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Is that a Stupid Question ?

I think we all faced this situation at least once : a person you know, maybe even a friend, looking at your Mangas / Anime DVDs / Anime BDs / Figures Shelves and starting to say “I don’t get it…“

Usually it’s the start of a debate over misconception of Japanime / Manga and maybe all that come along ( the whole sub-culture including Games, Music, Goodies, Cosplay… ). It can be sometime very entertaining… Or very frustrating. ^_^’

Most of the time you will face 2 situations :

- It’s a Genuine question, with a Genuine interest for the respond. Even when sometime this case is still full of misconceptions at first, it’s reasonable to think you can come around and find a way to make a point, even spark a flame here where it wasn’t before.

- It’s more a rhetorical question, no intend of any debate, no interest in it either. It’s just something like “Am I right ? Or am I right ?... :p“.

For the former type, you have to ask yourself if it’s a Stupid Question, and sometime it really looks like one, from the Anime Lover point of view. But it’s not.

I my case I can think of 2 good examples.

The first one was about the Anime Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika / Puella Magi Madoka Magika. After seeing the whole show to the end, someone asked me what was the fuzz about this Anime being a kind of revolution in the Magical Girl type of Anime and all that… He liked the Anime but not to a point he could call hit a Masterpiece and couldn’t see in what this Anime was bringing something new.

Bad reaction would have been saying something like : “Is that a Stupid Question ?? You liked it but you don’t understand it ? How is that possible ? You’re joking me, right ? The signs that it’s a revolutionary Anime are sooo Obvious ! I cant believe you missed them !! >_<“

The point that he liked this Anime was the clue to understand the question was Genuine. And after asking if he had seen at least a few of the classical Magical Girls Show, the answer was clear : “No, I don’t know any anime of that type… Never had a taste for it. So maybe that’s why I don’t get it. u_u”.

Well that’s the “Royal Case”, the one who know he’s missing something and only want to know what it is. So it’s usually most enjoyable to talk trough the topic, but sometime hard because that topic could be relatively wide… In those cases I usually use a “Secret Weapon” as and overall argument, a good character, an Anime that is a true Classic… But for the Magical Girl type that was tricky… And then a famous figure of the French Internet, Joueur du Grenier, saved me by releasing a Video about Girl’s Anime in the 80’s and 90’s, including a whole chapter on Magical Girls ! ( For those who understand French, that Video is a Must-Watch : youtu.be/Uk110_... ^_^ ). That was really Good Timing indeed ! ^o^

Linked it Faster-than-Light and got an answer : “ Ok ! Now I get it. :P “

Victory ! ^o^

But it’s sometime more tricky than that, and it’s my 2nd example.

This time the question was about a certain Type of Character in Japanime and Manga. The person who asked me that was very confused about it. She asked me : “What is it with the Japanese and those characters who looks like girls and are in fact Boys ? I’ve read/watch [ insert here the name of a Shonen Manga so basic, I didn’t recall it after the conversation -_- ] and even if it’s a Shonen, there is also one in it ! I don’t get it… It’s not even BL ! O_o“.

Is that a Stupid Question ? Well it really looks like it… And the quick answer to the “why is there such character in…“ could really be “why not ?!“.

But there are a few facts that prove that this is a Genuine question. First the fact that she didn’t really known what a Trap was. And after that, the BL reference, meaning that Traps would be a BL character only… And there we hit it : Misconception.

I did go first with the explanation of Trap Characters and then point the fact that any type of character could be anywhere as long as it fits into the story, whatever it is about. For the Trap case, instead of proving that this character could be in any Shonen, I’ve took lots of examples of different use of it. And of course my “Secret Weapon” for Trap is Hideyoshi : a Trap in an All-mixed-up Baka Anime where “he” and “his” twin sister are the only people in the world saying “he” is a boy. Hell, in the World of Baka to Test there is the Boys Bathroom, the Girls Bathroom… And the Hideyoshi Bathroom as well. ^_^

With that in mind, it’s easy to understand that Trap can be much much more that a BL cliché Character. And she did agree that her vision of that kind of Character was not that wide. ( Even if the fact that I mentioned in the debate that I was looking to acquire an Alter Hideyoshi Figure for myself did get me a few weird looks, I don’t mind… ^_^’ )

One misconception down. How many to go ? Maybe still a few for her but at least she was willing to know what lies beyond. ^_^

Because there is another kind…

The later kind, the one with the rhetorical question…

Had to face one a few years ago…

It started with something like that : “I don’t get what’s all about that Japanime / Manga stuff ?! It’s no good, lane, stupid and violent stuff most of the time !”

