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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
WHAT IS COSPLAY? Cosplay, using the combination of the words “costume” and “play”, is the performance art in which people (or cosplayers) wear costumes and fashion items modeled after a specific character from movies, anime, manga, TV series, books, comics, Western animation, and etc.
The term “cosplay” was coined by movie producer Nobuyuki Takahashi after he attended the 1984 World Science Fiction Convention (or Worldcon) in Los Angeles.
The following is an excerpt from Brian Ashcraft’s and Luke’s Plunekett book’s Cosplay World on how Takashi came up with the word “cosplay”:
“In the 1970s, Japanese college students began dressing up as manga and anime characters. These young people had grown up on a steady diet of comics and cartoons, and when they attended manga and anime conventions (as well as school and university festivals), going in character was, as in the West, a way to express fandom.
Sci-fi conventions had existed in Japan since the 1960s, but in 1975 Comic Market (aka Comiket) launched, creating a venue for self-published comics. It was a fan convention and, in this environment, what would become cosplay in Japan started to flourish. There was already a Japanese term to express the concept of dressing up: kasou (仮想).
However, the word carried a nuance of disguise and didn’t quite capture the spirit of what cosplay had become. In the West the word ‘masquerade’ could be used to refer to costuming, but when Takahashi and some university friends tried to translate ‘masquerade’ into Japanese for a magazine article they were writing, it sounded ‘too noble and old fashioned’. According to Takahashi, ‘We needed to find another way to express the concept.’
Various terms were floating around. ‘We had heard the English word “costume” and seen events with names like “Costume Show”, “Kasou Show”, “Hero Play” and whanot,’ says Takahashi. In Japanese, English and other foreign words are often combined and/or shortened, for brevity’s sake. For example, the Japanese for ‘remote control’ – rimooto kontorooru – is shortened to rimokon. ‘So we started to think of different combinations,’ Takahashi says. ‘Finally, we came up with “cosplay”.’ The term was a portmanteau of ‘costume’ and ‘play’. It was perfect.”
WORD ORIGIN OF COSTUME:
Early 18th century: From French and Italian costume ‘custom, fashion, habit”. From Latin consuetudo, which means custom or useage
WORLD ORIGIN OF PLAY:
Old English pleg(i)an ‘to exercise’, plega ‘brisk movement’, related to Middle Dutch pleien ‘leap for joy, dance’.
HOW DID I DISCOVER COSPLAY?
G4 Tech TV’s G-Phoria 2003 award show:
One day in 2004, I came home from summer high school to discover that my dad brought new channels on the cable box – G4 being one of them. The first show on G4 was G-Phoria 2003 award show (in preparation for the 2004 live show). Never seen an award show for video games, so I sat down and watched. After a few gaming presentations, there was for Kingdom Hearts – featuring cosplayers doing a skit based on a scene from the game (One of them in black face. Dunno how they let that one slide on TV).
After that, they brought out around 15-20 cosplayers on the stage, each posing and showcasing their costumes and props. I never seen this kinda shit before. I never knew people made costumes based off fictional characters for fun. Went online and saw that people cosplay at conventions and how there were anime cons all over America were people do the shits. I was blow away to say the least. It made me wanted to go to conventions.
…and then I played a romhack of Final Fantasy 6 (FF3 in the USA) called “Awful Fantasy 3” where the romhackers made fun of cosplayers, the art of cosplay, and how cosplayers are highly immature and love causing drama at conventions.
Thanks Something Awful for that reality check. I never went to a convention since.
WHO COSPLAYS? People of all races, backgrounds, nationality, and ages cosplays. From Teenagers wearing their first store-brought cosplay online to 20 and 30 something professional cosplayers who craft their own cosplays from hands and brought shame and embarrassment to their family, to even old ladies in wheelchairs rockin’ schoolgirl uniforms, everyone cosplays. No matter how old or young, people cosplay. And they cosplay whoever they want to.
Now, you do have those in the cosplay community who think certain people shouldn’t cosplay (i.e.; racist white elitists cosplayers who think dark skin and Black people shouldn’t cosplay as Asian people even though these white boys and girls are cosplaying as Asian characters), but that’s a topic for another day where I make low-self-esteem having racist cosplayers by attacking their insecurities rooted from childhood until they commit suicide by blowing their brains out in their Sailor Moon or Goku cosplays.
WHERE CAN YOU COSPLAY? Well, you can cosplay anywhere, but keep in mind that cosplaying outside of convention events will mark you as a weird ass socially awkward idiot unaware of social cues. With that said, the world is your backdrop for your cosplays. Go dress as Marisa Kirisame from Touhou high off shrooms in the woods. On casual Fridays at the gig do homage to Urien’s pin stripped suit from Street Fighter V by matching his grey pin stripped suit, purple oxford shirt, cognac colored belt and shoes. Dress as Junko Kanno from ZombieLand Saga while completely coked out like any other 80s pop music star at your college’s music hall.
Cosplay anywhere you want.
For the rest us who have common sense and understand the rules/norms of society, save the cosplay for conventions or do them subtly in public or in the workforce. If you live in a society where public cosplay in frown upon or even forbidden outside of events (i.e. Japan), don’t wear your cosplay to the event. Pack it in a small carry-on bag and don’t put it on until you get to the event.
Sources on the Japan’s negative views on public cosplay:
How Do You Cosplay in Japan by the Cosplay.com Community?
WHERE AND HOW CAN YOU BUY AND GET COSPLAYS CREATED
There are options.
