These days it seems most of my anime-related interactions on social media can be divided into 4 general categories. Strangers telling me they are sexually attracted to drawings. Which is fine but you gotta be in the mood for that sort of thing. Strangers and sometimes acquaintances generally proclaiming that so and so anime is the worst!  Various people saying there is something personally wrong with me if I enjoy – insert anime name here-. Or various people saying there is something personally wrong with me if I don’t enjoy – insert anime name here-.

Basically, there’s been a bit of a negative trend lately (I’m writing this late November. Things might have gotten wonderful again by the time this publishes) So I figured it was a good time to dust off this post I once wrote for 100-word anime. It has aged a bit but I think it largely still applies.

I often explore “why” people start blogging on anime. I collect those origin stories like a treasure. For some reason, they are very interesting to me even though they also tend to be very similar. The top reason by a mile is usually some variation of: “I love anime and I wanted to find people to discuss it with”. It seems a majority of us were looking for an outlet for our random and a sense of community. I was as well.

However, that bright-eyed enthusiasm also tends to turn to bitter disillusionment when the community we discover isn’t quite what we expected.

A lot of bloggers have some drive to make their blogs better, which for some means more popular. I figure that’s fair enough. After all, that’s the community we were seeking in the first place. So for a lot of people that will mean opening up comments, seeking out other blogs venturing off-platform to Twitter, YouTube or Reddit in a bid to share our blogs or at least our thoughts with more people.

I’ve noticed that this is where the trouble starts.

anime worried
uh hoh

I’ve spoken to a lot, and I mean A LOT of fellow bloggers and more involved anime fans that grow exhausted from seeing series they love get “attacked” by other fans. I also know a few bloggers and anime fans that actively have fun mocking or trolling other fans so I can’t deny that it happens. Often, these fans take criticism of beloved shows quite personally. Not in the way that saying something negative about the show is like saying something negative about them but more in the way that it bothers and even hurts them. If you’ve ever felt that way you are most definitely not alone! And unfortunately, a lot of people end up retreating and shutting off interaction with other fans to avoid those unpleasant situations.

For some reason, people think I’m immune to this. Thick-skinned and indifferent. I’m not. I once read an innocent remark that Natsume was a fine show but boring and it’s time we invested in a different series. That bothers me to this day. I think about it embarrassingly often. It was over a year ago! I think part of the reason why I personally don’t seem to be as bothered is that in my experience, people rarely insult the shows I like (well they might at first but they quickly move on), instead they tend to insult me personally. And that does in fact not bother me much coming from strangers. From friends, it’s another story.

This said I did have a friend who, while saying they wanted to disengage from the anime community because of all the negativity, also publicly said they didn’t understand how anyone could possibly enjoy one of my favourite shows. So that sort of falls into all the categories. I got over it but it did sting a bit.

However, when the criticism stays clearly levelled at an anime, or at fans of the anime, then I have to carefully remind myself to take a deep breath and listen (read) instead of going on the defensive. Sometimes, I forget. And yes, at those times I also wonder if having a blog is worth it…

nge

I could be playing video games

And then we have issues of fans spiralling out of control, levelling serious accusations at one another or throwing hurtful insults around over something that really should only be meant for enjoyment. I guess I have issues with insults against anything other than myself. That sounds a bit unhealthy… I should probably look into that. This aspect of the anime community has kept me largely off platforms other than WordPress and has made me actively avoid certain anime topics altogether. (In general, I do have a little update on this at the end) And I am by no means particularly sensitive so I can only imagine how bad it can get for those that are.

But it has had another effect on me. I’m not quite sure how to put it, but it’s made me duller. You see, I really don’t want to ruin someone else’s anime experience. If anything I’m a huge cheerleader of the medium at large and I would feel bad if I made it less enjoyable for someone. That’s sort of antithesis to my whole deal. So I pretty quickly started self-censoring. And I had gotten to a point where I’m not that happy with it.

