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Let’s keep what I’m about to sing between the two of us, okay?

Think of this as a Diary of An Anime Lived post if that tickles your fancy.

As much as I love Kuragehime, and as much as I have to say about it, I find it a little bit hard to write about. It hits a little close to home for me, and sweet as it is I really wish I didn’t relate to it as strongly as I do. The girls depicted in the series are less-than-ideal. They’re too short, or too round, or don’t pluck their eyebrows and wear old gray tracksuits. Moreover, they’re all completely obsessed with their own niche interests, shunning the world around them and the company of half the human race in the process.

I’m a fairly proud person: I take two showers a day, have plucked my eyebrows meticulously for years now and get too-expensive haircuts. The reason I relate to “the Sisterhood”, as Funimation refers to them as, is because I completely understand how they ended up that way (so to speak). Simply put, they can’t figure out how to be girls, and so they hide in their otaku-doms, sneering but avoiding the Popular Crowd.

My confession is that I can’t figure out how to be a girl either, irreverent of my pride or my grooming. Let me show you how those misfit girls become who they are.

It’s not that I couldn’t figure out how to be a girl, maybe, it’s simply that I let the status-quo in school influence me to the point where my girlishness was wrenched from my hands. I grew up the daughter of a Filipino mother and homemaker, and a British father and tailor. My first five years of life consisted of wearing hand-made, frilly dresses. At 22, I have boyishly short haircut, and have only in the past 2 years re-incorporated anything resembling a dress or skirt into my wardrobe. I can pinpoint the moment it all went wrong, too.

On the first day of the first grade the teacher had us sit in a circle and sing a song. It was right about before we left for the day. All the mothers of the children stood outside the circle, hovering, giggling, waiting to take their kids home after a no-doubt tiring day at school. We were to sing about the clothing the members of the class were wearing. The song went like this:

Tony’s wearing gre~en pants, gre~en pants, gree~n pants,

Tony’s wearing gre~en pants, _____________

The blank is how the second line of the song goes, and I really can’t remember how it ends because I started crying at that point. I was the only one wearing a dress in the entire class. My mom made it; it was my favorite dress. I don’t know why, but as soon as they started singing “Celeste’s wearing a blue dress” I started tearing up. I was the only one who didn’t have “shirt” or “pants” as the item being sung about. I felt so singled out that I couldn’t bear it, and burst into tears, running to my waiting mother, who promptly took me home.

I didn’t wear a dress again until the 7th grade. We don’t have middle schools in Vancouver, so at the 7th grade we graduate elementary school and go to high school. My mother made me a dress for that occasion, but the wedge heeled shoes I’d picked out were so heavy that I tripped on my way up to the stage to get my ‘diploma’, and clunked down the stairs on my way off. I didn’t wear high heels after that.

At one point in my 7th grade year I was rejected for friendship by more-or-less all the girls in my class, in a cinematic calling-out on a basketball court. I was hurt, of course, but with my parents’ help I went back to school the very next day. I didn’t deal with it well, though. I ran away from reality. I read more books. I watched more anime. I started making websites. When the real world rejected me, I fled into the virtual one, into my interests, and played only to my strengths in reality, ignoring the rest for my own emotional protection.

I never had problems finding a source of self-worth: even if I wasn’t popular with the other girls, I was way smarter than most of them. Nobody could deny I did well in my studies; there were quantifiable, impartial assessments (grades) handed out regularly to prove that. Upon entering high school, and meeting more people I tried once again to reconcile with the (new) popular girls  – I plucked my eyebrows, hung around with them at lunch and such. But even though I was of mixed racial descent, I wasn’t blessed with the looks most other mixed kids were. At best, then as now, I’m average. Naturally, things didn’t work out this time either with me and girlishness.

It’s probably not obvious from my account, but antagonism between the ‘popular’ crowd and the nerds only got worse and worse as high school wore on (these things normally do). I lived true to my words, though. I didn’t pay attention to my looks, or my wardrobe, or to boys. Those were the things the ‘popular’ girls did, and I defined myself by everything they weren’t.

