Achieving Enlightenment the Otaku Way

Osu!  Welcome back, shokun!  It is I, Cross-shishou, presenting the last set of Fujinsei Kempo lessons for this week.  Yesterday you learned 5 Ways on How Anime Makes You Smarter.  When applied correctly in  your life, the things you learn from anime can definitely improve your capabilities.  However, everything has a dark side.  In today’s lesson, I will be teaching you 5 Ways on How Anime Makes You Dumber.  Are you ready?  Alright, let’s start.  Osu!

How Anime Makes You Dumber

1. You become a Hikikomori
“Hikikomori” are people who completely withdraw from any form of social interactions, isolating themselves from others. They usually lock themselves in their rooms.  For more information, read “Hikikomori” on Wikipedia.

sayonara zetsubou sensei anime - hikikomori

A few months after I created Fujinsei, I had an uncomfortable and rather tense exchange with a fellow blogger.  This blogger, let’s call him “John”, wrote a scathing post about people who refer to themselves as “otaku.”  At the very beginning, he wrote how disgusted he was about people who “carelessly” call themselves “otaku” just because they like anime.  (I won’t mention what he said about those who refer to themselves as “weeaboo” because I’m afraid that it’ll trigger a war.)  He stated, in a superior tone, that the term “otaku” is a Japanese term for those who have obsessive interests ONLY.  He explained that there are many different types of otaku, such as “train otaku”.  Of course I know THAT.  I’m not stupid.  I get what he’s saying, but come on.  Many of us are already transparent about our passion for anime and manga, so why do we have to be specific just to satisfy someone like John?

The rest of his post talked about how laughable anime fans outside of Japan are, how these fans proudly call themselves “otaku” and “weeaboo” without knowing what these terms really mean.  He further explains that in Japan, “otaku” are seen by the Japanese in a negative light.  I agree with him. . .to some degree, but I also know that this trend is gradually changing.  Well, anyway, what rankled me the most was his statement that all otaku are “hikikomori”.  Are you effing kidding me?!  That’s when I left him a polite comment, telling him politely that not all “otaku” are “hikikomori”.  His reply was challenging, snooty, and frankly very rude and disrespectful.  I deemed him a total a-hole and not worth my precious time and energy.

hikikomori guy

My point is that toxic and narrow-minded people like this John person already have preconceived notions that anime fans like us have “hikikomori” tendencies.  Don’t help them.  Shutting yourself inside your room to watch anime, read manga, and play video games all day long for the rest of your life is so DUMB.  You want to immerse your whole being in the fantasy world that anime provides.  You refuse to talk face-to-face to another flesh and blood human being.  You reject reality.  You want to escape real life forever.

Here’s a reality check for you.  Unless your parents are martyrs and, ahem, stupid enough to willingly support you for the rest of your life, you won’t survive as a full-fledged anime hikikomori.  Let me tell you that anime, manga and video games cost considerable amount of money, if you’re not already aware of that.

I taught you yesterday how anime can make you smarter, but if all you do is watch anime without doing anything else, then what you’re doing is not learning but murdering your brain cells while letting your muscles atrophy.  So dumb.

tired and lazy anime girl

2.  You overuse Japanese words
Unless Japanese is your native language or you live in Japan and have to speak it regularly, it’s just dumb to speak in Japanese especially if the people you are talking to don’t understand a single word you’re saying.  To them, what’s coming out of your mouth is gibberish.

Although I encouraged you to use some Japanese words in your daily conversations in a previous post titled “10 Little Everyday Things You Can Do To Be More Otaku”, I didn’t mean for you to speak a completely new language that you formulated yourself by overusing Japanese words.

“Watashi wa angry at anata!  Teme–, don’t baka with watashi, you super kuzu-yarou!!  Stop gomen-nasai-ing me!  Fuzakenna!  Watashi wa never want to see anata ever again!!”