If you’re cosplaying as a character who wear everyday clothing (examples includes Shirou Emiya from the fate series with his grey and white baseball v-neck shirt and blue jeans or Reigen from Mob Pyscho 100 with his suit and tie) then it’s just as simple as going your local clothing store (such as Goodwill, JC Penny, Nordstorm, Jos. A Bank, Tom Ford, etc.) and buying the clothes there. You may have to do some alternations, but they’re minor.
For cosplaying characters with unique clothing that you can’t find in stores (certain school outfits, armor, body suits such as Solid Snake’s sneaking suit), then you going to get them custom made. Amazon and eBay have stores where vendors sell pre-made cosplays or you can go online for website that specialize in creating cosplays. Please keep in mind that online cosplay shops tend to be a little on the cheap and mass produced side of the game, so the quality may not be of that of a professional made cosplay.
If you do not want to go on the cheap side of the cosplay game and you want high quality, then you will have to pay a decent amount of cash to get your cosplay created. Don’t know anyone who creates cosplays? Then check your local convention city scene for cosplay creators (such as anime con Facebook groups).
And if you really want to do it yourself, you can learn how to.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF COSPLAYS
With so many people of different backgrounds, races, ethnic groups, and creativity it’s nearly impossible to list all the different type of cosplay within the realm of cosplay. With that said, here are the most common type of cosplays you will find at conventions.
The classic anime schoolgirl. Easily ID’d by her (or his) sera-fuku, pleated skirt, penny loafers, white blouse and ribbon. On the the preppy side of the school uniform game , the schoolgirl cosplayer wears a blazer, button-down shirt, v-neck sweater, tie, etc. Commonly seen at anime cons.
Armored cosplay. A cosplay that revolves around armored characters (fantasy characters, giant robots, mech suits, etcs.) Can be found at sci-fi, comic, and anime cons
Superhero cosplays. Leaping out the colorful pages of American comics into the real world, these cosplayers focus on the larger-than-life heroes from Marvel Comics, Darkhorse, DC, and more. Can be recognized by their long capes, one piece zentai suits, and hero emblem. Often seen at comic book conventions but have been making their way into anime cons.
Closet Cosplay. Cosplays that uses everyday clothing (as mentioned earlier) that can be found at stores or in your own closet. Very simple and easy to pull off – but, in order to stand out from other closet cosplayers – you need to put in the effort (mixing high and low cost items, using a high quality wig, etc.)
Genderswap cosplay. As the name states, it’s cosplays in which the cosplayer switches the canon gender of the character. Example: a grown ass man with a full beard gender swapping Shouko Komi (form Komi-San Can’t Commicate). Instead of wearing her red skirt, he swaps them out for red chino slacks. For the vice versa: a woman cosplaying as Goku (Dragon Ball series).
It’s crossdressing, but in cosplay.
WHY COSPLAY? Because you have no personality whatsoever and nobody loves you unless you put on an outfit based off a fictional character.
Plus, ever dressed up as Oishi from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni doing Hennessy shots with a dude cosplaying as Keiichi while his homegirl cosplaying as Rena Ryuguu gotten into a drunken fist fight with an Ai Enma cosplayer over some internet weeaboo con drama while a Terra Brandford is grinding her ass on a Celes Chere cosplayer at a hotel party on an average day?
Didn’t think so.
Until next time! -Yuki The Snowman
Yesterday, I spoke on why being yourself isn’t a good idea for most, if not, all situations. In short, being yourself can get your screwed over, make you lose your job, and lose respect. At the end of the post, I stated that you want to be the best version of yourself instead. Well today we’re going to continue on what that means.
Being the best version of you simply means that you’re tackling problems, situations, and issues through smart and hard work, experiences, and learning from not only your losses, but wins as well. You won’t know how to grow as a person until you go through it and learn from each and every trial life throws at you: positive or negative.
These experiences can come from dealing with losing love ones (giving you a stoic mindset of accepting death as a part of life), cutting shitty “friends” out of your life (so people of high value can come into your life to better it), sacrificing short-term pleasure for long-term goals/satisfaction, embracing failure (which we will go in-depth later on), and traveling the world to experience the cultures and customs of others (gifting you a worldly view of the world) to name a few ways to pave your path to the best version of you.
Becoming the best version of you also means knowing what masks to wear. You don’t want to keep your mask off when at work; rather, you want to put on your worker’s mask. This means that before you even come to work, you mentality and physical prep for work at home (eating a protein heavy breakfast for energy, making sure your freshly washed and clean clothes are ironed and pressed , and leaving personal issues at home when you leave the house). Next, when you enter your job, you go over what you need to do to generate the best results through your performance and enter your zone until it time to clock out.
When it comes with dealing with the world through the general public, you must be aware that you still need to be the best version of you. You leverage this by taking care of and being self-aware of your appearance.
Who do you think is going to be respected: some 20-year-old kid who’s growing a poor excuse of a beard with his pathetic, patchy stubble who’s wearing dirty, dusty shoes with the tongue leaning, mismatched socks, baggy cargo pants, and a graphic tee featuring an big breasted anime woman who’s about to burst out of her bar while doing an ahegao face; or a 30-year-old man sporting a clean, shined dress shoes, socks that matches his tailor fit pair of chinos, a wrist watch, fitted oxford dress shirt, a tailored blazer, and has a his beard trimmed or cleanly shaven off?
(Please weeaboos: Don’t put emotions into this)
The man is clearly showing the world the best version of him is going to be respected over the stupid kid wearing that weeaboo shit. Are both people in the example above being themselves? You can argue that yes, they are. But, we can all agree that the man is being the best version of himself – not being himself (he could also be an anime fan like the kid, but he isn’t going to wear a graphic t-shirt of anime women doing something sexual out in public).