In order to avoid making someone else feel bad, I over sanitize any negative impression I may have about a show. I use very soft and subjective language constantly trying to make sure people know that it’s just my personal opinion and not an absolute or objective value judgment. I am a silly writer for the most part and my humour occasionally skews towards more black or blue jokes but I edit those out when I catch them. As a result, I sometimes end up with some very bland or just very superficial posts hoping to not upset anyone and I still do occasionally.

What’s the point of reviewing anything if all my reviews as just a uniform mass of mildly positive reactions.

exasperated

besides screencaps obviously

As you may know, I often collab with other bloggers. And for the most part, we disagree. I think Karandi and I have opposite reactions to about 80% of the shows we watch. And those “debates” are some of the most interesting and rewarding anime discussions I have. Although it is, of course, possible to have fantastic discourse where everyone agrees as well. This said, I personally get smarter when I m challenged. Otherwise, I tend to get a bit intellectually lazy and just assume there’s nothing more to think about.

And I’ve been denying myself these experiences on purpose. Because…well I’m not entirely sure anymore. I know that even fairly mild and respectful criticism has occasionally made some readers unhappy. To be clear, it’s not that I need to make everyone happy, that’s impossible. It’s just that I need to find a way to write something negative with the community reaction pilling on into something worse.

So far I haven’t found exactly how to go about it. Disclaimers break up the flow of an article and don’t actually work anyways. Most people are well aware that negative talk about a show they love isn’t about them directly and that’s not what’s upsetting them. So just a paragraph telling them it’s my opinion isn’t likely to change much.

At the end of the day, as long as it remains respectful, maybe the best way to go is to just be honest. People don’t need to agree with each other on everything. Maybe I can inspire some bloggers to write rebuttal posts. Maybe I can even get someone to start a blog to tell me I’m wrong. Then we all have a great new blog to read. Everyone wins!

To sum it all up. Most people get upset when their favourite shows are spoken of negatively. If it happens to you, you’re not alone. But that shouldn’t stop us from having discussions.

(ED. As I mentioned in the first paragraphs, social media has been bumming me out a bit lately. Usually, I simply disengage in those times. I mean it’s only strangers talking about anime, nothing to get worked up about. But lately, I’ve started a little experiment. Whenever I come across some just bluntly negative statement about anime on Twitter or Discord instead of ignoring it, I answer with a positive one. If someone is insulting a show or the fans of a show, I will just reply with whatever aspects I’m enjoying or just elements I think are good even if I might not like a series. I make sure I don’t insult the person making the statement or even discredit their statement. I just sort of even it out with another perspective.

It’s actually really cheered me up. I doubt it will have any huge impact in general but it’s made me want to interact with other fans more. If ever you find yourself burned out on just aimless negativity that can arise in our community from time to time, I do recommend you give this trick a try. And let me know if it worked for you. Maybe we can start a trend.

63 thoughts

  1. You must be the worst person in the world for going around and saying nice things about other animes 😉

    I’ve noticed that this is where the trouble starts.

    Oh, preach it sister! That’s why I only interact on WP. I crosspost my book reviews to Librarything and Blogger, but I don’t interact there.

    Best of luck trying to stay nice….

    1. WordPress is still very welcoming for some reason. I guess it’s at least proof that we can be civil online

  2. Good topic! I guess twitter is the worst for this. But to be honest, a certain type of social cancer found in the anime community is quite amusing for me. Not sure it can be removed, I guess I just disengage if something is bothering me

  3. Fantastic and relatable post! I have definitely decided to abandon the anime community for the most part. Did you notice that there’s no longer a link to my Twitter on my blog? I’m deactivating it (once I can remember my stupid password)!

