I don’t know if I’m simply ranting or not, but I think that it’s better to simply be one’s self. I don’t know much of the guys I talk to online, much less know who they really are as people, but I guess this idealized view of them from their words alone makes me much more contented with them that with the hypocrites I see everyday in real life.

I think I’m smart at the very least, and my grades when I’m a little bit serious reflect that, as well as people telling me from different walks of life that I really am smart (and no, I don’t pay them anything, they just pay compliments). I’m happy when people say that to me, because I personally think it’s true, but it always helps when people affirm what you believe in. Being lazy and being contented with being called smart may not be the ‘best’ way to live life (according to the ‘elders’), but it sure beats hypocrisy. I have, for example, an acquaintance who studies perhaps every day it is possible for him to study, and he’s arrogant, because he believes he is ‘smart.’ I don’t think intelligence can be quantified with diligence or persistence: simply put, it is inherent – it is talent, and if you are one without talent, you’re nothing more than a social climber: you are nothing more than a hypocrite. Incidentally, no one tells him that he’s smart, and despite the perseverance he has given to studying the previous semester, we ended up with the same grades. (It perhaps has been a crushing blow to his ego. No matter how much he’d top me for the next years we’re in university, I can always say that though I didn’t exert as much of an effort as he had, we still got the same marks. I love silencing hypocrites.)

What, then, does this have anything to do with anime?

In real life, I admit, I am a hypocrite. Admitting that will exonerate you from the guilt of hypocrisy because you know you are and you know you have had been one. With this, I can propel myself forward by being true to myself, and that is what I find missing among anime enthusiasts. In the school, to be entirely honest, every single one of my classmates know that I love anime and despite the fact that it sometimes irks them when I keep on trying to let them watch episodes of Tsukihime or Honey and Clover perhaps, I don’t stop with my plodding, and I don’t stop being proud as an otaku. It’s because people misinterpret what anime and otaku-dom is all about. Simply to be a beacon in the darkness, an engulfing, beguiling, maddening darkness, is enough for me – despite society’s castigation and intense questioning on why I like anime even as an adult. I always reply that it’s simple. Most anime aren’t even for children.

So whenever people ask if you’re otaku, and you are, say yes! Ask them how they define otaku, however, and correct them whenever possible. Because despite otaku having negative connotations in almost every country in the world, education always helps. We shouldn’t be trying hard to disguise what we are not. That would be the greatest sin.