After hanging out around here for probably too long, and continuing to watch anime, etc., there are a number of pieces of cultural media, fora, and movements that appear to be coalescing together into the same idea that I wanted to point out. In particular, I've been looking at:
- This forum
- "Herbivore men" in Japan
- "Aroace" in certain Western circles
- The fo xi or Tang ping or "Lying Flat" movement in China
- The "Sampo Generation" in South Korea
- Kobayashi's Dragon Maid
- Isekai genre -> Iyashikei genre
I'm going to start with the latter items first, because there's an interesting aspect of the Isekai genre that I don't think is noted upon, and is easier for me to note when I point out the Kobayashi franchise. Kobayashi _could_ exercise extreme amounts of power, and accumulate a lot more than she has. E.g., at any point she could've asked Tohru for a shitton of gold or to start conquering shit for her. However, she recognizes the problems in doing so, and she doesn't want to. And this also seems to be a theme in a lot of the isekai genre. E.g., that "I maxed out my level" show. She _could_ conquer the world if she wanted to, but if anything she wants the exact opposite of that. A lot of the time, Isekai characters tend to be OP Mary Sues that don't end up being Mary Sues because they refuse to use the full extent of their abilities. They're characters that want to be left alone, and just want to be able to enjoy life, ffs. In this way, a lot of the Isekai genre appear to be Iyashikei in disguise. YKK is a classic Iyashikei anime where although the mc might not be all-powerful, she shares a lot of the same goals and aspirations, and she definitely has the ability to be a lot wealthier; but her desires are much less than this. All she wants is an idyllic life.
A lot of the generational movements I've listed above have the same themes. Yeah, you _could_ work a lot more, climb corporate ladders, conquer, etc.. But why would you do that when you realize that what you want is so much less than what those lifestyles offer? Marriage and kids? For what? Should one be a STEM meme degree holder earning $100k/y in a city with $90k costs and a debt of hundreds of thousands, or a wagie getting $20k/y in Bumfuck, Iowa with $10k costs and no debt (please understand I'm exaggerating the memes a bit for humor's sake)? They all point out the trappings of life with no bePost too long. Click here to view the full text.