Anime Today: The Age of Spite and Abhorrence
October 17, 2011 9 Comments
I’m convinced. Actually, it’s not that recent of an epiphany.There’s an obvious truth (to me at least) that is not often acknowledged, and when or if it really is, it’s most likely brushed off apathetically. If you haven’t already noticed, then you’re not very involved in “anime communites,” and you’re probably better off that way. As a note, I don’t feel inclined to bolster this article with relevant and eye-catching pictures of anime.
If you’re reading this article, chances are your interests in anime are great. If so, you’re also probably aware of anime databases (I’ll throw out some names like AnimeNewsNetwork, MyAnimeList, AniDB, and even Anime-Planet.) These places are the hives of anime opinion, where thousands of users just want to “share their thoughts.” It’s very extensive, and well organized for the most part. I won’t even bother explaining what an opinion is, because you should already know. After all, you constantly boast it around all the time. But I will say, they’re the foundation of creation, improving, and moving forward. Sure, that’s true. And the only way for that to happen is to challenge other opinions, and what follows is an argument, or better put, a debate. However, there’s a line to be drawn.
I’ll get to my point. I hate browsing online for opinions on anime. I despise reading scores and rankings on MAL, I hate reading threads on AniDB, and I hate the “Won’t Watch,” categorization on Anime-Planet. I even just hate seeing people comment to other people about their “opinions,” on anime. There’s a simple reason why. Only recently have I really began to notice it, that no one is really sharing their honest opinion to add to the pool of opinions that define anime today; I really like this, I dislike this show, I don’t think this show does this right. All I’m reading is repugnant and spiteful bullshit. If you ever dared to call your opinion actual “constructive criticism,” and you’re guilty of passionately cracking down on a certain show or manga or whatever for the sake of expressing your hatred of it for gaining too much attention or “praise,” and using your oh-so-superior understanding of the structure of anime as a rationalization of it, then you are full of it.
You just sound like a butt-hurt loser who had his favorite anime bashed.
Yeah, no shit. I bet it didn’t take you all night or a genius inductive detective to figure that out. Of course I’m hurt (it’s Clannad by the way, I dare you to do five minutes of research on Google and tell me you didn’t find a speck of hatred (not “constructive criticism) for that show). Who wouldn’t be when their favorite show is constantly, constantly chewed out, no matter where you go. Sure! I can just feign indifference and play the, “I don’t give a shit,” card, but the problem with that is I do give a shit. I like anime because I truly admire it, and everything about it. From deep and intelligent shows, to the silly, and insipid moe and fan-service shows. I watch it because it’s entertaining, and I consider it one of the most versatile and idiosyncratic types of narrative mediums in the entire world. So seeing people endlessly express hatred for the countless shows already released and those pouring in for a new season is a little off-putting. Just a little. Maybe I’m just one of those people who can’t handle it. Oh-fucking-well.
But Gabe, it’s the shitty anime that is ruining the industry, and people should stop giving them attention.
No. Shut up. Here’s the defining line between the people who love to weigh anime against the other for the sake of finding the superior gems of anime. You’re jaded (and this is a word that I love to use, I won’t deny it) and whatever you say is biased because of your being jaded. You’re so exposed to so much anime that you’ve lost your initial enjoyment and you feel that need to do something that’s easier, which is scrutinizing each and every show you watch, and cover in the excuse of “it improves anime.” I never see more enjoyment on anime as a whole than I do hatred. It’s become evident that people seem to love to attack what is liked by the general public, when they’ve just lost sight of what is a truly good show in the first place. Certain anime (exchange that with anything; video games, music, movies, books, etc.) is popular because it’s good (Argumentum ad populum? No, that’s the other way around). A lot of people have forgotten that (I know there are exceptions, don’t get me wrong, I’m not that ignorant). Seriously, what the hell is the point of a “Won’t Watch,” category on Anime-Planet? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s created the illusion to me that nobody even likes to watch anime anymore. Seeing other people makes watching anime look like a fucking chore, as if it’s almost impossible to enjoy something you’ve been bombarding yourself with so much because you can’t learn a little moderation. It really looks like people have just forgotten how to enjoy anime.
And even if you’re not “jaded,” then get through your head that “bad,” anime doesn’t ruin the industry. People who think like that make it seem as if there’s no good shows out at all, and that there hasn’t been one for decades, and that there probably will never be one for more decades to come (I’m exaggerating of course). There are good shows out today, but maybe you’re too jaded to realize it (whoops, I went back to that word), or your standards are way too fucking high.
I won’t even spend time talking about rankings. All I want to say about them is screw them. Objectivity is a fucking joke. Let go of it. Your rankings are just a compilation of personal thoughts and scores, the majority of which isn’t even carefully “calculated,” (I mean, what’s the damn difference between a 3 and a 4? If you can answer that, please don’t. I’d rather not hear it.)
And to add to that, it’s not as if your “opinion,” will ever become the generally accepted fact on a certain show or multiple shows in the first place. It’s probably unnecessary to point that out, but it’s true. And because of that, it’s pointless to be writing this article at all (it’s completely out of place anyway, I feel like I’m contracting
an ulcer just trying to organize it), but hey! Why the fuck not, right?. This certainly won’t change anything, and I don’t intend for anything to change at all. It’s just a butt-hurt rant (or at least that’s what people will think it to be to themselves, or they’ll say it out loud. Either way, it doesn’t matter). I’m sure you’ve seen them before. So go on, continue your “constructive criticism,” on anime, and continue improving the industry as a whole. At least try to learn not to impose, or something. After all, everyone’s entitled to their opinion, right…? Right…