Hello everyone, nesha here and welcome back to #moe404. In this opportunity, I’ll reintroduce you to the first episode of Otaku Essays in a little while, but I’m glad it’s back. For you who didn’t know, this is a series of posts where I write about something that a bit related to anime, but not really about anime. What?! I know, it’s confusing. I bet you’re confused. But don’t worry tho, me too.
It’s basically a series of articles where I can connect the other aspects of life to anime, and at the same time not really talking about it. 😒 I just made you even more confused. Sorry. But anyway, this time the post is going to be about me, and if you have read a lot of my writings before this, then you know that I tend to write about some depressing topic. That being said, this is going to be it. In case you’re allergic to this kind of subject matter or simply want to stay positive for the rest of your life, this is your chance to leave.
Still here? Well then first, maybe you want to know what encourages me to write this.
Last night, I just watched Velvet Buzzsaw. But don’t bother Googling it, it’s not an anime; it’s a horror movie from Netflix following a story of an art critique. And in the movie, there’s a quote that says, “Critique is so limiting and emotionally draining.” Which then reminded me to not write only reviews, maybe the time is due to slide in something more than just an anime review.
A day before that night, a friend of mine asked me for an anime recommendation. I asked back what kind of anime he had in mind, and he asked for whatever my favourites. And since I know he likes to watch action-themed shows, I gave him Kill la Kill and Black★Rock Shooter. After consulting to MAL, he decided to not watch BRS because it has a weak score. I tried convincing him to watch the show, and he persuaded to watch the OVA version of it.
And as you may have guessed it, he did not enjoy his time. And that’s what led me here..,.. I just thought to myself, why not write an explanation of why this not-really-good-series is one of my favourites anime ever. But then, I don’t see a way for me to explain but to introduce you to my natural habitat and upbringing. So here we are, not only to discuss the anime Black★Rock Shooter, but mainly is to talk about me. This here is … my kinda dark and gloomy origin story.
Hmm, where do I start? Let me introduce myself as a boi with a lot of problems. Maybe you want to know that one of my biggest problems is this almost too grey and boring stairs that I keep climbing up endlessly, a lifeless life that’s consistently erasing my existence in this world, reminding me how my death is just so near. I could see myself jumping out of a vehicle, and I’ve cut myself a lot of times just to become a wimp and realize I never have the courage to cut deep enough.
So as you can imagine; I’m a boi with a lot of problems. I know myself as a pessimist, I don’t believe in this society surrounding me. I don’t believe in myself, even my own parents don’t believe in me. While a lot of people see their life as a fairytale or even just a normal and ordinary one, I see my life as a complicated occurrence, a struggle reaching a mysterious ending that most probably would be something that I don’t want to experience.
You see, I’m a boi who has a lot of problems … but I guess you’ve understood that by now, that I’m just a melancholic someone who can’t comprehend his own life. Well maybe that’s one way to describe me. You, just like many people, would see me as a person that couldn’t be tolerated, like a- I don’t know uh, like a barbeque potato chips inside a bowl of white vanilla milk —that’s literally me inside this beautiful and cursed world. You, just like many people, would stay away from me. Because I’m disgusting, and I don’t belong anywhere near anyone.
Just a decade ago, I lived in a thin wall house, it’s a two-story house where its second floor was used to hang and dry our laundry. Looking back in my early time breathing in this world, it’s always been a thick air. My parents didn’t live under the same roof, they even lived in two different cities, they already have a lot of difficult situations even before I jumped into their life. But I don’t remember anything around that time so, I cannot add any wistful story to that timeline. But I know about the couple of years about when my parents didn’t live together because my grandma told me that story.
Anyway, I lived in a thin wall house, and as long as I can remember, I didn’t have a room that I could call my own. The room that my parents introduce me as mine, had always been used by people; either it’s by my father and his friends, or my mother and her friends … but mostly it’s by my father and his friends.
I lived in a thin wall house, and there’s almost no day when the house is calm and felt as home. I only remember it as a place that always crowded by people whom I don’t care, people that my father called them as family, even though not really. I mean literally, they’re not. The place always smells, smoke of cigarettes filled the air because the people smoke, including my father.
I don’t … have a normal childhood. My life is cursed. And I blame my parents for that. My father is a shitty person who apparently was a perfectionist and a religious. I know, it doesn’t make sense but yeah, that kind of person actually exists. And my mother, although she’s never been worse than my father, she’s still an annoying, total aggressive yet crybaby who always yells and angry all the time. But anyway, we’ll talk about my parents another time.
