An IRL OBD Adventure

I’ve been around for a while – not as long as some of the oldest regulars like Fang and Nihilus, but I’ve been around for quite a bit now, even if I’ve fallen to the inevitable laziness and occasional semi-inactifagging. I therefore find it a bit strange how I’ve never met the other guys in the OBD, even though I’ve known them for years. I suppose this is a manifestation of the changing nature of relationships due to the internet. In a way, we’re getting less real. I often remark on the negative consequences this has had for dating. On the other hand, you’ll get to “meet” some cool people nonetheless that you wouldn’t otherwise have.

On the spur of the moment (and on Father’s Day, but I dislike these Hallmark holidays and my family doesn’t do anything anyway), I was invited out to meet Es (a regular that is as of this date banned), and someone that turned out to be a lurker. Some other people in a #GamerGate group were supposed to go as well but couldn’t make it. The organizing factor was also amusing to me, as I don’t play many games anymore, just old ones. I mainly supported #GamerGate because I wanted to see the “social justice” crowd fall. If this year’s E3 was any indication, the offensive aspect of battle has been won. It’s now just about protecting our gains.

Anyway, me, Es, and the OBD lurker (not to be confused with the member of the same name, thankfully) that was also part of the #GamerGate group on Skype met up at the Kinokuniya bookshop, inconspicuously tucked right across the street from Bryant Park. I’m a native New Yorker and so was the lurker. Surprisingly, I never knew about this place, even though it’s right in the heart of Manhattan.

When I arrived, I said that it was “like the OBD in real life.” This was readily apparent upon observing the merchandise in the store, particularly on the second level. Mangas, DVDs, figures, and art/databooks galore, from all the series we cover on the OBD Wiki.

Dragon Ball OBD Blog
Behold, Toonami has returned.

Usually this kind of stuff just stays on my computer. I don’t have much contact with it out in the real world, so to speak, so seeing it all physically with my own eyes was amusing. As a matter of fact, I joked that I could feel myself losing testosterone by being in the place, which is mostly true if you entirely devote yourself to this stuff. One thing that immediately caught my eye were the prices on those figures. I understand they need to be imported, hence the price (in some cases over $200), but damn. I just couldn’t understand why people would pay that much money for a figure, even with a lot of disposable income. I generally subscribe to a philosophy of minimalism – that is, I don’t spend money on things I either don’t need or I don’t think will advance me in life. This is kind of a reaction to what I view as my country’s wasteful, indolent consumerism, as George Carlin mocked so long ago in A Place for My Stuff.

But then I got tempted and began to understand (somewhat) the feeling, because I took this quality shot:

Quality overload (ignore the background).

Motoko and Sho together?!

While I like The Guyver and highly recommend it, I would not be willing to buy a figure that just…stands there. I remember playing with action figures when I was a kid and miss those days, but at my age they just don’t have much use. However, I was, admittedly, perhaps retardedly, tempted to buy the Motoko figure – but not for $50. If it was $20-30, I would have likely given in.

Ghost in the Shell and Motoko Kusanagi are well-known among the regulars as being a couple of my absolute favorite fictions and characters, respectively. Even though the figure wouldn’t have done anything, it would still be cool to look at, which I guess explains why some cats spend money on the things. Still though – over $200 for a Hulk figure?

There were SSJ2 Gohan (ie: non-emasculated) and Vegetto figures in the $20-30 range, but I don’t care enough about them for figure-spending money, even though I’ve been a Dragon Ball fan for most of my life.

Es, our lurker friend, and I then just talked about the things you’d expect us to. We went for pizza at a pizza parlor that had a bar in it up the block. Normally I’d say this is nothing special since you can find a pizza parlor every few blocks in Manhattan, but this pizza was actually very good – well above average. I’ll be going there again when I’m in that area. After Es and I had to split, lurker buddy and I went to Bryant Park for a bit, and then split. I approached a girl but it didn’t hook, then got caught in some heavy rain that passed by the time I was off the subway heading home.

In all, it was a pretty fun experience, and I noticed in person what I suspected all along – that personality type doesn’t change much whether you’re online or offline. People often accuse others of acting tough online due to anonymity or the like, but I’m pretty much the same way online as I am off, and so was Es. I do hope there will be some more OBD meetups in the future, as a few of us live in the area – I’m looking at you Kurou and Raidou. I’ll even buy Koolaid, because we all know it’s Kurou’s favorite, and I haven’t had any since I was a kid.