This week in Digital Asia we have bee brainstorming ideas for our final projects and discussing how to take these ideas further. At this point I know that I want to do something about the transnational flow of Anime and how fans in online communities are working together to break down national barriers. The reason why I want to study this is because anime is a big part of my life and as I have stated in previous blogs for this subject, I feel I Identify with Japanese digital culture despite having grown up in Westernised Australia. The fact that I can even consider Japanese cartoons to be a significant influence in my life, suggests to me, there is a definite cross cultural convergence going on here. One that I intend to explore further. As such, I figure the best way to explore this further is simply to start having auto-ethnographic experiences and develop my concept from there. So here is what I have been doing thus far….
Obviously I’ve been watching Anime (don’t you just love uni work sometimes).
I have also been doing cosplay makeup for some of my fave One Piece characters and posting it onto Instagram.
The dressing up was fun, but actually posting these was a little scary because I decided to use my own personal account. My reasoning for this was… if I’m going to say that anime is part of my life then I want it to be a part of how I represent myself on social media. This however, was very deterring because putting these on my own account meant that everyone I know was going to see them. My Anime watching fiends who are into cosplay, were fine with it and even thought it was cool. What I was paranoid about though, was the people who don’t watch anime, what were they going to think about me after this?
A prime example of my fears coming to fruition was when my own sister said to me “stop posting these, everyone is going to think you are crazy and the relatives are going to think you are weird”. This was exactly the response I was expecting to receive. It never ceases to amaze me how something can make me feel so connected to something and at the same time so isolated from everything else. Watching anime and dressing up makes me feel closer to the wider Anime community but acting outside of my own cultural norms makes me feel like an outcast.
The only logical thing to do at this at this stage was to expand my involvement with the Anime community and so I have joined an online One Piece Forum. I have always read one piece forums but this is my first time joining one, so who knows how this experience will be. All I can say is thank God for this help page because I have no idea what I am doing!