I’ve always have my bouts of what I call, online depressions. I’m okay in the real world but sometimes I feel like shutting off online. When things just gets really though, being online feels more like a chore than something fun. I’m not even going outside, I just shut myself in my room. Sometimes, when the online depression hits me bad, I recluded myself. I delete everything online, start anew.
Before Half, I had countless of other personalities online. Every single one of them, deleted. No trace to link them. I cut off all ties with friends I made. After all, it’s easy when you don’t know the person. I was, after all, just an avatar. An unknown presence.
The online profile I had before Half, was a huge Morning Musume fan. Or rather Kamei Eri fan. I quit after she graduated, Momusu was not the same for me. It was then I realized I was just a fan of Eririn rather than a fan of the whole group. I felt ashamed and deleted everything. I stopped everything in the idol world. I didn’t look up news or listen to their new songs. For 2 years. That was my longest bout of online depression.
I started watching something else. I was engrossed with TV in that period and watched everything under the sun. Then, I watched Majisuka Gakuen 3 without any knowledge that the actresses are idols. A girl captivated me. I looked up Murashige Anna. Which brought me to HKT48. After a few months, Hakata Hyakkaten came out. I waited a few days for subs to pop up. But it didn’t. I could tell the show was great and there wasn’t much HKT48 fans back in the days. Even though my Japanese competency was like a second grader, I decided to pick it up. That was the day I became a subber.
After being Half, I had my first online depression 3 months in. My mom was just diagnosed with cancer and all my free time was dedicated to her. I had everything in my mind just to delete all that I did as Half. At the time, all I had was tumblr. It was easy. Just one delete blog button. But a message came. Two messages. Three. All asking about my whereabouts. My updates.
For the first time in my online life, I felt I was needed. I did something I’ve never done before. I came back.
I continued where I left off with Hakata Hyakkaten and finished the whole season. By myself. It felt good. Really good. For the first time in my life, I didn’t left something unfinished.
After finishing Hyakkaten, AIDOL invited me to join them. At first, I refused. I work alone. I’ve always have. It’s easier to run away, to delete everything when you work alone. I hesitated, but they managed to convinced me. I was part of their staff.
I met MAIcrosoft. Who convinced me to get my own website. My IRC channel, twitter, facebook page and all the works. Soon after, www.half48.net was born. The name Half-assed Subs was out there. Everyone in the 48G fandom, especially the english speaking HKT48 community knew me. HKT subbers pop up like mushroom. Before I knew it, most of their shows were subbed. I made friends. Lots of them. Then another bout of online depression hits me.
I stopped joining the chat, I stopped updating. But something weird happened. I missed it. I missed my newly made friends. I came back. Talked about my problems. And people helped. That was the moment I realized, I could never delete Half. I made too many precious memories and too many friends.
In 2014, Wayne and Souchan met up in Japan and went to 2-shot event together. You might remember, there was an episode from “Why did YOU come to Japan?” about them. I made a promise to myself, to go for the next 2-shot event. The next year, I did. So did 7 other people from AIDOL. It was nerve wracking. For the first time, my real self and my online profile is merging. Nervous was an understatement. I’m not as cool as Half, probably not as funny as I am online. One thing for sure, I look way different that what people expect Half to be.
But the trip went fine. And thanks to that trip, I took a few more. I met my fans and friends in Jakarta. I met MAIcrosoft in Bangkok. I met up with fans from Malaysia. I even went to Japan again with more people I knew from online. In time, they know more and more about my real self. My bouts of online depression still hits me when I get overwhelmed with work or other stupid real life stuff, but they get less and less. And the time I take off from being online gets fewer.
Sorry for being long-winded but what I’m trying to say is, I’m retiring. You’ll probably not be getting any more subs from Half-assed subs. It’s been a great 4 years as Half. 4 years ago, I decided to sub Hakata Hyakkaten and it was the best decision I ever made in my years of being an idol fan. I am forever grateful to HKT48 for bringing me back into this fandom.
I’m retiring. But I’m here. I will not delete this tumblr/website (actually the site is up to MAIcrosoft since he’s the owner)/facebook/twitter etc. I’ll be here. Always up for a chat or a meetup if ever I’m somewhere.
I’m retiring but I’m not going anywhere. Not anymore. Half is here to stay.
And who knows? Maybe a sub will pop up randomly.
I am, after all, half-assed.