Does this look smart to you?  Rather than smart, it makes you sound like a pompous, unintelligible, trying-hard fool.  So dumb.

(Recommended Post:  “Hell Hath No Fury Like An Otaku Scorned”)

3.  You become an anime copycat
You change your personality, appearance, mannerisms, and even your identity based on your current favourite character.

gintama- one piece parody

I’m not saying that it’s a crime to copy your favourite anime character.  On the contrary, I encourage it especially if you’re imitating the good and cool qualities of an anime character.  What I think dumb is being a cheap copycat, or better yet a “chameleon”, who changes your personality every week based on the series you are currently watching.

One day, you’re acting like the cool and smart Nico Robin from ONE PIECE.  The next day, you’re being a tsundere gal like Ririchiyo from Inu x Boku SS.  When you know how to balance it with the other aspects of your life, anime can help develop your identity.  But I think it’s so dumb to sacrifice your own identity because you’re imitating too much anime characters.

4.  You use anime as your exclusive self-help life guides.
You watch shoujo series to solve your love problems.  Then you wonder why people think you’re an annoying fake.  You carelessly perform techniques you watched from sports anime in real life.  Then you wonder why you ended up in the hospital with multiple stitches.

kakashi reading book - naruto

I taught you yesterday that anime is a great resource which you can use to help you deal with challenges in your life.  However, I didn’t tell you to rely on anime to help you solve every single problem you encounter.  That’s just so dumb.  No matter how amazing anime is, it’s still fiction.  Unless you’re an anime character, living in the anime world will be rough for you.

5.  You constantly compare anime against your real life.

“If this happened in Dragon Ball, you’ll be dead by now.”

“Sasuke would never do a stupid thing like that!”

“You think your girlfriend is hot?  Are you kidding me?  She can’t even compare to Lucy Heartfilia.”

Here’s a reality check for you.  This is real life, not anime.  Constantly comparing anime against events in your real life will only foster negativity and ultimately resentment from the people around you.  It’s alright to apply what you learned from anime in your real life to make yourself a better person, but letting anime take over your entire life while rejecting reality is so dumb.

Anime is one of the most amazing inventions in the history of humankind, but it is a double-edged sword.  Learning how to balance it with other aspects of your life will make watching anime one of the most fulfilling activities you’ll ever do.  It can make you not only smarter, but also help you become a better person.  However, if you misapply anime, it can ruin your life.  I hope that yesterday’s lesson “How Anime Makes You Smarter” and today’s lesson “How Anime Makes You Dumber” will help you learn how to balance anime in your life.  That’s all for this week’s lessons, shokun!  I’ll be back soon for more illuminating lessons to help you achieve enlightenment the Otaku Way.  Osu!

Founder of Fujinsei Kempo

Disclaimer:  Study and follow the teachings of Fujinsei Kempo at your own risk.  Fujinsei and its main author Arria Cross accept no responsibility whatsoever for the content of this post, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided above.  Arria urges you to blame Cross-shishou for any issues you encounter while following Fujinsei Kempo teachings.  But Arria wants you to remember that Cross-shishou is a mere alter ego, someone without tangible form.  So if you want to blame someone, you might as well blame yourself.  You’ve been warned.

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Published by Arria Cross

Blogger at fujinsei.com since 2014. Currently a webnovelist. Check out my work "His Genius is a Superstar".

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  1. Hi Arria Cross,

    Luckily I have none of these symptoms!

    Of course, my life is kind of dysfunctional at the moment, but it’s not because of watching too much anime (frankly I haven’t seen any anime series since 2008-09, and I’m only limited to anime images I get online, I’m 24 now), rather other reasons. I do try to engage myself with something new everyday, could be electrics, electronics, economics, mathematics, etc, but my enthusiasm is much slower now than it was a few years back.

    I do go out everyday in the evenings and return home late at night. I started doing so since last year, to avoid living an otherwise sedentary life.

