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So, I don't like Manga/Anime. Am I allowed to like Japanese?

Japanese food, sports, television, movies, music, Japanese anime, manga, and the list goes on - food and entertainment is a huge part of Japanese culture.

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MetaRidley42
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So, I don't like Manga/Anime. Am I allowed to like Japanese?

Postby MetaRidley42 » August 13th, 2008 7:38 am

Or travel/study in Japan?

I almost hesitate to tell people that I am currently learning Japanese on my own, because the knee-jerk response always has something to do with Manga or Anime, neither of which I care for.

My question is, if I continue to study the language, hopefully to the point of eventually studying for as much as a year in Japan, will I be surrounded constantly by something I choose not to like?

Harv
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Postby Harv » August 13th, 2008 9:27 am

I like you have no interest in anime or manga (other than studio ghibli films), and I wouldn't be suprised if there are lots of Japanese people who feel the same.

There does seem to be a stereotype of Japanese learners that they all love anime and manga, whenever I say I'm learning Japanese someone usually assumes that I like anime or manga which can get annoying.

There's no problem with not liking anime or manga and I doubt that you'll have any problems staying away from them when in Japan, obviously you'll still have to deal with the people who'll assume you're a fan but from my own experience I haven't been asked by a Japanese person whether I like anime or manga and they've never mentioned them either.

Manga and anime are just 2 parts of Japanese culture and I doubt that you'd ever be surrounded by them unwillingly.

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Psy
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Postby Psy » August 13th, 2008 10:21 am

Do I like anime? Very occasionally (Spirited Away, Whisper of the Heart, Haibane Renmei). Am I a fanatic? No. Does the large demographic of fanatics make me feel embarrassed to study Japanese? No, I'm not that easily influenced.

I don't mind that people are studying the language simply to understand anime, to get to know a favorite song, or even to be able to read comic books. On the contrary, I appreciate such passion and enthusiasm. What does bother me, however, is two of the attitudes that pervade the realms of anime geekititude, and they are as follows:

Attitude #1: The Holy Land of Japan and her Holy Language, wherein anything of Japanese origin is inherently sacred, and also by default superior to its counterparts (usually American) in other countries. Not only is this a grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side scenario, it's also in many cases untrue.

Attitude #2: I know Japanese. This one is really irritating. People suddenly assume that because they listen to J-pop, or have taken a class or two, or can read hiragana, or have watched a lot of anime, or know that watashi, boku and ore are different ways to say "I," or that hentai only refers to pornographic animation in western cultures, that they are suddenly experts on pronunciation and all manners of the spoken language. This usually manifests itself in the form of kawaii, sugoi, a poorly pronounced douzo yoroshiku and, if you're lucky, the occasional sou desu ne. People who speak Japanese or have visited/lived in Japan are elevated to such a high level within the subculture (see Attitude #1) that they are seldom questioned, and gives keepers of Attitude #2 the last thing they really need-- a large ego. Granted, it's possible that some of these types have worked hard and truly do know their stuff, but I have yet to meet one of them.

Whew. There's my rant. Thanks for reading-- heartfelt sympathy (and cookies) are always welcomed in my inbox.
High time to finish what I've started. || Anki vocabulary drive: 5,000/10k. Restart coming soon. || Dig my Road to Katakana tutorial on the App store.

QuackingShoe
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Postby QuackingShoe » August 13th, 2008 11:10 am

While manga is rather mainstream, anime fandom (beyond the youth) is a subculture even in Japan. So if that's your concern, don't worry about it.

markystar
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Postby markystar » August 13th, 2008 11:19 am

:lol:

pretty funny stuff.

i would add a few other categories to that, but i won't. hehehehe.


that said, i have no interest in anime and manga.
i don't hate it. but it just doesn't grab my attention.

if there's anything i'm most interested in since moving here, has probably been the history. but there are many fascinating things japan has to offer. manga/anime makes up a small percentage of it -- but the fans are, well, obsessive to say the least. :lol:

japanese manners
traditional art
modern art
architecture
business style
politics (i suppose some people are interested in them here. lol.)
comedy
music
and believe it or not, some people have little interest in japan outside of learning the language.

actually, the majority of expats i know here who are interested in anime/manga are the norm, i think. i only know 1 (maybe 2) foreign otaku.

so whatever your reason for studying, just keep on with it and don't worry about what other people think. there is no gaijin elite that controls what constitutes a valid reason for studying, especially not otaku, who are generally disliked by the non-otaku majority. (btw - i'm not ripping on otaku, since i hang out with quite a few japanese otaku, but the fact of the matter is, they're a subculture and one that a lot of mainstream japanese disdain.)
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spare_change
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Postby spare_change » August 13th, 2008 2:31 pm

Hello, I am one of those horrible Anime fanatics making you all look bad 8)
No but seriously, what marky said is what people need to keep in mind. Anime is a subculture. Most Japanese people don't give a flying effin' rats buttocks about anime because most don't watch it. I don't really have a problem with people leaning japanese becuase of anime or TV shows or whatever but just keep in mind Japan like anywhere else is a country filled with millions of human beings, non of which you can learn much (real) about from their entertainment. You can learn some things but really you shouldn't look at anime/dramas/movies and be like "aaah so thats what japan/japanese people are like".....if you don't get it then turn the tables in your mind and it ain't so funny. :wink:

Javizy
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Postby Javizy » August 14th, 2008 1:30 am

I can't say I'd ever picked up a manga before I started studying Japanese, but now I read it all the time because it's an extremely accessible, interesting way to gain exposure to real written Japanese that isn't aimed at learners.

