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Welcome to the Self-Reflection: An Welcome to the NHK Anime Retrospect Part 2: Hitomi

NOTE: This retrospect will only explore the anime version of Hitomi as I am only on chapter 6 of the original novel at the time of publishing. If I had missed anything about Hitomi’s personality from the novel then I ask for forgiveness on that front.

Link to part 1:
https://yukithesnowman.com/2022/01/27/welcome-to-the-self-reflection-an-welcome-to-the-nhk-anime-retrospectpart-1-introduction/

You know, if Welcome to the N.H.K came out during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hitomi wouldn’t be just a beloved character: she would be the Waifu Queen of the anti-vaxxers who would share their views of conspiracies with vigorous, all-mighty passion. They would swear up-and-down that mask mandates and stay-at-home orders are secretly about control. They’d proclaim that COVID vaccines could alter one’s DNA. Finally, they would express that COVID itself was the ultimate plan of the world’s elites to reduce our population. Horny anti-mandate Hitomi fanboys would wish that she was real so she could step and spit on them; begging her to call them her cute little submissive kouhai while she talks about how COVID-19 is a conspiracy to dominate us while she dominates them.

On the flip side, however, those who’re pro-vaccine/mask mandates would do everything in their power to make Malty Melromarc of Rising of the Shield Hero fame look like an utterly innocent angel compared to Hitomi. On Twitter, they’d mindlessly rant about how Hitomi inspires vaccine “misinformation”. They’d wage war against those who’re Hitomi fans: stating that their waifu is the reason why there’s an increase of COVID deaths and variants. Hitomi cosplayers would be bullied at anime conventions by morons who can’t separate fiction from reality. Japanese and Japanese-American women named Hitomi would flood their local circuit courts to change their name to something like…idunno, Heather, or some shit. Why? Because they can’t bear the shame of having the same name of a cartoon and novel character who might be anti-vax.

Goddammit Tatsuhiko Takimoto, why couldn’t you just had been born about 10-15 years later?

In any case, ladies and gents, I hope you’ve enjoyed my humorous introduction because that is the only humor you’ll get from this article/essay today because I’m going to go into some dark territory. If you’re bothered by subject matters such as depression and suicide, then I advise you to turn back and check out some of my other content on this website (I mean, if that does bother you then why are you a fan of Welcome to the N.H.K in the first place?)

With that said, let’s get into it!

*****

Alex Jones’s waifu.

Seen in a flashback in episode 1 (but officially introduced in episode 4) Hitomi Kashiwa is Satou’s senpai from his high school days. Bonding over playing cards, having debates on conspiracy theories, and being the only members of their school’s literature club, the two would quickly become friends. Due to Hitomi’s fascination towards conspiracies, plus his lone-wolf social status, Satou’s worldview would be wrapped by her3. This in turn led him to believe that his hikikomori state is the result of a conspiracy itself.

Despite her unfeasible hopes of a future with him, Hitomi would find herself extending intimacy with Satou. From this, it’s possible that Satou and Hitomi were (sexual) lovers. However, this is merely hinted at via directorial imagery: such as Satou playing an erotic video game starring a senpai in a relationship with her younger male kouhai, cards from the Heart Suits lying on the club’s table, and Hitomi’s lips wrapped around the tip of a straw in episode 5.

In the cafe’ scene of episode 5, Hitomi notices that Satou isn’t looking well, so she offers him drugs to boost his mood. Satou questions her on this, to which she responds by declaring “Being a working adult is tough, you know.”. It’s clear that Hitomi is abusing substances to cope with her life. This is further proven in episode 11 as Hitomi is popping pills in the shower, on the streets, and while she’s browsing through forums dedicated to the discussion of suicide and suicide pacts.

As we’re given a peek at her everyday life, we come to understand why she abuses drugs. She’s in a strained relationship with her boyfriend Akira due to his busy work life. She earns no respect at work: often belittled by her superior and coworkers. Moreover, she struggles with mental health (which we’ll get into soon).

Excluding the boyfriend thing (as I’m into women), I couldn’t help but partly relate to Hitomi. Working bullshit jobs were people older than you try to test and mess with you because they’re screwed up in the head and don’t know how to cope otherwise. Disrespectful middle-management bosses who think they’re hot shit (but are utter pussies when the cool district and regional managers come by to visit) acting like they’re above you (when they can be easily fired like you). Having to cope with the stress of work through my vices: drinking and smoking. Admittedly, dealing with the bullshit lead me to some darkness (which I’m still dealing with today, but I have better control of it).

At times, I wouldn’t come straight home after work at night. I would hit up a grocery store on my way home and buy at least buy some beers (or if I was feeling really down, a bottle of hard liquor), head to a park near my house, prep some weed for a blunt or my bong if I have any, and indulge in my vices.

Then, the darkness would come as I sat.

Maybe if I didn’t waste all my money and time partying and going to bars/clubs nearly every weekend trying to make up for all the times that I never got the chance to party during my high school days due to being unpopular. Why did I decide to be a nerd living a square ass life instead of a normie street dude who could make fast, easy money and stack the money up for something better in life instead of working at this bullshit ass job.”

Drinking and smoking weren’t enough for my dark side. It got to the point where at times, I would browse through Facebook and other social media platforms just so I can see others suffering worse than I was; finding joy in their misery. Now, before anyone thinks I’m a monster, I had a code like I was Dexter Morgan from Dexter when it came to my darkness. I only laughed and mocked those who I knew and could prove they were horrible people or those who had wronged me in the past and never apologized for it. I do not and will never find joy in seeing good, kindhearted innocent people suffering.

I convinced myself that as long as the other person whom I was laughing at and mocking was proven to be bad, it was okay to tap into that horrific darkness to find joy in their misery. It was my personal stress release. “I know it doesn’t make it right but the world doesn’t operate on right or wrong: only winning and dominance!” I told myself.

Just like how Hitomi’s drug abuse only made her temporary “fix” her issue, that too was merely a temporary solution. I knew this. But I kept at it until I realized I was only hurting myself at the end as I only sunk further into my darkness.

Thankfully, I didn’t reach the point of darkness where I was suicidal….

I swear to God I want to just slit my wrists and end this bullshit
Throw the magnum to my head, threaten to pull shit
And squeeze until the bed’s completely red
I’m glad I’m dead, a worthless fuckin’ Buddha head
The stress is buidlin’ up, I can’t — I can’t believe
Suicide’s on my fuckin’ mind, I wanna leave
I swear to God I feel like death is fuckin’ callin’ me
But nah, you wouldn’t understand

-Biggie Smalls, Suicidal Thoughts (1994 hip-hop single)

Hitomi’s stress would reach its peak as we see her planning to end her life in the middle of the series. As mentioned earlier, we see her browsing through and posting on a suicide forum: expressing how she wants to end her life and will go through with it the next day. Following that, she invites herself over to Satou’s house with beer, snacks, and stories of their high school days. Satou can’t help but notice that the usual “conspiracy-mania” Hitomi is in a blissful mood.

This happens quite often with victims of suicide. Examples: the night before she ended her life, fashion designer Kate Spade was reported to “sounded happy” by her husband. The wife of Linkin Park’s frontman Chester Bennington shared a picture of Bennington smiling with their family; stating that the evening before his death, he seemed like he was at his best. In both cases, the spouses admitted that there were warning signs, but they never picked up on them before it was too late. For Satou, we can say the same. Hitomi showcased the warning signs of depression and suicide, but he never picked up on them (sans the fact that she saw her go through this in the past from when she broke up with her boyfriend).

