given the right set of variables, the two ‘strategies’ of playing come to an equilibrium. Similarly, given the right parameters for argument, the multiple lines of thought come to coexist with one another.
Let’s name my two co-existing lines of thinking Kaede and Kaere. Yes. I’m ripping off Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, and I don’t care, since I’m so badass.
Nah, that’s not the main reason.
Kaede is the traditional line of thought, the type of reasoning that is all too common – don’t venture into something that you’re not familiar with. In the anime, Kaere is extremely crucial of the ‘japanese lifestyle’, of its normalcy. Similarly, Kaere will represent the critical line of thought – why must we conform to general opinion? It’s the radical line of thought, ignoring the thoughts of those around you and how they might affect you.
Kaede : I should learn my own language and stick to what I understand. Why venture into unfamiliar territory? Respect thy heritage, respect thy language. I’ll only watch it if I understand it.
Kaere: What kind of reasoning is that? Why does everyone see non-Japanese people watching Anime as a ‘bad thing’? And what’s with the ‘I must understand the language to understand it’ philosophy?
Kaede: It’s weird to see people take such an unhealthy interest.
Kaere: That’s like implying that those who like the works of Picasso and Van Gogh must learn to draw like the great masters before they can appreciate their work. No relationship is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, all interests have their pros and cons. Same goes for watching Anime – I may not understand the language, I can’t read nor comprehend it, sure. But what matters is that I appreciate it for what it is – and I enjoy watching it. And that’s all that matters.
Next week is a public holiday, I’m going to attend a job. I know what I’m gonna wear, and when they see that “Fuuko Appears” shirt, I won’t be abashed at all.