There must have been the last time I watched an episode of Gundam 00 when I was in High School. And as trivial as this may sound (as with many of my other posts), there will be a last time that you do or consume anything in your life, whether you are aware of it or not. There will be a last time your mother holds you and sends you to bed. There will be the last handball game that you ever play with Bobby who lives next door to you. There will be a last time you complain about that maths quiz, or that bad teacher, or university work or anything that ever goes on after that. And at least in my case, 99% of the time I was not aware or even appreciative of The Final Time.
Which brings me back to cartoons. I can say for sure that when I first watched that half hour episode of moving images, I was not aware of the ages I would spend consuming it in front of a computer screen, analysing every frame and drawing some level of lesson or fable out of it. I cannot count how much anime I have watched, but just from recollection I have seen all 390 episodes of the Original Naturo series, almost 500 episodes of the Prince of Tennis, as well as countless other 26 or 52 part series ranigng from Zoids to Digimon. At the time, I remember having mixed feelings about the hours spent and all. My parents disliked my flippant disregard to use time productively, and I generally felt like it was a way to wash over procrastination and shirk my responsibiliites. But looking back now, I remember a quote a good friend WL directed me to:
“Time you enjoy wasting isn’t really time wasting”.
I was thinking about this one day. The day after, I made the concious decision to volunteer for SMASH, (The Sydney Manga and Anime SHow) 2015 in the role as Assistant to Vice President. This event was something I always wanted to truly experience. Why, I was the master in all 9 jiujitsu form requisites, knew all the Snake shots and Tezuka spin techniques one could theoretically do with his racquet, why wouldn’t I fit in with the cosplay crowd?
Sadly, running up to the event felt like I was a headless chook on a pasteur akin to Animal Farm. Organisational aspects were missing, entire sections of the venue were barred from use, our volunteers were scattered all over the place and what help I could offer was not taken advantage of from the VIce President. (VP you are an amazing person btw, if you’re reading this do not take this personally~). I felt like this went on for months and months, But something happened on day which I still cannot really explain. The day turned out to be an enormous success. Almost 15,000 patrons attended, bringing along with them their costumes and passions in the love for anime, games, and I saw everything that we prepared for run like clockwork. And then the nostolgia hit. Talking to my friends while playing tennis on which character we were going to play. Drawing pokemon characters in class in our own twisted version of “Who’s that Pokemon?’
This feeling was similar to my experience at Supanova, another pop-cuture convention held with a distinctly stronger American slant. Supanova however, is a convention I will not likely return to the in near future.
When all is said and done, I do not think that my inner child will ever really go away. That said, a lot of him has been replaced with new interests. With this final foray at SMASH, I’m happy to leave this chapter behind and look back on it with smiling nostalgia.