SPECIFIED: An Undercover Report from Muggle World
SPECIFIED: An Undercover Report from Muggle World
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  • 승인 2019.09.05 19:23
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▲Jin Se-young (Mueunjae 18)
▲Jin Se-young (Mueunjae 18)


A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… There was a little kid who studied English for 16 hours straight almost every day. You may think that the kid is a genius, but you are way off base. Actually, the kid is me. I will tell you a secret. I was highly absorbed in the animation ‘Bing Bang Boom’, made for learning English. The truth of the mystery is simple. I just loved watching animated features a lot. My parents were concerned, so they threw the video tapes away. It was a bad ending for me, but one thing is sure: They succeeded in stopping me watching it, but they failed to change my true color. Natural-born otaku, that is me.

Otaku is a person who is obsessed with Japanese subculture. But the term was expanded, so it is used to call an enthusiast of a certain field. I love anime, manga, cartoons, graphic novels, voice actors, singing synthesis software ‘vocaloid’, SF movies, dramas, animated films, J-ROCK bands, J-POP singers, J-POP and K-POP idols, K-dramas, and so on. Especially, I am a huge fan of ‘Star Wars’, media mix project ‘Bang Dream’, and vocaloid ‘Kagamine Rin’. I am definitely an otaku in any sense, in either a narrow or a broad term.

Life as an Otaku is not easy, because most average people cannot understand and sometimes undervalue the concept of otaku. So, Otaku people usually hide their enthusiasm and pretend they are an ordinary species. Indeed, they gather in a safe house and reveal their real nature secretly. Think of the wizards in the ‘Harry Potter’ series. Muggles, who do not have any magical power, do not know of the wonderful wizard world. That is because wizards hide themselves, like otaku people. This similarity has made otaku groups call a normal person a  ‘muggle’.

As a typical Otaku, I went undercover in the muggle world. A lesson I learned in my 20-year life is “Concealing is much easier than explaining.”. Otaku have otaku-radar to seek their colleagues, so I had a lot of Otaku friends in school. I was not lonely. However, I was sick of disguising myself, so I dreamed a dream to enter a university that focused on the STEM fields. I thought most students in there were otaku, due to the drama ‘Big Bang Theory’. After admission, I realized it was just a dream. I was still hiding myself in POSTECH. People asked me what kind of game do I play. I could not tell them I was into an anime music game ‘BanG Dream! Girls Band Party!’ I just said “I am playing a rhythm game similar to Tap Sonic.” I was embarrassed, and decided not to answer it next time.

I was celebrating having passed the general chemistry course in the Log Cabin with a professor. He asked me what club I joined. I was afraid to answer because I was in what is called an ‘Otaku’ club. But there was nowhere to hide, so I told him the truth. The reaction was different from what I expected. “I knew you would join that kind of club, because you were such a nerd in class. You are “nerdy”, aren’t you?”, he said. He added that being nerdy is not a bad thing. I chewed it over and over. “I am not good at going undercover. I am not a criminal on a charge of being nerdy. Why should I pretend I am an awkward, incomplete muggle?”

So, this is my first and last report as an undercover. Now, I am confident to show myself in my true colors. I decorate my dormitory room with my favorite character goods. I upload nerdy pictures on Facebook. I do not intend to talk about otaku topics, but I do not evade them either. I am planning to do a cosplay in the upcoming Halloween party. I am proud. Like Elsa told everyone “Let it go.” I don’t care what others are going to say. Listen, muggles. I am just a stereotypical Otaku, so deal with it. One thing is simple. I have nothing to prove to you. And you do not have to either. / #PrayForKyoani