So as you all (don’t) know, today is supposedly Yui’s birthday. Happy birthday and whatnot. But looking down upon that post, I start to wonder after looking at one after another creepy, obsessive photo of their celebrations:
Why celebrate a fictional character’s birthday?
If you’ve read one of my previous posts, I discussed why we, as fully rational (for the most part) human beings , relate to fictional characters. Now, is it the same for this case? Perhaps not.
After all, their birthdays are just random dates without much significance whatsoever. Some birthdays are even made up after the original source had been released for a while. For example, Ayanami Rei‘s birthday is supposedly based on her seiyuu, Hayashibara Megumi. (Both are born on 30 March.) Doesn’t this illustrate the point that birthdays are kind of …meaningless in anime? Any random date can suddenly be decided to be a character’s birthday, and brings no impact nor influence upon the story itself.
Of course, I can’t say I had not been guilty of this as well. I only recall doing this because I wanted something quirky to celebrate post number 100, but it ….kind of creeps everyone out instead. But these photos are different. They seem to go irrational : treating them as real people, even going to the extent of buying cake and shutting out their social circles. While I know I have been keeping my tiny social circle intact, I can’t help but wonder whether these otaku are capable of the same feat.
Which was when I realized the reason behind the celebrations. They’re otaku. These birthdays may seem meaningless to everyone outside, but to them, they’re symbols of joy. They represent a day to celebrate their favourite character, and as far as it goes, fandom can get irrational. (Google search jamie_marsters / The Bloody Board. Alternatively, check number 5.)
Similar to why we relate to fictional characters, at time we get irrational, we treat them like they exist, almost as though we wished they did. I can imagine the joy these people receive if they know someone who’s exactly similar to the character they adore.
It’s a form of celebrating their fandom, not a form of displaying their ‘creepiness’. Their photos serve as remembrance, and for other fans, a symbol of their ever-growing fandom. It makes them happy – who cares about how others think – but there are always sites out there that run them to the ground, lambasting them for being ‘creepy’ and ‘hysteric’. It’s all just another form of celebrating their love for the series and the character, which seems delusional, yet they continue on, for it makes them feel happy. And when they see others do the same, they feel like they’re part of a community – doesn’t that make everyone in this ‘community’ happier? It’s just like blogging – it’s a method of keeping our fandoms intact, making sure they don’t degenerate over time, keeping our passion strong and thriving , and at the same time, finding like-minded individuals, giving us joy and perhaps, even fulfillment as bloggers.
….but the way I see it, I can’t help but wonder : who cares? I mean, these characters are immortal …
….perhaps at least until 2012.