In the midst of befriending a Japanese local the other day, he asked if it was okay to look me up on Facebook. I gave him permission, and he had a look through it, reading my name aloud. However, he suddenly came to a stop and said, in a puzzled tone, “Why is ‘Yoshitake’ listed as your nickname?”
A few years back, while hanging out with a few friends I discovered an anime called “Daily Lives of High School Boys”. We had been so amused by the clip of the show we saw on Youtube that we assigned names to each other based on the character’s personalities. (It’s a thing we do. Depending on who you ask I have been assigned several people from multiple shows, from Hamilton’s portrayal of George Washington to Cid Highwind from FF7… Long stories, all of them.)
Anyhow, as a joke all of us had changed our Facebook nicknames to those character’s names.
It has been at least three years since I last thought of that anime, and if you asked I couldn’t even tell you what Yoshitake did that struck a chord with me. (Something about how awkwardly dramatic he tries to be? Or simply because he too is blonde?) But there I was, forced to explain an in-joke while hoping this new friend wouldn’t take offense.
Fortunately, he didn’t. In fact, his eyes lit up once I mentioned it was from an anime. “You like anime, then?” he asked.
“Yeah, I guess.”
He smiled. “Ah, Stefanie, you needn’t explain further. It’s perfectly fine.” He nodded knowingly. “All Japanese people are otaku, you see, so you’re in good company.”