Been watching the Densha Otoko
tv drama lately -- you've probably heard of it.
In summary, it's a drama about a geek. And that's why I find it tough to watch -- he's just so painfully bad at socializing. I mean, I'm a geek myself. Card-carrying. I've written a technical book. I work as a sysadmin. I enjoy anime and have a discreet Nagato figure on my desk. But I'm not remotely like that guy, and neither is anyone else I know. I may stutter a bit and get flustered easily, but I just can't deal with this guy's portrayal of it as a default state. I have to pause and yell at the TV quite a bit.
But I do love the bits where 2ch is cheering him on. They might be the only reason I've stuck with it so far.
I think part of the problem is that I'm just not as familiar with the drama conventions. There's no point in railing at them being silly and melodramatic -- that's a deliberate part of their charm.
The other aspect is that I need to listen to more non-anime Japanese. It bears about the same relation to normal speech as the voices in American cartoons do. Picture someone talking like Bugs Bunny. So yeah, it's actually quite important that I cultivate a taste for live-action. But a show about a geek -- something where I know exactly how far from reality they are -- is maybe not quite the best place to start.