Dedicated anime fans cause a ruckus

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Dedicated anime fans cause a ruckus

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A number of die-hard fans of “Your Name” threw away all of their popcorn, top, just to keep the limited edition bucket. [SCREEN CAPTURE, MEGABOX]

For those who were disturbed by a select group of moviegoers while trying to enjoy the popular animated film “Your Name” in theatres, the Japanese term honmono may ring a bell. Literally translated as “being real,” the term is used online to refer to those who are deeply involved in geek culture and disturb audiences at movie theaters.

Though the word has been previously used by certain internet users, honmono, which typically carries a negative connotation, has become more frequently used since the release of Shinkai Makoto’s newest film “Your Name” in early January.

With its rising popularity, blog posts complaining about the behavior of certain honomono have sprung up across the internet.

The most common complaints about honmono is their loud singing of the film’s background music while the movie is being shown and yelling main protagonists’ lines before the characters speak their dialogue.

“A group of three to four people sang the title track ‘Zenzenzense’ in the middle [of screening], and one of them even turned around and waved his hands, asking the rest of the audience to sing along in unity,” wrote an internet user on an online community, who vowed never to watch animated films in theaters again.

Earlier this month, the actions of these die-hard fans were also highlighted during the director’s visit to Korea. While some of them ignored the sitting interpreter and directly asked questions to Shinkai in Japanese, others loudly shouted out, vying for an opportunity to speak to the filmmaker.

After some honmono threw away entire buckets of popcorn to keep the film-designed bucket along with a few other film-related goods, photos were shared online of a theatre’s giant trash bin being filled with uneaten popcorns, upsetting many netizens.

These honmono, seen by many as unnecessarily disturbing others, however, also have some positive aspects, according to cultural critic Ha Jae-geun.

“Since honmono passionately consume content, they create a solid foundation for the [industry] to further develop, ultimately contributing in diversifying and enriching [media in general.]”

Ha added, “They also recreate the original content through re-editing, which leads to more [user-created] content online.”

Meanwhile, “Your Name” became the best-selling Japanese anime in Korea, selling a total of 3.05 million tickets as of Sunday, shoving aside Hayao Miyazaki’s 2004 hit “Howl’s Moving Castle.”

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]

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