Fair warning, I’m going on one of those weird rides again. Even I’m not entirely sure where this post is going to take us but I hope you take a leap with me. If we don’t end up anywhere interesting, at least we’ll be together. Wait…

I know this is going to take some of you by surprise, but I like Steins;Gate. It sounds weird cause I never mention it but nevertheless there you have it. And even though I waver and change my mind a lot on favorite characters, I have always had a soft spot for Itaru Hashida, Daru to his friends. I was very disappointed that he didn’t have his own route in the first game.

we would have so much to talk about

However, there’s this uncomfortable truth I’ve often pushed aside when it comes to the character. Something I like to pretend I don’t know but that was brought back to the forefront in an episode of Steins;Gate 0. See I love my proud degenerate perv Daru but if we ever met in real life, I would probably not be along with him, and that makes me sad.

Let me make it clear, it’s not that his kinks would be that disturbing in real life (well aside from the ones directed at children. I would have to call the police and that would also probably put a damper on our relationship.) It’s rather that his kinks are incompatible with me, or who I appear to be. This is just getting more confusing. Let’s try to get some examples.

In the first episode where Maho and Daru meet, he of course declares her a legal loli and goes on the leer at her for the rest of the scene. Maho is a seriously no nonesense type of lady so she simply brushes him off without much ado. And it does seem like they come to some type of understanding as she uses his help with Kurisu’s laptop later on, but their relationship remains distant.

I don’t know what to say…

As I’ve mentioned a few times on this blog (unlike my fondness for Steins;Gate which was a secret until today), I’m also vertically challenged. And trust me, people don’t look too closely at strangers’ faces. I am still regularly mistaken for a teenager and occasionally tween. I suppose it would be flattering if it hadn’t always been the case.

I can only assume that a meeting between me and Daru would be very similar to his meeting with Maho. Sadly I don’t have Mayo’s cool or her patience. I would laugh it off and try to be a good sport but deep down, I would probably be a little scared and it’s real tough to come back from that type of first impression. Granted, I scare easy. Some of it is on me.

And that’s what makes me sad.

I like Daru because he’s a sarcastic troll with a perfect deadpan delivery and razor sharp dry wit, while being very intelligent and incisive. He’s a good friend and comes through when it counts. He’s also a confusing but very loving father. Daru and I have a lot in common, we have similar interests, senses of humour, I like his friends and would love to learn more about the mechanical/electrical workings of a time machine. We really could, should, hit it off very well. That is if we ever got to know each other.

you’re just making it worse, dude…

In all likelihood, I would never get to meet this Daru. The guy I would know is the leering weirdo who only talks in bad come ons or tries to guess what I wanna hear. There’s nothing interesting about that guy. I would never have the privilege of seeing the best parts of the person. I wouldn’t get to know the witty sex positive genius. I would only get another that guy. Most of us know a guy like that. Occasionally a girl like that too.

If we were never the object of their interest then we may have been lucky enough to meet the person behind the one liners. Otherwise, they’re that person you can’t actually have a conversation with because it will turn into them hitting on you. You can’t just joke around or go somewhere with them cause it feels like leading them on. So you never get to know them and never get a chance to figure out if you are even interested.

Of course this makes me sad. I’m the one loosing out here.

see!

I should probably have said this earlier. I know that there are folks out there who are more sensitive and that I need to make myself perfectly clear. None of this is meant to attack or condemn anyone. It’s not Daru’s fault if I react the way I do.

In fact, the point I’m actually trying to make is that I should thank Daru. Characters like his have given me a different perspective. It has been my chance to see the man behind the character and I’m grateful for that. Fiction does that and for me particularly anime. Probably because I have watched so much of it, I tend to identify with unrealistic pictures of people more than with real actors… In any case, it’s nice to see those little things people don’t usually show you. Even if you will never in fact get the chance to know anyone like that well.

In all likelihood, I could be friends, or friendly acquaintances, with a real life Daru but he’d never joke around with me like he does with his real friends. He’d never come to me for advice or to share some dorky excitement. To him, I would also be a specific archetype that comes with all sorts of preconceptions and codes of conduct. If I don’t act harshly or at the very least sternly, it’s very difficult to take me seriously. When I do I can come off extremely cold. I wouldn’t blame anyone for being a little uncertain.

I just asked for the time…

Thankfully, a generation of tiny anime tsundere has taught any good Otaku that there’s nothing to be afraid of (except physical harm) and that I most likely have a heart if gold and probably some childhood trauma or something. And Steins;Gate has taught me that slightly indecent gigantic men are really smart and funny once they get the chance to settle down.

