0007 – my subculture is literally the cringiest

so this is a thought i had for quite some time now. why did i stop being invested in fandoms, be it the whole anime manga scene or kpop? i don’t know. genuinely. was i just not that interested in them? was i never invested in them? was i ever even part of them?

i’m still a massive weeb, everyone knows that. i have anime profile pictures and manga post all the time. i don’t watch much anime these days but i stopped watching anime ages ago and moved toward reading more manga. my entire fashion sense is highly predicated on me wanting to look like anime characters, and my dream is still to go on a pilgrimage to akihabara.

i’m also still a massive kpop fan. maybe not as invested in the industry as i was a few years ago, but i still listen to the songs. i still bop to the newest beats, i still fawn over the cute and hot fancams. i look forward to my bias’ comeback, save their photos on my google photo gallery.

so why the hell am i no longer invested in any of them?

currently there’s one theory in mind, and i don’t like it. the current running theory is that i stopped liking them, or at the very least stop allowing myself to show to other people my genuine reaction and allowing myself to attach to these because they’re considered cringe.



good god. imagine that. me, stopping to do something because it’s cringe. wow. make so much sense :<

i hate it because it means that i really did let “society” dictate what i like and don’t like. i hate it because it means that i am a hipster that stop liking these things because it’s now famous. i hate it because it means that i stopped listening to what i want because other people says so.

it probably started sometime before i went to uni, when i was going to cram school in prep for the selection exam. there i made friends with a group of really cool and smart school people who i end up befriending. i didn’t came there to make friends, what with me being the only homeschooler there, but i end up liking their company and we hang out few days a week after class for almost a year.

one thing that was extremely clear during that time was that liking anime was cringe, and that listening to kpop was also cringe (if you’re a man, girls gets a free* pass), shown through slurs used to describe people who likes anime (wibu, indonesian word for weebs). i knew this and i kept these to myself at the start, but as with things about me i just can’t hold them back.

*less cringe, still cringe

and so i didn’t, i show them and told them that yeah i do like anime and kpop, but in a way that is… less… cringe? you know, keep it down low, act like you’re “one of the few cool ones”, show that you’re “not like the other fans” by being a hipster fuck that only watch the Good ClassicsTM, things like that. god it hurts reminiscing, but it works. i became the “anime connoisseur” with “cool taste in anime”, and also “a guy that can talk about kpop but isn’t cringe about it”. and i like it. sure they always push back (i feel) when i show even the slightest derivation from this norm, but i was able to be part of the “cool kids”. and i continue this til uni, which worked wondrously.

and like, anime kinda cringe bruf. in my observation of the society’s eyes anyway. people who likes anime, these weebs, are the new nerds since the nerd aesthetic have been coopted by both holywood and the rich startup crowd. these are the sweaty 2d armpit lover and deranged fujoshi shippers. the loud obnoxious goku is the strongest character in the world and the depressed chunnibyo im-better-than-everyone middle schoolers. but these are also the really-hard-combinatoral-math solver, the full dedication cosplayers, the starting ground of many many many many artists, and a group of people who are genuinely in love with the thing that they love, together.

these two things are not mutually exclusive. i know, because i used to be one of them. THIS IS THE PEOPLE I FEEL A BOND WITH. using the many words i got from my twitter journey, the anime crowd are my ingroup. i really felt this a week ago when i finally got the chance to hang out in the middle of a crowd of weebs again.

the event that happened at saturday the 22nd 2022 mark what seems to be the first public open anime event in Indonesia after a very long hiatus. it was a two week event run at a local mall with no entry ticket. the day i went was the second week, and photos from the previous week showed there to be many cosplayers, prompting more people to come on the day that i went.

it was abysmal lmao. literal WAVES of human, sweaty as balls, trying to hang out and take pictures with cosplayers. it was AMAZING. like, HOLY SHIT DUDE IT WAS SO COOL TO BE AROUND WEEBS, LIKE, EVERYONE THERE LIKED ANIME??? AND I DONT HAVE TO HIDE THE FACT THAT I GET SUPER EXCITED ABOUT WEEB THINGS???? IN REAL LIFE??? WHAT???

and i think something returned to me after that day. it was like, a part of me flourished. maybe it’s being around a lot of people, a sense of normalcy, a feeling that maybe things are getting better. or it could also be… it could be… that i start seeing that maybe i don’t have to hide the fact that i like these things anymore, because there are cool people who also likes these things and they’re so cool and i can be cool like them if i stop lying to myself about how much i like these things

sure, my subculture might be the literal cringiest, but that doesn’t really matter… does it?

guess it’s time to learn how to love the things that i love again

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