Being the best version of yourself requires you to get over your fears: may they be failure, rejection, pain, and setbacks, whatever. For those unaware, the featured image is of this post is that of Ai Mizuno from the hit Fall 2018 idol anime Zombie Lang Saga. Without giving too much away, Ai is trying to convince friend and fellow zombie idol group member Sakura to get over her fears of bad luck and failure that plagued her life before death.
Ai tells Sakura that she doesn’t view failure and mistakes as bad things; as they’ll help her with whatever comes next on her path. Only then, by overcoming those things, she’ll become the best version of herself (a callback to an interview Ai did during a TV special with her old idol group which inspired Sakura to pull herself out of her depression and becoming an idol before her death and zombification).
People who don’t overcome their fears block their own progress of becoming their best version. It’s natural to have fear, but it’s unnatural to allow fear to control you. You will fail. You will face rejection. You will be hurt. You will be met with setbacks. But, you have to embrace those things in order to become the best. Being the best version of yourself doesn’t mean doing what makes you happy (although it does help a lot), but doing the things that make yourself uncomfortable. But you gotta get yourself out of your comfort zone.
Only then, will you be able to become the best version of yourself.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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:
Throughout her short seventeen years of life, Sakura Minamoto dealt with everlasting failures and setbacks that mentally wrecked her. In the third grade, she landed the intense star role of Snow White after months of relentless practice to master the role; only to become sick and bedridden on the day of the performance.
Gifted with superior athletic skills, Sakura was selected as captain of her school’s relay team. She trained day after day in hopes of leading her school to victory against other schools in the Saga district. Alas, on the morning of competition, she tore up her hamstring; forcing her to retire.
But, those past failures wouldn’t hold her back. Determine to eradicate her bad luck, Sakura (now a sixth grader), had her sights set on academic mastery; vowing to shut everything out of her life in order to enter the best high school in her school district. Friends. Family. Entertainment. If it wasn’t a tool that’ll help her gain scholarly success, Sakura ignored it. Nothing mattered to her sans entering the ranks of the educated elites.
Two years later, Sakura’s near psychopathic drive towards success would pay off for her. She aced the mock entrance exams days before the real deal. Finally! Victory was near.
Or so she thought.
On her way to take the real exams, Sakura ran across a few sick elderly women who needed her help. Instead of ignoring the women and letting them die on the streets (which she should: they had their chance at life), Sakura decided to help these poor women out. However, this drove Sakura into an intense panic; as she feared that she’ll be late for and miss the exams.
Thankfully, she was able to make it in time. But, the stress from the fear of missing the exams gave Sakura extreme test anxiety – causing her to fail the exam – and missing out on her chance of success once more.
Now in high school, the defeated , depressed, and hopeless Sakura rejected offers to hang out with friends, join any after-school clubs, and work on her scholarly and athletic gifts. Nothing mattered to her anymore. She knew that anything she attempted to try would only make her feel worse about herself.
Every day after school, she headed straight home; numbed to the world. She lay up on the couch, mindlessly watching TV and rotting away as life passed her by. One day in peculiar, Sakura caught a TV special featuring the rise of singer Ai Mizuno: the center performer of the idol group “Iron Frill”. During the special, Ai was asked about her work ethics, as well as why and how she works so hard.
“I guess it’s because I don’t think mistakes or failures are a bad thing. Because they always end up helping with whatever happens next. And I really believe I’ll only be the best version of me once I overcome it all.”
Mistakes aren’t bad. Failure isn’t bad. If you study your failures and mistakes, learning from them in the process, you’ll always better yourself.
(Now, let’s not forget the fact that worse girl Ai is a stupid fucking idiot who got herself killed by sticking her arm out during a thunder/lighting storm while holding a mic at an open air concert on live TV/internet broadcast; therefore traumatizing her friends, family members, band mates, and fans for life. Plus, she made her parents cremate and bury her, so there’s that)
You fucked up on a test. Cool. See what you were struggling with, study, and do better. You got rejected by the girl or boy you liked. That’s okay. Be happy and reflect on the fact that you finally control your nerves, got over your fear of rejection, and you went for it. It’ll all be helpful the next time you ask different girl or boy who captured your heart out. You might get turned down from the company you’ve dream of working for since your youth.
Look, you will fail at something – it’s unavoidable. Your return on invest for your efforts might wield negative results at the end. Whatever you’re working on, sometimes, it won’t turn out the way you hope for.
And that’s okay.
You should embrace failure. Appreciate it. Respect it. Failure means that it wasn’t the right time to execute your plan. You selected the wrong moment for your course of action. Something didn’t line up right. Your approach wasn’t correct. Even so, you should inspect what went wrong so that next time, you will do better and better; until the day you are successful.
Inspired by the TV special, Sakura attended their Saga concert. There, Sakura was captivated by Ai’s high spirited performance to the point she was moved to tears. It was there where Sakura found the willpower to pull herself out of her depression; yearning to attack success one more time.
One more shot.
One more try.
One more chance.
Sakura set her sights to become the girl that she always dreamed of. She applied to join Iron Frill as an idol. She wanted to perform next to the singer that – as cheesy and white girlish as it (always) sound – saved her life. This was it. She’ll no longer let the set-backs and disappointments of the past drag her down. With the finished application in hand, the high-spirited Sakura ran out of the house to mail it…
…And then she got hit by a speeding truck and died on impact.
Thanks for reading!
(Just kidding. Sakura lived for a few more seconds in the air from the force of being hit before dying.)