The climax of this story is, of course, at my high school prom. After a ridiculously short period as a girlfriend which I can only recall as a mistake, the final blow to my femininity came from my 12th grade math teacher.

My mother had sown my dress from a pattern and fabric I’d picked out. It has a flounce on the back not unlike what Tsukimi describes as a jellyfish’s “lace”. All my other nerdy girl and guy friends were dressed to the nines. None of us had prescribed ‘dates’; we had just gone as a group, danced as a group, sat awkwardly at the tables in the dark as a group. Needing to take a break from all the perfume and hairspray, I stepped out into the lobby of the ballroom. The dance was held in a fancy hotel downtown, and the lobby overlooked the waterfront. I leaned on the railing and stared out at the night view, and my math teacher, Mr. Yuen, wandered over. I’d had him for math two years in a row, and done fairly well in both years (math not being my strong suit). He was a boring, unassuming man who spoke in monotones and had a tiny frame. At 5’7″ I felt gargantuan in proportion to his. His lessons were always a bit dry, but to-the-point and well explained. He didn’t waste words. Mr. Yuen stood beside me, analyzed me and said:

“You don’t look good in a dress, Celeste. All the other girls look good in their dresses, but you don’t good in yours.”

I’m not sure what made him say that, but right there, at that moment, I just gave up.

————

I’d like to give you some uplifting story of How Things Got Better and Now I’m a Normal Girl, but really, I’m just not sure. I still think I’m too tall, that my frame is too large, that my proportions are weird, that I’m not as cute as many of my friends. I’m sure my haircut makes people think I’m a lesbian, or a feminist. I’m loud, I curse, I’ve watched all of Legend of Galactic Heroes. I talk to men, but I don’t think I’m much better than the cast of Kuragehime.

I got into a conversation with a friend shortly after I began writing this blog in relation to my girlishness or lack thereof. I’ve gotten considerably better since my high school days, but I still can’t see myself fitting into that princess role smoothly.

Me: But I can’t see myself ever getting married.

Her: Why not?

Me: I can’t see anyone who could deal with me for that long.

Her: I think you will get married. I think you say you won’t because, right now, you’re surrounded by all your family and friends and people who love you. You don’t have a deficit of love in your life. But there will be a time when your family passes or moves away, and you won’t see all of us [at university] any longer. When you’re lacking love in your life, you’ll realize that nobody wants to be alone.

Girls like those seen in Kuragehime develop as a means of emotional protection. For some reason or another, they can’t become the princesses they dream about when they’re little girls. So, they find their self-worth in other ways; the common one found among members of the Sisterhood is an absurd level of nerdiness in one thing or another. They gather around each other to stave off loneliness. They say they’ll live a men-less life in the same way that I defined myself by everything the popular girls weren’t – they use what some would perceive as their social ineptitude as a form of definition. They exist, in a gender-neutral state, embracing only the personalities they’ve constructed for themselves around their fandoms.

What I’m about to sing
Will be kept between the two of us, okay?
I keep my desires to myself,
Because I really want this to be our little secret.

I want to take a shortcut
Without getting soaked in the rain,
Without getting blown away by the wind.
It’s unfair, so I laugh.
Even cowards come out to play.

I don’t want to be sad,
Nor tears wetting my face,
I don’t have a clue,
I’m dense, so I laugh.
Teach me the fun things in life.

There’s a face I want to see
There’s a voice I want to hear,
When I wake up,
I hear a joyful
“Good morning and have a good day!”

But in the end, no-one wants to be alone. The part that makes Kuragehime hard to watch is that I know nobody wants to live like this really. Deep down there’s a desire for understanding by another. I hate to spit out the cheesy line, but every girl wants to be a princess, myself included. I can’t help but watch Kuragehime with a place reserved for it in my heart, and I can’t help but cheer for Tsukimi and her friends, no matter what fate they wind up with. I’d like to see their solutions to their own personality problems, because really, I can’t figure mine out and I’d like some examples.

