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Sometimes I’m Wrong

I like to say that I’m never really wrong – as my decisions and opinions are nearly always right based upon the information I have. But sometimes I don’t have enough information, so as I get more information, my opinions can change. That kind of makes my previous ones wrong. I don’t really mind all that much because I did my best with what I have, but it still requires some acknowledgement.

I had the opportunity to ask my sensei last night about the whole “brother/sister” thing, and I have never seen sensei laugh quite so hard as when I mentioned the name of the hentai anime “imouto paradise”. It turns out that sensei does not really watch all that much anime at all, and particularly not hentai, which I totally understand. And this morning, I saw a video by “That Japanese Man Yuta” (a YouTuber whom I can usually take or leave, honestly) about anime songs, and most Japanese people could not identify “Motteke! Sailor Fuku!”. The interviewer said “it’s popular amongst otaku”, as if they were some kind of weird, foreign thing. My sensei seemed to share that opinion.

By its very nature, I have mostly been exposed to things otaku and weeaboos like, because this is what tends to get subtitled over to English or posted to English sites. Because of that, it’s very easy to forget that otaku are actually a rather small subculture of Japanese culture, and while their media influence is outsized, it’s not really reflective of the way most Japanese people see the world. It’s understandable because idol culture is quite literally how I was introduced to Japanese culture, but perhaps it’s time to look for things that have nothing to do with the things otaku like.

This does not mean, necessarily, avoiding anime, manga, etc. It means avoiding the anime and manga that otaku like. Maybe that will be a better reflection of average Japanese culture than the frankly unbalanced tendencies of otaku, weeaboo, and idol culture. It’s no reflection on the idols, I hasten to say. They’re doing what their market demands. But it’s not really a flattering reflection of Japanese culture, and perhaps I should seek out other things.

As my Japanese gets better, that should become easier, I suppose.

So, I should probably rethink some of my opinions. They’re based upon a faulty sample set.

Perhaps the first thing I should do is find manga and anime where the main characters aren’t barely adult women with an F-cup and straining blouse buttons. That’s… harder than it sounds, actually. Native Japanese might not understand this, but that is most of what seems to be imported to America. Maybe I can find better sources.

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