Another year and another Christmas passes by. Still I hope everyone had a Happy Holidays and aren’t wanting for food or shelter. While much will be said about how Christmas is Jesus’ really late birthday, how this part of the season is all about family, and in anime how this time of year is wonderful time to confess, I’d rather celebrate the Great Capitalist Holiday where massive quantities of goods are purchased with some of them gifted to others for gifts to oneself.
This year I did not get much in the way of anime related loot, I say this without shame because my friends and family have no idea about what I want nor would I be all that able to explain my appreciation for 1/8 Scale figures especially Sheryl Nome’s also I have pile of unassembled kits from Gundam and Macross which is becoming a rather permanent fixture. In short thank goodness for Ghibli and Disney’s licensing of their films because those titles are the only ones I got this year. While my anime habits aren’t fully known to my friends and family my obsession with sports is and I got handsome haul of San Francisco Giants gear which is another rather nerdy though more mainstream pursuit. Still I am grateful that my family understands how much I love my baseball team I just wished they realized that its football season and that the Giants didn’t make the post season this year. Nevertheless better than a lump of misshapen coal.
While material goods are the lifeblood of capitalism I think the best gift I got for Christmas was the chance to celebrate a winning season for the 49ers and it was a two-fer because it was also a sweep of a hated division rival. It’s been a long time since I ever had this chance it’s been nine years since the last winning season and I have had to endure a hateful Seattle Seahawk dictatorship as my once glorious team seem destined for obscurity. Still Christmas did come and I finally get to see my team do something other than lose week in and week out. Long have I wished for this day and it finally came, I am just surprised to see a redemption story play out before my eyes week to week for the much maligned Alex Smith.
This season did get me wondering though if anime fans in general get gifted their anime goods or if we simply gift most of our collections to ourselves. In fact during this time of year do many of us wave our fan flags high? The last Gundam t-shirt I had was back in middle school and these days NBA, MLB, and NFL merchandise make up the mainstay of my attire. Come to think of it I wonder if people buy a whole lot of anime related clothing given the rapid turnover rate and given how we are prone to celebrating the show of the moment. More likely I think anime fans are probably loaded with DVDs and figures. Given how niche anime is I wonder if we more often than not celebrate our fandom in smaller circles face to face and while the internet is a great way to spread gospel and talk about things I am a bit old fashioned in that I would much rather have face to face discussions. It’s been a well past a decade since I saw my gateway anime and I have seen people “grow out” of anime because real life took over and there was less and less time to watch anime. It makes me wonder if the older we get the possibility of keeping up starts becoming a losing battle.
Anime isn’t like sports; anime isn’t ubiquitous in daily life outside of Japan. It’s easier to be a sports fan given how many there are and how sports talk is the “safe” office topic that more often than not is inescapable. In any case I hope everyone will have a Happy New Year and do all the things they meant to do that never got done.