In my 20+ years of being an anime fan, the thought of a twisted individual committing mass murder against those within the have anime industry never crossed my mind. Anime studios are known to receive death threats from disgruntled fans for whatever reason. Studios dismiss threats because those who send them never follow through with them. They are treated as people who talk a big action but never follow through. Thus, (and sadly) death threats aren’t taken as seriously as they should within the industry at times.
On July 18th, 2019 around early morning at the Kyoto Animation studio, 33 lives – mostly young people who not only just got their start in the anime industry, but in life in general – were senselessly taken from the world. Their stories, wisdom, ideas, and creativity for the anime industry will never to be brought to life for the world to see – because of one angry disgusting man whom decided to end their lives. Buildings can be recovered and restored, yes. Alas, we can not recover nor restored the talented lives that were lost.
It’s reported that the murderer was angry at Kyoto Animation (KyoAni) because they stolen something from him. It’s rumor that what was stolen from him was a light novel idea that KyoAni allegedly rejected and used said idea for one of their anime production. Out of anger, he broke into the main studio, pour gasoline on not only around the entrance of the building (to prevent people to escape the building) as well as inside it, but on his victims.
Even if KyoAni did steal this man’s novel idea, it is no reason for him to commit murder — let alone mass murder — through such inhumane means of turning a beloved animation studio into a death trap; burning people to death in the process. As a creative person, I understand the rage of having people steal your ideas/works and claiming them as their own. I would be livid if somebody stole my works and gain something from it. I even admit that I would go as far as to cause physical harm against a person if they stole my works. But, to commit (mass) murder over something I could prove was mines or creative a better version of it is maddening and illogical.
What was so valuable about that horrible man’s work that he had to take so many lives over it?
Is the love for one’s own art that extreme that people should be murdered over it?
Multiple people confirmed dead and 30+ injured at famous Kyoko animation studio from alleged arson attack. According to reports, police captured and arrested a man in his 40s who admitted to police he used a liquid accelerate to start the fire.
FROM ANIME NEWS NETWORK: “According to a report by The Kyoto Shimbun newspaper, nearby residents heard an explosion on the first floor of the building. NHK also quoted a man who supposedly heard an explosion in the building at around 10:30 a.m. JST, after which a fire erupted in the building’s second and third floor.” Kyoto Animation is an animation studio and light novel publisher founded in 1981.
Kyoto Animation is most famous for producing popular series and movies such as “Full Metal Panic!”, “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”, “Clanned”, “Free!” and “A Silent Voice”.
My Personal Thoughts: Anime — and entertainment in general — isn’t that serious to the point that you have to commit arson and murder. If you’re gonna kill somebody, kill them because they harmed/killed a family member or they’re threatening to kill/harm you. Don’t lose your freedom and endanger others over some damn cartoons.
As I was reading through the comments of my post inquiring information on the Ontario, California based anime convention Anime Los’ Angeles (ALA) and how it compare to Anime Expo (AX), there were a few comments that caught my attention. These comments focused on the fact that ALA was a fan run convention that will never succumb to corporate greed and draw in the normies (unlike Anime Expo and San Diego Comic Con according to these commentators).
Personally, I’m a fan of corporate and industry ran conventions (or at the very least, conventions who have some sponsorship from corporations and members of the industry). Anime conventions with corporate/industry backing have the means to bring in the big name heavy hitters of the anime industry. In addition, they also allow the major players of the anime industry to have world premiere of new and upcoming anime projects that you (almost) never get the chance to see at your local small-to-medium size anime convention.
Content creators such as myself love attending conventions that feature big name guests as it gives us superior coverage and content for our brand. It’s not to say that fan-run conventions don’t make for great content, but let’s be real: You’ll get more flies drawn towards your honey pot if your honey pot just happen to have somebody like Mamoru Miyano in it because you reported on him talking about his latest roles during Anime Expo.
(And no, I did not attend any of his panels at Anime Expo because my Black ass KNEW any and all Mamoru Miyano related panels would be jam packed with fans and I am not willing to stand in line for 10 hours for a seiyuu I’m barely a fan of just for internet traffic).
As nerd culture steadily enter the mainstream limelight, there is this looming shadow of fear that has been overcast on the world of nerd culture. This fear is of both smaller and larger fan ran conventions yielding to the all-mighty dollar offered to them by major corporations – forswearing their humble grassroots beginnings.
Can’t blame them on this one, really. We see this happen often with conventions grew massive in size and income. They get accused of “selling out” (note: knowing your worth and the worth of your brand isn’t “selling out”; that’s broke jealous dusty nigga/hipster talk). Once they “sell-out”, the content of the convention becomes water down and lose focus on the fan-driven material in favor of industry related items presented on the programming. Therefore, the loyal fans of the con since day one up and leave the con.
Now, if you’re a critical thinker, you can see where this is going and know the solution to this problem. If people are dreading that some big conventions are “selling out” for big businesses, then that means that you are going to have people who are still in favor of fan-run conventions that won’t “sell-out”.
Think about it: you have a market of fans who don’t want anything to do with major conventions that have corporate backing and they’re going searching for cons that are operating on the grassroots level. They would rather spend their money towards conventions that favor fan-related content and programming over what some Japanese industry jackass who snorts cocaine off a teenage schoolgirl’s ass while she’s cosplaying Ichigo from DARLING in the FRANXX in his office at nighttime thinks what makes good programming at an anime con (okay, probably isn’t that extreme, but you get my point).
It’s that “for us by us” mentality that most nerds crave when it comes to anime conventions. Fan run content that shows the true passion and appreciation of fans of this medium in an event that provides the means for such fans to talk about their love for anime – in person with other fellow fans.
Fan-ran events means you have the freedom to express your fandom and love for anime through any means without worrying about an overhead busting your balls telling you what you can and cannot have in your programming (it’s not to say that fan run conventions have overheads busting balls as well, but they’re more lax than say somebody who works for a big anime business).
There’s a certain magic of fan-ran conventions that allow programming such as a room party block with free drinks, a massive cosplay parade downtown, ribbon collecting, and cosplay stripping shows that most of your major big business ran convention wouldn’t dare allow. This magic you can’t find at most industry ran conventions. Is it true that these industry cats understand what fans want in terms of content for their cons? Sure, but it doesn’t mean that they’re gonna provide the means to fulfill said needs.
So, will fan-run conventions go away anytime soon? No. Why?
Because there will always be a need for them – no matter what.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a (cleaner) copy and paste free write of my thoughts of the evolution and history of the Western anime fandom taken from my Facebook page Yuki The Snowman. As such, I was shooting from the hip; so it is unstructured and lacks research and sources to a few statements.
While out-of-state at a friends’ house catching up on old times, we were disusing plans on attending an up and coming anime convention in their area next year named Dokidokon. During the discussion, they mentioned how cool it would be for us to report on the convention, it’s growth, and recording the events as they unfold at the con. With glee, they stated that it would be exciting to take record of what we witness there. Further into the talk, it was mentioned that we’re living in perhaps the best time period for otaku history in the West and how it is important for us bloggers, vloggers, and content creators to record such events in history.
I started to ponder.
While my friends and I enjoy attacking the otaku culture with venomous scorn, taking cheap shots against anime fans whenever the chance presents itself, and mock the culture for its many faults, we still hold onto our great appreciation for how far the anime medium and fandom has come. This is especially true given how Western otaku culture and conventions came up from (to my knowledge, mind you) the underground college anime clubs and conventions of the 70s and 80s to the massive juggernaut in which we are a part of today where the modern anime community is an indescribable melting pot of distinctive demographic coming together to celebrate our love for anime.
