Why are you here?
Why are you here tonight? That was the question for us, in our night class in essay-writing. To answer, we had to write “free fall” and then read aloud. Here’s my answer:
Of course I love my couch, and television, and popular culture: at home I have stacks of VHS, DVDs, Japanese figurines, cool posters—as well as some grown up original oil paintings. My point is, there are lots I could do at home—oh, and I have Internet too. So I could entertain myself for hours. But I’d rather feel productive. To me writing essays is productive because there is suspense: I never know if it will be any good.
For example, I own a certain Japanese cartoon “anime” series, full of violence, and I ended up doing an essay about that show. (Only 13 episodes beginning-to-end) But did I do it right? A young Safeway cashier saw my Japanese baseball cap, learned about my blog, and now I have to wonder: Is my essay too hard for her? Too grownup? Too serious and intellectual? Certainly it’s nothing a young anime fan would write or normally read.
But then again, my essay is about the truth of child abuse. In the show a man and a woman, newly adult, take in child runaways, one of whom has never seen a warm Japanese bath, and one of whom has denial to the point of memory loss. And these things do happen. So maybe a young reader would like to know about the wide world. And that is why I’m here tonight. To learn to write more stuff, more personal stuff, and I think it will be all right.
There will be other evenings for me to be at home enjoying nice non-violent anime, and sci-fi shows.
(Again, I would remind people I am desperately seeking the Japanese figurine of Kuniko holding her boomerang overhead.)
~My grim essay is The Anime, Elfen Lied, archived June 2011.
~The opening song credits for Elfen Lied on Youtube are not hard for you to find. Instead, I offer here (link) some young fans performing in Latin the opening song, Ilium, in E minor using violins and a piano: The singer has a trained voice and good enunciation.
Although I was very moved by Elfen Lied, and although when I saw a young woman at a convention dressed all in bandages like Lucy in the show I burst out, “That is the best costume I’ve seen all weekend!” … still, I just can’t recommend Elfen Lied to anyone my age whom I don’t know. Too violent.
~So let me instead recommend a housewife-friendly 13-episode series that has been called “very gentle,” Some Day’s Dreamers, about a sixteen-year-old country girl alone in Tokyo, trying to learn to be a mage (wizard). The Japanese title translates roughly as, “What mages need to know.” Here’s the link to the sympathetic opening song, a song I like very much.
~Today many high schools and colleges have an “anime club,” and many cities have an annual Japanese anime/media convention, one-day, (Camrose in October; Lethbridge until 2017) or all-weekend. (Edmonton and Calgary in the summer)