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It's Time To Stop Complaining

The recent internet drama over Metroid Prime: Federation Force has really been bothering me. It's a game that doesn't interest me, sure, but that's about as much as I'll say. Nobody's forcing me to buy it. Nintendo isn't holding an Arm Cannon to my temple and making me break out the MasterCard for their new spin-off. I'm marginally disappointed that we aren't getting a proper Metroid game, yeah, but we got one like... what. Five-ish years ago? And that was pretty good. Yeah, I said Other M is pretty good. Fight me.

And see, that's sort of my point. The furor over Other M, which, at worst, is an okay game, is the same type of behavior I'm concerned about. I see it all over the internet, usually pertaining to "nerdy" interests, and I think it's time we started thinking about it critically. Because for years, I've been guilty of it. Until today. Well, okay. Maybe not. But let's talk about it anyway.

Earlier today, I started going on yet another rant about how "anime is dead," how "modern anime is all trash," how "old anime is so much better," how "moe is the cancer killing the anime industry." This all started because I was made aware of Super Pochaco's existence. More specifically, I ran into a salacious figure of her, which is intended to hold your instant noodle cup closed while you wait for the hot water to make your noodles more... noodle-y. Here's what it looks like.

Yes, this is a chubby anime girl who is spreading her ass cheeks, cast in plastic and intended to make your noodles more noodle-y. It's a real thing you can buy for thirty dollars, and if you like, you can get a Super Sonico version, too. These are actual items that cost actual money that people actually buy. I personally think that's real fucking dumb. But you know what? Maybe I shouldn't care.

Let me explain: usually, when I see something like this, my instant response is that it's "killing anime." I get all concerned about the "industry," and how this is the only type of merchandise we see anymore, and how artistic integrity in Japanese animation is going downhill, and all sorts of other nerdy crybaby rants that just end up making me upset. So I've got to thinking: what if I just stop giving a fuck?

No, seriously, hear me out. What if we just, as a community of nerds, as a group of people who consume media that's subjectively labeled "nerdy," stop whining about things we don't like? Let's use that new Ghostbusters movie as an example. Go on the Facebook comments of anything pertaining to the thing, and you'll see dozens of self-righteous people crusading against it. "You're killing the franchise." "My childhood is dead." "Bring baCK THE REAL GHOSGBUSTERSGWSG." Stuff like that.

But... what does that accomplish? What does caps-lock complaining about something really do, in the end? That movie is still coming out. It's still probably going to make a lot of money. And most likely, it'll probably be okay. That new Ghostbusters coming out doesn't suddenly negate the existence of the original, the sequel, the Real Ghostbusters, Extreme Ghostbusters or Ghostbusters The Video Game. Although maybe negating the existence of the sequel wouldn't be such a bad thing. But I digress. There being a new thing doesn't make the old things go away. Like, there being a titty anime figure of a female Ghostbuster doesn't suddenly delete Bill Murray into nothingness.

Funny sidenote: nobody complained about this Kotobukiya Ghostbusters figure of a made-up character "ruining the franchise." Almost like the whole anti-reboot argument is based in childish logic and steeped in sexism or something. Imagine that!

Anyway. The point I'm trying to make here is that something you don't like existing doesn't suddenly mean stuff you do like goes away forever. And I think, for a long time, I've fallen victim to thinking that it does. I think we all have. For me, it goes back to around 2006-2007, when moe anime started taking over the industry. Like a malignant tumor, it latched on to years of progress, then leeched the life out of it and... oh, shit, I'm doing it again. What I'm trying to say is that I've been railing against brainless cutesy shows built around selling sexy merchandise to lonely otaku for most of my life. And now, looking back on it, I think I've made a huge mistake

This isn't so much "I've seen the light, hallelujah, let me eternally worship at the altar of anime titties," though. It's more, "why the fuck am I wasting my time complaining when I could be enjoying myself"? I still think fan service and moe anime are, by and large, fucking garbage that belongs in the most garbage place that garbage can go on a planet of garbage-y garbage. That hasn't changed. But what's the point in pissing and moaning about anime being ruined when, in fact, it's not?