For those who might be too young to remember, it wasn’t that long ago when Western anime culture and fans where pushed into the darkest corners of the pop culture world. We were treated as unwelcomed outcasts by – and please note – most (meaning not all for those who are from the remedial side of the education game) nerds and geeks from different sets of the pop culture world (film, comic books, gamers, sci-fi, etcs.).
In the past, Anime (in the West) didn’t have that unbreakable grip that it has on the Western pop culture world today. Thus, us fans were mocked and alienated by outsides (both normies and, ironically, non-otaku nerds who too where shunned for their love for comics, games, etc.) for enjoying something that most people didn’t get. Maybe it was due to xenophobia, lack of understanding, or the pure pride of the ignorant who didn’t want to study why people like and watch anime, but anime fans were treated like some weird nerds who were too much in love with some whacky Japanese cartoons.
Sure, you had timeless hits such as AKIRA, Ninja Scroll, and Ghost in the Shell making noise in America; planting seeds and paving the path for what we are witnessing today when it comes to the Western Otaku culture, but they didn’t have the weight to help put anime in that sweet postion that we call mainstream appeal (Dragon Ball Z would take that honor and run with it in the mid-90s despite what the anti-entry-level anime elitists may want to argue to deal with the fact their favorite obscure anime didn’t get the job done but that’s another topic for another day).
Time went on. The influence of anime in the West grew stronger. Its popularity increased with shows such as Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, and Pokémon. Television networks such as Time Warner, The Sci-Fi Network, Tech TV and Freeform created program blocks dedicated to anime (Toonami, Anime Unleashed, and Made in Japan) in order to carter to the blooming Western anime fanbase. Online bulletin board systems (BBS) and websites revolving around anime culture sprung up on the dial-up internet side of the game. Magazines dedicated to anime such as Anierica were sent out to the mailbox of the American anime fan. Video stores started carrying anime that never aired on TV in America.
It was inevitable that anime in the West would become a huge deal.
Today, you can go on your favorite streaming website (legal and illegal) and pull up almost any anime from the past or present. Popular or obscure. Modern or classic. If you can think of an anime, there’s a good chance that you will find it online. No more wasting time and gas money traveling miles to a nearby video store in hopes you can get your anime fix. No longer do we need to call up a certain BBS to communicate with fellow fans of a peculiar anime and wait two-to-eight hours for a response.
With the advent of modern day technology and social media, we can instantly chat it up with fellow anime fans moments after an episode finished airing. Best of all, fans can communicate and interact with voice actors, creators, production studios, and distributors through websites such as Facebook and twitter – something that was once only possible at annual major conventions and snail mail.
History is being made.
As content creators, we must take advantage of this era of Western anime history. We must take part and note of the trends and the happenings of the fandom – despite the fact if we love or loathe such trends and happenings. Remember: future generations of anime fans will be curious on how their favorite shows and beloved parts of the culture became to be. They will research the roots of their favorites and find connects to the past (that is currently our present). There needs to be a record of what is going on today in the world of anime: both in the East and here in the West.
Keeping record will perverse what is happening currently. It will prevent experiences from being lost to time and history. Just imagine if nobody recorded the famous viral video of the Filipino female prisoners performing the Hare Hare Yukai dance from The Melacholy of Haruhi Suzumiya or most recent, the ever popular live-action versions Chikatto Chika Chika dance from episode 3 of Kaguya-Sama: Love is War!! by energetic otakus cosplay as Chika herself.
It would be utterly depressing.
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“Be your true mind.”
-Revelations: Persona Japanese tagline.
Starring into the screen of the gaming P.C. I brought off my friend during the 2018 Holiday season, I noticed that there was something missing: A wallpaper – a good one. I was using fanart of Yugiri from Zombieland Saga as a placeholder until I could find wallpaper that I wouldn’t mind always seeing. Don’t get me wrong: Zombieland Saga is an awesome anime and Yugiri is best undead girl, but I needed something better. A wallpaper to serve as a reminder to do whatever the fuck I want to do throughout the year 2019
I hooked up an old external hard drive containing over ten years’ worth of anime and manga fanart, screenshots, manga panels, and memes; most of them were perfect to use as wallpaper, but I desire one that would be my mantra for 2019. As I browsed through the drive, there was a certain image with a manga panel snapshot that spoke to my soul. It was of Kyoko from Puella Magi Madoka Magica with a pocky stick in her mouth offering a box full of them to somebody off-screen. As she chew on the snack, she says the following:
“Who cares what anyone else thinks? It’s your life – do whatever you want to do. That’s the right way to live.”
There was no hesitation. Instantly, that became my wallpaper; vowing to never change it until January 1st, 2020. Throughout my life (until I got into my 20s), I was concern about what others thought about me. Wanting to not offend my friends, family members, and bosses (surprising, right?); I followed their suggestions, putting my own thoughts to the side.
I believed that if I put myself first, it would paint me as a hard-headed selfish asshole.
I should had been an asshole.
“To be quiet and do as you’re told, that’s the cowardly choice.”
-Gearless Joe, Megalo Box
Go to church because the rest of the family were going; despite the fact I’m secretly don’t follow religion. Enroll in a community college my parents wanted me to go; regardless if I wanted to go to one outside the Midwest (my home region). Hang out with friends even though I actually wanted to stay and relax at home. Go into work on my off day when I knew I wanted to tell my boss to fuck off.
Deep within my soul, my “easy-going” public persona was clashing with my true feelings.
I truly didn’t want to do what people told me to do, but I didn’t have the balls to admit it.
This went on until I turned 23.
I dropped out of college. Smartest move of my life. I stopped going to church. I don’t need Jesus to be a good person. I ignored my boss’s phone calls for me to come into work. He got the point soon after. I cut off friends who didn’t respect the fact I didn’t feel like hanging out with them when I was tired. They were fake friends – I didn’t need them around.
It was liberating.
Soon after I selected the image of Kyoko as my wallpaper, I got a reminder from My Anime List that Mob Pyscho 100 Season 2 was starting soon. Fitting. Mob (the hero of the Mob Pyscho 100 series) is a kid who decided to follow his own path in life; as opposed to listen to others people’s suggestions for his life. For example: when the supernatural club at his school tried to get him to join (because of his psychic powers), he rejected their offer. He joined the athletic club instead to build muscle.
The anime is one of the ultimate showcases of being your true self.
But, Mob may have appeared to have forgotten about this.
Wanting to impress his crush Tsubomi, Ichi (who catches Mob sneaking a peek at Tsubomi) comes up with a plan for Mob to court her attention: Have him run for the recently vacant student council president position (it was a ploy for Ichi to have Mob gain popularity so she could have him as the new leader of the recently dismantled (LOL) cult). She even went as far as writing a speech for Mob, in her own words. Despite not caring for school politics and social structure, Mob agrees to Ichi’s self-centered plot – reluctantly.
And by reluctantly, I mean that Mob completely froze during his speech.
In front of the entire student body – his crush in the crowd included.
It’s goofy that a guy like Mob, who was always dead set on doing his own thing, decided to follow the path of another person. Sure, it was to impress his crush, but the plot wasn’t from his own driven nature and ideas. Despite the public embarrassment, Mob “won” the heart of a female classmate: Emi. She was “impressed” by his courage to stand on stage in front of the school, which spurred her into confessing her “feelings” to him. The two started dating soon after.
Obviously, their relationship is rooted in compete bullshit.
