“Wow a review on an anime I like, I’ll give it a look”

 

That’s what I think. But two seconds later I’m frustrated, never to view your opinions or content again.

It doesn’t matter how much thought and effort you put into writing them or care and passion editing that YouTube video. You still lost me.

I’m gone. Skipping over your work and on to the next one.

And I may not be the only one.

In this blog I’m going to identify two problems that’ll make me think your anime opinion is better off being ignored in two seconds (or less).

But on the upside, I’ll also be offering two fixes so you can avoid these issues in the future.

So without further ado let’s begin.

Saying “It’s Just My Opinion” As Your Justification

This is a one way ticket for me to put your opinion on any given anime right into the trash and ignore it.

I spend far more time arguing on the internet than can possibly be healthy, and the word I’ve come to loathe more than any other is “opinion.”

Opinion, or worse “belief”, has become the shield of every poorly-conceived argument that worms its way onto social media, forums and anime comment sections.

There’s a common misconception that an opinion cannot be wrong. My mom said it. Hell, everyone’s mom probably said it and in the strictest terms it is true.

However, before you crouch behind your almighty wall of opinion, you need to ask yourself two questions:

  1. Is this actually an opinion?
  1. If it is an opinion how informed is it and why do I hold it?

Don’t worry I’ll do you a favor and help you with the first part. An opinion by definition is a preference for or judgment of something not necessarily based off of fact.

My favorite number is eight. I really like strawberry-banana yogurt. It should be mandatory for every anime fan to watch Shirobako.

These are all opinions. They may be personal to me alone or widely shared across the general population but they all have one thing in common; they cannot be verified outside of the fact that I believe them.

There’s nothing wrong with an opinion on those things or having an opinion on really anything for that matter.

The problem comes from people whose opinions are poorly informed, or worse, not supported at all.

If you think Tokyo Ghoul √A is good with no further reasoning outside of “I just believe so” then your opinion is going into the garbage with the rest of the trash.

Why? Though technically these opinions cannot be wrong they can be lacking in worth simply because they are minimal in structure or substance.

Saying “I just believe so”, “I just like it” or any other similar phrasing isn’t useful to anyone. It doesn’t trump an argument, it doesn’t foster healthy discussion.

The Fix

Support yourself!

You think Sword Art Online is a masterpiece? Sure, I’ll personally throw up a little hearing that, but I’m otherwise receptive to your appreciation of the series. Even more so when you can actually provide reasoning to your love.

Even if your opinion is “unpopular” or commonly seen as awful, do your best to back your opinion up and make it clear why you hold that stance. We’ll all at least appreciate the effort

Next and last…

{Insert Big Named Anime Critic Here} Said It Was Good

I don’t care what Bobduh said

I don’t care what Digibro said

I don’t care what Gigguk said.

I don’t care what Tristan said.

It doesn’t matter what any other anime critic said popular or not. What do YOU think. That’s all I care about here.

What’s your opinion on the topic. If I wanted to know how a bigger anime critic felt I would hop on YouTube and go find out or hunt down their blog myself.

Right here, right now, I’m reading YOUR review. I’m looking at YOUR forum comment. I’m watching YOUR YouTube video.

So why are you telling me what someone else thought?

Look, I’m all for referencing someone else’s opinion. That’s fine and I would even go so far to say that we should all have an anime role model to look too for alternative thoughts on this hobby we enjoy.

But don’t just adopt their opinion wholesale and regurgitate it as your own.

Make up your own mind. Formulate your own thoughts. Be your own person.

The Fix

Start thinking for yourself. Do a little research and start finding out WHY a story is good or WHY its visual storytelling is applauded. etc

Learn more about the anime you’re actually discussing rather than echoing what others say because it sounds right.

 

Let Seasonal Prattle Know Your Thoughts

 

What makes you ignore someone’s opinion on anime? Is it ignorance? Is it because they don’t like your favorites? Comment down below and let me know your thoughts!

 

8 thoughts to “2 Issues That Make Me Ignore Your Anime Opinion in 2 Seconds

  • D

    I’m a live and let live person most of the time and that’s the case with anime too. Sure, there are times when I disagree with what someone else says but I can respect the fact that our opinions differ. But while I won’t completely write off a reviewer for not justifying their opinion, I also find opinions with proper reasoning behind them, no matter how personal,to be easier to accept than those without.

