353) Divisiveness in the Fandom

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Andrew
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353) Divisiveness in the Fandom

Postby Andrew » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:03 am

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Divides sadly happen in every fandom. From the most popular, to the most niche. The hosts of the Otaku Spirit Animecast examine its cause and effect on the anime fandom in general in this episode!

Topics this episode: Cause of divisiveness, examples of its creation, fandoms within fandoms, levels of divisiveness, important questions for it, experiences with divisiveness, how to bridge the divide, and more!

The intro for this episode is the OP for Re:Creators called “Gravity Wall” by Sawano Hiroyuki. The outro for the spoiler segment is the ED3 for Sword Art Online II called “Sirsi” by LiSA.

We hope you all enjoy!
http://otakuspirit.com/2017/11/animecas ... he-fandom/
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Re: 353) Divisiveness in the Fandom

Postby BlueSpark » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:03 am

Strap yourselves in, folks - long post incoming.

I've been listening to the first part of this episode on my 45-minute commute – and probably forgotten half of what I wanted to comment on by the time I arrived :P. Well, I'll try to reconstruct the points I do remember.


First of all, thanks for clarifying the phenomenon of 'hype divide.' It may be pretty basic stuff for most anime fans, but since I've never taken part in any sort of seasonal discussions (either on forums or social networks), the mechanics of it still aren't quite familiar to me. This might explain why I'm finding myself less prone to end up on either side of the divide for many heatedly debated shows (the first and obvious example being Sword Art Online – I'm firmly in the "It's OK" camp).


Symbolism is something which escapes me in most of the animes I watch. Heck, after having seen ef – A Tale of Memories a total of 4 or 5 times over several years, I read an analysis in which the writer specifically pointed out instances of symbolism in the show. About half of these I had never even noticed. Which usually doesn't detract too much from my overall enjoyment (ef is still my favorite anime of all time, and I liked Penguindrum, too); at the same time, however, it might mean that I don't get too much out of certain symbolism-loaded series (I hear Neon Genesis Evangelion is supposed to have lots of it; not that I could tell, all I know is I strongly disliked the show).


Divisiveness based on expectations / preconceived notions is one that strongly resonates with me. I like to call it the "K-On! effect." It always makes me sad inside, and at times a little angry, when I see people dismiss a show because it – according to them – "didn't do what it was supposed to." Like Yamada's First Time not actually being about a female protagonist banging one schoolmate after another. Or Gamers! not actually focusing on the game club. Or Plastic Memories not being too concerned with discussing the intricate details of how Giftia work and fit into society. In my opinion, if you're letting yourself get shackled to your expectations of what an anime series is "supposed" to show you, you're only hindering your own enjoyment.

Besides, I find it more than a little hypocritical that these same people aren't throwing bombs at Madoka Magica for deceiving its viewers by not being a happy-go-lucky magical girl tale.


The "old vs. new" divide is certainly a contentious point, and one where I, for once, fall into a clear extreme: It would appear I'm on team Logan (Hey there, buddy - I finally know who the cutie in your avatar is ;)). I can appreciate an older (roughly speaking, pre-2005) show here and there, but for the most part, they just don't get my excitement up. And it's not primarily about the visual quality (although that does play a role, too): To me, most older series simply seem too 'mild' on many different levels: The comedy doesn't feel as hilarious, the scripts not as natural-sounding, the drama not as gripping to me. And that's not a case of me showing symptoms of ADD and needing everything cranked up to maximum excitement levels; otherwise, I wouldn't enjoy things like the park conversation in Bakemonogatari or the early episodes of Shiki.

I assume that the other way around is much more common these days, though, or at least its defenders are more vocal about their passion for old anime.


Now, talking about moe vs. mindbloe (Thanks for that distinctive designation, Andrew :P), this is one divide I can fully understand and accept because it's purely down to personal taste. If someone cannot stand moe character designs and antics, they're practically bound to loathe any show which displays moe in abundance. On the flipside, if someone absolutely hates action-driven narratives (While "hate" is a strong word, that's basically me), they're probably not going to care for that hot new battle shounen. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, really. Things only go wrong when people take their opinion and try to pass it off as indisputable truth.


I'll be upfront here: People "reviewing" shows just to bash them into the ground pisses me off. In fact, hearing some reviewers rant makes me want to check out the series in question just to spite them (childish, I know, but aren't we all, in a way?). Ironically, this is how I ended up watching The Asterisk War, an anime which I probably wouldn't ever have touched otherwise (due to its focus on action). I enjoyed that one to a decent extent, and I suppose I have Digibro [LINK] to thank for it. Similarly, the Black Critic Guy – whose opinion on romance series I usually respect – is an outspoken hater of sibling romance (not incest, despite him using both terms synonymously) in anime. One of his recent rant videos has put Nakaimo – My Little Sister Is Among Them on my plan-to-watch list. And you can bet your bottom dollar I'd check out School Days in a heartbeat if a dub was available for it.


