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I am not a man of many eccentricities. Aside from smoking weed and cross-dressing, few of my interests have the potential to raise eyebrows. Except, probably, my status as a Wapanese-American. Yes, it's true, I enjoy anime, and I sometimes read manga, although honestly the ratio is skewed towards the former because I like to enjoy all of my eccentricities at the same time and it's a lot easier to watch a video than read a book when you're tripping balls in a floofy skirt. And I don't like paying for it.

Sure, I've done it before. I've paid for anime. I've steeled myself as I approached the checkout counter with Strawberry Panic buried between a couple normal-person books, hoping unrealistically that the cashier wouldn't notice it as she rung them all up. Not that I'd be run out of town for buying an innocent schoolgirl romance, but it's just not the kind of thing I like people to see me enjoying. Much like weed and floofy skirts, in fact. It's really unpleasant to expose other people to those things, especially if they didn't already know I enjoyed them, and even if I bought it online I'd still have to deal with the mailman.

There is a shelf here, in the library, devoted to anime DVDs. It is a mildly embarrassing shelf. I am wearing a suit right now, so I can browse through it without being silently judged, immediately cast into the subconscious archetype of "greasy lardass otaku" by the scoffing masses.

But why would I want to? Why would anyone with decent taste - not that I have decent taste, but hypothetically speaking - want to watch InuYasha or Bleach or, for Christ's sake, Naruto? As varied as they may be, all of these discs, leafed through and scratched up by hundreds of greasy lardass otaku on a daily basis since probably the mid-00s, hold one thing in common - the uniform distinction of being God-awful. This is not a place of honor. Maybe for that pudgy middle-school kid standing next to me, his head also sideways, scanning the shelves for something to read, but not for a High Level Weeaboo such as myself.

A couple miles down the road lies a large and stoically vacant building. Its sign was taken down, auctioned off, crushed, shipped and melted in a Chinese steel mill long ago, but the name on the building is still visible in the pattern of weathered brick around where it used to be. I'm sure we all know what it says, and even if you don't, it doesn't really matter, but the point is that they used to sell books there and now they fucking don't. That's really what I'm trying to say here. There's no anime left. Not that they sold a terribly wide variety of it, or even that they sold it at reasonable prices, but at least they did, for a while. And now they don't. Tough titties.

So what does that leave for me, apparently this city's lone Japanimation connoisseur, who still doesn't really feel like going fifteen miles and twenty dollars out of his way to find a complete edition of Azumanga Daioh but still wants to watch it? The Internet, obviously. Christ. Why didn't I think of this in the first place?

But now, even on the Internet, that last sacred sanctuary where I can watch something like Maria Holic without getting weird looks from anyone behind any sort of counter, I am apparently now under some sort of attack. "Death to illegal anime uploads", apparently. Jesus. I didn't know I was that bad of a person. I thought I still had a little way to go. But since I'm already in one of those unforgivable classes of people subject to "Death to" declarations on the Internet, I might as well finish this Marimite torrent and get on with my life. Hell, I'll even start seeding. In for a penny, in for a pound. Long live the Wapanese race.

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