Diary of an Anime Lived: Lamentations of a member of the fallen watching OreImo

(Alternative title:  “Aren’t you glad the title wasn’t ‘My ‘X’ can’t be this ‘Y’ ?’ “)

Readers, I’m sure we all (if we do), watch Ore no Imouto for a reason. Being an otaku-centric show (supposedly) ,plenty of people find different reasons to watch it. One might watch it because they enjoy watching Kirino go about her daily life. Others might watch it simply because everyone else was watching it. This post would be on some parts of Ore no Imouto which really struck me back home recently – so much that I think I might actually pick up the series and watch it through to its ‘ True end’.

…but what am I talking about?

…Ruri’s home. Really, it’s kind of amazing to see how much it fades in contrast to the Kousaka family’s luxurious house. For Kyousuke and Kirino, their living rooms are connected to the kitchen, which seems to be well-equipped ; the house has more than one storey and Kirino’s bedroom alone is about double the size of Ruri’s living room. (We have a term for this kind of opulence. It’s called ‘rich-ass’. )

Ruri’s house is probably directly in contrast with how I imagined it to be. I expected it to be some cliche gothic mansion or something like that, but it turned out to be a traditional house, without much luxury.

Compare this:

to this:

And then I start to realize that no matter how you might slice it, Ruri is a much better sibling than Kirino – dare I say, a much better person? – so much so that I start to really like her as a character. (This shall warrant its own post soon.)  Ruri is clearly the more intelligent of the two, her writing more refined (but albeit a bit too complex for the likes of Kirino),  her behaviour more sophisticated and as a whole , she is clearly a better person. She even has more devotion to the hobby than Kirino, learning for years how to write novels, only to have her dreams crushed by the likes of Kirino’s horrid novels and tasteless animation studios. (It’s almost like animating Twilight.)

And yet compare their levels of fandom, and you’d imagine that like Kirino, Ruri would have shitloads of merchandise, or even more, hoarding them away in some secret cave like the obsessive Kirino. But no. Her room –  her house – is spartan , simple, and perhaps , even sparse. I’m not the first one to comment on this, and I certainly won’t be the last.

…but watching this started to make me rethink the way I led my life and embraced my own fandom. I am an older sibling to an obnoxious and fat 9-year-old, and we share the same room (unfortunately.) However, I get a bigger share of the room. What did I do with it?

Plaster it with anime merchandise. Of course, you won’t see any photos. But perhaps I’ve really been living my life like a fool. I’ve spent shitloads on money on conventions and plastic, only to find it all so hollow and meaningless after a while. Posters used to adorn every little inch of my ‘space’ . And as I type, I still have tons of figurines displayed on my sidetable, secured down by balls of  Blu-Tak, some figurines migrating to the top of the air-conditioning vents which run near the ground, slowly collecting dust.

And yet I start to fear being lumped into the same category as those ‘creepy’ ones. Those which people look down on ,despise and ridicule. Buying tonnes of merchandise to embrace the lifestyle, but in actual fact , no. Those who continue to lack taste ,character and brains – a la Kirino.

On the other hand, Kuroneko embraces her fandom by roleplay , imagining herself to be a character from her favourite show, Lamentations of the Fallen. Innocent, harmless, dare I say, character-building? (Rimshot.) Her method of celebrating her fandom is devilishly simple. She seems content with that.

And I realised that I too have embraced my fandom in a method that is not only free, cost-efficient, but doesn’t take up space.

I started blogging.

Yes, this very post is something that exemplifies this little fandom of mine. You’ve got to really like something to start a blog about it, I believe, and I shall stand by that statement with all my might.

So at the end of the day, what am I trying to say?

I’ve decided to cut back on my expenditures when it comes to anime.

I’m going to spend some money on furniture, perhaps a display closet, or some other cheaper option, so I can keep all of these figurines in one spot, without it being too obvious. Perhaps by that corner , hidden by the cabinet , wedged between the wall and the TV. I’m going to be more conservative when it comes to arrangement. I don’t want my room to start becoming an exhibit or a museum of sorts. I’m taking down some of the posters, cleaning the walls of Blu-Tak, thinking of other ways to spend my money wisely. Hmm, what about that new camera? A nice book I’ve been itching to buy?  Or some exercise gear, nice clothing, or when the time comes for it, a new figurine to join my collection.

