[Kokanaden] Emo? Nandesho?

Okay, so I’ve been labelled as someone who is extremely emo and sensitive. In fact, I’m so emo that when I first saw my avatar, I was so happy I started dancing for joy and shouting myself hoarse, until I realised it was an apple and not an orange, at which I felt so sad I started sobbing so hard that I got a hardon.

Moving on…

Admittedly speaking, when I first read about tjhan’s description of myself, I was rather bemused. I mean, I consider myself rather in touch with my human side, i.e. When I see something really touching I will tear and sniff and wish for a shoulder to rest my head on, but emo? What is emo anyway? Being the arts and social science student that I am, I decided to delve into its definition(s).

As most of you would know, the net-word “emo” seemed to be an abbreviation of the root word emotional, and its use in describing a person would imply that he/she was prone to displays of extreme emotions for that short period of time. Any longer and the appropriate term would be either psychotic, or severely depressed. Therefore, if you have been acting like a raving lunatic for some time, or if you’ve somehow always end up crying, then I’d seriously recommend that you see a doctor. In any case, what leads such a person to such a state of mind? The key point in the word emotional, which many people acknowledge implicitly, is that it is triggered by a scene, or an event, that they can identify with, be it through personal experience or otherwise.

From here, we can now see how the net-word emo is derived from its root word, emotional, and how it is always linked, somehow to stories that are tearjerkers or touching, because of the ability of the story/show to elicit such strong emotions through watching/reading it.

I think it would be prudent here to distinguish between rabidness and emo. When I exploring the meaning of the word emo, I had asked many people on what they thought emo was, and what series they would classify as emo. One of the replies I got was “Naruto and Bleach la!” I mean, well, if you were to say that the characters in the show display extreme emotions because they are always shouting stuff that inspire themselves, I’m inclined to agree. However, don’t you think their actions border of rabidness, as do their fans? Which brings me to what really defines the term emo: It is not just about characters yelling and shouting and waving swords and in essence displaying extreme emotions, but rather how the thoughts/actions of a particular character(s) in that series is able to bring you to tears, and not just to display extreme emotions. I mean, after all, I could just watch like The Melancholy of Suzumiya Hahiru and go then go around raving “OMFG, THIS IS EYE-SCARRING ARGHGHGHGHGHGHGH!”, and the series would technically be classified as emo. Which is quite scary, if you think about it.

Of course, this is not to say that the word emo is fixed; after all, everyone’s emo trigger is different. Take for example tjhan and Ascaloth. While Ascaloth claims that Kanon moved him to tears, tjhan viewed it as a pussy show, and instead proclaimed sports series like Capeta to be really emo ones. I have neither watched Kanon, nor have I watched Capeta, but I’m pretty sure the themes and emphasis in the two series were rather different. As for me, what classifies as a emo series would have to fulfill at least one of the following criteria:

    a. It explores the realm of love, and themes that deal with the potentially contradictory features of love, and/or that of a pure, innocent first love rate particularly high on the list.

    b. It explores the concept of life: The transience, the fragility, and how, ironically, it is the extreme ends of life that make it worthwhile and beautiful.

    c. It explores school life and its associated themes of youth, friendship and romance, and how that leads to the formation of memories.

Just for reference, the top 10 emo stories for me are listed below. I think I’ll write more about them in another post, but here it is:

    10. Air TV
    9. Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien (君が望む永遠)
    8. Saishuu Heiki Kanojo (最終兵器彼女)
    7. Hanbun no Tsuki Ga Noboru Sora (半分の月がのぼる空)
    6. Planetarian (Visual Novel)
    5. Narcissu (Visual Novel)
    4. Honey & Clover
    3. Byousoku 5cm (秒速5センチメートル)
    2. 1 Liter of Tears (1リットルの涙 )
    1. Crying Out Love, In the Centre of the World (世界の中心で、愛をさけぶ )

I guess you’ve noticed by now that there are 4 non-anime titles, and the top 2 spots are actually occupied by non-anime titles. The top 3 titles, especially the top 2, cover all aspects of what I consider to be essential to an emo story; not to mention that all 3 really tug HARD at your heartstrings, regardless of your preference.

What about you? What would you consider as “emo”? Or rather, what makes you cry? Also, if you like, you could list down what you think are the top 10 “emo” titles, and see how it compares against other people.

*sniff* I think I need more tissues. *sob*

21 Responses to “[Kokanaden] Emo? Nandesho?”


  • Bravo! Bravo!

