A mind blowing realization hit me a while back and I'd like to talk about it now. It concerns the complete and total cognitive dissonance that is wrought on my brain by anime and manga.
For clarification cognitive dissonance is the holding of contradictory thoughts and behaviors within yourself which bring discomfort and an urge to set yourself straight. I get that crap waaaay too often... Let me talk a bit about the two guys pictured above who fittingly enough are both voiced by Johnny Young Bosch. Lelouch vi Brittania on the left and Ichigo Kurosaki on the right. Here's my problem or problems: I really love both characters. I admire their values and heroism and determination and I love their compassion for their loved ones and their fellow man in general which drives them to serve the worlds needs as best as they can.
These two characters and their respective anime's/manga's have provided me hours and hours of entertainment, excitement, and philosophical value. Okay, now compare these two characters in your mind and see if you can figure out why my love and admiration for each of these guys strikes me as a problem...
I'll give you a few seconds...
Did you notice yet? The issue I have is that these two characters are really nothing a like in any but the most vague and general ways. Their respective methods of protecting people and saving the world are vastly different. Remember when Ichigo left Ikkaku alive after beating him and even treated his wounds? This was an act of honor and respect in Ichigo's mind which he felt he owed to Ikkaku. Tell me, do you think Lelouch would have done any such thing? Not a chance in hell, when he cornered Prince Clovis and learned that Clovis had no knowledge or involvement in his mother's death and sister's crippling he went ahead and killed Clovis anyway because well, in his own words: "This is war, why wouldn't I kill an enemy commander?" No remorse and no mercy.
Same deal with Ulquiorra and Princess Cornelia. After beating the hell out of Ulquiorra in hollow mode Ichigo insists that Ulquiorra cut one of his arms off because it "wasn't fair" to use the hollow mode or something stupid like that... but when facing Cornelia at Narita Lelouch had no qualms about having Kallen face down Cornelia while he shot the arm off Cornelia's knightmare from behind. Ichigo wants to fight fair and honorably where Lelouch just wants to kick some ass.
Cornelia got rocked! And not in a good way.
The examples are far from over, but to get to the point I have trouble with my own choices of approaching all of life be because anime screwed my mind up. It tricked me in to sympathizing with numerous philosophies and perspectives, many of which contradict each other!
Anime makes deciding what to believe in really difficult for me because I fall in love with characters of all personalities and persuasions. Soifon from Bleach likes to maintain animosity and distance in her squad. Stating at one point that she doesn't like a cozy atmosphere and believes in keeping the soldiers on their toes. She constantly berates and beats Omaeda and she strikes me as a badass and sexy lady in Bleach. Just the one recent manga panel of her training and sweating her ass off struck me with awe and admiration.
But then again, absolutely everyone, including myself and even Soifon (especially Soifon) absolutely loves Yoruichi Shihouin, and if you'll notice Soifon in nothing like her. Yoruichi is laid back and fun loving and as a Captain she insisted on being addressed very informally saying that skill and power was more valuable than manners. Also, she's has a lot of sex appeal is well aware of that fact and even uses it for amusement from time to time.
This scene is cannon and it is hilarious.
So here are the questions I keep trying to answer for myself. Who am I really? Who do I want to be? Where does my heart reside? Is that the best place for it? What people both real and fictional do I most identify with and why? If I make a choice to go down one path then what am I to make of all the roads not travelled?
Many questions such as these plague my existence constantly. I have one constant that I do hold onto which is my desire to be a Main Character of life. I want to be someone who matters, who improves the world and makes people happy when he's around. Someone who entertains and protects and makes a good living too.
This confusion I have can be seen in my blog postings. I've kept it mostly PG rated but you'll notice that the posts for Black Lagoon and Chivalrous Perverts detract from that tendency into more R- Rated stuff.
That happened because it's my own attempt at real life personal character development. I'm trying to become a character myself. I don't want to play it safe anymore as a common person. I want to do all the exciting things that a charismatic and heroic anime guy might do.
I'd rather have this...but instead I have a lap top on me that's burning my potential children out of existence...
If I really want to get to where my heart is I have to be honest about what I think and feel, and I have to confess to what really gets my heart racing as I indulge in my anime fandom. I am really a big fan of characters who are aggressive and tough. I like power and conquest and smartass remarks. I'm also very interested in lady lovin'. These are things I like.
The really trouble I have is where my heart is versus where society and my life circumstances seem to insist it ought to be.
High School of the Dead: No I don't have a problem with the excessive fan service!
If it was my show Saeko would be real I would've picked her as my lady and she would be on me right now instead of my lap top and this blog could just go straight to hell for all I care!
But noooo, I don't get to have my zombie apocalypse and my beautiful Saeko and instead I have this oh so sexy lap top giving me such an intense time that I might get carpel tunnel by the time I publish this damn post. Okay so maybe it's a bit harsh wishing Armageddon on the world just so I can live out my sicko fantasies but you know what? I need something to happen. I need to get my passion out because it's absolutely killing me to live in such a passive and nonchalant state when I know greater and more fun things are possible for me to do and experience! Here I am in the prime of my youth and all I've done is get mostly good grades in school and had a few laughs from time to time eating meals with people or ice skating or watching movies or anime where other people who are decidedly not me have all the fun.
I have a lot of good things in my life but you know what? That's a load of crap, because what matters in not what I get from life but what I put into life! And I've failed miserably thus far.
To reiterate, it's not about what you take but what you do!
I'm now noticing my penchant for fan servicey pics in this blog and my preference for a more casual writing style. This is a significant departure from the style with which I began this blog. It would appear that this post itself has been an experiment in finding my own heart.
Anime to me is something that is meant to capture the heart. That's the reason for all of the dramatic twists and turns and the epic speeches that get made throughout them. It's why characters say outrageous things very often and the get into really amusing troubles and quarrels because of it all.
I think that the reason anime is considered to be weird and crazy is not because it defies logic but because it defies the common cultural norm of suppressing our hearts. The status quo is to behave yourself strictly by following all the rules and observing proper etiquette and formalities. Anime characters often don't seem to even know what those words even mean!
Anime has done me the service or perhaps the disservice of letting me live vicariously through the characters, the very kind of life that I don't have the balls to live myself because I've burned them away with this friggin' lap top!
I couldn't find a burning groin pic because I have not the patience for it right now, but this should suffice.
So I'm not putting up with shit anymore. I'm going to take a stand for my heart and I'll trust that improvement can be sought through conflict and negotiation rather than wasting my life away in this damn bedroom on the freakin' lap top trying to solve the mysteries of life all by my lonesome. I'm tired of this boring sedentary lifestyle of watching some character who doesn't even exist get more action and make more money than I do.
Derek Steiner is changing his ways right before you ladies and gentlemen, and I hope you'll like him as much as I do because I think it's gonna be a blast!!!
It would be cruel and stupid to wish for a zombie apocalypse. But if it happens I'm totally doing this.
Thanks for reading now get out of the house and kick life's ass!