Japan: Who Cares?

I like anime. Japan isn’t anime. Q.E.D.

Like most people, I enjoy a good story. Anime has consistently delivered better stories than any other form of entertainment I’ve ever come across. That’s why I’m a fan. There’s nothing uniquely Japanese about it, nor do the brilliant stories that drew me to anime exist in Japan at large. When you get rid of the anime, Japan isn’t much different from any other society: I like a few things, I dislike a few things, and I’m apathetic about damn near everything else.

I have no particular desire to go to Japan. Sure, I’d go for free, but that would never happen since I’m not a girl and can’t slut my way into free trips like my slutty cousin, who slutted her way into courtside seats for the NBA finals in Boston. The worst part is that she pretended to be a Celtics fan despite being from Orlando. You’d expect better sense from someone who was beaten as a child.

As I was saying, traveling to Japan is expensive. A cursory Google search reveals I’d have to put down at least three thousand dollars for a decent trip. There are hundreds of new places I could check out for a fraction of the price. I’ve only been to six countries in my entire life, and three of them were just layover stops during which I never left the airport (UK, Netherlands, Kuwait).

Even in America I’ve only once gone west of the Mississippi River. Sure, they’re mostly filler states carved into boring shapes through the legacy of the Land Ordinance of 1785, but they’re cheap.

Traveling to Japan, or anywhere for that matter, is currently pretty low on my list of discretionary expenditures. I have student loans to pay off. I need a new car. My diplomas are frameless. My lawn mower is broken. I don’t own a gun. I’ve never donated to orphans. My entire wardrobe consists of white t-shirts. I’ll need money if I ever go on a date. My phone doesn’t have a data plan. I’ve never even played golf.

Let’s say money’s not an issue. What would I do once I got to Japan? Buy stuff I could buy online? Look at stuff and say, “Hey, that looks kinda like stuff in anime”? I have better things to do with my time, like watching more anime.

Even if I wanted to buy something in Japan, I’d have to use yen, the worst currency ever. One yen is barely worth a penny. In 11th grade I wrote a paper proposing the abolition of the penny. I got a 97 because I was right. Why base your economy on a unit with no individual purchasing power? Oops, my bad, I guess you can buy a good luck wish at a temple for one yen. Wonderful, I just happened to be running low on wishes.

But Baka-Raptor, that’s culture! Don’t you think it would be exciting to experience Japanese culture?

No. Those aliens who hated culture in that one anime were right. Culture blows. People should do stuff because they like it, or at least because it’s useful, not because it’s culture. Think about it. When was the last time you did something that wasn’t fun? Was it useful? If not, it was probably culture.

Culture is everywhere. Why should you have to go to Japan for it? Just because you like anime? Would you suck up to Moroccan culture if anime came from Morocco? Would you care about Japanese culture anymore?

I only read about Japanese history when I’m trying to make sense of an anime I’m currently watching. It’s rarely absorbing. The only history I ever have fun reading is American history, and that’s only because it’s relevant to my everyday life (like the Land Ordinance of 1785). In the unlikely event I’d want to read foreign history for fun, I’d first go with European history, then Chinese history, and then maybe Japanese history.

Some people feel compelled to eat Japanese food just because they watched a little anime. Not me. Pocky is for girls. I’ve never had sake, nor do I care. The only ramen I’ve ever had is that crappy instant ramen. I’ve eaten sushi only twice in my life, and I didn’t pay for it either time. It’s not worth the price. I could feast like a king at Taco Bell for the price of a roll of sushi.

One thing I do like about Japan is its language. Hiragana and katakana are sensible writing systems. Verb conjugations are relatively painless. The only thing I can’t stand is Kanji, which you can technically blame on China.

Wearing a Japanese t-shirt doesn’t make you Japanese

English spelling isn’t much better than kanji. You’d think it’s self-mockery that we have spelling bees, but no, people actually take them seriously.

Memorizing obscure spellings isn’t useful. It certainly isn’t fun. But when you dare suggest that English spelling would be better off simplified, people deride you for threatening their culture.

Why do so many anime fans obsess over Japanese culture? Is it because they’re losers with nothing better to do? Is it because they’re unsatisfied with their own lifestyles and seek vicarious fulfillment through anime characters? Is it because they haven’t learned the truth about Japan through Gaijin Smash Gaijin Chronicles?

Japanese music is all I’ve listened to for the past several years. There’s just one catch: it’s always anime music. I have no interest in J-pop that doesn’t appear in anime. First of all, too many J-pop idols are mediocre singers. They’re just there to look “cute” and sound “cute” until they’re abandoned in favor of someone younger and “cuter.” Second of all, Japanese songs don’t rhyme. Even the rap. You’d think being unconstrained by rhyme would produce better lyrics. Unfortunately, reading translations has ruined every Japanese song I’ve ever liked, like Lion from Macross Frontier:

Turn the stars at the centre of the world.
If you sneeze, a butterfly in a forest somewhere will dance.
The door you guard has a useless key.
It’s an embarrassing story.
Though they often lick one another, lions are strong.

Terrible.

Why do so many anime fans want a Japanese girlfriend/boyfriend? Shouldn’t the real qualification be whether they like anime? It’d be pretty awkward to have a Japanese girlfriend/boyfriend who doesn’t like anime, assuming they’d want to go out with you in the first place.

Japanese porn has its pros and cons. On one hand, it’s pretty creative at times. On the other hand, the actresses are always trying to act “cute,” they always sound like they’re crying, and the censorship makes no sense (and it’s not a ship).

In conclusion, Claymore kicks ass.