Between the years of 2006 and now, we've gotten some of the best anime ever created. I can name several, several shows that are completely and totally excellent. And the sad thing? I haven't even watched a lot of them. Like, shit, man, I haven't even finished Gurren Lagaan. I haven't even watched a lot of great anime from before then. Instead, I've spent dozens upon dozens of hours of my life complaining about anime being "dead" instead of, well, actually watching anime

Think about that for a second. I'm complaining about doing the thing I like so much that I'm not actually doing the thing I like. How fucked up is that?

That Evangelion clip proves my point, actually. Moe anime is garbage, but End of Evangelion exists, and that's a fucking great movie. Like, hot damn, that movie is good. And it's never going anywhere. So why piss and moan so much?

I think it's because nerds, like me, think we matter. We think we stand for some moral cause, and that we'll ride eternal on the roads of Valhalla, shiny and chrome, for "defending" stuff we like. The media we consume becomes so important to us that we start letting it define who we are, as people. And because of that, we start treating the stuff we like and who we are as interchangeable entities. So when a Ghostbusters reboot comes out that we don't like, we don't go, "huh, new Ghostbusters, wonder how that'll turn out," and instead, we go, "how dare they alter this thing that I like, don't they know what this means to me, personally?!" Or when a titty anime comes out, with big eyes and even bigger (although not always) boobs, I don't go, "huh, guess I'll watch something else," and instead lash out with, "this horrible awful garbage that I hate is ruining my life, this is literally worse than the Holocaust!" Oh, and speaking of moe and the Holocaust...

That may seem hyperbolic, and I apologize for randomly dropping the Holocaust into a casual, friendly chat, but I'm doing it to prove a point. The nerd community, myself included, has a history of blowing up things that are relatively unimportant to huge proportions, thanks to us being so personally attached to stuff we like. We do treat it like some crime against humanity. Whether it's a change to something we like, or becoming vehemently opposed to something we don't like, we take it upon ourselves to crusade against struggles that we make up in our heads. Struggles that don't exist, and wouldn't matter even if they did. Like, did the fact that Mass Effect 3's ending kind of sucked really matter? Sure, it was a letdown, but EA didn't "owe" us a new ending. Movies have endings that suck all the time, but people don't start mass campaigns to "take back" the movie and change the ending. That would be stupid and pointless. And doing the same for any art form is equally as pointless.

Man, I sure am getting off track. Time to bring it back in. 

Basically, I'm saying that it's time we stop complaining so much about anime, games, comics, whatever. It doesn't do anything, and it's a waste of time of our valuable time. We don't have a lot of time on this planet, anyway. 70-90 years, and that's if we're lucky. Sometimes, life can be cut short, as the recent and tragic passing of Nintendo CEO, programmer, and all-around amazing human being Satoru Iwata reminds us. We're fragile and weak little things in the face of time, and ultimately, our existence is sort of a blip on the radar. Don't we want to be a fun blip, then? A blip that makes a cute or funny or surprising noise? I know I do.

Instead of complaining about how Super Pochaco's ass is literally crushing anime, I should be taking that time to actually finish up my huge backlog of shows. Instead of griping about AAA games are killing the industry, I should finally get around to diving into my Steam library. And instead of complaining about Minions and how awful they are, I should just watch Inside Out again. Although, seriously, fuck Minions. Fuck 'em. 

No, no, not like that!

But yeah. Good movies, games, anime... none of that's going anywhere. And there's plenty of it out there. So why get so mad about stuff that nobody's forcing us to consume? I don't have to buy a sexy Super Pochaco figure to noodle-fy my noodles. I don't have to watch I Can't Believe My Little Sister Is This Much Of A Semen Demon. When the supply of fresh, fun, original media that appeals to my subjective tastes runs out, 100%, maybe I'll have room to lodge a complaint or something. Until then, I'm going to try and stop crying about everything every five seconds and, instead, just enjoy myself.

Maybe you should do the same.

And maybe if I ignore Super Sonico long enough, she'll actually go away!

Seriously, fuck her.

No, no, not like that!


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