Showing off My Love for My Hobbies in Social Life – The Idea of Masculinity
I remembered Silvachief asking me a question a long time ago in ask.fm, about showing my hobbies in social life. It was an interesting question and it was something I was thinking about for awhile, so I decided to talk about it some more in this post.
Before I begin though, I would like to talk about the local community here in Brunei and what do they see anime as, at least within my circle of friends. I always feel like Brunei isn’t a country to label people as otaku or weebo and stick all kinds of negative implications to them. In contrast, they are ignorant. They aren’t knowledgeable about the inner workings of anime culture, and not a lot of them know about anime terms. In fact, it’s not even until around early 2009 where I only just learned what is “tsundere” and has since been sharpening my knowledge in the art of anime tropes.
Most of the time, my friends are just more keen on mainstream anime for example; talk Naruto, Bleach, One Piece or if we were to give newer examples, Jojo, Fairy Tail, Attack on Titan, quite a number of them would know it. In comparison, try to say anime like OreImo or OreGairu and not a lot of them will know it. Don’t even get me started on cute girls doing cute things shows. OreImo and OreGairu are rather mainstream too, admittedly, so I think it has a lot to do with demographics than mainstream, although mainstream appeal still definitely plays a factor in it. “Shounen” and “seinen”, and especially those genres which appeal to masculinity, I find those were the type of anime which were talked more often within the circle of my friends.
Most of my friends are huge gamers, but I find even the games I played from them differs. While I mostly prefer to play Japanese games with anime-influence nowadays, my friends usually play Western games with realistic graphics. Personally, I always find the appeal in both, it’s just that with my time and money, I really just had to focus on one and I chose the former. I did managed to finish a few of these Western games in recent years, like GTA V (never tried out the online mode though) and older Assassin’s Creed games, but it’s really hard for me to keep up now. So when my friends were bickering to me about Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed (the newer titles), Bloodborne and Witcher 3, my reactions would be like “Huh?”.
Indeed, while my friends were busy planning heists and shooting down people in GTA Online, I’m busy with my Harem Conquest route in Persona 4 Golden.
Furthermore, aside from my sis, I seldom told anyone about my visual novels hobbies. Even for my sis, she knew about it purely by accident. There was one time where I tried to show some visual novel screenshot-a typical one with a sprite and a dialogue box; my poor attempt at introducing someone into it, and the only response I got is “What’s this? Hentai?”.
From what I had described, yeah, I personally think the Brunei community is just ignorant, but, which is also exactly the reason why I was so surprised when I found out Brunei decided to air the Love Live movie soon this October, something which I’m not sure if I want to watch since I probably know no one in my vicinity would be appreciative of it, and when you’re watching a movie from a series you really like, with a group of people who you know will never appreciate it-that really kills the fun.
I also can’t go waifu-ing too, which is also an important factor. Unfortunately, I will probably wait a bit more and just watch it alone on my PC.
Either way, I find I always has a sort of subconscious reflex to conceal my otaku identity. I never wear anime T-shirts out in public (not like I have any), and before I knew it, I’m setting my smartphone and ipod with wallpapers of cool video game characters rather than cute anime characters. I also has a habit of hiding myself when I play LLSIF outdoors (playing it when my family’s near is fine for me though), I’m sure I will be more confident playing it out in the open if there’s someone else playing it too… but everyone’s playing Clash of Clans.
Anyway, I said “subconscious” because I was never ostracized or bullied from the little weebo-ness I had revealed (which is a blessing in itself since I had heard worse), I think the reason I seem to have a habit of subconsciously concealing my otaku identity in public was a combination of different things-the community’s ignorance and lack of cultural knowledge, the bad things I heard in other communities, the only one being left (remember? Me=LLSIF, Everyone=Clash of Clans?) and pretty much, my community’s affiliation in masculinity.
Guys are always likened to masculine stuffs like robots and supercars. In fact, most of my friends and coworkers spent thousands in modifying sport cars, meanwhile, I’m spending thousands here collecting figures and commissioning moe artworks. Then again, there’s also the possibility that my friends are also subconsciously hiding similar otaku facets of themselves due to similar reasons, but if that’s true, that means every one of my “friends” and I were interacting with each other on our hobbies while hiding a part of ourselves-a superficial social life. Why can’t we just be more genuine?
Then again, that’s a big assumption of my part. Anyway, that’s how is it for me. I really wish Brunei and the community would be more open with anime, at the very least, within the circle of my friends. Having more major anime conventions would be great too, but it could be worse, and I’m fine with what I got for the moment. How’s your community towards the anime fandom like?
Note: Aforementioned, I got a lot of things I want to talk about in regards to this subject, and even when I worded everything out, it still doesn’t feel like a very good post-feels incoherent and more like ramblings. I think I might revisit this topic again soon.