When Emi asks what type of work he does, Mob is about to tell her about his supernatural works and adventures but feared that she’d be creep out. He comes up with a bold-face lie; claiming he works for a bookstore. This excites Emi as she’s an active and avid reader and is writing her own novel. She even offers Mob to read it, which he agrees to.
Later on, as Mob reads Emi’s novel, she confronts him. She asks why he still walks her home from school after he rejected her. Furthermore, she reveals that she knew Mob was going back to his club after he had walked her back home; thinking that Mob was afraid that he would upset her if he stop.
She also makes the connection that Mob only ran for class president because somebody told him to do it, since it was clear that he didn’t write his own speech. Then she bluntly asks if he has trouble making up his own mind and following his own feelings, which Mob confirms.
Finally, she reveals a secret about herself: She too struggles with being her own person – like Mob himself. She only asked Mob out on a dare and was pressured by her “friends” to do so (based on Mob’s pitiful performance during the elections). She was scared of being rejected and seen as a laughing stock by her “friends”, so she followed through with their cruel prank.
They agree to end their “relationship and part ways soon after – only to meet up again.
The “friends” Emi worked hard to impress and not offend?
They weren’t truly her friends.
Emi regroups with her friends after receiving a text message from them. She decides to show her “friends” the novel that she was working on. One girl snatches it from her hands and started to laugh and belittle her work along with the rest. Another girl, while trying to hold in her laughter, ask Emi if she was being serious about it. Emi (clearly upset and defensive), gives off a weak chuckle and replies she was only doing it for fun. The girls starts to laugh cruelly as they destroy her novel.
Emi became the thing she feared the most: a laughing stock among her friends.
Not because she didn’t “date” Mob, but because she had a passion for writing.
If they were truly her friends, not only would they not pressured her into dating Mob (something she never wanted to do), they would have encouraged her to keep writing.
As Mob walks back home, he sees the girls destroying Emi’s novel. He confronts them, telling them how wrong they were to do that to her and her hard work. He starts collecting the pieces off the ground. Confused, yet feeling appreciated, Emi helps Mob out and her fake friends leave the duo to be. The two try their best to recover the novel but the reminding pieces are blown into the wind. Emi gets discourage and decides that they should call the novel a total lost.
At this point, Mob decides to be honest with Emi (as she did with him) and reveal his true self: The fact that he’s a gifted esper. He uses his powers to completely restore the torn novel; which impresses Emi (as well as Tsubomi – who was watching the events from afar). Perhaps it was because that Emi was honest with Mob about her feelings, fears, and insecurities that led Mob into helping her. Maybe Mob was happy that he knew somebody who too was scared to be their true self and wanted to help them.
Regardless, at the end of the episode, both Mob and Emi was able to embrace who they truly are without fear.
I believe there’s a lesson to be learned from the first episode of season two of Mob Pyscho 100 2.
The lesson? Put yourself first, be honest with who you are, and never fear about what others may think about you. Once you can do all that, you have truly become free. People may call you selfish or self-centered for being you, but in reality, humans are selfish by nature. Some humans are braver with their selfish nature than others. If somebody complains about your egocentric nature , don’t take it personal. They more than likely are projecting their anger of not having the courage to be selfish.
Right now, there are people who are completely unhappy with their lives. Why? Because they were controlled into following somebody else’s path. They never had the courage to stray off the path that wasn’t design for them. There are doctors, lawyers, and dentists in those positions who are completely miserable because they decided to listen to their parents’ wishes. They feared to bring “shame” to their family and enter a career field they hate. If only they would have follow their heart instead, perhaps they wouldn’t be miserable.
Remember this: You have the freedom to be your own person.
It’s your life. Who cares if anyone gets upset?
“Your life is your own, ok? It’s OK to run away!
If you’re capable of it, it won’t be a mistake.” -The Mob Choir
‘I can never throw away who I am!’ -Vegeta, Dragon Ball Super
You should never apologize for being yourself. Even if people don’t get who you are as a person, you still need to be and do you. Somebody demands that you apologize for your quirky passions? Fuck them! Somebody thinks you’re too egotistical? Don’t feel bad. That person suffers from low self-esteem and loves to hate on anyone who has pride in themselves.
Never say sorry to them because you never allowed society to control who you should be.
People who get on the cases of other people (because they accepted who they are) are cowardly, beta losers who’ve allowed society to hammer them down and stripped them of their pride and confidence. When these lowly, insecure nobodies see people being comfortable with themselves and living a bold, grand life, they only see a reflection of what they could have been in their below average life.
Unlike the prideful champs of the world, they followed the rules of society and lost their true self.
At the time of this writing, I received a YouTube video notification from the luxury and wealth website, Alux. Alux dropped a new video for their Sunday Motivation Video series: 15 Things You Should NEVER Apologize For. I didn’t even start the video and a huge smile came across my face.
I needed this video due to recent events.
Last week, I was assaulted and battered for my views on money and wealth. Don’t worry beloved readers; it wasn’t physical, so I suffered no damaged. The assault came in the form of whiny liberal crybabies armed with their smartphones, keyboards, and Twitter fingers. Crybabies who are sick and tired of being broke and struggling, but won’t take action to cure their sickness.
I decided to share a post from a leftist Facebook page on how if we’re gonna eat the rich, we should also eat pop-stars like Beyoncé. Because, to them, it’s unfair that Beyoncé makes $30,000,000 a show while hardworking normal people get scraps (not her fault lol).
I offered a solution to their problem: Instead of worrying about and hating on how other people are building wealth, transmute that hateful energy towards something you’re great at and make money that way. Hating on somebody else’s livelihood isn’t going to stop their cashflow nor decrease their income.
I was viciously ripped apart by those dogs.
But – to be honest – I love it when I make hit dogs holler.
At this point in my life, I’m used to being attack for being myself. As a Black man who happens to be a passionate nerd, receiving criticism for my lifestyle isn’t new at all. Uncultured, uneducated niggas think they can shame you because you want to educate yourself and rise above the destructive street culture that takes the lives of thousands of young black men each year (thanks systematic white supremacy for trapping and setting up the black community).
There are black men and women who are nerds, weeaboos, and geeks of course. So finding common grounds with them should be simple. Sadly, most Black nerds tend to be coonin’ ass, tap-dancin’, self-hatin’ Uncle Toms, Bed Bucks, and Bed Wenches. If you don’t get down with their little get down (trash talking other black people and kissing white nerds’ asses) they will ostracize you from their dusty nigga nerd groups. To them, you’re not a “real” black nerd if you listen to mainstream hip-hop, wear stylish and timeless clothes, and speak out against racism.
I wish I was making all of this up.
Finally, you have racist white nerds (obviously) trying to hurt you and bring you down for being a black nerd with confidence. If you’re not a buck-dancing coonin’ nigga nerd kissing their white asses, act like “other black people” (whatever that means), and you actually have a backbone/pair of balls to stand up to their bullshit (unlike a lot of you black nerds), they will attack you with extreme prejudice. And racism.
You, a black man, fucked that Asian Reimu Hakurei off the popular anime series Touhou cosplayer that they were eyeing at an anime convention? Best believe they will call you a nigger with a hard “r” (not to your face obviously they do it on their weeaboo Facebook groups).
Decided to cosplay outside your race and are cosplaying trash girl Aqua from Konosuba? You will get harassed by white nerds who demand that you cosplay somebody black; because they think your Black skin is ruining their precious 2D white/Asian waifu (again, these are the same people who think cosplay is for everyone).
You have to do you and accept yourself despite the heat.
Never apologize for it.
