One comment on “The Cult of Lack of Personality

  1. While I appreciate your article Shogun, I don’t really think that many fans favor Nakamura over Tanahashi. I think fans LOVE the Eternal Rival aspect to both Nakamura and Tanahashi. To call Hiro “Yawnahashi” is just ridiculous. Hiro consistantly puts on great matches against a wide variety of opponents and makes all the matches entertaining and believable. Hell, how many people could have that good of a match against Toru Yano?
    With all that said, yes, Nakamura is a completely different character now than he was several years ago, BUT I think that’s by design. I think you and others are interpreting his arrogance as indifference. I don’t think he looks bored, I think he looks smug, confident and arrogant, with kind of a “what the f*ck am I doing in with this loser?” smirk on his face. What makes Naka so dangerous is that if he can beat someone with only knee strikes and the Boma Ye, then why go overboard? So when he needs to use those moves, it not only showcases Nakamura’s proficiency at using those moves but also elevates his opponent as being worthy of Nakamura pulling out all the stops.
    The Nakamura/Tanahashi dynamic is worthy of a psychological dissertation. Is Naka jealous? Does he feel he should be in Hiro’s spot? Is Hiro insecure because he secretly knows that Naka is better in all ways than he is (except for connecting with the fans in a mianstream way)? Nakamura works as a perrenial almost made it personality, he connects with the middle manager that knows he’s smarter and more adept than his boss and that resonates in the Japanese culture in a multitude of ways. Hiro is the rock star that almost all young Japanese male and female long to be, they live vicariously through him, the hip cool champion.
    They’re brothers in a way.
    In closing the argument and issue is much more complicated than Nakamura being better than Tanahashi or vice versa. They’re flip sides of the same coin, a Joker/Batman dynamic in some ways. At least that’s my opinion.

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