Saturday, December 8, 2007

In My View: On anime girlfriends

So I've got a confession to make. I'm evidently not otaku enough. Well at least in comparision to some of the stuff I've been reading and listening to. I try. I don't go out much. In my free time, I either write, blog or watch anime and movies - all of which are solitary activities. The majority of my free money goes to buying DVDs.

But according to here or here and it's even hinted at here, I'm missing the boat somewhere. And what that boat might that be? The wanting an anime character girlfriend boat. I don't get it. Really, I don't. Maybe it's the fact that anime girls, well, aren't that attractive. Ocassionally there's one or two where the artwork is enough to catch my eye, but in comparison to the earlier issues of Witchblade or Danger Girl, they don't even rate. In most cases, I can't suspend my disbelief far enough to make them sexual objects. Occasionally a show manages to come close (like the shower scene with Aya at the beginning of Tenjo Tenje), but for the most part even the most blatant fanservice doesn't really do anything for me.

But for some people, well they just take it too far. In the rant on Anime Diet (the first link I posted), the guy just went on and on with misconception after misconception (I'm still hoping he was joking). And that's what I've been hearing out of the hardcore otaku culture, is a lot of assuming that women are shallow golddiggers. It's like they've taken all of those stereotypes from off the television and superimposed those on real women.

All I have to say is they aren't real. Seriously, you can't reach through the television screen and touch them. I don't get it at all.

But then again, I don't understand skydiving either. So I'm willing to give their fetish a little bit of leeway. If that's what get's their rocks off, I'll look the other way.

Except that it's getting worse. A quick trip around the blogs and I'm finding that not only is there a subculture of anime fans like that, but a really loud subculture of anime fans. With fetishes so unrealistic that it makes me shake my head. It's starting to make me wonder. Am I the only anime fan out there that doesn't have a fetish for anime girls? Are there other people who feel that anime is great entertainment but taking it beyond that is a little, well, creepy?

Occasionally, I'll see or hear older fans that say the same things I do, but I wonder if we aren't the minority. Or am I just not otaku enough to understand.

Agree or disagree? Leave a comment or e-mail


CCY said...

An intriguing post. I think I might like this blog. (A standout title, if anything.)

To be entirely stereotypical, a lot of the people who enjoy and blog about anime may have substandard social skills (I would like to attest), so I would like to say that a lot of this trend involves people being pushed away from 3D girls towards 2D, instead of 2D girls pulling people away from the 3D ones. It's not really that people want anime girlfriends but instead don't want to bother with real women (a dangerous viewpoint in itself).

Likewise, the trend with this viewpoint being rather loud could come from 2 things. One, omission: you wouldn't see a lot of people on an anime blog, anime fans by default, say that they would dislike being with an anime character. It's not something you (not you in particular, but a theoretical anime fan) would talk about from the negative side, but rather from the positive, hoping someone else out there is as crazy and anime-girl-obsessed as you are.

As well, you're a little incorrect by assuming that all people who like anime girls, like them in a perverted manner. If you're familiar with the 'moe' phenomenon there's an increasing emphasis on personality, i.e. traits that are appealing to non-social males, instead of sexuality.

Whether this is any better, is another question.

Finally (apologies, this got a bit rant-like), I wonder how many people really are serious about this. Just like the constant debate over video games and how they make kids kill people (mmhmm, sure), only the outliers, the extremes are the ones who get all the attention.
Personally I would like to speak for the middle ground, where while we do idolize a lot of female characters in anime, we're sensible enough to know that seriously lusting after them is unrealistic. It's just a part of the fandom, that's all; it's more enjoyable when you grow attached to it.

Cameron Probert said...

Thanks ccy. Those are all good points. I hope you do stick around.

Yeah, I can understand people feeling rejected by society and seeking solace in a fantasy realm. I mean that's what entertainment is for. And I agree that probably the loudest, most extreme cases are more of what I'm hearing. And there is a silent majority of people who think more along the baseline.

I've heard about moe. Actually I did another reaction post a while back on it. And I know that it isn't necessarily a sexualization, but on the other hand.

Michael said...

I don't go out much, also. In my free time, I do the same things as you. Most of my free money, however, go to saving for good, well-priced classic novels.

Seriously, though, despite me being a fan of anime, I do not want an anime girlfriend. I appreciate and treasure real life women. I am a fan of anime girls, and I view hentai series, but I would be delighted if ever there will be someone in real life who will appreciate me (and in addition be both beautiful and kind). :)

LOL. I may not go out much, but seriously, that perception of the hardcore otaku culture (if true), is both skewed and incorrect.

I would admit though, I have my fetishes, and it's also disturbing me. I don't know where they have come from, but they're there, and I better not mention them.

I do not think that you are not otaku enough; I think you just have more sense not to be drawn to imaginary existences. I don't.

(Cameron, posting here is a lot more difficult than in WP. XD)