September fascinates me as an anime fan. September 2009 was a turning point for my love for anime, as well as the the roots for me analyzing anime, and convention trips. In September 2009, I was introduced to three anime series in college that would mold me as an full pledge otaku: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Elfen Lied, and Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. While I’ve been an anime fan for years prior, I was watching anime as just an entertainment tool alone – not as a source for learning and understanding how character development and theatrical themes works for story telling.
I still fondly remember back in September 2009 how anime message boards and blogs were abuzz at Haruhi and Higurashi – praising both series for their deep character development, storytelling, and themes. Fans of Haruhi formed their own cult church – “The Church of Haruhi Suzumiya”; Praising their goddess Haruhi – their Lord and Savior.
People couldn’t stop talking how fucked up Higurashi was with the show’s gore, carnage, and “killer lolis” while entry level weebs blindly celebrated Elfen Lied for its combination of violence and tragic narrative (it’s okay I was blinded by its bullshit back then as well.)
I wanted in. The appeal of these three shows were unlike the anime I was used to watching on [adult swim] and Cartoon Network. Haruhi, Higurashi, and Elfen Lied weren’t shows for the mainstream entry level fans who were comfortable watching anime on television. They were too otaku for them. The average American fan wouldn’t expand to what I labeled anime like the three as “Internet Otaku Anime”.
And that was okay.
Haruhi and Higurahi both had their charms that drew me into those series. Haruhi was weird, yet campy. Higurashi was brutal, yet mysterious. Nobody outside the hardcore otaku circles weren’t watching these shows. Nobody who wasn’t an otaku or watched anime online were talking about Haruhi and Higurashi, which made my somewhat elitist ass happy. I finally discovered shows that I could keep to myself and only talk about among the real otaku. No more mainstream anime for me!
Everyday after school I head straight home to Haruhi, Higurashi, and Elfen Lied one after another. I would go online express my love for both shows with fellow fans and applaud how amazing they were. They were special to us. Yea, not everyone understood why we love Haruhi and Higurashi, but we didn’t care. To us, Haruhi and Higurashi were love letters to the otaku community who wanted something better than was was being offered on T.V.
With all of that said I will be dedicating this month to Higurashi, Haruhi, and maybe some Elfen Lied in celebration of September 2009 and the turning point of my otaku lifestyle.