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Presentation on BJDs for an anime club...but...

Apr 7, 2010

    1. This year in my anime club our leader told us that we all have to lead one class. I asked her if I could do a presentation on BJDs once I get mine and she said that it was perfectly alright. I've been researching, writing, and generally trying to get everything straight before I present.

      But here's the problem: a lot of the members of my anime club are utterly convinced that dolls are 'creepy', 'weird', and 'disturbing', or even outright doll-phobic. Now I can understand where they're coming from what with the whole uncanny valley issue, so that's not what bothers me. What bothers me is that I fear my presentation will come off completely the wrong way or that nobody will attend due to their fear.

      Any suggestions on how to make BJDs...er...palatable to non-doll tastes? I really need help on this because I'm dead scared that if they don't take it seriously that our leader is going to start to disrespect me or hate me or something :doh :(
       
    2. Well, I don't know if your doll is going to be a character doll, but if s/he could cosplay an anime character that might help with accessibility. Also, starting off with a discussion of history, how they work, etc., before actually showing any dolls might get people more used to the idea of them? You could also take angles such as how they're a part of Japanese subculture, and how they developed from figures as well as dolls - I'm sure some members would have anime figures!

      In a nutshell, I don't have a definitive answer, but I'm guessing that focussing on the culture aspects and not showing too much of the dolly-ness of your doll (removable wig/eyes, joints) until people seem to be into it might be a good way to go.

      If your club leader reacts like that, there may be a bigger issue, though o_o.
       
    3. timid is completely correct. Don't focus so much on the intricacies of this multifaceted hobby as on the connections that can be made with what your co-clubmembers do understand. Tying it all back into the anime genre and Japanese culture should at the very least convince other anime fans that you're 'hardcore' (lol) and that perhaps they should be more open-minded. Or, if you're the more cynical type, you can just show them how much you pwn them when it comes to super esoteric Japanese hobbies. Screw those that are easily creeped out; even if they are anime fans, they're as close minded as any cliche they've ever snubbed themselves.
       
    4. First of all, cool anime club! Wish I had cool clubs in my schools :(

      Second, I second that the doll should be cosplaying something anime related :) Possibly something popular too, something ... non threatening. XD That's just what I think
       
    5. You can try to mention or have a bit of focus on companies that have an anime style influences such as Volks, Dream of Doll, blue fairy, ect. You have to admit those dolls do look like anime in their own way and i'm sure your friends aren't anime-phobic. Be sure to have pictures ready of them so they can really see how anime influenced some dolls are! Try to show them BJD cosplay, if you search on flickr you can find some amazing ones! I find the best anime cosplay is usually by the dolls that already have anime like faces such as Kdelf Ani. ^^
       
    6. in my experience tiny's are non threatening (being so small) so if you have one use it I dunno, people don't fear them as much as the bigger ones
       
    7. What if you limited your presentation to the official anime-cosplay dolls (like the Volks Rozen Maiden and Maria-sama ga miteru releases), and showed pictures of them first instead of leading with your own doll?

      When I've done presentations like this, I've tried to be really specific, and--as other people have advised you already--keep a narrow focus on something that I already know my audience is interested in. I have one of my own dolls in a carrier, ready to bring out at the end once the audience has adjusted to the idea and learned something. By then, I've always found that people are a lot more ready to look and be interested . . . but if I shove the doll in their faces at the beginning, all I get are silly reactions like "ewwwwww, creepy!" and "why don't you get a REAL hobby?"
       
    8. Wow. Anime club? I envy you.
      Style your doll into an anime character, it’s the perfect idea. Look, they may feel creeped out by dolls but at an anime club you don’t usually meet people with any anime-phobia Anime character doll is a good option that won’t hurt anyone. After all; BJDs are sculpted to resemble anime art.
      I would surely speak about it with the leader before the presentation. If s/he is a good leader, s/he shouldn’t disrespect or hate you just because of dolls.

      Just one thing! If you’re going to speak about their removable wigs, changeable eyes, their stringing etc. DON’T represent those things live in action with your doll right before their eyes. Yes, those facts are (IMO) important in the BJD related world but somehow too hardcore for non related people (my cousin nearly jumped out the window once, ‘cuz of a down taken wig, what you think he would do if I took out her eyes).
      If you can show those facts with the help of easy pictures or drawings, it should be OK, but a real BJD sitting naked and bald with nothing in its eye sockets is a no-no in your situation, me thinks.
       
    9. One thing, if there are people in the club who are genuinely doll-phobic, warn them and give them the option of leaving the room. I'm seen some people on here talk about teasing doll-phobic friends or acquaintances or trying to "turn" them, but as someone with a pretty bad phobia of a relatively normal thing (dogs, in my case), it isn't easy to deal with and surprising them or forcing them is rude, hurtful, and can be very agitating--and will very unlikely change their mind about it.
       
