Death Notes…or “Those Damn Otaku”

“Death Note” is the name of a suspense manga series that was been adapted into a pair of live-action films. I learned from San Japan’s website that a special showing of “Death Note II” was scheduled for tonight at a local movie theater. I saw Metropolis on the big screen a few years back and enjoyed it immensely, returning for a second viewing the next week.

I am something of a casual anime and manga fan; I have a sprinkling of anime in my DVD collection, and a few manga sitting among the comic books. I went to the San Japan anime con a few months ago and except for the heat and crappy parking, I enjoyed myself. I was overjoyed to recently see Robot Carnival again for the first time in about twenty years, and think that our friends in Japan make some pretty cool stuff.

I figured, why not watch a live-action suspense film from the Land of The Rising Sun? While I’m not a big fan of the genre, I figured it would be a good way to burn a Thursday evening usually spent playing Rock Band (sorry, RavynX).

So I hopped into the Reliant and headed out to the theater across town, stopping for a quick burger on the way. I was surprised to see the price for the movie was $10, but hey, its a limited engagement and I don’t go to the movies very often, so why not? Of course, for all I know all movies are $10 here in San Antonio now…

Watching the movie, I learned why it was a limited engagement. While there was an interesting story at it core, it had a “Godzilla” quality to it that made it unintentionally funny. I may track down the anime or the manga to get a better idea of how the story should be told.

The experience itself was also ruined by a portion of the audience (the aforementioned otaku) many of whom insisted on making loud snarky comments throughout the movie and laughing and ooh-ing and aah-ing very loudly at certain points. It was like being at a kids’ movie; actually it was worse, considering there weren’t many kids in the audience. It was funny for about the first 10 minutes, but grated on me as it continued. If this was supposed to be something like watching the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” it should have been advertised as such. I paid to watch a movie, not Amateur Night at the Otaku Comedy Club.

Ironically, those who were looking forward to the movie the most ruined it for everyone else. More events like are needed to expose people to anime and manga and Japanese media, but I can’t see anyone ‘on the fence’ wanting to be associated with the otaku after sitting through their poor behavior tonight. I certainly would not want to be labeled as such.

I am still looking forward to future events related to Japanese media, but will think twice the next time Viz decides to come into town.

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