Do Not Present Projects on Anime in Front of a Room of Otaku

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Today was my group’s presentation for the Japan and Singapore module. We did a rather dry War World 2 textbook bias paper, even though the topic was completely free. Half the world would probably do their projects on anime, cosplay and the like, so we thought. Turns out, we were right! Partly.

There were two other groups who presented theirs. The first was on the maid cafe in Singapore, Cosafe! Little did the presenters realise that one member of the audience, Kokanaden, was Cosafe’s loyal customer and knew the phone numbers and blogs of all the maids, allegedly. He also appeared on a national TV program, interviewed as a customer of the cafe, where he chirped, "The little girls here are deliciously cute!". Thankfully, the presenters knew their stuff and were quite well-versed in the dark otaku arts. One of them passed around a neoprint of him in a real Japanese maid cafe together with a real maid. Basically, the conclusions for their paper was along the lines of Cosafe being a fake maid cafe and how the mass media is partly at fault for their ignorance. How dare the respectable mass media not know what is MOE and Cat’s ears! Right?

More interesting is the 3rd presentation, which was on anime influences in Singapore. The team comprised of 4 girls, who were apparently from Science faculty, judging from their vocabulary. This presentation was hilarious not only because of the poor survey methods, spurious conclusions and total lack of knowledge of the local anime scene. Totally an example of why you shouldn’t do a niche topic like anime if you’re not particularly knowledgeable about it, because there will always be FREAKO OTAKUS who will point out every single error. Like me.

Off the top of my head, I shall recount the funny moments.

They showed a couple of pictures of anime series. The usual shounen fare, Bleach, Naruto, Inuyasha etc. At this point, the audience were quiet even when the presenters asked people to identify the series. Obviously nobody wanted to said the dirty words "Bleach, Naruto, Inuyasha…" as that would a) show you to be Narutard, or worse b) reveal that you watch Japanese cartoons of orange ninjas and red dog warriors. One girl from the back of the room, who had always been active in participation, even if misguided in information (she once claimed secretaries could earn up to 30K USD a month here in Singapore, commonly) shouted, "INUYASHI!!"

Note, it wasn’t "Inuyasha" as in the long-running series about a girl keeping a pet dog warrior but some pirated version "Inuyashi". I’m mean but I laughed really loudly at that point.

Next, the presenters showed their survey. It was poorly done. Not only did they use a web-based survey system, that only allowed up to 100 respondents (too cheap to buy a month’s worth of Surveymonkey eh?), they also did not screen out for non-Singaporean IPs. They publicised their survey link on a "popular local anime forum", which I deduce to be the lowlifes of the Internet Sgcafe.com. The questions were also crap, like the one which asked how respondents got their anime from. There was an Internet option, and then a TORRENT option. Doesn’t this severely reduce the proportion of people who choose either one and make it unfairly low compared to other choice? Unless they mean like, you know, the anime floats down on torrents of water to their doorstep. But these are small issues compared to their hypotheses.

The main flaw in their argument is that they see a low active cosplaying percentage in their measly 100 samples and then conclude that there is NO anime craze in Singapore, because you are not a fan if you don’t cosplay. As I pointed out to them, "So I must wear costumes of Japanese cartoon characters to be considered a fan of anime?" While they do realise that the apex of fandom is in creation, rather than just consuming, they do not know that besides cosplay, there are other avenues of creation, such as blogging, doujinshi, forum discussions, figure/gunpla building, memorising the seiyuu lists and reciting them like sutra etc. Hence the misguided conclusion which ruffled some otaku feathers.

Even in Japan, the cosplaying to non-cosplay ratio is very skewed. So does that mean there is no anime craze in Japan? What is anime craze in the first place? But I must admit that it was an enjoyable Q and A session compared to the usual boring ones.

Finally, one of the presenters mentioned that a main reason why people download anime instead of watching them on TV or VCDs is because of speed. Fair enough. But she then proceeded to quote D’Gray Man as an example! D’Gray Man! The one and only anime series out of millions, which is being shown CONCURRENTLY with the Japanese and she had to choose that! Just now, episode 79 just aired on free TV! And here they were claiming that it took 3-4 years for the new anime to reach us. I call bullshit on that one. The recent time frame is more like six months, particularly for Animax.

I rather regret not doing the paper on something that was my field of knowledge, rather than struggling on an unfamiliar one like history. Perhaps we should’ve chosen a topic like, "A Case Study of the Singaporean Otaku" and then just observe Darkmirage in action.

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22 Responses to “Do Not Present Projects on Anime in Front of a Room of Otaku”  

  1. 1 tik 67 comments

    “The one and only anime series out of millions, which is being shown CONCURRENTLY with the Japanese and she had to choose that! Just now, episode 79 just aired on free TV!”

