Friday, May 22, 2009

From Otaku to Wota...

A year ago, you could have asked me what my favorite thing in the world was, and I would have answered "manga". Now, if you ask me that same question, my answer will most definitely be "Morning Musume."

It's funny how our interests change over time. And I don't mean just likes and dislikes. I mean hobbies, obsessions. Something that you thought would never change suddenly changes.

I was an otaku for the longest time. Over six years, to be exact. By the time I started middle school I was thoroughly obsessed. It started my love for Japan, it prompted me to attend the high school that offered Japanese as a language choice, instead of the German, Spanish, or French that my home school had. I spent my time reading manga and watching anime and planning cosplays and saving my money up for Fanime.

Now, I still read manga, I still like it, but I haven't watched an anime in months. I haven't bought a single manga since the year started. I stopped lurking the anime news sites for signs of fillers ending or new releases. My attention was directed towards Morning Musume and Hello! Project. I initially became obsessed through groupdubbing. I listened to Sakura Mankai, fell in love with it, and joined my first dub. I monitored the person who first held that dub (my dubbing friend Momo) and auditioned for any new ones, just learning the songs as I went. Eventually it exploded into this full-blown obsession.

This weekend is Fanime. It is my third year. If it were like the other two years, I would have been saving up my money since Christmas, I wouldn't have been able to pay attention in class this entire week and I probably would be cosplaying now.

But instead, I spent all of my leftover Japan money on DVDs. I didn't care if I only had fifteen dollars to spend at Fanime. I didn't really care about Fanime until this morning, and even now I'm not as excited as I have been in the past. And today, when I walked through the Dealer's Hall, I was surprised to find that not a single thing appealed to me.

There wasn't a single plushie or hat or T-shirt or book that looked good. I even walked past the booths of manga and didn't even feel the slightest urge to dig through looking for the latest volumes. Unlike last year, there were more booths for hats and action figures, but not a single booth for music, which was what I was counting on. I walked around the hall with zero interest, like I was walking through American Eagle. In fact, nothing caught my interest except for the boy who was carrying around a poster covered with Junjun photos. For the first time I was really excited, I thought that he was advertising for a booth, but he wasn't. He was just like me, an avid Junjun fan.

Looking back, it's a little startling that I have become so detached from the group of people I once felt most comfortable with. I have no memory of ever switching, and it's a lonely feeling. I was walking around in an enormous crowd of people, but I had NO ONE to connect to. Maybe if my friend Sarah had been able to come, it would have been different. Maybe it was because I was with Leah, who rolls her eyes and complains every time I mention the anything wota-like, who claimed that Hello! Project is brainwashing me and that the members just act like how the producers want them to act, and that they're not "actual people". Yeah, this is coming from the girl who pretends to be in love with a video game character. At least my obsession actually exists.

I even found myself looking down on the people at the con. They are otaku, they are loud and obnoxious and fawn over yaoi couples and seem to be completely shameless. Now, I know this is hypocritical of me, but maybe it's my way of responding to the feeling of being all alone. Like... "It's okay if I don't belong. I'm better than them anyway." You know?

Maybe it's because I'm stressed and tired, and maybe because Friday is never fun, and the weekend may get better, but I don't even feel like I want to go anymore.

Let's hope a wota makes him/herself known to me soon. Otherwise, I will surely kill myself.


  1. when u said-
    "Now, I still read manga, I still like it, but I haven't watched an anime in months. I haven't bought a single manga since the year started. I stopped lurking the anime news sites for signs of fillers ending or new releases."
    i realise that also happen to me! 8'