“Failure is deceiving; it’s a good thing! You want to and should fail –it’s the learning process!” -Grant Cardone, CEO and real estate investor
Sakura’s journey to success wouldn’t end at her death. In fact, her death (and zombification) was the start of her finally capturing victory. As the center of the all zombie girl music group Franchouchou, Sakura had to lead her team and new friends through failure after failure on the path of success.
You could say that their first concert at the death metal show was a near flop. First, Sakura was the only member of Franchouchou (or Death Musume as they were first called) who regained her human conscious upon awakening. The rest of the girls were still in their mindless state. This resulted in everyone (sans Sakura) not being able sing or play instruments – let alone perform in unison.
Second, they were dress in bright, colorful idol outfits; ill-fitting for a venue hall catering to savage and cutthroat fans of death metal. Finally, the crowd wasn’t feeling them. They believed that Death Musume was mocking death metal with their idol get-up.
Death Musume proved their doubters wrong.
Thanks to their enhanced zombie bodies and minds, Death Musume surprised the metal heads with their brutal, (literally) broken-neck style head banging, ghastly growls, hard hitting stage dives that would had injured or killed a normal human, and caused mayhem in the pits after the show.
Even if the show was a (so-called) “flop”, Death Musume gained the respect of the metal heads (whom normally dismissed idols). They even earned two metal heads as loyal fans after the event. Fans who once were discrediting them admired their savage spirit so much that they followed Death Musume’s journey to success everywhere they performed.
Their second concert was almost a complete disaster (compared to the last). Despite regaining their senses, Death Musume (now Green Face), weren’t in tune with one another. Their movements were awkward and stiff (due to not building up chemistry with one another yet; not because they were zombies). The audience seemed uninterested in their performance. Tae had yet to regain her senses; so she was still roaming around mindlessly.
Worse, she tried to steal somebody’s dried squid snack. Sakura attempted to restrain her friend; only to cause Tae’s head to fly off her body into the crowd – therefore causing panic and confusion.
In panic, Sakura played everything off as a magic trick. While Sakura struggled to regain order, Saki started to dick around. The two girls started fighting over Tae’s head (Saki took Tae’s head off her body while Sakua tried to put it back on, annoying the latter). Pissed, Sakura snapped on Saki and snitched on the fact that they were all zombies. Saki snapped back: leading to the girls auguring on stage. Understandably, the audience was shocked.
Total disaster indeed.
But, most damages caused by disasters can always be fixed.
Tatsumi saw this as a chance to switch the show’s direction. Seeing Sakura and Saki argue as if they were rival rappers, he began to beat box. Best zombie girl Yuugiri provided a melodic instrumental on her shimisen. Lily channeled her inner Flavor Flav and played hype girl. Worse zombie girl Ai stood around looking stupid, awkward, and useless. Second best zombie girl Junko was also standing around looking stupid and awkward. Sakura and Saki turned their argument into a rap battle.
Together, Green Face was able to take a losing situation, turn it around into something positive, and became victorious.
Franchouchou improved each passing day.
They didn’t avoid failure – they embraced it and turn it around – into success.
They failed to get a business sponsorship from a drug company (due to Sakura being an idiot). That’s okay; they cut a deal with a local restaurant a few days later; netting a promotion deal with them. Tae accidently wore said restaurant’s mascot t-shirt after winning a sporting event instead of the shirts featuring their band’s name and logo (for promotional reasons). It didn’t matter: Franchouchou gained more fans from the sporting event.
Lighting struck the stage and the girls during their first major stage performance. What would have killed any normal human the lighting gave Franchouchou (thanks to being zombies) not only gave the girls the appearance of angels, but enhanced their voices; giving their fans a musical experience they never forget.
“Last night took an L, but tonight I bounce back.”
“If you’re a real winner you know how to bounce back!” -Big Sean, Bounce Back
Like Franchouchou, you must use failures as a tool to net you a positive outcome. The path you were on turned into something else. But, you need to take advantage of that. History is littered with people whom “failed” at one thing but was able to turn it around into greatness.
Japanese Horror and visual novel author Ryukishi07 Ryukishi07 first draft of the ever beloved Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni (lit. When They Cicadas Cry) murder-mystery visual novel series was a short play titled Hinamizawa Bus Stop. Inspired by a friend, he submitted the play to his college’s theater group for a contest. He lost. After college, Ryukishi07 tried to enter the video game industry with no luck.
Yet, despite the setbacks, he was determined to let the world know about the mysteries and horror of the small village of Hinamizawa. His passionate drive would pay off in August of 2006 when Ryukishi07 dropped Higurashi upon the otaku world at the massive Japanese anime convention Summer Comiket 2002. The game became a global sleeper hit; with the series branching off to light novels, mangas, two live-action movies, a TV series, remakes of the games, and of course, an incredibly successful anime adaption by Studio Deen.
Intelligent System was failing to keep the Fire Emblem series afloat. After back-to-back failures with titles such as New Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, the series was at risk of being killed off by Nintendo. Finding themselves on death grounds with the series, nearly everyone at Intelligent System that has ever worked on a Fire Emblem game pour their heart, soul, guts, creativity, love, and focus into Fire Emblem Awakening. They truly believe that Awakening was going to be the final Fire Emblem game in Nintendo’s (and gaming) history.
If Fire Emblem: Awakening was going to ultimately fail, at least Intelligent System had the balls to try to revive the series everyone counted out with everything they had. And as we all known (despite what the old-school autistic elitist assholes in the fandom may say), Fire Emblem: Awakening brought the series back to life: saving it from total death.
See how you can turn failure into victory?