Some interesting examples of (allegedly) divisive shows you dug up there. I've read or listened to the rare negative review of Clannad, Toradora! or Your Lie in April, myself, but they're so few and far between that I wonder how they'd even be considered contentious series. Then again, I don't read reviews on MAL or any similar database sites, only on big websites or private blogs.

I once came across a negative YouTube review on Steins;Gate. To the reviewer's credit, he was very factual, clearly laid out his points and didn't bash anyone who likes the show, so props to him. That's the only instance of a negative rating on Steins;Gate I have ever seen, though.


Regarding the exchange of opinions between the two sides of the divide, I personally don't really see much point to it. Put frankly, if I find myself in one of the camps, I don't care why the other side loves/hates the series in question. It's not going to sway my opinion of it, and it probably won't affect my future viewings (if I decide to rewatch the show), either. I guess if someone's genuinely interested in scrutinizing and dissecting anime shows, they stand to gain from the exchange. As for me, no thanks ;).


While I'll say amen to your preachings on bullying and why it sucks, I sadly don't think any regular offenders will care much about what you have to say. I'll just add one thing: To see the kinds of repercussions which can arise from bullying in an illustrative manner, look no further than A Silent Voice. The film may portray an extreme situation, but history has shown that it's not unrealistic. And if anything in that story had gone even slightly wrong, we might have had two deaths to mourn as a result of Shoya's careless actions as a child.


Last point: In analogy to "divide", I'm strongly in favor of pronouncing it "div-ice-iveness". I guess that's me and my desire for systematic linguistic patterns versus the language 'feel' of a native speaker :P.
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Re: 353) Divisiveness in the Fandom

Postby Chris » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:09 am

Ohh. A silent voice. What a great story. I hope it also gets through to people. We need more “be nice”
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Re: 353) Divisiveness in the Fandom

Postby Mys145 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:31 am

I think there's one major factor that doesn't get talk about which is the divisiveness of the cultural barrier itself. More often than not, I have heard people complain season after season about certain shows are popular compared to other shows which they clearly prefer but don't get the love. The reason for this is that the popular shows are what Japanese people love and may have some international appeal and that the shows that they prefer that don't get the love are more close to international tastes (Cowboy Bebop for instance is a show that tanked in Japan but loved internationally). It's something that I feel is a major bias but mostly shoved under the rug for various reasons.

My reason for not liking Punch Line wasn't the panty shots but with trying to get every trope and the kitchen sink in the show. Episode 3 was the final stop for me.

Death Note is mostly hated now because of the second half of the story and felt it should have ended sooner.

One of the silliest arguments I hear about Sword Art Online is that Kirito is a male power fantasy which only guys bring up. I expect this from a woman but a guy saying it just makes me go "So what? Why you should care that Kirito is a male power fantasy and be offended by it so much?"

I have heard Code Geass hate for a long time even back it was airing.

Fairy Tail is something I have experienced for years about how people week in and week out were commenting each chapter saying it hasn't been good since this arc but still kept reading it. Primary reason of hate is the power of friendship.

Psycho Pass divide is mostly from the second season.

I have a friend who can't into music shows for the most part. Not even Your Lie in April he cared about at all. It's now a thing that I don't bring up music anime to him since it's just a waste of time especially after one of the best music anime didn't want to make him want to watch it. Don't give me suggestions on other music anime to try because I probably tried those and failed.

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Re: 353) Divisiveness in the Fandom

Postby Andrew » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:44 pm

BlueSpark:
Spoiler:
BlueSpark wrote:First of all, thanks for clarifying the phenomenon of 'hype divide.' It may be pretty basic stuff for most anime fans, but since I've never taken part in any sort of seasonal discussions (either on forums or social networks), the mechanics of it still aren't quite familiar to me. This might explain why I'm finding myself less prone to end up on either side of the divide for many heatedly debated shows (the first and obvious example being Sword Art Online – I'm firmly in the "It's OK" camp).

It's surprisingly missed by many. Either, for a case like yours of not being involved in the social media, or because of other reasons. However when I hear people throwing mud from one side or the other, they don't seem to get why the throwing began. And it's typically hype and the feeling of being left out. Despite being outside of it, I'm glad you found it a useful discussion.

