I think I am probably one of the biggest hypocrites out there.
I cringe at the thought of anyone publically saying that they like Anime or Japanese culture in general.
When someone regales me with their stories of the two-week holiday they spent in Japan, I have a nasty thought in the back of my head that says something along the lines of “Yeah, but you didn’t go to the real Japan!”
And don’t get me started on my hatred of white guys that go out with Japanese chicks!
In a way, I think that I’m really just defending my own investments in myself, and defending my own (probably fragile) self-image. I’m a young father who happens to love technology, photography, Japan, and the oddities of the internet. I’ve spent a lot of time studying various aspects of the above, and I continually try to be learning something, no matter what the current value of that something may be.
I’ve spent a lot of time carving out a niche in the universe that is distinctly “me”-shaped, one that will define me throughout my life, and hopefully make me memorable enough so that I will exist in people’s memories once I have shuffled off this mortal coil.
So when I see a white guy with a Japanese girl, I feel like my place is challenged. When I see a group of kids flicking through Naruto in the bookshop, I look upon them with disdain. When I read a decent Hanako fan-fiction I am filled with some kind of sick resentment, picking holes in it anywhere that I can without reason.
Why am I dumping this here? I don’t know. I imagine that everyone has this existential crisis many times in their lives, and that is why people try to “re-invent” themselves. Especially those of us who are insecure enough to trust the internet more than our flesh-and-blood friends.
But, since everyone else “re-invents” themself, I think I’m going to go with a different path. I’m going to evolve into a new form of myself. A spontaneous leap forward.
In fact, I think that this is exactly what happened about 3 years ago. I had met a girl (who is now the mother of my daughter), I had pushed for a new job to be created for me, and I stopped doing a lot of the things that I had previously liked doing; watching heaps of anime, building figures from said anime, and writing a VN being the obvious victims of this evolution.
I still like doing those things, but not anywhere near as often as I used to. Even writing things like Final Finale can only happen on the rare occasions when I put all other things aside for an hour or so.
But you know, I think that’s a good thing. It’s good to move on, to get older, better, wiser. And I have finally learnt that I can actually learn things from other people, even if they may be less intelligent than myself. I think that is the most important lesson that I have learned in recent history.
So let me sum up by saying that you don’t need to feel threatened by others who have similar interests as yourself. You also shouldn’t assume that you can’t learn anything from anyone else. Part of being a human (even one as socially inept as myself) is the sense of community that you can find somewhere. I imagine that some of you reading this may have had similar feelings; that ichor-like hatred of people who only like “popular” anime or the “tourists” that claim to have life-altering experiences after only dipping their toes in the culture of your choosing.
I think I have a ways to go, but I’m going to work on being more accepting. Who knows, maybe I’ll find some new friends that I can introduce to things like Katawa Shoujo. Maybe I’ll read a fan fiction that makes me love Hanako in a whole new way. Maybe I’ll have my original view validated. Who knows? That’s one of the cool things about the future.
And remember, the future is a finite resource. At some point we will all be lying on our deathbeds, with only a sip of future left in us. When you’re lying there, surrounded by your family and friends, do you want your last thoughts to be “Damn, that was fun!” or “Fucking wannabes.”
tl;dr – Final Finale 5 is done.