It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts. I was originally going to make this a Lethargic Ramble, but since this relates more to own recent experience with the Anime community, and less relates to a broader idea that I can encapsulate within the medium itself; here we are!
So let’s talk about taste. Each and every single one of us has a taste: a preference for the things we like.
Some people, like my girlfriend, really like to eat cereal for breakfast, whereas others, such as myself, prefer to eat toast and boiled eggs as their choice of meal in the early hours of the day.
Many people have tastes that are commonplace, such as liking cheese on their pizza, while other people have very weird and specific tastes, such as not liking cheese on their pizza (me).
But we’re not here to talk about food preferences. We’re here to talk about Anime! More specifically, the different tastes in Anime and what’s really been bugging me about the subject of taste in Anime.
Every single Anime fan has a unique taste. Every taste is unique to the individual, and I firmly believe that no two tastes are exactly alike. This is natural of course when you take into account that everyone has their own opinions, thoughts and feelings of what they consider to be “good” or “enjoyable” or whatever it is they deem to be the factor that decides what they watch and why they watch it.
Yet, there are people that just can’t seem to accept this idea. They slam the tastes of those they don’t agree with and flaunt their self-proclaimed superiority all over whatever bloody online platform they choose to flex their ego to others on.
And what’s sad is that these people have no grasp on the idea of subjectivity. I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: Taste is not objective.
It’s not like forcing your tastes on others who don’t agree with you is something new. We all know this is a thing that exists. We’ve all seen it. Heck, I’m sure in some form or another, we’ve all been a part of it at some point. I know I was a good few years ago. I frequently did so when I was younger. And when all was said and done, I felt like a real nasty piece of work. I was a child who didn’t understand how to properly engage in a discussion without being an egotistical moron. But I’m an adult now and I’ve grown up a lot since then.
I get it, people like feeling some kind of gratification by putting themselves on an imaginary pedestal and going:
“Well! You like Sword Art Online and that show is for idiots! Meanwhile, I’ll be here, watching the real Anime for true Anime fans!” – Actual thing that someone said to me
I’m all for discussing opinions and tastes. I do it all the time on Twitter, the Facebook group I’m a part of and even right here on this blog. I’m not against people discussing their differences and I’m certainly not telling people to be solely positive, because that’s just as nauseating as the constant negativity I keep seeing.
What I am against, is forcing your tastes and opinions on other people. I don’t care how superior you think your taste is, or how much you disagree with me, you are not going to change my mind. Especially if you’re being condescending or nasty about it.
I don’t care if you think that Little Witch Academia is the best show of the season and if you think ēlDLIVE is a generic cookie-cutter Shounen that is completely bland and uninteresting in every way possible. But don’t try to tell me I’m wrong for thinking the exact opposite and that I have “bad taste”.
“Bad taste” is not a thing. If you told me you liked a food I didn’t enjoy the taste of, would you find it ridiculous if I told you that your taste in food is bad? Don’t even try to tell me you wouldn’t. That’s an absurd thing to say. So why the heck are people not applying this logic to entertainment?
I see this everywhere, particularly on Twitter, all the damn time. People will be talking about their favourite shows of the season or a show they recently watched that they enjoyed, and you’ll always get that one person who feels the need to go: “You have awful taste! How could you possibly enjoy that show? Go watch this show instead!”
Or when I show disinterest in a show or claim to find it hard to enjoy a specific genre of Anime, I’ll have people talking down to me for not liking it. They’ll say things along the lines of “Just watch it!”or “How can you not enjoy the best genre in Anime?” Well, maybe I don’t want to watch it. Maybe I’m not interested or engaged enough to finish it. Maybe I don’t like that genre because I’ve spent years being disappointed time and time again, and approach it with a great deal of caution as a result. I like what I like and you’re not going to sway me or change my mind by shoving what you like down my throat.
I disagree with people a lot. I have weird opinions that a lot of people don’t agree with and I have a very questionable taste that has raised several eyebrows over the many years I’ve engaged with this community. Despite that, I always stand by the things I say and I stay true to what I believe in. However, I will never force my preferences or opinions on anyone, and I’ll gladly brush off anyone who tries to do the same to me.
I get it. Some people just want everyone to agree with their tastes and see things the way they do, but wouldn’t that be kind of boring? One of the most interesting things about being a fan of this medium, is the seemingly endless sea of different and unique opinions and perspectives. Seeing a show through the eyes of someone who had a completely different kind of experience from your own is a real treat and I find it absolutely fascinating, even if I don’t agree with them. It’s their perspective, it’s their experience and it’s their taste. Let them have it and continue to have yours.
Diversity keeps the community interesting and has generated some of the most engaging discussions I’ve ever had the pleasure of taking part in with fellow Anime fans. We wouldn’t have those things if everything was uniform and everyone had the same tastes. That’d be boring.
No persons taste is superior to anyone else’s. Your taste is a part of who you are, it’s your identity as an Anime fan, and no one should ever have the power to change that.
Don’t try and push your tastes on others.