It’s been 10 years since, to this day in 2008, that I started blogging. To celebrate, I’m going to talk about where I’ve been and where things are going.
Conventions sure have changed in 10 years. When I started going to cons, the atmosphere was totally different. People used to go to cons to celebrate ANIME, to talk about ANIME, and to cosplay as ANIME characters. You can guess where I’m going with this.
The #1 most cosplayed character when I first started cons was L from Death Note. The #1 most cosplayed character now is Deadpool. Why is that? Well, let’s start with L. L was a fantastic character from a fantastic anime, and it took very little effort to make an L costume. The big debate back in 2008 was whether L cosplayers (and others) should be allowed to go barefoot.
Now, what’s the big controversy? The violation of “Cosplay is Not Consent.” And why is that on the table? The rise of Deadpools, of course. Deadpool cosplayers go around at cons doing whatever they want, which includes one who harassed my sister last year. “But we’re acting in character!” And thus, “Cosplay is Not Consent” The trouble with CiNC is that it’s preaching to the choir. The Deadpools make fun of CiNC. I saw one of them saying “I’m a good Deadpool, I’m going to give out plushies to all girls I see.” So now they’re going to start bribing the girls they harass.
This has gone too far. I don’t care if you’re Deadpool, Mugen from Samurai Champloo, or even a Bleach captain. You have no right to bother any girl you see, regardless of the character you’re cosplaying. And you also have no right to bother those of us boys who are just minding their own business. I’m not even going to get into those people who actually cross the line. I’m saying, don’t even get near that line by making comments about girls’ skirts or looking at girls’ butts.
But let’s get back to the issue at hand. I say that anime conventions used to be about ANIME. In 2018, anime is almost completely out the window. It’s now all about Marvel. They ought to call them “Marvel conventions” because that’s all I see anymore. If you want to have a convention for American stuff, that’s fine, but I like Japan and Japanese culture. I want to celebrate anime and the like, not whatever’s hot in the American theaters. I miss those halcyon days back in 2008 when you could go to a con and expect to hear the “Hare Hare Yukai” and see the Fullmetal Alchemist Homonculi and talk about Bleach.
I’ve decided to scale down my cons and cut out cons like Colossalcon, like Ohayocon, like Matsuricon, that I love but have started to hate. Why? Because they’re no longer anime cons. They’re more or less party time for nerds. And that means lots and LOTS of drinking. Alcohol is the least of conventions’ problems, though. Illicit drugs are common at cons and are being used by kids who aren’t old enough to smoke a cigarette. In short, cons are not what they used to be and, while lots of fun, can be pretty dangerous if you’re walking on the con floor past 8 pm. My Ohayocon 2018 experience was so bad that I’ve questioned whether I should go back to cons. I’m still going to Tekko – in my hometown of Pittsburgh – but I’m going to be really careful.
Toonami is in reality a mirage. Adult Swim used to air a lot more anime than they do today. In 2008, you could watch anime four days a week, Monday through Thursday. It was really easy to catch up on a series you missed. InuYasha aired eight episodes a week, Bleach and FMA four each. And there was lots of old stuff floating around as well, like Cowboy Bebop and Big O.
Now? Forget it. You’ve got five hours a week to jam in all your anime watching. If you miss it, it’s gone in the blink of an eye. Thankfully we now have streaming to catch up, but the days of being able to get a whole arc in a month are gone.
This is not to say it’s all bad. We’ve got stuff like Hunter x Hunter and Jojo that would never had aired in the past. And at least Adult Swim seems to be somewhat committed to keeping anime on the air. I would not be surprised, though, if Toonami takes another cut for some more reruns of Family Guy, because everyone needs more liberal propaganda, right?
Anime in the 2000’s was a golden era. Shows such as Bleach, Fullmetal Alchemist, Death Note, and Naruto became fan favorites. We look back at those shows as “classics” no matter how good they really were.
Now we have fewer “classics” but much more to choose from. Who would have thought you could watch both Citrus and Cardcaptor Sakura in the year 2018? If you don’t like what’s on, you’ve got tons of other choices to replace what you’ve got. I became a huge fan of Re:Zero, while others chose Yuri on Ice. There doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason to what’s popular; anything can get a following. It is a different kind of golden era.
When I started blogging, everyone who’s reading this right now was not. Granted, you can’t see the first 9 years of my posts, thanks to an error by Google which flagged my posts as copyright breakers. It’s almost better, however, because a lot of those years were some of the worst years of my life. My anger, frustration, and pain all came out in my writing.
Now the popular thing when blogging is to review single episodes of shows that are currently airing in Japan. Unfortunately, the fun and silliness that I have brought to my blog over the years are simply no longer around. Everyone seems so serious when blogging. What happened to the old days of arguing over silly stuff like shippings? Now you’ve got blogs devoted to whether certain shows are feminist enough for their liking. Seems like an indictment of the past presidential regime.
I try to have fun with my blogging. I don’t like taking anything too serious. I’m not trying to earn anything from you, I’m just here to try to lighten up the mood about anime. This isn’t War and Peace; let’s have some fun.
I am a totally different person than I was 10 years ago. Had you asked me this in 2015, however, I’d probably say I was the same. Why is that? Thanks to a miraculous combination of prayers, God’s mercy, and medicine, I am now happy, healthy, and positive-thinking. I’ve become a real adult, while keeping my youth. I’m finally able to say that I enjoy life. This is what it’s all about.
In short, I thank anyone who’s read any of my blogs over the last 10 years or listened to our podcasts of the last 3 years. You are the reason I keep on going on with these blogs. Hopefully 10 years from now I’ve moved on from blogging, but in any case, it’s been a really fun ride and it’s not over yet!