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You can call me The Mask. In some sites, I'm also known as Detective Mask. I was born on April 12, 1990, making me 25 years old as of this time. I've been a theOtaku member for over 10 years already.

I'm a wandering teacher striving to enhance my skills. I'm also a longtime anime fan, and my all-time favorite anime/manga franchises include Detective Conan (Case Closed), MAJOR, Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X), Silver Spoon, and Death Note.

Some other notes: I'm a loyal Detective Conan fan for over a decade already. I'm also a pro-wrestling otaku, mainly with WWE. I love learning about history and I have a soft spot for social psychology.

It's great to have you in my Cafe. Feel free to browse around. Take care and may you have a nice day!

I'm Featured!

So I got a pleasant surprise today. My Case Closed eCard got featured in the main page of the site today.

I never thought that would happen, considering that this was intended to be a submission for a Beatles eCard challenge.

But I have to admit, I myself liked this card. It feels warm and the background really gives me that 1960s feeling, which is quite appropriate for a Beatles-inspired eCard. Heck, I never thought I'd be able to produce something like this at all.

I hope you enjoy this card too.

Gold Mine!

So I played around with the Wayback Machine to look at old archives of Internet websites. In particular, I browsed on archived pages of the now-defunct Back then, it was a fan site that was privileged to have acquired a domain name that made itself look like the official website for the series. (At present, the fan site itself is closed and the URL now redirects to the FUNimation website for Case Closed).

But going back to the web archive. The site had a section wherein you can send your thoughts and messages to Gosho Aoyama, the creator of the series. Being an avid fan who happened to be a newbie of the Internet at that time, I decided to send my own message in the site, hoping that Mr. Aoyama would be able to read it. When I saw my message posted online, I was delighted like the 12-year-old kid that I was back then.

And now, thanks to the powers of the Wayback Machine, I've managed to recover that message that I posted more than 8 years ago, for everyone to see. And here was that message:

Mon, 24 Mar 2003 19:10:02 -0800

Hello Gosho. I'm Jess from the Philippines and I REALLY like Detective
Conan. I like the story, the cases that you make, and the intelligent
handsome Shinichi Kudou.
Thank you Gosho for creating Detective Conan.

(Source: Gosho Aoyama - (April 1, 2003 archive))

Admittedly, it was simple. But hey, it brought back memories of how much I loved the series as a young teenager fresh out of puberty. And it just reminded me how much I admired Shinichi for being intelligent and handsome and how I wanted to be like him. I believe I've accomplished the intelligent part; not sure if I've accomplished the handsome part.

As to whether Mr. Aoyama did get to read it, I don't really know. After all, it was in the English language and this wasn't actually an official website. It would be cool if he actually got to read it. Or who knows, he might be reading it here now. But that would mean he's read the other stuff in this World. Gasp!

Ah, good times. Now, I gotta catch up on the series!

A Decade of Conan

I've been wanting to write this months ago, but I didn't seem to have the time to do it then. Before this year ends, I wanted to make sure that this post is written down.

All of you probably know by now that I am a Detective Conan fan. The question is when I became a fan. Well, it all began in 2001, when I was first saw the anime series in a local TV network in the country. Though it didn't actually impress me at first, I eventually started to like the show, particularly its plot, and grow into a huge fan of the series. That's why when they pulled the plug on Conan during that year, I was disappointed and I hoped that I would be able to see it again soon.

Luckily for me, they brought it back a year or so later. And a few years later, I also learned how to use the Internet, which allowed me to enjoy and express my fandom even further.

I actually gave much detail about my Detective Conan fandom in a lot of my previous fanwords, most notably Why I Admire Conan. So let's fast forward to why I'm posting this now.

As you may have noticed already, it's 2011, and just a few days left before it becomes 2012. This means that I have been a Detective Conan fan for 10 years already. Let me repeat that: TEN YEARS!

This is one reason why this year is special for me. This year marked a decade of my Detective Conan fandom, which is a really significant anniversary for me. And looking back, I'm often amazed at how things have evolved. Just ten years ago, I was an 11-year-old uninspired elementary student who eventually found a new inspiration through this anime series. Now, I'm a 21-year-old psychology graduate with a noble desire to be a teacher soon, while having the most absurd desire of running for President decades from now. And, interestingly enough, these goals and desires of mine was partly thanks to Conan.

If it weren't for Conan, I couldn't imagine what I would have become today. I probably wouldn't have been a psychology graduate, since that was partly motivated by Conan. I wouldn't have enjoyed doing research, which I got from Conan's resourcefulness. I wouldn't have aspired to be a teacher, which was inspired by my desire to impart what I know to others. When I look at today's youth, I don't see a human being incapable of reason; I see individuals who each have the capability to be like Conan/Shinichi, and this becomes my motivation to be a good teacher to them.

If there's one thing that I really need to do at this point, it's to catch up with the series. Seriously, I'm way behind the plot of the series. New characters have emerged and new twists have taken place. And considering that there's over 500 episodes of the series and over 70 manga volumes, I still have a lot to watch or read on.

At this point, I'm just happy that it's been 10 years already. Ten years of being a fan of the Detective Conan franchise. Ten years of having Conan/Shinichi as the imaginary friend and brother that I never had. Ten years of having Conan as a significant inspiration in my life, along with my other inspirations.

