Before I get underway, I’d like to note that I have very little idea as to what I’m talking about. My contact with Real Japanese Otaku is limited only to this one guy I talked to when I was 13, and this random girl on Mixi who is more of a Shounen Jump reading fujoshi than anything else. I do however have the power of fanart, popularity surveys, and the slightly retarded cries of English speaking fans on my side, so hopefully my rantings will have some bearing on what’s actually going on. THE TRUTH, if you will.
Over the past year or so, I’ve noticed something most peculiar. It is a tendency amongst anime fans to prefer characters who come off to me as naggy, annoying and generally not very attractive personality-wise. I’m talking about characters like Kagami (Lucky Star), Hinagiku (Hayate no Gotoku!), Kyou (Clannad), Asuna (Negima!) and hell, Asa (Shuffle!). These characters tend to be tomboyish, naggy, and some of them are pretty generic and poorly handled tsundere girls. I don’t like these sorts of characters, as they posses traits which are not desirable to me as an otaku. However, these characters are wildly popular amongst the majority of otaku, and I have really difficult time understanding why.
As an otaku, aren’t you supposed to embrace fantasy? Where’s the fantasy in girls who are, more or less, like girls you’d run across in the real world? What’s attractive about a girl with the personality of a boy? Similarly, what’s attractive about a girl who punches you straight into sky in order to hide her feelings, instead of telling you straight out that she likes you? I’ve asked people why they like such characters, and time and time again they can never give me a straight answer. The typical answers are, “you just don’t understand” or “well, she has a nice seiyuu.” My friends, these are not reasons. These answers are what we call “dodging the issue”, with the issue being wholly unpleasant personality traits.
I have a theory– these fans are terribly shallow people who like these characters just for their designs. How many times have you heard about a guy sticking with an unpleasant girl simply because she was hot? It’s a sad story, and unfortunately such a mindset has now manifested in otaku culture.
My friends, my brothers, my sisters, I beg of you; don’t be fooled! This is all a conspiracy by The Industry to turn us into normal people! Don’t let them have their way! Embrace the few shreds of sanity left in otaku entertainment! Embrace the loli! Embrace the doting childhood friend! Embrace otaku girl! These are all characters you should like! Don’t you want to stand proud and say, “Yes! I love Kaede because she loves Rin unconditionally and would do anything for him” or “I love Nagi because she can name every single Zeon MS without breaking a sweat” as opposed to finding ways to hide your horribly shallow personality by saying this character “has a good seiyuu.”
It’s not too late for salvation, my friends!