We live in a world where failure is viewed as a bad thing. If you failed, you’re nothing (according to lowly people with their inflated egos who will never fix their own failures). In Japan, failure is viewed in such a negative light that young school students have killed themselves from the shame of failure (may they failed a test, failed to get into an elite high school, etc.).
They would rather end their life than to face society (after failure).
The American school system have mentality wrecked children for decades; because teachers, parents, and the education system paint failing as the ultimate sin. Who knows how many children in America are suffering from mental health issues such as depression and anxiety because of how aggressive we are against failure?
Social media is now on a level where people will share your failures and humiliate you for it within seconds. We would rather mock those on Facebook or Twitter for their mistake(s) than to encourage them to recover and give them advice on how to do better. A screw up can easily be shared and display on the world’s stage without a second thought. It’s a shield to hide our own failures.
Why display your shame to the world where you can cover it with another man’s shame?
Society is not only fearful of failure – it uses it as a weapon.
But, you can’t be scared of failure. I’m not saying you should go out in purposely fail; that’s foolish. I am also not saying that some failures aren’t your fault; because your own stupidity and unchecked ego/pride can cause you to screw up. If you’re doing something that is outside the realm of logic, and your friends/family are telling you so, and you can’t prove them wrong, then don’t do it. Because that’s truly is failure.
You need to go into something knowing that there’s a high possibility that you will fail and that you need to bounce back from the failure. Beating yourself up over failure won’t get you to success. Having a defeatist attitude because you screw up won’t fix the screw ups. People will use your past failures to mock you; in order for you to give up. But, you can’t allow that. Try again until success.
As Sakura said to Junko and Ai in episode 2, and this is the closing statement:
“Quit coming up with excuses on why you can’t win. If you got even a little chance, try to do that then!”
Grover, Tim. “#1. When You’re A Cleaner… …You don’t recognize failure; you know there’s more than one way to get what you want.” Relentless: From Good To Great To Unstoppable
I lied about the whole “Ai worse girl” thing she’s actually became my favorite character as I wrote this essay and re-watched ZLS due to her relentless drive to re-write her legacy after death.
Seriously, I wouldn’t spent nearly $25 on this shirt if I thought she was the worse girl:
(Plus, I love how she G-checks Tatsumi when he’s on his bullshit)
I’m also going to work on another Zombieland Saga essay that tackles the morality of men, how we should make the best of our limited time on Earth, and and a touch of Stoicism to go along with it within the following months.
In addition, there will be an audio version of this essay in the near future.
WARNING: Contains minor spoilers for the manga version of episode 5 of Mob Psycho 100
As I watched the end of Mob Psycho 100 II episode 5, I was reminded of Robert Greene’s controversial book The 48 Laws of Power. To be specified, it reminded me Law 2 “Never Put Too Much Trust in Friends. Learn How to Use Enemies”. Mob wasn’t trying to use his enemy, the class bully Minori for anything; there was no need to. It’s the fact that Mob saved and spared her life, despite Minori’s cruel and sadistic bullying of Mob for six months.
Yes, she was possessed by the evil spirit Mogami. Under his influence she hurt Mob. She tortured him. Made him feel lowly about himself. Now however, before she was targeted by Mogami, Minori spent her life bullying others. She loved belittling her peers who didn’t share her high social status. She found it thrilling to humiliate those who can’t defend themselves. That said, bullying (Mob) wasn’t anything new to her; it was her nature. Mogami wanted to show Mob that people like Minori deserved to die. He wanted to show that Mob would have been in the right if he killed her.
But, Mob believed that Minori could change if her life was spared.
It’s mentioned in Law 2 that those who have enemies never expect anything from them (besides revenge). When a man is spared from the guillotine from his enemy, he’ll become forever grateful towards that man; doing anything within his power to please them. Thanks to, or rather because of Mob’s kind and forgiving heart, Minori went on the path of bettering herself – vowing to never bully others again and to be kind to people as thanks.
To say that Minori was grateful (to Mob) is such an understatement – given her past with him. Remember: Mob lived in a world of despondency created by Minori’s negative feelings, memories, and history of bullying to make him suffer. Pouring sour milk all over him. Recording her friends ostracizing Mob. Threatening to kill the stray cat he was taking care of. Having her underlings beat him up. Anything that is all hellish to crush and break Mob’s spirit and driven him into a near inescapable depression for six months.
Could you blame Mob if he’d snapped and used his psychic powers and physical strength to kill her? Could you blame Mob if he gave in to Mogami’s trickery and have the man take her life?
He had every right.
But he chose not to.
Why is that?
Why did Mob spare his enemy and show her mercy?
“When you begin to see that your enemy is suffering, that is the beginning of insight.” -Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk
Besides the (obvious) fact that Mob is far too benevolent to murder a human being, let alone someone his own age, he knows that people can change (through positive interactions with others). He understands why people do horrible things. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Mob realized that Minori became a bully because she was fearful that she was going to be rejected and isolated by society. It’s possible that she was projecting her own fears (of social isolation) unto Mob through bullying (bully the outcast so you won’t become a bullied outcast sorta thing).
Like Mob, she too was a victim of horrific mistreatment. Minori was Mogami’s prisoner. The sole, lonely inmate inside a prison crafted from the darkness of her heart. Mogami wanted to make Minori suffer for her crimes before killing her. Who knows how long Minori was strapped and chained to a bed while Mogami controlled her body.
She was helpless as Mogami used her body as he pleased.
