Thirteensugars' epic adventure into the common world of manga lore

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Our most loved female otaku who does not want to be recognized as one.

It’s always good to have a chance to laugh at your dumb girlfriend when you wake up in the morning. Here is the tale as re-accounted by my girlfriend on a private chat online. For some reason, she is speaking in the third person. A warning ahead of time: whatever sweet compliments she has subtly (well, not that subtle) implanted about her are hopelessly false and forced.

Here’s her tale of epic proportions, her journey into a world unseen, untouched and unheard in her life.

Thirteensugars’ little adventure into the wild

One fine late afternoon, when 13sugars was about to go home after work, she decided to go to Borders Book Store and there she was, happily walking, thinking about the manga which she will use to pop her manga-reading cherry. 13sugars entered the book store, all smiles and rainbows in her aura. She walked and started looking for her beloved Vampire Hunter D manga by Hideyuki Kikuchi-san. And suddenly, she came to an abrupt halt, there it was, standing in the shelf in all it’s beautiful, steamy, hot and sexy glory; her first manga!

She reached for it with shaky hands, weakened knees and dry mouth; the first volume… with the sexy damphir on the cover. She gazed at it lovingly with adoring eyes. She gently touched the cover, her fingers light and silky. Then she sighed, and it sounded like the sweetest hum of an anime fangirl. She turned around to get the second volume, but to her shock, horror and dismay, there was none! She quickly scanned the shelves as thoroughly as she could have, but the second volume of VHD was not there.

She immediately ran to the counter and asked for help. The guy scanned their stock and told her a sad report, “We don’t have that volume here, but if you like, we can order it for you. We’re supposed to have a stock of it by now, but….” Perhaps it was the shock, perhaps it was the sorrow, but the sweet girl suddenly answered, “Well, I’m looking for it but it’s not really for me…” The guy at the counter smiled and said teasingly, “Yeah right, it’s for you.” But, the girl, so intent upon her lie, insisted that it was not for her, and left the bookstore without even getting the damned first volume.

Sadly, she then realized that she had failed. She failed as an anime fan for lying and denying that the VHD manga was for her. Her only excuse was that, at that moment, she felt like she was buying pornography, something she ought not to be buying at all.

The poor girl…. so poor thing.

Afterthoughts by Impz

Have you ever felt like that? I know that I was very embarrassed when I first bought my manga or anime. Well, it’s not in the same degree as Thirteensugars. Are you ever embarrassed about purchasing anime merchandise or resisted against it in common public areas? Tell us your tale, and vote in the poll!

P/s: In the end, I have to purchase the manga online for her, so that she can read her manga. What a silly girlfriend.

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20 Comments

  1. Posted July 6, 2008 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Never embarassing for me, but I literally grew up with manga and anime. Doraemon, Dragon Ball, Captain Tsubasa… so on and so forth.

    The stigmata that I went on for so long about in that flamebait post ages ago is nothing in most East-Asian countries. You’re expected to grow out of it, but a lot of people don’t, and it’s perfectly acceptable, as long as you don’t take it to otaku levels.

  2. Posted July 6, 2008 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    I Grew up with Sailor Moon, it was not embarrassing at all beginning my misadventure into shoujo manga by the time I could afford it I was already content with my own sense of self, mostly because i could gut most men and scalp them for good measure in two minutes or less. ;)

    I do not care for the opinions of a Borders Employee for I do not solicit their opinions.

  3. cranberry
    Posted July 8, 2008 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Hahaha thats a funny story. I’m also a girl I went to the book store to buy the new Samurai Deeper Kyo volume and I wasn’t really embarassed until the cashier started asking me about it and talking about cosplaying and invited me to some anime convention.

  4. octazooka
    Posted July 8, 2008 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    I was never embarrassed about buying anything.

    Only time I was actually embarrassed was at my first anime con. I was young and really didn’t know much. This only pushed my confidence and pride in being an anime fan.

  5. Posted July 8, 2008 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    I never buy anything embarrassing – also I buy at Kinokuniya and well they pretty much expect people to buy manga and anime goods when they have them splattered all over their outer window.

  6. Posted July 8, 2008 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never felt embarrassed buying anything anime or manga related, I don’t really care what they think to be honest. They might have far more embarrassing hobbies for all I know.

  7. Haesslich
    Posted July 8, 2008 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I don’t have problems, but I don’t go to Borders either. Of course, I’ve also been asked by female employees at regular bookstores (chain or independent) if I follow shoujo manga, and I do. Like Crusader, I have no gender self-image issues and so don’t feel threatened by it. It’s usually the ones who protest too much who have problems anyways.