    In any case, I have never been personally assaulted by slander before. I always try to put “I think” or “I feel” in my writing to make it more subjective. However, I also self-deprecate a LOT. I’m aware that I think very differently from most people in the world, and so I’ve been dealing with disagreeing opinions a lot. I get very salty about opinions based specifically on word choice- all-ecompassing words such as “everyone” and “always”- but taking those words with a grain of salt is something I’ve been working on for years.

    And by the way, I think you have some of my favorite posts on the Internet. We don’t always have the same viewpoints, but that’s- again- because of how my brain is wired; I don’t value relationships the same way most people do. I think it’s ok to critique something you don’t like, as long as you’re scholarly about it (which is no problem for you). I just hope you have plans to watch Eighty-Six in April, because that one’s going to be very controversial, and I don’t know anyone rational enough (besides you) to cover it.

    And with that, keep up the great work!

      1. Oops, didn’t mean to make you think I was going to watch it myself, especially with its streaming status unaccounted for. I’ll probably watch it if and only if I’m able, but I doubt I’ll be able to write a review of it.

        In the meantime, I do have reviews of the light novels interspersed throughout my Weeb Reads Monthly series. You should be able to see which posts have them by typing “Eighty-Six” on my blog’s search field. If you decide to watch it yourself, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  4. Whoa there’s some essay-length responses here. I’ll keep it short and just say I agree that people don’t skillfully disagree usually, for whatever reason. But the disagreement about what’s popular is one of the things I admire about art in general. I’d prefer that disagreement to be expressed civilly of course, but the disagreement itself is interesting to me. I love knowing that if I completely love a show, there’s someone out there who hates it so much they won’t even mention the name! And if I can’t stand a show, I love recognizing that somewhere it’s had some profound positive effect on someone’s life. I feel that’s the best part of the anime community. How that’s expressed of course is a different story.

  5. I have clearly chosen well in who I follow on Twitter as I almost never see any of this toxicity you discuss here. It’s only when people like you bring it up or I see a tweet from an anime news site that I am aware of these controversies. I might see the occasional post on MAL that annoys me but again, I rarely visit their forums unless an episode has been delayed or something.

    That is not to say I can deny its existence but if I can’t see it, I can’t really have an opinion on it. Sadly, toxic fandom is by product of any hobby or interest be it sport, music, film, books, or TV. Some wrestling fans can be complete tools too, so why should anime be any different.?

  6. It’s true that people can’t agree on everything but I really don’t want then getting toxic over that. I want that to change. If you don’t like something you can say, ‘I don’t like so and so anime’ instead of saying, ‘so and so anime’ sucks and you’re mentally retarded if you watch it.’ That’s personally attacking someone and it’s wrong. I’m so glad you wrote about this, the community should be a place where all of us support each other.

    1. I got to say, that second example of yours looks real familiar… Pretty sure I see something like that on a daily basis

  7. When I criticized Mushoku Tensei at crowsworldofanime, one of its fans tried to insinuate that I am a homophobe. I have criticized many anime in the past, and that was the first time someone had ever threw out an attack against my character. Let’s just say I find the Mushoku Tensei fandom very toxic and unable to handle even the slightest criticism, preferring to dismiss criticism of Rudeus’s sexual depravity as being cancel culture or hurling insults at others because they are either incapable of promoting or defending the show’s convenient writing or even worse, defend Rudeus’s preference for underage girls.

    I can’t say I know what it’s like to be a blogger since I don’t have a blog. One reason I don’t blog is because there aren’t many shows that could actually inspire me to write about them on a regular basis because I believe most anime don’t have strong enough narratives, plots, or themes to get me thinking positively about them, so it would be a real struggle for me to write about anime unless I picked series that I dislike to criticize. I don’t think I’d be interested in that since it’d be sort of a duplication of the time I spend criticizing certain shows, making it a waste of my time.

    1. Blogging is not for everyone – it’s a pretty weird hobby. I didn’t know readers where going after each other in comments. Now that’s just too far.

