Losing & Regaining (Otaku) Passion

Kamina forgive me, I’ve been feeling a bit unenthusiastic towards anime lately. My feelings towards anime at the moment, after being separated apart from it for only a couple days (and even then I am still reading articles about it) has been a numbing experience for me.

I’ve mentioned before my disconnect with the anachronism of Haruhi, and on multiple occasions, my inability to capture a strong sense of nostalgia or absolute fondness for anime. And I’ve gone on record, both here and on twitter for constantly whining and complaining about how bummed out I am about not being as engaged and emotional as others seem to be watching and talking about anime. Heck, I’ve even questioned as to whether I’m really an otaku, or at least to what degree, if I am.

Genshiken (1)

Perhaps I just feel burned out through watching so much anime in the past couple of months. I don’t want to come off as spoiled what with all the anime out there; both ones I’ve yet to watch and ones I’ve watched and could easily see myself re-watching. There’s no shortage for me to peruse through and wonderfully find a new favourite, or one that inspires me in some way. The possibility for reigniting my passion is always readily available, as all I merely have to do is engage with the medium and unearth the hidden gems that await me.

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In due time, my friend

But it’s not so easy sometimes, on days like this, to feel excited about anime. Not that I don’t have plans to continue watching anime (I do), but rather if anime has been the spark to ignite the fiery passion within me and the fuel to living my life so fiercely, then my current mood would be akin to something coming along and extinguishing that fire. Perhaps it is because I missed a couple of days not watching anime, but I seriously doubt my passion for the medium could be so easily doused.

I’m not so bad that I can’t enjoy watching anime, but it doesn’t feel like I’m getting lost in any of them… at least not for a few weeks now – Toradora! & The World God Only Knows being the last ones that I remember hitting me on a truly gripping and emotional level. Not to discount the ones I’ve seen between then and now – I enjoyed I’d like to say most of them, but don’t recall any being so vividly as powerful of an experience as the aforementioned shows.

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[accurate portrayal of how I’m feeling]
Well, that’s not entirely true. I did have an awesomely engaging experience rewatching Kill la Kill last month, as well as a delightfully light and fluffy time finishing my time with K-On!!. Both of them being incredibly dense and fun shows in their own special ways. I felt something that reminded me of why I love anime watching these two shows, and I came away from Kill la Kill appreciating it a whole lot more than the second time around. And I definitely look forward to re-watching them again in the future and further explore my thoughts and feelings more specifically, but suffice it to say I thoroughly enjoyed both works and will revisit them sometime in the near future.

Gunbuster and Diebuster were also really good shows that appealed to me relatively easily. I’m sort of a newcomer to the mecha genre, unless you count Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and Code Geass as introductions that give me some credit as a “mecha fan”. If these shows are any indication to go by, then I could very easily see myself getting immersed in the fandom of this genre, but for the time being it’s not my primary interest. My current concern is finding love again, for this wonderful and amazing medium? Art movement? You tell me.

Maybe I just need to remind myself that there’s still plenty of anime out there I have yet to see that could spark that passion again, and even if in the unlikeliest of odds that doesn’t happen, I can always go back and rewatch the ones that have evoked that passion, and could just as easily reignite it… Hopefully.

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Finding the right words to express my enjoyment and appreciation of anime (among other things) is one of the biggest difficulties I’m facing right now. Nothing has really sparked my inspiration for writing about anything in particular for a while now. And my strife to continue writing about everything I watch is starting to affect how I view anime for both the better and the worse. As there is that lingering feeling of doubt in how much progress I’m making with either my consumption of the medium and my craft in trying to articulate my feelings toward it. I shouldn’t feel this way. Anime shouldn’t feel like a chore. And neither should writing about it.

And while there’s loads of anime I’d love to rave about with love and awesomeness, I get the feeling it’s something best written at the peak moment of excitement about the show, and to do so at any other time would feel inauthentic in a way. Not that I wouldn’t still love the show, but rather that because of the distance in time between last seeing it, the in-the-moment feeling of love and excitement for it has abated. I’m sure a re-watch would stimulate those feelings again, but then I’d be falling behind on shows I haven’t seen yet. I’m learning to not let this bother me as much, but I spend a lot of time on Twitter and the feed I get tends to pertain to a lot of shows that I still haven’t gotten around to watching and I feel sort of conflicted about which to watch first. It’s the happiest of problems (to be complaining about having too many awesome shows to watch – oh no, woest me).

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[(not inaccurate) depiction of me crying in these troubling times]
So, I have taken it upon me to read as much as I can from other blogs recently (mostly a few in particular from start to finish), which admittedly, is taking me a lot longer than I’d expected and I don’t see myself getting through all of them anytime soon. Another thing I’ve also taken a more interactive interest in is researching anime. A big undertaking for someone such as I, who generally does not remember things well enough to speak confidently about them. But I imagine after enough time immersing myself in the wealth of information regarding creators, studios and the history of anime, some of it’s bound to stick. Shirobako has been a big help in that endeavour, I believe.

~ Ace

 

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