Full disclosure: this post’s less about the anime and more about the me. Well, okay, most of my posts end up being more about myself than anime, but this one’s especially going to be more journal-like. Somewhere along the way, this anime blog became more of a feelings blog, probably because I don’t have as much time to dissect anime as I used to…
I’m fizzling out a bit at the moment. I’ve been thinking a more about why it is I started this blog in the first place. I wrote a big thing on the topic a little while ago, but apparently that wasn’t enough to get out all my thoughts on the subject.
Yeah, I think fiction is important and brings people closer, which is what I wrote about before, but still, was that really what drove me to write in the first place? Yeah, I love doing this and I’m super thankful for the audience I have, but like, damn, I would love to get paid…
Time-management is hard. I never really understood the whole, “there aren’t enough hours in the day” thing until I got a full-time job with an hour commute. There are so many things I want to do, and just not enough time to do them. Even when I do have time to do things, usually all I want to do is sleep. It becomes really discouraging – there are lots of things I want to accomplish, and lots of hobbies I want to pursue, but I just can’t find the time to fit them into my day.
However, though it is a colossally shitty feeling, it’s also a very common one.
Specifically, I feel like the whole, “ew I’m an adult with a life” thing comes up a lot when it comes to fandoms, whether it be anime, video games, music, movies, whatever. You reach a certain point in your life when keeping up with all the trends just isn’t feasible anymore. Maybe you want to make fanart, maybe you want to run a successful blog, maybe you want to make a podcast, or maybe you just want to find the time to watch all of Legend of the Galactic Heroes. Finding time is hard, and it can make you feel like the things you enjoy doing are slipping away, especially if you feel this constant need to keep up with everyone else.
Sometimes you have to take a break from things you love. It’s just how it is. It feels weird, but it’s totally normal, and totally okay.
I’ve seen a lot of hiatus posts that are overwhelmingly apologetic, and I completely understand where they come from. I am very, very bad at letting myself take breaks, and I have a tendency to feel guilty for taking time for myself in any capacity. Which is silly, because, hello! We’re all people! We all need rest! It’s only natural. All that being said, you don’t need to tell apologize or feel bad about all that!
Why, oh why, does Love Live! make us suffer by naming its idol group μ’s? I have to copy and paste that stupid symbol every time. These girls have no business being this pretentious – they’re a fucking school idol group, not a noise-rock group. There’s no way the Love Live! scoreboards/websites supported that special character. For the first few weeks, I can almost guarantee their name came up as � ‘s on the competition’s website. That’s probably why A-RISE was always ahead of them…behind the scenes, the site runners were getting tired of having to only use fonts that supported Greek characters.
A few weeks ago, I read the excellent PopLurker article “I Fist-Fight Sesame Street,” and it got me thinking. Which fictional group of characters could I fist-fight? And, more importantly, which group of characters deserves to be beat up? Then it hit me (pun intended): μ’s deserves to be beat up. I love them, but I have a lot of pent-up rage from every time I had to Google “greek symbol muse” so that I could write about these little turds.
I’m not the strongest girl, but I am 5”9’ and can do exactly one push-up on a good day, so I can probably take most of them on. They work-out regularly and are probably in better shape than me, but they’re also all children, so I’m confident that my grownass fist could do them in.
If there’s one thing Amanchu does remarkably well, it’s realistically portray the pure bliss of adolescent friendship. Teko and Pikari are oblivious to any Real World Issues, and spend their days having spontaneous barbeques and diving, all while subtly teaching each other to be better versions of themselves. Pikari helps ease Teko’s anxiety, while Teko teaches Pikari to dial it back a bit. All is well in their idyllic, teenage world.
Before I get into the meat of this post, I’m gonna go on a little personal aside: I really, really like writing. I mean, we all like writing to a degree, right? That’s why we’re here, yeah? Deep down, I’ve always wanted to be a writer in some way or another. First, I thought I wanted to write fiction, and then I thought I wanted to write scripts for TV. Then I realized I actually just wanted to write about TV, but it can be really hard to actually land a steady job or even a freelance job doing entertainment writing because, well, there are already critics doing it and there are a million other people trying to get into it, too.
My life has gotten busier and busier these days. I work a lot more than I ever did, and I have to devote chunks of my week to cooking and grocery shopping (something I never actually did in college – I just ordered Chinese food like, every week or ate the Absolutely Awful cafeteria food). As a result, I don’t watch nearly as much anime as I used to.
I still watch a decent amount, for sure, but the way I consume anime media is a lot different. I actually think I read more about anime other people watch more than I actually watch anime these days. I don’t have time to watch every seasonal as they air anymore, so reading what y’all post on here helps me get a feel for which shows I should check out and which ones I should skip. At work, I get a lot of time to myself, just typing and sitting at my desk, so I can listen to podcasts about anime. But I just don’t have time to watch the anime myself.
I started getting into anime around sixth grade, and the amount of anime I would watch was ridiculous. Back then, I was one of those stereotypical Naruto nerds who would, like, get in trouble for drawing anime pictures in class and would “Naruto run at gym. I was a disaster, honestly. I would even try to throw Japanese honorifics into my everyday speech. I ate up every shounen series that was on at the time – so, Naruto, Bleach, and even a bit of Prince of Tennis. I remember reading Shounen Jump at the orthodontist’s office all the time (because, of course, this 12 year old otaku tragedy also had braces). I watched just about any show I could get my hands on, regardless of whether or not it was age-appropriate. Specifically, I remember watching one of those racy incest shows when I was like, 13, and being really shocked…only to find out that there were about a million of those exact stories in anime. I also remember constantly finding highly acclaimed shows like Ergo Proxy and Neon Genesis Evangelion, watching the first two episodes, and then realizing they were waaaaaaaaay more than lil’ ol’ me could handle. I tucked a list of those shows away so that I could watch them later.
By the time I got to high school, I was really insecure about how much of a dork I was in middle school, so I dropped anime almost altogether. I honestly think I only watched one or two series throughout my entire high school career – Eureka Seven, one of my all-time favorites, being one of them. It was the high school way – lying about who you are even though it literally didn’t matter. And, of course, later, it turned out most of the people I became friends with were all secretly big anime fans, so I was truly in the anime closet for nothing.
When I got to college, I remembered, “hey, I used to be really into this shit,” and just dove right back in full-force. I made a bunch of anime friends at school, and we would hang out and just binge-watch series. Me and my friend Connor watched through like, four Gundam series over the course of a year. On top of that, I would use Rabb.it to stream shows with my friends from home (you know, those friends who were also secretly into anime in highschool). And, I found that list of shows I wanted to watch but knew I wouldn’t “get” from middle school and watched a bunch of them! Little me had good taste, even if she couldn’t handle it yet!
But, now, I just don’t have time to watch a million shows at once. I moved, too, so I don’t get to see my anime pals from school as much. Now that I have an ~actual income~, I am more into manga, though. I just read through My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness and I’m starting Yotsubato! in Japanese! It’s easier to be into manga since it’s a little more portable and I can go at it my own pace.
I wonder if I’ll ever end up “growing out” of anime. I don’t think I will, but I do wonder if I’ll end up slowing my intake of it even more. Is this relatable for anyone else? Has the amount of anime you watched changed since you were younger, or is it about the same? Do you find yourself reading/writing about anime more than you actually watch it?