  8. I suspect that what you’re describing is a subset or reflection of a wider societal trend, in which we have, as a society, forgotten how to engage in principled disagreement or dissent without being either gratuitously offensive or else silencing those who take a different point of view.

    Personally, I trace this development to the emergence of the so-called “neoliberal ascendancy” that has dominated global political and economic ideology since the late 1970s. One product of this “ascendancy” has been the acceptance by both “left” and “right” of the claims made by neoliberal (or economic “rationalist”) ideologues regarding the sole legitimacy of “free-trade” corporatist capitalism as the dominating paradigm of human life and socio-economic organisation. Consequently, with no actual ideological difference with which to engage in a “contest of ideas”, the sole purpose of political discourse has been “winning” and enjoying the fruits of political office. This has necessarily made that discourse more personal, more aggressive, and more destroying the opposition’s capacity to mount an argument (as distinct from either persuading them to your point of view or even being open to being persuaded to theirs).

    This “winner takes all” deforming of political discourse has necessarily spilled over into other forms of engagement, including online and in social media. Our culture has become entirely fragmented and oppositional, allowing neither for complexity or doubt. There is no middle ground, no shades of grey. You are either with us or agin’ us. And if you’re “with us”, you have to be implacably, relentlessly, remorselessly with us – and you are certainly not allowed to be critical of us, because self-reflection and self-criticism are tantamount to treason.

    This is exacerbated by the objectification and dehumanisation that occurs through our pop culture, especially in the form of so-called “reality TV” and its variants. These genres are, in my view, a return to the psychology of the Coliseum, in which we watch people degrade and humiliate themselves for our entertainment. Moreover, they give a distorted and artificial take on how human reality and relationships operate, normalising that distortion so that the soap-opera antics and narcissistic entitlement embedded within “reality” become the operative description of human life that our culture conveys to successive generations.

    I love anime because it explores themes and issues in a way that resonates strongly with my own sense of identity and reflections on what it means to be human. That said, I am not blind to the problematic aspects of anime as a genre, especially its tendency to hyper-sexualise young women and even girls. But my investment in anime is not (with a few rare exceptions) in specific series or features, but in the form as a whole – I guess I am fortunate in that way, as I don’t get into the whole “my show is better than yours” palaver. Ultimately, I think that kind of destructive argument is just another form of the tribalism I have described above.

    I am the only person I know who is into anime to the extent and degree that I am. One or two acquaintances have come out of the woodwork, so to speak, and told me they read my posts as a way of informing themselves about what shows to watch. But that is more about them selecting something they might like to watch, rather than exploring anime as a genre. So maybe I also have the luxury of being something of an island?

    My opinion is that you should just keep on writing honestly about your views about anime, either as a genre or in respect of specific shows. That honesty is part of your integrity. Of course, honesty and abuse are not the same thing, and in being honest, we should always be careful about being gratuitously offensive and mistaking that for honesty. But in the time I have been a subscriber to your blog, I have never detected this confusion in your writing.

    And if people want to take aim at you for honestly sharing your views – well, I have two words for you: “delete” and “block”. They are very simple actions to take that will spare you a whole world of trouble.

    Thank you very much for your thoughtful and informative blog. 🙂

    1. I always figured that the simple fact that the digital space gives everyone a voice and a platform is something we have not yet adjusted to as a society. We’ll get there but hey, most social media platforms aren’t even a generation old, it’s going to take a bit more time for such a revolutionary change and tool to really get properly assimilated into our lives.

      1. I agree in part with that…however, social media platforms don’t exist in a vacuum, or apart from the surrounding social-political context…and I think the way social media platforms have been used to date is indicative of our present (and, sadly, foreseeable) context….

      2. That’s an interesting point… I remember back in the USENET days, a significant percentage of regular posters pointed to the day AOL brought a whole new batch of people online. If I remember correctly, we saw a huge uptick in posts that consisted of just “Me, too!” or were wildly off topic or disrespectful.

