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!

anime excited
and then the guy who’s just a suit of armour and the toddler with the magical chi powers ….

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.

princess principal uniform
some uniforms are worth the embarassement

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….

just the fact that I know the word twincest is sort of questionable

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.

anime cute
I will buy you a car

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….

why not

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!

Rini 2020 (6)

36 thoughts

  1. “Do you know how odd it is to explain why you called a ceratin actress waifu material to your 70 year old neighbour?”

    You crack me up sometimes, Irina, lol.

  2. Never been there yet. But for the incest part I can relate to you. Other people find it shocking and are furious, and here I am completely chilled. Sometimes I am confused, with myself.

  3. I missed this post! I definitely never tried number 2…. no ma’m!
    School girl outfit shopping hard.. cause we dont have those.. the Japanese cosplay ones usually dont come in large dutch woman sizes! I tried though! Tee-hee!

    1. I never tried cosplay uniforms. I’m not sure I could get away with wearing those to the supermarket… But I would want to be friends with someone who does.

  4. Dangerous ground, here. . .the right school uniform combined with a bit of puppy-eyed babyspeak and you’ll probably rule the world!

  5. Can you imagine? I even see lovers in anime still using their last names. I can see how that would be confusing IRL. Calling someone by their last name in this culture is verbally subordinating them, even insulting them, especially if you leave off the honorific, Mr., Mrs., Ms., Dr. or whatever.

    As to using anime terms with non-anime fans. I just pretend to be a sophisticated international multiculturalist. Such a person naturally salts their conversation liberally with foreign expression when English doesn’t have a word/phrase with exactly the right nuance. Or they just want to be a snob.

    1. I sort of slip into different languages a lot, not out of sophistication but simply because by now I speak no language and need to Frankenstein a bunch together to get a sentence out…

  6. I naturally hold back with everything I like; I sort of assume that by default if I like it, the person I’m talking to doesn’t, and I need to see signs of interest to even bring up a topic. I grew into this sort of behaviour during my years of teenage outsiderdom (I pestered people all the time as a kid). I don’t even use the anime terminology much when I’m talking about anime, so there’s little chance of me using it in real life.

    Also: is it a problem to get menu-item substitutions? Around here you just say with X but without Y, without even considering that it could be an imposition. (Fast food joints are an obvious exception.) In any case, the cuteness strategy is a feminine staple in partriarchy and a tad risky when used by guys in the wrong situation or to the wrong person. I’ve encountered it quite often from girls and women who don’t watch anime, in one case even from my boss. It’s a little exaggerated in anime, but then what isn’t?

    Anime school uniforms generally look cooler than real life school uniforms. The most puzzling one, though, comes from Akashic Records. I may have to revise a prior line. Some thing in anime aren’t exaggerated a little, they’re exaggerated a lot.

  7. I think I gots #3, maybe. Not too long ago, A fellow human asked me what anime I was watching recently, to which my reply was Kiss X Sis along with a dabble of personal opinions slipped in as a bonus (which weren’t too negative). That weirded him out A LOT and I honestly don’t know what he was thinking in that moment, except “ew”. You could practically hear the line: “S-So you’re just gonna gloss over the incest, eh?”. It’s too bad I failed to realize that when I was mindlessly rambling to him…

    Long-story-short, I was politely asked to reevaluate the content I watch. Pfff, “reevaluate”, there is obviously no need! Right? …Right?

  8. Hahaha, I can visualise number 1 right now: “Well, Mrs. Jenkins, when a weeb and a hug pillow REALLY love each other…” Well, then you’d have to explain what a weeb is. So maybe not.

    I can’t say I’ve had any experiences like this. I’m a bit of a closet otaku– not on purpose, mind you, it’s just sort of turned out that way, for various reasons. Also, I’m a guy, so I can’t exactly get away with talking like a moe-moe anime girl… unless I want to get punched in the face.

    The closest I’ve come to anything similar is my voice when speaking Japanese can sound uncannily like certain anime characters– probably because that’s where I picked up a lot of my speaking skills (not recommended). My voice just sounds a lot more… I dunno, gentle? Mirthful? When I speak Japanese. I sound like one of those flippant, flirty bishounen characters from a shoujo anime. Seriously. So on the few occasions in which someone asks to hear me speak Japanese, I try to pick a dorky line that I imagine one of those sorts of characters might say. I’m super cool, I know.

    Judging from the fact you mentioned “province” and that kids speak French, I’m guessing you’re in Quebec? If so, that makes us neighbours. Cheers from Canada’s capital 🙂

    1. Oh yay! Always great to hear from a fellow Canadian! was also a closer otaku for no particular reason for years but then it sort of spilled out….

  9. That is an interesting list, but I have to say that of all the embarassing things that have happened to me of which there are many, those are not any of them.

  10. Don’t worry you’re not the only one who does these things. I do these things all the time, I told my friend about the new AOT season 4 trailer and he just shut me over. I don’t know about number 4 though.

  11. Number 5 happens to me quite often, but I blame that mostly on the majority of my friends not having seen enough anime. I’m very aware of the fact that out of all the people I spend time with in the real world, I’m the person who watches the most anime. I try to contain myself, I hosted the office quiz last week and there were only 2 anime-related questions! I was proud of myself for that.

      1. The quiz has been a lot of fun, especially with us all apart and working from home. Though it does tend to reveal a bit about the host, yesterday’s had a round where we had to identify chocolate bars.

  12. Definitely a fun list! I find myself gushing about otome games to friends all the time and most tend to take it in stride. Though I have convinced a few of them to give otome games a try, so I count it as a win!!

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