    And yes, I even made a few friends!

    Now coming to the topic.

    With respect to myself:
    #1: Something I fear I might become. Not due to anime (which I don’t watch now), but due to other reasons in life.
    #2: I was inclined to mix my English (and even Tamil!) with Japanese a few years back, but then I paused to think how absurd it would be for others around me and those who interact with me, and luckily I halted! Why use a weird language nobody understands? I’m not Japanese, nor do I live there.
    #3: The worst I did here was attempting to change my hairstyle last year. Apart from that, I’m really lucky I didn’t try anything out of the ordinary. Now I don’t even care.
    #4: Doesn’t apply to me.
    #5: Doesn’t apply to me.

    In general:
    #1: Yes, I’ve seen people wiling away their lives in basements due to this or if not due to this, getting addicted to this later. This is why I started going out in the evenings. I feared I might become yet another basement dweller!
    #2: Ah, I know how irritating it sounds! I keep hearing something, and then suddenly when weird words pop out of nowhere, I start blinking and lose out completely.
    #3: I remember seeing this somewhere IRL. And it’s irritating to be frank.
    #4: I find it weird when anime is used as a guide for RL problems that require practical real-time thinking and solutions.
    #5: Luckily I only heard such threats as a kid. Not as a grown up. However I understand. If I were to hear some grown up guy or even teenager say this, I’d go real crazy.

    Of course, I do profess having an interest in learning Japanese as a language, but then it’s not entirely due to anime. I’m also interested in learning Arabic, Spanish, German, etc. It’s basically my interest in languages.

    My real problem is: I don’t know what I want to do in life. I have and I’m learning/acquiring as many professional skills in life as possible, but I don’t have a direction yet.



    1. Exactly. I think it’s not about the quantity of the anime we watch, but our attitude when we watch them. If we become too obsessed, just like you said, we may end up isolating ourselves from the rest of the world.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Same here. It’s just that sometimes I feel like I’ll end up tipping towards the “dark side” if I make any mistakes. It’s kind of hard sometimes to control my desire to watch anime for the whole day. Ahaha.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ahahaha. I have a feeling you’ll say that. I think most anime fans can relate to this kind of feeling, right? It’s a very delicate balance. We want to enjoy anime, but we also have to live our lives in a way that won’t be detrimental to us.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great “smack in the face” post. I can think of a lot of people that should read this. I’m not to big in the whole weeabo, otaku, hikikomori debate, but I do know that entertainment of any kind is better when it is shared. In fact, entertainment is meant to be enjoyed by the masses, not by bottling it up and warping your lifestyle in potentially negative ways.
    Thanks for sharing your tips with us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am totally agree with your post. The fact that all of them happen to many anime otaku inside Japan (except #2) or outside Japan. I think these are the factors that makes anime otaku in Japan looks bad from ordinary people POV. #2 is the most annoying thing for me. Mixing Japanese and ones native language adds a lot of confusion the listener, even when you understand both language. One thing that you forgot to mention is most anime otaku also tend to be wasteful with their money.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed. I think that the main reason why this happens is that many anime fans don’t know how to balance their passion for anime with the rest of their lives. They get too addicted to anime that they forget to live their lives.

      As for the money issue, I agree that many fans can get uncontrollable with their spending. To others it may seem wasteful, but I bet that for them they wouldn’t see it that way. I bet that they’ll say that it’s money well-spent. Maybe I’m one of these people that’s why I didn’t write about it in this post. Maybe. . .

      Anyway, thanks for dropping by and sharing your opinions. I appreciate it. Keep on watching anime and blogging about it. Cheers!


      1. Money can be tricky. Spending a lot on anime is viewed as bad but who’s to say its any worse/better than spending lots on alcohol or shoes
        or whatever?
        Just so long as the essential bills get paid.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I was expecting number 2. I don’t understand those baka who think it’s kawaii and sugoi to mix languages that way.

