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"Empty in every way"? "A hollow man"? "Trapped inside a trap of his own making"? Isn't that what I said in my immediate gut reaction to this story, which I replied with a few posts back? If you thought THAT was "vigorously" anti-moe, you have no idea how much I toned that back before hitting Post.

It sure sounds to me like Yoshiki and I are more or less on the same wavelength. After all, the self-made prison he describes is the space in which so many true otaku call home. That's precisely why I said their only reality is "you will live and die alone." That's why so many retreat into a world opposite their reality: a world where they're not alone, not pathetic, and not ugly. A world opposite their reality is a world where they too can be happy, have loved ones, and have all the lucky shit happen to them without doing anything on their own.

A world that just happens to be exactly like what moe offers, if wildarmsheero's room is any indication!

I don't think anyone tried to dispute you and claim that moe was a good thing. But the message of many fictional stories, even those about total losers, is that no one is beyond saving. (It's the basis for a world religion, after all.) Unfortunately the ones written by inexperienced people don't do a very good job of instructing yo on how to save yourself, which is sorely needed.

We have a similar void in our culture, which is overflowing with stories about people getting together but almost bereft of stories about what it takes to stay together. This has been my own personal beef for years, but I digress.

As you're fully aware, the dispute was not moe as the phenom but moe as the cause and I think we all pretty much agree now that moe was not the cause. It was instead a refuge. If there were no such refuge available I wonder if it would have made a difference. Kato could have gone elsewhere for the same balm; horror movies, heavy metal, drugs'n'booze, porn, whatever fringe culture speaks to the needy.

Regardless, no amount of railing against moe is going to make it go away, so in the future I recommend that you adjust your rhetoric to equate moe with addiction. I think that will get the job done.

Word.

>>A world that just happens to be exactly like what moe offers, if wildarmsheero's room is any indication!

Oi oi oi, why bring me into this D:

I don't think I can equate moe with addiction itself. I think it's more apt to equate it with an addiction treatment that's more harmful than the addiction itself, i.e. "if love is morphine, then moe is heroin."

"But the message of many fictional stories, even those about total losers, is that no one is beyond saving."

Of course, that is precisely WHY they're fiction. The sooner people accept that Densha Otoko is just a fairytale and not a "it could happen to YOU!" scenario, the better.

Oddly enough, religion never really seems to enter into the otaku mindset, except of course if they're otaku for religion/God itself.

Speaking of Wildarmsheero, I'd like to congratulate him for taking home the Best Blog-related Comic Gold Award for his Mistakes of Youth web comic.

Clarification: stories provide guidelines to follow or suggestions for how to live your life. They were born out of mythology, which was invented to lay the groundwork for an orderly society (then religion came out of that). But they are not meant to be a blueprint for anyone's life and someone deluded enough to pretend otherwise is headed for trouble.

IMHO, if there is one basic flaw in the whole modern pop culture phenom of anime, manga, moe, etc it's that an increasing number of these stories are being written by people with very limited life experience to be consumed by others with limited life experience. Children advising children. Naturally, there's a huge potential for crossed signals and fatal flaws.

Which is what we've just learned.

If I may spout a bit more drivel, in stable societies sane adults are people who have learned how to get what they want and need while minimizing or avoiding hurting other people and themselves. Children and insane adults can't manage that, because they can't yet deal with themselves or other people, or both in the worst cases. This guy is obviously one of the worst cases; the nature of his pre-highschool life indicates an identity steeped in nothing but fakery and blind hard work (ie: no real sense of self), with what little it could provide him come crashing down with the arrival of his post-highschool life (ie: no ability to relate the external world with his internal wants). Furthermore, his unrealistic expectations of what life "owes him" is a common trait among those who from young ages were brought up to expect positions and status beyond their true abilities.

