Lethargic Ramble: Understanding in the Anime Community

Disclaimer: This is going to come across as an incredibly mean-spirited post and may contain a minor hint of anger and intolerance. It is not my intention to offend anyone with the content of this post and I’m merely trying to get my point across. You have been warned. 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently I’m sure you’re all aware that the Sword Art Online feature length film was released a few days ago.

Ordinal_Scale_Roadshow_Main_Visual

I’m sure many of you are also aware that just like everything else Sword Art Online related a humongous chunk of the Anime Community proceeded to purchase tickets to the movie for the sole purpose of making fun of it and blindly hating on it, as they do all things Sword Art Online related.

I’m not going to discuss the movies quality, because I haven’t seen it and I probably won’t be seeing it any time soon because Sword Art Online is one of the few shows I watch the dubbed version of and switching will likely hinder my likely guaranteed enjoyment of the film.

However, I am going to discuss the childishness of these members of our community, because quite frankly I’m sick to death of seeing the community beat the dead horse that is “Sword Art Online is terrible”.

tumblr_o5en3hx8xm1shatv4o9_500

So, large chunk of the Anime Community, you don’t like Sword Art Online. We get it. We have always gotten it. We got it 5 years ago. We still get it now. You do not need to see this movie to remind us how much you hate Sword Art Online, just like you didn’t have to watch the second season of Sword Art Online when you clearly hated the first season in its entirety.

Why would you invest so much time in something that’s clearly not for you?

I’m not against people watching something for the purposes of critically analysing it in a negative light. As someone who has never dropped an Anime, I do this literally all the time.

Despite completely disagreeing with his stance on the show, renowned Anime Youtuber Digibro has a fantastic series of videos that does an excellent job of bringing his complete distaste for Sword Art Online to the forefront. However, Digibro begins these videos by openly stating that he is not attacking the fans of Sword Art Online and that although he hates the show, he does not hold any ill intentions towards those who enjoy the series. He understands why people enjoy Sword Art Online, and even makes the claim that fans of the show should probably not watch the video as it’s likely it will just make them mad. I still watched it though, and despite strongly disagreeing with him, I didn’t get mad in the slightest. Because of the approach he takes towards understanding other peoples opinions despite disagreeing with them.

And although I feel that since then, Digibro has been beating the Sword Art Online topic to death to the point that I could refer to him as a Beater, his mentality is something I wish the many people who chose to ride the Sword Art Online hate bandwagon would adopt for themselves.

To understand why people like something they don’t like.

This is a prominent problem in all communities, from movies to video games, but for some reason it’s even more so in the Anime Community. People just don’t get it. They don’t understand why people, such as myself, could ever like something as “terrible” as Sword Art Online. That you’re some how “dumb” for enjoying Dragon Ball Super or that you don’t appreciate quality animation for liking World Trigger.

tumblr_ncy749ezwz1ricjqho1_500
Even though it has this

And my response is always the same: I just like it. It’s just my opinion.

Of course I’d be able to clearly back up that opinion and explain why I liked it, but at the end of the day there’s not much else to it than that. No matter the reasoning, I enjoyed it, and no amount of pointing out flaws or sharing your negative take on the series is going to change that.

I’m not “blind to flaws” nor am I “overly optimistic” I just don’t perceive the series the way you do and see things differently. To me, these “flaws” may be overblown or may not even exist at all.

I like to discuss things. It’s one of my favourite things about blogging. But when someone calls me an “idiot” for liking a “dumb Anime” like Sword Art Online, I find it hilarious.

But what I find even more hilarious is that so many people purchased tickets that cost more than $15 for a movie they instantly decided was going to be terrible before they even took their seat in the cinema hall. People spent money for the sole purpose of participating in a public flaw finding exercise for a movie they knew they were going to hate the day its production was announced.

And they didn’t do it for the purpose of analysis. They did it to make fun of people who liked the movie and disrespect the series yet again. Because apparently 5 years of constant negativity and bashing isn’t enough.

I believe that understanding is something this community really needs. Too many people play the superiority game and it’s nauseating.

maxresdefault-1

Your opinion is no better than anyone else’s. It’s just another wave in a vast ocean of many different perspectives.