These vicious attacks against your character can even come from your friends, family or close associates. People who you thought you could lean on for moral support and had your back. It can leave you heartbroken.
But you gotta keep doing you.
Years ago, I was heavily into the Shin Megami Tensei/Persona series. Obsessed even. I made a name for myself through the SMT/Persona communities on Facebook and had a rather successful live blogging of my Persona 3 and Persona 4 adventures on tumblr (before I left tumblr due to the entitled, white crybabies; whining about life ruining the website).
One day, while I was kicking it with a few friends, a friend of mine decided that I needed a weeaboo intervention; because my passion for otaku culture and Persona was too much (for his weak mind who lacked passion for things). He ranted about how Persona is an old series that he got into back in high school, how it was never going to reach mainstream popularity (what is that phrase that people use for stupid comments and statements? Lmfao), that I got into the series way too late for anyone to discuss about it (again, laughing my fucking ass off) and that I need to move on.
I simply smiled, nodded, and told him to fuck off.
What he was actually saying (i.e. projecting onto me) is that he wished he had the discipline and dedication to work on a live blog, that he could love something with grit (to deal with critical people that don’t get it), was passionate about had the balls and courage to speak on something that wasn’t popular, and that he wishes he could do the things I am doing. That’s what people like that do: worry about what others are doing with their lives (because there’s something going on in their lives they have yet to control).
A few years later (as recently as the second weekend of October of this year), I had yet another friend thought that he could try and pull that same shit with me.
I was chilling at a local convention (Archon St. Louis) drunkenly cosplaying as Monika from Doki Doki Literature Club (genderswap, of course, I am not fuckin’ wearing a skirt as a man like every other male does when cosplaying as a school girl character). The friend (drunkenly) came up to me and started saying how he blocked anything Doki Doki Literature Club related because I spoke about the game on my Facebook and Instagram pages “too much”.
I wanted to go off on him (as I tend to do with people when I’m heavily intoxicated), but I remember a small little victory I have over him. It’s just a small, minor victory from but it’s nothing major at all:
See kids, when you’re yourself and don’t apologize for it, people (in time) will notice, show their appreciation, and respect you. It’s going to take time. A long time. But it does and will happen (but only if you work smart and hard for it). Right then and there, I could have pulled that fanart up on my phone and told him to shut his ass up and walked away. But I rather have him discover that image by himself than to look like a (complete) asshole to the eyes of the general convention public.
I – thanks to me subtly not giving a fuck about the opinions of others – have fanart of my cosplay.
(Now if I can gain massive success and make millions off this passion over time, that will be perfect)
This is why I have Vegeta’s image for the feature image and his now famous quote from his battle against Jiren from Dragon Ball Super at the start of this article.
It’s a powerful line. Vegeta’s pride as a Saiyan warrior was questioned and provoked by Jiren. Pride disregarded by Jiren as mere arrogance. But, to Vegeta, his arrogance is who he is: A proud warrior who loves his race. A man who suffered and made sacrifices to reach greatness.
I’m sure many of you guys reading this have been called egotistical and arrogant for being yourself, prideful, and having high levels of confidence. People told you that you’re full of yourself? Good. People who say that to you (to discourage you from following your path) aren’t full of themselves and pride. You know what they’re full of?
Full of self-doubt. Full of self-hatred. Full of low self-esteem. Full of envy.
They threw themselves away and gave up on their desires.
To those who are like that, can I you guys a few questions? What is your thought process when dealing with people who haven’t thrown themselves away and take pride in who they are? Why do you feel the need to attack their pride and ego? Did something happen to you along the way for you to give up on being yourself? Why do you find joy in attacking those with high confidence?
While you losers apologizing for being yourself on Pity Party Drive, us winners are over here celebrating on Victory Road who we are.
NOTE: This is a freely written article on thoughts floating about in my head. As such, there is no structure or order with this post. I’m shooting from the hip.
Admit it: You love controversy. It’s okay, nobody (except me), will judge you. In fact, you, the world, and I all love controversy. It doesn’t matter if the controversy is caused by a football playing taking a knee during the National Anthem against racism/police brutality, a disgraced rapper tap-dancing, coonin’ it up, and running a Minstrel Show for his massas at the White House, or an edgelord “Babby’s first fucked up anime” featuring a disturbing rape scene in the first episode. We love it. Love it so much that we waste time talking about whatever made us feel some type of way on social media, to our co-workers, friends, whoever may listen to us rant.
Even if we hate the thing that caused the controversy, we can’t help but talk about it.
Let’s take the newest Fall anime Goblin Slayer for example. Anime fan circles online are at abuzz at towards the new show. Not because it’s a great show or anything like that. But because (as previously mention), it’s an edgelord, shit-tier anime that featured the brutal gang rape of a female character and a young girl being stabbed to death. In fact, Goblin Slayer (the manga) heavily features violence against women (meat shield lmfao). And you already know that Left-Wing liberal college brats with useless college degrees and confusing genders are all up in their feelings about the first episode and the manga series as a whole.
They have gone to their tumblrs and their twitters to rant about how Goblin Slayer is a male-power/ rape fantasy series and believes that it trains males to disrespect and assault women. Others stated that if you like the show, you’re probably an edgy little brat who thinks violence in anime makes it mature.
They’re just giving the show free promotion at this point.
It’s funny: You’d think people would have the sense to not speak about the things they hate in order to not get it noticed. As we all know, that method never works. The more you talk about something you don’t like, the more awareness you bring to it. The more awareness it gains, the more it’ll grow. Example: Idiotic Right Wing conservatives (racially charged) rampage against former NFL player Colin Kaepernick and his deal with Nike. Kaepernick got a nice paycheck with his “Just Do It” advisement using his stance, activism, and platform.
Old, white men and women didn’t like that and decided to destroy their already-paid $50 Nikes that their poor, broke ass brought from Shoe Carnival or Ross’s (nobody isn’t stupid enough to destroy $150+ Air Force Ones, Jordan’s, or exclusives Nike shoes). Their anger simply only helped out the Nike brand and caused Nike to see an increase in sales – all because they couldn’t stop talking about their hatred Kaepernick and Nike’s supporting him.
And then Nike played everyone and use the funds to support Right Wing politicians.
As a child of the 90s, I am not a stranger to dealing with controversial against the things I love. The Simpsons (back when it was a great series) got a lot of heat for showing how truly fucked up the American family can be. Violent video games such as Mortal Kombat, Grand Theft Auto, and Postal ¸ where under attack by family groups. Wrestling – especially The WWF, was considered too immoral for TV. Yet, despite the controversy and protests by parent groups, the government, and other entities, these things strived and generated sales and popularity from the backlash. Why? Because people are naturally curious about terrible things. They check it out and see that whatever shit is causing the uproar isn’t all that bad.
I think people just feel good talking about the things they hate (or love)
With that said, If you are going to ask me how I am going to deal with the controversy behind Goblin Slayer as an anime fan here’s my answer:
(Speaking of controversy, you should totally check out one of my favorite yet controversial blog post: Pirating Does NOT Hurt the Anime Industry and share it on social media so I can make people mad at me and have them talk about the article and my blog. I wanna make high-horse moral weebs in their feelings.)
FOLLOW ME ON THESE VARIOUS SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS:
An Slow Idiot and Why Should Have Been Hard on Myself
Planning for Anime Weekend Atlanta went smoothly; despite it being a last minute con for me. As smoothly as somebody falling down a rugged mountain with jagged rocks and tearing their flesh apart. Originally, I wasn’t even planning on going to AWA. I was focused on putting my resources towards attending Anime Expo (which was a highly successful trip for me), and then Michigan for my friend’s wedding (which was canceled due to his girlfriend’s father having to do military-duty shit). With my friend’s wedding being canceled, I took any funds that I saved up for the wedding trip towards AWA. And weed. And liquor. And clothes.
