It’s only been a year and change since I last posted anything, but it’s been two years since Japan made my heart go doki-doki. Heck, I barely even used or studied my nihongo during that time. I didn’t know why, but I lost interest in everything Japan. What happened?
I think it had to do with the fear of being labeled as an otaku. Honestly speaking, I became too worried about my reputation as a “normal” person; this slowly built up after attending my first anime con back in 2009. Since then, I realized that I wanted to be normal, which meant normal enough to have a girlfriend, and anime fangirls just turned me off. So I cut myself off from Japan.
Almost. I had very faint ties to it still. I still bought games from NIS, though I didn’t play them. I occasionally listened to Hamasaki Ayumi’s classic songs. I continued to collect Yotsuba manga.
On the flipside, I stopped keeping up with the latest anime. I didn’t buy new figures or JPop music. I even tolerated watching dubbed anime when friends requested. It was crazy. I turned my back on a hobby that inspired me from high school into adolescence.
And all for what? Normalcy? a girlfriend?
I got what I wanted last year: normalcy and a girlfriend. Was it everything I dreamed it would be? Nope. I was still miserable.
However, I learned a few things. I don’t have to be a hikikomori. I don’t have to commit social suicide. I don’t even have to sing along to cute anime theme songs. But I can enjoy freely. I can say that I like Japan and not be weird about it. And if Japan makes something like BABYMETAL, I can allow myself to just shrug and say, “sho ga nai.”
Tadaima, Nihon. Hisashiburi desu ne. I missed the tsunami. I wasn’t there when the government passed the law on anime censorship. I wasn’t very vocal when Tokyopop closed shop. I was a very negligent “otaku” who turned his back on his life. But I’m here now. I paid for a subscription to Crunchyroll. I made two pre-orders for a couple figures. I’ve started buying manga again. However, I’m scaling back and limiting myself to a budget so that I can’t blame my lack of money on this hobby and leave again.