It’s not until he unwittingly joined her at the OFF group suicide pact meeting that he realized there was something wrong with Hitomi.

We know the rest: The members of OFF realized they had lives worth living and called off the group suicide – excluding Hitomi. Struggling with the idea that nobody neither wants nor needs her, she convinces Satou to end it all with her: making him promise if they’re reborn at the same time to play cards again. However, when Akira arrives at the meeting spot for the suicide group, Hitomi changes her mind as Akira express that he wants her hand in marriage: to which she happily agrees (much to Satou’s dismay)

Hitomi isn’t seen again until the final arc of the series. During New Year’s Eve, Satou meets up with Hitomi (after he and Misaki are separated by a crowd). The two bar hop with Hitomi drunkenly suggesting that they should have an affair while Akira is away on business. Satou shoots down the idea: telling Hitomi that he doesn’t want to destroy her newfound happiness towards life. Hitomi, smiling, agrees with him. Finally, she drops the news that she’s pregnant with Akira’s child (which she delivers in the series’s epilogue.)

I myself never try to take my own life, nor had suicidal thoughts, so I’m not going to pretend that I understand Hitomi’s situation. As much as I talk to those and have empathy towards those who’ve experienced such thoughts or even try to take their lives, empathy doesn’t equal understanding. But, I can see why some people would want to end it all. With the state and stress of the world, it is clear why some people believe they have no other option or outlet. Over the years I’ve come to learn not the judge people with suicidal thoughts because we don’t know what goes on in someone’s mind. Additionally, you or I could easily find ourselves in that state of hopelessness.

Japan is famously known for being a country that holds the status quo in the highest regrade. Working hard and providing for your countrymen nation is expected of you. You must put on your best face (or tatemae, 建前 たてまえ, lit. “facade”) no matter what. You are not allowed to express your true feelings (or the honne, 本音, lit. “true sound”). Expressing oneself in Japanese culture is taboo; even if you’re going through emotional pain. So, it is understandable on why Hitomi wanted to kill herself before she got better.

Honestly, it’s messed up.

Being a working adult is truly tough, you know? There’s nothing you can really do about it as you need to work to survive. Living this life comes with stress: may the be from bills, competition against and from others to advance, and dealing with things that take a toll on both your physical and mental health. You can’t ask the world to help you; as this world is not an ally, but rather, a cruel and unforgiving enemy.

But it isn’t all bad.

While the world itself will never be your ally, you’ll find people who are willing to be your friend if you can form that bond with them. In turn, they will be willing to help you get through life.

Are there conspiracies in this world that make it hard for someone to live a good life free of stress, pain, and suffering? Of course! But, we must acknowledge and face them head-on – no matter what. It doesn’t mean that we should use said conspiracies as crutches or excuses to not do good for ourselves. Hell, in fact, those behind the conspiracies would love it if we give up and give in to the darkness of the world. So we must do good for ourselves. We must treat each other with kindness. We must show empathy to those who aren’t doing too well mentally; showing them that they’re not alone in this cruel, cold world.

That’s how we defeat the conspiracies of the world.

Next: Welcome to Yamazaki.

AFTERWORD :

1. I find it funny that Hitomi names herself “HANA-HANA” on the OFF suicide forums when Hana means “Happiness” in Arabic and “hope” in Kurdish as Hitomi was neither happy nor hopeful. I do not know if Takimoto (or the writers of the anime version of NHK) was aware of this and used that as irony.

2. At the time of this article’s publishing, I am on Chapter 9 of the original novel. However, I probably will not edit said article to reflect anything from the novel because I’m lazy.


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A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in nerd culture. Every Tuesdays we drop episodes containing serious and laidback topics while Saturdays we drop episodes talking about TV shows, anime, film, comics, manga, and video games.

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Welcome to the Self-Reflection: An Welcome to the NHK Anime RetrospectPart 1: Introduction

You know, the arts have so much power – anime include. There’s something about anime that can change people for the better. It’s common to hear anime fans declare that a certain anime made them a better person. I myself am not immune to that power.

As I’ve oft-stated, the anime that changed me was Kyoto Animation’s (in)famous The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. First, it was my first “non-normie” anime. Second, it opened my eyes to the wild, wild world of internet otaku-ism (the mid-to-late 2000s was an amazing time to be an anime fan on the internet). Finally, and most important, it inspired me to want to leave my mark on the world – to show that I exist.

Haruhi’s existence monologue still resonates to this day.

Around the same time I got into Haruhi in 2009, I was introduced to Welcome to the N.H.K (N.H.K) from a former friend who was willing to let me borrow his copy of it. Foolishly I decline; as I thought it was about the actual Japanese TV broadcast network NHK WORLD-JAPAN. I (at the time) had no interest in television production.

Plus, can you blame me for assuming that it was about TV production based on the title? Hell, I even thought Satou was a stressed-out TV producer who drank a lot (because of the open beer can on the promotional art). I also thought that the bunny girls (Hitomi and Misaki, I assume) on said promotional art was Satou’s playful and flirtatious interim who were complete screw-ups who caused Satou to drink.

…I should have actually researched the show first before blowing it off back in 2009.
If I did, maybe NHK would have changed my life more than Haruhi did.


*****

It wouldn’t be until 2016 when I learned the truth about N.H.K. The truth? N.H.K is an anime based off a novel written by Tatsuhiko Takimoto about a 22-year-old college dropout named Satou Tatsuhiro who has been living as a hikikomori for the past four years; believing that his condition was influenced by an evil organization named the “Nihon Hikikomori Kyokai”. The group’s goal? To transform healthy young adults of Japan into socially inept shut-ins.

Now, knowing this, did I give N.H.K a chance then?

Well, everyone, the answer to that is….


Nah! 🙂

I dunno why, but I waited until late Summer 2019 to finally watch N.H.K…up until the final arc where I put it on hold for anime such as High Score Girl season 2 and Ascendance of a Bookworm. When both of those shows ended, did I pick Welcome to the N.H.K up again?

Of course, I did!

…on January 22nd, 2022 when I found out that the 20th anniversary of the novel was a week away. That’s when I decided to restart the series so I could write about it for said 20th anniversary!

(Better late than never, right?)

As I restarted N.H.K, I started to think:

‘What if I had seen this way back in 2009 when I was 19 instead of 30, then finishing it at age 32? Maybe I wouldn’t have this habit of starting anime and TV shows and never finishing them or putting them on hold forever? I would have seen Satou waste four years of his life doing nothing which would have led me to not waste time like that. Would my life right now would had been way better than it is currently? I wish I never blew this series off because I KNOW it would have changed my life…’

NHK made me reflect. Not just on the show, but on my life for the past decade. Not saying I wasted most of my 20s, but I could have done a lot better with my 20s. I swear, if I would have given N.H.K a chance in 2009, I think my life would be greater than what it is right now.

It didn’t help that I saw myself in each of the main characters of the anime. While fans stated that they find themselves in one of the four core characters, I can’t. In fact, I found myself in ALL of the four main cast members. Hitomi. Karou. Misaki. Satou. Each of them I could say represent different parts of my 20s.

For the next few weeks, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the original novel, I’m going to explore each of the main characters and not just reflect on them, but on myself. Because I truly believe the anime and novel are life-changing and it deserves more praise, more fans, and more love in general.

If you’re down with that, then join me as I explore the conspiracy maniac Hitomi and how her words, “Being a hard-working adult” hits home with me!