I know I’m definitely not going to stop buying figurines and merchandise for a while, but the least I can do is cut costs and save some money for a rainy day. I don’t have to plaster my room with merchandise to be an anime fan. After all, blogging alone makes me feel like I’m living the lifestyle I want to – and that too, is fulfilling in itself.

————–

If it’s anything I’ve learnt from watching Ore no Imouto, you don’t have to be an obsessive law-breaking eroge-playing merchandise-hoarding teenager to show your fandom : yes, through even the most simplest and most cost-effective alternatives, we can still have power levels over those they hold, and definitely, over 9000. We don’t have to spend a lot to show our fandom – we can do so in the simplest of ways, and still perhaps, be better people than those who spend.

EDIT: 200th post GET.


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48 Responses to Diary of an Anime Lived: Lamentations of a member of the fallen watching OreImo

  1. Lenneth says:

    Well my room only has a few figurines only due to the lack of space. Actually for us what is most important is the things stored in our computers, comparing how much storage space there is in a computer than to the amount of space can a room get, I’d say it be more worth it to gather pictures of animes and mangas, legally or illegally, rather than spending a LOT of money collecting these merchandises, so I guess I be agreeing to what you say about saving those money…and I am beginning to regret spending those saved up money on AFA’s stuffs…what a bunch of rip offs =/

    • Alx2oy says:

      Somehow even though i tell myself that i should spend more at AFA every year, i end up not buying anything there, except maybe a t-shirt..maybe it’s because i don’t see the use of buying figurines? i wonder..

      • Lenneth says:

        That is what I have been wondering myself since then =/

      • Valence says:

        I am the direct opposite. I buy figurines because I know that after buying the shirts, I’d have little chance to wear them without feeling a little awkward. I mean , there was that shirt of naked Horo I would have bought, but I knew I couldn’t wear it out in public often.

        On the other hand, there is a thriving community of figurine- loving people on the internet, some of them bloggers, some of them lurking in our very school, even – and it’s a hobby to me. You have to understand I don’t have much hobbies left. Schools and CCAs are struck off the list to me now, so I’ve got to find a way to pass the time. Figure collecting is simple, doesn’t take much except space and money, and the chances of running into trouble are near zero.

    • Valence says:

      AFA…it isn’t because they’re ‘ripoffs’ per se, but rather you’d probably never get another chance to find so many figurines, some of them rare, in the same spot. I managed to snag Yotsuba and Kagamiku, figurines I’ve looked for ages but haven’t bothered to order online , etc.

      But I’m just a student. Saving money is crucial for me.

      • Lenneth says:

        Not just for a student you know…but you know the prices are seriously way too high even if you say that they are rare and stuff…sigh I learned my lesson and I will just keep my hobby to my computer from now on…its practically free…

        • Valence says:

          I , on the other hand, will continue to splurge on my beloved figurines, albeit at a slower pace. I …figured (rimshot)…that it’s a collection I can only get to have at an age like this, why the heck not?

          • Lenneth says:

            Ah but soon you will realize you will not be able to keep them forever…you may need to sell them or throw them away sooner or later you know…talking about this made me remember how I collected Bionicles and Lego products during primary school…and how they are gathering dust now…waiting for me to give them away to younger relatives or throw them away…

            • Valence says:

              True. But buying them and collecting them is something I can still partake in. Who cares about the future? What happens to them in the future is a separate story. What matters is now.

              Of course, I can’t keep them forever. We can’t keep anything forever.

              • Lenneth says:

                Sigh its all about the way of life…someday we might even grow to detest animes…deeming them meaningless and all…I hope I shall not become like that

            • Alx2oy says:

              I still play around with my Bionicles toys though. ._.

  2. trewdys says:

    How do you get your money? Must be a lot, considering you have “so many figurines”. This past year I’ve only been getting $20 for food on school weeks, and nothing so far these holidays. I got my stash from DISCIPLINED STARVATIONFASTING, doing computer class work for those really lazy bums, transcribing a score directly to MIDI for the same lazy bum, asking for *cough*printing fees*cough*(actually I just ask for a little more than what is needed)

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  6. Shance says:

    Good job on deciding to hide your powerlevels. Join the club.

  7. biotoxic says:

    Whaa, that’s quite an impact OreImo has had on you. Cutting back on unnecessary spending is always a good thing, especially if you find you’re just buying stuff for the sake of buying.

    During highschool I never really had an expensive hobby, it was just MMO grinding I was addicted to. Computer games don’t really do it for me anymore (I still play them, but not to the extent I used to) and I’ve found from my time at university that anime and figure collecting is more interesting to me at this moment in time.

