Let’s Talk About: Moral superiority in the Anime community

So unless you’re completely out of the loop of the weekly phenomenon that is seasonal Anime, you’ve probably heard of a show that started airing a few days ago called Goblin Slayer.

And if you keep up with the general opinions surrounding currently airing Anime, you’ve also likely seen that a large number of Anime fans have been quick to mount the high horse of moral superiority once again and start attacking the show, its fans and the people that created it. People have even gone as far as saying that the show has no right to exist at all. Perhaps you, the person reading this, are one of these people. Or maybe you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about and I’ve simply been incredibly unlucky and have just happened to stumble upon a ton of these kinds of comments.

Regardless of whether or not you know about Goblin Slayer and the controversy surrounding its first episode, I’m so goddamn sick and tired of this shit and I feel I need to say something about it. Again.

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It seems that every season, like clockwork, a particular show comes out and does something that riles people up to the point that they end up having a genuine hatred for it and feel the need to act as though they’re morally superior than those who don’t agree with them. It happened with Magical Girl Site. It happened with Happy Sugar Life. And now it’s happening again with Goblin Slayer and it’s honestly become so tiring at this point.

Look guys, I get it. Everyone is different and questionable themes and story elements can make certain viewers uncomfortable. I completely understand if someone see’s something terrible happen in a show, such as over the top violence or rape, and it makes them feel angry. It’s happened to me. It’s happened to you. It’s happened to everyone at some point or another and is a perfectly normal and healthy reaction that is, more often than not, completely justified.

But what I don’t understand is when people feel the need to start telling people who enjoy the series and don’t have a problem with the questionable elements of its story that they’re “bad people” and that they “shouldn’t be watching or supporting” a show that they love.

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I’m sorry, but who the hell do you people think you are? What gives you the right to tell anyone what they should or shouldn’t be watching? Who made you the judge of what is morally acceptable and what isn’t? What do morals even have to do with liking a fictional Anime series in the first place?

Like I said, I get it. You saw a thing you don’t like and you got triggered. That’s fine. You’re welcome to criticise the show for that and you’re also welcome to stop watching the show if you’re the kind of person that doesn’t mind dropping stuff. I have no problem with someone negatively reviewing or discussing a series because it’s full of stuff that they don’t agree with morally or that makes them feel uncomfortable. If you want to discuss Goblin Slayer or any other show in a negative light, then you’re free to do so. Heck, as a fan of the series who doesn’t agree with the recent negative criticism surrounding the show and who has no problem with its morally questionable content, I’m all for reading the opposite perspective and I’m always up for a mature discussion no matter what side of the table I happen to be on.

But don’t go around criticising the fans of the show for not agreeing with you or for not being offended by the things that offend you. Don’t tell people that they’re a bad person for liking it or that they shouldn’t enjoy the things that they enjoy. Don’t make stupid, childish comments that the creators of the show should kill themselves because they animated a fictional thing that made you upset.

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Seriously. Don’t.

At the end of the day, Anime is fictional. It’s not real. It’s art and the purpose of art is to express and communicate ideas. You may not agree with the ideas of a particular work and maybe some of those ideas will even upset you, but not all art is made with you or your preferences in mind, and to expect otherwise is kinda dumb.

And before I wrap this up, I have one more thing to ask the people who’ve been attacking this series, its fans and its creators.

Yes, the things that happened in the first episode of Goblin Slayer are pretty gruesome, but the series is based on an incredibly brutal series of Dark Fantasy Light Novels that received an equally gory Manga adaptation that ran in a Seinen magazine. The very same Seinen magazine that ran the likes of Akame Ga Kill! Zero and fucking Ubel Blatt of all things. What exactly were you people expecting?

I know I’ve spoken about this subject ad nauseam ever since Magical Girl Site first dropped at the start of the year, but seeing this happen literally every season just really gets on my nerves. It bothers me because I feel as though I’m being verbally attacked because I enjoy a particular form of entertainment which, need I remind you, is fictional.

Why can’t someone be allowed to enjoy a series like Goblin Slayer without hassle? Since when does liking a fictional story with immoral content make you a bad person? What is wrong with people?

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I shudder to think what would happen if a series like Berserk or Bastard!! was starting out today and wasn’t immune to this kind criticism by the protective statement of “it’s a classic!”. People would be trying to boycott these series because they’re “too offensive” and are for “terrible people”.

Again, I’m all for people criticising this sort of stuff. If you dislike these themes in a story, that’s fine. Go ahead and tear the show a new one for all I care. But don’t attack the fans, don’t attack the creators and don’t make outlandish, childish statements about how the series has no right to exist.

Because all fiction has a right to exist.

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Even Eromanga Sensei!

What is your opinion on Goblin Slayer? Do you have an opinion on the topic discussed in general? Let me know!

