Sunday, May 13, 2012

Graduating from being an Otaku

Today's post isn't about me being in Japan. Well, it partially has something to do about me being in Japan right now.

Yesterday I was cleaning up my hard disk because I was almost out of memory and I found this photo:

It was a birthday gift from my friends who lived in the same dorm as I did when I was in junior high. Or actually, secondary school, to be exact. It reminded me of how much of an otaku I was. Watching anime and reading manga every day was my routine, and I did like to be called with Japanese honorifics such as "-chan". My sole reason of learning Japanese was to watch anime, read manga and play games in Japanese because I didn't like English-dubbed stuffs and English-translated manga often get released too slow.

My favorite country was Japan for no valid reason, and when I grow up I want to work for Squaresoft (which is Square-Enix right now). I didn't mind being the security guard as long as I work there. After graduating from high school I wanted to study the arts and I wanted to work in the animation industry even though I had zero skills.

Back then, my mind was very narrow-minded. I didn't see any other possibilities.

Somehow after attending college, I gradually changed. For some reason, I picked a major that is totally unrelated to what I had been dreaming of. I knew I was strong in chemistry, and somehow events led me to choose food science. I learned a lot of awesome things, fell in love with my major, and my horizon expanded.

I started seeing more and more interesting things to explore. Things that I knew I love were somehow buried under the spell of anime and manga. Back in secondary school, I knew I like to cook. I knew I like to take pictures of nature, and I knew I like to write songs. I like thrilling stuffs like riding the roller coaster and sky diving. I like to read news about technology. Not so much on politics and stocks/shares. I find psychology interesting, and science amazing. But because I dedicated too much of time for anime and manga and games, I couldn't see that my life is much more than that.

Right now, I still read manga every day, but at a less worrying pace. I watch anime about once or twice in a month, and I could leave my PSP untouched for 3 months. The result? I feel that I used my time much more efficiently, and my life was more exciting and colorful.

I used to think that the world will end without manga or anime, and I had never thought of giving them up. But hey, guess what: I could! And it wasn't something that I decided to do; it happened naturally. Changes are gradual. 

Well, I wouldn't say I really regretted those times I was an otaku because thanks to that I could understand both otaku and non-otaku way of thinking. But hey, it was a good change for me, and I think it's worth celebrating. At least I think it is :)


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