No don’t worry, I’m not here to rant and rave on the latest social justice talking points. I think I’ve done more than enough of that lately! Besides, I’m not annoyed at anything at the moment. Quite to the contrary in fact. I’m in an inexplicably good mood. As I write this, the spring season is just around the corner, the little of the new anime roster I’ve seen looks fantastic, and this lady’s fancy is once again turning to love for the corner of the anime community I’m acquainted with.
And I think it’s because you guys are so kick**s that you’re making the rest of the community look bad in comparison. What am I talking about? Have you not given up on that question yet? I made a questionable choice. I went to YouTube and Reddit for anime side content… At least I know for sure you guys are the best!
Let me be clear, I’m exaggerating to prove a point. I know there are some truly lovely anime communities on both of those platforms and I also have known some jerks around WordPress. But I noticed a few trends in my very limited exposure that I’m glad I don’t have to deal with.
I’m just going to get this right out. I’m biased, because Reddit is scary. It’s fun to read but there’s something about the thread structure and users of Reddit that I personally find intimidating and I wouldn’t feel welcome to post. It’s probably in my head. It just seems like the posts I read so quickly fall into name calling or uncomfortably casual discrimination in the replies that I feel alienated.
When I think about how even very mild constructive criticism in the comments is a rarity around here, let alone an actual insult, it’s day and night.
YouTube is different in its representation of our community. well maybe it’s not. I just don’t bother to read past the top couple of comments on videos… What I often find funny about the YouTube anime channels, the big ones at least, is the forced conflicting personalities. I think most of these are pretty authentic anime fans who watch and enjoy a wide variety of shows. Some of them also have some pretty obvious gatekeeping tendencies or at least the drive and wish to share more obscure aspects of their beloved media with the larger public. However they’re also pressured by algorithms and market trends. Especially YouTubers that are trying to make a living off their videos.
As such, these creators will often be compelled to put out video after video on the same few very popular series. Stick to topical drama or superficially explore click baity subjects, focusing on broad appeal to as wide an audience as possible to ensure a living wage. While in the process becoming, on the surface at least, very similar to those fans they denounce. There’s a slight animosity that comes through or at least an apathy.
This gets passed on to the audience that feels a sympathetic frustration. It makes our community seem much more negative than it really is.
Again, these are generalizations. I’m sure there are some fantastic Anitubers. Why does that sound so dirty? I probably just fell on the wrong people at the wrong time. After all, we’ve read horror stories about voice actors terrorized by obsessive fans. It would be extremely foolish to think that’s the norm.
But the point is, you guys don’t do that. Anibloggers I have known, and that’s starting to be quite a few, range from pure sunshine and optimism to fresh spring flowers and cautious optimism. Maybe it’s the non confrontational nature of a blog post format. Maybe it’s the lack of pressure that comes from working on a platform that is notoriously unlucrative.
Maybe blogs as a medium simply attracts less competitive and more introspective folks which makes for a calmer, easier to integrate community. I don’t actually know. I’m taking wild guesses. Because in the end, we are essentially the same community. We share the same interests. We often have a lot of tastes and hobbies in common. If we were all in a room together, we’d find something to chat about, which isn’t necessarily true of anyone.
So is it just the platform? If I took the plunge and started posting on Reddit would I find myself suddenly a lot shorter on patience. Would the faster back and forth forum like format and the pressure of upvotes teach me to create shorter blunted arguments to get my point across more effectively if less tactfully? What about YouTube? Would I get drunk on views and become a romance anime channel or something? Would the constant drive for achievement creep into me and rob me of my fun? Would it change anything at all?
I don’t know.
Or maybe the platform we choose is an inherent reflection of who we are and bloggers are different animals. More timid and relaxed. A little more sensitive maybe, then again…
I’m just speculating out loud here, and for no good reason at that. There’s no point into splitting our little group up in any way. At the end of the day, if you like anime so much that you want to create your own content around it, I salute you. If you seek out that content because you enjoy discussing your favourite shows, I welcome you!
So tell me, have you noticed a distinct difference in tone and delivery from one platform to the next or am I coocoo banana pants? And if you have noticed a difference, which is your favorite?