For those who don’t know, back when I worked at my last work-place, I realized I’m not watching enough anime, and that some shows I can only get through by watching one episode a day, rather than trying to marathon them, so for a couple of years during my lunch break I’d put on headphones and watch an episode as I ate my lunch. Also important to note, this was an open office environment.
That setup had some amusing moments, such as my boss walking by now and then and jokingly saying “You’re watching underage girls again Guy? What will we do with you?”, but this past year had me laughing so hard at a couple of shows, that I had tears streaming down my face. I was laughing so hard that it began as the noisy laughter (rather than suppressed giggles), laughing so hard that I couldn’t breathe, and my face started to tingle, laughing so hard I had to take my glasses off and wipe tears from my eyes. My co-workers on one such occasion, due to me being red and crying were worried something was wrong with me.
One such moment this year was almost the entirety of the first episode of Watamote (“Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui!” or “It’s Not My Fault That I’m Not Popular!” in English), which was full of what were supposedly cringe-inducing moments, but I just kept laughing. The other such moment was Samurai Champloo‘s 23rd episode, the “Baseball episode” where we have samurai and soldiers play in baseball as a death-game. I don’t know what it is about this specific trope, but I’ve found myself laughing at the physical gags where a sports-game turns into an all out-brawl quite often. Might be the sheer vivaciousness and energy with which this physical gag is enacted that it takes me along for the ride.
So, dear readers, any moment this year where you’ve had anime, or love of anime affect or show in your daily lives?
And now, here are thoughts shared by others, related this time to how anime had impacted other areas in their daily lives:
Somebody at the coffee shop recognized my computer’s wallpaper of Madoka Magica’s Homura. While I lived in the barracks, I would often leave to go to Starbucks to sit on my computer since my roommate was very loud and obnoxious (and I like being left alone). I’m not very embarrased about loving anime, at this point it’s obvious to everyone I am close to. But I never expected a stranger here in Bumblefuck North Carolina to immediately recognize fanart of my favorite anime character. We didn’t have much of a conversation, but some guy came through the back door of the store while I was fiddle fucking with Skype and mentioned, “Hey cool! You like Madoka too?” It wasn’t much, but it did reaffirm that I’m not the only person who likes anime, because a lot of times, even though I do like being alone, I feel pretty alone in this hobby.
After being tasked with something really menial and annoying at work, the words, “Fuck, senpai better notice me for this shit.” came out of my mouth. After exchanging very awkward glances with my coworker, I went about my business. I’m not very often embarrassed, but leaving him so aghast at my commentary left me pretty flushed.
clicky_pen: Getting a non-anime friend into anime:
we started with Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and have since watched Attack on Titan, Evangelion 2.22 and 3.33, and the first several episodes of Gurren Lagann. This is a first for me. I’ve only had one or two other friends I can talk to about anime, and our tastes have diverged in the last few years (growing up does that), so it was nice to have someone I could talk to about these things. It was incredibly enjoyable to watch their reaction to these shows and to engage with them on various topics. Speaking of which…
KMCFM:Going to Little Tokyo in Los Angeles: It’s pretty crazy how much of that vacation was an anime moment. I met up with a friend at the Kinokuniya down there. They had a TV playing all of Fall 2013’s OPs back to back. I kept pointing out the songs to my friend who it just so happens doesn’t watch currently running shows. I stopped myself from buying the Eva 3.33 blu-ray, but picked up a Psycho Pass art book. There was a Shingeki no Kyojin cosplayer in the store with some friends. It was almost like being at a con again, but far less annoying somehow. I won’t be getting that far into the fandom again, but I’ll visit that place anytime. That was fun.
Paranoia Agent references in Watamote?? R.I.P. Satoshi Kon. There will never be another like him. I don’t know how obscure his work is in Japan compared to here, I just assumed it wasn’t that popular. Watamote is a show full of references though, references that even the biggest otaku might not catch. There’s a part where Tomoko is standing on a bridge in the middle of a flood. I got real excited, I said “whoa. . .could it be?? a reference to that part in Paranoia Agent? That’s kind of a random part to be referencing”. I wasn’t sure, nor was anyone else. Then, in the second to last episode, a guy in a dog suit hugged Tomoko. A pink dog suit. It was Maromi. I’m sure it was Maromi. That made my day. That made Watamote officially my favorite show of Summer.
Having fun watching Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club with a friend group every week…
The show functioned a lot like a great trip to the water park, where there would be cheering and all the rest. The show was having fun with itself, and we were having fun with it. I looked forward to watching it every week because we were going to have a great time together with this as a lighting rod to draw everyone together, and we’d watch or play other things afterwards when the show was actually over, so it was a really swell staple for our schedules.
…except for That One Person
Pretty much everyone knows someone who acts like this. Specifically, in this case, was The Writer of the friend group, which is to say “Aims to get into professional television writing in New York” kind of person. And good lordwere they insufferable during the times literally everyone else in the group was just using this as an evening get together starter and having silly fun with Free! We are talking angrily spiting venom at us in the corner while they intentionally made sure to write their own proto-script material on their laptop out of spite and made sure we all knew that is what they were doing because they needed to bring the collective IQ of the room up for those twenty minutes or so.
ClearandSweet: Going to Japan:
There’s a lot to say in support of travel, but for an anime fan, watching The Wind Rises in a Japanese theater with no subs sealed it for me. I could continue, but this mobile phone keyboard is preventing my due diligence here.
I don’t know whether some of my students think I’m cool or else just plain weird, but they were definitely surprised when I could name the anime characters I saw some of them sketching in their notebooks at school. To most of those kids, anime is a Japanese-only thing and it doesn’t occur to them that there would be fans of the medium outside of international cinematic releases such as Miyazaki films. I have to admit though, their facial expressions are pretty damn funny either way. I guess this counts as my love of anime showing through in my everyday life, although generally speaking I try not to make it blindingly obvious, given where I am and how a lot of Japanese people view otaku.
I resisted phrasing the question as “Any moment where you’ve revealed your “Power Level” in public?” :D You can even go full fujoshi on us and we’lls till support you ;-) I did have some blogs on my read-list years ago which had been full fujoshi, heh.
And yeah, I know more or less what Japanese think of otaku. I dunno if I want to write some blog posts about what I think of the anime culture, in terms of the companies that sell them, though I will at some point write about western figure reviewers, but I see the anime companies/crowd going the way western comics did over a decade ago, while shrinking from a huge market to a tiny one, and the process of self-cannibalization and ever-smaller cycles is unhealthy, and seems to repeat now, so I can’t say it’s entirely unjustified, and fueled further by siege mentality and identity politics on the part of the otaku :-/
And yeah, I’m sometimes surprised when I hear how much foreigners like hummus and tehinna, though historically most of them sold abroad are complete and utter shite, when not sold by people from the middle-east, but apparently it’s getting better these days.