    Haven’t come across the second thing mentioned yet though.

    Reply
    • Prattle

      “Haven’t come across the second thing mentioned yet though.”

      You’re a lucky man D, you’re a lucky man

      Reply
  • M0rg0th

    “Saying “It’s Just My Opinion” As Your Justification”

    For that, I would actually differentiate between the “audience” and “critics”. It’s totally fine for the former to express their feelings and opinions on something in a simplistic manner. I mean, what matters to me as a critic is the quantity here, you know, to put value to a series in terms of popularity. Of course, it’s a whole another discussion how fandom figures into this and it also kinda relates to your second point, I would say.

    Anyway, the difference between audience and critics is that the former really just has to articulate their opinion. That’s all. You can have a talk about it, discuss things but at the end of the day it’s merely an exchange of opinions. Now a critic needs to deliver more than just his opinion. What a critic adds to just offering his opinion is perspective and analysis. The big difference between a critic and just some random audience-member is that he can put a series or movie into perspective. It isn’t merely his opinion but he tries to make his subjective perspective objectively accessible. What this means is that a critic can at least offer a new perspective. Even if you disagree with the critic, you still get a new perspective on a series. It isn’t like with some simplistic vague feeling that shows off your subjective reaction, it’s about broadening the horizon of the audience in their approach to a series or movie. The analysis-part is about the fact that in contrast to an average audience-member a critic has WAY more experience with the medium and he’s able to put a series or movie into context. What would a person who has never seen an anime do with the information that one seires is a Shaft-series? That name would mean nothing to them! But a critic can tell you the history of the Shaft-studio and can point out what makes a series a Shaft-series. Also, a critic is supposed to be much more attentive and informed as to how series and movies work.

    “{Insert Big Named Anime Critic Here} Said It Was Good”

    I would actually say that fandom is the bigger problem here than celebrity-critics. As for critics, don’t just believe whatever a critic tells you. If you really want to get good recommendations, you actually need to look around for a bit and find a critic that kinda matches your perspective. That way you can be sure that every recommendation from that person will actually be enjoyable for you. Other than that, it doesn’t matter how good or bad the critic is because it’s bound to happen that he will praise/condemn something you actually hate/love. At the root of it all are opinions after all.

    Now as for why fandom is a problem when it comes to the critical perspective… Maybe this could be a topic for your next article, prattle, right 😉 ?

    “You think Sword Art Online is a masterpiece?”

    On a different blog, someone argued that Kemono no Souja Erin is better than Sword Art Online (it isn’t even a great comparison) and this SAO-fanboy started an argument with that person about how great SAO is supposed to be. So I wrote this satirical post to support the fanboy-position:

    No, I have to agree with [the SAO-fanboy], Erin IS for babies. A girl want to be something like a veterinarian…? Veterinarian?! That makes no sense! Veterinarians don’t slaughter anyone! That isn’t dramatic enough! Oh, boo-fucking-hoo, taking care of animals is hard… Has nobody told them that animals are dumb?! Only a baby would think that’s exciting. As an experienced anime-viewer who has seen more than over a 1000 animes, I KNOW what good animes look like. And you look at that first episode: Nobody dies! The protagonist isn’t even on some righteous crusade at the end of the first episode! No, she sets herself a career-goal! Maybe babies think that that’s exciting because they still dream of becoming astronauts one day but the rest of the audience finds that simply ludicrous. She’s the hero of a fantasy-world and the best thing she can do is to pursue a career?! You don’t write an intelligent series for adults like that!

    Of course, I’m not a SAO-fanboy and I only have a few things that I would rewrite like that:
    – Kirito should be a former serial killer(cause what’s more exciting than an average teenager who deals with death than a dude who used to kill as a hobby?)
    – Asuna should be Kirito’s half-sister (cause incest’s cool)
    – Just more violence in general with more gore and extraneous acts of sadism

    Other than that, SAO is a perfect series. No complaints from me in that department!

    Reply
    • Prattle

      Wow, this is a pretty solid comment.

