387) Are We Watching The Same Show?

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387) Are We Watching The Same Show?

Postby Andrew » Sun Jun 03, 2018 9:27 am

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Have you ever listened to someone talk about a show and you suddenly think to yourself “Are they even watching the same show as I am?!” Join the hosts of the Animecast as they analyze analysts and where some of it all falls apart.

arewewatchingthesameshowfeatTopics this episode: Analysis, criticism, critical theory, symbology, projection, bias, and all of their effects on anime.

The intro music for this episode is the OP for Re:Zero called “Redo” by Konomi Suzuki. The outro music for this episode is the ED for Yuri on Ice called “You Only Live Once” by YURI!!! on ICE feat. w.hatano.

We hope you all enjoy!
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Re: 387) Are We Watching The Same Show?

Postby HeyItsHales » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:53 am

So, I think I might know what got Chris riled up enough to outline this episode. Interesting response, though I can't necessarily say that I agree with the episode's stance on criticism.

As a writer, I think criticism, even without positive additions or acknowledgments, is valid. There are shows that can absolutely rub people the wrong way for whatever reason, and I think telling them to just "stop watching if they don't like it" is a little insensitive. Even if they do stop watching it, they have every right to share their criticisms on the show. Sometimes, we might notice things that others don't and we want to share our thoughts. I've enjoyed shows and still listened to criticisms that point out certain themes or aspects that I hadn't even noticed due to my personal background. I can still enjoy the show after that, but gain a deeper understanding of how others are receiving it. Not to mention, I'd much rather someone explain why they don't like a show rather than just saying "it's bad" with no details. That way I can at least sort of understand where they're coming from.

While a show might not be "saying anything" in my perspective, it might in someone else's. I'm interested to hear how other people receive shows and how they differ from my views, so criticism is fascinating to me. If people only shared positive views on a show, how would we know if something was actually really upsetting to someone with a different background? To use the PTSD example from the episode, I personally don't have PTSD, so I wouldn't know if a certain portrayal was really accurate or not unless someone who actually has PTSD said something. If it's SO OFF that it could potentially damage people's perception of PTSD (like if a show suggested that PTSD could be overcome by "just thinking happy thoughts"), then I think the criticism is 100% necessary in that situation. The show might not even be focused on the PTSD aspect specifically, but it's still something that should be mentioned by someone who has experienced it first hand.

People are more than capable of viewing/listening to criticism without having to either jump completely on the "I hate this" bandwagon or fighting vehemently against what the critic has to say. Those are the two extreme sides that are usually the most vocal, yes, but I don't think that a majority of people treat criticism that way. Most people are able to process criticism and take something out of it without having their opinions of the entire series changed.

Also, Chris mentioned that he enjoys positive analysis because they sometimes share how a show impacted someone's life in a good way. Yeah, it's great when shows have a fantastic positive influence on people, but couldn't shows also have a negative impact on people? (i.e. If someone had a body confidence issue and watched a show that basically said only skinny people deserve to be happy, couldn't that negatively impact them? Are they then "justified" to share their criticism because it affected them personally?) Anime is art, just like every other form of entertainment. Yes. So it should go without saying that art can negatively impact someone just as easily as it can positively impact someone.

This episode came off as very anti-criticism to me, so sorry if that wasn't your intent. Saying that criticism is only okay when you include something nice about it is included is like saying that positive analysis is only okay if you include something negative about the series as well. Neither are things that should "justify" how valid an analysis or criticism is. If someone who didn't like something I wrote felt like they HAD to include something nice or some sort of acknowledgment of effort in their criticism, it would just come off as shallow and it'd feel more insincere, in my opinion.

(All of these comments are about criticism, which is a form of analysis that explains why themes or aspects of a series made it unenjoyable, and not bashing, which is excessive hate for something that's usually only done to form a mob on the internet.)

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Re: 387) Are We Watching The Same Show?

Postby Chris » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:22 pm

HeyItsHales wrote:So, I think I might know what got Chris riled up enough to outline this episode. Interesting response, though I can't necessarily say that I agree with the episode's stance on criticism.

As a writer, I think criticism, even without positive additions or acknowledgments, is valid. There are shows that can absolutely rub people the wrong way for whatever reason, and I think telling them to just "stop watching if they don't like it" is a little insensitive. Even if they do stop watching it, they have every right to share their criticisms on the show. Sometimes, we might notice things that others don't and we want to share our thoughts. I've enjoyed shows and still listened to criticisms that point out certain themes or aspects that I hadn't even noticed due to my personal background. I can still enjoy the show after that, but gain a deeper understanding of how others are receiving it. Not to mention, I'd much rather someone explain why they don't like a show rather than just saying "it's bad" with no details. That way I can at least sort of understand where they're coming from.

