Hello and—wait, let's start over. Backspace, backspace, backspace...
Kon'nichiwa—that's Lesson No. 1, now scribble that down—and welcome. Or, no, hold on. Is that offensive? Do only weeaboos say "Kon'nichiwa"?
Lesson No. 2: Don't be a weeaboo.
- Weeaboo - Noun. A person who is obsessed with Japan, Japanese culture, anime, and manga. They deny their own culture, pretend they're from Japan, and try to speak Japanese while horribly slaughtering the language because they watch InuYasha. See also: asshole.
Now, let's go back to the beginning: Hello and welcome to How to Fake Your Way Through a Conversation About Anime.
Today, famed director Hayao Miyazaki's final film, The Wind Rises hits theaters. Dubbed in English by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, and Stanley Tucci, the film tells the story of a young man who dreams of designing airplanes while his life is interrupted by the Great Depression, the tuberculosis epidemic, and war.
You're probably wondering to yourself, "How can I go to this movie without looking like a white trash rube?!" You're in luck, friend. You didn't have to be part of that weird group in high school who always wore fingerless gloves (even inside) and started their own Anime Club with their Pocky-stained fingers to appreciate true artwork and wonderful filmmaking. That's why we're here to continue running down the basics. You ready?
Lesson No. 3: Hayao Miyazaki is the shit. To get a jump on spectacular anime movies, just watch any Miyazaki film. They're original, they're beautifully animated, and his animation studio (co-founded with Isao Takahata), Studio Ghibli, created some of the most incredibly animated movies in recent history. Basically, if Walt Disney and Steven Spielberg had an illegitimate love child, it'd be Miyazaki. If you name drop Miyazaki or any of his films—Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, and the very best of Lupin III—you'll quickly be accepted into the anime community with open arms.
Lesson No. 4: Anime itself is not a genre. You've got drama, romantic comedies, slice of life, action/adventure, yaoi (gay)/yuri (lesbian), supernatural, and every other genre. Honestly, if you can imagine the most outlandish plot ever, there's already some anime made about it.
Examples: Midori Days is about a guy who wakes up to find that his hand has been replaced by the top half of a woman. In Samurai Pizza Cats, felines work at a pizza joint and are also samurai sword masters.
Which means, of course, that if you're ever in a jam with an Otaku—
- Otaku- Noun. The Japanese word for "House," as in you never leave it. A person who has nothing going on in their lives beside anime, manga, 4chan, and other anime-centered discussion boards is an Otaku.
—Lesson No. 5: Just make shit up. Act like you know what you're talking about, and make sure you use your best condescending voice. Like, "Yeah, I assume you've seen the fresh take on dog fighting? You haven't? Tiny monsters use different elements to fight their battles. It's a classic."
Heck, you could even describe something as far-fetched as characters gaining strength from sucking on some titties. Which does exist, actually, in Seikon no Qwaser.
Lessons No. 6-8: Here are some quick common knowledge facts to help you get by.
- Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune weren't "cousins" in Sailor Moon. That's what the English dubs translated it to in an effort to make it more G-rated, but it just made their relationship look incestuous. They're actually lovers.
- "It's over 9000," is, like, the ultimate power and a great inside joke for Dragon Ball Z fans.
- "The manga was better than the anime." = "The comic book was better than the movie."
See, it's not hard at all to act like you know about anime. Pepper your sentences with "The animation was amazing," or "Despite the English dub of the series, I truly enjoyed it," or "I've been a fan since the second volume of manga was released," and you'll look really smart.
Lesson No. 9: You're a nerd.
Written by Hope Schreiber (@HopeSchreiber)
[GIFs via: Cowboy Bebop, Lucky Star, Lupin III, Samuria Pizza Cats, Pokemon,