Whenever I watch an animated video that’s audaciously provocative or thematically disconcerting, my gut reaction to what I’ve witnessed is usually one filled with a feeling of bewilderment and revulsion. But once I get past all the auditory and visual assaults on the senses, I think that there sometimes are underlying messages and motifs being openly conveyed to the audience or something that leaves a lot of food for thought after multiple viewings. For today’s edition of Inkling Anime Review, I’ll be talking about a very eye-opening music video, Me!Me!Me!.
Me!Me!Me! is an extremely impactful and candid portrayal of the detrimental effects that addiction can have on someone’s social life and overall well-being. The main character is what I assume to be a high-school or college male, and he’s immensely enamored with otaku culture; binging on anime, playing video games, surfing the internet for a prolonged period (basically no social life). In western cultures, these types of individuals are mostly viewed as just lazy shut-ins. While in Japan, they’re more negatively known as “Hikikomori”; socially-withdrawn people who constantly live in crippling solitude and with pretty much little to no contact outside of the confines of their own homes.
The main theme that this video explores is the concept of escapism. This is a type of behavior where an individual indulges in evanescent distractions and consoling activities as a coping mechanism, and also as a momentary relief from unpleasant events or stressful moments going on in their lives. In Me!Me!Me!, the main protagonist recently had a falling out with his real-life girlfriend, so he finds solace by incessantly watching lewd videos of an adorably cute and licentious anime girl, which is commonly known in the otaku community as “Hentai”. These indulgences can start out as comforting and self-gratifying at first, but if you start to lose yourself in the process by allowing it to take complete control of your life, then these vices can end up leading you to a downward spiral of moral decay and internally-destructive alienation.
Towards the end of the video, I felt as if the protagonist was making an effort to turn a new leaf, and turn his life around for the better. His sinful acts of immoral debauchery and wicked deviance conflicts with his deep-rooted longing to escape from the self-inflicted hell that he created, and reestablish human connections with the outside world. While I can’t say that I I’ve experienced something on the same scale that the character in this video was going through, it did speak to me on a personal level. During my first year of College, I did feel pretty lonely since all of the friends that I made in Middle-School and High-School, and those that brought me joy in the best (and worst) of times, weren’t in my life anymore. So, to cope with this feeling, I basically binged on anime and videogames instead of stepping out of my comfort zone and meeting new people. I’m pretty much the real life version of Tomoko Kuroki, incredibly cynical and socially awkward. Even though I still struggle when it comes to engaging in face-to-face conversations with other people on a day-to-day basis, Me!Me!Me! has inspired me to keep on trying at least. Real-life relationships in my opinion feel more nuanced than online-based ones since you can see all the nonverbal gestures on someone else’s face through this type of communication, and it allows me to keep a sound mind whenever I’m going through a rough patch.
All in all, Me!Me!Me! is a visually striking and thought-provoking video for those with a strong stomach and an open mind. I can totally understand why some people would dismiss this immediately from the get-go, it’s immodest in the way it visually presents itself, and it brutishly explores social issues in the world that we live in today. But if you can look past all the erotic and suggestive imagery that permeates the screen, what you get as a viewer is a symbolic statement on the downsides of idolatry and the psychological effects that reclusive isolation can have on someone’s mental state and health.
Thanks for stopping by! If you’ve seen Me!Me!Me! I’d love to hear your thoughts and personal interpretations of it. Have a great day, fellow squid kid. Stay fresh!