Usually repeated failure brings about some measure of self-introspection and self-correction, but I'm guessing that he was unwilling to take the mental steps needed to break out of his old habits of simply blindly grinding onwards, preferring instead to let failure and anger become just another part of his existing habits.

re: Densha Otoko - actually, I think Densha Otoko very much is not a "things magically and automatically get better" fairytale, if only because the entire story is based around Densha Otoko actively taking a stand at the beginning and then continuing to work at changing himself, instead of just having fortune drop in on him. The story is even a bit more realistic than most others, because in the end he's not transformed into a completely different, superior uber-person, he's just not a complete loser anymore. He took completely realistic, mundane steps and reached a completely realistic, mundane conclusion (seriously, it's not THAT hard to get a girlfriend, no matter what the otaku say...).

The Densha Otoko story may or may not actually be true, but it's pretty realistic, almost boringly so. Frankly, I think the dismissal of the Densha Otoko story as "unrealistic" is because both otaku and normals don't want to deviate from the common wisdom that otaku are unredeemable losers. It's a old well-established habit, after all.

I think the issue with Densha Otoko and similar things is they're misinterpreted. Instead of seeing "if I work hard and change myself, I can be a better person", some people see "Getting a girlfriend takes being in the right place at the right time. So I just have to get lucky and it'll all fall into place".

Well, that was sorta my last point. There's so much comfortable social inertia (let's call it a "social habit") invested in the idea of unredeemable otaku, that stories like Densha Otoko are frequently misinterpreted to encourage behavior that merely perpetuates the "social habit", as opposed to actually breaking it. Hence the widespread perception, consumption, and dismissal of Densha Otoko as unrealistic wish fulfillment.

>>Speaking of Wildarmsheero, I'd like to congratulate him for taking home the Best Blog-related Comic Gold Award for his Mistakes of Youth web comic.

Thanks!

Densha Otoko saw a chance and took it, and grinded his butt off to epic win.

But then again Mr. Surat, if you say one is responsible for his own earthly happiness then you must also agree with me that you are also responsible for keeping yourself happy on Earth. Which means doing tons of things you don't like to feed your addiction, job-hopping in order to keep up with the Joneses, etc.

If you're saying that one is responsible for their earthly happiness then, you, my friend, are just as shallow and hollow as Mr. Kato too. The only difference is that Mr. Kato realized it and did a negative action in order to vent out his frustration at realizing that. Regrettable as it may be, what's worse is that people still do not realize that they are on the verge to being like him.

The ones who criticize harshly from the sidelines are the ones who need to learn this lesson, yet it is they who are ignoring the truth that is in their faces in order to fool themselves into thinking they are better than him. It's a bloody shame really.

I am SUPER HAPPY in HELL, thanks.

And don't you ever never call me a friend.
Plus. don't ever try to sell me sonething that is not "Earthly". 'cause I won't buy your uber-eathly stuff. Than you but no thanks.


>The ones who criticize harshly from the
>sidelines are the ones who need to learn this lesson

What do I have to learn from a fucking spree killing?
Like what, which knife do I have to use or what kind of truck to kill more people? Honestly.

How about this, Mr. Takahashi.

Society is graceless and unforgiving. Your comments are a prime example of that.

Humanity is so royally fucked up that even you might think it's better for 6 billion people to go around killing one another off just to make it better. Yes that includes you.

All things will come and go whether you like it or not. Believe it or not, Mr. Takahashi your work may be appreciated now, but one day, it'll all disappear.

However if you're happy to burn in Hell then by all means go ahead and enjoy your eternity in the fire. After all, if you want it so much, you probably deserve it.

This whole thing has been very surreal to me... mainly since I was at hokoten every sunday afternoon to buy vinyl toys before my band practiced (across from akihabara station).

I keep playing the scenerio of myself being there and stoping the murderer before he has killed anyone... but I doubt that it would happen the way I imagined it.

Why is crime in Japana always so fucking bizzare? (when it rarely happens)

The end.
-Jeremy

Another message in Densha Otoko that gets overlooked is that the main character has a group of peers that help him get stronger, find courage to ask Hermes out, and to keep going when things get difficult. His peers help him keep his eye on the prize. He must make the effort, but he needs the help of others.

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