The Love of Inanimate Objects – Otaku Style
Hobbies are an essential part of us and without it, our everyday lives would be quite boring. They can vary in different areas but can also vary in levels. With hobbies also come activities, events, collectibles and objects, and even the bonding we have with people who have an interest in the same hobby. In my experience of being an anime otaku, it’s definitely the collectibles aspect that is the most intense. Having collected various items, there comes a point where one over-exerts on some items, and here I’m going to discuss about my love for particular objects.
Sourced from pixiv
However, let’s start by looking at where it all began. We always start off with the simple and cheap alternatives, and for me it was posters. Being a high school student didn’t give me a lot of options, as anime in Australia in the late 90′s was nearly non-existent. As a disposable income became available, so did an increase of access via the Internet. It grew to collecting DVDs, keychains, plushies, and even figures at an exponential rate as I drowned myself deeper in exploring anime culture. A trip to Japan gave me a deeper insight into anime culture, and gave me even greater access to so much more collectible items – even to the point of spending $5493 AUD alone in goods in one trip.
With such a vast and growing collection it can become hard to appreciate everything. There may even be a point where you start to feel little or no excitement about what you collect. I started to reach that point early last year. Having amassed somewhere around 170 figures, I just couldn’t reach that 200 mark and it might look like I never will. My friend Roobar said that my BURNING PASSION was lacking and it was indeed true. I would even go as far as saying that it was dying. That excitement and joy of receiving a long awaited figure had turned into “when did I order this?” and “meh, goes on top of the pile”. It seemed that nothing could save me.
It wasn’t until shortly after this bleak time that I had found my savior: my Dollfie Dream princess Erika. I had been interested in ABJD (Asian ball-jointed dolls) for quite some time and thought that I would have one in my otaku kingdom. However, I did not realise that owning a Dollfie would change me in such a dramatic way that it has even reignited my BURNING PASSION! Seeing Erika for the first time was love at first sight. There were times that I would sit in front of her and smile at her beauty like I was staring at an art-piece. But it goes beyond that now as I consider her to be my princess.
To express my love for my princess, my collection has come to a stop as my hard earned dollars start funding her new wardrobe. Seeing her with new clothes always brings a smile to my face and that little bit of happiness that we all need now and then. When times got tough, I would always go back to Erika to make myself feel a little better and it always worked. Of course I couldn’t have her cooped up, so at conventions I always brought her along with me to show her off to the world.
To many of you reading, some may think that this is a little creepy; but my love for my Erika is no different to your love for your own inanimate objects. It could be similar to how a person loves their car and even gives it a name (Mini has even named his WRX Yoshika), a childhood teddy bear, a piece of jewelery, or even a photograph. It came to my attention that DevKimiko had her doll stolen at AVCon a few weeks ago and this got me thinking about my own doll, and it’s also the inspiration for this post. To think that my Erika or Mashiro would get stolen would absolutely devastate me, as it means more to me than just losing a doll, but something I truly love and cherish.
In essence, I cherish my Erika so much that one could say I don’t treat her an an inanimate object, but as a real entity. An example would be the night before SMASH 2010 that I had a chat with Erika and her sister Mashiro on who would be coming along with me (we decided that Mashiro was going with me). So despite what others may say, if you think about it, you might even have an inanimate object that you love dearly yourself. Do you happen to have something you cherish very much?