Just a bit of a random musing post, but I’m getting the sense that in this modern era that people are starting to become incapable of actually truly making up their own minds about something. No truer is this then in the realm of anime fandom.
Day in and day out just reading blog articles I will tend to see people agreeing with what somebody has written in a blog article about a show for example as if it is the god given truth, but then have nothing to add to it at all. Common is the common, “Love this blog article and the show” for an episodic review and that’s it. What gives folks, cat got your tongue? It’s as if people feel they are going to offend by going a little in depth about the show they are reading about when replying.
I also notice that when there is a popular show about that I can literally wade through a comment box of a hundred or so posts on anime academy with not a single one having a remotely differing opinion about it. That should be unlikely unless again people are too afraid to actually come up with their own unique conclusions about what they are reading. The blog writer or the first poster should not be the trendsetter for the rest of a comment box. I know somebody out their has a slightly varied opinion about just about any topic I can think of, so why do they fear to share it?
Another thing I notice in anime fandom is what I call the stock response. The idea that there is one and only one way to respond to an idea. For example, Suzaku Kururugi does something in Code Geass, the response is “SUZAKU NEEDS TO DIE!!!!” That is your stock response for this given situation and rather then sit down and actually look at what the character is doing, people seem to find it easier to just go through the motions. Assumption of quality also comes to mind as I right this and also seems to come packaged with the stock response. For example if a popular studio or composer….say I don’t know, BONES or Yoko Kanno presents a work then the instant inkling is to go ahead and praise it as endlessly with comments like “The best of the year” without actually really going into any details about what makes it worthy of such high praise. It’s just seems assumed by people that the likes of BONES and Yoko Kanno are automatically worthy of it and doesn’t even dawn to them that there should be a why. It’s that kind of goodthink that also makes me ask the question as to why is seems nobody can think for themselves anymore.
It makes me more then a little frustrated because I will come into a conversation and try to give my look at something and often it won’t be exactly to the stock response. For this I often seem to be greeted with scorn or obnoxious replies. In fact just a few days ago I dared to offer that the Clannad Tomoyo Chapter OVA had a little to many distance shots, still shots and behind the speaker shots compared to normal and that the snow scene lacking in colour by nature resulted in them being able to divert funds and attention to other important areas of the animation effort. For this I said that I couldn’t offer anything other then a par good grade for animation and that I disagreed with the notion that the animation was outstanding or top quality in this OVA. Well holy smokes, when saying that the animation in a Kyoani series is awesome is today a kneejerk socially conditioned response like greeting someone with “hello”, you can imagine how well that went over with people who expect the stock response and nothing else. Not to well, spawning a lot of “you don’t know what you are talking abouts” or “you watch to much mecha animes and think animating robots, explosions and beams is harder than animating facial expressions’ “.
That latter comment also belies a gross misunderstanding of mecha shows I won’t get into, but my point is that because I dared to think for myself and divise my own way of reaching a conclusion, and thus I was met with much scorn. Never mind that fact that I essentially reached the same conclusion about the animation as everyone else, merely choosing a path that circled all the way around the topic of the animation in the episode to reach the conclusion, that was also just worded differently. I had thought to hard about it, and people have also told me on occassion that this is something I shouldn’t do. That last part is the kicker and what leads me to this article. I could offer more examples of what I am talking about with all this, but I think by now people should get my point.
It’s all just a little frustrating and I have to sit back and talk about it lest I go a little bonkers, because I can’t imagine how things got like this. The whole group mentality thing is culturally ingrained in Japan and I’d expect it on something like 2ch, but these are people from my own region of North America where the very fabric of it’s society was built on the notion that people should be able to practice their own belief system and way of life. Instead what I see now is a showcasing of a distinct case of mental apathy when it comes to my favourite passtime of watching and discussing anime. Instead of forging their own set of beliefs or positions on anime, I swear people are now just choosing whatever the popular belief is and making it there own. It seems to be getting worse before it’s getting better and it’s making for a boring watch, read and discussion for me this summer .
Luckily I’ve come to appreciate that I can often fall back to Animehistory here and have come to appreciate the readers I have garnered that love to think about the anime they watch and who have more to offer then the same old stock and expected opinion on the shows and topics I blog. So thank you all for making this blog a good time for me and alleviating my thirst for new ideas and opinions on the same old topics. Without you I’m not sure I would still be in to discussing anime at all anymore when it seems that there is nothing to discuss anymore, because certain group ideals are now held to be self-evident.