Burning Ghost (burning_ghost) wrote in anti_japanphile,
Burning Ghost

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Some thoughts/rantings on Japanophilia

Konnichiwa, minna-chan! *the hobgoblin of reason runs over and pulls a lever which triggers a giant sumo wrestler to drop from the sky and crush her under its immense girth*

*straightens self back out again, and reminds herself to have several consecutive showers after she’s done writing this up since now she smells of sumo thong sweat*

So yeah, as you can see, I like cartoons. I also happen to like a great deal of serious, dramatic animation with more realistic character designs, shows and films which are aimed at a mature audience of older teens and adults. Many of these shows and films were created and produced in Japan, drawn and animated by a team of Japanese animators, at a Japanese animation studio, and scripted by Japanese scriptwriters (originally). And yes, the language they written in and were voiced over in by voice actors originally was only naturally, Japanese since that’s where they were broadcast originally on Japanese television or shown in Japanese movie theaters. That can only be expected.

It is true, that these factors may hold some relevance and significance, mainly when it comes to trying to understand the types of humor, puns, and cultural (both traditional and pop) references incorporated in the shows and movies produced there, and understanding some other aspects as well, like why there is a harem genre for example, why there is a strong division between girls-oriented anime/manga and boys-oriented anime/manga, why characters are drawn certain ways in certain genres of anime (for example: pretty boys or “bishounen” in shoujo and yaoi material), and so on. However, just because it may help to learn some things about Japanese society and culture, traditions, customs, issues facing the society and so on, while in the process of or before watching anime and/or reading manga, it’s still nevertheless not absolutely *necessary* to, when it comes down to it. And most importantly of all, it is certainly not necessary to feel the need to outright actively *obsess* over Japan and all things related and connected to it, most every facet and aspect of it and its culture, especially popular culture, simply because you happen to like some animation from that country and/or possibly some other types of pop culture product that have come out of Japan (whether it be video games, comics, toys, or music, even food).

In fact, when you think about it and look at it, it really is *quite* pathetic to feel a need to obsess over all things Japan and Japanese and especially to want to be able to speak and read and understand the Japanese language all because you happen to like some cartoons, some comics or video games from there. Whatever happened to wanting to learn things for more serious, legitimate reasons of study (whether academic or even for leisure as an area of personal interest, a hobby), un-affected and un-influenced by other factors like being exposed to and getting caught up in the what is now considered very trendy in America and much of the Western world popular culture from that country?

At least for gods’ sakes do NOT try to be Japanese or fit some sort of Japanese stereotype or force yourself into some idealized Japanese mould that exists out there, like the giggling, blushing, virginal schoolgirl obsessed with shopping, pretty boys, yaoi, sugary sweets and snacks, and all things “kawaii” (cute, sweet) for just one example. These types of fangirls of anime/manga/Japanese pop music what have you are really sickening to the core to have to put up with or even so much as bear witness to, as they pretend to "glomp" each other or some fictional "bishounen" character, constantly add XD or some sort of other cutesy anime-inspired emoticon to their sentences while chatting online or writing in their blogs or in forums/communities (like ^^ ^_^ or perhaps most annoying of them all the “neko-face” (catface) =^.^=), and layout their pages with bright pink pastel colour schemes and images of either typically bishounen or bishoujo-style drawn characters incorporated into the layout design, or even worse little chibi versions of characters with giant eyes and stubby arms and legs, or some other similarly sickeningly cutesy, eye-cancer inducing blight on the anime art form. They also like to call everything "kawaii", to the extent of which they even will regularly apply that term to things not anime or Japanese-related. Countless times I’ve observed an anime fangirl write in her blog "I have the most kawaii neko" or "there was this really kawaii skirt I saw at the mall today, ^^". They do this out of the great need they feel to want to become Japanese, or at least imitate typical Japanese girls (what’s worse is mostly they just base their ideas of what Japanese girls are typically like on how they are depicted and portrayed in an exaggerated way in shoujo anime and manga), and I suspect in most cases, with most of them they do it primarily in order to fit in with other anime fans like them, especially girl fans.

That’s why they tend to do much of anything, I greatly suspect. It’s all in order to blend in with the collective herd. But let’s not get into that issue of herd following right now, since I’ll be addressing that in other essays on fangirls and fanboys alike in the world of the otaku sub-culture (which will be able to be found archived at the still-in-development Anti Otaku: The Site web project).

Back to the whole element of wanting to be Japanese and fit into a specific mould or stereotype associated with Japanese people. Then there’s the fact that so many fans of something Japanese in origin or production (especially in this case I’m focusing on, anime and manga fans), tend to want to try as often as possible to incorporate Japanese slang, expressions and terms into their every day conversations and into the fanfiction they write for anime shows and movies, as well as even more irritatingly (and downright offensive, if you ask me, as in offensive to the Japanese and Japanese culture and traditions) adding honorific suffixes to the names of their friends, favorite voice actors or "seiyuu", characters, pop stars, and even yes, worst of all, their very own selves. What’s worse is the fact that so many of them tend to regard themselves as superior to all others just for having picked up on a few Japanese words here and there in watching subtitled anime in Japanese, that all of a sudden this makes them so "cultured" "in the know" and a special "elite" kind of hard-core devotee of anime. How ridiculous is that kind of thinking? The lack of logic or rational reasoning in these people simply astounds me, as well as the sheer level of pretentiousness.

Using honorifics is especially stupid a practice, considering there are specific uniquely cultural reasons to do with Japan and Japanese history, traditions and ethics that there are honorifics and they are widely, commonly used by Japanese people to address other *Japanese* (emphasis on JAPANESE) people in *Japanese* society. There is literally no reason to use them outside of Japan or Asia. If you’re going to call someone your "Onii-sama" then you might as well just say the approximate English equivalent, which is "Big Brother". And I’m afraid to inform you that you’re really not proving anything to anyone by referring to yourself as "Chrisu-sama" (which literally translates to mean "Lord Chris") other than you’re a pretentious egotistical twit, who’s desperately trying to impress yourself and others. And calling your friends by "-chan" "-san" or "-kun" similarly isn’t proving anything but the fact that you’re a pathetic Japan-worshipping nerd who is trying to fit in with other anime fans and "cliques", aiming to come across as being just as elite and die-hard a true otaku as everyone else.

I could go on at practically novel manuscript-length in extensive detail and thorough examination as well as serious study, even using sociological, anthropological, and psychological approaches and in-depth analysis, of the stupidity plague that is Japanophilia and the Wannabe Japanese (or "Wapanese" as I’ve heard them be called). But you all can breathe a collective sigh of relief that I won’t right now. I just felt I needed to vent for a bit, let out some general rants and peeves I have regarding the matter of Japanophilia and Wapanese in general, as a whole, which I did, and what I wrote up is about all I’m feeling up to expressing right at the moment through written word of my thoughts and opinions with regards to this particular matter. Thanks for hearing me out. I’m very thankful for your bearing with me, if any of you have in fact had the patience to actually read through all of these many rant-filled paragraphs, which I wouldn’t necessarily blame you if you didn’t.
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