EUGENE, OR — As summer draws to a close and students are set to return to class next week, a feeling of unease sweeps through the University of Oregon campus. Some of the tension can be attributed to uncertainty over the football team’s chances this year, but another far more dire issue lurks. Indeed, students across nation enrolled in Japanese classes are anxiously dreading ‘that person’.
“Like seriously, he just raises his hand and asks the teacher what her favorite anime is. Like everyone in Japan is obsessed with anime or something,” sophomore Jason Bissel tells Anime Maru. Another student recounts a classmate who constantly makes the “ehhhhhhh?” sound every time something mildly interesting happens.
After several years of experience, the nation’s student body has learned to slump down and stare uncomfortably toward a random corner of the room while ‘that person’ makes a fool of himself and fails to display any basic sense of self-awareness.
According to Professor Isaki Kenji, this phenomenon is not new, but has become more prevalent in recent years. He claims he once had a female student wear a Japanese schoolgirl uniform to lecture on the first day. “I’ll never forget that sight. The skirt barely fit around her waist. The other students could hardly pay attention because she sat in the first row and they didn’t want to look towards the front.”
“Every year, I get a student that keeps asking me if I’ve seen some random anime. We’d be going over vocabulary words for musical instruments and he’d raise his hand, stand up, and ask me if I’ve seen K-ON!. We’d go through dialogue of ordering at a restaurant and he’d ask me if I’ve seen Toriko. What the fuck.”
According to Isaki, most of the time ‘that person’ quickly and mercifully drops out once realizing that Japanese classes are centered around learning an actual language rather than a chance to watch anime and read manga for an hour a day. “Most of the time, we have to deal with the person whose only vocabulary is ‘waifu’, ‘kawaii’, and ‘baka’ for one, maybe two weeks,” Isaki states. But occasionally, they can last years.
“I currently have one student who thinks Japanese class is some kind of game show and yells all dialogue like he is summoning the goddamn dragonballs. He’s on his third year. He told me the other day he was planning on majoring in Japanese,” Isaki tearfully tells Anime Maru.
Isaki reluctantly looked at the clock mounted on the wall and mentioned to our interviewer that he has a lecture to attend to. He then took a drink from a large bottle under his desk before walking toward the door and muttering under his breath, wishing for death’s sweet and dark embrace to take him from this miserable world.