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  • Writer's pictureTanisha Bhadra

Infatuation In Two Dimensions - Morphing Reality.

Anime fandom is booming like never before, and with it, Gen-Z’s strange obsession with disproportionately sized 2-D females.

Jay is a typical socially-withdrawn anime fanatic who justifies his heart (and hand) felt for the same on account of 2-D characters being “better than reality”.

While anime is one of the many forms of escapism, he delves so deep into it that he completely cuts off ties from society, school and workplace to lock himself up and ‘escape’ instead.

This misdirected lad is only one of the hundreds around the world who watched the Otaku Subculture grow on them. Forbes estimates that streaming websites have seen a rise of 12% during since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Jean drew inspiration from Naruto to train harder and be a better version of himself. In the process, he finally overcame chronic obesity.

Otakus would argue that their subculture expresses emotions better than others, that power of friendship trope in anime lies underappreciated - and they’d be right.

Who am I to question the storyline and narrative consistency? A nobody that has watched and liked anime but has also been perplexed by the problematic side of it.

Talking about friendships, people’s detachment from reality, brought to them by the very friendship tropes they admire, often leaves them with barely any friends in real life.

In a pandemic world where all we have is each other, a snobbish nature towards anybody who isn’t closely similar to us is the last thing we need.

More often than not, youngsters love to be the main character. However, a majority of anime protagonists aren’t characters that a rational mind should look up to.

As anime fanatics delve into their escapist world where they act like their favorite main character, they fail to realize that a lot of them do not fit into the standard behavioral strata of human society.

While the main characters are often dramatically obnoxious and something of an uncomfortable novelty in an anime, such behavior is despised in real life for obvious reasons.

You see, a little bit of anime never hurts anybody.

The problem emerges when we fail to draw a line between the practice of watching anime and fetishizing anime.

The latter gives rise to sensitive issues like oversexualization of females as young as twelve (fancily called lolis), normalization of pedophilia in form of middle-aged men’s sexual involvement with erotic underage girls, and unrealistic beauty standards that would make the Kardashians do a double take.

As long as we realize that it is only fiction that we are consuming and in no way can reality be equated to anime, we are good to go. When all the illusory expectations aren’t met by the society, we tend to cut ties with it out of sheer disappointment.

All in all, there is no denial of the dreamy and escapist side of anime that offers us quality storyline and commendable artwork.

However, the causes of worry outweigh its pleasure. There exist issues like-detachment from reality, social withdrawal and laziness, role playing, oversexualization and unnatural standards, to name a few.

Those were my two cents on anime and addiction. I could agree with you but then we’d both be wrong.

Exhibit A: a typical anime girl - one of thousands.

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