-Z- (Z@Gundam.Com)
Sun, 24 Oct 1999 15:05:09 -0700

At 22:00 10/23/1999 -0400, you wrote:
>>> But anyway, those things you
>>>mentioned, exactly my reasons for wanting to live in Japan. I could be
>>>wrong, but is it true that in Japan you could dress, wear your hair, color
>>>your hair, do anything to yourself, and the people wouldn't make such a big
>>>deal of it? If so, that's my kinda place ^_^
>>In America, the popular saying is that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
>>In Japan, the popular saying is that the nail that stands up gets hammered
>>Does that answer your question?
> Uh... no.

Suffice it to say that "Japan" and "conformity" have been synonymous for so
long that it's become a cliche. Even when they try to be nonconformist,
they do it in a very prescribed fashion, with the nonconformists in a
nonconformist uniform so that everyone will see that they are
nonconformists. (^_^);

They will also travel in groups, so as not to be set upon and beaten by all
the conformists who may take exception to them.

One of the reasons you see so many non-traditional roles and characters in
anime is that it's escapist fantasy. People can identify with these
characters and, to a certain extent, emulate them without being labeled a
radical. It should be noted that most of these oddball characters are
aliens, orphans or misfits of one sort or another, whose oddity can be
explained by their upbringing (or lack of same), allowing them to be
sympathetic and weird at the same time. But, for the most part, ever
Japanese schoolkid's worst nightmare is to be an outsider, excluded from
the rank and file because of some personal idiosyncracy.

The sad fact is that almost every Japanese schoolkid can identify with one
of the outsiders, because at one time or another almost everyone gets stuck
on the outside looking in.

> By the way, this is something I've been wondering for quite some time. How
>do I pronounce your nickname (Z)?
>Does it read as "Z" or "Zeta"? Just curious ^_^

You can read it however you choose, but the intent was Zeta. Were I able
to depict it so, it would be a single character consisting of the "Z"
crossed by a horizontal line....


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