    Looks like some pple don’t even know the great Arts Central, which is the heaven for poor pple who want to watch anime legally on TV screen (for whatever reason that is) in Jap but cant afford cable…

    how sad…
    even though the great (great for poor pple without the luxury called cable) Animania time slot has been around for so long… and they even expanded to Neo Angelique ~Abyss~ now, on top of D Gray Man…

    絶望した!

  2. 2 @Haha 1 comment

    “conclude that there is NO anime craze in Singapore”

    Lol… That’s definitely not true over here. Haha =D

  3. 3 metatron 8 comments

    those girls are pwned XDDD

    “I rather regret not doing the paper on something that was my field of knowledge, rather than struggling on an unfamiliar one like history.”

    i sir agree to that one but if you look at through the “ordinary” people’s perception like those girls, anime would also be an unfamiliar territory for them.

  4. 4 Tiny Red Man 149 comments

    do they (the girls) not know that there are currently 2 animes showing on arts central that is the same week telecast as japan? the difference is like only…..2 to 3 days..japan airs it on monday, singapore airs it on wednesday.

  5. 5 Stifler 105 comments

    @metatron: Which is why they shouldn’t have done a presentation on something that they aren’t familiar with. A presentation on anime is hard to pull off compared to other things.

    @Tiny Red Man: Well, obviously not. I’ll bet they don’t watch it on Arts Central anyway.

  6. 6 sesshomaru_haku 32 comments

    Er.

    Should they even be in uni if that’s the kind of work they come up with?

    You should’ve chosen an otaku topic. Would be fun to see you pwn them. xD

  7. 7 Jolenesiah 1 comment

    they dont do indepth research… just do for fun…. @@” or trying to pull off… by treating everyone in the class do not know about anime.. erm emr…

  8. 8 kokanaden 336 comments

    I TOLD YOU SO. I TOLD YOU. YOU WERE THE ONE WHO WANTED SOMETHING BORING LIKE SUSHI MAKING.

    In any case, no, just like much of the other rumours circulating around about me, my so-called knowledge of erm, a certain maid cafe is pure exaggeration.

    That being said, I guess they made their conclusions about cosplaying being the apex of anime watching because they publicised their survey on sgcafe.

  9. 9 Nano 79 comments

    tsk?

  10. 10 Tsubaki 519 comments

    NUS research papers are a joke to read.

  11. 11 Helix 72 comments

    Did an… interesting discussion… appear in the intranet forum? Those are always fun to see.

  12. 12 Soshi 93 comments

    @Tsubaki and sesshomaru_haku: This is the future of Singapore.

    Haha, this totally reminds me of a presentation we had to do for Japanese class, and most people did on J-Drama and anime. And one guy was like, “OH I LOVE ANIME. I WATCH BLEACH AND NARUTO.” And one girl goes, “Do you watch Claymore?” And he goes “What’s Claymore?” ORZ.

    I’m going to be REALLY BIASED here and say, well they were from Science and they’re girls so… well, they probably think they’re big fans of anime because they spam SGCafe. But before any girls from Science faculties pelt me with chemicals and bunsen burners, it’s even more depressing that Arts students are around the same level.

  13. 13 The Sojourner 112 comments

    At least they did not mention RIUVA and get it all wrong.

  14. 14 kokanaden 336 comments

    @Soshi No I think you should be more wary of Arts Fac people like me throwing descartes at you instead.

  15. 15 wolfx

    NUS students are overated.

    Anyhoo i haven’t been to Cosafe….have been meaning to when i came down to Singapore but feel like a dirty man going there alone. Then again people have told me it isn’t much of a maid cafe and there’s only one maid there now. XD

  16. 16 Victor 81 comments

    it’s ok… comfort taxi had to do a research paper to find out that customers want low price, low waiting time, high convenience and high reliability… life sux dun fuss

  17. 17 Hinano 112 comments

    Now you know how I felt during the panel with the fag from Anime News Network at NYAF.

  18. 18 Impz 41 comments

    I laughed at poor methodology and weak statistical tests.

    Sorry, occupation disease.

  19. 19 Xstacy02 33 comments

    Not just DGray Man. Even Neo Angelique Abyss is broadcast a few days after its Japanese broadcast.

  20. 20 Soshi 93 comments

    @kokanaden: pls do! I’d take Descartes over Normal!Arts Students any day. Though I’d probably emerge with a concussion no matter. You can throw Spinoza over too and I can have DescartesxSpinoza.

  21. 21 Nano 79 comments

    tsk

  22. 22 pfuk pkdhyjgm 1 comment

    vkourzi kgvtfo gjbuwy cuheov swca ewsqbjam knrq

Do not use any < and > for your own sake. It will end the comment there and then. Also, there is an automatic IQ filter which weeds out comments made by those who accidentally got transported from the stone age.

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