Link to Hitomi Retrospect:
https://yukithesnowman.com/2022/01/27/welcome-to-the-self-reflection-an-welcome-to-the-nhk-anime-retrospect-part-2-hitomi/

RELATED ARTICLES/ESSAYS BY ME:

  1. Hikkikomori: The Digital Age Hermit
    https://yukithesnowman.com/2019/09/03/hikikomori-the-digital-age-hermit/

    2. Fandom: The Ultimate Secuirty Blanket
    https://yukithesnowman.com/2020/06/25/fandom-the-ultimate-security-blanket/

    3.Handcuffed by Geek Culture
    https://swarthynerd.com/handcuffed-by-geek-culture-ep-123

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A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in nerd culture. Every Tuesdays we drop episodes containing serious and laidback topics while Saturdays we drop episodes talking about TV shows, anime, film, comics, manga, and video games.

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pop culture 0

Fresh Eyes: Experiencing New Media For the First Time

(Podcast version: https://swarthynerd.com/the-benefits-of-fresh-eyes-ep-119)

Recently, I’ve been watching gameplay streams of Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War and Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 by new players.  As a fan of both games, it was interesting seeing their first experience as they reminded me of when I had first gotten into the Fire Emblem series nearly fifteen years ago. Admittedly, I was quite jealous of their fresh experience; something I’ll never have again.   

At the same time, I decided to watch a few classic films that I’ve never seen.  These films were Full Metal Jacket, The Big Lebowski, Sixteen Candles, Beverley Hills Cop, Ferris Buller’s Day Off, and The Breakfast Club to name a few.  All greats that millions already seen, however, I’ve just now discovering them.  Hell, there are countless popular media pieces I’ve yet to experience that everyone praises.  I have a few reasons for that.

For video games, I simply didn’t have the funds to buy new consoles (and if I did, I decided to use the money to travel).  For movies and TV shows: either they didn’t draw my interests, or I didn’t care.  When it came to anime, it was a nightmare to access a series before streaming services like Crunchyroll existed.  You could go to hell if you wanted me to buy a volume of an anime series that only contained three episodes on a disc for $100+ back in the day. 

(Thank God for torrents services dedicated to anime)

The undefeated champion for broke anime fans in the 2000s

As I grew older, branched away from my media comfort zone (anime), and became more involve with the Swarthy Nerd Podcast, and this blog, I’m starting to go back and view movies that I never watched in the past.

As my podcast co-host The TV Guru always tell me, I do have a few golden advantages that comes with not watching these old movies before:

  1. Because I’m watching these movies years after they were release, I am not blinded by the bias of nostalgia that most fans have who can’t let go of the past.
  2. Most of my takes on the media I’ve never seen prior are fresh and different from most others. I bring something special unlike most others.   
  3. Veteran fans will be interested in what I have to say as a newcomer (until I start to completely tear apart their favorite film)

That said, this brings us to the topic of this post: Fresh Eyes: Experiencing New Media For the First Time.  We’ll discuss how and why being new to a piece of media years after its release can have its benefits in terms of fan discussions.  However, as a counter, we’ll also go over how there are flaws of waiting too long to consume older media.

PART 1: THE BENEFITS  OF FRESH EYES

As a newcomer to older media, you have a few advantages that seasoned fans don’t have.  The obvious one is being that you’re having that new, first-time experience that long-time fans will never have again – no matter how many times they try with their select favorite.  While they’ve been spoiled, you haven’t.  Therefore, you can make remarks on certain unfolding events, create predictions, and give personal first-timers insight during your journey.  It’s fun to be either proven right or wrong about your predictions and have people react to them.

For example, when I was watching The Breakfast Club, I made a rather wild prediction that Claire/The Princess was going discover Alison/The Basket Case hanging herself from a stall in the girls’ bathroom given Alison looked mental. 

Can you blame me?  I mean, look at Alison! She appears as if she’s one of those weirdo, possibly autistic white girls with no friends who smells like boiled hotdog water and flaming hot corn chips (she clearly don’t take care of her hair). Hell, maybe she got bullied by some popular girls and that made her withdraw from the school’s society.  Dudes ask her out, but it’s either as a joke or they wanna brag about how they were able to rail the weird girl. Therefore, Alison winds up hating herself even more to the point of offing herself (in my head, of course).

Seriously, she looks deranged and mental. Can’t blame me for thinking she was gonna top herself.

Obviously, I was wrong about my predictions about Alison wanting to off herself.  It was Brian/The Brain who wanted to end it all.  All because he got a bad grade once and doesn’t have the balls to tell his parents that they can’t project their views they have about how he should be as a man onto him.

(But hey! At least I was kinda right about one of the kids wanting to kill themselves!)


A second benefit of having fresh eyes towards older media is that you may discover things that the vets may had not catch or will never catch without your input.  This can come from you injecting your own past experiences dealing with media you’ve already consumed or from education.   From this, you could teach others something new or give them an original insight that they would never have before.

You may understand how framing works as well as why directors place characters in a certain position in the frame in film.   From there, you can educate those who don’t know the power of character position in frames and what the director is trying to tell the viewer.  If you’re musically incline and have knowledge within music theory, you can give insights on why the music composer wrote the movie’s theme song in a certain key signature. You can even joke a bit by saying something like “The key signature of  Axel F (the theme song of Beverly Hills Cop) is in the key of F Minor as a play on his name!” (funny enough, the key of F Minor is describe as a key to describe death and loss.

Remember: Axel F’s went to California to solve the mystery of his friend’s murder).  For those gifted in the visual arts, you can explain how characters wearing certain colors give hints on their personality or how colors are used to give insight on the scene.  Your gift can help those appreciate their favorites a lot more. 

Finally, the last benefit of being new to a form of old media is that you can invoke feelings of nostalgia within older fans as you discuss your fresh experience.   As you discuss your viewpoints and impressions, there’s a chance you’ll encounter a fan commenting on their own experiences, how it made them feel years or even decades ago and show their appreciation that something they loved has a new fan.

Going back to my statements of watching newcomers play older Fire Emblem games, people in the comment were talking about how certain scenes, story-beats, and reveals  made them feel on their first playthrough.  The streamer would leave his or her remarks with the viwers responding back.    

You often see this reaction with older people when young people review older media on social media.  If a 20-something is watching an older film from the 80s or 90s, you’ll see those who grew up in those decades reflect on how simple life was back in the day.  You might have a person comment how they remember watching said 80s or 90s film at the theater with their girlfriend who later became their wife.  

There are many benefits with having fresh eyes towards older media ranging from invoking nostalgic feelings when talking about it with older fans to bringing new views to the table that others may not have. 

However, what happen if you’re trying to enter a fandom of an older media piece way too late?  What if you try to get into something old only to find countless spoilers online?  Let’s answer those questions!

PART 2: The Flaws of Fresh Eyes

One of the most fatal flaws of  having fresh eyes when consuming older media late in the game is that you could wind up entering a dead or dying fandom.  There are media that are evergreen; thus, they’re blessed with being timeless.  However, some media don’t have those blessings – especially within the anime fandom with seasonal viewership having the possibility of killing an anime fanbase.

Let’s take the When They Cry franchise as an example.  Before it had its recent renaissance and revival thanks to Higurashi Sotsu/Gou, the Umineko on Stream and Ciconia no Naku Koro Ni, the When They Cry fandom was dead (or at the very least, inactive) Sure, we had some minor Higurashi and Umineko material and news from 07th Expansion for the hardcore fans to enjoy, but nothing major that would generate new interest or fans.  If the renaissance didn’t happen, the When They Cry fanbase would have died out.