Finally, if Mob would have kill Minori out of cold blood, he would had a worse human than Minoir and Mogami. Pop her in the mouth for the bully? That’s okay. Beat her ass and put her in her place so she would never fuck with him again? That’s normal. But to outright murder her would only continue a tragic cycle.
A cycle that Mob had to break.
Sometimes, the best way to kill your enemy is with the guillotine.
Sometimes, the best way to kill your enemy is to show them mercy and kindness.
AFTERWORD: lmfao I know this episode is almost two weeks old and everyone is talking about episode 6, but work has been kicking my ass lately, so I didn’t have time to bang this out on the week of episode 5.
Also, 10/10 episode a lot of great narrative and real life themes in it.
(Also some enemies are beyond forgiveness and you can’t show mercy to them. Crush them totally. That’s just me being real.)
Recently, my friend the TV Guru and I went to see Toei Animation’s blockbuster hit movie Dragon Ball Super: Broly at the theaters and man, it was an experience as both an Dragon Ball and anime fan that I will never forget. The experience of watching such an critically acclaimed film based on an iconic and influential anime series with many other anime and Dragon Ball fans touched us so much that we had to give our unbiased (drunken) thoughts on the movie. Trust me, if you’re a Dragon Ball fan and did not saw this movie at the theaters, you did yourself a disservice.
Also in this podcast we chop up good game and mock CrunchyRoll’s infamously hilariously and terrible nomination for their annual trash tier entry level anime awards.
And if you’re a weirdo who likes to burn their battery life and data plan by keeping the YouTube app open, here’s a link to our review on YouTube
I have a podcast now so if you’re a long-time follower who have been wondering where the fuck I’ve been, now you know. Don’t worry; I’m still gonna write blogs. This is a side project I’m working on with a friend.
Professional wrestling history was made when future WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) legend Kevin Nash invaded rival company WCW’s (World Championship Wrestling) live show, WCW Nitro. Along with tag-team partner and friend Scott Hall (who invaded an earlier Nitro show before Nash), Nash delivered a warning to the WCW:
Idioms such as “[this is] where the big boys play” and “this is the big leagues” are often used to identify areas of intense and professional levels of competition. Areas reversed for the elites and only for the elites. Rookies are warned not to enter the big leagues unless they are mentality and physically tough and resilient enough to join.
Of course, you have the foolish rookies who – thanks to their ego – think they can go toe-to-toe with the harden vets (of the big leagues). Blinded by both arrogance and ignorance they try; only to be utterly humiliated, embarrassed, and humbled by their superiors.
This is the case of Erimi Mushibami: a little kid who thinks she’s hardcore just because she’s going through her baby’s first weeaboo gothic lolita teen angst phase. So hardcore that, the first thing that she does upon arriving at Hyakkaou Private Academy, is to challenge Yumeko Jabami and Midari Ikishima to a game of chicken.
An extreme game of chicken where players must place a finger inside a hole built into a mini guillotine with several cords attached to its frame. The guillotine blade itself is only held by single cord that – if cut – will send the sharp blade flying down; slicing its victim’s finger off. Removing your finger before the blade comes down will results in the player forfeiting the match and becoming a slave to the game host.
It’s the ultimate game of nerves.
Nerves that Yumeko and Midari both have an unlimited supply of.
Yumeko is insane and gets off to playing high risk/high rewards gambles. Midari is not only insane, she’s a fucking deranged masochist whose panties would be soaked if she got a finger cut off. The game is so thrilling to these women that Yumeko put aside her disdain towards Midari to team up with her against Emiri.
Erimi is a stupid kid.
Erimi gathers Yumeko, Midari, and Suzui into a room for her little game. Yuemko is relaxed. Midari is thrilled. Suzui is scared. Not for neither Yumeko nor Midari: he knows both of them are crazy. Who he’s concern for is Erimi herself – the girl who started this mess.
Erimi has yet to understand that her opponents are extreme gambling addicts. Both find joy in playing risky games – no manner how dangerous (the risks are). Furthermore, Yumeko and Midari are having fun playing Erimi’s game; even if the odds stacked against them. Erimi eventually picks up on her opposition’s carefree mentality towards her game and assumes if she pushes the girls to their absolute limit, she can break them.
Again, Erimi is a stupid little kid.
Erimi starts bragging about how her mafia-like family is full of torture freaks that used the guillotine game (and other fear tactics) to force confessions out of their victims. Yumeko isn’t impressed; she winds up finding the game boring as time goes on. Yumeko also thinks Erimi is a scared little bitch: as she believes that Erimi may have install a cheat to prevent her from losing her finger in things goes wrong and decides to go off on her.
Midari joins in on Yumeko’s verbal onslaught against the goth kid; reversing Erimi’s love for torture against her (remember: Midari wants to be tortured). In fact, she admits that the risk of losing a single finger doesn’t excite her; she wants more punishment if she loses.
Intoxicated with glee, both Yumeko and Midari pressure Erimi to cut the wires. Worse, Midari, out of her excitement and impatience, snatches the scissors off the table and decides to cut all the wires at once. Sure enough, the safety feature that Yumeko theorized that Erimi put in place was triggered; saving everyone from losing their fingers. But, even in a moment of grace, Erimi has broken down. In tears, she begs Midari and Yumeko to stop even after the game was finished.
The little girl wasn’t ready to play with the big girls.
Ego is funny thing. It’s the source of our ambitions, desires, and self-confidence. However, if left unchecked, the ego can lead us to disaster; as we saw with Erimi in episodes one and two of Kakegurui xx. Her wild ego and childish behavior made her believe that she could go toe-to-toe with two superior gamblers who outclassed her in talent, skill, and insanity. She could not handle the pressure that Yumeko and Midari rain down upon her; leading to her breakdown. Her plan to mentality break her opponents backfired – given they both love the thrill and dangers that came from her game. It’s the ultimate irony: Play with people’s fears only to be paralyzed by fear yourself. Pretend to be a big kid only to have bigger kids put you in your place.
