Alright, this post was meant to go out a good month ago, and I have no reason for delaying it. I’m just a terrible blogger, with no real plan or schedule set in stone.
With my Revue Starlight post project over, I should be thinking about finding another show I used to hate and do some elaborate group of posts about it. In the last month or so, I’ve been preoccupied with something else though: how I come across to others.
Not exactly an anime topic, but anime is something that is a part of who I am, who I was, and likely who I will end up being in the future. I’ve been watching all sorts of shows and movies for over 20 years now. But after these long 20 years, it now feels like something that I can just give up tomorrow. I could easily wake up tomorrow morning and say to myself that I can no longer take any of this anymore, and find some other hobby/pastime to occupy myself. In these last years, I’ve often called myself ‘jaded’ or ‘disillusioned’; I suppose by this I mean that a lot of things in this anime generation are things that I just cannot get into or understand. But at the same time, I’m not exactly someone who yearns for the old shows and looks down on new seasons. So what’s the issue? What is it that’s eating away at me?
I can be a sucker for falling into toxic relationships. Not naming any names, but in the last couple of years, I have had a fall-out with the UK con scene. Why? It’s because I wanted to see more in our conventions – I wanted change. But I didn’t really see that to have such change meant that some things had to give, and would even likely require a complete overhaul of the scene. There are no dedicated anime industry cons here in the UK, you see; all of our cons are centered around the fans. And our cons are, essentially, just weekend-long parties – talking little about anime itself and choosing instead to drink heavily. Does that make me sound like one big party-pooper? I went to these cons to be around people who wanted to talk about anime as much as I did, and when I grew tired of seeing loud and drunken parties go on until the early morning, I just had had enough, and decided not to stay quiet. I started to speak more openly that I wanted things to change, both online and offline. And it was that which made some people annoyed. Looking back at this, I think one reason why is because they preferred their drunken parties. So to make things better, I decided to cut myself off from the scene entirely…and I feel so much better for doing so. Which brings me back to my so-called disillusionment: if I feel comfortable in not going to anime cons anymore, then does that make me any less of a fan, or not at all? The people I had met at these UK cons are now people I no longer speak to, or people who want to speak to me, or a mixture of the two. Our differences have made us completely different people, and I have only myself to blame, only because I wanted to see change.
Staying on the topic of soured relationships, I’ve worried a lot recently about how some of my closest friends act as well. These are people I’ve known for decades, and it often feels like we’re kilometers apart now. They are happy in all the things they do and have, and it feels like I’m the only one who has to reach up high to them to even have a conversation now. They enjoy so many things I don’t, and vice versa. I’m too afraid to sour these relationships I have with them, because of how close I am to them. And so it feels like a bit of a Catch-22: I’m screwed if I do, and screwed if I don’t. Being the youngest among our little ‘group’ exacerbates it I think, and nowadays I’m the only one who speaks the most about anime on a regular basis.
Maybe that is what it is then: an inferiority complex. While the rest of the anime community carries on with their everyday life (both career-wise and hobby-wise), I’m down here in my hole.
I guess that is in part why I liked Junna Hoshimi so much in my Revue Starlight watch, because I sympathized with her the most. At high school, I believed in good grades, good manners and all that. I was not a rebel at all there…and it was precisely that which brought about my bullying, and in turn, my diagnosis of social anxiety disorder. Junna felt the same way, but in her eyes, she couldn’t understand why all of these good grades and talent just wasn’t enough to become Top Girl in the Revue auditions. Her own inferiority complex ate away inside her, and eventually made her angry and shut-off from the rest of the class.
Now I would certainly give everything to have a second shot at high school. I graduated as an unhappy person, and while watching anime may have felt some like small amount of escape, that was precisely what is was: a small amount. I had no plans for the future, and while I excelled at a couple of subjects, I had no idea on what I wanted to do when I became an adult. I thought that keeping career and hobby separate was the right thing to do.
This all feels like a lot of venting and ranting, I know; hey, I had a Livejournal back when they were considered cool, so I’m quite the veteran when it comes to emo whining. This great mixture of social anxiety disorder, soured relationships and intentional self-isolation has made me who I am, but do I like it? Do I want to continue to be this person in the future? I don’t even want to answer that question, largely because of how uncomfortable I feel about any potential answer.
Could quitting anime altogether be the quick fix? But then I’d have to think about what I’d do to replace it. This really does suck.
I should write better posts…give me something to whine about.