With the nonsense discourse Higurashi Gou/Sotsu brought the fandom perhaps the franchise should had indeed died.

Second, when it comes to consuming older media, you do risk being spoiled; either by accident or by some cornball asshole on purpose who think you should had consumed it when it first came out (regardless of accessibility and level of obscurity).   While some iconic spoilers can’t be avoided and have entered the mainstream conscious, your best bet to avoid spoilers for older media is to – and I know it’s hard for most of you guys – stay the hell off the internet or avoid searching for that media online.

Finally, the last flaw of coming into a media late in the game is that you’re too late.  Meaning, everyone has covered every topic in terms of analysis, and discussion. People moved on to other things.  Nobody cares about it anymore.   Your input won’t mean shit.   It’s over. Therefore, it is always good to strike while the iron’s hot.  Be the master of timing in that regard. 

You have to move on to something new, Firefly fans.

This show is more boring and bland and overrated than your little sister’s OnlyFans page.

CONCLUSION

Does it matter the time of  when you consume media in any point of your life?  Well, I say if you’re doing it for yourself and your own personal enjoyment, no it doesn’t.  You can partake in indulging in something within the arts whenever you feel like it.   It’s better late than never as they say.  Some may joke and dog on your for being late.  However, even if you’re late to the party, some may chat and pick your brains about the media you saw. 

When it comes to timeless classics, there will always be people talking about them, so don’t dread about not seeing it sooner.  Now, that said, some media is best consumed while the iron is hot: meaning you should do your best to participate while it’s still popular (don’t be one of these cornball hipsters who only mess with art when it’s no longer popular). 

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A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in the nerd and Eastern otaku fandoms. Every Tuesday join @superlostfan108 and @weebtrashyuki the founders of http://www.swarthynerd.com for there very informative podcast talking about all things nerdy. No desperate boot licking self hating negus who were never accepted by Black norimes for being too weird for  their love of anime and comic books by the Black community allowed. Go drink bleach.

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Uzaki-Chan and Fake Otaku Outrage [VIDEO]

Fake Otaku Outrage: Artificial, baseless  outrage generated by those of the anime community to stir up and create conflict, “controversy”, and complaints over and from petty superficial topics and subject matter.  Certain otaku will find the most minor thing to complain about as a way to create  gossip and discourse that do not lead to anything tangible overtime.

Why is there fake otaku outrage towards Uzaki-Chan and how do you prevent yourself from being swept up by fake otaku outrage?

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How Being Gameless Can Cost You With Rent-A-Girlfriend [VIDEO]

Join me as I break down how being gameless and having a lack of self-awareness can cost you big in this world by using the hit romcom Summer 2020 anime “Rent-A-Girlfriend”. What is game?  Why do you need game to better yourself as a person? How do you value yourself as a person?  What could Kazuya could done to better his situation?

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Fandom 0

Fandom: The Ultimate Security Blanket

Note:
The following is a text version from episode 65 of my friend and I podcast,The Swarthy Nerd.  It has been edited for this blog.  You can listen to the episode in full by click the link above.

Please enjoy!

*****

We all need a sense of security: may it be for home defense, personal space, finances, etc. Security allows us to have a sense of safety and the confidence that no harm will come to us.  With security, we won’t be able to subscribe to ill thoughts and of being violated, unprotected, and insecure; as long as our  security doesn’t get compromised. Fandom in nerd culture could be considering a form of security.

Nerds use their fandom to protect themselves from outsiders and anyone else who may try to enter a fandom will ill intent.  Acting as a security device, a nerd’s fandom can serve to help one escape the harsh realities of the world (crime, violence, systematic white supremacy, etc.).  While using fandom to escape and defend you from this world has some benefits, there are faults to relying on it.

To quote the late film critic Robert Ebert in his review of the 2009 film Fanboys,

“Extreme fandom may serve as a security blanket for the socially inept, who use its extreme structure as a substitute for social skills. If you are Luke Skywalker and she is Princess Leia, you already know what to say to each other, which is so much safer than having to ad-lib it. Your fannish obsession is your beard. If you know absolutely all the trivia about your cubbyhole of pop culture, it saves you from having to know anything about anything else. That’s why it’s excruciatingly boring to talk to such people: They’re always asking you questions they know the answer to.”

Harsh, but truthful.

In today’s episode of the Swathy Nerd Podcast, we will break down the security blanket that is fandom, why lonely loser nerds use fandom to escape from reality, and why it’s too easy to use somebody else work to build your own sense of self and security.

PART ONE
HOW FANDOM SERVE  US

Fandom as a security blanket serves us through three means:
1. Creates a culture
2 A sense of self
3. A sense of protection

It’s no secret that most nerds don’t fit into other groups due to their quirky, obsessive nature. They (usually) cannot relate to mainstream topics such as the latest celebrity gossip, sports, pop music, and so forth.  Therefore, they seek to find comradely with like minded peers: building a culture and support system around their love for pop art and culture.  With this, a nerd could use this newfound comradeship to form social circles that otherwise would be “impossible” to obtain outside of using pop culture reference and fan familiarity

Less energy and effort can be exhausted on staying within one’s comfort zone. Why expand your mind and broaden horizons by going out of your way to do something new and meet people outside your normal social circle when you can use your endless supply of The Office quotes with those who too quote form overrated T.V. series? You don’t have to think on the fly like a smooth, charming player if you remind within known topics.

However, there’s one major drawback to relying on that trick: Things will get boring quick.

How long will it take for the other person you’re talking to until they wind up getting tired of your pop culture references?  Why do you refuse to let go of a topic that nobody is interested in other than to stroke your own ego?  People are drawn towards those who know about more than one topic – especially if it’s outside the realm of pop culture.  Not everyone loves and operate on the same level of stableness and security you run on (pop culture).  Eventually, you’ll need to disrupt that sense of security if you want to attach others to you.

Nerds believe that their hobbies, attractions, and interests are small bits of the larger picture of who they are as a person; a sort of sense of self to say.  There’s some truth to this. I do believe that what you’re into have an impact and reflect on your personality and psyche.

Example: A Black nerd may relate to the comic series X-MEN due to the elements of racism within the series.   That black nerd understands to the X-MEN being treated like outsiders because of his racial background. They might collect figurines of characters such as Storm, Gambit, or Wolverine because to that Black Nerd, that’s a form of self-empowerment.

It’s not to say that these nerds couldn’t tap into their spirit for self-empowerment nor do they don’t, BUT, you must admit that it’s goofy for a grown ass man to be empowered by fiction and fiction alone.  Of course, it’s much easier to use somebody else’s work to empower yourself than to get off your ass and work on yourself and your purpose to empower yourself without external influences.

Finally, fandom creates a sort of protection.  Most nerds (who don’t have a pair of balls/ovaries), have been bullied for their interests.  Therefore, they create walls and barriers to protect themselves from outsiders.  Other nerds have struggle with dealing with real world issues, or dealt with hardships in life (child abuse, absent parent, social struggles, etc.), so their fandom is the perfect tool for defense.  It’s all-to-common to hear a female felt empowered by magical girl series such as Sailor Moon and Card Captor Sakura in her troubling youth.

We all heard tales of men (who only watch entry level Shounen anime) whose favorite anime is Dragon Ball Z because somehow, a cartoon show them what an alpha male is supposed to look like.  They may not actually put in the work to be as alpha as the fictional characters they admire (hell, they even hate on anime fans who don’t live vicariously through shounen anime and put in hard work to become greater than their fictional icons).