Thanks for everything, Conan. I hope that this continues as we approach a new year.

HIStory: Detective Conan (A Song Tribute)

Ever since Gosho Aoyama introduced Detective Conan in 1994, the series has gone on to become one of the longest-running and internationally successful manga and anime series in modern times. With more than a decade of presence in almost every form...

Read the full post »

Why I Admire Conan

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This was my response to Miss Anonymous' challenge on The Watercooler. Since I can't help but be proud of how well the essay turned out to be, I decided to make this a fanword. I hope the fandomness doesn't bother you.

It's a no-brainer that my most favorite anime character is Conan Edogawa from the Detective Conan series. (If you prefer to say Case Closed, then be my guest.) From my anime articles that I've posted here in theOtaku to the several references I have made about him, it seems pretty obvious who is the anime character that I love most.

Now comes the question "Why?". Well, allow me to go back to the year 2001, when the series first aired in my country. During that period, I was an 11-year-old geek in my school. I had moments when I felt gloomy and depressed, particularly due to the current events in my society, such as the Philippine political crisis and the September 11 attacks, as well as a drowning accident in which I was fortunate enough to have been saved.

When I came across the anime series for the first time, I didn't really like it yet since I didn't like to be forced to think while watching a TV show. But as I became more exposed to a few more episodes of the series, I started to have a soft spot for the show. It wasn't until my brother told me the plot of the series and how 6-year-old Conan is actually 17-year-old Shinichi Kudo that I became hooked to the series.

The arrival of Conan brought fresh air in my life and gave me a renewed will to live my life. All my moments of depression have now been gone. Since Conan was a geek like me, I became much more motivated to do well in my school so that I can be like him.

It wasn't long before the TV network pulled the plug on Conan that year. I was very sad to "say goodbye" to the character that gave new meaning in my life. But my admiration for Conan and my love for the series never faded away. Seven years later, I have turned into an 18-year-old student of psychology expecting to graduate from college in a couple of years while continuing to get inspiration from Conan Edogawa and other characters that I have encountered in my life.

So why did I admire Conan? First of all, he was a very smart guy. But it's not only that; he was a very smart guy that was cool. During my early years, I had been a kid who had been spending time studying lessons in school and learning facts about history, government, and politics, which is exceptionally odd considering that I was aiming to be a medical doctor then. When I met Conan, I decided that I wanted to be like him. I became more motivated to learn more and use that knowledge to help inform others, which I believe was what made Conan cool. Some people tend to look down on me for being a geek; Conan taught me that it's okay to be a geek and that I can be cool and smart at the same time. No other character or person for that matter has come close to teaching me that.

Second, he was a brave guy. No matter the circumstances, Conan is still courageous enough to face the bad guys and fight for justice. In my early years, I was what many people consider a "crybaby" since I tend to cry a lot and be easily hurt. Since I was a boy, many people expect me to be more brave, which I didn't get to be right away. When Conan came, it inspired me to be more courageous and to be brave in facing what I may possibly face in my life. He gave me confidence in myself and determination to accomplish my goals. He also helped convince me to be more careful in myself and to plan things carefully before executing actions.

Third, he was a resourceful guy. In many instances, he has shown ways to solve problems using the resources that he has with him. That helped lead me to be more resourceful with the things around me. As a result, I was able to improvise on a lot of things, mostly on crafts and in using the computer. It proved to be very useful for me, since I had now grown up to be a slightly budget-conscious kind of guy.

Fourth, he was a very fit guy. All throughout my life, I had been a chubby boy. When I saw him, I made it a point to lose some of my excess weight so that I can be like him. However, I never really became as fit as Conan and I am still a bit overweight. Still, I can say that I don't look as fat as I used to be. And I'm still happy for that. Also, the fact that he has been very active in soccer inspired me to be active in some physical activity. That activity would turn out to be walking, and I have been proud to say that I can walk faster than many people.

Fifth, he was the character that helped make me more appreciative of anime. When the anime revolution exploded in 1999, I wasn't as excited as a lot of kids were about it, and so I didn't really become an anime fan right away. It was through him that I liked anime more, and has thus led me to admire more anime characters and have my life be positively influenced by these series.

Sixth, he was a man of goodness. He was on the side of justice and truth. His dedication to what is right inspired me to do good in my life and to be a responsible member of my society. Yes, he has his share of mischiefs, and I also have some of my own mischiefs. But ultimately, he is on the side of good and I am with him on that side.

Seventh, he was a guy that I would have wanted as my friend or my older brother. Maybe because I never had an elder sibling that I really feel like having a cool, smart, and good guy like him as my brother, or at least his friend. I could almost relate to him that I consider him as the best friend I never had or the best big brother I never had.

I probably haven't shared everything that I love about Conan. I write this piece with so much passion that I always feel like there's something missing. Nevertheless, Conan Edogawa has been my most favorite character in my whole life. I admire him so much that I bought the Detective Conan Happy Meals, resisted the bootlegged DVDs of the series, and proudly sported a 270-grade eyeglasses for my nearsighted vision. My intelligence, my goodness, I owe much of it to Conan.

Conan Edogawa was my childhood and teenage hero, and he is still my hero up to this day. Conan is an indispensable part of my life. Without him, I could not imagine my life to be even more brighter.

Arigato gozaimasu, Conan-kun.