This post is part of a 12-day series fondly remembering some of the best moments in anime this year. Participants include: lolikitsune, lelangir, Owen S, FuyuMaiden, IKnight, Zeroblade, Nazarielle, TheBigN, ETERNAL, Mike, A Day Without Me, digitalboy, Josh, otou-san, Culchann and Pontifus, IcyStorm, Cokematic, koneko-chan, and miz, and you’re welcome to join too!).
I remember being told to have lost all credibility because I actually happened to like Lucky Star and Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu. The context being that no self-respecting anime fan, or at least mecha anime fan should like the mentioned shows. Well, I happened to have enjoyed these shows a tremendous deal and have gotten a high degree of value from them. So I won’t apologize for having an ability to enjoy shows that some people can’t.
So what did I find? I followed a group of animated constructs of high school females, seemingly put together for the sole purpose of making me want to watch more of them. Nothing really happens. Every now and then I find myself guffawing but most of the time I just sat there transfixed.
Was I being played? Was I reduced to be a collection of reactions? Who was I in the face of Tsukasa struggling with her mobile phone? My mind academically wanted to participate in the discussions of the aforementioned posts, wanting to break down the structures of the show, write an entry to the logs of the taxonomy of anime.
I was more than confused, I felt lost. I felt enormous pressure to understand not what I saw, but what I felt about what I was seeing. Because, in a moment of clarity I knew: I was enjoying every minute of the show, and my thinking was getting in the way. So what did I do? I felt humiliated, at not being able to articulate my feelings. I thought of Kierkergaard, who made his leap of faith by invoking one of Ignatius Loyola’s vows: to sacrifice the intellect.
And I did, and whoosh, freedom.
When I freed myself to simply enjoy what was there before me, I started creating the experience for myself. I was Konata geeking out over anime and video games. I was the boy who never had sisters but had 2 younger brothers, a voyeur to the dynamics of the Hiiragi household. I was Misao, discontent with having to share my best friend with another. And so on.
And among the many moments that gave me much satisfaction to observe and fashion an experience from, I choose the OP. I felt tricked, trolled for every episode until the last. The OP promised something I had and still have no idea how to articulate, only that I wanted it, and expected it.
And I was free to be awed by it. Awesomeness begets awesomeness. The OP has inspired the expressive behaviors among otaku that I find as much as impressive as their source material. Here’s one:
Here’s a guy who with the talent that he has just runs away with slap bass to the OP. The shared context the OP provides allows for my immersion into his playing. Did I love it? Absolutely. Another example, the fan(boy) favorite band JAM Project tries their hand at the OP:
And it brings me back to myself: a GAR-loving, giant mecha fanboy who found another way to get into this cultural product. Why would I want to get into it, being so foreign to my tastes? It exists, is new, and can be claimed into the realm of what I love.