Your partner writes a Craigslist ad to get rid of an item of yours that they totally hate. What does it say?
This assignment required only a small amount of imagination. I love anime. My brother and roommate, Kevin, can appreciate my collection of comics, movies and video games, but my other interests . . . well, he pigeonholes Japan as a nation of perverts and anime as a product of that perversion. Daring him to watch Spirited Away or Cowboy Bebop, two excellent examples of the quality of the medium, affected no change of his opinions. Secretly, I wonder if the subtitles prove daunting to my dyslexic sibling . . . Reading in order to enjoy a movie may taint your opinion of the genre in much the same way that Jersey Shore or The Bachelor has infected my enjoyment of documentaries. Then again the beautiful strangeness of these tales can overwhelm the more practically minded. Kev enjoys operating heavy machinery and tilling the earth. Case closed.
I’m cool with this bias mostly. Not everyone ‘gets’ anime, and that’s alright (it’s a niche obession, after all, and Cowboy Bebop’s excellent but hopscotch plot is a far cry from Tangled or Frozen), but Kevin finds the methods in which I celebrate this obsession . . . annoying.
For sale. My brother’s collection of plastic cartoon dolls. Anime characters, he calls them but most of the shows’ names are so foreign-sounding, it sounds like the food in a Chinese take-out. Many come equipped with impossibly large-ass swords, guns, and knives. I’m no chauvanist, but no woman with the frame of a photoshopped Sports Illustrated supermodel could possibly swing a weapon larger than friggin Chewbacca. This insults me as a forward-thinking man and a practical engineer who respects the laws of physics. Moreover, the dolls arrive in various states of undress, which tells me that either anime strutures its plot from bad pornos or that the Japanese (and through association my brother) are serious pervs.
Take a look at this one:
Pretty, right? Well, try waking in the middle of the night and spying this she-demon sitting on the shelf like a miniature gargoyle ready to cut me. I practically run back to bed and bury myself beneath the covers before her sword stabs out an eye.
There there’s this one:
Ok, admittedly this one’s pretty cool: girl flying through air after discharging a sniper round. Who doesn’t love a badass girl with a gun? Who doesn’t love cheese and V8 engines? No God-fearing American that’s for sure. Notice all the books though. Way too many. If your interested in a four-foot tower of unread books, I’ll toss them in for no extra charge. Yesterday, I brushed against one and one of his Game of Thrones books fell on my pinky toe. While I’m sleep, I’m scared of being buried alive.
Same blonde-haired chick, different clothes and supercharged sword. Cool if you like dolls that . . . that wield swords. If he bought more figures from the Legend of Zelda or Street Fighter, I’d have no problem with that. Muscular warrior dudes, now that’s a collection I can get behind …. You know what I mean!
If only Murph could be a little more manly, less of a pansy, more of an American. Then we could see eye to eye. Real men work with their hands; they play football; they don’t collect Japanese dolls or watch foreign films. Real men drive real American trucks:
Look at that dirty girl. I call her Lola ’cause she looks like a woman but equipped with the engine of an American man. Beauty on the surface; power beneath the hood. If you buy these dolls, I gonna buy Lola some pink dice and mud flaps. Call XXX-XXXX if you’re interested to save a fellow man from himself.