    I suspect once I’ve graduated and hopefully got a full time job my spending and interests will shift again. Until then I’ll keep watching what I like and spend money supporting the industries I’m interested in.

    • Valence says:

      The funny thing is, before I got into this addiction with anime, it was also an addiction to MMO games, which started to dig into my wallet after I bought one too many prepaid cards. . . I found anime to be more cohesive a community than the MMO userbases out there, so I started to delve into anime and soon, figure collecting.

      But while I will be indeed concealing my power levels, I shall continue to spend – at a slower pace than now.

  8. Azure Hoshizora says:

    I’m amazed at the Aesop you managed to derive from OreImo. *salutes*

    Figures: I ended up using them as anatomical models or just collecting dust… Or I just stare at them…
    Manga: I have tons of them; the rationale is I read and re read them…

    So the point is, supporting the industry is important but its really the thought and love that counts?

  9. Well, this post certainly made me take a look at myself. My room is plastered with anime posters, but for me it’s a matter of: all I can afford is the posters. I don’t have much money to dedicate to my fandom, but like you, I do blog about it. I think you can get the most from your fandom through conventions, to be honest.

    Attending them, being in that amazing (welcoming, happy, over-excited) atmosphere, taking photos of all of the amazing cosplayers, attending panels, talking to the voices of your favourite characters…

    It’s not all about the material. It’s about what you do with your love for something, right?

    Arianna S.

    • Valence says:

      Yes, and that’s why I started blogging. At first it was just occasional posts, mixed with my normal blog posts. When I moved over to WordPress, it was still a personal blog at the start, but slowly it evolved into full-time anime blog.

      Conventions are awesome. I usually go in a really,really small group, but the atmosphere feels like everyone knows each other by name. No-one wants – no-one is rude. Everyone is your brother, your sister, your comrade. It’s these moments which make this fandom so worthwhile.

  10. alucard13mm says:

    lol MMO, i never ever paid for an MMO. i think i bought a Shako from a friend in highschool for 5 dollars a while ago.. but thats it. MMO i usually play f2p or private server (for RO). I do try to get games where there is a big mod community, like half life 1 and 2. Those are my primary games.

    ive been wearing my anime gear =p. but i try not to look lame. @_@ figures are nice, BUT it seems messy and ugly if u have a sea of figures. to me, its nice to display 3-5 at a time. a sea of figures is just wierd to me @_@.. but i am starting to get a pond lol and its growing.

    • Valence says:

      I have puddles of anime figures. Some here, some there. But the anime gear I have is distinctive. I realized that it becomes a topic of conversation sometimes :

      “….(halfway through talking)

      Hey is that a Toradora shirt?
      Yes, why?
      Hey, I watched that last year. (Then they talk about the show for a while.)

      Makes me feel all fuzzy.

      BTW: What is a Shako?

  11. Canne says:

    I have to say that I am similar to Ruri. My place is awfully simple and almost too empty. You won’t find any trace of anime fandom in my room unless you take a peek into my laptop. But in my mind, well, there is only anime. And I am also blogging about anime.
    Nice article *shakes hand*

    • Valence says:

      *shakes hand*

      I still have visible traces of fandom intact for the time being, until I find a way to inconspicuously tuck them away in some corner of the room.

  12. Carillus says:

    I came to the conclusion much earlier than you did that spending all that money buying figurines and posters and stuff could be better spent elsewhere. So I did – used the money and bought a camera, tablet, etcetera.

    Eventually I even came to the conclusion that drawing fanart is kinda lame and pointless so I started doing original work. Even though I’m a blogger here, I guess blogging isn’t really my cup of tea. Still, a post once in a while is fine, I guess.

    • Valence says:

      Define once in a while. . . . .

      The problem is, this money isn’t much. But nevertheless, saving it up for a rainy day sounds like a good plan.

  13. Yi says:

    I’m more like you and Kuroneko too in that I interact with my passion through mostly free avenues. Although I do occasionally buy some stuff, but no where near the level Kirino buys her Meruru stuff. And like you, blogging definitely is the biggest way I revel in my hobby. It’s definitely fulfilling.

    • Valence says:

      Being a blogger is like celebrating Christmas all year around. You get this nice, fuzzy feeling inside of you, as though you are surrounded by friends and family. The blogosphere certainly feels like a gigantic family though.

      And of course, I hope I don’t sink to the level how Kirino buys her stuff. I should really stop buying Rei figurines…

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