I’ve been following airing anime for the last five or six years and I’m still going strong. There’s a lot of personal responsibilities getting in the way of me having a lot of free time, but my life still practically revolves around watching anime. Even now, as I enter my third year in college, I’ve somehow ended up as my anime club’s president. There’s so much to be done, so much to watch. And, most of all, there’s so much to be disappointed with.
Figuring out the ins and outs of those charts has become so second nature for someone like me, a person so immersed in anime, that’s watched so much anime (by my standards, at least), that there’s no choice but to look forward to the newly airing stuff. Actually, “look forward” is not the greatest way to put it. There is no choice in the matter if I’m always looking for new anime to watch; I have to watch this stuff to stay relevant with my friends and with the internet. That’s certainly a saddening venture when I think about it, but it’s something I don’t mind doing with my free time. Which means I’ve learned how to find the shows I am interested in. Conversely, it also means I’ve learned how to find the shows I will most definitely avoid. But you see… concerning the purposes of making a post like this, things like “good” and “bad” are terms that hold no meaning. This is just a way to find out why people read this shit in the first place. In this case, I’m letting people judge my taste.
Aside from the fact that it’s terribly easy to say whatever nonsense you want about titles that haven’t aired yet, what I’m trying to illustrate here is that my attempts to pick and choose in the current anime season reveal what my preferences are like, and not that these anime will actually be good. Furthermore, I want to stay away from using simple adjectives to judge anime, especially when those adjectives can be as polarizing as “amazing” or “godawful”.
From what I’ve seen of other preview posts that frequent the anisphere perpetually, all this scrutiny over a show’s premise, staff, and animation studios make everything impossible to view objectively. It all amounts to me figuring out other people’s tastes and expectations, saying “fuck that”, and letting my own experiences guide what I do and do not like.
Now see, I could totally go the route of pretending to be an expert on anime and say things like this:
All these amazing shows are SOGOOD and amazing and are going to make me cry rivers and if you can’t accept the SOGOOD or appreciate the SODEEP then you’re SOBAD and have shit taste.
Or maybe I’ll just be one of those people on the negative side of the spectrum and start saying things like this:
This season is full of these godawful shows which either are full of horrible fanservice or are pretending to be SODEEP. All these things I’m not watching are shit and people who like these shitty shows have shit taste and are SOBAD says experts.
I have to admit, it would be so much easier on me if I could just reduce myself to thinking in these terms when it comes to anime, and I probably used to think like that back when I was newer to anime, but I can’t do that in good conscience anymore. Not when I’ve gone through this thing called a high school and college education. Because I can look at anime with the same scrutiny I do with classic literature and movies, I most definitely will. And, in order to uphold that standard in writing, I have to stay away from these sorts of mentalities that are, for the most part, unwilling to listen to the other side of the argument.
I’ve certainly met people in real life who think like this, and speak their minds like this, in my anime club.
“Let’s watch this anime because it’s soooooo good.”
“We can’t watch that anime because it’s bad.”
“Why would anyone like that series? It’s shit.”
“How could not not like this anime? Do you have a heart?”
Maybe I have a hard time with having a clear opinion about new anime because I know I’ll be wrong one way or another. I’m quite sure there’s nothing wrong with having a clear opinion. In fact, I feel as though it would be better for me if I were a lot more definitive about what I liked and disliked! And yet I’m still hesitant to be so clear-cut about it, like I’m afraid I’m going to lose people just because I said that one thing is good an another thing is bad, perhaps said with much more intensive adjectives attached to them.
Being someone who has found the inspiration to write shitty posts on a blog, one can understand that I eventually tired from conversations that end up at the paraphrased quotes above, and despite recognizing that I myself need to keep an open mind about things, there’s no indication that your conversation partner will do the same. Compared to the real world, at least I can find people to have a nice discussion about anime with on the internet, but the people I meet in the club still don’t understand what it means to have a pleasant argument, and even less so when it’s about something as meaningless as Chinese Pornographic Cartoons.
Maybe what I really desire for this year is that I get members who are way more articulate about why they like or dislike things, as opposed to speaking solely in terms of what to watch and not watch in club just because they don’t feel like it. I suppose the burden’s on me now to facilitate this kind of discussion, so whatever happens now is directly correlated to the effort I put in this year as the current president.
Well, before I forget why I wrote this in the first place, this is what has my attention at the moment (in order of the pictures in this post).
- The noitaminA duo (Samurai Flamenco and Galilei Donna)
- Valvrave S2
- Golden Time
- Yozakura Quartet
- Kyoukai no Kanata
- Sakasama no Patema (a movie, so that’s not going to be out anytime soon)
Let’s be honest here, though. Do I really have to elaborate more about my taste when I can be as succinct as typing a list of what I’m going to be watching? You can make some fine and educated guesses based merely on the pictures that I’ve put in this post, and a detailed analysis of my taste from what I haven’t mentioned or pointed towards. Sure, I can talk more about it by extrapolating from the information given, maybe make some comparisons between anime that have the same staff, or possibly crack some jokes at an animation studio’s expense. But again, I can’t do that in good conscience because I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen. Everything on my list may end up being really good, or perhaps everything I’m watching will become extremely bad. That stuff is out of my hands.
- Good thing I’m going to sidestep the whole issue of quality in new anime by avoiding them altogether when I eventually construct a schedule for club viewings.
- Even when I like people who are willing to discuss anime at an academic level, that ends up ostracizing people who just watch anime for fun, and certainly there’s a lot more of those sorts of people than there are aniblogger-quality people who end up going to a dinghy little anime club.
- The battle for best taste still rages on, even within the staff, so I’m in high hopes that there’s going to be a lot of activity come the first meeting tomorrow night.