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15 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About: Moral superiority in the Anime community

  1. I… Don’t get it! I mean, it is known that Goblin Slayer is a gory and psychological Anime… Such as many other shows out there, being them Anime or not. LOL Made in Abyss was gory and people weren’t attacking anyone about it. I have to say that by the image that MAL gives when looking for the Anime it seems to be a walk in the park. But, you just need to view the genres to see that is not going to be so subtle…

    Moreover, when the hell more “hard” right on your face gory style of art is made by (or for) horrible people? I just don’t get it! I don’t see anyone saying that about the Saw movies for example… And… Honestly, people should really get a life. Even if someone does not like something and has the right for it, attacking people because it is just stupid.

    For me, the first episode felt a little like players dying in a first level quest. Yes, I was a little surprised about how deep the series went and how there were some parts that were conducted to have that gory and sensational aspect. But, in the end, I ended up liking it. But, of course, if you are not into messed up things then you should not watch it. But don’t tell that someone is a horrible person for liking it… Heck, when liking something close to horror is being a horrible person -.-”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been under a metaphorical rock for the last month or so and haven’t heard of this controversy. Definitely curious to check this one out now, though, and see what all the fuss is about.

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  3. Again it comes down to one of the things I have often said: respect. Every one has a right to their own opinions. If you don’t like the series: that’s fine you are allowed. But why attack people that do like it: that is something I don’t understand.
    Having seen the first episode, and not knowing anything of this series or the novels it was based on I was pretty surprised. It was rather dark, but I didn’t think it was that horrible to dismiss it altogether. I do think that the rape scene had a bit of a fanservice element to it, that I quite honestly didn’t really care for. I thought that it was a bit sensationalised. But…in the end I will continue to watch it, and would never attack people for enjoying this series in the first place. Great post! 😊😊

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  4. One of the most sensible criticism posts I’ve seen of Goblin Slayer points out the absence of warnings on Crunchyroll. So someone who hadn’t heard of the light novel series has almost no tags or labels to go on and just the PV image which is pretty much like every isekai fantasy PV image that has come out. In that case, some viewers will not know what they are about to walk into and I really feel that is an oversight of the streaming service because Goblin Slayer isn’t something you should walk into without knowing at least that it is going to be violent and and that there is going to be a number of triggering elements.
    That said, like you I find the ‘controversy’ around these sorts of shows a little tiring. I didn’t end up watching much of Magical Girl Site because I ended my Prime subscription, and while I found the first episode to be not amazing I was interested in where that story would go, but I found the reaction of a lot of viewers to be incredibly over the top. It wasn’t just that they didn’t like it, they were angry that anyone liked it. Twitter is a dangerous thing sometimes.
    However, the majority of the community I tend to spend the most time reading online, have been pretty respectful whether they liked or hated the first episode of Goblin Slayer, or sat on the fence entirely, for the most part the criticisms have been of the show and their response to it rather than attacks on others, and that is kind of why I love the community I have found online.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I certainly agree about the issue with Crunchyroll not putting a warning or something on the episode description. I’ll admit that I was a bit surprised by what I saw as someone who had no previous knowledge of the franchise. And considering they also have kid friendly content on their service, that should be something that they did.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It is dumb that this has to be said every. single. season. it seems…

    Also, I’m a bit surprised that you included Happy Sugar Life in terms of comments because I heard very few outside of the first week. I guess that would count though? Was just a side thought.

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  6. I agree with this post entirely. It is all about respect. I personally thought the first episode of the series was quite good in my opinion. While admittedly, the controversial content did surprise me, it won’t stop me from watching the series. I like the fact that they aren’t afraid to go a mature route with the story telling. It again comes down to people just needing to take a step back and act respectful to their fellow fans.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I wasn’t shocked by the content in the first episode of Goblin Slayer. Chalk it up to the fact I’ve seen worse in both anime, and live action works. There lies the difference between everyone is the type of animes they’ve seen. For me, this Goblin Slayer episode 1 wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, but it will be for someone who is not used to seeing this type of content.

    I personally consider the controversy pretty silly. However, I find the fact people saying it doesn’t deserve to exist, or simply liking it makes you a bad person is even sillier. Don’t know some people find it more productive to complain to someone about liking a work they dislike over doing something productive.

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  8. Seems like we need to have these reminders far too often these days.

    I watched ep 1, didn’t like it, won’t watch anymore, but I’m not attacking people who do like it. So stupid and pointless to do so. Makes you look like such an idiot going after fans of it just because you don’t agree with it. Geez, the anime community can be so fucking stupid at times. Grow the fuck up already.

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  9. I haven’t seen Goblin Slayer, but I do know about that controversy. People shouldn’t act like moral guardians all the time when the stuff they like could be hypocritical to their chastising. Don’t get me wrong, if something has unfortunate implications, it should be called out and explained why something would be problematic. Saying people are bad because of some shallow reasons and strawman arguments is so annoying to me. Good point about the Bastard and Berserk examples since those same people would bash those series if they were new. On my review blog, I’ve covered controversial documentaries and anime on there and I’m surprised by how much backlash I (didn’t) get for certain reviews. At the same time, I have called out hypocrisy from some of those people whenever I talk about how something has racist implications, sexual double standards, and even film plagiarism controversies depending on what I’ve covered on that aforementioned blog. Then again, some people could be offended for things much pettier than the Goblin Slayer issue.

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