Basically, anime has taught me not to judge a book by it’s cover and not to assume people are judging me. Will any of these lessons actually serve me in real life? Probably not…

So thank you to anime for bringing those of us who might not be quite as socially adjusted as others, together!

22 thoughts on “Becoming a Better Person Through Anime (again…)”

  1. I’ve met a very close to actual Daru IRL, and he’s got a gf. Bit of a psycho gf, but he does fine.

    I think anime in many ways has made me more comfortable around certain types of people. For one thing, I’m like 99% sure I’ve become way more accepting of gay people than I was before thanks to my fujoshi friend/crush. My country has a rather primitive and downright offensive view against gay people, so while I was never antagonistic towards them, I was a bit leery of being treated gay. I got over that real quick around college, the point where most people stop giving a shit about the petty stuff like that.

    Oregairu thought me to stop viewing people through one lens way better than a lot of other shows have. It’s really relatable how I tend to judge people by projecting my own ideals and thoughts onto them like Hachiman. Especially the characters of Hayama and Yui, both the typical kind of people I used to dislike IRL for being so popular and friendly and “fake”. Well, they are fake, but not at all in the way I expected them, plus they pointed out how fake I was being too by criticizing Hachiman.

    1. I remember reading a lot of those articles when snaggle tooth became a very popular anime design choice. Japanese girls where getting dental surgery to get uneven teeth.

  2. This reminds me of how a fujoshi I thought was disgusting and perverted became my best friend…
    I was really off-put and angry that she was shipping me with one of my friends, and that was kinda a bad area for me. Since I’m quiet and introspective, I’ve never really dated… so it gets me real touchy for someone to assume I’m gay because of it. Just the other day, my friend literally asked me if I’m even straight!
    First world problems, I’m telling ya!

    1. for what it’s worth a Fujoshi shipping you with another doesn’t mean they think you’re gay and if they do it’s the BIGGEST compliment!

    2. I’ve even had gay people think I’m gay. I say, “Thank you – but no.” Never anything offensive about it. Got nothing to do about whether you date or not.

      We all have our hot buttons. Life is immensely better if we cool them off. Otherwise, it hurts every time someone accidentally brushes up against one and it leaves one vulnerable to those who deliberately push them.

      1. Yeah, figured it wasn’t a very unique struggle… but I figured the result was kinda interesting.
        If I just refused to deal with the girl because she annoyed me, I never would’ve known how funny she could be. In the end, I’m glad I met her, even if the circumstances were kinda crappy.

  3. Life’s full of people, and a lot of them are great, and by far the most of them have some aspects to them that put as off. When they come later in a relationship we can learn how to deal with it, ask the other person to dial it back, etc. That’s just life. But if the elements that put as off are skin deep and the first thing we see? Instant barrier. Which is sad, because superficial things that are turn-offs are easier to deal with.

    For me, changing my mind about people often changes how they look. It’s hard to explain: they still have the same physical attributes, but they sort of look completely different. (For around one year in my life, I had such switches randomly and not only for people [e.g. rain or darkness would suddenly looke “different”], so I wonder whether there’s something in my brain that I can trigger [and that for a while triggered randomly].) It’s a really strange feeling.

    1. I definitely find people way more attractive if they have a great sense of humour. They look the same but not the same…I get it

  4. Unfortunately…we seem to be living in a society where people always seem to judge people by the way they look, or what their appearance is. And many people who do that, just miss out on meeting some of the most interesting persons one could ever meet. I guess all I could say to that is it’s their loss. One thing I do know is this: of course I don’t pretend to be good judge of character: But I do seem to get first impressions right: at least most of the time. Not by looking at the way they appear, but by actually talking to them. Yes…scary isn’t it? Now. I am a very shy person by nature as I have said many times. I scare easily and can be very uncomfortable when it comes down to meeting new people. But the thing is, you can tell a lot by people from even talking to them online. And that’s where you come in. Ever since having met you I know for a fact that you have a heart of gold. The way you interact with people here, the enormous generosity you have shown towards others, and the encouragement and support you show each and every day is something to be proud of. Anyone who would judge you other wise, and go simply only by looks or outward appearance would miss out on getting to know one of the most terrific and kindest woman that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Though we might never meet in real life: I just know that you are one of the greats. And anyone who says otherwise..is someone who should check himself into a mental department. Clearly there is something wrong with him/her. And if Daru were here, and he would know you as I have come to know you…I’m sure he would agree, and activate his timemachine to get you to be his friend 😊
    Great post Irina! As always you make it into one hell of a personal and at the same time powerful post. But now the cat is out of the bag though: the secret is out: Irina loves Stein’s Gate!! 😱😱 Who would have guessed it 😂😂

    1. Raistlin…who told you you could use this to embarrass the hecks out of me. Need to go take a few deep breaths now…

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