Sometimes I like to pretend that all anime fans are alike and not a diverse group of people with individual tastes and experiences just like everyone else in the world. And of course when I do that, I fancy that the these anime fans are more specifically like me regardless of how much solid evidence to the contrary there exists.
It’s a silly thing to do but it makes me feel like I’m part of the group. I’m saying this because I realize that the 5 embarrassing things I’m about to list probably just happen to a…uhm…”special” person like me but I’m pretending they are common anime fan experiences to make myself feel better. So let’s all take a minute to laugh at our silliness together!
5. Accidentally gushing about an anime to people who don’t watch anime
So I was sitting at a work lunch surrounded by a group of stuffy middle aged people in suits who were all discussing serious important issues and I stated to absent mindlessly describe the plot of Dr. Stone. I was talking about the interesting thought exercise of what an evolutionary curb would look like if we started out with limited but very advanced technical knowledge but no manufacturing means and set the stage by giving a rather accurate and literal description of the set up of the series.
And then I realized my mistake. I had a bunch of important folks looking at me fascinated and demanding to know more about the series and where they could watch it. I could feel my face heat up as I tried to calmly explained that it was an anime and there’s a manga available, and then explain what anime and manga are just to have someone say, oh I think my 9 year old nephew likes those.
Just to be clear, no one made me feel bad or inferior for watching anime or anything. They were all just sort of bewildered. But there was something about the dissonance of the situation that made me want to slowly sink into the ground. By the way, that lady’s nephew didn’t like Dr. Stone too much it turns out. He was more into Tokyo Ghoul at the time.
4. School uniform shopping after you’ve graduated
Maybe this is a more common experience for the ladies but I hope not. I happen to be smaller than a lot of people currently in high school which is often annoying but gives me some options when it comes to fashion. And one thing that’s nice is that I can usually find school uniforms in my size rather easily. And because 80% of the women I see in media are wearing school uniforms of some sort, that has slowly become the height of fashion in my mind and a perfectly normal thing to wear at just about any occasion.
It’s not though. Deciding it’s time to renew your wardrobe and heading to a local supply shop to get a nice plaid uniform and some crisp white shirts is fairly unusual once you graduated high school a decade ago. And apparently it’s associated with certain preconceptions… You’ll get some weird questions. It’s awkward….
3. Being suspiciously unphased by incest
Remember when the first season of Game of Thrones came out and how shocked and aghast you were to find out siblings Cersei and Jamie Lannister were having a romantic relationship! Spoilers by the way… Well I don’t, cause it seemed like an average Tuesday to me. I didn’t really understand why the people in the show were making a deal about it but you know, you gotta get your drama!
If it had stayed at that, we would have been all good. But noooooooo, of course things can’t just miraculously work out for me. Of course a few episodes in someone had to cryptically mention something along the lines of how creepy the Lannisters were and I had to say, well they’re ruthless and money hungry but you have to expect it with the setting. A lot of the families are, they just happen to be more successful really (this was early on, they get a lot more ruthless with time). At this point they looked at me with a mix of pithy and possibly just a touch of revulsion (I could have imagined it) and said: The incest, Irina !?! Oh… yeah.. that…hehe…
I constantly have to readjust my inner notion of what is supposed to be shocking in entertainment and what’s perfectly normal. Did that lady just call the guy she met an hour ago by his first name!!??! What is this smut!!!! Basically, I shouldn’t watch tv with other people is what I’m saying.
2. Trying to solve everything through cuteness
I think I’m a person who is capable of learning things. And anime has thought me that cute makes right. The big puppy dog eyes and high voice will get me through absolutely every problem in life! It’s only natural that I go straight to that when I’m trying to get the plumber to come tomorrow instead of next week. Or when I want to make a substitution on a menu item. It’s a reasonable reaction to conflict resolution.
And it’s even better when I only realize half way through a sentence that my voice has gone up two octaves or that a friend tries to casually ask why I went into baby speak with a teller. My only solace is that I tend to avoid social situations so I don’t think it’s happened that often. Or at least I hope not. It’s horrible though and I really need to stop that immediately. It kind of works….
1. Slipping into otakuspeek
We’ve been encouraging children in the province to draw rainbows and stick them in their windows along with the slogan “ça va bien aller” (everything’s going to be alright). It’s cute. I’m not sure if this is a world wide convention or just a local one. If so maybe you have your own slogan in your neck of the woods. Something like we’ll get through this together or brighter days ahead perhaps. You know what slogan doesn’t exist anywhere? “It’s going to be daijoubu”. But of course that’s what I said the first time I saw those rainbows, and out loud to top it off. Luckily I was too far away from anyone else to be heard but it’s hardly the first time.
Whithout realizing it I’ve told people to stop being so tsundere or that something was borderline lolicon. I’ve called myself a weeb or admiringly qualified pieces of art as innocently ecchi. And of course every time I have had to stop and explain the weird words I was using. And because humans are curious creatures, I could simply give them a definition, they would want to know the nature and etymology. Do you know how odd it is to explain why you called a ceratin actress waifu material to your 70 year old neighbour? Cause I do! It’s super odd!
Wow, just writing about these has made me embarrassed all over again. But it’s all good because we’ve all been there…hehe… right? Right!?! I mean of course we have! I bet some of us have even done some other embarrassing stuff they want to share! Cause being an anime fan isn’t all glamour and prestige. Just most of the time!