They rather live through their heroes than to  like them.

 

PART TWO

DISRUPTING SECURITY

Let’s visit an earlier statement from this “essay”: “Not everyone loves and operate on the same level of stableness and security you run on (pop culture).  Eventually, you’ll need to disrupt that sense of security if you want to attach others to you. ” Sooner or later, security will get violated.  It will get disrupted it; causing you to be on edge.

We’ve seen this with COVID-19 forcing pop culture conventions to cancel their events this year.  Stores catering to nerd culture, such as Japan LA and Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore  have been torched by protesters seeking justice for the racial murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless mores.  Nerdy brands have shown solidity with Black Americans (if they’re being sincere or just doing this for money is up for debate).   2020 has proven that you can’t use your fandom as a shield to protect yourself.

You will need to embrace that. Hiding from it not only makes you childish – it makes you weak and a coward.

We don’t even need the onslaught of chaos that 2020 given us so far to destroy your sense of fanboy security.  Remember: a madman in July 2019 decided to burn down Kyoto Animation.  You know, the same anime studio that produces media to help keep otakus and weeaboos globally distracted.

You couldn’t go anywhere online or offline without being reminded that Kyoto Animation was burned down and 35+ of their employees were murdered. This is no means a form of disrespect towards those who lost their lives in such a senseless way, but it’s a grim reminder that your distractions can be taken away from you.

Look, what I’m telling you guy is this: you have to accept the fact your hobbies and passions will never protect you in the long run.  Reality always has a way to rear its ugly head into your fantasy, la-la land (or even in the real world itself). We’ve heard stories of Black nerds going to nerdy conventions thinking they can escape racism for a few days only to experience it by racist white nerds. You always have these racist white nerds who will attack Black nerds for cosplaying outside their race or simply being at a convention.

My fellow black nerds: if you think your geekiness will override your Blackness, you are fucking retarded and deserve a Negro wake up call.

Logging onto Animal Crossing or whatever the latest distraction is won’t fix nor lessen your issues. How the hell you’re more concerned about some fictional tanuki motherfucker breaking your kneecaps if you don’t pay them rent, and yet, you haven’t pay rent to your real landlord?

It’s so wild that we have people out here who have all the courage in the world to solve the problems of fictional characters, but somehow, they can’t be bothered to fix their own.  Guess it’s easier for some socially awkward nerd fuck to solve worse girl Futaba from Persona 5 or worse girl Bernadetta from Fire Emblem: Three Houses social disorder issues than for them to solve their own to better themselves as a person (it’s also easier for fans of those two to smell like corn chips, hot dog water, and ass like those two shut-in losers as well, but that’s for another essay).

In conclusion, I say this: You’re not Linus from Charlie Brown.  Stop relying on such a pathetic security blanket such as your precious little fandom geek shit to guard you from the realities of this world.   You need to grow beyond it so that you can have more friends or whatever.  Learn to embrace that this world is horrible and bad things will happen. It’s not to say that you should be horrible in kind, but you have to deal with it to grow as a better person.

You cannot escape life.

FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

The Swarthy Nerd Podcast
A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in the nerd and Eastern otaku fandoms. Every Tuesday join @superlostfan108 and @weebtrashyuki the founders of http://www.swarthynerd.com for there very informative podcast talking about all things nerdy. No desperate boot licking self hating negus who were never accepted by Black norimes for being too weird for  their love of anime and comic books by the Black community allowed. Go drink bleach.

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anime 0

We All Need A Sayaka Kanamori

sayakabestgirl

Everyone needs a Sayaka Kanamori.  Everyone.  From couples to best friends. From bosses to employees. To businesses both massive and tiny. We all need a Sayaka Kanamori.  Sayaka’s fellow cast mates Midori and Tsubame; the former who’s an anime fanatic and aspiring animator and the latter; a teenage socialite/fashion model who seeks to escape from the limelight through her artistic skills, both need her.

Why you may ask?  It’s the same reason why your grounded friend has to anchor you when you start to daydream or steer away from a placed goal. Sayaka brings guidance to those without guides.  She provides realism to friends who’re (too) fantasy-like in their thoughts.  While everyone else is crying over a difficult situation, she can shut her mind off and tackle the problem head on with laser focus.  We all need somebody who process the ability to focus on the bigger picture without distractions.

She doesn’t allow herself to be emotionally attracted to things easily.  It doesn’t means that she’s callous, cynical, and cold. In fact, she’s quite the opposite.  She truly cares about her friends’ passion for the arts. She wants to see them become successful.  However, due to her high levels of emotional intelligence combined with her cool, calm nature, it only appears that seems callous, cynical, and cold.  And that’s okay; somebody who’s always calm in any situation is always welcome in a group.

Finally, Sayaka pushes her crew to strive for both excellence and self-betterment.  She quickly reprimand Midori and Tsubame after the artist duo were beating themselves up over minor issues (such as Tsubame’s parents forbidding her to join an anime club and Midori believing her art isn’t good enough).  She reminded them both that they had youth on their side and the power to take chances/risks. We all need somebody like that who can bring us back to reality and build us up when we speak lowly about our skills.

Without Sayaka, there wouldn’t be an Eizouken…even if some of her intentions to build Eizouken revolved around gaining money.

sayaka_smell_money

-Until Next Time,

Yuki The Snowman.

FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

The Swarthy Nerd Podcast
A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in the nerd and Eastern otaku fandoms. Every Tuesday join @superlostfan108 and @weebtrashyuki the founders of http://www.swarthynerd.com for there very informative podcast talking about all things nerdy. No desperate boot licking self hating negus who were never accepted by Black norimes for being too weird for  their love of anime and comic books by the Black community allowed. Go drink bleach.

Instagram: YukiTheSnowMan314

My Facebook Page:
Yuki The Snowman
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Anime community 2

What Will The 2020s Bring The Otaku Community?

You know, it’s amazing to watch the growth of otaku culture and anime as a medium. I remember nearly twenty-plus years ago when anime  was treated as, as my friend “H.H.E” puts it, an exotic art wonder from this mysterious faraway land called Japan.  If you were a kid during the 1990s, you knew that the only way to view anime was on Kids WB, Fox Kids, Fox Family, Toonami (Cartoon Network), or – if you parents or older sibling had the money – buying an $30+ VHS tape of an anime series at a geek or video store at your local mall.  Commutations between otakus, as well as sources for anime news  and anime conventions were limited. If you wanted to talk with fellow anime fans online, you best knew how to use a BBS (Bulletin Board System) or know about websites such as Geocities/Angelfire or Anime Turnpike.

bgaeyupl.jpg
Snapshot of Anime Turnpike

The New Millennium brought innovation and advancement in internet technology.  With broadband internet slowly killing the inferior and soon-to-be obsolete 56k dial-up internet, it was easier for anime fans to upload fanart and fan animation based off their favorite series.  One would be pressed not to find a Dragon Ball Z fan Flash animation on a NewGrounds page.  Infamous otaku images boards 2channel and 4chan provided a space for anonymous otakus globally to talk about anime. Although still going strong in the early 2000s, Geocitites and Angelfire would give way to anime related message boards, indie websites, anime internet databases, and blogs.  In the real world, Sci-Fi, Tech TV, and Cartoon Network would air anime geared towards older demographics; exposing a generation of anime fans to more “adult” anime series.