Comments

Wow, great share.

I think my wife can relate… a lot of it sounds like her own story growing up. Over here we don’t have middle school as well. She defined herself too by her grades and graduated from high school as a valedictorian. She went on to a great university (my rival school lol) and did well in both law school and business school.

She keeps her hair short and doesn’t wear dresses (very rarely). But the difference is she didn’t form strong bonds with a lot of people. She has a bazillion friends — or at least friendly acquaintances, but she doesn’t have BROS like I do.

Well, check that. Her circle is mostly nerdy boys. They’re all in their mid-late 30s now but you take one look at their group (or listen to our conversation during get-togethers) and you will not mistake us for anything but geek. I should let her read this post really… but maybe I shouldn’ve have written this comment oh wai–

Celeste says:

“She keeps her hair short and doesn’t wear dresses (very rarely). But the difference is she didn’t form strong bonds with a lot of people. She has a bazillion friends — or at least friendly acquaintances, but she doesn’t have BROS like I do.”

Story of my life, trust me. I’m not antisocial by any means – quite the opposite in fact, I’m very much outgoing – and while I have a huge range of acquaintances I have very few ‘close’ friends, even amongst my nerdy friends. I do have female friend-friends though, but I strongly prefer to meet them one-on-one I’ve discovered as late. I still don’t know how to interact properly with large groups of girls without defaulting back on being a tomboy.

Digital Boy says:

Very nice post, and I’ll add it to the diary~

I was a social outcast my entire life, but I strangely never had this experience. I could never connect to all those movies and shows about the nerdy kid who tries to fit in, nor the one about the nerdy kid coming to terms with being different. Throughout my life, I simply didn’t know what it meant to be normal.

I didn’t know what other kids did. I had nothing to envy or feel bad that I wasn’t, because I didn’t ever get exposed to those things. To be honest, I still don’t really get how most people spend their time.

My friends were always nerds and outcasts, but they were never like me. By the tenth grade, it became clear to me that nerds for the most part were all the same. They were all social misfits who lived in a sort of quiet desperation and clung together, even though none of them really knew how to be friends with one-another. All throughout high school, nerds and social outcasts clang desperately to me, because I was smart and cool, but I was still an outcast. I never made a any friends through my own effort in high school – I befriended people who were interested in me, and then their friends got to know me. For the most part, I didn’t want to be friends with those people.

By the end of high school, I essentially hated nerds, having been worn out by them over the years, and I didn’t even try to change to a new group. I distanced myself from the social world entirely and did my own thing while interested people flocked around me. When I graduated, I broke contact with all of them.

That’s why I connected a lot to Onani Master Kurosawa (if you’ve read it), wherein the main character puts himself above everyone else, creating a niche where he was the only member. In school, that was me. However, unlike Kurosawa, I at least had a circle of great friends outside of school who never made me feel alone.

The interesting part, though, is that nothing has changed. I still have the same friends I did when I graduated a year and a half ago, I still find most of the people around me (at college) to be people I want nothing to do with, and even after contemplating a few times if I should become more social, I actually concluded that I wanted to become even more anti-social, finding that the fewer people in my life that I didn’t really care about, the more time I had to do my own thing.

In the end, I still don’t relate to you, or to the classic nerd who wants to be normal story. I actually have become more and more happy as I’ve distanced myself from others. I’m probably the happiest I’ve ever been right now, spending all of my time in my room working on my novel and other artistic ventures.

Celeste says:

“My friends were always nerds and outcasts, but they were never like me. By the tenth grade, it became clear to me that nerds for the most part were all the same. They were all social misfits who lived in a sort of quiet desperation and clung together, even though none of them really knew how to be friends with one-another. ”

I honestly felt this way during high school as well. The friends I’ve met in university however are a little different in that they at least attempt to conform to social norms; but we’re all still friends on some level out of mutual nerdiness. It’s a weird balance.

schneider says:

Awesome post. The OP lyrics by the end melted my heart.