So I’m kinda bad on saving and spending my money on stupid shit.
In any case, I had to remind myself that I had to be strict with my money management skills as I was the only one on my team who was going to AWA – initially. For once, I was going to a con solo without any outside help (I had gone to Collosalcon 2015 by myself but I roomed with strangers, so that doesn’t count). I had the funds saved to book myself a flight, buy a badge, and provide other needs for myself. My sights were focused on being an independent weeaboo who didn’t need anyone to help him on his weeaboo festival trips. It was going to be uncomfortable but in order to grow and improve you need that uncomforted.
Then – against all my best judgment and my gut feeling – I got back into my comfort zone.
My friend, “Sub-Zero” (A Sub-Zero cosplayer) hit me up and asked if I had a room for AWA. I was going to shoot him down, but I figured having extra funds with two people splitting the room would help me. Plus, extra funds meant I could stay in Atlanta for one more day and explore the Downtown area. I let him join me. Plus, he too wanted to stay in ATL a day extra so it worked out (or it would…).
A few days later, my friend “Noctis” (A Notctis cosplayer) hit me up asking if I had room for him. I wanted to say no, but he was having a bad time mentality and wanted to go to the con. Plus, he wanted to help me build our brand and get us noticed in the Southeast. So, of course, I had to let my boy join in on the fun. He has skills that I lacked in terms of brand building and a natural leader of sorts. Plus, more money in my pocket for that Sunday ATL adventure.
An adventure that never came to be among other things thanks to a bummy ass nigga.
A week later, my “friend” “Bummy Ass Nigga Who Thinks He’s The MC of a Harem Anime” asked if we had room in our hotel. I immediately lied and said “no”; being all-so-aware of the drama he caused my crew at AWA 2017 (I was chilling with another friend for the weekend, so I avoided 99.9% of their drama). Sadly, the bum ass nigga revealed that Nactus had told him Sub-Zero and I was seeking people to help room with us. The lie didn’t work. Fuck. I (reluctantly) let him join us – causing things to go downhill quick in planning.
Here’s where I should have been hard on myself.
Despite if “Bummy Ass Nigga Who Thinks He’s The MC of a Harem Anime” would have gotten in his feelings (as he often does when things don’t go his way), I should have fuckin’ lied to him and told him we weren’t looking for anyone. I would rather look like a liar in his eyes and never speak to him again based on that lie than to deal with con drama (that drained everyone mentality). We had more than enough funds set aside to cover the hotel. My greed, and being a cheap ass, got the better of me. What’s worse is that a day before he asked to room with us, my co-worker got fired; therefore, I picked up all his hours (which gave me more than enough extra funds for the trip). But nah. I wanted to be a “good friend” – against all judgment and logic.
The first of our problems came about when “Bummy Ass Nigga Who Thinks He’s The MC of a Harem Anime”, Noctus, and I had all meet up for them to pay me their share of the room. “Bummy Ass Nigga Who Thinks He’s The MC of a Harem Anime” suggested earlier that we should rent a car to drive down to ATL because his car couldn’t make the trip (and he was fearful that his car would get damaged by a deer like last year during their trip). Despite my gut. telling me to say no and book a flight instead, I went ahead and agreed with the rental idea. He needed about $70 from each person for the car. I told him that it would make logical sense for him to keep $70 of the money he owed me for his share of the hotel. He protested against the idea; telling me to keep his part of the money.
Should have pressed the issue.
Fuck me and my stupidity.
The next day, he went to the car rental place (he claimed). Apparently, he needed a $200 deposit to rent the car…despite him showing us a screenshot online of the rental details (unless he purposely hid that info in the screenshot which I heavily suspect). Fucking idiot. He suggested that we should meet up at our friend’s house again to resolve the issue. An issue he should had researched weeks beforehand by asking me for the money he told me to keep. Even though I told him multiple times that it would have been beneficially for the crew if he would have kept it from the get-go. I’m pissed. I just did a 10-hour shift at the gig running on only 5 hours of sleep. I just wanted to go home, smoke weed, and sleep. But those things never happened. Like an actual harem MC (Makoto from School Days) he truly lacked common sense and reasoning.
We had to suffer for it.
The day before the con brought a surprise that everyone was expecting: He didn’t get the rental. He gave us this long-winded, sob story how he was a shitty friend and that he was going to make it all up for us and get things right. He was on that abuser type shit trying to make amends for his shitty behavior to his battered victims (who he would blame/gaslight us for their abuse). Oh. He made things up alright. By using our money that was supposed to be for the rental and put it towards repairs on his car – that would benefit him in the long-run – not us. The repairs cost “$270” for a tune-up and oil change. Which, to be honest, doesn’t seem like it would run anyone $270. But what do I nor Noctus know who suspected he was trying to scam us for money?
The next day, We arrived at our hotel after a surprisingly smooth seven-hour ride from St. Louis to Atlanta. We got to the hotel and I decide to take a few “we made it” shots and got myself drunk. Sub-Zero went to get his badge leaving me and “Bummy Ass Nigga Who Thinks He’s The MC of a Harem Anime” alone in the room. He revealed something that would have made me murder him if I had absolutely nothing to lose.
The repair costs that he claimed were $270?
It was actually $450+. And he was actually “broke”.
So “broke” that he could only afford a badge and food.
Oh and he owed Sub-Zero $100+. Money that was supposed to cover the room and allowed me to keep an extra $100 in my own pockets.
I love my trip to Los Angeles and attending Anime Expo. It was a life-changing experience of consuming and getting involved in local and global cultures that I’ll never experience in my hometown. While I foolhardy limited my travels to Downtown L.A. and Little Tokyo, the drive to go back to the West Coast is eating me up (in fact, limiting myself is the reason why I must go back because there’s more of L.A. I want to see). The trip sparked a fire within me to better myself finically (through having multiple sources of incomes) and improve my creative talents so I can justify visiting L.A. in order to growth (or better yet – if I decide to live in L.A. for a few years)
While wandering around the Downtown area searching for a CVS, I encounter a massive fate/grand order towering above the Wells Frago bank in the area. A huge smile came across my face for two reasons. One, because I am a bit of a casual fan of the series and that I’m happy on how the series has come this far. Two, it served as a reminder (to me) that even the titans of the industry I am a consumer of had to start at the bottom to reach the top. The creators behind the fate series were just people like you and me who had the vision to breathe life into something they felt could change their industry, the world, and their lives.
As my eyes focused and analyzed the mighty fate poster, I started reflecting on my own goals and dreams in life (and how I want to create something that will be loved by many). My mind brought up the struggles it took me to get to not only Los Angeles and Anime Expo, but my current level of life and how I persevere to push forward with my goals despite the pitfalls, doubters, haters, etc..
‘I wonder what sacrifices these fate dudes had to make to get to where they at today? How hard and smart did they work in order to become icons in the otaku niche.’ I asked myself. The poster spawned endless questions in my mind. Questions of hard work, sacrifice, brand building. I became a curious child who was given a brand new toy and was obsessed with what the toy can do. At that moment, I started planning on what should I do with my own goals and desires and how in order to bring them to life.
The people who created the fate series were given the same two hands, two eyes, two feet, two legs, and a similar creative brain like me at birth. The difference between those guys and me is that they got off their asses and bust them to bring their vision to the world. Yeah, they were met with problems, haters, doubters, and people telling them to give up on their dreams. Yet they push through the noise. That’s the struggle every creative person will face. I am no exception to this law.
