Having any sort of online communal experience is a weird thing. We all experience things in different ways so it can already be a little tough to understand each other in the best of circumstances, but when you add on the digital veil over that it becomes even more nebulous. It’s a telephone game where no one hands you the phone, and you often have to work with very partial information.
On top of that, anime blogging often discusses art and there are few absolutes in art. So much of what I say and write depends on my personal take or perceptions and I just have to hope someone out there had had a similar enough impression to understand what I’m talking about.
I mean even if I try to be somewhat “objective” when writing reviews so I can give readers that don’t have my weirdo tastes and lack of standards a somewhat decent idea of what a series is like, it still ends up completely tainted by my personal experience. And I think that’s ok. Reviews are opinions after all and those are going to be subjective.
Which is why I would like to make a case for the completely subjective blogger today.
I know that coming off biased is not exactly considered good form in journalism. Even in entertainment journalism. Although I still don’t know how anyone would be able to stick to *just the face ma’am” when talking about art. There’s nevertheless a mild stigma associated with “fanboy/girling” over anything. I think it’s more accepted to be unduly harsh than overly complementary for some reason. But either way, you’re supposed to at least *seem* neutral. And I say pooh to that.
Ok wait, journalists should probably try to not let personal preferences influence how they present facts but we’re not journalists. Well I certainly am not. Please dear readers do not take anything I say for gospel. I am in no way ready for that type of responsibility.
And you know what’s more, as a reader, I actually prefer biased, emotional, opinionated and subjective posts. I understand that some people enjoy both writing and reading analysis that are based on research and divorced from the authors personal views. I do enjoy those once in a while as well. But I also like to do my own research. One thing I can absolutely not get from any other source(s) is what a blogger felt like when watching a series, how a specific tropes affects them, what their views are in light of the unique set of experiences they have.
Sure, I guess you could consider that useless information. Admittedly, it’s not likely to come in useful in my day to day life. But it’s completely one of a kind so I think it makes it valuable. Besides the same can be said about getting to know anyone. It’s not so much about the actual data you gather, it’s about expanding your mind by considering something outside of yourself. At least that’s how I see it. And you never know, I might need to buy you a present some day, so knowing all those preferences will have a practical application. And I love buying presents, it’s not that far fetched…
My point is that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with bloggers posting unbalanced reviews and passionate opinions based on your feelings. All those preferences and pet leaves are part of someone’s blogging voice and I really enjoy a strong blogging voice. Then again some people are naturally more balanced and understated so a neutral tone is also part of their blogging voice. That’s great too. Really it’s a question of embracing one’s personal views, even if they may occasionally be quirky or lopsided.
When I hear young bloggers struggling with making a post more objective or more accessible. Editing out any opinions they feel would either not be popular with the readership or they just think don’t sound professional enough (whatever that means), I get the feeling I’ve just missed out on something.
For the record, I’m not saying the internet is a warm and fuzzy place all welcoming and forgiving. I’m not saying that at all. I bet you can get into a vicious social media argument right now if you just let people know what your favourite pizza is. Without even trying that hard, or at all. But the WordPress aniblogging community is a fairly cozy spot. In my experience, whenever a blogger has decided to let their personal opinions through, they have had a great response from the readership here. Often better than expected and outshining other posts.
I can’t tell you why others may like it, but to me highly subjective posts just seem like a connection. Something personal. And that connection makes an impact, even if I find myself with nothing to add or comment about. I do understand that bloggers who tone down enthusiasm or try to always bring up both strengths an weaknesses of a series (like myself, I always do that) are doing so in a effort to be as helpful to their readers and true to reality as possible. That’s admirable. I just think it’s also o.k. to throw caution to the wind once in a while, ignore all the bad things about our new favourite series and write a post that’s more of a love letter. And I always enjoy reading them no matter how often they lure me into watching anime that’s not really for me…
These are my views but how do you feel about it. Do you enjoy subjective takes or do you prefer when authors keep their own opinions and feelings out of it? How do you prefer writing?