        At the time, I hope it was a sign of just what you said — giving everyone a voice. Over the years, that hope has faded. But I still think you’re right. We’ll get there. Whether I believe it or not will affect how much support I give either conclusion.

  9. The negativity on not only the anime community but video games as well is what has kept me from getting too involved in them. I love both with all my heart, but I tend not to get into debates about them. Take the recent Pokémon announcements. I’m beyond excited my generation is getting so much love. Everything I see is negative. It seems like the more out-spoken of people are largely negative. And it gets tiring. Take Twitter, for example. I absolutely despise social media (especially Twitter), but I figure it might be fun to have if I was going to start having more of an online presence. I see almost nothing but negativity there. Still, my experience has been better because I zone that out now. I won’t act like I don’t get the urge to tell someone off from time to time, I very much do, but I stop myself. I try to understand that they aren’t worth my time and move on. But it has created this stigma where I don’t talk about these thing online with people because I don’t feel like hearing it. So now I only discuss these things I love with people I know are decent. That’s why I’ve been so happy lately. I feel like I found a second home here with people who actually care about what I love. People who I can actually have disagreements with, but in a nice way that makes me a better person at the end of the exchange. I think these communities will always have negativity, and I feel that that will never change, but it doesn’t change that there are phenomenal people in these communities. It just feels like you sometimes need to look a little bit.

    1. Disengaging from social media is great but I know that for a lot of people that need to grow their online presence either for work or for their blog, it’s not always a completely viable option.

  10. I don’t see how anyone can enjoy football. That doesn’t change that many people do, including an awesome sister of mine. Just because I personally don’t get it doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with others, or wrong with me. I am quite secure and comfortable in my personal adage, “Like and let like.” But people get so caught up basing some part of who they are on what they like, while the internet mob is ready to judge them for it. Gotta stay in fashion, gotta stay with the herd, gotta stay trendy, and so on. It’s ridiculous!

    And if I may just say, good for you for making the effort to add some positivity to this entire situation. Good for you, indeed! 🙂

    1. Thanks Merlin. Not sure it’s ever going to have any impact but hey, it makes me feel better….

  11. Last year I found myself caught up in doomscrolling and general negativity about the world so retreated fron the online world.
    For whatever reason I don’t feel concerned when others disagree with my opinion or even tell me I am wrong about an anime (though they are equally unlikely to change my opinion). In my absence last year a spammer took to leaving comments on various posts on my blog telling me to shut up and that they felt bad for anyone who took the time to read my work (the comments were a lot more hostile). Mostly whdn I logged back in I removed the most offensives ones and who ignored the rest.
    I think when you put yourself and your opinions into a public space you do need to make sure you accept that the while there will be some great and positive connections, there are also some less pleasant encounters and ways people express their views.

  12. The space in which anime exist has been pretty bitter for as long as I can remember. There are plenty of bright spots don’t get me wrong (many of which interacted here) but as I grown up and my humor has gotten more and more sarcastic, I often found myself either saying (or swearing) from a place of jest that often people did not understand.

    Overtime I have tried to shape this into two things (rather its healthy or not is up for debate) one self-deprecation. It tends to loosen the crowd up a bit, it lets readers know the chances of my kidding is high. Second understand narratives that people enjoy, one of my best examples is SAO, I respect it for what it is but I was never a fan of that series, in many cases I would actively clown on it.

    Now the attempt here is to take any seriousness out of what I’m saying and put it all in connotation of jokes. I can jest and poke fun with sometimes (distasteful) jokes at fandoms but in a way I want the reader to be like, ‘yeah, I mean, you aren’t wrong’

    It helps that my own personal taste in anime, is, questionable. As someone who aggressively defends Oreimo, checks out every new Yandere serialization and harem in-between, I get called out, A LOT. (I will even go as far to say one of my best friends, who does not care at all about anime. Recommended me a book, Vladimir Nabokov’s Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle. For those who aren’t aware the novel is about a love affair between a brother and sister. He did this simply because he knew I liked Oreimo, loosely knew what it was about, and now I am that guy to him) but that never stops me from looking at it in good humor, yeah it is weird.