It’s about two decades ago, I was born with all that peculiar human trait that my parents have. I guess it’s still okay but then, I was raised with all that characteristic too. I was raised wrong, I was raised differently. Father locked me in the bathroom, not just water but he played with fire too. He used to made me sit and cry for hours while listening to him yelling at me —and when I said hours, I meant it literally; he used to force me to listen to him all day like- like dozen of hours, he’d told me to not go anywhere while he goes away or even sleep, and I did starve and sit for hours just because I made small mistakes.
Remember Kayo from the anime ERASED? Yeah, I was abused too, I had bruises. They always dressed me in long-sleeved shirts and trousers, and I never had shorts. I remember when I stole a small amount of money, my father caught me, and he hit hard my fingers with iron ruler a lot of times in front of a lot of people inside the house … and there I was couldn’t do anything but crying while I was set as an example for the people watching. The next day, I go to school and I couldn’t use my hand to write anything. Even until this day, I cannot swim but not because the school didn’t have the education to swim, but because my parents never allowed me to swim, won’t pay them for me to join the extracurricular.
It’s just sad that this experience has always been an iconic picture painted in my head.
But if you ask the past me around that time, I’d say I was happy because I hadn’t understood how the world works. I always thought all that is normal, I thought every kid I know had cried as loud as I have cried, I thought everything was just fine as it was. Until I graduated from the primary school, my father asked me if I’d homeschooling next; he told me about how cool for me to be homeschooled, so I could have a lot more time and everything. I agreed, not knowing how wrong I was.
Two years I was homeschooled, I learnt nothing. There is no teacher, no books, no nothing. I slept more than ever with ‘helping out’ activities in the house, doing all the cleaning, dishes, laundry … though I had never been a good cook so it’s always my mother’s turn to yell at me every time I made mistakes around the kitchen.
Over that time, I learnt that I had a totally different childhood than other kids whom I used to hang out with. But haven’t I mentioned as well that around that time was the point when I had no real life friends anymore? Well yeah, our family moved into a different house, this time it’s a four-story building, or technically it’s five-story house if you count the garage as well. It’s not really big and wide, but at this point, my father has become so rich or at least had enough $ to afford the house. He was a founder of a social institution now.
Even though he had already a huge table and a custom comfy chair and everything in the previous house, this time he took it to the next level. He made two huge and long, permanent tables across the third floor. He bought the widest monitor and embrace himself as a tech-savvy; there are a lot of gadgets, and he was definitely generous to himself. He made his own home theatre with projectors, screens, and the sound system with its thick subwoofer; he had two home theatres, one on the third floor and another on his own bedroom. And you should see my parents’ bedroom, it’s gorgeous with the literally gold colour palette and Louis Vuitton brand —it’s just like a hotel room.
And I finally had my own room on the fourth floor; but my room is (mind their stuff) small like, really small … my parents’ bed won’t even fit in there, and the guest room was twice bigger than my room, or maybe three times bigger than my room. And everything was blue, they made the theme of my room just literally blue, from the curtain to the carpet to the bed. And no Louis Vuitton, just saying. Everything was just blue, including myself almost all the time.
It’s like my childhood, our house was different from other houses as well. We didn’t even have a dining room, there’s no dining table. Even though the house was bigger now, the kitchen was smaller than the kitchen in the old house. And when I thought I was finally given my own room, it was never gonna be my place since I don’t have anything in it except my bed. I even stored my clothes literally on the floor.
So with the free time I had, I tried to make my room as my own; I started to work and made some money, and after that, I bought a cheap drawer (it’s little, colourful, and literally meant for kids), I also bought a few wooden boards and made a little desk from it. I painted it blue, of course. But only then my room didn’t feel so blue anymore. Since my father almost never bought me anything, I bought myself a first phone and an earphone. It’s not even a smartphone, it was just a cheap phone. But at least I could listen to the radio and I could feel less lonely.
But less lonely doesn’t mean I had an uncluttered life. Everything was still complicated; problems rose every day, my parents always yelled at me and at each other every day, the house was still full of people that I never know every day —even though I was the one who always unlocks the gate and opens the door every time they rang the bell. My father literally set the bell near the stair of the fourth floor so I could hear them ring, and it was my job to open the door if I available in the house.
I was 14 when I realized that I’ve been depressed since I was 11. The most depressing thing was the fact that my parents never tried to understand me even though they were the only people I had in this world. My mother still high tempered all the time, my father still made me listen to his speech for hours, and I still cried in front of them almost every day. I know they love me, but just like my childhood and our house, their love was just … different.
I hope you’d never know the brutality of trying to love someone, and you just failed and failed and failed. You can’t love them even though you really tried to, and it really hurts. My father said loving someone is a choice, and I chose to love them. But year after year I felt betrayed … I gave up.
I was 15 when I leave my house. I stole a travel bag from my mother, and I stole some money from my father. I left and decided to never talk to them anymore. I rent a room, bigger than the room that my father gave me. I bought a bed, a desk, and no longer a drawer for a kid, I bought a big enough cupboard to store my clothes. I worked at an internet café for almost a year, until someone offers me a job to manage an online shop. I took it, and since then my life was set.
