If you’ve been watching Kunihiko Ikuhara’s latest project, Sarazanmai, you’ve probably found yourself confused by what was happening on-screen at least two or twelve times. It’s a story about complicated sibling relationships, floating definitely-not-Amazon packages, gay otter police officers, and teens getting turned into kappas so they can extract desire from giant zombie buttholes. It’s wilder than I could have ever predicted.
You may also find yourself asking, “how much of this series is weird because Ikuhara is a weirdo, and how much of this is weird because I’m not Japanese and I don’t get the references?” If you’re anything like me, the only things you know about kappa came from games like Harvest Moon, which does not involve buttholes. So, I decided to dive deep into the world of kappa legends to better understand the madness that is Sarazanmai.
And, believe it or not, the idea that we all have a ball of desire in our anuses is more than just a wacky Ikuhara-ism – it’s a huge part of kappa mythology! Let me give you a crash course in kappa.
Heh heh. Remember when I made a big old post about how I was determined to start writing and posting more often, and then I didn’t make a post for a month? Woopsies daisies! I tend to do that a lot, huh. Well, in my defense, it’s been a bit of a messy month. Let me get on my knees and beg for forgiveness explain.
Today’s the big day, folks! It’s Welcome To Hell Zone’s birthday! I’m really proud that I’ve maintained my little slice of the web for a year. I might not have maintained it consistently…but I’m still proud!
I should be doing something mega-special, right? Well, honestly, me resurrecting my blog from the depths of depression hell is probably the biggest tribute I can give. I’ve been slacking lately, but I’m back, baybeeeeeeeeeeee!
Ah, things. They be quite hard, yeah? I’ve been a bit behind these past few months, due to this time of year being particularly stressful. Now that I’m working a full-time job instead of my usual part-time or seasonal gigs, I’m learning that the end of the year is a bit rough at an office! There’s a lot going on, so I don’t have the time/energy to sneak any writings during my my breaks anymore.
Still, I do want to get back into the habit of writing a little more. To be honest, I was starting to feel a little discouraged – the old jorb was getting me down, my plans for housing fell through, and I’ve been doing that whole “comparing myself to others who supposedly have it better” thing. It’s been a bummer month, to put it lightly. So, I ended up writing about how discouraged I was feeling a few weeks ago.
But, I gotta say, a lot of you guys dropped your own stories about feeling distressed and discouraged, and they made me feel a lot better. Less alone, I guess? So many of you are super great and talented, and to hear that many of you have felt the same way, well…it made me figure I must not be so bad. If the great bloggers and writers I know still have lingering doubts about their abilities, that probably means it’s an unavoidable feeling.
A couple weeks ago, I was talking to my boyfriend about why I sit around writing anime essays for fun. Sometimes, when we hang out, I’ll break off to write a little something-something, or I’ll take down a note about an anime we were watching. He mentioned something to me about it, and before I knew it, I was going on and on about how important I thought anime (and fictional media in general) was, what I wanted to accomplish with my writings in the future, and why I love writing and reading about anime. It’s a conversation that I kiiiinda wish I had taken notes on, actually, because it would have really helped me in writing this particular post…
I mean, what we do here is kind of weird, right? We’re writing analytical posts and reviews and episodic diaries about anime and video games and movies, and many of us aren’t even getting paid to do it. Clearly, we must see some kind of merit in all of this, or else we wouldn’t be doing it in our spare time.
Time-management is hard. I never really understood the whole, “there aren’t enough hours in the day” thing until I got a full-time job with an hour commute. There are so many things I want to do, and just not enough time to do them. Even when I do have time to do things, usually all I want to do is sleep. It becomes really discouraging – there are lots of things I want to accomplish, and lots of hobbies I want to pursue, but I just can’t find the time to fit them into my day.
However, though it is a colossally shitty feeling, it’s also a very common one.
Specifically, I feel like the whole, “ew I’m an adult with a life” thing comes up a lot when it comes to fandoms, whether it be anime, video games, music, movies, whatever. You reach a certain point in your life when keeping up with all the trends just isn’t feasible anymore. Maybe you want to make fanart, maybe you want to run a successful blog, maybe you want to make a podcast, or maybe you just want to find the time to watch all of Legend of the Galactic Heroes. Finding time is hard, and it can make you feel like the things you enjoy doing are slipping away, especially if you feel this constant need to keep up with everyone else.
Before I get into the meat of this post, I’m gonna go on a little personal aside: I really, really like writing. I mean, we all like writing to a degree, right? That’s why we’re here, yeah? Deep down, I’ve always wanted to be a writer in some way or another. First, I thought I wanted to write fiction, and then I thought I wanted to write scripts for TV. Then I realized I actually just wanted to write about TV, but it can be really hard to actually land a steady job or even a freelance job doing entertainment writing because, well, there are already critics doing it and there are a million other people trying to get into it, too.