As a writer, as a critic and as an Anime fan I always try to understand everyone’s perspective no matter how much I agree or disagree.

Of course I know my words aren’t going to make any amount of difference. I’m just a small time text blogger with the tiniest of internet followings, but I just want to get this message out:

It’s okay to like Ordinal Scale. It’s okay to dislike Ordinal Scale. It’s not okay to call Ordinal Scale and those that enjoyed it “dumb”.

Because we aren’t. We just like Ordinal Scale. And that should be okay.

It shouldn’t be difficult to understand. Right?

images
I guess not
Advertisements

28 thoughts on “Lethargic Ramble: Understanding in the Anime Community

  1. Man, seriously you are on a roll! As an enormous Sword Art Online fan myself I have never understood why there is so much hate for this show. I know everyone has different tastes, and I always respect that. But just to hate on it, for the same of hating and following the masses, that is just utter crazyness. So it’s nice to see someone standing up for this show. And I can tell you, you have another one here, that thinks exactly the same about it. I have just one more thing to say: you should enter Aria’s carnival with this post. Really, it is that good 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I can assure you I’ll always be standing up for the show and its fans so long as there are people continuing to harass us for liking it.

      I understand why people don’t like it, but to insult us for feeling the opposite is a little saddening.

      And you think so? I think I may have missed the deadline!

      Thanks for the feedback and for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s interesting seeing the divide between people who have blogged about Ordinal Scale, who have generally been polite and thoughtful whether they enjoyed the film or not, and the commentary found on other places like Twitter, where I’ve definitely seen more outright negativity. Perhaps there’s something about sitting down and writing an analytical piece (even if that’s just a quick plot synopsis and a score) which means that people can distance themselves a bit from raw emotion. Maybe also the average age of bloggers seems to be perhaps a bit higher than the average age in other online anime communities so people have learnt to be a bit less hot-headed.

    There’s always going to be people who have different opinions to you, or different opinions to the norm. In spite of all the positive buzz, I have 0 interest in watching Yuri on Ice as I know that the story and the themes aren’t the sort of things which I enjoy in an anime, but it doesn’t mean that I think the people who love it are ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’, we just have different tastes. With this film, and it seems like a 3rd season of SAO, the discussion isn’t going to die down any time soon but it would be nice if people could at least extend the consideration to others online which they would in real life where most people would not tell others that they’re bad people for having a particular taste.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Late reply (sorry!):

      I agree, the divide is very interesting. It’s incredible how divided the community has always been about Sword Art Online and this movie has served as both an intriguing and painful reminder of that fact.

      I agree with you there. I too feel it’s likely due to the nature of the platforms. With Twitter, everything is posted in short bursts, making things more emotional and “in the moment” whereas with blogging, people are taking their time to jot down their thoughts and feelings in a more constructive and reflective manner. I guess it also helps that the majority of the Anime blogging community are generally nice people, unlike YouTube and other places (as we’ve all seen from recent events).

      I’m the same. While not every show interests me and while I have a tendency to enjoy more niche shows as opposed to the new “hot” thing (like Yuri On Ice) I’ll never go out of my way to call fans of those shows idiots or anything of the sort. Because if someone were to do the same to me for liking whatever I like, I’d be baffled and a little hurt. People like different things, and that’s cool!

      A Season 3 has more or less been confirmed with the final scene in the movie, and as a fan of the novels I’m looking forward to seeing the Alicization arc get adapted. I feel it’ll be an interesting addition to the divide, since it “fixes” a lot of the issues people have with the series (such as Kirito’s OP’ness, and the “harem”).

      Maybe this time people will learn to accept others opinions. Or maybe not… Probably not!

      Thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed the post!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I like SAO a lot. Of course there are some things they can work on. But it is a really good anime in general. I think people hate on it because of how fast it became popular. And how much the SAO community spoke about it. I think the haters should just go somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its undeniable popularity is definitely a key factor in the rabid hatred and criticism of the series.

      Some people just don’t understand why something they don’t like is so popular and managed to create a whole new generation of Anime fans.

      I think, regardless of its quality, SAO has helped shape the community and change the medium in some very positive ways, and that in itself is worth celebrating, no matter how much you may dislike it.

