Disclaimer: This post is kind of ranty. And personal. I apologise in advance.
I’m tired. So very tired.
And not because I’m a lazy, lethargic Anime blogger. But because I feel like it’s becoming a crime to simply have fun with the thing I enjoy more than anything else in the world.
I like having fun. Fun is important to me. Being entertained is important to me. It keeps me amused, it helps to pass the time and it provides me with a means to de-stress and unwind after a long, hard day of working at the office.
I also like discussing the things that I find fun. I like to write about Anime on this blog and share my thoughts on the shows I’ve been watching and why I found them enjoyable or how they managed to connect with me on a personal level. Sometimes I’ll talk about a show I didn’t have so much fun with, and explain why that was the case. Other times I’ll talk about a broader topic related to Anime and its community. But regardless of the show or topic I choose to write about, I always do so with the intention of having a good time and opening up an enjoyable discussion with the people who follow me and others outside of my following within the much larger Anime community.
But recently, I feel that it’s become difficult to have those kinds of discussions, and it’s become almost as difficult to simply watch a show and have a good time with it. Because of how a large number of people in the community are approaching the discussion of Anime.
And I’ve talked about this on the blog many times before. I talked about Goblin Slayer and the negative reaction is received from the moral crusaders who decided that people who enjoyed the show were rape apologists. I talked about Magical Girl Site and the ridiculous takes saying that the fans of the series supported bullying and abuse. I’ve even recently taken jabs at the Shield Hero controversy in my seasonal overview, because people think the show is “misogynist” because it has a false rape accusation and slavery in its story.
And it’s these kinds of discussions, these takes on Anime, that have made the kind of discussion I want to see, and that I enjoy so much, far more scarce, and far more difficult to get off the ground. Because Anime discussion is no longer about how good or bad the show is. It’s no longer about having a fun or interesting chat with your friends about your favourite character, which fight scene was the coolest, or how interesting or unique the setting is. It’s all about pushing some fucking real world agenda that has nothing to do with the show itself, or using the shows you watch as a platform to push your real world ideologies onto other people.
And I’m well aware that this isn’t a new thing, nor is it even exclusive to Anime but, for me at least, it’s become so much more present and so much more toxic, that I have to say something. I have to get my thoughts out there. I need to vent.
Because Anime is entertainment. Anime is supposed to be fun. I remember when Anime was a hobby. When I could say I liked a show and wasn’t labelled an alt-right fascist for enjoying it. When I could talk about how damn cool and fun High School DxD was without someone telling me it was a sexist show that was degrading to women because it sexualises its female characters. When I could use Anime as an escape from the real world and dive into an awesome fantasy world where the characters go on a cool adventure, fight monsters and save the world.
I miss having fun. I want to have fun. And I feel that a lot of people are losing sight of what matters the most: having a good time and enjoying yourself.
And hey, maybe discussing how the latest Anime represents your political ideologies or personal real world beliefs is what makes Anime fun for you. Maybe you’re so caught up in your identity, that seeing certain things in a fictional story upsets you and makes you angry. Maybe that’s what’s important to you.
But me? I don’t care. As long as I get a good story that entertains me. Because that’s what I’m here for. That’s why I watch Anime, and that’s why I like discussing it. And that should be okay.
There’s been this idea going around recently that everything is political, and that every show, in some way, shape or form represents a particular set of beliefs and values no matter what it’s about. And that we should care about it. We have to care or we’re entitled or ignorant.
But here’s a doozy for you: I don’t care. I honestly don’t give a single fuck, and I’m tired of people telling me what I should care about in the media I consume. I don’t care about whatever agenda you’re trying to push. I don’t care about the political discourse surrounding a show. I’ve been told that’s selfish and that believing so makes me entitled, but what’s so selfish about just wanting to be entertained? I just want to have fun.
Let me have my fun. Let those who feel similar to me have their fun too.
Because some of us don’t have any agenda to push. Some of us just don’t care and just want to have fun with Anime and talk about why it’s fun.
Everything may be political, and everything may represent a set of real world ideals, but that doesn’t mean I have to care or pay attention to it. And if that makes me “ignorant” or “stupid”, then so be it. I’d rather that than be trapped in a neverending cycle of toxicity where people spend weeks upon weeks arguing about how sexist Shield Hero is or how Goblin Slayer appeals to the alt-right.
I’ll be having fun instead. Because Anime is entertainment. And you should have fun with it. So let’s have fun, and let’s talk about it in a fun way.