The word Otaku in Japanese is used as a derogatory term for someone who is obsessive about one particular subject. In America and some other parts of the world it has a slightly different meaning. It means someone who is into anime, manga, and other Japanese forms of culture. I am an American Otaku. I might actually be just a normal Otaku as well.
This is a secret that I have been keeping for some time. Although my presence online has been growing with the fact I am into anime and manga, my offline presence is not. Why I keep it a secret, well there are some reasons.
Anime sometimes does not have the greatest reputation to say the least. Although only my younger brother knows this secret, he still holds up the stereotypes of it as well as what other people see anime as. For example I walk into a room and there is some sort of tentacle monster on the television that is being used as a joke for a children’s cartoon. My brother giggles only to look back at me.
“I’m not even going to bother at this point,” I responded.
“I know, but it is still fun to tease you,” he replies.
I guess being teased by my younger brother comes with the territory. I am the oldest, and yes although I tease them from time to time, it only makes sense that he teases me. It is just one of those things. The reason why he does not get past that stereotype comes down to the deeper problem, which is he does not feel like it. I get used to it, and he gets annoyed when I bring up anything, but do not reveal the fact that I am into anime out loud, this always annoys him.
Now, back to my main point where if I were to mention Pokemon and the fact that is an anime, people have an idea what it could be. Although I do not consider hentai anime, people think that form of pornography is anime nevertheless and thinks that is all anime is something to do with tentacles and girls. Fan services as well, which in all honesty although the extremes of fan services have raised in anime in recent years, content that has less fan service has still been there always. But still, it is a small percentage of a medium and an already small group of people who are into it can be targeted as scapegoats.
Anime is different. There is no changing that. Manga is different. There is not changing that either. Yet, the small fraction of what people believe takes away from the fact on what it really is. It is a different form of storytelling. There is countless number of ways to look on it beyond just that, from characters, to concepts of changing genres. Yet, there is still the small fraction that people think about more.
Three years ago I got into anime. I will not lie and say that I did have the perspective that I just said on what I thought anime is. Without a doubt in anime, out of the several hundred that I have seen the number of stereotypes I could count on a hand or two at most, which can be focused more on a single genre rather than the medium itself.
Three years ago was when I first watched anime. What led to that was a sort of interesting story.
It was the summer between my junior and senior year of high school. The days were hotter and hotter the more time passed. My birthday that year I was given a laptop, so I was able to finally start writing my story. It not just pen and paper anymore but instead in the fashion of being typed on a computer screen. A part of me misses those days. Those simple days where I could write a single story over the span of months spending afternoons working on it in that chair that was never good for my back. The pen would be going against the paper with no worries of spelling or grammar errors. It was a different time before I entered the keys. Now it is not a single story, but several simultaneously. Although I am on the third draft of the series I want to publish now, I can say with confidence after this draft I will begin my search for an agent and try to get that life out into the world for others to experience it.
My story has always been important to me. I write about superheroes, and have been molding this particular story since seventh grade. I always wanted to be a writer, ever since second grade. It is my dream and my passion. So, with the fact I now had a computer it opened up a lot to me, namely one of the greatest inventions that exploded with my generation, the internet. So, with my ever growing passion for superheroes and movies being plentiful by the year, it is no surprise that that summer I was watching superhero cartoons to relive those glory days of my youth, even though I was only eighteen at the time.
The stories of heroes always inspired me. Fantasy stories as well. I would read fantasy stories or read comics regularly. Eventually my need of watching superhero cartoons was not just limited to that, but ones with fantasy elements as well. So going ahead a few months I saw a cartoon on television. That cartoon I decided to watch online, since finding time to myself on the television is rather hard when you only have two televisions, and two younger siblings with the youngest constantly watching a history based channels and the middle child complaining about the youngest. Once I finished watching that particular series I discovered it was an anime. Something clicked inside my mind. It was conflicted.
One side of my brain said, “No, that is not an anime, it is nothing like what anime is.”
The other side of my brain was saying, “Yes, it is an anime, so why not check out more series to prove to yourself that it is not what you believe it to be.”
I am a person that loves to prove myself wrong. I am also a person that loves to prove himself right. My mind is just like that, full of contradictions sometimes. Without the two sides ever conflicting and contradicting one another, I probably would not have taken that next step forward and watch anime. With that, and the help of the brilliance of abridge series, I would not have gotten into as much anime as I did.
There has been countless number of events that has happened in the last few years that got me to the point to where I am now. I have questioned this countless times before on why I watch it, why I find it interesting, and why I still keep it a remote secret. I am not really sure where my life will really take me, a current twenty two year old who besides being mature can be very immature at times, and I am not sure what will happen no matter what. I do not know how long I will enjoy this sort of medium. I do not know about a lot of things. I do not think anyone really does. But that is what life is about.
So, for now, this is only the beginning possibly starting at the middle of it all.
Well, that concludes this first post in the journal like post that will be documenting my thoughts and my everyday life.
Please comment on anything, if you want me to go into more detail or talk about a certain concepts and here my thoughts about it. Let me know, since this is something I plan to do for some time and getting ideas to make this more enjoyable for people would be appreciated. I want to try to get at least two out a month, but sometimes there might be more with things on my mind, or if people want to here me talk about a certain subject.