      But I love the show of course 😛

      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, I love this post. Thank you for posting this. I’m with you, I wonder why haters feel the need to continue to bash it and then feed money into the very thing they hate. Logic.

    Like the above comment, I think people hate on it because of it’s popularity, and the fact that it could possibly very well be what is considered the “face” of anime due to popularity. But again both the hate and love for this series continues to give it popularity. People feel so entitled about their opinions as if they’re the only ones that are right. Thanks again for this! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Late reply (sorry!):

      Yeah… I’ve always found it baffling when people fund the thing they hate so much. It’s a weird thing to do. Logic, right? 😀

      I too feel a lot of the hate comes from the show being popular. I can guarantee that if SAO was nowhere near as popular as it is that the hate would be considerably less present.

      No opinion is “right” which is the funny thing. It’s all just what you think and feel and people should realise that! It’s a shame really.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks a lot for reading! Let’s look forward to Season 3!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I figured I would see this post coming from somewhere, just wasn’t sure it was going to be you.

    Of course, you’re absolutely right in what you’re saying. It’s common sense. People are going to like different things, and it has nothing to do with the number of flaws, perceived or otherwise, any given work has. It’s pretty pointless to try to convince people not to like something once they’ve made up their mind on it. How does someone’s enjoyment of fiction media affect anyone else?

    You’ve spoken of your choice not to drop any show you start watching. I’m much the same way, but if I don’t like a show I won’t be in any hurry to finish it, and I certainly won’t buy a ticket to a movie based on it. And if I choose to review it, I’ll write about what I think it did right and wrong rather than hate on the show.

    It just doesn’t make sense to me why people waste energy attacking things they don’t like, in an effort to alienate the people who do like it, especially when it changes nothing about their lives either way.

    But the internet is a wonderful place that brings out the best in humanity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I honestly didn’t expect to be the guy for once, but after clearing my schedule from my weekly posts I ended up with some free time on my hands and decided “why not?”

      I’ve always found it baffling how easily influenced and affected people are by the opinions of others. It’s just an Anime. Who cares if it’s popular despite the fact you don’t like it?

      But alas, such is the nature of the internet.

      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with the notion of wanting other perspectives, and am glad that you’re able like something other’s don’t (care for). Personally, I found the series excruciatingly boring and a waste of potential (nothing’s more aggravating for me than seeing things go in the wrong direction again and again). Plus, suspension of disbelief became shattered once I noticed the flaws (didn’t take long). I like the abridged series, though. However, Ordinal Scale does look more promising and possibly better (I’m a hopeful optimist, you see) than the series.

    Now, in regards to “beating the dead horse”, the way I see it is that something (not just SAO) is not a dead horse if it is still on-going. SAO is an series / franchise that is alive, well and successful because of its divisive popularity. Whether you felt irritated by those who bought tickets to mock it or not doesn’t really matter, since they’re just keeping the series thriving by doing so. I will continue to bash the Mass Effect series from the disaster that was ME3 to Mass Effect: Inquisition (Andromeda), as well as the Halo 5, because I’m a fan of the previous installments, which I consider to be great games. And since they’re still stubbornly making lesser content, I have no remorse for my critiques or complaints with either franchise because they’re still being made. Once there is definitive evidence to show no more production of it is being made, then I will stop.

    Back to SAO, I think it’s fair to have this divide for as long as it remains a thriving (popular) force in the community. So long as SAO is still being made, there too will be haters, lovers and uncarers of the series. Popular things attract prolonged attention for as long as they remain popular, you see. Personally, I think there’s plenty of other anime that deserve far more hate and criticism (which are also lauded as great shows by many), but whatever.

    Good post. Hope to read more.
    ~ Ace

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I’ve said many times in the past, that’s totally cool. I can see why people would find the series to be a waste of potential (especially if you’re really into the game mechanics side of things). While I wouldn’t say my suspension of disbelief was ever shattered again I understand why others wouldn’t feel the same way.

