Saturday, April 14, 2012

Kids These Days

What happened to anime, guys?

I worked Dee Jay Foods through high school and every college summer, just to spend damn near every cent I got on Japanimation dee vee dees. (As a sidenote, specifying how you want your grocery bags packed--"All in two bags, please, but don't make them too heavy!"--is a good way to cultivate sack-boy hatedom.) I once got into an argument with a director when I realized my role in Fiddler on the Roof meant no Anime Club meetings for over a month. Anime marathons regularly overstuffed my Drake dorm room with cheering, sweaty nerds (my roommates still remember the fogged up windows). I still can't plug in my iPod at a party without first ensuring it won't, at random, blare some 90s or 00s theme song by Megumi Hayashibara or The Pillows. Anime

The last new anime I watched is over a year old. I watched it by myself, when no one else was home. I wrote off the rest of that year's crop as fanservice bullshit and endless moe bullshit. It isn't even true, of course; there's diamonds in the rough every year, no matter how many vaguely creepy pantyshotfests Japan produces. But in college, I'd dig through all that crap--enjoying the process--to find the good stuff. Now I can't even be bothered. Forums where they discuss this stuff seem populated by aliens, bizarro fans, obsessing over waifus instead of...

...whatever we called our favorite female characters ten years ago.

The new breed and me, we're not so different in the end. But the culture's changed. If anime is mother's milk, we were scattered pockets of otaku nursing the slowly-dribbling teat of fansub VHSes and official releases. Only the good stuff made it: the FLCLs, the Cowboy Bebops, the Escaflownes.

Now, we're adrift in sea of anime lactate. Much of the milk is rancid, or strawberry-flavored, and often you must dive deep into the muck to find the delicious, cold bottles of Oberweis 2%...

I think that metaphor got away from me. Basically: most anime is terrible now. And I don't watch it with people anymore. And I need a grown-up version of Anime Club that happens more than once a year.

Why does this postcard use the title font from Friends? Was there an episode I missed?

I've actually been to Amsterdam. And the Red Light District. Which would be great--I mean, how many people get to travel internationally even in this day and age--except I was 15, and my mom was there.

Didn't stop one very enterprising individual from offering us drugs, though. Can't keep a good businessman down.

Remember, kids: what happens in Xinjiang stays in Xinjiang. Except phone fraud. So don't commit phone fraud between ordering hookers.

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