Japanese language, otaku, etc.

A random post at Scrumptious pointed to a blog called "Opinion Prone" and a quick backscan brought up a post ostensibly about learning with Nintendo DS, although actually it broaches a wider topic.

I imagine that most people will take a few shots at memorizing their kana and then give up. They’ll retain all the romaji vocabulary and phrases they know, and maybe they’ll still use it now and again in a mocking or less-than-serious manner, but that’s about it. Some will succeed in memorizing their kana and master some grammar, but kanji stops them dead in their tracks. The last handful plow right on through, kick the JLPT’s ass, and then run off to Japan to teach English because that’s your stereotypical otaku dream.

This may be a good time to claim that the idea of living in Japan is abhorrent to me. It's a society manufactured by American liberals in their image during the occupation. Shitty medicine, democracy instead of republic, trains trains trains, etc. Also, what am I supposed to do with my guns if I go there? So although I did take the lowest JLPT, I never thought about teaching English there (which is not my native language anyway). But he's right about the popularity of that lifepath in general.

When I visited Ana-sempai last week in Akita, she reported that one of the best things about AIU was that almost everyone (among non-Japanese students) was a closet anime fan, if not a downright otaku. Tired of not having anyone to talk about Umineko IRL? AIU is the university for you. And of course, what are you going to do with a MA in Japanese studies? You cannot be a high rank translator for Cabinet level officials because Monterrey was too tough for you. Essentially, hikkying under JET umbrella is the only job you can do. Little wonder next to every American otaku leans that way.

Since we're on topic, the same week I had the first ever opportunity to talk in Japanese for real. Usually my Japanese acquaintances (like Rio and Koyomi) have a very passable, even solid English, so they do not have much patience to indulge my excercises at their expense and switch to it. This time, I set up a meeting with my online buddy "Mumu", whose English was worse than my Japanese. We hung out at Asakusa, then went to the 60th floor of Sunshine City to look at Tokyo, and later Mumu's husband joined us and we had a double-date style dinner in some random yakiniku place. I translated for my wife, who never had any interest in Japanese, and generally had some 6 hours of non-stop practice. I can only say it was fun, but I have a very long road to go yet. And all that because of the anime. What a data point for Opinion Prone's author Kiri.