While a show might not be "saying anything" in my perspective, it might in someone else's. I'm interested to hear how other people receive shows and how they differ from my views, so criticism is fascinating to me. If people only shared positive views on a show, how would we know if something was actually really upsetting to someone with a different background? To use the PTSD example from the episode, I personally don't have PTSD, so I wouldn't know if a certain portrayal was really accurate or not unless someone who actually has PTSD said something. If it's SO OFF that it could potentially damage people's perception of PTSD (like if a show suggested that PTSD could be overcome by "just thinking happy thoughts"), then I think the criticism is 100% necessary in that situation. The show might not even be focused on the PTSD aspect specifically, but it's still something that should be mentioned by someone who has experienced it first hand.

People are more than capable of viewing/listening to criticism without having to either jump completely on the "I hate this" bandwagon or fighting vehemently against what the critic has to say. Those are the two extreme sides that are usually the most vocal, yes, but I don't think that a majority of people treat criticism that way. Most people are able to process criticism and take something out of it without having their opinions of the entire series changed.

Also, Chris mentioned that he enjoys positive analysis because they sometimes share how a show impacted someone's life in a good way. Yeah, it's great when shows have a fantastic positive influence on people, but couldn't shows also have a negative impact on people? (i.e. If someone had a body confidence issue and watched a show that basically said only skinny people deserve to be happy, couldn't that negatively impact them? Are they then "justified" to share their criticism because it affected them personally?) Anime is art, just like every other form of entertainment. Yes. So it should go without saying that art can negatively impact someone just as easily as it can positively impact someone.

This episode came off as very anti-criticism to me, so sorry if that wasn't your intent. Saying that criticism is only okay when you include something nice about it is included is like saying that positive analysis is only okay if you include something negative about the series as well. Neither are things that should "justify" how valid an analysis or criticism is. If someone who didn't like something I wrote felt like they HAD to include something nice or some sort of acknowledgment of effort in their criticism, it would just come off as shallow and it'd feel more insincere, in my opinion.

(All of these comments are about criticism, which is a form of analysis that explains why themes or aspects of a series made it unenjoyable, and not bashing, which is excessive hate for something that's usually only done to form a mob on the internet.)


it was anti criticism. unfortunately its very possible that our point was getting lost in the mix. there is a hard balance to strike criticism quickly gets stuck in the bashing. being objective is hard to do when you are offended by your core values. i am not bothered by someone having a negative view of a show. and i actively encourage expressing they're opinion of how they feel about it.

my point was not to say criticism is not allowed or to say you must balance positive and negative analysis. that is just unrealistic. that is why i pointed out that bias is nearly impossible to remove from the equation.

my call was for objective analysis. i feel like the "leaders" of the fandom are stuck in criticizing every show. the fandom itself wants to celebrate the shows. our "leaders" are not reflecting the fandom.

the positive analysis is an example of if you need to go to the extreme then that is a direction people want to hear about. people will listen to criticism to a certain degree.

think of it this way. if someone has a puppy and they criticize the puppy for pooping on the rug you probably would be fine with it. but what if for the next week all you heard about was every single thing the puppy did that could be wrong? how about for the next month. after a while you start to pick up on little things that maybe isn't all that bad that the puppy did but that person is still bugged about every thing the puppy does. if the person calls it criticism at what point do you start to wonder if the person hates dogs? shoot maybe even hates animals in general? heck even the opposite a person who gushes over his puppy would be annoying but at least they would be a bit more tolerable.

what i find more frustrating then anything is that my call for objective and balance analysis may be considered extreme. i consider myself a part of the fandom and i am calling out to the "leaders" to reconsider their direction.

the point of my call is not to tell people what to think its to bring people together. the more people continue down this path the more people will continue to be excluded.

well enough of this book

i hope i made sense. thanks for your comments though i hope i answered them well.

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Re: 387) Are We Watching The Same Show?

Postby NativeAbearican » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:29 pm

Frankly, I'd say "bashing" is still criticism. Positive criticism is actually a misnomer. Giving something praise is not wholly "positive criticism".

Also, I do think your call for "objective analysis" is a bit extreme. There are very few objective points that can be made about any form of art/entertainment.

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Re: 387) Are We Watching The Same Show?

Postby Fullmetal-Senpai » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:31 pm

Hello it's me that "huge problem" on the forums.

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Re: 387) Are We Watching The Same Show?

Postby HeyItsHales » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:42 pm

Chris wrote:what i find more frustrating then anything is that my call for objective and balance analysis may be considered extreme. i consider myself a part of the fandom and i am calling out to the "leaders" to reconsider their direction.

the point of my call is not to tell people what to think its to bring people together. the more people continue down this path the more people will continue to be excluded.

well enough of this book

i hope i made sense. thanks for your comments though i hope i answered them well.