    Come to think about it, I could probably net a date from some of those girls… please excuse me, while I go out… ;)

  8. Tmoo
    Posted July 8, 2008 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    any stranger who bothers to care about what i’m buying is either nosy or self-conscious.

    that said, it’s understandable that a person buying manga for the first time during their teenage years would feel that way. perfectly normal :)

  9. LDC
    Posted July 8, 2008 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think you have a girlfriend, enjoy your hand.
    Seriously now, I think all the embarrassment is becuase of the general weeaboo hate that people have, it’s not only in anime or manga fans’ head.
    I guess some people don’t mind what others think about them.. But I’m not that kind even though I don’t want to care.
    I share the pain of anyone who is bothered becuase of this. :(

  10. Posted July 8, 2008 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    I never buy anything embarrassing too. By embarrassing, I mean smut stuff and such. I wouldn’t want my grandma to suffer from a heart attack when she sees me reading those lol. But then again, I wouldn’t really mind buying something “embarrassing”, if it’s something I really love, I’ll be more conscious about reading them in public, more than anything.

  11. Posted July 8, 2008 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I’m too much of a cheap bastard to waste my money buying from brick and mortar stores. I just bought a huge stack of manga from Rightstuf for like 6 bucks a pop, with no tax and free shipping. Why would I spend gas driving to Barnes and Noble and paying 9-10 each instead? The embarrassment doesn’t really bother me as much as the cost. Plus, buying manga that’s been soiled by Cheeto-fingered teenage manga cows? I think not.

  12. Posted July 8, 2008 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    We used to buy from Media Play, but now we buy from Deepdiscount. Like Calawain said, why go the store and waste gas to pay retail price. When I can order online and get manga for about 6 bucks a pop and anime for 16 with free shipping.

  13. yaku
    Posted July 8, 2008 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    A long time ago I resolved that if I’m gonna get ostracized for just liking “cartoons” let alone manga, I might as well buy yaoi porn in regular stores and put a lecherous smile (and I do). If you are so forward with what you like people will get so creeped out they won’t say a word (unless they’re jackasses).

  14. sl33py
    Posted July 8, 2008 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    lol I remember when my local walden books was closing and they were having a huge sales. I literally bought every single manga book in the store. Yea…..it was some couple hundred dollars in some biiiigggg bags. Unfortunately that did not help them to stay at all XD

  15. Kobukson
    Posted July 8, 2008 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Eh, depends on whose at the register. For me, I just justify it by making sure I give them my college email address so as to say “Hey, I may be a manga-liking geek to you, but I got into one of the hardest schools in the country so I deserve a ‘vice’! :P

  16. Kimmy
    Posted July 9, 2008 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Life is too short to worry about what the book store clerk thinks of your purchases. The older I get, the less I care what people think.

    I bought my first volume of manga when I was 49. I carry my house keys on a Uryuu Ishida keychain. I have a picture of Jin of Samurai Champloo hanging on my fridge. I think someone needs to start manufacturing a Vampire Knight bento box – I’d like mine with Zero on the lid please.

    I’m almost 52 now, so it’s a little too late to “grow out of it” – I guess I’ll just have to die being a fangirl.

  17. Posted July 9, 2008 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    In order to get hold of manga I would have to ask my parents to order it online, and that’s the most embarassing part (and why I’m waiting till I’m 18 with my own paypal to smuggle the stuff in…somehow) You can’t ask your parents to order you Yaoi now can you?

    Book stores don’t come into it as I’m not lucky enough to have a book store that sells it. If I did I wouldn’t find it embarassing to buy them at all. Not like the cashier knows me or I know them.

  18. A person
    Posted July 9, 2008 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Yes, I was embarrassed when I bought my first manga (Chobits) and to this day, I’m still afraid ._.;;

    I was in Montreal on a trip and had a slight…problem. Because I live in such a small town it’s hard to buy manga since they only have Nana, Naruto, Death Note, etc. So, I decided that I’d go on a little manga shopping spree.

    I was so excited when I got to Chapters and looked at how large their selection was. I immediately dug in – grabbing whatever caught my eye. Of course, I was mostly looking for the next volumes to the manga I was currently reading. Then it happened.

    They were walking to my left. You see, I’m a shy person. Very, very shy. Very, very nervous in large crowds. I never got a look at them because I was so scared to stare them in the face. They just walked by saying out loud “Hahaha, f*ckers, think they’re so cool…” (There was another boy there checking out the manga, hence the plural.)

    Ever since then, I’ve been kind of scared to go to the manga section when I go on trips. Now I ask an older friend of mine to help me buy my manga online..

  19. bamboo
    Posted July 11, 2008 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Hmn.
    that hasn’t really happened to me, and I’ve gone and brought Shonen ai and Yaoi manga before – usually at manga shops so the people know they have it in stock- no one will look at you weirdly anyways, I remember a shop staff in borders was talking to me about different Japanese artists when I asked for a recommendation of an art book for my li’brother- then she talked about one of the BL artists, she was careful I think not to scare me but I was like oh I recognise this- I’ve seen the manga that artist writes…

    Anyhows the manga and book stores STOCK the manga to be brought- so don’t be embarrassed

    though it would be quite worrying if you were a 7 year old who accidentally picked up junjou romantica volume 1 with its baby pink cover and brought it (though hopefully the staff will realise before they give the child her receipt) My friend accidentally picked if off the shelf thinking it was shoujo – twas hilarious when I was like STOP XD Hahaaaa

  20. Tenryu
    Posted July 11, 2008 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    hhhmmm… after watching the 1rst episode Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu i remembered this post…

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