An impulsive rambling about otakuness.
I came across Jessica Zafra’s post about Junot Diaz‘s novel ‘The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao‘. I think I saw this book in one of my shopping sprees but I thought the name ‘Oscar Wao’ silly. Anyway, the novel was supposed to have received awards and now it is on my wish list.
Reading the excerpts make me uneasy–I have been consistently walking the path of otakudom for nearly 3 years. There are times I abhor it but at that the same time I look at ‘normalcy’ as boring. ‘Normalcy’ meaning the stuff a girl like me is supposed to be doing–reading romance novels, shopping for clothes, etc, that mundane stuff. It does feel like I am straddling two worlds. One the world of otakus, where I try my best to immerse in but not completely. Despite being an introvert I still try (albeit half-heartedly) to keep pace with the outside environment away from the confines of my room and my computer. Although unfortunately(?) most of the time my activities are more into the geeky kind and mostly escapist (read: anime). At this point I am tempted to rename my blog as ‘Immersion in Geekdom’. I’d probably be able to pull it off and post about other geeky things–sci-fi movies, obscure books, etc etc. Fortunately the part of me that wants to be normal just puts the brake before I become completely out of touch with reality. I don’t need more reasons to enhance my sedentary (and unhealthy) lifestyle.
The otaku as we generally know it is a modern phenomenon, and I hope to see more books about it. As society advances and we get to discover new kinds/modes of escape/hobbies the otaku population can only increase. Sure some will outgrow it (the young ones) or be burned out, but some will still be otaku. The fact that it is becoming a worldwide phenomenon (at least to those who can afford to be otaku) means it cannot be ignored. Perhaps the day will soon come when otaku becomes a mainstream word totally synonymous with ‘geek’, its negative connotations as a Japanese slang word obscured (also I think I read something about the difference between nerd and geek but the exact description I already forgot). If and when we see more otaku characters in stories/novels, how much of the portrayal will come off as negative or positive? More importantly it interests me to read about characters I can identify with more.
On another note…
This afternoon I officially registered myself for JLPT level 2 classes. And when I read the test my sensei wanted me to take, I almost fainted–I couldn’t read most of the kanji. I passed JLPT 3 last 2006, but only barely. And it seems all the new kanji I learned in the 3 months I was in Japan last year I have completely forgotten. So the series of posts about lists for March will be shelved to a later date. I am also no longer sure I will check out all the shows I wanted to see from the spring 2008 anime.