Thursday, September 6, 2012

Half-Asleep Rant

A boss walked past yesterday and asked me, "How was Raya?"
In order to surmise everything succinctly, I said, "Oh, it was fine. I don't really like my family."

She was like, "Huh?"

I meant something that I should probably explain in an article, rather than a comment that can be taken out of context. So I'll begin with anime.

One of the reasons, I believe, anime is so popular with teenagers and young adults who want to remain teenagers is because of the group thing.

The typical anime usually has a group of main characters travelling or fighting together against a deadly foe (Berserk, Inuyasha, Flame of Recca, Fairy Tail, Bleach, Naruto, One Piece, Cowboy Bebop, Martian Successor Nadeisco, Saber Marionette J to X, SlamDunk). Sometimes, they stay in a house (Aa Megami Sama, Tenchi Muyo, Hanaukyo Maids). Or work at the same jobs (With Hunter Robin, Read or Die).

The point is, almost all anime characters have an amazing support system, much like a family or a tight-knit group of cool friends. This formula made the extremely shallow - though admittedly sometimes funny - sitcom Friends a hit in the '90s.

It's a sense of belonging, which is a deep psychological need for a lot of people. A place or a group of friends each with significant roles - something a lot of young people try to find. A crew, and becoming a crew-member, a 'nakama'.

Me? I've always hated the notion of groups. Fucking hated it, without realising that I was in a crew all along. I was part of many teams, with diversely-skilled people, fulfilling a joint objective.

I mean, I sought writing because it is a solitary job. You stand alone, facing the screen and the keyboard, and fuck everyone else. But even novelists - the most solitary of writing disciplines - have a crew.

I've never put too much emphasis on a sense of belonging, though, because I see every place as temporary. I'm a transient. Nothing lasts forever. All structures are unsafe.

Add to the fact that many 'nakamas' eventually would betray the group or betray me. I'm like a radio tuned in to the darkness in people's hearts, like Night Man. Oh hohohohohohoho!

Which is why I can usually be found alone somewhere, with my thoughts or with a book.

Growing up, though, meant my projects would become more complex. The 48 hour film thing, for example, means I am working with lots of different people and connecting as well as contacting a bunch of different characters, for various reasons.

Am not too bothered, as long as it gets done, whichever way things get done. I just wanted to say that even as an anime fan, I am better than everyone else. Oh hohohohohohoho!