    While I realize that you can’t always go by anime to understand what Japanese culture is really like, I have ask; has that guy who claimed that all “otaku” are “hikikomori” ever seen Otaku no Video?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahahaha! Nice one. I don’t know anything about this “John” person except for his scathing post about otaku. He deleted his blog. I’m sure I’m not the only one offended by his harsh posts. Good riddance.

      Oh my gosh. I’ve been meaning to watch that film. I wasn’t even born yet when it was made, but I heard about it years ago. Gotta hunt for it. Thanks for reminding me. 😉


  5. Nice article Arria. After that discussion we had on the previous post. I was curious to see what was coming up next.

    Great material. It`s not biased and you focused on both sides of the story.
    You acknowledged all the aspects of the negatives for me, and I thank you for that. I Saw that a writer here nominated you for a creative award Arria. Good luck with that! and Continue to keep writing!

    Chrissy.C From – https://saechaocirculation.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much, Chrissy. I think that it’s still a little biased, but I tried my best to discuss the negative effects anime can have on our personal lives. Thanks again for dropping by. You, too. Please keep on watching anime and blogging. Cheers!


    1. Oh well. We’ve all been there before. Our enthusiasm sometimes drives us to overuse Japanese words we learned from anime that don’t really belong to our daily conversations.

      And thank you very much for the nomination!


  6. I used to believe that I’m a Hikikomori [not knowing it’s full wikepedia definition]. Just because it’s a [Japanese] term used for [otakus] right, and boom I wasn’t qualified and it’s not an ideal title in reality either.

    I was one of those fools who crazily dreamed to be a mangaka not knowing what LIES beyond the walls of it. I thought before that just because you can draw [lines] you have a shot at being one. OMG. My young self is so…thanks to Bakuman for slapping it so hard in my face. [Oh should this be on the Smarter side post XD]

    Ahh.. don’t know where to even start with SHOUJO mangas. TCH. <<< [like the Anime TCH] ..oh am I sounding dumb T_T ..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Look at the bright side, Bubu-chan. You learned from your mistakes and are more mature about your views on anime because of them. 😉

      Oh my gosh. I LOOOOOOVE “Bakuman”. Indeed, I kept hearing the harsh work environment of mangaka, but I never really understood it until I watched the series. It’s illuminating. Granted it’s fiction, but still. It’s a great way to learn about the manga industry. But you’re still drawing, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great warnings! Everything in life should be done with balance, and that includes anime! I can see a lot of younger anime fans really falling into some of these traps, like the overusing Japanese words. XD

    I can’t believe how rude that John guy was to you! Wow! If he really wanted to convince others that they “were wrong”, I don’t think acting a superior snob is the way to go about it! How awful! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I’ve been an anime fan for my entire life, so I’ve experienced all of these traps. Fortunately, I learned how to balance it with other parts of my life. It’s still a struggle though, as you may already know.

      Oh gosh. You said it right. He was so rude. He deleted his blog already. I can’t find him anywhere. Good riddance. I’m sure he offended other people besides me so he had to deal with the backlash of his harsh posts by deleting his blog.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t really know the exact cause-and-effect relationship of being an anime fan and hikikomori. This is just my opinion, so please don’t take it as fact. I think that it may go both ways. There are people who are super-duper obsessed with anime, manga and video games that they get so addicted, and they end up locking themselves inside their rooms with their anime collection. Then they become hikikomori.

      On the other hand, a person might already be a hikikomori, perhaps because they have difficulty interacting with other people or are just bullied without any reason, so they lock themselves in their rooms to protect themselves. Once inside their rooms, they have nothing to do so maybe they try to spend their time watching anime and become fans. Something like that.

      But of course, these are just examples. Every person’s experiences differ from each other.


  8. Oh my, is that “John” a-hole a Japanese?
    He sounds exactly another snooty Japanese guy who also degraded me years back when I was naive.