I definitely get your point. I understand the desire for objective analysis (I've got a journalism degree, so you best believe that I have the "how to be the closest thing to objective humanly possible" rules still engrained in my mind) at least from some outlets. I'm not quite sure who exactly you're considering fandom leaders (Do you mean anime news outlets? Or are you talking more like popular YouTubers? Those are two very different spaces, after all.), but personally, I think the more objective-focused analysis pieces should be expected more from news networks. In that vein, though, there also needs to be an opening for their staff to express their distaste when something does strike a chord.

To use the example of "traditional" media, newspapers were set up so that movie/TV/whatever reviews in the Entertainment section were "objective", possibly but not always critical written breakdowns. The Opinions section (which could exist as a subset of the Entertainment section, or as a whole standalone section, depending on the publication) was then where the staff were allowed to express their more critical, less objective views. If something had a distasteful political undertone or indirectly attacked a group of people, that's where it would go.

Granted, I don't think the "leaders" in the anime community that I'm exposed to are bad at this positive/negative balance in the first place. I personally feel like I've seen a good amount of "objective" analysis of series recently. Just as many as straight-up criticisms. However, if this huge issue of constant negativity is a big, constant issue that I'm just not aware of, then the news outlets could definitely help by implementing a similar sort of classification on their pieces.

That being said, they're not going to know that people see it as a problem unless people get all up in their business. That means leaving comments, tweeting at the authors/hosts/whoever, spreading think pieces about why this constant negativity is bad to EVERY CORNER of the community so others get exposed to your thoughts as well. Heck, you could even pitch a guest post idea or propose a cross-podcast discussion with the other hosts to help get your point across. There are tons of options, but you have to confront the problem at its source. And, from what you're saying, it sounds like you think the source of the problem is the "leaders".

If the leaders you're talking about are YouTubers, though, then I think objectivity and balance would actually hurt them instead of help them. People go to them to see what they think about something. They are, to use the "traditional" media example again, the embodiment of the Opinions section. If they built their whole brand around being the person who just Shinji on everything and they get millions of views from that, then clearly there's an audience for it. Would I personally subscribe to them? No. But there are clearly people out there who enjoy it. Same goes for a channel that might point out every problematic thing with every anime series ever. Again, wouldn't subscribe myself, but I might watch a video or two here and there out of curiosity. There may be good info in some of them. Who knows.

More than anything, your response made me think of Gigguk's latest video, which talks about how anime (or more so the community around anime) has changed.

"But I think because of this, we need to recognize that our approach to the medium shouldn't be the same as it used to be, because I think for a lot of us, it still is. Anime is no longer that same niche little community. It's no longer any guarantee that two people who call themselves anime fans will have the same kind of common ground they used to because we are becoming too big to simply segregate into one group."

Groups of like-minded fans are naturally going to form by sharing similar ideas/thoughts/opinions, but I think trying to get "all of the anime fandom" to come together is simply not going to happen. The community is too big and people are so unique. It's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just a change.

NativeAbearican wrote:Frankly, I'd say "bashing" is still criticism. Positive criticism is actually a misnomer. Giving something praise is not wholly "positive criticism".


I agree that bashing can still be considered criticism. It's just the best way I could think of differentiating, let's say, a well-developed, involved criticism on a show's portrayal of a certain political view that's supported by numerous examples from the series vs. the "the show is awful because it's art style sucks" or whatever.

Bashing, in my mind, is just the one-liner "I hate this show because it's terrible" type comments, whereas when I was talking about criticism, I was talking more in-depth criticisms.

But you're definitely right, bashing is technically a form of criticism. Not necessarily constructive or helpful, but definitely criticism.
Last edited by HeyItsHales on Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 387) Are We Watching The Same Show?

Postby Tori » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:57 pm

Chris wrote:my call was for objective analysis. i feel like the "leaders" of the fandom are stuck in criticizing every show. the fandom itself wants to celebrate the shows. our "leaders" are not reflecting the fandom.


First things first, I have no idea who these "leaders" you are refering to are. I'm pretty sure the anime community doesn't really have any leaders per say. There are vocal people who have an outlet or a following, but they are not "leaders".

Secondly, you ask for "objective" analysis, but then I have to ask what you mean by that. What do you concider "objective" analysis of a show? Because from what I can tell it just seems like you want people to be more positive on shows and not really critizise things. Being positive is not being "objective". Your feelings on something is tied to your own experiences and values, so if you want to have more "objective" analysis you need to remove all forms of personal feelings. Because an "objective" analysis of a show would be to break it down and look at what it is, rather than talk about what it's doing.
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Re: 387) Are We Watching The Same Show?

Postby Crash Kamio » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:46 pm

I hope this post comes across the way I want. Cause if you guys want unity within the community, or here specifically, I hope this comes across.

