Eh. I am actually an outcast wherever I am.
I am weird, antisocial, conceited, insensitive, immature. In case you haven’t noticed, my blog name actually indicates something about me. Hehe.
But, as I said in my bio… manga is my only consistent hobby. Should not I at least feel knowledgeable about them? Too bad, I don’t.
I once talked to a friend about how when I was younger, my school friends would say I am weird because I read manga. Not a lot of people around me read manga amd people tend to think what’s not common is plain weird.
Anyway, I told my friend that sometimes my hobby made me feel like I am always out of place. She said that I should not feel that way, the world is big and I should start writing a blog about manga instead. Or find people with similar hobby somewhere to talk about them.
I did find some. On Tinder. And OKcupid. Lol. And elsewhere. But I found myself stuttering on answeing the very basic question: “What kind of manga do you like?” I don’t know what to answer. Or when I did answer, the conversation stopped just at that because we could not find anything in common. Or perhaps it was just my social anxiety.
But I tried to check tumblr, reddit, or twitter accounts about manga.
Or randomly recommend manga titles to my friends when I feel like they can relate to the stories. Instead, I realized that I don’t know manga that much.
I try to list what is behind this uneasy feeling that makes me feel like a manga outcast. Here is why:
- People around me don’t like manga!
My siblings actually read manga. Well,there are reasons why people develop certain kinds of hobby and usually, it started from home. But when people grow up, high chance they also drift away from home. Jobs, marriages, the illusion of independent adult life.
Most people I meet don’t read manga. Here are their reasons: “I don’t like reading books with pictures.” “I don’t read.” “Aren’t those for children?” “I don’t know how to read it. I finished a whole book and thought how weird the story was… but turns out I read it from behind.(And I don’t want to try again).” “…Japanese are weird.”
That last one, I think some people are just not accustomed to the fact that there are different kinds of cultures out there.
- I only read completed manga
I used to love reading ongoing series too. When I started working, however, I had so little time at hands and I found it difficult to keep tracks on series I were following. I went to bookstores only to find that I missed a few volumes of some titles, and those volumes were no longer in the market. There are even cases when I remember following some series in, like, 10 years after I read then the latest chapter.
I have another reason, tho. And I think this is actually common for fellow manga readers: I cannot handle the wait. Moreover, it is not once or twice that manga I had been following went into a hiatus. Or, in case of scanlated manga, the scanlators dropped the titles and no one is interested to pick them up agan. In those cases, I feel like I am hanging on a cliff. And someone brutally steps on my hand.
- I don’t do fangirling
I might be wrong. But I think one of the recipes of mingling into manga communities are by associating yourself into certain groups of fans.
I have nothing against fanboying or fangirling. If I could, I would do it too. But my most favorite manga isusually the latest manga I read. I am ever-changing.
I want to be obsessed, too. But I lack loyalty and my interests wane way quickly. I tend to forget titles or characters in few days after I finished reading them.
When I was younger, I thought I like Westlife. But after a few months, my friend asked me whether I like Westlife. I said I don’t. She asked me whether I like Boyzone. Or ‘Nsync. Or BackstreetBoys. I said I don’t.
She, annoyed, asked for the final time, “THENWHO THE HELL DO YOU LIKE?”
I was like, silently, asking myself, “SHIT,YEAH! WHO THE FUCK DID I ACTUALLY LIKE? I THOUGHT I LIKED THEM ALL!”
Even I got confused
I am failed to become a fangirl right at the doorsteps.
- I no longer read shounen and shoujo
I once stopped reading manga for aroundfive years. Not completely. I still read now and then, but I just could not dedicate my time to reading. Especially with so few people around me know about manga, I had so few reasons to read.
When I came back to manga, my taste has somewhat changed. My views on life has somehow altered and this influences my reading preferences. I tried to pick some shounen or shoujo titles I used to love but, I found them so hard to relate.
“What,that does not make sense!” “Didn’t guy just try to rape you? Why are you soforgiving?” “Why are you falling in love to a jerk like that?” “Seriously? Youlet those people trample on you? Why don’t you fight back?” I was baffled.
The thing is, shoujo and shounen seem to dominate online manga forums or conversation about manga in real life. I think if I did not stop reading back then, I too would still love to read them.
- I don’t even watch anime!
Yap. I am one of those annoying people who won’t watch a movie before reading the book (if I am interested in the book, of course). But I don’t think the same reason of me not watching a movie applies with me not watching anime. It is just a matter of preference, I guess. If I have time to watch some moving pictures on screens I prefer watching ordinary Hollywood or world movies.
- I am not familiar with Japanese and Korean terms
Nani? I don’t understand a thing. Ottoke… T_T
- I am too whiny, too picky
Yes! If you read point 1 to 6 you willunderstand what I mean. I am quick to dislike. I am too rigid. I complain alot. And I might have not tried that hard. I can always try watching anime orlearning foreign languages, but I do not strive hard to do it (timeconstraints, tbh).
I do believe not everything I said is right. Perhaps, nothing is right. But to be honest, ignoring over 1000 words I poured into this writing, I am not actually bothered. For me, what important is loving what I love. Knowing what I don’t. I might say that I find some genres are not relatable, but since everyone is living a life different from others, I fully understand that “relatable”, just like other adjectives, is subjective.
By the end of the day, I do understand one thing: If I have to define a thing about myself, it is that I don’t like to be defined. That is perhaps why I feel like an outcast everywhere, or at the other hand, why I feel like I can talk about everything with almost everyone.
I genuinely think that everyone has the right to be anything they like, as long as it doesn’t harm others. You can be an otaku. A fujoshi. Whatever.You can be nothing too. And nothing is wrong with it.