Still, despite the growth of anime in America, anime was still treated as a weird exotic trendy commodity for children, degenerates,  and perverts.

Fast-forward to the mid-2000s.  Further achievements of internet technology gave birth to YouTube and Nico Nico Douga: two websites that allowed users to upload video content.  With this, otaku had near superior space to share their interests and creativity relating to Japanese pop culture. It was common to find teenagers and young adults from both America and Japan to dress as SOS-Brigade performing the Hare Hare Yukai dance from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya  at schools, a friend’s house, or at an anime convention.  You didn’t have to look hard to find otaku performing and covering songs from otaku driven media.  Social media platforms such as MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter helped created spaces for anime fans to find and connect with one another.  As a much needed bonus, anime slowly became popular with the mainstream; causing the medium to lose  its unfairly earned stigma.

 

The 2010s is what I like to call the “Golden Age of Anime”. Anime massively boomed. No longer did you have to go online to talk and meet up with anime fans: finding an anime fan in your city was a easy as finding a sports fan.  Internet video streaming media companies CrunchyRoll , Hulu, and Netflix made it easier than ever to access anime with their on-demand video services of anime.  Two unlikely companies, Arby’s and Wendy’s, marketed their products to consumers of anime with anime-related ads and social media posts.  Dominos ran a collab ad campaign Vocaloid with Hatsune Miku as the face of the company. Speaking of the cyan hair virtual idol, she infamously appeared on the David Letterman Show (it was awkward for everyone). Established anime conventions saw an unexpected rise of attendees while newer ones spout up nearly every week in major cities.

david_letterman_miku.png

Anime characters and characters from iconic otaku driven media would appear in mainstream news. An image of Suika, the alcoholic oni girl of Touhou Project fame appeared as a drunken camerawoman in an ESPN reporton the infamous Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight. An printed photoshop image of  Zombieland Saga Lily holding a gun threatening feminists  was shown to the U.K Parliament in May of 2019.

me_drunk_on_my_last_day_of_work.jpg
Suika drunk on the job.

 

Memes relating to anime were a driving force during the 2016 elections and could have inspired Donald Trump’s presidential win. At the end of 2019, Taiwanese politician  Lai Pin-yu started cosplaying as Asuka Langley Soryu  hit classic anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion.

It’s safe to say that anime has found its place in the mainstream and lost its unearned stigma.

*****

We are now in the 2020s. It’s a bit early to say what changes, trends, and shifts we will see with anime and otaku culture. Of course, I could comment on how anime fans are using anime characters as memes to cope with the possible start of World War III between America and Iran after American air bombed Baghdad: killing top Iranian general Hossein Salami. Of course, that is to be expected in this era of anime pop culture and memes.

Outside of politics, we’ll see anime shining strong in the mainstream limelight through collaboration with major companies in various fields of entertainment.   Example:  Hatsune  Miku, the virtual idol of Vocaloid fame will be performing at Coachella this Summer 2020.  Something like this could open the door for Japanese virtual idol music producers to collab with Western artists.  Perhaps one day in this decade we will see Miss Hatsune actually performing alongside Big Boi, Killer Mike, and Jeezy at a concert this decade (hip-hop artists  sampling from otaku related media is nothing new of course).

hatsune_miku_coachella.jpg

The mainstream entertainment industry won’t be able to deny the presence and power of otaku culture and fans – especially given the children of the 90s and 2000s anime fandom are entering the entertainment industry itself. Soon, it’ll be consider normal to see anime characters and otaku culture used and seen in mainstream culture.  Yes, there will be bitter soy milk drinking otaku cornballs who believe that Shinji Ikari  and Tatsuhiro Satou are personality types that will be upset that anime has become popular.

I say this: fuck them – let them be bitter while you capitalize on anime’s everlasting growth this decade.

New decades bring forth new trends, ideas, and themes that will define them.  Anime and the culture surrounding it are no different.  What will never be different are the fans of anime willing to see and help this culture grow.  What will always be the same are the fans whom seek to find other fellow anime fans, may it be online or in real life.  Regardless if this is the 2010s, 2020s, 2030s or 3030s, people will always love anime.  People will always be otaku.  People will always be willing to bring forth change to this medium.

Until next time

-YukiTheSnowMan

 

 

 

25 Days of Blogging 2

25 Days of Blogging Day 10: Branching Out

25 Days of Blogging.  It’s like the 25 Days of Christmas, but without the creepy uncle tramazing you during the family’s holiday party. 

Day 9

As per yesterday’s post, I stated that while sticking to one thing is good, and you need to perfect one trade, rather than to tackle multiple trades at once, sooner or later, you will need to branch out to prevent burn out (as well as reinventing yourself: a topic I will cover much much later in the future).  Branching out and reinventing yourself is a great thing for personal growth. I feel that once you have mastery over one field, you should branch out into something else.

I myself have done some branching out lately.  Perhaps one of my best post of the year, The Guts To Be What You Wanna Be is a prime example of me branching out of comfort zone of anime blogging. Rather than sticking with anime for the entirety of the post, I used the iconic restaurant scene from Scarface to describe how you should draw power and courage from being yourself in a world full of cowardly fake men and women (who aren’t honest with who they are).  Of course, anime was later involved (as I mentioned anime series Megalo Box and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya for the post).

For the past few months, I’ve been slowly getting into live action shows television and films. The other day, I brought a DVD copy of Shaft 2019 after watching the movie on a flight to St. Louis from Atlanta this past November.  I’m also thinking of buying the first two seasons of the hit FX crime drama Snowfall: based around the 1980s cocaine boom of Los Angeles.  I was put on to Snowfall by my friend and podcast partner, The TV Guru 108/Super Lost Fan 108 after recording a podcast episode a few months ago.

The first episode of Snowfall I watched was Cash and Carry of season 3.  If memory serves me right correctly, Franklin was being screwed over by his cocaine plug, Avi, who was trying to use Franklin money for an offshore banking account (for Avi’s money laundry scheme). Avi arranges a trip to Panama Islands for them both in order to put Franklin’s cash in the account. Franklin quickly realizes Avi’s scheme to screw him over. So, Franklin starts putting him in check: forcing  Avi to pay him back, using Avi’s staff members against him, and makes Avi turn over his own private plane for Franklin’s personal usage.

It was that time I realized how powerful storytelling in live action TV could be over anime – perhaps even superior.

franklin_checking_avi.png

 

Now, let’s say I were blog about live action television and films (which I’m planning to do in the future).  By targeting fans of the live action demographic, I’ll have an increased fan base beyond anime and otaku culture.  An increased of topics to talk about means an increase of people.  More people due to having various topic matters of entertainment means more traffic to my blog. More traffic means more money in my pockets.  The more money I have, the more likely  I have freedom from the 9-to-5 rat race; thus, I have more time to talk and blog about television shows and anime.

You don’t necessary have to branch out for money reasons like I’m aiming for (however, I also love talking about anime and TV shows in general). For you, you might want to branch out for personal growth.  You’re tired of being in one place all the time, so you decide to dive into something new to better yourself as a person.  Certain ventures require new skills to be learned.  Having new skills in your arsenal means you’ll have more doors open for you in this world.

It could be for personal growth. You want to add more skill sets.  It could mean more doors opening for you.  An increased of options can be given upon to you if you branch out.  Your net worth and network grows larger.  If you’re tired of being stuck with one thing I highly recommend branching out.  It’s great for your brand and personal life.