    I guess what I’m trying to say there is a fine line that I try to make my content walk. I also have to say a rather enjoy the trolley toxic side of the community assuming they are doing so in good faith. In the end people like what they like, and pretending I or anyone else has any critical merit to say otherwise is a hill not worth dying on.

    Really enjoy this read! I have been bouncing around ideas of how to address some of these things in my own works but haven’t quite ironed it out.

    1. Ada! I loved that book in high school. Glad to see it’s still popular.
      I use to go a lot heavier of self-depreciation. It has always been a traditional form of humour for me but my readers kept feeling bad for me or telling me to build up my self-esteem. I guess I was too tongue in cheek or something so I made a conscious effort to weed it out a bit.

  13. As far as negativity about anime and those who like a given anime goes, I have a litmus test of sorts. If someone is be fair about their negativity, backs their claim up with reason and walks me through why they didn’t like something, they get to hold that opinion, and I might strike up a conversation to learn their rationale better. If someone just says they didn’t like something, power to them because people should always pick and choose what works for them.

    Conversely, if someone decides they’re the authority for what good taste is and presumes to either tell me what to think or insult me for disagreeing with them, all bets are off. This happened to me on a few occasions, and those people have ended up worse for it. I don’t object to negative opinions surrounding anime, but it’s the attitudes people have for others that’s bothersome.

    For handling these people, my old approaches have been very heavy-handed: I like reminding people that yes, there are people that can hit back. Of late, this is very exhausting, and I’ve found it easier to go take a walk, or hop into Halo, save humanity from an ancient parasite’s threat and forget about the side of the community that clearly has nothing better to do than F5 all day over a flame war!

  14. The self help and mental health community have been on to your little trick for a long time. The cure for negativity is positivity. When a negative thought grabs onto your brain, the cure is to replace it with a positive one, and better yet two or three positives to counteract a negative. I love it that you are doing this on social media to counteract the toxic atmosphere there. I tried it at facebook for several months, but was eventually completely overwhelmed and have now all but left that platform, in spite of the fact it’s the only place I can keep up with certain friends. I am blessed that my interaction with the anime community online has been more or less confined to WordPress where we have a number of bloggers who have made the conscious choice to keep a positive attitude, even when critisizing a show for something or other. There’s a reason I have a few very favorite blogs I try to never miss a post on!

    As a conscious and moral human, writing reviews is difficult. You don’t want to just gush and pollyanna over everything, and sometimes you’ll watch something you just can’t do that about. When you don’t like something, it’s hard to find a way to state what it is, and why, without saying something somewhere that will hurt feelings. Part of that is because not everyone among the public is good at accepting criticism, however constructive it may be meant to be, or even if you are saying it’s not to my taste (which is about as critical as you’ll ever hear me being these days). In my case, it’s always in the back of my head that the author of the work (or the other 5000 people involved when it’s anime) might read this review and be deeply hurt in the heart. Because, as an author, I’ve read reviews of my own work that were like a knife in the heart. I’d never want to do that to anyone (and thus you notice I don’t do a lot of book reviews, period). When you add in the social media where everyone gets to weigh in, it becomes (excuse me) a total clusterfuck.

    I’ve always admired your writing and your reviews. I enjoy the occasional snarky joke, too. It seems that it is part of being a thinking person to be constantly rechecking yourself to make sure you haven’t done anything you may regret later. That just means you do care. But for the record, you do a fine job.

    1. Thank you Foovay that means a lot.
      I haven’t been on Facebook for years but I think it’s amazing that you would try to make that space more positive, That just seems like a Gargatuan task

  15. Online toxicity is a big reason why I am much less active on social media these days. It feels like some people will say anything for a few yuks, and it doesn’t help that the algorithms prioritize “engagement” which usually means they push inflammatory posts.

