6

What Is This “Interrogation” You Speak Of?

Naru the Sloth was busy in her little lonely mushroom corner doing whatever ex-fairies do in their free time until she was tagged -against her will- by two fellow anibloggers: Medieval Otaku and Muffin Lord Reiseng.

“Tagggg Naru, you’re it~”

…Long story short, she finds herself participating in this chainmail carnival.

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12

Losing Interest in Manga: Is it bad doctor?

Symptoms may include the following:

  • The inability to stand typical genres
  • Feeling boredom after reading for a few seconds
  • Experiencing a desperate need to try something new and original

  • How could I lose my love for manga?

This is a rather sad fact, but let’s face it: losing interest in something you like is a part of life. Remember the collection of unique-shaped rocks you had as a kid that you’ve thrown away once you became an awkward, lost teen?

It’s unfortunately the same case with manga. Some manage to find their way out of this phase by discovering a new series that suits them, and others, unable to find anything grabbing their interest, leave what we call the manga fandom. It is a gloomy event that can happen to anyone who enjoys manga as much as we do, even to the most otaku-ish person. Whether or not otaku-ish is a suitable adjective is up to you.

The reason why I decided to write about this is from personal experience: Regardless of the several titles I’m reading at the moment, once I begin reading a new chapter of my favorite series, I find myself skipping though the pages without taking in the pleasures we experience from reading such as the artwork, the presence of our favorite characters, and the little jokes. The hobby that was once dear to me today seems more and more like an obligation in my eyes. Perhaps the manga lost its quality that had attracted me in the past, or maybe it doesn’t hold the same importance I accorded to it when I first liked it. The possibilities are endless.

  • Is there a way to get cured?

To get cured or not is up to you. And there is only one way to regain your curiosity for manga: finding new ‘addictions’. You could read your favorite manga as much as you want to, but are you truly cured? Are you really able to begin a new series and stick to it? From what I’ve seen, the answer is generally no.

The road to regaining your interest may seem simple, but it can be very difficult depending on the person. For a fan that has experience in reading manga, it’s normal to be picky when deciding on a new series: You would want something that’s different from what you’ve read before. To illustrate this example I would use the manga Naruto, one of the Big 3. An experienced manga reader wouldn’t want to begin Naruto, a shonen that basically has all the repetitive elements you’ve gotten sick of in other manga.

  • I’ve been reading manga for a while, until I lost interest. Are there any series that I could try?

The good thing about manga is that there will always be something new to like, normally. If you’re not sure what type of manga to begin, think about your favorite genre of movie: Do you like romance? Take a look at some shojo. Want a realistic shonen? Bakuman is a great try. Here are a few new series that I suggest  ^_^:

I see beautiful people…

Afterschool Charisma – A psychological thriller. The main character, Shiro Kamiya is a student in St.Kleio that’s intended exclusively for…clones. And not just any clones, we’re talking about teenage replicas of great historical figures. After the assassination of Kennedy clone who just became president, the students of St.Kleio start to worry about their own fate. Will they end up like their original? Who is after them? And why is Shiro a student in this school? And more importantly, why the humanity did the mangaka make a creepy, harmless Hitler?!

Will God ever forgive me for liking this?

Saint Oniisan – A comedy manga made by the creator of Arakawa Under The Bridge, Hikaru Nakamura. After working hard in making the world a better place, Jesus and Buddha decide to go to Japan on vacation in order to relax a bit. From Jesus who pretends he’s Johnny Depp to Buddha who acts like the worried parent, we seriously have no idea what Nakamura-sensei was thinking.

Beautiful people are a must for these new types of shonen.

Karneval – It’s a story I have trouble with since we have no idea where the mangaka wants to lead us, but it has potential. Great for shojo and shonen-ai fans, Karneval revolves around a lost boy called Nai who is searching for the person most important to him. Left with only a mysterious bracelet from said person, Nai meets Gareki, another boy willing to help him find that special person. But with the powerful organization Circus, behind their trail to get the bracelet back, Nai’s adventure will be far from easy…

Like I’ve said earlier in the beginning of this post, losing your interest in your hobby is something that is both upsetting and natural. But, as Freud once said: “You cannot control your feelings.” – Even if you lose interest now, nothing tells you that you can’t go back to regaining it in a few years.

10

Why is anime everywhere these days ?

Why is anime everywhere these days? is a question I’ve been asked before repeatedly in the past. And I’m sure everyone who likes anime more or less has been confronted with this question before by people around them.

This question is one of the main reasons why I’ve named my blog: “What is this “Culture” you speak of?” to explain the best as I can everything regarding the Japanese Culture to people who are curious to it or to people such as me who are deeply into this culture, but have yet to hear of or understand this or that part of their passion. In order to respond to this pretty large question, I’ll respond to one little inquiry at a time that relate to this question, those who  have also been asked repeatedly by curious people.

Question number one! How did anime get popular overseas, aru?

I guess it’s thanks to those who were watching anime when it first showed on their screen, over twenty years ago? The more something gets known and appreciated, the more it appears you know.

Even if that’s the most obvious answer to such a question, I’ll give you my opinion on it: Yes and No. It’s true that thanks to the ever-known Dragonball anime it has become widely spread everywhere, but that isn’t the only reason. Anime such as Golderak and Akira have already made their popularity in the west before Dragonball even arrived in the little screens overseas.

But then on the other hand, Golderak and Akira who both were made for different audiences didn’t seem to attract a big number of fans compared to the success Dragonball made. Perhaps it’s for the reason that Dragonball contained bits and pieces of all the genres people liked made a lot of fans, from kids to adults. At the time when Dragonball was first aired, my older sisters used to watch it after school with my mother, for example.

  • Kagura: The art didn’t have anything to do about it?

The art is a very important element, but not the most important one. Anime is very appreciated for its visual art that varies from one anime to the other, depending on the studio producing it or the original creator. The hard-to-miss details such as the large eyes and small mouth you see on most anime nowadays has become very popular and are now recognized everywhere by everyone. In brief words you could say anime made the artwork popular, but not the opposite.

  • But isn’t there supposed to be a cultural barrier?

When we first watched anime in our tender ages, we had no idea it originally came from another country that spoke another language, huh? Sure, there exists a cultural barrier that keeps us from fully understanding references shown in anime, but honestly, that doesn’t keep people from enjoying them. For example, the anime/manga Gintama holds a lot of references that may or not be clear to anyone, regardless of being Japanese or not. Besides, we can always learn sooner or later what the references mean. Almost every person that watches anime knows what sensei means, right?

  • I understand that anime is popular and liked, but what does it have that… I don’t know…Disney or other cartoons don’t have?

A very interesting question that I’ll cut into two different views:

From a commercial point of view, anime holds the key to making successful business by selling a lot of derived products: Soundtrack and drama CDs (audio books, if you prefer)CDs, Figurines, movies that act as spin-offs, trading cards and the list goes on and on. Disney is very triumphant in this territory, but not other cartoons.

And from a normal (and very open) point of view, anime is simply mysterious and captivating. Most anime hold deep plots, mature storylines, realistic characters; In short, it has elements that people can’t find in most animation works. Cartoons can be for kids, but anime can be for everyone.