S A T I R E – A N I M E
We have just received a news that a fifteen-year-old by the name of Labib was admitted into Dhaka Medical College Hospital last night by concerned parents after he had a sudden epileptic fit and collapsed. Upon examination, the doctors concluded that Labib had received some form of severe emotional trauma that left him partially immobilised. The parents immediately deduced that he must have had a break-up with his girlfriend and were prepared to grill him.
However, when he regained consciousness at around seven in the morning and came face-to-face with his greatly enraged parents, he explained that his abrupt bout of depression had not been caused by any break-ups, but rather due to stumbling upon some negative reviews of what he considered to be the greatest anime of all time — Demon Slayer.
Just a week prior to this incident, Labib had proudly worn the badge of an anime virgin. Despite his friends constantly pushing him to watch what he termed as “childish Japanese cartoons”, he never gave in. However, last Monday when some silly junior had the audacity to say that Labib was “just not cool enough to understand the appeal or the aesthetics of the art that is anime”, it struck a wrong chord with our proud teen, and he decided to pick up Demon Slayer — the thing that his best friend, a self-proclaimed connoisseur of anime, had been urging him to watch all year.
That very day, upon getting home, he browsed some pirated anime websites before finally choosing one that looked the flashiest and had the most number of provocatively dressed RPG characters in the peripherals, and settled in to binge watch the entire show. By seven in the evening, Labib was positively impressed. Nine pm saw him hooked to the series. By eleven, he was holding his tablet so close to his face that the two were physically indistinguishable. By the time the first cock crowed, Labib had concluded that Demon Slayer must be God’s blessing on Earth and Nezuko must be His messiah.
The fluid animation style and the over-the-top action sequences were so pleasing to him, Labib deemed them as being nothing short of ambrosia for the eyes. The gorgeous water and fire movements left him with pure orgasmic bliss and, though he did not understand or even wish to understand what the odd-but-pleasing instrumental pieces that perfectly synced with the action were, he was so mesmerised by the music that he immediately downloaded the whole soundtrack on his iPod.
Every time Zenitsu yelled (which was practically every time he opened his mouth) or cowered in fear, or whenever the wandering trio had one of their slapstick routines, Labib let out just a mirthful and loud laughter that he nearly woke his whole household from their deep slumber! Not to mention, the awe-inspiring, original storyline and the intrinsic focus of the show on family and humaneness, inundated him with such intense emotions that Labib could say little other than let out a few whimpers while weeping over the sorrows of Tanjiro and Nezuko. And oh, Nezuko-chan! For a maiden of such unprecedented cuteness and goodness of heart to suffer so greatly had to be criminal! There were more than a few times when Labib simply wanted to reach into the screen, pat Nezuko on the head and tell her that everything will be alright.
After finishing the entire series the following evening, he found out that a new movie had just come out and the internet pundits were exclaiming that it had overtaken the highest-grossing anime movie of all time — something called Spirited Away, whatever that was. Labib, satisfied that this proclamation aligned with his god-like view of the series, decided to watch the movie too. By the time, the end credits of Demon Slayer the Movie: Mugen Train rolled around, Labib was convinced that the beauty of this masterpiece was unparalleled.
So, he did what any teenager does when they like something they have just watched — he tweeted out his thoughts. Immediately, his comments section became flooded with people saying how he had trash taste in anime, along with the junior who had previously insulted him dealing the harshest blows. Labib was perplexed and furious at these comments. A number of them had linked him to the reviews on some website called MAL. In a fit of rage, he read through each and every one of the reviews.
To Labib, the reviews were clearly written by pretentious douches who just wanted to show off their knowledge. Most of them went along the lines of: “Stupidly overrated. Admittedly, has impeccable art-style and animation but that is to be expected from any Ufotable show. Above average opening and music that appeals to traditionalists. Lacks originality in themes and story. Full of plot-holes and run-of-the-mill characters that are just meant to juice emotions out of watchers without having to work for it. Perfect for shounen hype riders who prefer style over substance. A decently enjoyable watch but sub-par at best.”
Even all this he could tolerate. However, Labib’s rage hit the roof when he came across insulting comments about Nezuko-chan. One of them even went so far as to say that Nezuko was just a driving point for the plot and had little individuality apart from being kawaii!
What really sealed the deal for Labib’s descent into a full blown mental crisis was a video by some commonplace Youtuber by the name of Gigguk. Resigned that he was going to find no assurance in MAL, he had seeked refuge in his most trusted companion — Youtube. But within the first fifteen seconds of the first video that was recommended to him when he searched “demon slayer opinion”, this Gigguk guy stated that Demon Slayer is “an anime about a guy who has a really cute little sister”. The humiliation of this statement, of Demon Slayer being reduced to nothing but this materialistic image, was too much for our teen. He had a violent fit and lost consciousness.
We believe that this incident serves as a warning for all the youngsters who prefer to be immersed in social media and misshapen cartoons that have no resemblance to reality or real world problems than to participate in healthy activities. It also demostrates how peer pressure and a need to overcome social impotence to become “cool” can adversely affect a person’s mentality. We hope our coverage of Labib’s case opens teenagers’ eyes and helps bring them on the right path.
The writer is a part of TDA Editorial Team.