Kuragehime: the contemptible Amars
While I like Kuragehime, I must admit that I have little love towards the Amars, especially towards Banba and Mayaya. Although I’ve alluded to this in my previous post, I’m saying it clearly in this one: I don’t like the lifestyle of the Amars, and while they have every right to do what they want to do with their lives that does not mean I approve of their parasitic existences.
Someone on /a/ called people out (including me) saying that we only dislike the Amars because they’re not the usual beautiful and sexualized beauties we see in anime. He or she argued further that if they were men, we would sympathize with their existences just because of the proximity and similarity between those men and /a/nons.
I vehemently disagree, however. I don’t dislike the women just because they are both unsociable and ugly (although it’s much easier to dislike someone ugly than physically beautiful, that is true), but because in addition to being unsociable and ugly, they’re also offensive and obnoxious creatures.
One of the most endearing caricatures (if not avatars) of male otaku the world over is Madarame. He is the personification of the otaku archetype. While I must admit that his countenance does not make him easily endearing, it is his actions and his quirky kindness towards his friends and other people that made me like him, not his being a male otaku.
I’m an anime fan, but I’m also irritated with other anime fans. Just because other people are anime fans doesn’t make them someone I’d automatically like, although that characteristic would make them easier to like. I dislike Banba and Mayaya not merely due to their physical ugliness, but more importantly because of their ugly personalities. I don’t find Banba’s actions towards Kuranosuke defensible; I find much contempt in turning away someone who honestly just wanted to join in. My perception of her only worsened when she equated the kindness of Kuranosuke to a permanent provision and depersonalized him into a bringer of meat. The only reason that would exonerate her to some extent was that if she was mentally retarded (which is highly possible, actually). If she wasn’t, though, there is absolutely no excuse for her actions: her face is just the ‘urine on top of the turd.’ It just makes things worse.
Mayaya’s less offensive and more obnoxious, but I also don’t find their stance towards parental dependence noble. I find it rather insulting to those who act as real children. Other than Tsukimi, the Amars are already more than thirty years old. I just don’t think it’s good for anyone to rely on one’s parents for support when one’s already that old. I’m also not one to sympathize when these Amars look at reality from some imaginary catafalque: they do not even want to recognize that there is something fundamentally wrong in their lives and in their way of living. Their physical ugliness just makes things worse, but I doubt that it is the sole source of disdain from watchers like me.
Devil’s advocates will probably propose Katsuragi Keima from The World God Only Knows as an unforgivable otaku. The thing is,
(1) He’s not thirty years old. He’s barely into his teens – and he at least goes out of their house.
(2) Despite how he looks, he is very responsible for his tasks.
Just the first defense alone would exonerate most of his faults. It’s undeniable that a male otaku trying to save the world from destruction despite his unwillingness, as some sort of antihero, perhaps, is more sympathetic than a realistic caricature of uncouthness and physical homeliness. Isn’t that common sense?