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The Careerless Otaku

In 2002, I graduated with a degree in Computer Science and minors in Math and English. Along with my diploma, I left the safety of university life with hope and a plan. I've always wanted to enter the video game industry, but I knew that there wasn't too much for me here in St. Louis. I wasn't eager to leave my longtime girlfriend, Lauren (now a medical student at St. Louis University), nor did I think it was a good idea just move to California, so I figured I'd find a computer-related job here and get some programming experience. After that, I could enter the industry of my dreams, armed with some real-world knowledge to help me combat the code demons I'd undoubtedly face down the line.

Those fuzzy little code demons never came, however. I've spent the last two years looking for a computer-related career, and I haven't even found the job I was going to use to gain experience for my true calling. At this point, I've almost given up on my dream. I really need to put my programming skills to work before I lose them, and I'd gladly embrace Boeing, SBC Communications, or Busch for a long term career if they'd have me.

So, as all other avenues appear to be blocked, I've decided to turn to anime for inspiration. What would an anime character do in this situation?

If I was the star of Golden Boy, I could just move from job to job, depending on where I felt like working. That seems like a good way to do things, though I'm not sure if I'm bright enough to 1) excel at everything 2) goof up in a way that could ruin the business I work for, and then 3) fix my mistake, make everything even better than before, and cause all of my beautiful coworkers to fall in love with me. Sure, it'd be nice, but there's the problem of relocation, and the lack of a steady income.

Maybe I could find out where a rich family lives (like the Sohmas in Fruits Basket), camp out on their land, and hope that they need a housekeeper who's good at keeping secrets. With anime luck, their family would be mostly female, all cute, and despite individual quirks, nice people to hang around with.

If I was in one of Rumiko Takahashi's comedies, like Ranma 1/2, then I'd probably be engaged. To a duck. Or a cat. Or something even weirder. No, I don't think I'm quite that desperate yet.

I'd love to live a life like Eiikichi Onizuka of GTO fame, and teaching is something that has always appealed to me, but there are a couple of problems there. First of all, if I led the kind of adventurous teaching life that Onizuka displays, I'd probably be dead or in jail. Or both.

Secondly, we've had so many education cuts lately, I doubt I'd get paid more than a newspaper delivery boy. I guess I shouldn't complain about the education cuts. It's the government's way of helping me out, by keeping the kids of tomorrow stupid. Remember, they're my competition! This way, more jobs are being opened up for those of us with a degree. I think the government should legalize drugs for in-school use, too, just to give me a little bit more of an advantage. Eh, on second thought, those education cuts are doing plenty of damage on their own. Drugs can't get your favorite, most inspirational teachers fired, nor can they take away the Japanese language class that made me the anime fan I am today. Oh well, I don't much like drugs, anyway.

Where was I? Ah, right, I can't be a teacher. Perhaps I could become the manager of an all-girl baseball team, like the one seen in Princess Nine. That would be nice, but if we didn't win, it would be pretty sad. I don't know if I could take it.

I'm not going to even mention hentai anime, and don't you DARE come up with stuff on your own, you nasty people you.

I could try to keep the promise I made to that girl so long ago...a promise to get into the prestigious Tokyo University! I can't recall if it was to Naru Narusegawa, that girl from Sakura Diaries, or my pet dog, Tasha, but no matter how you look at it, they're both pretty cute. The girls, I mean. Then again, guys in that sort of anime tend to get hit. A lot. And while they seem to be invincible...I don't want to risk it.

I would make a great gentleman thief, but I think Lupin III covered that pretty well already. You just shouldn't mess with Lupin, no matter how great you think Fujiko may be.

If I had a big enough lab, I could construct my own Eva, but those WETA guys are already ahead of me. However, I can say that if I decided to make a real-life Evangelion unit, I'd leave the damn names the way they were in the original series. It's true, changes like that only offend extreme fans - you know, the type that buys figures, posters, video games, shirts, hats, models, Rei-raising video games...oh wait, that's pretty much every Eva fan, isn't it? Gee, maybe that isn't the hardcore crowd filmmakers should mess with, even if they did help craft the Greatest Trilogy Ever.

If you change Asuka's name, then what's next? Will they make Shinji not incredibly annoying? Are they going to end the film with something that actually makes sense? Will the plot fail to teeter like a drunken three-legged rhino along the line of being mind-numbingly complex or a disjointed nonsensical mess? I wouldn't stand for that, and neither should you! If you're going to make an Eva movie, make it right!

Sigh. Another diversion. Maybe that's why I can't find a job - I'm thinking of other stuff all the time. I think, however, that I have another plan brewing. I'm simply going to stock up on my programming knowledge, make a few tech demos, and keep on reaching for my spot in game development heaven. If I've learned anything from anime (and what good is it if it doesn't teach you life lessons, like South Park?) it's that if you keep trying, you get what you want. Unless you're in Excel Saga, and then you either get flooded, dumped into a pit, or eaten like a Menchi.

Let's hope I'm not in Excel Saga. In any case, I still have that English minor to fall back on - maybe I could write? No, I don't think I've reached that level of insanity yet. Oh. Wait. I guess it's too late for that, eh? Oh well, next month, I promise to have a point! Or maybe I won't. Either way, I'll be back!

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