If we wanna reach the real shit, we must go through the bullshit. That’s the only way our dreams can come true.
As per my April 2018 article, I don’t get post-con blues. I never got the idea behind it. If you get depressed after attending a weeaboo festival (and aren’t willing to do anything about it), you’re a loser. There are conventions held almost every weekend in major cities in America and across the globe that offers the same shit (for the most part). As a result, conventions get boring after a while. The passion behind them get lost and you’re (well, I) are left wondering “well, what’s next for this little otaku hobby of mines?”. After attending Anime Expo in Los Angles however, I must admit I’m feeling the blues.
Am I’m upset that Anime Expo has come and go? Nah. Too many rude, smelly ass weeaboos I had to deal with that won’t make me miss the con (still going back though). I had to stop myself from losing my temper and beating the shit out of a disrespectful, shut-in nerd who almost bumped me into a wall; all because he wanted a picture of some Ichigo and 02 cosplayers from Darling in the Franxx that he’ll never get to fuck in his lifetime. Having to walk twenty minutes to Kenta Hall when it normally would have taken me five minutes wasn’t that fun – especially since it the crowds created a fire hazard (risk our safety for the all mighty dollar, huh). Trying to find a panel room for twenty minutes only to find out I needed a wristband to prove I was over the age of 18 ain’t fun. I’m not blue over those factors. What I’m feeling blue about is the fact I am not in Los Angles anymore.
I have Post Cali Blues.
I miss California. For the short week I was there, I felt at peace. I felt that I could be myself despite not being within my comfort zone. The fantastic, 80-degree weather that felt like it was 60 degrees thanks to the ocean breeze. The luscious women from all over the world. Bruh, they were bad! People who mind their own business and who didn’t mean mug you. The welcoming and acceptance of those from different cultures. Being surrounded by striving businesses at every corner. This what sold me on California…expect for the high taxes and cost of living you guys can miss me with that bullshit.
I gotta go back to Cali again.
If you guys don’t know, I’m from St. Louis, Misery (or Missouri) – a small Midwestern city that hasn’t seen progress in nearly 60 years. St. Louis isn’t shit when it comes to wanting to better oneself in growth, business, career, etc. The hopeless, passionless idiots who never left this city think it’s great and there’s nothing absolutely wrong with it (despite the high murder rates, extreme poverty, racism, right-wing politics, etc.). These people love to bring down anyone with a dream or desire to expand their lives beyond St. Louis.
As a result, there are many haters and jealous niggas in the ‘Lou. California has its shares of crimes, haters, and hopeless idiots, sure. but I rather be stuck in a state that has legal weed, a chance for me to grow as a person, and network with those within my industry as opposed to continuing living in a city where I feel that I have no chance to do anything with my passion. What did that little dude say in FLCL? “Nothing amazing ever happens here”. Yep. That’s St. Louis.
St. Louis sucks.
During downtime at Anime Expo, I went decided to explore L.A. for a bit. It felt magical. Every turn, my eyes here treated to blooming, striving business helping bring L.A. income. Downtown St. Louis? Every other business building is abandoned. Downtown L.A. featured a fashion district. Not a fashion store, mall, or outlet. A fashion fucking district. Did I mention legal, safe weed? Kush mind you, not no reggie or unknown kush with bug spray on it.
Legal. Fucking. Weed.
Besides my degenerate lust towards weed, I’m a man of culture. Given that L.A. is a large city with over 3.7 million living in it, you’re going to get people from many cultural backgrounds telling them your experience. As one Lyft driver told me, L.A. is made up of people from all over the world – not just native people. With that, you get to talk to people from Asia, The Middle East, Africa, Europe, etc. and learn why they came ot America and how are they dealing with things here as their cultural experience clashes with the ones in America (as that adage goes; you can take the man out of the hood but you can’t take the hood out of the man). St. Louis is cultural as well (we have strong Middle Eastern, Chinesse Mexican, and Bosnian, communites) don’t get me wrong, but there aren’t as many international people here compared to the West Coast. I personally that shit is cool.
To conclude, the post Cali blues is hitting hard for me right now. To be honest, I am a little disappoint that I didn’t explore much of L.A. beyond Little Tokyo and Downtown. If ther ewasnt’ a convention in between my exploration, I feel like I could had gotten much more done in a week. I’m kicking myself for not hitting up Hollywodo (Despite the latter being a tourist trap). Venice Beach and Santa Monica are beautiful beach spots. I low-key wanna explore Compton and study one ofhte major parts of hip-hop history before it gets completely gentriflied by the liberals. I am going back to L.A. for my homeboy’s birthday and Anime’ L.A., so that will grant me a second chance to do the thigns I couldn’t do on my first trip.
I’m going back to Cali.
DRUNK AFTERWORD: To those on my Facebook friend’s list who were mad about my post-con blues post: the fuck ya were gonna do besides be mad and not fuck with me anymore cuz I spoke that shit about post-con depression?
Disclaimer: This freewrite was written under the influence of alcohol. It may not make logical sense.
Dragon Ball isn’t deep. There are deep themes, but it isn’t that deep than other anime. Dragon Ball is a goofy, battle action manga and anime series created by some crazy Japanese dude who bread and butter is gag comedy manga (Dr. Slump). Expecting Dragon Ball to be meaningful and insightful is like trying to find one’s dignity at a drunken, drug-fueled anime con orgy:
It ain’t gonna happen.
This doesn’t mean that Dragon Ball can’t teach us lessons about life. After all, Goku’s journey is a lesson that if you want to better yourself, you must go out and travel; putting in the hard (and smart) work to and learning under those better than you to obtain whatever you want in life. Baby from Dragon Ball GT teaches us that people who were treated unfairly (through oppression) will come back to take revenge against those who oppressed them – even going as far as hunting down and killing innocent people if they have to.
Dragon Ball Super with the Tournament of Power arc is no different. There are valuable lessons to be taught about that arc, one that is obvious and yet – it’s the most important lesson. In order to achieve what you want, emotions need to be put aside.
In episode whatever it was in Super (I’m drunk: I don’t feel like looking it up), Majin Buu succumb to his deep sleeping habits; putting him out of action for two months. Thing is, it would have been okay for Majin Buu to take a two months break from combat…if he wasn’t a team member of Universe 7, and the existence of their universe was at risk of being destroyed by Zeno-Sama. With their ranks shorten, Team Universe 7 had two options:
Find a replacement for Majin Buu
Operate at a loss and/or risk destruction
Logically, Team Universe 7 should have put Majin Buu in the Time Chamber (Room of Spirit and Time for your purist elitist weeaboos) but logic doesn’ work in anime. While everyone else was in a panic, Goku came up with an ideal replacement for Majin Buu: Lord Frieza – mortal enemy of the Z Warriors.
The Z Warrirors weren’t happy with Goku’s suggestion. They had every right to. Krillin and Vegeta were murdered by him. Piccolo’s race and home planet was destroyed by the cruel tyrant. Plus, Frieza’s a snake. Who knows what kinda of shit Frieza would pull on the Z Warrriors if given the chance. If he wanted to, Frieza could had kill members of Unvierse 7 for shits and giggles. (Un)forutnetly for Team Universe 7, Freiza’s an asset to their surivivial. Yes, Frieza did horrible things to Z Warrrios and caused suffering to the unviersse. But what’s worse; Having a powerful, yet psychopathic warrior on your side who can get the job done with ease or losing your exsitance because you got emotional over somebody you don’t like?