BlueSpark wrote:Divisiveness based on expectations / preconceived notions is one that strongly resonates with me. I like to call it the "K-On! effect." It always makes me sad inside, and at times a little angry, when I see people dismiss a show because it – according to them – "didn't do what it was supposed to." Like Yamada's First Time not actually being about a female protagonist banging one schoolmate after another. Or Gamers! not actually focusing on the game club. Or Plastic Memories not being too concerned with discussing the intricate details of how Giftia work and fit into society. In my opinion, if you're letting yourself get shackled to your expectations of what an anime series is "supposed" to show you, you're only hindering your own enjoyment.

Haha, can't agree enough. I can see Kemono Friends having that effect as time passes on. It grabbed people now, and probably will just have unmet expectations in the future.

BlueSpark wrote:I assume that the other way around is much more common these days, though, or at least its defenders are more vocal about their passion for old anime.

I think they are just more vocal. Newer fans that don't watch older stuff can find a flow to jump into with other fans watching newer content. Then, all their response really needs to be is that they are too busy with newer stuff. Hah.

BlueSpark wrote:I'll be upfront here: People "reviewing" shows just to bash them into the ground pisses me off. In fact, hearing some reviewers rant makes me want to check out the series in question just to spite them (childish, I know, but aren't we all, in a way?). Ironically, this is how I ended up watching The Asterisk War, an anime which I probably wouldn't ever have touched otherwise (due to its focus on action). I enjoyed that one to a decent extent, and I suppose I have Digibro [LINK] to thank for it. Similarly, the Black Critic Guy – whose opinion on romance series I usually respect – is an outspoken hater of sibling romance (not incest, despite him using both terms synonymously) in anime. One of his recent rant videos has put Nakaimo – My Little Sister Is Among Them on my plan-to-watch list. And you can bet your bottom dollar I'd check out School Days in a heartbeat if a dub was available for it.

Haha, I have the same experiences with many things. I also find myself enjoying a series MORE when I hear more hatred for it in circles. I end up having to fight myself from giving a show more praise than due, due to the hatred towards it.


BlueSpark wrote:Some interesting examples of (allegedly) divisive shows you dug up there. I've read or listened to the rare negative review of Clannad, Toradora! or Your Lie in April, myself, but they're so few and far between that I wonder how they'd even be considered contentious series. Then again, I don't read reviews on MAL or any similar database sites, only on big websites or private blogs.

Technically divisiveness doesn't have to reach a certain number. I guess we're just commenting on the loudness and "passion" of some of it.

BlueSpark wrote:Regarding the exchange of opinions between the two sides of the divide, I personally don't really see much point to it. Put frankly, if I find myself in one of the camps, I don't care why the other side loves/hates the series in question. It's not going to sway my opinion of it, and it probably won't affect my future viewings (if I decide to rewatch the show), either. I guess if someone's genuinely interested in scrutinizing and dissecting anime shows, they stand to gain from the exchange. As for me, no thanks ;).

I rarely care to hear why someone hates something I like. However, I'm often intrigued to learn why someone loves something I hate or am neutral on.

BlueSpark wrote:Last point: In analogy to "divide", I'm strongly in favor of pronouncing it "div-ice-iveness". I guess that's me and my desire for systematic linguistic patterns versus the language 'feel' of a native speaker :P.

It's pronounced Potato.


Mys145:
Spoiler:
Mys145 wrote:My reason for not liking Punch Line wasn't the panty shots but with trying to get every trope and the kitchen sink in the show. Episode 3 was the final stop for me.

And sadly we couldn't really blame anyone for having that experience. It was nearly too much for me at the time as well. It's just odd that the rest of the show doesn't really push that hard after 4 or so.

Mys145 wrote:One of the silliest arguments I hear about Sword Art Online is that Kirito is a male power fantasy which only guys bring up. I expect this from a woman but a guy saying it just makes me go "So what? Why you should care that Kirito is a male power fantasy and be offended by it so much?"

What's more odd is why it's unforgivable here, and now in... say.. a typical super hero show? I joke about the "kirito" thing, but never serious or angry about it.

Mys145 wrote:Psycho Pass divide is mostly from the second season.

Hah, I admit I skipped on buying the Second Season because of this. But I'll probably still get it once it's cheaper on sale.
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Re: 353) Divisiveness in the Fandom

Postby BlueSpark » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:39 am

Andrew wrote:It's pronounced Potato.
My teachers always told me that English pronunciation was weird... I now feel enlightened, though. So when that dog in Air was barking, it was really just saying its own name!
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