A bit of stalking and Penguindrums
I didn’t watch any anime for about a month or so, but I watched the second episode of Mawaru Penguindrum today. Were more people willing to watch anime like these, it would simply annihilate their thoughts of it targeted for children. The second episode was well-executed and quite relevant, especially with the sporadic yet prominent cases of stalking.
I would say that stalking is a relevant phenomenon in Japan because one light novel (popular enough to be featured and published by Tokyopop) discussed it in detail. The light novel is Chain Mail, by Hiroshi Ishizaki. It’s an easy read, and the translation is fluid enough that the entire novel could be finished in two hours, perhaps even earlier for faster readers. It deals with a bunch of students who have major issues in their lives that they synthesize another world together by writing a novel with different personae in it. Trouble arises (from what I recall) when a certain troubled girl ‘stole’ another character and is confronted by another lady. Everything pans out in the end. There’s nothing really transcendent about the story, but it had a character characterize a stalker very colorfully: although Ringo is indeed a lot more benign than the stalker in the novel, I don’t think her actuations are even excusable: I think stalking in that form is downright disturbing.
I may have had perpetuated actions in my failed attempt to woo a girl that seem to approximate stalking a bit, but I have never crossed the line and certainly don’t do those things. I merely ask from friends who know that girl, and just go to the place that she’s at, but never more than that. Ringo’s mode of stalking is definitely creepy. I have read that stalking is somehow more prevalent (or maybe just more reported in Japan). Is it really?
I can’t fathom how people could allow themselves to be that attached to people without really talking to them consistently. Giving gifts and waiting for the person you like is one thing, but staying underneath his house listening to the radio programs that he likes is just horribly perturbing. I guess I’ve had a few faux pas in the past but none as grave as what Ringo has done.