Never attempt to play in the big leagues when you’re still in the little leagues.
Note: I am about to burn some bridges with people in the St. Louis anime convention and cosplay scene with this post, ain’t I? Bet.
Second Note: This is a freewrite. There’s no order of my paragraphs in terms of flow.
“You should all pay attention to me! I want people to take pictures of my cosplay! I work hard on it!”
An annoying, feminine voice behind me rang out in the halls of Gateway Convention Center during the morning hours of Archon St. Louis The owner of the voice is a bit of a…what the word I can use that won’t (easily) offend people of the LBGT community? A fairy. A very narcissistic, attention whore, drama starting fairy. But I’m used to him and his attitude. This guy, whom I shall call “Narcian”, is a well-known, highly egotistical, arrogant, eccentric (shit-tier) cosplayer (in our area) who believes he has magical, spiritual powers (trust me; that’s just 1% percent of his issues).
(And I thought my ego and narcissism problems were terrible)
His parents never gave him any attention or love; so he grew up seeking and demanding attention from others. I spent a good year and a half avoiding this man thanks to traveling to other conventions outside my hometown; helping me forget that he existed. As he tried (and failed) to get people to notice his cosplay (even photo-bombing a Marvel Comics cosplay gathering), I realized something:
“Wow! I haven’t missed shit while I was away from this con scene!”
Between Anime St. Louis 2018 and Archon 2018, I skipped out on other St. Louis conventions to work on myself, traveling(to Los Angeles and Atlanta), and to have a little extra money in my pockets. When I came back to the St. Louis convention scene, I was reminded – thanks to Narcian – that I truly wasn’t missing out on anything that St. Louis had to offer for their nerd culture cons. It was a reminder on why I decided to say fuck this con scene and explore other scenes across America.
The weeaboos here who never left the St. Louis area (or at the very least, aren’t bettering themselves) were doing the same shit: Bitching about how much they hate their current low paying 9-to-5 jobs, being stuck in the rat race, looking forward to going to the bars and clubs and conventions on the weekends, causing/starting childish drama and beef with people, and refusing to level up.
They love to complain about how their lives aren’t going anywhere, but won’t put forth the effort to make a change.
And don’t try to convince them to leave St. Louis for a larger weeaboo festival with superior guest lists (featuring Japanese voice actors and creators) and more to do that they love to fantasize about attending. They’ll hit you with excuses such as “I don’t want to travel by myself”, “traveling cost too much money” (but wasting money at the club/bar isn’t for some odd reason), and – my personal favorite – “You’re just going to do the same shit out of town you do at home!”.
Please. I’m doing the same shit at conventions outside my hometown (like exploring and spending more time in Downtown L.A. as opposed to Anime Expo itself) and yet you guys are okay with repeating the same things in your lives.
To them, being in a state of everlasting comfortable mediocrity is an amazing and great thing. Why apply yourself with self-improvement when you can have the same things you’re used to every day. Every week. Every month. Every year. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it – hell, don’t even upgrade it because there’s no reason or logic behind it! That’s how St. Louis runs; may it be politics, entertainment, or weeaboo shit.
Let’s take Anime St. Louis for example.
Anime St. Louis has been around for thirteen years (if we’re counting Kunicon: their first convention). Naka-Kon, another Midwestern Convention held in Kansas City Missouri/Kansas area, started around the same time as Anime St. Louis Naka-Kon brought in guests straight from Japan (such as the J-Rock band ALSDEAD, Nobuo Uematsu, Junko Takeuchi a.k.a the voice of Hinata’s husband, and Takashi Kisaki.
Anime St. Louis? I mean, they gotten voice acting legends and icons such as Richard Epcar, Keith Silverstien, and Troy Baker. But you can see them at any convention across America. Naka-Kon. In bumfuck Kansas. Can land guests. Straight from Japan.
And yet Anime St. Louis can’t do the same?
My grips with the St. Louis con scene don’t end with the convention either. The community itself is filled with toxic, drama causing, pathetic otakus who have nothing going on with their lives outside of playing dress-up as their favorite anime Chinese Cartoon Characters. As a result, they attack Black cosplayers for cosplaying outside their race, playing favorites during cosplay contests (and by playing favorites, the cosplayers and judges are probably fucking and sucking/eating each other out the night before the cosplay contest), and even spread their drama to other Missouri conventions: harassing anyone who aren’t in their clique and make them feel unsafe.
Don’t get me wrong: There’s drama in every convention scene around the world. You do need to learn how to deal with it and not get involved (and never create it). But there’s a feeling of joy when you go to a new con scene outside the hometown one and have a fresh start. Nobody knows who you are – making you automatic neutral to any conflicts. You dealt with drama and know how to read people so you can sense any drama-makers in a new con scene. Sure, once you’re cliqued in with a group drama might arise, but you can leave said clique.
This isn’t to say that all St. Louis cosplayers and con-goers have this loser, drama mentality. One of the first people to leave this scene grew popular outside St. Louis with her cosplays despite her haters here. I saw her recently at Archon and she looked incredibly happy with her life after St. Louis. Another major cosplayer from the St. Louis area (who’s a master of using duct tape and 24 hour cosplays) left town and blew up. He networked with some major players of the YouTube scene and is doing great with his life.