I agree with pretty much everyone here. I'm not sure I agree with how you guys view criticism and or analysis. Not sure if it was intended to come off how it sounded but it sounds very anti criticism or anything negative being said about a show. I get where the intention of this cast is coming from, wanting to create a place of positivity and kindness is a great goal. But this came across as taking away the voices of those who say things negatively about a show. To quote Hales, to tell people to stop watching a show cause they dont like it isnt really the right thing to do. Some people want to be apart of the conversation, even if it's a negative voice it doesnt discredit their views. In most instances ive seen it's rare that someone was attacked personally for liking a show or vice versa. I think its great to have disagreements. Ive always liked the phrase attack the argument, not the individual. Sounds harsh in this context but essentially how I take it is create conversation, ask why some one likes or dislikes something. But never go after them personally. Come to an understanding, and as long as you come to understand each others views and why you like or dislike something that's all that should matter. It's one thing to talk negatively about a show, it's another to be venomous about it.

I know you guys are big on bringing everyone together. (I agree with Hales again in saying it's not going to happen) But this cast felt a tad polarizing. I think if you really want some form of unity welcome people who want to engage, be it negative or positive about a show. We're all mature individuals here. As long as people dont take disagreements personally I think we'll be okay. We all want to enjoy talking about anime, its okay to disagree and not like something. Its okay to love something. It's okay to analyze, its okay to watch a simplistic show and have fun watching daily antics. Let's talk about how it impacts us personally, let's analyze it and look for symbolism even in simplicity, and have fun. But stifling conversation by these strict guidelines and deleting posts isnt the way. Other people here have said what I've been thinking as well. But moving on.

I hope between what everyone is saying, people that left last year this makes you guys think how this site can improve. In the end you guys are entitled to your beliefs, but I just hope you guys can see how this way of thinking isn't the most welcoming.

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Re: 387) Are We Watching The Same Show?

Postby mountblade98 » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:21 pm

So this episode, coupled with all the recent hubbub in the anime community recently, has given me quite a bit to think about. I'll try to explain myself the best I can.

I used to be really frustrated with a lot of the literature analyses led by English teachers in high school. I often felt that they were reading **way** too far into some books and stories. "What if the yellow wallpaper doesn't symbolize anything at all? Why are we wasting several weeks discussing the color the author might have arbitrarily chosen?" I would ask myself. Fast forward to now, after going through college and a bit of working life, meeting and interacting with a lot of different people, I've somewhat changed my stance on this topic.

Drawing from a recent event, there was a lot of controversy this past week or so with what some ANN contributors had to say about Darling in the Franxx. I'm sure you've listened to their podcast and read what they wrote, but in a nutshell, they felt that Darling in the Franxx was pushing a heteronormative narrative. Saying a lot of people took issue with their opinions would be a gross understatement.

I don't want to go into why people got so worked up over this, so I won't. But I for one was really engaged by what Zac and Jacob had to say. That's not saying I completely agree with what they had to say, but they explained their reasonings behind their opinions. Zac and Jacob are a married gay couple. Their experiences and who they are affected how they saw DitF and what they got out of it. In particular, they talked a bit about how the people around them viewed homosexuality, and some of the politically conservative media they have watched. They go on to draw some parallels between what these people and movies were saying, and what they thought DitF was saying.

What I'm trying to say here basically is that everyone is different. People are born in different places, live with different people, grow up experiencing different things, and learn different things. All of this stuff informs who they are and their opinions and views. And this of course affects the way they engage with media and what they get out of it. Someone else also mentioned this above:
HeyItsHales wrote:Sometimes, we might notice things that others don't and we want to share our thoughts. I've enjoyed shows and still listened to criticisms that point out certain themes or aspects that I hadn't even noticed due to my personal background.

I didn't notice a lot of stuff in DitF until Zac and Jacob talked about them. Their views on the series are very different than mine; I'm a completely different person who has lived a life much different than them. For better or worse, who they are, and who we are, all inform the way the watch DitF and any other piece of media.

Again, I don't agree with everything that they were saying. Does that make their opinion invalid? No.

Are the opinions of all the people who disagree with them invalid? No.

Is DitF really about pushing a heteronormative narritive? Is this the message Trigger and A1 want to convey? Maybe, maybe not.

Maybe they just wanted to tell a cool story? Possibly

This then goes into author intent. There's that whole argument that an author's intent doesn't really matter and that it's up to the audience to decide what a work is about. Ray Bradbury revealed that Fahrenheit 451 wasn't about censorship. Does that mean that the decades of analysis and use of the book as a teaching tool suddenly become invalid?

Though I may disagree with the other people's negative opinions on a show, I think it's a great thing to be able to see things from different perspectives

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Re: 387) Are We Watching The Same Show?

Postby NativeAbearican » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:05 am

Fullmetal-Senpai wrote:Hello it's me that "huge problem" on the forums.


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