Celeste says:

Glad to be of service :)

Charles says:

That was a beautiful post.

I think you’re right about all of us not wanting to be alone. We’re social creatures…and even the most timid or shy of us wants companionship. When we’re by ourselves, things might be easy, but there’s something missing – a lack of complete acceptance, perhaps, in every corner of our lives. Friends help, and so does family, but like your friend mention, when those go away (or at least are far from us), loneliness creeeps in. Even if those individuals remain close, they’re no longer with us when we grow up and go behind closed doors at the end of the day.

I’m a bit of a loner. At the very least, I demand my personal space and time – this is not easy when I have a family of my own. But I wouldn’t trade my wife and children for anything. They help complete me. And they see all the junk I harbor inside my heart – all the things I would never want others to see – and love me anyway. That’s an amazing feeling. Grace is awesome and powerful – it changes hearts and it can change the world (see Rwanda’s reconciliation commissions).

But cheer up ! You’re a friggin college student – you’re incredibly young. I have lots of friends who are in their late 20s and without their “soul mates.” And I’ve certainly know the least likely of people to get married, marry. I only officially dated one person before I found my wife, so it doesn’t take dozens of waltzes in an endless dating dance to find “the one.” You’ve got a ton going for you – you’re smart, an amazing writer, socially capable (I think the frigid shyness and timidity some people have is maybe the greatest stumbling block to finding a suitable partner), have a cool mom who makes dresses (Seriously, that’s great! My mom was a seamstress when she was younger, but I don’t think she could make cool dresses), and you’re a hapa (I’m Korean and white – we halfies are awesome!). Everything’s looking up for you. :)

Celeste says:

Aw, thanks :p I was afraid this post would generate a “keep your head up and ganbare~” type response, but this was quite cute. I’m sure it’ll all work out in the end, baby steps, baby steps!

otou-san says:

Nice post. This served to remind me that, regardless of the near-universal feeling that outcasts of all kinds share on one level or another, it must be particularly difficult to be “different” and also be a girl. Girls more than boys are supposed to be this but not particularly that. Kuragehime makes me think that perhaps Japan and the West are not incredibly different in that way. I do wonder if the idea that “deep down, no one really wants to be alone” (which of course you’re right about) is going to figure into the series, if not be a central theme. Either way, so far I admire it for stepping out of anime’s traditional portrayal of girls, even fujoshi, into a much more sympathetic realm.

Also, your math teacher was kind of a dick.

Celeste says:

Hmm, I kind of rebel against the ‘fujoshi’ label. I don’t feel that I’ve fallen anywhere, rather, I have the foolish notion that even with all my faults I’m better off than alot of girls.

And er.. yeah, refer to my reply on Martin’s comment as to the Math teacher thing? :p

mefloraine says:

/does not start by saying nice post
(But it is.)

It’s interesting, to me, how this happens. Because, as a young girl I loved dresses. My mother made me wear them, and they were fun, I guess. But then one day, no more dresses. I don’t know why, but I suddenly hated them.
And I became the only girl who wore the uniform pants in middle school, even though they were really itchy, because I didn’t want to wear the skirts.

And then I moved in seventh grade and suddenly had to get to know new people. So I wore the uniform skirt and tried mascara for a day. Oh god, it was horrible. I ended up like you, turning to the things I loved for comfort (writing, reading, finally got into anime), and I gave up on those people, caring instead about getting better grades than all of them (without caring) and maybe doing better in high school. I hated all of them. I really did (don’t now though; they helped me be who I am).

But I still wore the skirt.
And I still wear skirts now.

Even though I don’t think they’re very flattering to my stick thin legs, and even though I hate trying to make myself pretty and girly when I really feel like I’m not at all. But I’m not a boy either; I don’t feel like a boy. I just want to be neutral.

