evangelion

Nagato Yuki no shoushitsu

After over two weeks straight of not doing much of anything but work, last week-end was a welcome break full of otaku activities: anison karaoke, Nanoha the movie 1st and shopping for Okada Kou's new book Chuugakusei nikki on Saturday, followed by a Sunshine Creation full of Hideyoshi doujinshi and Suzumiya Haruhi no shoushitsu on Sunday. Nanoha in particular was pure joy, and though it took me several, erm, sittings to finish it (it's just too useable), I can also tell you that Chuugakusei nikki is spectacular.

On the other hand, the Haruhi movie (known in English as The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, or was it Vanishment instead?) was a bit of a disappointment for me. Since impression posts I've read about it seemed to range from contented to ecstatic, I might as well try and explain why. This shouldn't spoil anything if you're familiar with the Shoushitsu storyline; I haven't read the novels myself, but the adaptation was reportedly quite faithful.

This loser is you: the appeal of netorare

A previous post suggested that otaku (moe otaku in particular) tend to have a very righteous approach to romantic relationships, in the sense that they value pure, sincere, genuine commitment to a romantic interest, both during a relationship and as a prerequisite to forming it (it's a trivial but significant observation that the genre overwhelmingly favors “confessing” over “asking out,” for instance). Since their ethos makes the commitment precede the relationship, otaku are prone to unrequited feelings and infatuation. And turning to 2D doesn't really help here for now: usually, your dakimakura won't talk back.

Of course, not all otaku are romantically challenged. Some are even rumored to be married with kids. Nevertheless, anecdotal observation and secondary evidence do suggest a strong connection between otakudom and a specific perception of romantic relationships (not a very successful one). It is a bit of a cliché, but one that has enough basis in reality that the medium itself can play with it in interesting ways—particularly by teasing the audience with a surrogate character modeled around that cliché.

Syndicate content