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This morning I wrote a post in Japanese.

It’s probably not very good and odds are I’ll hide or delete it at some point.  But it’s really the only way I’m going to be able to practice, well, one of the few anyway.  So I’ll probably do that a lot more frequently.  Turns out my vocabulary is a little bigger than I thought, I guess.

The post was about “Love Live, Nijigasaki school idol club”.

As I mentioned, I really like the “Love, Live” franchise.  I’m a large part of the way through “superstar” now.  Even though the plots are very similar (and rather dumb, tbh), it’s still engaging and has a heart.  Would I say it’s the absolute best franchise?  No.  But it’s up there.  Much better than most of the stuff I’ve already dropped.  Like “Quintessential Quintuplets”.

Anyway, I’ve been able to watch all of the series, except for Nijigasaki.  That one…  really affected me.  And it did so in, like the first episode.

It’s not the plot that got me.  The plot was kind of similar to all the others, at least from what I could see.  Girl falls in love with school idols, finds out her school has (or in this case, had) a school idol club, well, you know the drill.

No, what got me was the school.

This particular series was set in Odaiba (you could see the Fuji building and rainbow bridge).  It’s a very, very large and very, very fancy school.  Even the club area had a huge atrium with a glass roof and trusses.  It’s the kind of school that really only exists in your imagination – and in this case was no exception, honestly.  It’s actually based on the “big sight convention center”, in Odaiba.

They took a convention center and turned it into a school for the purposes of anime.

Something’s a little off about that.

But after I watched the first episode, something twanged in me.  You know how when you see something that affects you, it’s like something physically resonates inside you, and it changes the way you see the world for at least a little while?

After I turned off the first episode, I walked outside into my backyard.  It was quiet, there was no one around (which is good, because it was my backyard).  The grass is all dead because it’s winter, and…  there’s nothing there.  I then went out into the front yard and looked left and right at my neighborhood…

It’s boring.  Utterly boring.  There’s nothing there.  No excitement, no vibrancy, no… no nothing.  Just rows and rows of very similar looking houses, maybe a few children playing, but… nothing.

And I saw that “school”, and it… it felt alive.  It felt vibrant.  Like there were things going on there, people having fun, people learning stuff…

I know it’s anime.  I know it’s a lie.  I get it.  I understand that.  I’m not saying that my feelings on the topic are rational.  In actuality, there’s probably a resonation with something in my past that I don’t even really understand.  That doesn’t really matter, though.  Lies have power.  Maybe not as much power as truth, but in some ways, the lies inform truth.  They shine a light on truth that wouldn’t exist without them.  And I also know that if I were to go to Tokyo… the resonation wouldn’t be there.  This isn’t something I can seek out, this isn’t really something I can experience…  even if it were, those days are long, long gone.  But even then, it wouldn’t be.  Schools like that don’t exist.  Communities like that don’t exist.  People like that, well… mostly, anyway… don’t exist.

It’s only something I can process.

The lies of anime really hurt sometimes, because they’re far too close to the truths that I was actively kept from, as a child.

But right now…  right now I can’t watch nijigasaki.  It hurts too much.

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