Anime is entertainment (and you should have fun with it)

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.

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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.

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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.

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I’m already bored…

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.

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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.

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No…? Okay. Bye.
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20 thoughts on “Anime is entertainment (and you should have fun with it)

  1. Regarding this issue, I think there are a few points to keep in mind (and it looks like you acknowledge them already):
    1. some people are in a position of privilege: they belong to whatever majority group, such that problematic elements in anime that are hurtful to minorities do not harm them. Others who are in minorities don’t have this luxury
    2. different people define “having fun” differently: some find critiquing socio-political elements in anime fun
    You seem to have an issue with people in category 2, who like to critique the socio-political elements in anime. I think it’s important to distinguish people within that category: there are ones who preach “think my way or else you’re unwoke” (whom you would probably like to avoid), but not every one is like that. Some simply point out problematic elements, without meaning to judge the morality of those who like the show. And that’s important to keep in mind, although it is unpleasant to read negative criticism of one’s favourite shows.
    Now, judging by your post, your response to my above paragraph would probably be “I don’t care, I just want to enjoy the show”. And I think that’s fine. I just want to add that it’s possible to like something while also acknowledging its problematic elements.
    There’s no “right” way to consume media: telling people “don’t like this show or else you’re unwoke” is not productive, nor is “don’t analyze this work any deeper the level of enjoyment”.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Good opinions on this matter. As an ethnic minority myself, #1 is all too true. There are times I’ve gotten into conversations (real life and online) when I’ve talked about racist/prejudicial implications in various media. There are times where people see where I’m coming from and others who have lashed against me while saying “They [the creators] didn’t mean it!” or “Lighten up! It’s just a movie/anime/book/game/TV show!” which is quite condescending as those in the majority never had to deal with the things I and others have dealt with.

      #2 is an interesting matter. Every creator has their own worldview put in their works whether they are aware of it or not (I’m an author and musician, so I can speak first hand on this). There’s nothing wrong with pointing how problematic things whether it’s a plot hole or an unfortunate implication of something in certain media. At the same time, bashing someone for the sake of it is profitless. It’s annoying to be fully apathetic as much as it is to say all kinds of thinkpieces about why something is good/bad in a preachy manner.

      That’s just my take on the issue at hand.

      Liked by 2 people

            1. Thanks for linking me to that article. I agree that media shapes people whether they know it or not for better or worse. There are neutral things, but there have been times where media uses dog whistles to demonize something. People should criticize the media (especially the mainstream, but that’s a story for another day), but they need to come at it with facts and rationality.

              Liked by 1 person

        1. I see. The SJW-ization (patent pending) of consuming media has certainly been rampant, so I understand the frustration. With that being said, the creators should be aware of different things. I’m not saying to play everything safe, but just to do a bit of research.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. People who get outraged at fictional controversial series and characters and at those who enjoy it should find a new hobby, they really have too much time in there life.
    Now I can’t wit to tell everyone that I found Endeavors hot…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I completely agree with you there. It’s really, really sad to see so many people take this stance, and it’s just something I can’t get on board with, no matter who they are or what the show is.

      And haha. Please do!

      Like

  3. Excellent post. Sums up the anime community as of late really well, everything having to make everything political and forgetting to just watch anime for the entertainment value and pure fun of it. Great read, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Anime for me started off as a fun medium. I turned to it to have fun and interesting chats with my friends about the stuff we enjoyed and maybe not so much, like you said in your posts. When I began to view anime more critically, last year I believe it was, I stopped having as much fun with it and felt I needed to have this super serious, stick-up-my-ass discussion on the content I consumed, and I did start to feel guilty about enjoying things that other people felt were very harmful or offensive. This year, however, I decided to go back to just having fun with what I consume, where it’s books or anime or anything else. I’m an advocate for equality and intersectional rights and things, and in real life that can be very exhausting (which I don’t mind most of the time), but when I consume media, it’s a fantasy that helps me keep my work separate from my personal likes and even my mental health. There is a line that I keep between them just so I don’t burn out and forget what it means to enjoy the things and why I fell in love with those things to begin with. While I believe some discussions are important, I don’t believe in any form whatsoever that people should be hated on or judged for the media they consume since for many people it is a fantasy and an outlet for myriad number of things. That’s why I decided to only review anime that I felt I wanted to discuss and to keep my thoughts on them more positive even if the show/film itself wasn’t brilliant. This allows me to keep having fun and not worry about all of the other bullshit that seems to spiralling around it nowadays. Man, reading this was like… so close to my heart and voiced a lot of thoughts I’ve been having lately. I know it’s kind of cliche to say that, but it’s so true!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Late to the convo as I tend to be, to the point where everything of note has basically been said.

    * I do agree that everything is political in some way, but whether you agree with me is entirely up to your own worldview. However, I also agree people shouldn’t have to be judged for their choice of media if it has some questionable elements (or even if the entire thing can be questionable) and that people shouldn’t be judged for their liking of so-and-so media because that’s what they chill to and/or distance themselves from the world with.
    * I also don’t think anyone should feel guilty for liking something other people diss like Biblionyan was (that’s what trigger/content warnings are for – reading widely is the only way you can pick up on said warnings if you don’t have the time to consume the media yourself). Tolerance is key to wandering the wild internets and if you’re going to cause a massive stir, you should probably think things through before you post and be prepared to explain your POV to someone who thinks differently.
    * I agree with inksquid’s approach of respecting different approaches to media.
    * I know I’m probably rephrasing inksquid or someone else in these comments, but tl;dr: anime /should/ be fun for everyone, but not to the exclusion of everyone else (politics or no politics). The thing about the internet is you can ignore what you don’t like, but even if you read something that rubs you the wrong way, you can still take it into account in order to be a better person.

    Liked by 1 person

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