I thought so.
In dire situtaitons, you have to put aside your emotions and focus on the ultimate goal. Emotions are great. They make us humans. They drive us to do amazing things. But emotions can fuck you up if you can’t control them. Let’s look at what happen to Lerbron James during the 2018 NBA Finals. Game 1. He got in his feelings over a teammate’s mistake. He gave into them and got swept by The Golden State Warriors.
What would had happen to Universe 7 if they gotten emotional over Frieza’s includcion to their team? You might say “But Ben, they could had went with Yamcha instead or maybe even Cell!” You’re right. They could had went with Yamcha or Cell. But Yamcha would had gotten slaughter within the first five seconds of the tournament. And Cell doesn’t give Toei Animation enough money like Frieza in terms of product sales.
Don’t get emotional when trying to hit your targets.
30 days. 30 days until I need to get my shit together for Anime Expo. 30 days to structure my perfect battle plan. 30 days to mentally prep for the largest convention I have attended yet. 30 days of disciplining myself when it comes to money management. 30 days to get things right or lose everything I desired for my brand and personal growth – for at least a year. 30 days isn’t enough time when you’re planning out big moves. But you best use those days wisely.
I’m on death grounds.
What is death grounds? Death Grounds is a warfare strategy use as a reaction to desperation tactics in the face of not defeat – but death. It’s based on Sun Tzu (author of The Art of War) desperate ground, which he defines as follows:
‘When you have the enemy’s strongholds on your rare, and narrow passes in front, it is hemmed-in ground. When there is no place of refuge at all, it is desperate ground.’
In short, when pushed against a corner, an army must go all out to survive. If they don’t, they’ll be slaughtered by the opposition. Failure isn’t an option.
It’s kill or be killed.
I know I’m coming off as dramatic over plans for a nerd convention, but put yourself in my shoes. Since Fall of 2017, I’ve been planning and going around telling my peers that I’m going to Anime Expo. I’ve invested $350 on a plane ticket. I saved up $440 for my share of the hotel cost. I invested $475 on an AX Premier Fan pass (a fancy way of saying VIP pass to avoid the long lines). I’m ordering pieces for my Monika cosplay this week (only because I made a drunken post on social media stating that I’m doing a genderswap cosplay of her) which will run me around $150. Too much money has gone towards this trip for me not to go.
When you invested money into something, you better fucking make sure it happens.
I must gather my resources, wits, tools, and wisdom together to make it out to AX. I either get to kill it at Anime Expo and achieve a milestone for my brand or die. Of course, there’s next year, but let’s say if I miss out on this year’s AX. I run the risk of losing opportunities this year I will never get next year. There’s an influential guest or person at this year’s AX I could have met who could help me get to the next level. He or she won’t be at any conventions again in their career. I missed out on that network. Death. Worse, I miss out on AX this year and a few weeks after the event, I die. Death.
Here’s something scarier: Allowing myself to be on Death Grounds is fun. It’s a lot of pressure, but it’s fun. I guess it’s my borderline masochist nature, but I find it motivating. Why? Because I want to see the end results of this 10 months of planning. . All my shit talking, planning, and performing massive action must pay off. I can’t fuck up now. In fact, there are no fuck ups allowed on death grounds.
Yuki’s Note: This is unorganized and I probably got a few things wrong about nerd culture in the mainstream. Whoops.
I love scrolling through my Facebook feed and seeing ads from companies such as Sugoi Shirts and Kaomoji. Seeing their flamboyant Japanese street fashion inspired clothing makes me smile at the expense of my wallet. But who cares as long as it could make me look good. I just wanna rock a fuckin’ shirt with an anime girl with a censor bar across her eyes in public! It just makes me feel good about myself and feeds my ever growing ego. But man, who would imagine vendors online selling stylish and fashionable weeaboo shirts on Facebook?
Nerds have come a long way since the darker days of our passion when we were shamed for simply enjoying our nerd culture. If I were to wear my weeaboo attire 20 years ago, people would mock me. Today? People (for the most part) tend to mind their business. Shit, just the other day, when I went to my local head shop the store clerk saw my shirt and we started talking about Fate series for a few minutes (he thought my sunglasses were something based off Fate). It was a lovely chat until he said that Rin was the worse girl in the Fate series and that Saber was the best.
I ain’t never going back to that headshop.
Anyway, you wanted to catch a superhero movie in full cosplay back in 1996 and you were over the age of 13? You got roasted! Now it’s the norm for people to cosplay as their favorite Marvel or DC superhero at opening night. If there was a nerd in a TV show, they were the laughing stock loser who never get the woman. They never got anywhere. But shows such as Silicon Valley has ended the stereotype that nerds are losers and that their hobbies won’t get them anywhere. I gotta say, this is the golden era of the nerd.
Everything that I’ve mentioned above now leads me to this question: Are nerds trendsetters?
The obvious question is yes, of course. In fact, I even answered the question my self. So leave my page. I want to say that, but I do enjoy going deeper with my theories and exploring them. We (well, I) have come up with the conclusion that nerds are trendsetters. But why? Why are us nerds trendsetters, and how can we take advantage of this before the inevitable nerd bubble breaks and we’re back to being shoved into lockers and having our lunch money stolen by the jocks (well, you weak nerds are getting shoved into the lockers, I’m knocking anyone out who tries to do that to me).
This is my theory:
People were tired of the old shit and wanted something new. Everyone and their moms love reality TV, watching sports, drinking at the local bar, what have you. Meanwhile, the nerds were in the background; creating and working on their passion. We spent our time inside, communicating with our peers, showcasing our talent online. As time went on and technology advance bringing the advent of social media people were started to take notice of the group they once shunned away: The Nerd.
Social media lead the way for nerds to showcase their creative talent (although we’ve been doing this shit years and years before that came along through online forums, blogs, etc.) As more people gain access to the internet, the more nerds were given exposure. Yes, there were TV channels such as the Sci-Fi Channel, Tech TV, and g4, but they were only viewed by their niche target market.
Now? Well, I mean they’re still being watched by their niche market, but the normies are getting into them as well. Oh and g4 is dead. So perhaps that doesn’t count. Shows that were once for nerds with cahs (meaning they could afford internet and cable packages) are available through streaming services such as Hulu, Crunchyroll, Netflix, etc.. The video game industry makes more than the movie industry. Anime is…catching up. It still has a some catching up to do, but with anime (slowly) creeping into the mainstream, I say it won’t be long until anime in the West is treated like film.
It’s funny to think about how nerds are shaping things up. We’re like rockstars (almost). Seriously. Go on YouTube right now and you see that some of the top YouTubers are people talking about video games or streaming themselves playing games. Two decades ago folks would scream at nerds that playing games isn’t a real career. Today? Playing video games and screaming at a game for hours on end is considered a real job. Of course, you have those normies who think that isn’t a real career, but they’re just mad that they’re slaving away at some corporate or labor gig they hate while the nerds they used to bully are making hunder of thousands of dollars playing video games.
So, to anwser my own question: Yes. Nerds are trendsetters.
“You still watching Dragon Ball Z, nigga? Grow up!” “Stop acting white! You’re too old to watch cartoons!” “Go get some pussy and stop playing video games!”
Growing up as a (black) nerd in a backward ass Midwestern city was rough (in the early 2000s). Throughout middle and high school if you had nerdy interests, you were deemed a loser amongst your peers. Nobody (outside your fellow outcasted nerds) wanted to fuck with you. You were bullied, teased, and taunted for your nerdy passion. I too dealt with my fair share of bullshit from normies who didn’t have the balls to step out of their comfort zone; unlike us nerds who didn’t fuck with that fitting in shit.