I didn’t do my own laundry anymore. I bought myself a laptop for the first time. I bought a smartphone for the first time. I rent a wifi service. I bought myself a speaker, and I watch movies a lot, and I listen to music loud. I eat enough. My cupboard was full of clothes. Everything was just fine more than ever.
… So, I called my parents for the first time in a long time.
It was so heartwarming; I told them how I was doing and they were proud of their child.
It was about a year after I left the place I called home, I decided to come back home. I decided to reunite with these two people I called, parents. Only then I knew that my mother was sick, her health was … bad. She had brain damage because of a stroke. She had it long before I left the house, but I still felt like it was my fault she became sick. She forgets a lot of things, and it was in the middle of the treatment for her aphasia.
The first day I came back home was so … fun, believe it or not. I even had the father and son time —the happy one— it’s one of many things that I was only able to see in movies rather than experience it first hand. He took me to watch a movie outside, we eat outside, he bought me new glasses and quite expensive pens since he and I always wanted me to become a writer. It was fun. I was so happy, but I should know that a person like him would never change.
The first day was so peaceful. The second day tho, people I don’t know were starting to come to our house, and my father got back to his usual self. The third day, it’s the nostalgic problems coming back to me. There were always been issues, my father even brought up the amount of money he spent to took me to the movie theatre and stuff, he even blamed me for my mothers’ stroke. I remember that just because I had long hair that time, they mocked me for being so girly and everything.
And my mother, she blamed me too, she’s still all that mad and angry all the time, and now even more demanding than ever. Same goes with my father; turned out after everything I went through, when I thought I’ve become so strong, he still managed to burst me to tears … made me cry in the third day, was that easy. Have I told you about my old room? O yeah, I no longer have the room that I could call my own, in this house that I called home … it’s gone, I don’t even know where’s my bed. My old room had become storage full of boxes and spider webs and everything.
Anyway, on the seventh day, my father demands me to pursue my education. They always push people even when they’re not trying to, so I agreed to his idea, maybe because I believed they’d disown me as a child or something if I say no. I believe he’d even banish me for real this time. Oh, did I forget to mention that they’ve told me to leave home maybe hundreds of times ever since I was a little? I remember crying so bad outside the old house to the point where it causes talks and chatter between the neighbours, and I still remember when I took a bus and go to my grandma out of town.
I guess after all this time, I was somehow still glad being owned by them. But nothing was according to plan, as always. Turned out my father already planned to send me to a boarding school which its headmaster was his acquaintance. Remember when I told you that my father owns a social institution? Yeah so, he knew a lot of people, and that’s how he got the connection to this boarding school. But this school was for poor people, and in the middle of the semester, I just came there and became the student as if it was my punishment.
Because I didn’t exaggerate it when I said the school was for poor kids; the building was down the hill, there’s no clean bathroom, no clean water, we always had a water shortage every day. We dig our own wells, we build our own classroom … it was tough. But I tried to stay. It took about half a year until I finally gave up and as you’ve probably guessed it … I left again.
At the age of 17, I flew out of the state. I lived with a friend only a day until I rent my own small place. I worked as a waiter in a restaurant at a beach, and I burn my skin for months. This was my worst place ever in my life; it was a whole year filled with wild thoughts and uncertainty. Not that I was cheerful a year or two before this, but this was the time when I learnt how to fake a smile so ease, started to cut my own hair, make a friend with night breeze, smoke and drink, and being okay to eat so less than normal. And oh, it was the last time I had a girlfriend too.
… So you see, I’m a boi with a lot of problems. I’ve been living in my own world, and I have daddy issues and mommy issues. And please don’t scoff to that, because it’s actually just enough to turn me into this pathetic little bitch.
In this day and age, I’m working with people who are way more normal than me, even those who are into the Japanese pop culture, I believe they are still able to blend in the society —no offence intended but, many people think having anime as a hobby and being an adult at the same time is something that’s weird already. But humans are social animals, when we’re born we were blank slates; and unfortunately, when I was in that state I was raised differently.
My life is almost like those Netflix movies with a low rating about a depressing kid being the protagonists, except this time it is real life, and with that instead of making my life more theatrical … it’s just making me more pathetic. I don’t think it’s strange anymore, for me realizing there’s no single thing that I may enjoy it more now as an adult than how much I’d enjoy it as a child, I don’t think I can appreciate anything more now than I’d appreciate things in the past.
