Dave Dumps On

Japanese Animation Geeks

Okay, I'll admit it -- years ago, I used to be a fanboy. I was a fanboy of everything, from Star Trek to Japanese animation, But I grew out of this by the age of 25. A couple of years out of college with a job that exposes one to people who operate in the real world can do wonders for one's obsessions. One of the things with popular culture is that a certain style defines a given subculture. The trance-culture is typified by their preference for an insipid musical style called Trance music; Biker culture is typified by their obsession with motorcycles; sports culture is defined by it's overindulgence in sports.

But there is a whole different story when it comes to Japanimation geeks. They are not simply people with an obsession about Japanese cartoons. Most of the ones I know have a pathetic, and arguably useless obsession with Japanese cartoons. How do I mean this? Well, having a few Japanese animation trinkets is not bad in and of itself, but decorating an entire house or room with nothing but Japanimation memorabilia is a little bit obsessive. Having some Japanese videos is not bad, but having a collection made almost exclusively of Japanese videos is going too far. Spending money on a hobby is not bad, but spending so much money on a hobby that you are often short of cash for rent, bills, and such, is sort of retarded.

A lot of Japanese animation fans I know are into the whole mode of thought that people who aren't watching Japanese cartoons are missing out on something wonderful and fullfilling in life -- a lot like the way Jesus-freaks tell you that unless you are obsessed with Jesus, you are missing out on something. When you have a friend who is over-the-edge in his Japanimation dweebiness, it seems that every time you talk to them, no matter what the subject is, they always want to tell you about their favorite anime show, or the latest news from Japan about upcoming shows; some do this regardless of whether or not they know you have no interest in the subject.

There are anime fans, but then there are the real droolers. I've been to science fiction conventions in different parts of the country, and have seen some trully pathetic people. Most of the ones that are really pathetic are either Star Trek fans, or Japanimation fans (why is this always the case?). There is one type of anime pervert I can't believe s for real, even though I've met them in-person -- the people who are into anime porn. Now, a lot of you who know me might say "hey, wait a minute! You sell anime porn in your video section!" My response is that I sell it because it is popular and sells very well, and well... who's to argue with money? but beside that point, have you ever met those ugly, disgusting guys who never wash, and draw the same naked anime gals all the time, build the vinyl models with special attention to making them anatomically correct? Not only have I met them, and sold tapes to them, but I have met some who go one step further; I have met some of these guys who literally talk about having sex with characters from anime shows, and openly fantasize about it. Hey... whatever yanks your crank, I guess...

The thing I really hate the most is the total emersion that some anime fans get into -- "dedicating" every corner of their lives to it by buying all manner of posters, books, magazines, studying Japanese just to be able to read the comics or understand the videos, buyng Japanese versions of popular video game systems just to play anime-oriented video games, and intellectualizing the plot of a cartoon as though it had some deep, heady philosophy imbedded into it. If you are doing almost all of these things listed, and not just one or two, you have a serious peoblem. I can't stand people like that, because being around them is like being around a mentally ill person who is trapped in their childhood.

Let's face it. Japanese animation is juvelnile, insipid, and endless in it's artistic, thematic, and storyline incestuousness. Every character looks like they came from the same artist - an artist who himself is obsessed with impossible body figures and puppy-dog eyes. The plots are always borrowing from each other -- I swear I saw over 100 different anime shows that had the same plots, characters, and sound effects. I mean, what makes a 35-year-old adult want to watch shows that are intended for a 12-and-under audience is beyond me -- it's sort of like seeing a fully grown man who can't wait for the next "Free Willy" movie to come out. Aren't these people bored with the fact that they're getting the same recycled kiddie-crap over-and-over? Are they like the pathetic Star Trek geeks, who could watch the same episodes of Trek drek over and over again without getting bored? I dunno. I got out of all of that crap before even I understood it's appeal. All I do know is that these people are pretty scary, and that being among a crowd of them is very similar to being among a crowd of mental patients -- almost like being the only sane person trapped in an insane asylum.

I realize, from past newsgroup rants of mine, that many anime fans are hypersensitive abou this kind of talk. I have to stress that not all anime fans are like the ones I hate -- just most of the ones I have met. There is a very sane minority of anime fans who just like it, and it never gets beyond watching a few tapes, and maybe having admiration for a story, animator or artist. I get messages from these people all the time, who bitch about how I overgeneralize. They, of course, aren't really reading my articles -- they are seeing some aspects of themselves portrayed, and jump to the conclusion that i am attacking them, and not just some anime fans. I am not. I am only attacking the specific types of people I am ranting about.