Written by TheBigN
The trite things that one come up with on a crowded bus…
Coming close to the first year anniversary and inching towards the 100th post for Drastic My Anime Blog (it seems that not a lot of people have watched S-cry-ed as a side point), I still don’t know where I’m going to go with it. Thinking on that, it was a good idea to describe this blog as a bunch of random ramblings, since that’s what it has ended up being looking at my and Nomad Otto’s posts. I fully expect this trend to continue for the time being (and lo, it shall be good). At the same time, I still wonder about if I’m achieving my goal to myself at the start of this whole thing to put a little substance into my posts, to make things “deeper” then they’re usually received by others. Unspecific, I know. Looking back at what I’ve done writing-wise, most of the time it seems as if the “finished” result ends up being either more fanboy shallowness than substance or saying a lot of stuff that doesn’t really mean anything. And it worries me, as I fear that I’m just another dime-a-dozen anime blog out there (though what exactly makes an anime blog “common” is something I haven’t really though about) that will just fade away without making an impact, and me being nothing more than another attention junkie about anime with little to say.
This concern pops up all the time with me just dismissing is or setting it aside for another time when I don’t want to feel unsure of myself. This time on the crowded bus while waiting for my stop to come up, I decided to go into the matter a little bit more, eventually deciding that my worry on this isn’t something that would be assuaged so quickly (obviously I’m running away using the “Lack of Time Way” which sadly Itoshiki-sensei and his class didn’t observe). But I then started questioning myself, which ended up spiraling to extremes: “Why do you care so much about your writing? Your anime blog? Even anime itself? Should anime even matter?” As someone who hasn’t considered dropping anime hobby and a source of enjoyment anytime soon, I began to ponder about what would happen if I never got into anime in the first place, and if I’d ever have to give it up in the future. The answers should reflect how simple and commonplace these questions are (and probably my writing skills too, of course), but I hope (again) they show you a little bit more about the “saner” half of the two writers for DMAB. 😛
What if I never followed up on Toonami all those years back?
When looking at my priorities, activities and the lack, I find that by far anime has become my most time-sucking hobby out of all the ones I have in the last couple of years. From just watching the 30 min – 2 hour works (for apparently 60+ days according to my MAL), to my participation in the Cornell Japanese Animation Society (CJAS) to doing this blog (and this is only a cursory look), it’s been a nice solid chunk of stuff. So obviously if I never got into this medium in the first place (if Dragon Ball Z just wasn’t that engrossing :D), the resulting vacuum of free time in high school and college (mostly college) would probably spent being filled by other time wasting activities, like video games, the Internets, homework (oh shi-), etc. Looking back at who I was/am, I would expect my current output in terms of “productive” work to change for the better, but as life has an infinite amount of possibilities, I couldn’t say for certain. The past is the past, but the future still remains limitless as keep striding forward (/manabi).
However, I have a nagging feeling that I wouldn’t have “grown” as a person quite as much as I am now. If there was one thing I lacked other than stamina, it was definitely confidence, conviction, and self assurance, which all look the same when you think about it for a bit (yes I’m serious here. 😛 ). I’m still not all that great at meeting people or going into a new situation, but in college, I would not have had the drive to attempt these sort of things at all if I had not have gotten involved with CJAS at the start of my time there. For such a “large” group of people (greater than 75 at least when I started) to share the same main interest in entertainment (I wasn’t alone!) as myself made me feel like I belonged to something, even though I hadn’t had an interest in being with a group before.
The things that anime brought me were community, a reason to keep pushing besides appeasing my parents, and a way to be myself, both locally and Internetally (mostly on forums that is), and CJAS is a great example. For the upperclassmen of the club to welcome and encourage participation with them, I ended up having friends to watch and talk about anime with, I became more grounded and open-minded with myself and the world (which could also explain why I always find something positive about whatever I watch), and I felt capable to try new things (from just watching new genres of shows on) and carry more responsibility (ended up holding an officer position my senior year). I even felt like I could help out others as a member the way that my seniors did for me and others, and not for any benefit, but just because sharing is good. I wouldn’t say that being in medical school now was a direct result of that as I always had wanted to be a doctor, but from helping out because I wanted to, my desire to be a physician was more focused, if only to feel the same way in the future as I did back then. Cartoons actually maturing people? Stranger things happen. :3
What if I give up the anime ghost?
Someone in the main forum I frequent remarks about how I can have the time focus on anime based on where I am, and I seriously ask that question myself too. For this first year at least, time management skills, information that isn’t difficult to grasp and luck have made it such that I can still watch some anime and keep bringing this fun stuff to you guys. But it doesn’t get easier, and I do wonder about what will happen if I don’t have the time needed to even watch anime, let alone keep up this blogging (I’m not planning on going anywhere soon though). Or just getting bored and fed up with the whole thing (no groundbreaking or interesting series, more “crappy” anime than I could tolerate, god forbid). Or far out “force out” options, such as becoming physically unable to watch/appreciate anime or having the anime business as we know it completely destroyed (like that will ever happen *crosses fingers*).
I’ve found that I’m perfectly fine with not actually watching anime, strange as it sounds. If the circumstances warrant it, I could swear off watching the medium, though I’d surely find other ways to spend time (like finding out ways to be productive. :P). I wouldn’t be able to swear off the community though. Even when I’m on break from school (and from high speed Internet, if not Internet in general), I wonder about how the blogs I usually read are doing, what’s happening in the forums I read, the people that I know in real life. It’s not like a “those are my friends” sort of thing, but you make connections when you’re involved in talking to people, even if it’s just a sharing of the same show. Anime is only a starting point in meeting people; I know that I came to CJAS for the people there, with what was being shown as a nice bonus as well. Learning about people is something that I don’t want to forsake (which is a large part of why character interaction is such a big deal to me), but not looking anime itself is something I could do with no qualms. At least, if I sell everything off for a profit that is. :3
So, this might have been tl;dr, but it’s nice to step back for a bit.