Big Clue : He started with a question and did give himself a respond before you could say anything. Very bad start indeed…-_-

Well I’ve tried a minimum to probe his interest on this very very wide topic by asking if that was an Anime / Manga in particular that pushed him to think that way…

The answer : “Whaa.. ? Me watching that stuff ? Why would I since it’s all rubbish !? O_o”

Ok… Now in my point of view there is 2 kind of reactions you can have, facing people like him :

- If it’s only you and him, just drop it. Wont do any good losing any sec of your lifespan to that lost cause… u_u’

- If there are others people in the debate, just try to avoid contagion by sorting those who care and those who don’t at all… Only those who cares matters. Protect them ! ^_^

And in the case you’re surrounded by people who don’t, who start to look at you with creepy gloomy eyes… Just Run. Run for your Life. Haters-of-the-dead are coming after you ! >_<

Anyway, I’m putting a poll to check if we really are surrounded. And don’t hesitate to share here if you have that kind of Story to tell ! ^o^
3,888 hits • 12 comments

Have you ever face this situation

  • 10%I live in my Japanime / Manga Bubble. Never have face this situation. ^_^
  • 27%I've mostly face people with open mind willing to know more.
  • 14%I've mostly faced people with misconceptions but willing to know better.
  • 4%I've mostly faced people who have misconceptions but dont care, and I did try to change this.
  • 41%I've mostly faced people who have misconceptions and didn't bother with them.
  • 4%Help ! I'm Surrounded ! >_<
  • 49 votesVotes are public

Comments12 comments

Tonoras (5 years ago) #1010915Stopped reading after you called Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika a masterpiece...

You're right. Hidamari Sketch is a masterpice :3
5 years ago
Have run into this every so often but not in recent years on the net....but it doesn't bother me too much...
5 years ago
pop-up (5 years ago) #1011005argh... on peut pas voter deux fois...-_- pas pratique ton truc-_-. Enfin bref, ton article est interessant, mais c'est quand meme super dur de différencier les questions rhétoriques des autres^^".

Pour ça que j'ai mis "mostly" dans les phrases... ^_^
Et pour les question rhétorique c'est dur mais c'est la que ça peut devenir intéressant. ^_^
5 years ago
argh... on peut pas voter deux fois...-_- pas pratique ton truc-_-. Enfin bref, ton article est interessant, mais c'est quand meme super dur de différencier les questions rhétoriques des autres^^".
5 years ago
Raithos Stagnant
Well for the most part, my friends liked Magika. I just asked them this simple question before watching: Have you seen Sailor Moon? "Yeah", Okay... it has similarities to that in terms of the perceived genre it's supposed to be in, but it's nothing like that, interested? "Yeah" the end. A couple friends I've shown it to liked it a lot, and a few only like it on a mediocre level. As always the choice falls to the individual on whether or not they like a series.

As for my figure collection, a couple friends have praised me, some have scoffed at me, and one even outright laughed in my face upon viewing. What people, family or friends think - whether it be positive or negative is irrelevant to MY collection. I collect figures because I want to, and that decision is not based on others' perceptions. It really does take a disciplined mind to be able to put up with opposition from friends or family when collecting figures; because more often than not it is seen as something "childish" or "a waste of money". Having ones there for you that find interest in or support your hobby are the keepers. It's even better when family members etc back you up on it too. It took time, but now my collection is accepted across the board. Still, that's not to say I would have stopped collecting anyway, but it's nice to have the support.
5 years ago
Stopped reading after you called Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika a masterpiece...

Well that's weird... Where did you see me calling this Anime a Masterpiece ? I was talking about someone not understanding why some others are calling it like tha... oh ! wait...

You're just here to say you have nothing to say about this topic and I almost fallen into it... ^_^'

For those who just found it too long to read, I'm talking about sometime finding someone who seem to ask you one of those bad stereotype question about your hobby but where in fact interested in you point of view.

I for sure think those people are on the rise lately and Hobby linked to Japan culture dont make people mark you with a "hopeless weirdo" tag anymore.

Well... less that in the 90's that's for sure. ^_^'
5 years ago
sarunamirabu married to Ookurikara
People call me an "otaku". If they say something stupid, I laugh at their ignorance and move on. If someone says something about what I do, that's their opinion but I don't give a crap about it and just do what I want; my life isn't dictated by others' thoughts. I don't need to teach anyone about anything or try to make them understand.

. . . \(´・ω・`)
5 years ago
Stopped reading after you called Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika a masterpiece...
5 years ago
I collect many different things...niche RPGs collector's editions, board games, lots of different books, and of course figures. I don't get many inquiries into my collection and when they do I just say oh it's all good. I don't argue or anything. Most people wont understand what you're into and if they're generally interested into getting into it....well tell them of course! All I know is if people don't understand or put it down or such, if they're just some "friend" I will likely blow it off and if the person is being mean just ignore them and not be so inviting...but other inquisitive souls...I just say I like it and leave it at that. No need for discussions really unless they really want to know more to get into my hobbies as well.
5 years ago
ponnie ~Donyatsu Huntress~
tl; dr

Really, you seem to bother yourself just too much with what people think of you and your hobbies.
5 years ago
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