Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Look at Otaku Speed Dating

Otaku Speed Dating
Being able to share your true self with another person is the greatest companionship.

Being an otaku isn't always an easy thing. In fact, living a normal life is probably easier. Many otaku have the urge to hide their interests from friends, family, and romantic partners. To be honest, it's easy to understand. Growing up in different parts of the world, it's often hard to find like-minded individuals, and it's horrible getting shunned or left behind because of one's interests.

Many otaku turn to the internet to find others like them, but there's also other outlets in the form of conventions, meet ups, clubs, and hang outs. For instance, I am an otaku that consistently felt different from others, as little to no people shared my interests. However, participating in my local anime scene, blogging and connecting to people online has changed that quite a bit for me.

Otaku Speed Dating
Just because you're an otaku, doesn't mean you can't have good romance!

Even today, more opportunities for otaku are being created. For instance, there's a new way to meet otaku in a romantic scene, called Otaku Speed Dating. The event is similar to normal speed dating, where participants are matched with each other in a short but efficient manner. The big difference is that this one focuses on otaku, anime fans, and gamers, which is a demographic that is usually not represented.

This event takes place in New York City, on July 8th, 2016. The event will last for an hour, from 7:00 to 8:00 P.M. located in an area known as Cafe Victoria.  Tickets are being sold for about 35 dollars, and must be purchased online.

The individuals are given around three minutes to interact with each other, ask questions, and the like. After this time, pairings will be rotated and participants will spend another three minutes with a different individual. This pattern continues until ten dates have been completed.

The night ends with participants writing down the dates they enjoyed and want to match with, and if the feeling is mutual, they're given contact information at a later time. At the end there's a little bit of mingle time, along with snacks and other refreshments.

Otaku Dating Cosplay
Otaku Speed Dating also recommends/allows light cosplay at their event, to show off your otaku spirit!

So what do I think about this event? Well, I think it's amazing! This isn't the usual topic on Shooting Star Dreamer, but I'd like to bring attention to things like this, as there are people somewhere, someplace who will enjoy it.  I also definitely support any attempts to connect the otaku community, like this one.

So for any of my readers who are in the area and are interested, I have a special discount code for you! If you're buying tickets, feel free to enter SSDREAMER50 in the promotional code section for a 50% discount!

All in all, I hope to see more of these events in the future and I give Otaku Speed Dating my best regards! To my readers, please share this event with your friends and family, and if it interests you, I recommend making an effort to attend!

Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Why I Don't Use the Word "Weeaboo"

Kagetsuin Noa

Fans of anime and Japan are referred to as many things. Some are negative, some are positive, but certain labels tend to stick more than others. For instance, we hear the word otaku tossed around a lot. Here at Shooting Star Dreamer, I try to give otaku more positive connotations, and refer to myself as such in a good way. However, this isn't always the case for everyone.

Since I talk on the word "otaku" quite a bit, I'd like to give some insight into another word that has a lasting impression; Weeaboo. If you don't know what this word means, here's a textbook definition:

"A non-Japanese person (especially one of Caucasian ancestry) who behaves in a stereotypically Japanese manner or seeks to appear stereotypically Japanese." (source)

Pretty interesting right? From the get go, this word is pretty negative. At it's core, it's pretty much a label for people who behave in a such a way, more-so a label to give to someone you don't really care for. Although this definition has the basic sense, other uses of the word Weeaboo include:

  • A joke, such as referring to oneself as a nerd or geek. 
  • An label, to describe a non-Japanese person who has interest in Japanese pop culture and media
  • An insult, to categorize a person who feels Japan or Japanese culture is superior to others. 

There are possibly more things "Weeaboo" can refer to, but these are the most common uses. 

So why do I have such a big distaste for the word?

Lucky Star Otaku Konata

Well, I do not believe in referring to a person or a group of people in a negative way, regardless of their beliefs or interests. There are definitely people out there who are obsessed with Japan, who prefer to watch all their anime in Japanese subs instead of English dubs, and the like. Are these people inherently bad? I do not believe so. Even if we as a community don't agree with their views, we shouldn't go as far as to label them negatively.

I also do not support misuse of the word. Recently, I've been seeing the word tossed around quite a bit whenever there's a conflict. More specifically, I see frequent misuse in the anime and gaming community. 

If someone is very enthusiastic about an anime, that makes them a weeaboo. Collecting anime merchandise makes them a weeaboo as well. Wanting to play the original Japanese version of a game leads to instant weeaboo status. Don't all of these sounds kind of silly? With such negative labels being tossed around wrongly and easily, it's understandable that individuals would hide their interests.

Therefore, weeaboo isn't a part of my vocabulary. I instead refer to myself as an otaku, but as a positive-minded otaku! I usually don't refer to other people as otaku, unless they feel alright with the word. 

The moral of the post is simple; I'd like to lessen some of labeling and hate that goes around in the anime community and the world. I'd also love for you all to help me out as well! If you see someone using the word as an insult, don't let it slide! Remember how it feels to be labeled, and try to be empathetic to the views of others. 

Many negative labels and words can easily be turned around into positive traits. Obsessed can be called passionate, and stubborn can be turned into tenacious. The same can be said for weeaboo. Although used mostly as an insult, I hope that one day the word loses its negative connotations and turns into something more positive.

Quickly, I'd like to give a shout out to a blog that gave me the inspiration to write this post. 

Please give it a read! Lita provides more emphasis on the use of the word, which is something my post did not cover heavily.

Thank you all for reading!