    1. I don’t think he’s Japanese. He deleted his blog now. I’m sure I’m not the only person he offended with his harsh posts. And good riddance. Hmmm. I think he’s just working in Japan or have experience working in Japan. Anyway, I really don’t care about him anymore.

      Oh wow. How horrible! A Japanese guy degraded you? In what way?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah good riddance to him. What an ass.
        A few years ago, I heard a friend of mine had a Japanese guy friend on Deviantart. Me, being the weaboo I was, decided to greet him in Japanese and messaged him. He greeted me back in Japanese cheerfully but he used the real Japanese characters. I sheepishly replied to him in English that I did not understand. He scathingly told me to not bother talking to him if I can’t even write in Japanese properly. I retorted and he sarcastically remarked how “bitter” I was. WTF.


      2. Oh, I’ve forgotten about him a long time ago don’t worry haha. I’m more upset at myself to be honest. To this day, I keep asking why the hell I was so weak back then? If it was the me now, I could’ve easily told him off lol.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. I laughed out loud at at made-up Japanese-English conversation; its hilarious!! If somebody spoke like that in real life, I’ll probably react in that way as well lol.

    Awesome post btw!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh gosh, if we’re talking about our younger selves then I am totally guilty of being a hypocrite. In fact, I blog about how much I love anime, so I’m extra guilty here.
        future self approaches me rapidly, arm raised
        “No, stop, please wait! You don’t know what you’re doing!
        * future self slaps me*
        “This is what you get for not reading enough fan fic!”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. XD
        So funny! Don’t get too beaten up by your future self!

        As for me, I’m just glad that I’m over THAT phase. I’m still very biased about anime but what can I do? I just love it. It’s hard to balance it with the other aspects of my life. It feels like I’m gonna tip over the “dark side” if I’m not careful. I’m sure you understand this feeling. Oh well.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I know that feeling. The more anime I watch, the more I try to go out and talk to people just to preserve the balance of the two overwhelming forces. Sometimes I even result to baking, cooking, or online shopping, admittingly. I’m so weak hahaha
        But with my school work becoming more prominent and this 30 day challenge draining my free time, I don’t know how bright the future actually looks, which is kinda scary!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh my gosh. How weird. That’s so similar to what I read the other day about cats and grooming. The way you describe what you do whenever you deal with 2 overwhelming forces is so similar to what I read about cats. For example, when cats are met with another aggressive cats, they usually have 2 choices—to fight back or to run away. But some cats are just too overwhelmed by these 2 urges that they completely stop and just start grooming themselves and licking their body. So funny. Sorry. It has nothing to do with what we’re talking about but it reminded me somehow of what I read.

        Anyway, good luck on the 30-Day Song Challenge. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Okay, so here it was… Ahem.

    Yeah, Otaku is seen as really horrible by most of people who are familiar about the whole shabang, there are still plenty of decent-to-great otakus out there that are acting just normally even though they are obsessed with such hobbies. So yeah, there are good otakus and bad otakus that are hated… It’s just how they act on how THEY will be hated. And seriously, they need to go out and play outside!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed. I just don’t like it that people put all otaku in the same basket, labelling us with all of these stereotypes. I think what they should see is that anime fans are individuals who just happen to love the same thing, namely anime. It depends on the person whether or not he/she will let anime positively or negatively affect his/her life. Anyway, thanks for dropping by and sharing you opinions in this matter. I appreciate it. Keep on watching anime and blogging about it. Cheers!


      1. I have an idea. Can you make an article about an otaku proficiency exam or whatnot that will gauge if a person really is an otaku or not? Maybe this will help identify which are and which isn’t. Just a suggestion…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Actually I’m already thinking of creating a test like that for some time now, but it’s very challenging. It might take me a while to create it in such a way that will satisfy me with the results. Thank you very much for your suggestion. I’ll think about it. Have a great day!


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