    I need a tissue to cry on or to fap on.

    Seriously, this is a good article explaining on what’s the most misunderstood abbrievation bandied around and the understanding of emo and emotions. Guess the internet is teaching people new ways to feel. Or less ways.

  • I think we should outlaw all these faux emo like “love”. Real emo comes in WAR (platoon level), SPORTS, and COLLEGE.

  • I think the net word emo actually came over from the states, with it originating from people making fun of those who listen to emo rock/dress like freaks, being whiny, and on the whole being an ass, and not really the local definition of emo.

  • Sensitive New Age Guy. Metrosexual. Emo. Heh. I think such terms only serve to emasculate the male gender.

    For guys, I still subscribe to the traditional way of dealing with your own weakness, insecurity and lack of self-esteem.

    Crying won’t make you stronger.

  • ok, someone with the name of kokonaden sent me a link(which i requested) to the post on Riuva Expansion Set. I clicked on it, web-browser sent my half-written comments to another dimension and it never came back……
    Should i go emo on it?

    I can blame no-one but my stupidity here…
    ok back to real topic

    Emo to me is simply just means a burst of emotion through exaggarated Speech/action. Eg would like Simon GIGADRILLING THE CORE OF THE MOON WITH NIA inbetween OR watching nicole slashed at the waist by the wussy kira. A less violent trigger for the burst of emotion will be to watch the ending of I My Me Strawberry egg.

    Ok, random talk ends here.

  • @Crest Lol. you got the other use of the tissue.

    @zs I kind of guessed it. Just that in the aniblogging world at the moment, the word is kind of used in quite a different way. I think.

    @Zer0 You referring to seppuku?

    @ZeroG Thanks for spoiling Gurren Lagann 22 for me.

  • I heard masturbation cures emo-ism. You might wanna try that before slitting your penis i mean wrist.

  • At only aniblogging, but the word`s meaning has been corrupted to more or less mean whatever you`ve wrote in your article.

    I liked the original meaning better.

  • All I can say is.. What the hell is that “Buy Artificial Vagina” link doing there?

  • EMO = MOE REMIXED

    Therefore EMO = HAWT

  • Be emo king at dota. ok, no one wins nax. gg.

  • moe, i mean emo originally stood for a genre of music in the past, nao its just somehow means PMS. or something like that.
    bahh AIR, Saikano, one litre of tears, planetarian are all good emotional stories (shortform becomes emo?)
    personally i teared after watching Saikano and AIR. =X

  • @Kokanaden: I was thinking about steroids, actually.

    Yellow Car is the Race Car of the Big Tree

  • Unfortunately, I’ve yet to see a show that can make me cry. Touch my heart, yes. But reduce me to tears…not yet. Guess my emo factor is really low…

  • JS, dun worry, u r juz being manly.

  • @Xak Yeah, hawt tears FTW.

    @Loba dota? What’s that?

    @leefe Yeah, heard about the various “sources” of origin. I guess mine is pretty limited to anime.

    @Zer0 I thought steroids had more to do with epenis? Well, it could be a viable alternative to dealing with weaknesses and the like. Which also answers Analitez’s question on the advert. :)

    @JS Have you watched any of the top 10 listed?

    Speaking of Air, I never actually shed a tear, just that I included it to prevent rabid fanboys from attacking me.

    As for Saikano, believe it or not, I managed to tear only 6 months after I completed the series. It happened while I was walking home from work, and was listening to the ED, Sayonara. I like the electric guitar rendition too; the guitar wailing suits the song perfectly.

  • bah saikano…the song is emo but the show…when i finished it it was ‘meh…that’s it?’

    air had moe emo in misuzu…and good emo song in aozora….

    planetarian…ah planetarian…good music…i was totally overjoyed when TAMUSIC did an instrumental of Gentle Jana…i had to stop reading for about 10 mins to finish crying before i finished the last bit of the story….sigh…

    go kok! do song reviews! it’s actually quite fun to do them :3

  • Obviously artificial vaginas are a form of emo. Or have thus been associated with emo thanks to… well, sponsors.

  • I’d rather not use the term emo though…………..

  • wow. hard topic to write on, but you expressed yourself pretty well. for me, i still wont think of emo as how you define it, but i would rather think of them as heart-rending. emo things don’t make you think; they probably make you feel more depressed but series like these help you to learn how to deal with life and leave a warm feeling in your heart, especially 1 litre of tears. depends on how you look at it i guess.

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