Until next time

-Yuki The Snowman

FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

The Swarthy Nerd Podcast
A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in the nerd and Eastern otaku fandoms. Every Tuesday join @superlostfan108 and @weebtrashyuki the founders of http://www.swarthynerd.com for there very informative podcast talking about all things nerdy. No desperate boot licking self hating negus who were never accepted by Black norimes for being too weird for  their love of anime and comic books by the Black community allowed. Go drink bleach.

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anime 0

25 Days of Blogging Day 4: You Can Watch Anime At Any Time

25 Days of Blogging.  It’s like ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas, but you won’t shoot your eye out reading my content. 

watamote

 

“Rising of the Shield Hero came out this past Winter! It’s old!  Nobody cares about it anymore. You’re too late!” I laughed as this ashy cornball nerd with a Stevie Wonder styled hairline, draped in clothes he brought from the local Goodwill tried to nerd check/gatekeep one of our administrators of a Black anime nerd group  I help run for not watching  Shield Hero during its original run this past Winter 2019.  I asked the cornball why our admin had to watch it while it was airing, not on his own time, and as well as stating that he’s still a fan regardless of when he watched it.

He didn’t say anything.
So I muted him for a week.

Admin power abuse to the side, I never got this train of “logic” that you need to watch anime while it’s currently airing. According to many anime nerds out there, you’re not a true a fan of an anime if you didn’t catch it while it was airing, or only watch it because of hype.  For most shows, I like to wait until at least a few arcs are completed, or wait until the entire season/show has finished to watch a few episodes a day.

But some nerds don’t like waiting.  You have these people who love bragging about being a part of the anime fandom conversation; because they want to be like everyone else due to their lack of testicular or ovarian fortitude of separating from the weeb pack mentality.  They log into social media to boast about how much they love the last episode of a show to others. It’s so they can generate likes in the virtual world because nobody likes them in the real world.  They want to be in the know for the sense of community and camaraderie

Inherently, there’s nothing wrong with that.  It’s natural to seek out fans of products that you enjoy to build a community around it; it’s why we go to anime conventions, interact with anime fans online, and wear graphic tees featuring our waifus out in public.  It does, however, become wrong when you decide to gatekeep and check somebody for getting into an anime series months or years after the show ended.

I hope I hurt some feelings by saying this: If you only watch a show, regardless if enjoyed it or not, just so you can brag about how many shows you’ve watched a season, you’re not a fan.  You’re just a nerd who’ll never produce anything of high value and quality: so you only exist to consume media for consumption sake.  You’re just mad that you can’t just wait until something is over to watch it,  or don’t have the courage to be your own person in the anime fandom; because you’ll never be shit without it.

Why does it matter that somebody waited until then to become a fan of the show?  Why do people need to watch the show while it’s airing?    I’ll never understand that.

-Until next time,
Yuki The Snowman

FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

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A Black nerd empowerment podcast where Black nerds (well, all nerds, but Black first and foremost) can get together and talk freely about nerd culture while also acknowledging systematic white supremacy and racism in the nerd and Eastern otaku fandoms. Every Tuesday join @superlostfan108 and @weebtrashyuki the founders of http://www.swarthynerd.com for there very informative podcast talking about all things nerdy. No desperate boot licking self hating negus who were never accepted by Black norimes for being too weird for  their love of anime and comic books by the Black community allowed. Go drink bleach.

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25 Days of Blogging 0

25 Days of Blogging Day 1: The Type of Isekai I Want To See

25 Days of Blogging: It’s like the 25 Days of Christmas, but without the cheesiness, horrible family members,  and holiday depression. 

If you know me, then you know thatI can’t stand isekai anime.  I hate the concept of a main character (or M.C.) gifted with immerse, god-like powers after being transported into a new world without working their ass off (to gain those powers).  The idea is tired, corny, goofy, and I don’t get nor understand why weeaboos enjoy that shit.

Well, I lied. I do understand why.  Isekai fanboys (and most anime fanboys) live horrible, bland, and uninspiring lives.  In the real world, they’re not shit. Nobody likes them. Nobody knows who they are. They will never be anything in life. They need (isekai) anime as a means to live vicariously through their fictional heroes’ adventures – it’s their only joy. Of course, once the isekai trend dies out, these nerds will wind up committing suicide because they will nothing to live for.

anime_fangirl_jumps_to_her_death.jpg
Isekai fangirl jumps to her death

 

Now, despite my hatred towards isekai anime, I’ve discovered one that I’ve actually enjoy so far and another one that’s on my radar: Ascendance of a Bookwork and The Rising of the Shield Hero. Let’s start with Ascendance of a Bookwork first.

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Urano, the star of Ascendance of a Bookworm, was a young Japanese college woman who loved nothing more but sticking her nose behind as many books as possible. Her life dream was to travel the world’s largest libraries and document her findings of rare books held in these libraries. Urano was one step closer to achieving her dream (by obtaining her librarian certification) until she was killed in an earthquake (crushed to death by her massive collections of books). Near death, Urano prayed to God that in her next life that she would be able to continue her lifework.

Answering her prayers, God transported into a world full of books – but only for the wealthy elites.

Urano, now a sickly five-year-old white girl named Myne, has been reborn in the medieval ages.  She wakes in her new world to a disturbing discovery: there are no books. Worse, she doesn’t see anything that indicates a writing system. Myne starts to panic and break down.  Myne’s new mother walks into her room and asks her what’s wrong, in which Myne asks her if there’s any books around.

Myne’s new mom laughs at her and makes her upset.
She’s such a loving mother.

ascendanceofabookworm2.jpg
Myne would later discover that books do exist in this new world, but only for those who can afford them (as her dad puts it: buying a book for her would cost the family’s entire income for the year).  Copying books is also an issue that she would also come to understand, as they must be copied by hand ; costing as much money as buying a new book. Despite these setbacks, Myne is determine to  not only read, but to learn the  new writing system of her world so she can create books for the commoners of the world.

She doesn’t want the rich elites to have the joy of reading alone.

Bookworm1-9.png

I admire Myne’s willpower and drive.  Rather than to bitch about her current situation, she seeks out solutions for her problems; even if it means pushing her sickly body to its limits to yield desired results.  While most isekai heroes are given unbelievable god-like powers in their new world to make living in that world easy, she is given nothing more but her raw imagination, wits, and determination. Hell, the girl she was reborn into almost died from a nasty fever. Her doctors told her parents that it would be a miracle that she lived. Worse, Myne lives in a world where many children don’t live past the age of seven – and Myne is five years old.

To say that the odds are stacked against her is a clear understatement.   But, that’s life.  There always will be certain odds stacked against you. You don’t ask nor beg for greatest.  Nobody is born with it.  You have to work your ass off year-after-year for greatness.  Myne’s on the path of working towards greatness (even if she might have a mana cheat code built into her, but that’s for another blog post).

*****

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I have yet to watch Rising of the Shield Hero.  I have the series downloaded on my computer (can’t wait for the easy moralist weebs to get on my case about that  calling me evil for bootlegging anime while they probably got loli hentai and other fucked up shit downloaded on their phones), but I haven’t gotten around to watching  it yet.  Here’s what I know about the series from what I’ve seen and read from spoiler reports, screenshots, and video snippets:

Protagonist Naofumi is summoned into another world with three other young men from parallel universes to become Cardinal Heroes. While the other heroes are given offensive weapons and support from the people of the kingdom, Naofumi is given a shield. He also has no public support: as he’s falsely accused of raping the kingdom princess,  Malty Melromarc  Bitch a.k.a Slut (who was once his sole supporter before robbing him of his gear and accusing him of rape).  Throughout the series, the cynical Naofumi must learn how to trust others; as well as work with the shield class’s limitations to not only become a legendary hero, but to clear his name.

naofumi_wins.jpg

Again, like Myne (cool nice Myne not Bitch a.k.a Slut’s fake name), Naofumi is an isekai hero who isn’t overpowered nor was blessed with anything special. He must work his ass off in order to get what he  wants in his new world – even if it means playing dirty. He has to gain the public trust and prove his worth to a world that wants him humiliated and dead.

