What’s Cute, Fuzzy, and Interesting?
In the last decade since I’ve been introduced to this hobby, I’ve often questioned myself what this entity that kept me interested and still interested up to date is. I mean sure, it’s anime and we all know it’s something we watch on TV, but what is it about it that’s so attracting? The characters or maybe the plot? Or how about the music and visuals unlike anything Hollywood can provide us with? Well, that may be so but dig a little deeper and our typical every day use of “anime” becomes something outside of just cartoon we watch through a box. When we use the term “anime” and go up to someone and ask “hey, do you like anime?”, what meaning does that receive? The reality of it is that the term “anime” is used so generally for everything that we can easily miss this subculture as a whole. From here on, I will attempt to run through aspect not of “anime” viewing but of everything that is “cute, fuzzy, and a little bit interesting”.
Don’t Read it. Chances Are You Won’t Understand it
Now that Newtype has died in America, Animerica has been reduced to nothing but semi-annual mini-booklets stockpilled for free at Best Buy and so forth, what is there left? Admittedly saying that it’s somewhat of a tragedy to see this happen, many “new” options are there for people. After all, how many people want to buy a magazine after a long day’s worth of reading a science or English textbook to only read more? “Not I!” said the one who’s writing at the moment. But for other options, people just have to look, or in this case, read the rest of the paragraph. For example let’s take Megami magazines. To give an idea of what it is, take the latest anime that are out in Japan, add them to about a dozen posters you can cut out (or not) to display and character and anime introductions and there you have it in a nut shell. It’s not a magazine solely for reading but one to indulge people visually. Surprisingly enough, Megami has been around for ten years now and is still going up to date. I wonder why? Either way, it’s a neat little magazine for less than the price of a Newtype, before or after the price hike and death. Beside that one, there are many other ones like Dengeki, Newtype jp, and so forth that can be eye openers for people who has never realized such things exists, that or maybe they don’t care either. Who knows? But don’t worry, you’ll still be an anime fan in my book even if you don’t bother with things with magazines. After all, anime is something you watch right?
Show it All!
Well, on my path to unpack those that are “cute, fuzzy…etc etc”, I’m going to introduce probably one of the most expensive area outside the realm of “anime”: figures. Say you walk into a Best Buy and realize there is a boxset of a certain anime. Say it cost around $60 and you decide to pick it up. Now imagine walking into an anime store filled with figures from your favorite anime ranging from $50-$120+ and you want more than one. Yeah believe it or not, thousands of dollars can be spent in a single day on just half a dozen of those things. I know right, it’s not a PS3 or a 360 so you technically can’t play with most of them. But as silly as it sounds, many gladly spend that money without hesitation to show off the artistic value they see in certain anime characters in the form of plastic, metal, whatever. When there is a chance, get off that chair and visit an anime store to check it out in person. Buying one isn’t even necessary but it doesn’t hurt to appreciate another form of art.
A White Wall in Every Room?
A white wall has it’s purposes sometimes I guess. It can be used when thinking or calming the mind. For the most part however, they are very white, very plain, and very uneventful. So what then you ask? Take anime wallscrolls, magazine cutouts, posters, and anything else in the same field and put it up there. Maybe it isn’t that good to look at when trying to think, but it sure beats the other categories relating to “boring”. Wallscrolls aren’t too expensive or hard to find in general, but posters on the other hand can be completely opposites. We’re not talking about bootleg ones either but more like ones you on display on Japanese anime shop windows. Some can go for a lot of money but in the eyes of certain people, it’s worth it to have a room filled with something one won’t mind seeing coming back or waking up in the morning to.
The Tip of the Iceberg
In the above, I’ve only mentioned a few things people involve themselves with on top of the dozens if not hundreds of things there are out there like collecting dakimakuras (anime body pillow covers), making doujins, going to anime conventions and beyond. Over the years, I’ve realized how the term anime has become the staple word many people use and neglected when referring to this subculture and fandom that’s much bigger and grander. Even though I can’t deny the fact that anime is meant for watching and a term used on a common basis, the fact that so many things stem off from that source allows each to be a part of anime and possess an unique identity itself. For example, certain people who go to anime conventions can potentially not know anything about anime, but they still go because the atmosphere is attracting. Certain people will also buy figures of characters they know nothing about because the beauty just happens to catch their eyes. So how exactly are we supposed to define it if everything can’t be called anime? Maybe it should be called ” a part of the anime subculture in Japan”? The answer is really up to the individual. In my case, I wanted to present everyone with a title such as ” Fairly Cute, Fuzzy, and Interesting” to show that there are so many untapped, undefined things revolving around anime but not necessarily anime itself that ties our interest with each other in this vast area of Japanese subculture. For me, I’ve gone through many phases when it comes to “anime” but I guess for now, I don’t mind things that are “fairly cute, fuzzy and interesting”.
Main Idea of this Rant?! - I hope this has been somewhat of an eye-opener and the start for people to check other things out. Don’t think you won’t be interested.
Closing Statement(s) - Enjoy everything that this subculture offers.