Saturday, April 04, 2009

My stance has not changed...

I made a comment the other day on Danny's site about how K-ON! was going to probably get licensed and how white fanboys are going to go apeshit about it for two years until something else comes along. I was responded to by someone that for various reasons, I really do not like. A very negative person, whose archetype I've known four, maybe ten times throughout my life. The last person I knew like this was a pretentious movie fan who bought "hand shot" books (yes, as in with a gun) for $50 and was the same sad, constantly-critical-of-everything "eeyore" type. This person, however, has an interest shift, if you will. Rather than arguing back and forcing everyone to read or at least scroll past pointless flaming on, I've decided to let it all out, here.

I have loved and studied the Japanese language for a long time, I have loved and studied Japanese culture and history for a long time as well. One of the biggest reasons I stuck with, and came to adore is because of the wide range, and overall depth of content regarding nearly every aspect of Japanese culture and also anime/manga/mecha, et cetera. Most of Danny's community is of a like mind, in that they are open-minded individuals with a general passion for Japan. It wasn't just a bunch of morons eating Pocky and watching series that are 5+ years old because that's all that "adult swim" shows.

I think dubs are shit, because they are. But it goes way beyond that. As a student and lover of all things Japanese, I view dubbing as a bastardization of culture. Not only because it's being translated, or because of the horrible porno-grade voice acting, (though those are both high up on the list) but because of the forced americanization and lack of culture. The word "localization" is synonymous with bastardization to me. Though not a dub, the English version of Gyakuten Saiban is a prime example. God forbid they allow the word bento into the game and someone learn something! No it gets made into "box" or "box lunch", or my favorite: how onigiri used to be made into "donut" in everything. The game also has a girl from Kansai as a witness in one trial, and apparently she's "from the south". So instead of embracing another culture of WHERE THE GAME IS FROM, and reading one, maybe two sentences of explanation and LEARNING something, we make a ramen/udon stand owner into a "spaghetti shop" owner.

Second, I hate pretentious little shits that like "the newest anime!" and then proceed to tell me about a title I watched 2-3 years ago. Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu came out about 3 years ago now and I wore a shirt from J-List to work one time and had people saying, "Oh I can't wait, I have the first DVD on preorder, I heard about Mee-kou-ruo she's supposed to be kaw-waa-eeeeee!" That was the last time I wore the shirt in public. Fake-taku are a unique class of people. See, if I wear my +20 Frost Resistence hoodie from World of Warcraft, if some guy comes up and asks me about it, he will know about Warcraft and can hold a discussion. If I wear a Gurren-Lagann shirt, you can bet some pseudotaku pretentious indie skank with buttons on her bag that say "Kara-okay?" will try and start a conversation with me about Pocky or some bullshit about Adult Swim or cosplay assuming I'm interested in those things, and then try to demonstrate the four or so words of Japanese that she knows until I roll my eyes and make an excuse to walk away. Or worse, they try and work american comics into the conversation, especially if it's a dude talking, and I am really not a fan of american comics. (Precisely why I don't shop at Borders anymore...)

In short, I'm probably an elitist or a snob, but I'm okay with that. I would rather converse with people in the know who have a genuine interest linked to culture, than people that need their stuff spoon-fed to them by tokyopop after it's been run through the americanization machine. This was extremely disorganized and I had much more to say, but it's really late and I just spewed out hateful rhetoric about the sector of society I hate more than all else. And as I said over at Danny's, I'm very glad that the general interest in anime in america is waning.

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