I think that, somewhere inside, we still want to fit in. We have to want to fit in, or we wouldn’t do what we do. I didn’t bother trying to be anything more than nerdy in high school, and I have friends I adore because of it. They’re mostly male, but that’s alright. And it’s like…if I’d kept fighting forever, would I be even half as happy as I am now? Or if I’d tried to conform completely? No way.

I feel like there just has to be a happy medium somewhere, and instead of rejecting everything from skirts to males, the Kuragehime girls, and us, as girls, should find a happy medium. Because living life all by yourself hurts. Living without friends to turn to hurts. And even if you have to make some small sacrifices to get there, isn’t that better than the suffering?

I don’t know; I sort of have a problem with those Kuragehime girls. They don’t try to help themselves. I know how they feel; I really do. But they’re older than I am; shouldn’t they move on? Shouldn’t they try to break from that shell they’ve all hidden behind?

Giving up has never worked for me. I just don’t like seeing it in these girls too. They’re fun; they’re kind, and in different ways, they’re beautiful. Looking at it makes me sad.

By the way, your math teacher’s a dick.
Who does that?

And you are awesome. Just in general.

(Sorry for such a long comment, and er, a lot of it being about me, omgosh, fffffff.)

Celeste says:

I–i- I was wating for a girl to comment ;_______; But now that you have, I don’t even know where to start~

Everything from “And I gave up on those people, caring instead about getting better grades than all of them (without caring) and maybe doing better in high school. I hated all of them. I really did (don’t now though; they helped me be who I am)…”

to

“… I just want to be neutral.” I am in 100% agreement and understanding on.

I know what you mean about a happy medium. I mean, I’m wearing a dress as I type this, but I’m definitely not a “girly girl”. I don’t want to fawn over guys. I don’t want to have to change the way I deal with my male friends to satisfy a romantic intrest’s ego; nor do I want all my thoughts to be focused on one person. If anything, I feel more feminine with boyishly short hair than I ever did with longer hair; and I leave the house with no makeup on all the time.

I know what you mean about the idea that the Kuragehime girls have ‘given up’ in a sense; but I think you can agree we’ve all given up on ourselves at some point, especially when we fail to reach the ideals set out for us by society – particularly ones related to ‘princessy’ femininity; those are impossible. I think the thing that I like about Kuragehime, however, is the acknowledgment that life goes on, irreverent of how you feel about yourself. You can give up on being a princess, but you’re still going to wake up the next morning; you can’t avoid that. They’re getting by in their own way, I guess.

You’re pretty awesome too <3

Long comments are good!

mefloraine says:

I’m glad I commented then~ Wasn’t sure where to start my comment, so I almost gave up. ;w;

“I don’t want to fawn over guys.”
Oh god, never. Aside from how disgusting it is to watch others to it, I feel like it would be totally demeaning to do so myself. Boys are nice, but eh. Not worth going insane, right?

“I don’t want to have to change the way I deal with my male friends to satisfy a romantic intrest’s ego; nor do I want all my thoughts to be focused on one person. ”
Also true. I think it would be suffocating to do otherwise, too. And unhealthy relationship, etc! For girls and boys alike.

And I pretty much never wear makeup. Only to hide pimples and for special events. Because no one wants to see pimples, ugh.

And yeah, I know what you mean. On one hand, I want to see these girls change a little, break out, try to learn how society can work with them and their habits. On the other, I want to see them stay right there and be themselves the way they want to be, and I want to see that work too.
Ahh, this show. No matter what it does, I think I’ll love it regardless, and that’s beautiful too.

You’re more! Almost typed moe. orz

Martin says:

You’re a braver soul than me for setting out so many incidents in your life that were clearly difficult at the time and have stayed with you in the back of your mind ever since…heaven knows I couldn’t do that, so thanks for sharing them. Is there an answer to any of those questions? I don’t know either! High school seems to have a worryingly large proportions of bitches/arseholes wherever you are in the world it seems, although I will agree that the maths teacher was indeed a dick. I know teachers are ordinary people (for better or for worse!) but I would’ve thought a prerequisite of the job would be a higher level of sensitive and tactfulness than the person wouldn’t otherwise show outside of work. Not sure why he thought it was appropriate to say something like that…one of those “WTF?” moments really.

