Sometimes a fellow needs to let off a little steam, and this post is it. What follows is a semi-coherent rant against what I see as a pox on today’s Japanese 2D culture: the blight of entertainers selling their personal attributes over the art they pretend to represent, and the following that such pretenders breed in their wake.
I hate Nakagawa Shouko.
Not personally, but I hate what she stands for. She exemplifies a brand of nouveau pop starlets who masquerade as otaku to cash in on the Densha Otoko boom, a bastard strain of entertainers that have spawned cults of personality through the simplistic and ham-handed use of otaku memes they don’t understand, who are polluting the waters of fandom with their arrogant A-boy lackeys.
The otaku tribe I fell in love with wasn’t a cult of personality, it was a cult of art and craft and maniacal, heretical theory. this isn’t to say that the artists themselves with all their eccentricities are shut out of the circle, this isn’t to say that beautiful people can’t be otaku, but that those not focused on the art – those focused on themselves, regardless of stripe – do not belong.
The otaku tent is large. It includes voice actors and actresses, singers, animators, character designers, directors, producers, and artists of all stripes. it includes fans dedicated to the craft of all of these. To me, though, it does not include any of the lampreys who have recently latched onto the scene, neither creators nor true fans but personalities who adopt the superficial aspects of otakuism for their own personal aggrandizement.
These people, as reprehensible as they are, are not the worst part of the problem. What is far more distressing is the body of phony fanboys that has amassed in the retinue of these false prophets, who follow not their creations but their personalities, their insipid outer image of glamor or fashion or whatever it is that makes them seem desirable.
Fans of personality should stick to their variety TV shows and stay out of my artistic space. if you lack the will to understand the otaku world, I want you OUT. this goes for both the upstart b-rank celebrities pretending to represent the “moe-zoku” and their fans – if you’re not willing to come to the table on our terms, gate the fuck out. You’re clogging the aisles of Comiket with your ignorant foppishness, you’re harassing the few legitimate cosplayers left, you’re buying limited edition items for the sole purpose of reselling them at auction, you’re profiting off the enthusiasm of real fans while not giving anything in return and, in short, you’re a cancer on the community that should not exist.
This is my line in the sand. This is where I say enough to the likes of models turned cosplayers, false otaku TV “personalities”, artists who would rather talk about themselves than put pen to paper, anyone who trades more on their name or image than on any talent they may possess – you don’t belong here. There are professionals working hard every day, there are fans who take their work seriously, who deserve the air you’re wasting. There’s a lowest common denominator audience waiting for you out in TV-land and the magazine aisles of convenience stores. Porn/gravure stars? Pop idols? Get the fuck out of Akihabara and find your own smut district to pollute.
If you want to be part of this world you’re welcome to join, but you have to choose your own adventure: there are honorable artistic professions out there, positions earned with sweat and tears and years of hard work and training. There’s the life of the fan, who puts his time and his money where his mouth is. Come to me when I can see something in your eyes other than spinning yen signs and let’s talk – until then we’ve got nothing to discuss.
Shingo is an anime fan who hasn’t RAGED AGAINST THE MACHINE in a long time. He thinks that Densha Otoko, while not a bad show in itself, is the worst thing to happen to otakudom in Japan since the Miyazaki murders of 1989 and hopes the Mousou Shoujo Otaku-kei TV drama will be canceled before it gets the chance to air.