    I try to stay away from negative posts for this reason. I want my blog to make people feel happy or inspired or at least think “huh, that’s interesting, I never thought of it that way before”. And you can’t do that with just inflammatory negative posts. Even when I do post about something I don’t like, I try to explain why in detail and make it clear that it’s just my opinion. My blog is very small though, so luckily I haven’t had to deal with too much negativity on it. 🙂

  16. I don’t think I particularly mind when people comment on a blog post I make and say they disliked or even hated a favourite show of mine, or that they loved something I thought was truly awful. I tend to write very honestly these days, sometimes even exaggerating an opinion for slight comedic effect, so I figure that that’s at least occasionally bound to garner equally honest reactions. I’d like to think discussions never devolve into slamming people for their tastes though – there’s obviously a big difference between “this anime is dumb” and “people who like/dislike this anime are dumb.”

    In saying that, I’ve been taking a massive break from most forms of social media over the past few months, and I totally get that there’s also a huge difference between my own blog on WordPress and Facebook/Twitter/whatever. One of them’s a personal platform I’ve had for years that has a comparatively tiny readership – I already know almost everyone and they probably all know me. The other is a behemoth of a platform that’s public and more or less anonymous, and where people seem to like scoring points (or at least popularity/notoriety votes) by being purposefully incendiary.

  17. Agree on this. In my opinion if someone’s criticism of a show you like causes you to go apoplectic then sounds like you have issues. For crying out loud it’s not worth fighting about, there are better issues to look at. If someone doesn’t like a show I like, fine with me, I just leave them to their opinion and don’t go crazy over it… 😨

    1. A bit of distancing always helps put things in perspective. And sometimes it enables you to look onto the most absurd aspects of online communication with utter bemusement.

    2. And vice versa. I think the oddest thing is people getting mad because someone likes a show…

      1. Oh yeah no doubt. Like my dad says: argument is not an issue, but sensible arguments are needed. I’m reminded of how useful St. Augustine’s dictum is especially in this topic – “In all things essential, unity; in all things non-essential, liberty; yet charity is needed in everything.”

  18. I’ve had some negative stuff thrown at me a couple of times for anime opinions. Always because I dislike a show, scene, or character. I try not to be too aggressive in criticisms, I don’t feel the need to be, but my word, some people are vicious.

    I tend to argue my point a little, but in general, I’m working at not letting it bother me. I do get being upset by someone not liking something I do, mind you.

    1. I understand it as well, we just all have to navigate this digital space where everyone has a voice that can reach you. It’s a bit odd.

  19. The negative side of the Internet — which seems to be growing daily — really sucks. And there’s an easy explanation for it: “engagement”. What was once a term only insufferable marketing people bandied about is now something that the average Extremely Online person thinks is more important than actual meaningful interactions.

    To people who care about such things, it doesn’t matter exactly *how* people are engaging with the things you post, simply how *much* engagement it gets. Likes. Retweets. Quote tweets. And the easiest way to get a rise out of someone is to piss them off.

    It kind of blows that this carries across into how people respond to more positive takes on things, too. If I post something positive, I can pretty much guarantee I’ll get at least one response from someone saying how much that thing sucks, whereas people who also like it will tend to stay quiet. That’s a problem, because it just makes the whole thing spiral out of control.

    On top of that, I think you touch on something interesting in your post above: something which is keen to explore and analyse something isn’t quite the same as a glowing recommendation or fanboying over something — and yet a lot of people look at those things in the same way. For me, though, an in-depth analysis of something that explores what the creators’ intentions were (or what they are perceived to be, at least) and how well the work accomplishes that is always more effective and interesting than 10 Reasons Why Beloved Anime Sucks and You Suck for Liking It.

    I’ve all but stepped away from social media entirely because I’m sick of this side of things, and my life is infinitely more pleasant for it. Learning to not care about Twitter in particular is one of the best things you can do for yourself!