So when people see me in real life, spend enough time talking to me in Discord servers, or having to do with me in social media, they’ll notice that I’m a little different. I appreciate those who thought that this guy was special, or didn’t even care if I —just like this post— was a bit gay or somewhat dark and emo or something. But most people would walk away from the conversation, they’d avoid me and feel like having to do with someone who’s not understandable is … just weird and bad.
So when there’s a fellow anime fan who happen to interested in me. I’d tell them to watch Black★Rock Shooter. I’d tell them that you’ll understand a bit more about me after you watch the show; that sometimes nothing would make sense, sometimes the ridiculously excessive resolution is the one I prefer to fix all my problems.
BRS is not my favourite anime at story-wise, directing wise, or artwork and music wise. But the roaster, BRS is one franchise that has just enough broken characters to represent for what is like being me. Evangelion; I love that franchise, and Ikari Shinji is such amazing character, but people like me can only relate to him and to be frank, we depressing kids would never be characterized by only Shinji’s character. We are, believe it or not, we don’t always whine all the time.
We break things —ourselves, relationships, dreams, expensive things— we break all the things.
Sometimes we’re scared of nightmares, sometimes we spend the entire weekend dead sleeping.
We cried and are filled with regret, we tried to be human; but there are times when we enjoy ourselves being selfish and turned evil.
We’re broken, and sometimes we want to see the world made into pieces too.
So selfish, that even though we’re beyond repair, we still want to be feed with sweet lies.
Oftentimes I’m sad that I’m all alone, yet giving a fck to somebody else never feels like worth doing.
We do weird, different things that just don’t make sense.
Black★Rock Shooter is exactly how I feel on a daily basis, except that I’m fighting for something too feeble and actually not worth fighting for. Everything is always a risk, maybe that’s why I only solve problems by screaming, sleeping, and crying. I close my heart in order to not get hurt, while I damage myself day by day, and often wonder for what reason am I still alive even though I’m beyond defeated? It’s sad that I never own a life, not even my own.
Listen to this another weird thing about me.
I don’t remember if I ever mentioned this in the review that I wrote two years ago but; I cried at the end of each episode of OreImo, and it always been hard for me to watch the next episode after I just finished one. I know right? It’s weird! I bet you’re now wondering what made me cried every time. Well, it’s actually so simple; it’s because I wish I had someone like Kyousuke in my family, someone who no matter how crazy and silly I become, he’d always try to understand me.
Stories like BRS and Evangelion are pieces that are very easy to relate personally, but none of those is a challenge for me to watch, those are just pure enjoyments. But it’s different case with anime like Kuroko no Basket or Nisekoi, their scenarios are always foster a sense of disappointment in myself; I wish I had a working relationship, I wish my family was fine, I wish I’ve been normal and go to school, I wish I know a friend, I wish I could join a club..,..
I don’t know about you, but every movie or series I watched always urge me to question my own life, my experiences, and especially bad choices I made in the past. It’s like- I watched Detective Pikachu last week, and I thought the movie was all right until he said, “My problem is that I push people away and then hate them for leaving.” And as I heard that one sentence, I know that the movie will have greater meanings the next time I’ll watch it.
Maybe I’m a sociopath, or at least I have some kind of disorder. I’m pretty sure of that because I always love to watch fcked up movies and anime with fcked up stories, and oftentimes I embrace the feeling of sympathizing with the antagonist. But I dunno, because I think real life is fcked up too.
I find it funny how the general family and society always teach you to be who you are, to be honest and to express what you want to express, because that way you’ll get what you really want. But then, what about me? Because my life has never been fair, and no one ever wants the real me. People always give me a reason to lie, they always make me play their game, wear a mask of someone else while in the inside I totally despise them. I’ve stopped telling the truth about myself.
At some point, lying will become so easy and you’ll get away from anything without even saying a word. I lie to my parents, I give them fake smiles (and I give fake smiles to everyone too). Mom and Dad hate me because I always been their reflection, Dad told me to not be friends with a lot of kids because he never had friends, Mom beat me every time I messed up in the kitchen because she never cooked any good food.
At some point in life, you’ll realize that everyone lied to you too. They only want a part of you, not the whole you.
Everyone is broken too.
Or at least I hope so.
What do I know? I’ve never been into your world.
… So that’s it, that was me and my ramblings about Black★Rock Shooter —mostly about me. In case you’re interested in the franchise, I recommend you to watch the TV show first before the OVA.
Thank you for putting up with my venting, and I’m sorry that in the end, I wrote too much about my upsetting past. I was only thinking that I’d write something else than an anime review, and I never thought that I’d write this much about my personal thoughts. I really appreciate you for making it to this ending paragraph.
And once again, I’m sorry if this post was a bit too gay for you, sorry if I made you so uncomfortable because of it —it’s just the nature of me, which I guess you already figured that out by now. Ugh, all these are cringing. I disgust myself. Goodbye then, see you tomorrow~