Let me wander off into some other topic that I didn’t say I was planning to do. To put it in precise terms, I wonder exactly what gets people to come to anime club.
I’ve already mentioned that the club itself doesn’t go to great lengths to recruit new members. Instead, we take the easy way out and have a website for people to find or look for. I think it’s a nice business model because we only encounter people who are genuinely interested enough to actually look for an anime club on campus. That’s certainly how I, in a fit of boredom in my first year of college, came to attend this place and get to know all the wonderful people I know today. Well, I wouldn’t say “wonderful” in the successful, social sense. They’re all nerds.
I say “nerds” because I hesitate to say “otaku”. I certainly don’t see myself as an otaku. I’ll label myself as an anime fan, as will most other people I’ve encountered in anime club, but there is a certain subsection of the group that are irrevocably and without a doubt otakus, and I don’t identify completely with them. See, like most people who end up blogging about anime, I see myself as one of those people that commenters will label as an “elitist”. You know, the person who tries to sound smart by talking about narrative themes and meanings in anime. I don’t go as far as to completely disparage other, “lesser” anime, though I can certainly recognize that my tastes direct me away from the cheesecake (slang for female sex appeal for those who don’t know) and into a bizarre fruitcake and jell-o salad combination (a term I made up on the spot to describe my tastes in anime) that’s best left appreciated rather than eaten.
I believe anibloggers can get comfortable agreeing with each other about how certain series are consensus bad or which ones are universal in their quality. They might argue about the ones in the grey area, but that’s where I think the discussion is the most truthful about a person’s taste. There are people who like it, people who hate it, and people who attempt to qualify their ambivalence or frustration towards the material in question. Maybe it’s not a matter of good or bad and it’s instead a matter of interesting or boring. For example, Tamako Market is certainly a good series (when you look at it from an atmospheric, magical realism perspective), but it is boring to watch if you don’t see it that way. I saw that particular divide during the club once episode 3 rolled around. Then there’s the series that is certainly interesting, but you can’t say that it’s good. For this season, Kotoura-san takes that slot. It’s dramatic and whiny and BLUHHHHHH, but not in a good way. Sure, that turnaround in the first episode was cute and all, but that wore away fast. Maoyuu got tiring fast because of reasons I have already explained. Everyone laughs away at The Unlimited as usual.
Maybe it’s just because Winter 2013 anime sucks. Maybe that’s the reason why attendance is a bit low for these two weeks. Or maybe it’s because it was both a Friday that was raining hard and a subsequent Friday that was the Friday before midterms. There is no way to win people over their acadamics with your Chinese Pornographic Cartoons. At least, not the serious and studious ones. My friends are none of the sort. They attend as many meetings as possible while I am one part obligated and one part devoted to provide anime to watch each week. In a way, being the proactive Vice-President in comparison to the laziness of Madarame-senpai makes it my sworn duty to watch as many anime as possible to see which ones are good or not. We staff converse with each other on Facebook and it is by virtue of my position that I end up deciding what to watch. Does that mean I have complete control over what we end up watching? Not necessarily. There’s always a snag or two about an hour before the screenings actually start. Mostly from the president himself because he decides at the last minute that showing something else would be a better idea. After knowing him for a year by now, I am fully aware that not all his suggestions (OreShura, Senran Kagura, Mondaiji) are necessarily the greatest ideas. With him, it’s always finding the thing that offends us the least.
Oh yeah, I haven’t even gotten around to the types of people who come to anime club, have I? Well, there’s several people I could talk about, and I obviously won’t label them by any name because that would be downright disrespectful (because even though I try to be fair I end up sounding condescending when I do these kinds of things). Let’s talk about this from a conceptual standpoint.
Say that there is this one person in your anime club that is socially awkward. No, not the shy type that is unsure how to respond to your questions with anything other than silence and nods, I’m talking about the guy that won’t shut up about this hobbies and interests.
Imagine that he’s a huge fan of riffing bad sci-fi movies, and subsequently bad anime, and then note how many times he is able to weasel this little tidbit into every aspect of the conversation with each chance he gets. He lacks volume control and tact, two things that could get a person berated at a movie theater, much more at some dinghy anime club screening where the consequences of being loud are a bit, well, louder. Now, we are no strangers to riffing. We do it all the time with bad anime because it’s a method of coping in the absence of anything truly good. Anibloggers do this with at least one show each season (Not this one because everything equally sucks except maybe Chihayafuru which I still need to watch). Now, imagine if you tried to do this with every show you ever watched.
This guy is the pinnacle of good intentions gone awry. Almost all of his words go down the drain because his speech is unfortunately loud and nasally. This is further compounded by the fact that he’s ignorant about current anime (as in he doesn’t stay current with anime like we do). Keep in mind, most people who end up in anime club don’t actually stay current with each anime season in Japan. Some of them don’t even watch anime much on their own free time. Keep in mind though, it just makes it worse to hear these kind of things from the guy I speak of. Suffice to say, I don’t think anyone in the clubroom especially appreciates his presence. Perhaps our consideration and patience will wear thin. Or maybe he’ll grow up.
He just reminds me of my own embarrassments and beginnings as an anime fan, about maybe seven or eight years ago.
This guy is probably my age. That hurts a bit, you know, to see him represent my younger, foolish self in real time.
- Expect future updates to be more of this format than anything planned or scripted. This is all drivel out of the top of my head.
- Amazing how a month’s worth of time can dilute your thoughts about a subject like this into mush.
- I’ve been stuck in the FE Awakening universe to write much i sowwy