I want to see more and more isekai anime where main characters have all the odds stacked against them.  They don’t need any special superpower that makes him top or god-tier from the jump  I want to see the M.C. forced to adapt to his new world and be forced to work his ass off to get what he wants.

I wanna see an isekai where the MC is a lame ass cornball ass goofy ass dude who has no luck with women.  He gets mocked for his horrible taste in fashion. Nobody wants to fuck with him due to his low social standing.  He dies in an accident and while he’s dying, he makes a wish that in his next life, he’s reborn into a man that’s fly. A man that all the women want. A man that has high social status.

And he gets that wish.
But, he has to work for want he wants.

In this new world, he is still the lame ass cornball ass goofy ass man that no woman wants.  After living in this world with anger and bitterness towards it, he realizes the only way he can get what he wants is to put forth the work. First, he figures out a way to make a lot of money through learning new skills through different trades.  Once he gets the money, he gets the power. Money + Power = High social status and respect.  High social status and respect = women (Yes, that was a Scarface reference).

Do you know how many male otaku isekai loving idiots would get inspired by an isekai anime like that? Do you know how many of them would want to be like that guy in the made-up isekai anime I just broke down that I know somebody will steal from me, turn into a light novel that will be adapted into an successful anime and never give me credit for it? Jokes aside, that’s the isekai we need in the world.

Stop with this power fantasy shit in iskeai.
It’s getting old.

-Until next time,
Yuki The Snowman.

 

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Anime community 0

Reflecting on the KyoAni Arson Massacre

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.

Until recently.

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?

 -Benjamin Snow

Anime Industry 1

Kyoto Animation Arson Attack: 30+ Injured And Multiple Fatalities Reported

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.

SOURCES:

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20190718_31/
https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/daily-briefs/2019-07-17/kyoto-police-multiple-deaths-confirmed-in-kyoto-animation-fire/.149101

 

Anime community 0

Recording Otaku History (And The Growth of The Western Anime Community)

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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Anime community

Finding The Time To Watch (And Talk About) Anime

From spending 40-45 hours a week cosplaying as a stable adult at my job for drug and alcohol money (for both anime con partying and to deal with life), to working with my homeboy The TV Guru on our new podcast The Swarthy Nerds Podcast, to reading books on how strengthen my troll game against people with the laws of human nature, and to downloading a ludicrous amount of best Monogatari girl Hanekawa ero pics and doujins as research material for an analytical video essay on her tits for the 10th anniversary of the anime series, finding time to watch (and talk about) anime can be difficult for hard working grown ass man reaching his 30s like myself.

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Seriously, I’m gonna make an analytical essay on her assets.

With so many anime coming out each season (roughly 60 shows a season) and the ever growing desire to watch hard hitting classic shows such as Evangelion, GunBusters!, and His and Her Circumstances (Anno’s a beast director I wanna learn more about him beyond FLCL) which fills my everlasting backlog, it can be a struggle to discus and view anime with the limited amount of time I have.
Sure, I can watch old anime and ignore the new shows. With older anime, there’s no need to dread on the fact that the next episode of an anime won’t come out for a week. Plus, older shows already have an established fanbase,  which makes it easier to talk to fans of it (sans the asshole die hards with no personality who think they’re better than everyone because they watch the show on its original run 10-25 years ago).

But, there’s a drawback to using my time to watch and talk about older, classic anime.

First, (most) older anime suffer from a lack of discussion (around the show). Unless it’s a timeless show such as Sailor Moon or Dragon Ball, the chances of me finding people to talk about an older anime is rather low (and if it’s an obscure OVA from the 80s, then the chances of me finding anyone to talk about it are neigh impossible).

Second, watching older anime will alienated me from the current discussion; where – thanks to social media – an anime that came out last season is consider old news. Example: Talk revolving hit Fall 2018 shows such as MAPPA’s Zombieland Saga, Studio TRIGGER’s SSSS.Gridman, and CloverWorks’s Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai has decreased since their finales.

The focus shifted to Winter 2019 shows such as Mob Pyscho 100 2 and Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War. However, with the Winter 2019 season finished, the community are going to talk about the Spring 2019 season with shows such as One Punch Man 2, Carol and Tuesday, Fruit Baskets 2019¸ and Aftertouch (Shoumetsu Toshi). I have to be willing to talk about the new shit if I want an active audience, so I can’t waste too much time on the past.
You have to be in the know, you know?

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PROBABLY not the best scene nor anime for the statement above, but you get it.

If you’re like me, a content creator with a “real” job, then you know how much of a chore it is to try to watch and talk about anime. It’s bad enough that we have to dedicate 40+ hours a week to earn worthless pieces of paper we call money (unless you’re using the money to help you buy and consume drugs at an anime con after party, then it’s not useless). But what’s worse is not having enough free time to focus on our purpose; just limited time.

the_lonley_ass_time_senshi_i_forgot_her_name
Sailor Pluto has all the time to watch anime, but she’s also lonely and sad and possibly an alcoholic.

All time is limited, of course. We could die today or next week, thus robbing us of all the time we could have had to work on our shit. Even if we do live into old age, some of us will spend all our time working until retirement. Retirement does nets us all the “freetime” in the world.  But now you’re too tired and old to do what we want (bear in mind that you can’t compete against the younger generation at this point of life unless you’re a very late blooming outlier – which is rare).

With this in mind, we have to spend our limited time wisely to ensure that our messages of great weeaboo cartoons reach the masses. We have to manage time. For me, I work on my content before work and do light studying on the topic of my content after work. I may skip breakfast (which I don’t recommend) to have more time to work on a post.

However, if not eating breakfast for a while means having so much extra time to present more content to the world because I was able to turn this hobby into a career (that’s making me 3x the amount of money then working a 9-to-5 on a consent level), then it’d be worth it.

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Me after becoming the world’s first trillionaire otaku

Even on my off days at work, there’s complete focus on my personal work.
I also tend to put forth a lot of work towards my projects on my days off, or if I plan on being a shut-in weeb and not kick it with friends at the bar. Time and sacrifices have to be made on my end in order for me to talk about anime through blogging, podcasts, etc.

Until I have made double, if not, triple the amount talking about anime in comparison to the gig; therefore enabling me to have access to as much time as I want to create content or just dick around and watch shows all day while still netting automatic (passive) income (thus not being hurt money wise), I must make do with the time I have and watch a few shows.

Does it suck?
Yes.
But, in order to do what I wanna do (if you haven’t guess by now, talking about wacky Japanese cartoons for a living and eventually creating a media company from it), I gotta spend my time wisely.
So, readers, how do you make the time to watch anime? For my fellow content creators: do you find it hard to balance content creation and having a gig (if you work a normal job while building your brand)? Let me know in the comments!

CHECK OUT MY NEW PODCAST  The Swarthy Nerds if you’re tired of autistic, annoying white nerds with nasty, unkempt beards who dress like they’re still in middle school  telling you about nerd culture and you desire something more on the real side of the nerd game:

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