What Would An Otaku Do?
Facebook’s See Your Memories function is a good thing.
Because it just reminded me of a good deed I did last year, on the same day as today. And I want to share it with you all because what I did explains why it is important for the youths of today to read more manga and watch more anime.
Between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., on the 12th of June in 2015, I was leaving the train station in my neighbourhood when I saw a man walking unsteadily in front of me. He appeared to be in an agitated state. I remember seeing him hit a banner hanging outside the station.
Then he got to the taxi stand. A lady passenger was just getting into the waiting taxi when the man dashed forward and slammed the door shut on the lady. As the shocked lady was backing away, he opened the door to the front seat and got in. I did not hear what was being said in the taxi but, based on body language alone, I could see that the taxi driver appeared to be unwilling to pick him as a passenger.
That’s when the attack happened. He punched the driver in the face. The driver got out of the vehicle and I asked him if he wanted to make a police report. I borrowed a mobile phone from one bystander but that proved unnecessary. The taxi driver had his own mobile phone and he called the police himself.
At that time, I chose to stay behind just in case the man got violent again. Because, you know, the driver was really old (late 50s – early 60s) and the young man looked fit enough to hurt an old man. Also, although he appeared to be unsteady on his feet and agitated, both the driver and I could not smell alcohol on him. That led us to assume he was high on drugs. And we told the cops that when they arrived.
So anyway, not much I could say. I witnessed the attack that took place in the taxi. I could attest to the fact that the man appeared to be in an agitated state. That’s that.
When the cops said we could go, the driver was really touched. He offered to buy me dinner and give me a ride home. I refused the dinner but accepted the free ride. Would be impolite to say no. He said people nowadays would probably not want to trouble themselves over strangers or put themselves at risk. I said that’s the trouble with young people nowadays.
They don’t read enough manga or watch enough anime, so concepts like Justice and Courage are not valued among them. But I was (still am!) an otaku. So while I was facing an unstable and violent person, I asked myself this question:
“What would the protagonist of a shounen manga do?”
And my choice became crystal clear. I chose to stay behind and offer my assistance to the taxi driver. Because that’s exactly what the protagonist of a shounen manga would do.
Teck Y. Loh