Ever finding yourself thinking “hey, I’m supposed to be an adult…so why do I still not understand so many things about life I expected to understand as I grew up?” Er, yeah. Sorry I can’t think of much else to say. Really grateful that you wrote such an open and honest post anyhow.

Celeste says:

I really didn’t want to share any of these things. But I did want to write about Kuragehime, and I figured they were going to come out anyways if I did that, so…

It was really just a surreal moment with my math teacher, really (maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned his last name.. thank god I omitted his first.) I was really quite tired so I’d left the ballroom for some air, and was just.. thinking and he floated on over. The only way I can describe it is surreal, and a bit disconnected.

dengar says:

I’ll echo Charles above (even though you knew already that people would say this:)) and say that life for the “not-popular” people gets better as time goes on. For whatever reason the popular people tend to fall by the wayside, either because their paths lead them into different professions or we choose not to hang out with them. That leaves people who are more like us, who it is easier for us to relate to. So I’m gonna agree with your friend, I think you’ll find someone who really cares for you.

Peter S says:

I was adding some superficial thoughts, but erased them. I don’t have anything to add, except …

I hate it that a person’s fascination with something cuts them off from the rest of society. I hate it that pretty people get a better hand in society. I hate it when I’m judged for these reasons. I also hate it that I’ve judged others for these reasons.

Oh, and your math teacher was an asshole.

Lisa says:

Ah, I don’t know where to start. This is an incredibly moving and honest post.

I’m 26, still as much an otaku as ever (though tempered by my real world obligations), and my childhood up to college is very much like yours was. I never cared about my hair or makeup or what I wore or how I looked; I was too busy studying and working hard, and being a fujoshi in my scant free time. Though I never had anyone say something as asshole-ish as your math teacher did. My god.

I guess I did change at some point though. I blame some of my fellow otaku friends who got me interested in cosplay late in high school, which I will actually say was a positive for my self image–after seeing so many images of yourself, you start seeing things that you can easily improve, like your posture, or what looks good on you, or the difference make-up can actually make. Basically, what can be done to make yourself look your best (so Kuranosuke’s determination did make me grin out of nostalgia.) Then when I was in college, I was in my own sort of ‘nunnery’; the simplest way of saying it was that I joined a nerd fraternity that had its own floor in one of the dorms, and in the years I was in it my roommate became my best friend and nerd soul-sister. But to my shock, somehow between the two of us we were suddenly the most girly and fashionable people in the immediate vicinity, at least partially thanks to my interest in cosplay (though on a daily basis I still never bothered with makeup or hairystyling or much beyond jeans, sneakers and a t-shirt). We were the go-to-girls for makeup and dresses before charity balls or any sort of dressy event; and amusingly enough, and this feels like something out of an anime, when there was a drag contest for charity, it was us the boys in our fraternity came to to get makeovers. Life can sure take strange turns; I guess you just have to embrace it when it comes.

As to the end of my story for now…I myself never did become a Normal Girl, but I’m a definitely a happy woman, with a fulfilling and fun life with great friends who I can really connect with, even if some of them live far away (not that that matters much with texting and the internet!). I’m also not normal in that I’m happily single; I think the last time I had anything close to a boyfriend was a few years ago, but between my work (I’m a medical student) and inherent stress of relationships, I just don’t care for enough to work at it and so don’t pursue it. As otaku as it sounds, in the end I’m still naturally very introverted despite having learned to be good socially as a matter of survival, and still prefer a solitary fujoshi life, hanging out with my friends and fellow nerds on the occasions when I want company. They’re the most fun to be with since they understand me the most. In a weird turn of events, I may even have become stylish; having to dress nicely for work forced me to update my wardrobe, and though I’m certainly not the princess type and think I would look ridiculous in frills (I’m also 5’7″ and mixed, coincidentally enough!), I find that I’m in love with cute professional outfits and that they suit me very well (if you’ll excuse the pun). Now I’M starting to feel cheesy, but I definitely believe every girl has it in them to become a princess; or really, whatever they want to become. I also believe that there are people out there who understand; it just may take awhile to find them, which makes it even more special when you do.