It is certainly easier to digest text in speech bubbles, surrounded by images that often literally show you what is going on, than it is books, magazines, or whatever else. Yet all the while you're being exposed to hundreds of grammatical constructions, countless new words, and all sorts of cultural information.

If you're already at an advanced level, it won't mean much now, but ドラえもん has been my language learning saviour over the past 12 months.

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Postby markystar » August 15th, 2008 7:14 pm

Javizyさん、 you've mentioned the doraemon thing before.

what do you like so much about doraemon?
and i mean, both as for as story and as a language learning tool...
and why do you prefer it over other manga?
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Javizy
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Postby Javizy » August 16th, 2008 1:10 am

markystar wrote:Javizyさん、 you've mentioned the doraemon thing before.

what do you like so much about doraemon?
and i mean, both as for as story and as a language learning tool...
and why do you prefer it over other manga?


Mainly because it's so accessible. It's mostly basic grammar (pretty much what's in ADBJG), and standard casual dialogue between friends. So you don't get any rough speak that leads people to argue against studying through manga.

Even though ドラえもん has all the gadgets and stuff, the stories focus around a normal bunch of 小学生, so I've picked up a lot of everyday vocabulary, as well as lots of cultural stuff. For instance, I knew about 流れ星 before the blog recently, and there's even one explaining about gravity and the Earth's orbit.

Like I said, if you're at a fairly high level, it'll be pretty easy - I just read it for fun between more difficult stuff I study nowadays - but as a beginner, it was the first bit of "real Japanese" that I was able to read.

MagicToaster
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Postby MagicToaster » August 22nd, 2008 3:47 am

The only manga/Anime I have ever been into was Pokémon when I was younger ... but now I almost feel annoyed when I watch it now cuz it's not as good as it seemed to be then :P Though no one has ever assumed I like Manga/Anime when I tell them I study japanese ...they're more interested in asking about the dirty words I know (*_*)

johnpa
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Postby johnpa » August 24th, 2008 5:47 am

MetaRidley42
Maybe I shouldn't read between the lines. But it sure sounds like your peers are "trying" to crush your motivation.
I put "trying" in quotation marks because I don't think it's a conscious decision, or even a sign that they don't like you. It's more like the herd instinct kicking in when people sense someone straying from the fold. ("OMG! We thought he was one of Us. Could it be that he's really one of Them?")

Of course, I could be completely wrong. But there's an easy way to test this. Just tell your peers that you're signing up for the JLPT, and start talking about which University you'd like to enroll in.
If they seriously thought you were turning into an otaku, this should quell their anxieties. If it was the herd instinct, you should be hearing even more extreme reactions. ("What?! Are you planning to meet some cute little Japanese girls?" "You got a Japanese fetish, or something?")

Either way, like everybody said... If this is something that you really want to do, don't let peer-preasure dissuade you.

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Postby James O » August 27th, 2008 4:32 am

As far as I'm concerned learning any new language is one of the coolest things that a person can do - whatever the initial motivation it's still a worthy endeavour.

If you're not a fan of anime or manga then that's fair enough. As people have pointed out they're just one aspect of Japanese pop culture, albeit one that has proven rather exportable. I'm sure you can get by in Japan without being a fan - just as I survive my day to day life in Britain not caring for many of our cultural products.

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Postby sodapple » August 27th, 2008 4:59 am

Yeah! If you don't like ANIME or MANGA, you must FORGET forever the Japanese...

Just kidding! But it's strange to ask other people what you should do, like or dislike. I hope some day you can think and choise by yourself... I think is sad to ask things like this one... Ah! And don't believe what you see in Manga or Anime either... don't make mistakes, every person in the world choise what like or dislike... Japanes are human too, it's only they have a diferent culture. Example: not all who speak spanish is Mexican, so not all Mexicans eat adn enjoy the chilli or tequila...

Ganbatte!

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Postby Hikaritennyo » September 14th, 2008 4:28 pm

Oddly enough, I was one of the Japanese obsessed anime/Manga horde, but where I used to live, the schools never offered any kind of Japanese language courses. Therefore, it was all I had.
Now that I am actually studying Japanese in college, I have no time for most anime or manga, and very little time for J-Dorama.
Funny how that works, no?
I have come to respect the Japanese culture and would love to try to get a working position through the JET.

Kobolinear
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Gasp!

Postby Kobolinear » September 15th, 2008 1:53 pm

Lol omg I love you.

I have been studying Japanese on my own since I was in the 6th grade & I absolutely HATE Anime & Manga. It's the most annoying thing in this world I can think of off the top of my head.

Because lots of anonymous losers around my school see me carrying a japanese kanji workbook and shove their anime drawings in my face and they're like "TEACH ME JAPANESE BAKA NEKO KAWAII".

But actually, I do enjoy un-translated Japanese animes that aren't stupid & overly cute / perverted.

When animes are translated out of the context of the Japanese language, they lose a lot of nuiansces that come with the language, making the whole point kind of obsolete. And what you have left is a bunch of annoying characters that are speaking fluent english, but adding in Japanese nuiansces to their sentences [due to translation] and the whole thing does not clash together very well.

So I look forward to watching Anime in Japan, where it would be acceptable. Not just sitting at home watching English Naruto. Puuuke :]


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