This was a year where I found out that the pixelated avatars and streams of insults spewed over twitter and comments are, in fact, Real People. With eyes and skins and mouths and voices and the like. I know! Shocking, isn’t it? So, for this post, I’d like to talk about a few of those craaaazy discoveries.
Just over a year ago, through a discussion with myself and a few over people on twitter about how real online friendships really are, a not-really-real-because-I-only-know-him-online friend Vuc suggested that perhaps watching anime over skype together in real time would help facilitate these friendships and make them more palpable. This eventually spiraled into the not particularly catchily named Standing Committee for the Coordination of Simultaneous Anime Viewing, or SCCSAV (or, as I like to call it, Sucksav). The gist of the events was to attempt to co-ordinate live viewings between groups of friends over skype of various anime. One idea was devised by my perhaps-not-real-because-online-but-maybe-really-real-after-this friend Kadian to watch terribad anime together, as lambasting these dreadful anime is far more fun in a group than on your lonesome. The first viewing of the Prince of Tennis movie consisted of only 3 people, but I’ll never forget it. We all sat there in stunned silence, laughed ourselves hoarse at the final duel through flaming tornadoes and whirlpools flying through the sky, swinging their tennis rackets at each others face, both aiming for the same ball in total disregard for the rules of tennis. It was a brilliant moment, and now terribad viewings have become part of my weekly schedule.
On a different note, I went to an anime convention for the first time this year. Well, London Expo is more a glorified marketplace than a convention, but there were plenty of anime fans there. One of the people I met there was a fan of my blog. I hesitate to use the word ‘fan’ though, because it puts me in the mind of raving loony Twilight fangirls. It was just someone who happened to like reading the nonsense I wrote on my blog (rather than the folks on Sucksav, who mainly just laugh at me, the big meanies) and we agreed to meet up. It’s remarkable how big an impact this left on me. It’s not like we did anything spectacular. All we did was sit around eating noodles and complain about how Fractale sucked (or was it Bakuman?). But the shocking thing to me was to meet a Real Person who actually liked what I wrote. Not just some number on my stat counter, not a poorly spelled comment below the post, but a real person who genuinely liked my work. It made me want to meet all you people who like reading my blog. I’d travel across the world to meet you guys, discussing the meaning of Evangelion over hot chocolate in Philadelphia or mocking the ending of No.6 over beers in Melbourne. It may be nothing more than an ego trip, but what a trip that would be.
Finally, and certainly the most remarkable of all, was that through anime blogging, I got myself a girlfriend. I know! Shocking! Not a cartoon waifu, a real girl. With real girl bits. That I’m allowed to touch without getting pepper-sprayed. It just goes to show that if you want to attract a member of the opposite sex, you start an anime blog.