(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.
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.