Anyway, thanks so much for telling your story, and sorry for boring you with mine! You have excellent insight into yourself, and you’re still young; I’m sure you’ll be fine. For now, I definitely want to cheer on the ladies of Kuragehime with you; I see a lot of myself in them as well. *high five*

Hana says:

Sorry I’m late to this, but thanks for such a generous and moving post on this show and for sharing so much of yourself while writing it, which has clearly had a large impact on so many of us. I’ll try not to repeat what others have already said far better and more concisely than I ever could lol, but I’ll just add that, re: what you say about wishing that you couldn’t relate to it so much, this is probably one of the show’s strengths. As I think others have said elsewhere, the show is great at presenting and developing its main characters in a realist way, with Tsukimi’s particular situation just as engaging as it is realistc/complex. Like so many of us girls, and boys as well I imagine, who were far from the cutest/ most popular/ most confident while growing up, the way that the nuns close themselves off and yet seek comfort from each other as a group makes absolute sense, both as a way of protecting themselves from the harsh gaze of the outside world and from the threat of loneliness. To focus more on Tsukimi specifically, her insecurity and longing to connect with others is what really gets me and is the heart and soul of the show, and yet her longing to just be like a solitary, drifting jellyfish incapable of being hurt by others is just as understandable.

In short, I love the show too, and I loved this post in particular because of the honesty and the detail that you go into, and also perhaps due to the fact that you don’t try and give or invite simple solutions to the issues that you raise. Saying that, I do believe in the ‘things get better’ thing, but I respect the fact that sometimes there are more questions than answers when it comes to dealing with such issues, but I also love how blogging can help to share and ease the various and fluid worries that we all go through…

Ok, I’d better stop because I’m not sure that I’m making much sense anymore, lol. but one last thing: swap your hand-made dresses with dresses, nay frocks, made of the most garish, ruffly and shiniest material imaginable up until I was about 12 and you have some idea of what I looked like at every function and ‘own clothes day’ at school and the equally shiny (from embrassment) face I had while wearing them. Fashions and self-perceptions, eh!

hifastius says:

so ..you’re a girl?
I always thought you were a slightly weird guy, :)
probably my not following anime blogs much probably added to it, but I never got the impression, hmm

hifastius says:

ok my bad, that didn’t come out as I intended, so here’s the second go: you always seemed sort of girly, but I always assumed you were male.

Celeste says:

There are three authors for this site as of May 2010. Bateszi, the founder(?) of the blog is male. Dengar, who joined in June 2010 iirc is also male. I joined in May 2010 and am female.

Chrisae says:

I love this post so much. While I did not have the same circumstances and situations as you did growing up, I found them highly relate-able and similar. In my middle school years, I found myself loudly rejected from a group of people that I wanted to be friends with and that has scarred me to this day. I know I have ran away from reality many times before but none as much as when I went to a large college last year. I felt socially rejected for being so shy and fell deep into manga and anime sometimes I would stay in my dorm room for days on end. In the end, I made a scared and lazy decision by dropping out and returning home the next semester. Although I know it was a bad decision, it made me closer to my family and pulled me out of the hole I furiously dug. As it so happens, I watched Kuragehime when I attended the college but I failed to see the parallels between myself and the cast. But I remembered it made me so happy to watch it every week. Especially the lyrics of the OP.

By the way, I believe Kuragehime is a gentle push contrasted with Welcome to the NHK’s harsh shove. I’d suggest if you really want to get through to an anime fan that is having extreme social anxiety have them watch Welcome to the NHK first to address all the darker parts, then Kuragehime as a healing therapy afterwords.

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