Why anime scares me a little, or the serial killer German student

I like comics and graphic novels in general, but something about anime, whether it be in book form or animation, just gives me the shivers and makes me think of overweight, greasy-ponytail wearing men in their late forties. For some reason. On the other hand, when I get past that, there is of course the amazing cosplay and also epic stories and pretty cool art.

But something makes my brain automatically flash “Weirdo alert!” whenever I see someone reading an anime comic or watching a film. I pondered for many a day over what exactly caused this rooted discrimination within me, and I think I have finally found the source.

Throughout my past, I have stitched together certain books, music or films with events in my life. For example, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke always makes me think of autumn, and my uncle leaving to go home to Nepal. Doctor Who always makes me think of my friend Liam, Pride and Prejudice of my friend Uli, and the song Kids in America by Kim Wilde makes me think of Jimmy Neutron, and being small.The Gladiator and Russell Crowe makes me think (rather oddly) of Christmas, since I vividly remember watching that film one Christmas night.

Last year, I went to stay in Germany with my German class. I was assigned a rather odd girl, who used to stand under trees sniffing leaves. Seeing as I have a little brother with autism, I feverishly started watching her behaviour to see if she might be on the autistic spectrum.

After having her return to my house, I think it’s fair to say she had serious psychotic issues. Everything that happened was someone else’s fault. She never seemed to feel embarrassed when caught rifling through my things, and had a seriously strong sense of self preservation, and said to my question whether she was lonely, “I don’t need friends. They cannot keep up to me.”

One thing she did while I was there was take her parents credit card and spend €150 on anime books. Then did the same again the next day. And thought they wouldn’t find out. I was forced to sit through an obscure anime film in German (which I’m not very good at, I’m doing French instead) while everyone else in the group went to a barbecue.

I feel at ease now that I know where my deep seated indignation of anime comes from, but I’d feel even better if I knew how to fix it, and untangle it from the memories of the girl who may one day be a serial killer.

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