Hell, recently an associate of mines made a status about how they were felt discouraged on cosplaying at Anime St. Louis because the judge allows past winners (a.k.a their friends) to use the same cosplays that won them cosplay contests years previously. This inspired the associate to leave the St. Louis area to explore other conventions with their cosplays. Others have agreed with them and want to explore other conventions with the associate. Folks are giving up on the St. Louis and starting to understand that there’s more to the cosplay world than this small ass shithole city’s scene.
And to be honest, I am happy for them. I am glad to see people bettering themselves.
To conclude this rant of a freewrite, the St. Louis convention scene sucks outside of Archon (thanks to their old-school style of not playing the bullshit game). If you’re a seasoned con-goer who travel across America (or the world) for conventions, don’t come to St. Louis (unless its’ for Archon or work).
There is no progress here and you’re better off skipping over STL. If you’re a rookie con-goer, I do recommend coming to Anime St. Louis to get your feet wet and dip off once you earn enough experience. To the con-goers who keep doing the same old bullshit: Stop it. You niggas are Level 5 Terra and Locke off Final Fantasy 6 playing around in Narshe while we got people about to raid Kefka’s Tower at levels 60-100.
I’m about to get blacklisted from Anime St. Louis because of this I bet.
Oh well, I’ll show up to the con without a badge drunk as fuck next year and throw a giant room party (doubling as my Birthday party) as a final farewell to the St. Louis anime con scene on May 4th, 2019.
Note: This is a freewrite. This is an article without order or structure.
Disclaimer: To my fellow St. Louis weeaboos: This is not a jab towards the anime conventions Anime St. Louis (ASTL) and Anime Senpai. Although people wouldn’t have to jab at these cons and go outside of the STL area for bigger and better cons if these two cons weren’t doing the same bullshit every year.
There’s something magical about older, fan-run local conventions. I guess it’s because these conventions are run by fans who came from an era were conventions weren’t a place for popularity contest (through cosplay or otherwise). An era was being a nerd wasn’t mainstream or cool. Fans came out to these events and cosplay because of their passion, love, and respect for nerd culture.
To me, this is why Archon St. Louis stands out as the dominant force in the St. Louis convention scene. Plus, there’s the appeal of Archon allowing room parties and people to drink alcohol (in the hotel area) without stuck-up straight edge weeaboos being mad; Unlike other local conventions (such as Anine St. Louis) that claim to be “Family-Friendly”, but you have cosplayers high on hard drugs at the rave, weebs getting wasted on the con floor because they can’t handle their liquor, and otakus having orgies at the main con hotel.
(We still remember that Homestuck orgy from an ASTL long since passed you sick fucks.)
But what is Archon? Archon is an internationally known sci-fi and fantasy convention (they carter to other media pop culture group, but Archon’s bread-and-butter is the sci-fi and fantasy side of the game). Every year, Archon brings in world-renown figures hailing from the world of entertainment. Iconic figures such as George R.R. Martin (the first guest of Archon), Ray Bradbury, Billy West, and Phil LaMarr have graced Archon with their presence: bringing in thousands of their fans to their standing room only panels.
Sure, you can see them at panels at the bigger conventions such as San Diego Comic Con or Dragon Con; but what makes Archon worth going is that personal experience of being with these guests at their panels of say 500-1000 people; as opposed to those larger conventions and being in a room with these icons with 3,000-5,000 nerds. Would you rather waste thousands and thousands of dollars at these gigantic, cramped conventions where the odds of you meeting these guests and have a short chat with them are lower than you fucking a fine cosplayer at your hotel room?
Or would you spend the time and money traveling to a smaller, more warm and welcoming conventions where you can spend an intimate time with the guests?
Now that I think about it, it’s funny how I use the words “warm” and “intimate” to describe the Archon experience. Again, it does go back to how Archon is run by OG (original gangsta) nerds who came up in a time where nerds were bullied hardcore and weren’t welcome by normal society, but there’s that welcoming, warm vibe that surrounds Archon (because of what these guys went through).
Regardless of your nerdom (may it be anime, comics, sci-fi, movies, etc.), Archon welcomes everyone. Nobody will come up to you and get in their feelings on how you’re cosplaying as an anime character at a Sci-Fi/Western media convention (can’t say the same for you weeaboos who love to get in ya feelings and go up to non-Eastern media cosplayers saying they don’t belong at anime cons).
Believe me; check out these pictures of a few non-Western (influenced) media cosplayers I took (while drunk and stoned so that’s why their pics are blurry):
You may be wondering (due to the title of this post) at this point why I am doing just one local convention from here on out? It’s simple: Archon is much mellower and lax compared to the anime conventions in the St. Louis area. Wizard World St. Louis is an industry ran convention; meaning no freedom to go wild.
Anime St. Louis is “cool”, but larger conventions such as Anime Expo, Anime Central, and Anime Weekend Atlanta have better guests and have the funds to obtain guests directly from Japan. Anime Senpai just started their first year in 2018 and came from the remains of a few dead conventions that crashed, burned, and failed.
I have no hope for Anime Senpai lasting longer than five years at the most.
Archon has the longevity factor. It’s been around for nearly 45 years and each year they do something to make it better, bigger, and net new and old fans. Unlike other conventions in our area, they don’t play around. It’s a convention for everyone regardless of age and fandom. Have a cosplay even if it’s not sci-fi or fantasy? They don’t care – bring it to Archon! You will find people who enjoy it (if it’s not too obscure).
Archon is amazing and I love it.
‘What more can I say?
I wouldn’t be here today
If the old-school didn’t pave the way!’ -Brand Nubian
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.