    10. Promise your club members to show some resin T&A. At least the male contingent will not be able to refuse the offer. My experience with otakus is that they'd do sit through anything for a promise of some skin. As far as the female members, tell them there will be a lot of effeminate long haired boys on display, moreover, by getting into a hobby they can get one in real life. :D
       
    11. First of all , if you can so easily lose the respect of your club leader (Or even have them hate you) then I don't think that is a very good club. Your all in that club knowing that you have something in common , you love anime and the culture. Your club should have kind feelings enough towards you that they would at least listen. If they don't , once again , it's not a very good club. Make sure you also stress that this doll is utterly unique , that even though they don't like dolls , the have never seen one exactly like this before.
      Dressing your doll in cosplay is a good way to break the ice , but for me it comes down to a matter of respect for you as an individual , and the things you enjoy.

      Because in the end , your just trying to share with them something that you enjoy. In hopes that they to can enjoy it. I hardly see that warranting a negative reaction.
       
    12. I agree with Cynthia in FlintHills some of the other members who said similar things.
      Since it's for an anime club I think I would try to capture their interest by related BJD's to anime and japanese culture. Mention Rozen Maiden and any other anime or episodes of anime in which BJD's appear. Show them all the lolita and j-rock fashions that are popular for dolls and show them dolls based on anime characters etc. Once you've got them interested then I would ease into the other aspects of BJD and show them yours.
      Actually I think its really neat that every one has to give a class for your anime club. We never had anything that neat or involved with my anime club in school.
       
    13. Oh if you're waiting for a Feilian I don't see how they could be scared of her, at least she's not SD and manly. ^_^ I agree though, wait until the end to pull her out, and maybe when you do, ask if they'd like to see one in person before you display her. Also, I've heard that people have a tendency to want to touch the face, so tell them beforehand not to do that.

      (Don't mention the price. Somebody might try to take off with her. Or at least, don't let her out of your sight.)
       
    14. If there are that many doll phobic people in the group, don't show any pictures of dolls being taken apart, not even unclothed dolls without wigs.

      Also, it seems like the other members in the club need to grow up a little. If someone freaked out because of a picture of a clown or a bug that gets in the room, they're the one's that come off as crazy and odd, not the subject.
       
    15. Remember, in our culture it's often seen as "cool" to express a fear of things like dolls, clowns, spiders, etc, whether or not people are actually phobic of those items or simply dislike them. This is even more true of the kinds of people that are likely to be members of an anime club. (And before anyone gets their panties in a twist, this isn't simple stereotyping. I speak from experience here - I founded my college's anime club, and ran it for four years!) There's a reason Hot Topic has shirts that say things like "Can't sleep, clowns will eat me." True phobias are actually quite rare, which means the chances that most of the people who claim that are just being dramatic or trying to get attention are very good. So while it's possible that some members of the club may be genuinely afraid of dolls, it's highly unlikely that a very large percentage of them are. Those who think that dolls are "creepy" or "weird" might change their minds after you show them some of the cooler aspects of the hobby - and even if they don't, it's not something that's going to harm you OR them, so don't worry about it. As long as you make sure you make sure you tie the doll presentation back into the main focus of the club (anime), you'll probably be fine. I do think it would definitely be appropriate to warn people before you actually take your doll out, and possibly before showing pictures of dolls in a disassembled state, just in case there are truly phobic people in the audience - that's simply courteous, lets those people make the decision about whether or not they want to stay, and puts the responsibility for any responses they may or may not have firmly in their laps.
       
    16. You may also want to explain the hobby as more a collectable/collection type hobby then a carry the doll everywhere, play with it, sort of hobby.
       
    17. I DID THIS PRESENTATION!

      I know exactly what you're talking about. Dolly-phobics >.>

      The best thing to do is to present them as "Dollfies" (doll + figurine) explain to them that they aren't really dolls, more like really fantastic art projects. That's the best way to do it for me, at least.
       
    18. As others have said, I think you'd be fine if you focus on them as a cultural thing and connect them to anime. You know, tying them back to specific anime style molds, specialized stores, conventions, etc.
       
    19. This is why I love DoA. :3nodding: Everyone, thank you so much for the ideas, I'm interested to see what others come up with too.

      I had actually originally thought of not showing them any of the more 'gruesome' aspects of the hobby anyways! If they already find dolls creepy, no need to aggravate it by showing them the inside of a head. :lol: Though, I do think I'll get into the customization aspect a bit more with them, as most of my anime club does art in some way, shape, or form. I think I might be able to connect with them that way too.

      I think I may have to retool the presentation quite dramatically now *_*
       
    20. I think the suggestion to go with a tiny is a good one! I collect BJDs but the SD sized dolls still sorta freak me out a little. I mean they're beautiful, but they're so real and so big! MSDs are better sized because they still feel like a 'doll'. SD sizes are sort of unrelatable in American Culture as there really aren't any other dolls on the market so big.