A few years ago I was in my anime prime. I was younger and didn’t know yet how seriously detrimental it could be to my career to have heavy anime influence, so I was a little stupid. But I was aware enough of myself to always place a line in the sand between loving anime and being an insane person.
But in our very small school there were at least a few anime fans in every grade of 20 to 30 kids. So as you can imagine, I was virtually free from harassment if I wanted to cosplay once in a while (moderately… I would wear wigs and fairly inconspicuous jackets, etc) or plaster my binder with shounen-ai (I generally made it so people would think the ‘uke’ was a girl, it worked).
I say this because I feel I don’t see this kind of propriety in most schools. Mine was small and anime fans were well-accepted to the point basically everyone knew what it was and could connect with fans on dubbed shows they saw as kids like Pokemon or Dragonball and with video-games and such.
That said… this was a school that hosted kids all the way from Kindergarden to senior high-schoolers. So naturally, the younger kids picked up on what the cool, older kids were doing.
So I have a couple incidents to impart.
(1) There’s a youth centre nearby where many from the school would hang after school hours. One day I was doing whatever business (eating or drawing or something) at the counter that overlooked the open play area, and there were some third-or-so-graders I was friendly with playing around. I didn’t really know what they were doing until I saw their ringleader push his hands out in front of him yelling “RASENGAN!”
Now, I didn’t know at the time “Rasengan” was the name used in the dubbed version of Naruto as well, and thinking it wasn’t I was rather curious about this.
“D,” I coxed him over, “You watch Naruto?”
“Yeah,” D said, “I watch it in Japanese, though, dubbed sucks.”
All I could think was, wow. That was what I was curious about but I hadn’t asked that, yet. He’d just sort of thrown it out like it was impressive or something.
“Oh, so do I. Do you watch anything not subbed?”
He gave me a look like I was retarded.
“Of course not,” he said, “Subbed is better!”
I told him I actually watched a few dubs and he treated it like… like I was stupid, really. It was the most pompous thing. I got a little impatient with his attitude and asked him, “Well, why are subs better?”
He couldn’t answer anything but a variation on “Sub is better”. Not a “it’s truer to the original” or “it’s more accurate” or “it’s less censored”… he just offered it as a fact that he’d been fed, chewed up, and was spitting back out of me.
Of course he would. He was like 12. He’s not expected to do much more.
It was incredibly jarring to know that this kid, and probably all his friends in turn, was taking in these influences and acting arrogant on a subject like this. He’d been given an elitist attitude and he couldn’t even explain his reasoning or back himself up.
And then he went back to spitting out Japanese call-outs for fireball ninjutsu and discussing nin-do and impressing his peers. Yikes.
(2) This story can be more succinct, I know I write too much. Here’s the skinny: I found hentai in a school book.
It was a montage of EXTREMELY explicit Hentai images, in black and white. You could see inside a girl’s anus because she was goatse-ing the reader. There were exaggerated boobs that were being milked. Think of the filthiest-looking Hentai art style and that was what it was.
It was printed out and stuck in a schoolbook. The teacher who saw me with it was aghast and I had to explain quickly that I had just happened upon it.
This schoolbook was notable because it was one of the books shared amongst many grades. As in, middle-schoolers were likely to have seen this.
I don’t know if it was a prank, but I’ve never felt that it was. It just didn’t seem that way, it seemed like an accident. Like someone had left it there. But who knows. What worries me more is that I don’t think our high-schoolers would be so stupid as to leave Hentai in a book, and a middle-schooler probably did.