      I get where you’re coming from there. The fact that SAO is still ongoing and getting new seasons, movies and everything else is definitely one of the reasons people keep talking about it. But my argument is: who really cares? If you absolutely hated the entire first season, why would you ever feel the need to continue watching it and hating on it even if it’s getting new seasons, you know?

      I didn’t particularly like One Punch Man, but I’m not flipping out that it’s getting a second season and making big rants about how it doesn’t deserve one and how bad it is.

      Regardless, I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Stay tuned for more!

      Like

  7. I’m late, but this was really solid stuff. I’m not even really an SAO fan myself, but even I (as I’m sure you’re aware from our recent encounters) have grown sick of the hate for the series. Regardless of the flaws that it has and their popularity in the community, I feel that every piece of this franchise should be evaluated on its own merits moving forward and not just on past precedents.

    It seems that more “critics” are content with riding the wave of hating the series as they know it will get more views and be more socially acceptable in the long run. Confirmation bias is a terrible aspect for a critic to have and on a side note, is one of the major reasons why I can hardly take Digibro seriously as a quality critic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries 😀

      Yeah, it’s always been nice to know that although you aren’t the biggest fan of the show, you’re still sick and tired of hearing about it.

      I’m not even sure if the new movie is going to be good, but I’m going to refrain on judging it at all until I actually see it. Who knows? Maybe I won’t like it the same way I do the series, but I look forward to finding out.

      I feel many critics follow the tactic of playing it safe so as to protect themselves from harsh criticism. Just like at Glass Reflection as a prime example of this. His initial review of SAO was very positive, yet as soon as it was discovered it was suddenly okay to dislike the show, he changed his opinion dramatically, stating the show wasn’t anywhere near as good as that original review would have you believe.

      I actually owe a lot to Digibro since he’s one of my many inspirations as a writer, but I’ve become less tolerant of him as the years have gone by and tend to take all of analysis and opinions with a handful of salt. When he claimed he actually wanted a Season 3 of SAO to happen solely so he could make fun of it, it was rather sickening.

      Thanks for the comment man!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. well done piece on how you can never understand this anime community. up and until now I had refused a anime blogger to address any issues to do with this community and what annoys me, what is tiresome and after reading this I think I shall not hold back of things I have wanted to discuss. My opinion of sword art online there were parts I liked and didn’t I enjoyed the romance between kirito and asuna. I am probably late in seeing the movie now but would love to see just those two again as I have not seen the second season yet. The over hateness on sword art online is tiresome, you wanna say people move on but those who dislike the show just wants to follow suit in this trait of hating on this show and spread it. i can tell you right now there are worst shows than sword art online… Thus a new discussion piece is sparked for me to write haha

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Excellent post and I completely agree with you. SAO was my first anime so it has a special place in my heart. I like the franchise for the entertainment it has given despite a few flaws in the writing. I had the pleasure of watching Ordinal Scale in theatres and it was a treat for fans and newcomers alike. Like you said, it’s been 5 years since SAO aired and plenty of other terrible shows have aired since then, so the continuous hatred seems a bit excessive. There is no such thing as “objectively bad” so others need to understand that some people like it.

    Like

  10. I myself simply didn’t on with SAO, but I’d never bash someone for enjoying it. At the same time though, I certainly wouldn’t buy a ticket for the movie either, because I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t enjoy it. Why waste the cash when I could use it for something that I will likely enjoy?
    Unfortunately though, you’re right that this exists in all sorts of sub cultures. I think that some people just like to ride along with disliking stuff and being very open about doing so, possibly even (in some cases) because it gives them a clear target to aim at in the fans of said show, sub culture or ideology.
    Personally, I’d rather enjoy what I enjoy and not bash others for liking something that I don’t. We all have different tastes in entertainment, and to blindly hate for those differences is pointless.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s more or less my point. I feel like a lot of people bought tickets to the movie knowing full well they’d hate it. It’s just kind of silly in my eyes and was clearly done with the purpose of harboring ill will to those who enjoy the franchise.

      People definitely ride the bandwagon whether they really agree with it or not because it allows them to play the superiority game, which is something I really can’t stand about the community. None of us are better than anyone else, you know?

      I’d rather spend time watching more Anime and enjoying myself than wasting it making fun of people for liking shows I don’t like.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you for your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s