  20. No negativity from me! Thank you for writing about this topic. As a writer and reviewer, I often think about this. Thankfully I haven’t had anything really bad come up for awhile but unnecessary and toxic hating leaves a mark.

  21. I can be very sensitive of people slinging me mud when they think I’ve said the wrong thing. Only recently, I got roasted alive when a reader told me about how much they hated how I wrote about Adachi & Shimamura and their relationship that wasn’t going as quickly as some thought.

    I do think we bring it on ourselves though. I’ve been someone who has long believed that anime itself is good, and it’s just the fans that suck. We ARE a part of a community that be extremely toxic and vitriolic. I’m hoping that my posts in the future will be more positive, and I shouldn’t be led by any toxic readers who want me to write the way THEY want me to.

    Thanks for bringing all of this up btw 🙂

  22. I think the arguing and factualising opinions is what leads to negativity in the anime community, this can go both ways, someone who claims Natsume is factually the greatest show of all time (and means it in the factual sense not in their opinion so you are safe from this) is equally as wrong as one who calls you an idiot for liking such a dull show.

    We all experience shows very differently and look it at from other angels. You for example look at colours a lot more than most others, colour use will factor in for you more than some others so I could for example see you liking Attack on Titan less for that reason than say, my pal Indigo. I am drawn to the weird and away from serious politics, and look at a show more from an angle if a character feels natural or if its driven by the plot. Hence I am less of a fan of certain tropes then some.

    It’s like gossiping about a person, I see them from the back, you see them from the front.. if we would gossip about them we may both notice their outfit is odd.. but we still get very different experiences so we can not really tell what the other was seen is wrong. That nuance often is missing in people.. they are tunnel visioned in their angle. And if they voice the opinion of a YouTuber or a big blogger, they feel validated.

    If we respect, each others opinions .. it also means our opinion doesn’t matter as much. If I accept your vision that Natsume is the best show ever, what ever gripes I would have with it is only a side of a coin, rather than the foundations of the earth it was before. If I then accept Ricky’s feeling who says Natsume sucks and James opinion that it only gets good in season 2 etc.. I end up with my opinion only being a piece of the pie. A 12,5% where before it mattered 100%. The more accepting we are of other peoples opinion the less significant our own becomes. I am happy people like anime I don’t like, I said it before, but it too gives me trouble as a content creator.. because sometimes I wonder.. why should I bother.. do people really care about my opinion? The ones who accept it, probably accept all opinions, so it doesn’t matter, and then there are the ones who never accept it anyway.

    So the way I cheer myself up.. is by not seeing anime trough my eyes as the same thing you review, I talk about the experience I had with it. How it impacted me.. .and that is also how I read your reviews or Summer’s and Scotts as well.. I am not particularly interested in what you say about the anime.. but rather if you as a person had a good time. What I think about an anime doesn’t matter in the big picture… but if I look at how anime affected my friends, that experience is much more relevant. So I think the best way to fight negativity is to lose the macro perspective and look at it from a microperspective. I can’t argue of Natsume is good or not.. but I can FACTUALLY tell you what I felt.. and no one can argue with me about that.. I think we need to evolve from the Review.. into sharing our stories.

    1. I agree with everything but I got confused when you seem to say that Natsume being the greatest is not a fact? Weird… ;P

      1. I just used the one, factually undisputable best anime ever… as an example so people could not be angry!

        You see had I said Kyousougiga instead people might have feelings, that very and the example could not be read neutrally. So I used the only perfect anime in existence.. so everyone can read it neutrally!
        Most definitely!

  23. Interesting Topic, Its true that others get slandered for not liking or liking a certain anime… I haven’t ever got that type of negativity on my blog specifically but on other platforms like anilist (where people can be pretty harsh about their opinions) but in the end, it all comes down to your own opinion and putting aside negativity of the anime community.

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