I still remember how my normie peers would tell me how being a nerd was uncool and that I need to grow up. They claimed that video games and anime would never get me pussy, popularity, or money. Of course, they were wrong. Hell, even with my near grandiose levels of ego, I knew they were wrong. Mainly because I spent my free-time shit posting and trolling gaming and anime forums communicating with older nerds who went through the same shit I was going through back then. Many of them had wives, families, money, and status at their jobs. Some even talked about how they hooked up with an equally nerdy chick or a dude at comic and anime conventions.
I mean shit, I looked up to Bill Gates when I in middle and high school. Here was a nigga that was a total nerd in his school days. Was bullied for being a nerd, spent his weekends working on computers for 40 hours while everyone else was partying and doing stupid, unproductive shit. He played the long game with his brand and within a few decades, he became the richest men in the world.
So much for nerds being losers.
Reading about Bill Gates’s success (as well as the success of older nerds online) made me realize this at a young age: If I’m going to dedicate my life to being a nerd and building something for myself off it, then I better play the long game. I just knew deep down that nerd culture was going to be popular. I just had this gut feeling that nerds and geeks in America will stop being bullied. That we were going to be trendsetters. Game changers. The dominant culture in entertainment (The Big Bang Theory doesn’t fuckin’ count).
At the turn of this decade (the 2010s), my vision was coming true (for the nerd community). Blockbuster superhero movies were the norm. Video games were treated as a respectful, valued form of entertainment. Anime (and otaku culture) was accepted. Anime and video game clubs were poppin’ up in high schools across America. While nerds were still being bullied, it was happening far less often then decades past. Kids were free to wear their favorite anime or superhero shirt without fear of being teased or mock. Conventions were getting mainstream attention. Being a nerd was now consider cool.
Playing my first long game paid off.
Playing the long game with your passion isn’t easy. Do not think you won’t face difficulties as a player of the long game. You are fuckin’ stupid and clueless if you think there no errors or hardships with the long game. You will have people talk to out of your passion (as they do not see nor understand your vision). You will get called weird, mad, goofy, insane, whatever your hopeless, average, bottom feeders peers will throw up in your face. As a player of the long game, you need to block those people out. Cut them out of your lives even. Link up with other people who share your passion and understand that success takes years to achieve instead.
How do you play the long game as a nerd? Simple: Pick something you’re passionate about. You love vlogging about the latest episodes of mainstream anime? Good. Stick with it for a few years. Do you find joy in making others happy when you play video game music on your violin? Perfect. Keep it up for years and years on end. Don’t expect success to come overnight. If you do, quit right now. You ain’t cut out for the long game.
To those still bitter about the past and how nerd culture is now popular: Good. Stay mad. I need bitter ass suckers like you so I don’t have to worry about fighting other nerds to get that number one spot and dominate and intimidate everyone in the culture one day. Keep being miserable.
For the normies who made fun of nerds and are only on the nerd train cuz it’s popular: Thanks for being suckers! I look forward to making money and build my brand off yall niggas.
For the rest of us nerds who are taking advantage of this trend: Play hard. Work hard. Success is ours for the taking.
Hot, black asphalt.
Snaking around the course.
Racers gather ‘round, bumper-to-bumper.
Each wishes to dominate over their competitors.
We rev our engines, our cars roaring with intimidation.
We wait without patience,
As the starting lights sang,
That familiar tune.
Ding. Ding. Ding. DING!
The race begins.
No need to rush just yet.
Let the losers fight for first.
Then push for it when they’re tired.
A sudden left.
Wrap my car around it with ease
Such mastery and grace.
Zip ahead the slow racers.
Who never master that turn.
8th, 7th, 6th, 5th,4th they’re too slow.
3rd, 2nd, and 1st,
Take their place.
And now I, The Champion
End lap one.
The losers want my top position
I peep into my rearview
Rookie idiot crashed
Trying to take my place
I laughed, you thought you could win.
Another loser comes close.
I’ll be nice.
Have first place.
You look so happy.
Hope you win.
Go for it, you can do it!
Changed my mind,
I zipped past that loser
With a smirk
Finish line draw nears,
And I remind in first place.
End Lap two.
Victory draws near.
Defend my rightful first place.
Against men desperate to win
This crazy race.
No more playing hit the gas.
If you’re not first you’re last.
Some loser comes near.
It’s so much.
How you got so close?
I turn my head back to taunt
“You’ll never win!”
When I win, I’m gonna flaunt
Or not. Shit, that’s a wall, isn’t it?
And then I lost the race.
That “loser” became the best.
There goes being at the top.
In victory, know when to stop.
In the original draft of this poem, this was going to speak about overthinking and a racing mind (thus the racing symbolism) but that shit was falling apart so I decided to go a simple route and talk about how being overconfident and cocky can lead to one’s downfall.
Plus, I was blasting some F-Zero music so there’s that.
Recently, my friend came back to town for the Easter holiday weekend. I haven’t seen him in over a year, so naturally, I had to hit my boy up and see how he’s doing. After work decided to pay him a visit to see how he was doing. As I arrived at his parents’ house (where he was staying), I saw playing chess against our homegirl. I’ve always been interested in playing chess, but I was unaware of anyone (in my circle) who played it (until recently). Wanting to feed my curiosity on the game, I ask to play the winner (our homegirl).
My homegirl, knowing that I’m new to the game, gave me the rundown on it. She described how each piece has their own movements, attacks, and the best way to make moves with the pieces. Finally, she ended with the most important detail of chess: planning ahead for the long game. In short, she taught me how chess is about making strategies in your head often; being aware of the risks and rewards that lie beyond.
During her explanation, I realized how chess is like planning my next moves (in terms of brand building, vlogging, blogging, etc.) and looking beyond the moment. You don’t simply move without logic. You must not only plan all the way to the end but adapt to changes as well.
Chess is a game of patience and long-term planning – similar to brand building.
When building your brand, business, etc., you need to plan things out. If you don’t, you will be overwhelmed with stress and problems. Planning for the long game takes time, thoughts, energy, and effort. You must craft a plan for each project – for each move. There are no excuses.
Say my first move is to write a review on Kokkou. My plan is to make time to watch 12, 23 minutes of the series (6 hours or so) once without taking notes. My second move will be to watch it again while writing notes on character devolvement, scriptwriting, animation, etc. Following that, I’ll take out the details in my writing that aren’t important, logically, etc. Once those are tackled, I start writing the first three drafts of my review until I hit my final draft. During this time, I make a schedule for this writing project with a deadline. This way, my review for the anime comes out in time while it’s still fresh in the fans mind.
My long game plan on writing anime reviews or analysis also includes my regular 9-to-5 schedule/plans. Let’s say I have to go in to work at 11. The night before, I take about one hour (10PM-11PM) to add content to my review before I go to sleep for about 6 hours (11PM-5AM). From 5AM-7AM, I just continue to write from where I left off the night before. From 7AM-7:45AM, I prep and eat a protein heavy breakfast. After that, I take a shower and once I’m done with that, it’s back to writing until I have to leave to work (I’m in my work clothes by then so there’s no delay or making myself late for work as I’m working on a project).
Repeat until success.
To conclude, you gotta plan for the long game with your projects. It will help you out. You need to set up your plan with logic, and not be ruled by your heart. Attacking a project without a plan will destroy you. It is foolish not to plan things you.
(Note: I have yet to watch Kokkou. Do not wait for me for a review for it.)