      I’m a little on the fence in regards to differentiating between critics and the audience. Don’t get me wrong, you explain your points well (which is why I’m now on fence to begin with rather than clearly on one side) but I feel that both parties should support their stance in a fashion that at least goes beyond “it’s just my opinion”. Sure the critic should have higher expectations to the quality of their opinion but neither role should really be free from this. Regardless of who you are, you really don’t have an excuse to not support your view.

      “Now as for why fandom is a problem when it comes to the critical perspective… Maybe this could be a topic for your next article, prattle, right ? ?

      You think Sword Art Online is a masterpiece?”

      I would likely just end up throwing around salt and getting enraged. Nobody wants any of that.

      “veterinarian?! That makes no sense! Veterinarians don’t slaughter anyone! That isn’t dramatic enough! Oh, boo-fucking-hoo, taking care of animals is hard…”

      You have no idea how much I was laughing from this point on forward. Well done Mog, and don’t worry I know you’re not an SAO fan boy. Also I like your rewrites

      Reply
      • M0rg0th

        “Regardless of who you are, you really don’t have an excuse to not support your view.”

        Hmm, the difference between our perspectives is that I’m fine with whatever the average audience-member says is truthful (and not heavily influenced by prejudice) and expresses how they feel about a movie. And a critic is pretty much in the same boat until that point. That’s where the critic and the audience meet: It’s in the genuine, emotional reaction (or lack thereof) to a movie or series. And no matter what the arguments are, this part of the audience’s/critic’s perspective doesn’t change, so in a way this part isn’t even about being right or wrong, it’s just about being truthful and sharing an experience.

        It’s a valid thing to say for both the critic and the audience-member to admit that some sad movie made them cry. Now, the critic, though, has to go one step further and kinda has to figure out how he feels about how the movie/series made him feel. For example, you could cry during a movie but upon reflection realize that what got you to cry in that movie was a really cheap move storytelling-wise. As a critic it isn’t just about what the movie made you feel but also why and how.

        Of course, there are those people who think that an emotional perspective can supersede a critical one. You know, the fanboys, the contrarians etc. What I hate far more are people who think a critical perspective can supersede an emotional perspective because they’re not just making the case of how and why a movie/series, they’re actually proposing you SHOULD feel a certain way about a movie/series. But let’s not forget that there’s a subjective perspective at the heart of this, so no criticism is universal.

        Well, I mean, exceptions prove the rule naturally… From time to time, you do want to drown a movie/series in fire and brimstone 😀 . Like, one example that REALLY enraged me was an episode of Ranpo Kitan (that in general tried to be gruesome) which argued that exceptions in criminal law for mentally ill people only leads to serial killers getting away with murder. Not only that, said serial killers aren’t really insane (which is based on the whole Hannibal-Lecter-thing from the 90s where horror-movies argued that some people are SO evil they’re BEYOND psycho-analysis – which is a made-up thing, of course) and they then proceed to escape the security of the asylum they’re in. It was a reference to the Osaka-killer from 2004 or something and the episode gave you the right-wing-propaganda-version of what had happened. Of course, what the series didn’t mention at all was that Japan in terms of mental healthcare is one of the worst in today’s modern democracies. Both in terms of legislation and healthcare Japan is way behind the curve on this issue * . But that wasn’t even the worst: The worst was how what little progress Japan had already been made was horribly misrepresented. Like, you can’t just say “I’m crazy.” after murdering someone and then be sent to an asylum instead of a prison. The process is supposed to be more thorough (and the reason it doesn’t work in Japan has nothing to do with the laws itself and more with the weak infrastructure of the mental-healthcare-system). And then this shitty episode comes along basically pretending that what little leeway Japan had made in that regard has only sown the seeds for psychopaths to get away with whatever horrible things they do.

        * Although, I’d have to check again how the legislation and healthcare-situation of Japan looks like today. It’s been a while since that episode aired.

        Reply
  • Artemis

    I tend to ignore reviews that are entirely one-sided in opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I think that some anime are absolute masterpieces of storytelling while others are absolute trash, but I’ve yet to find a single title that has either no negative or no redeeming qualities whatsoever. So as soon as I click on a review, only to find someone rave about every single aspect of a show without at least attempting to criticize it on any level, or on the flip side trash-talk it while offering not even a token attempt at pointing out its strengths, I’m out.

    Reply
    • Prattle

      That’s pretty fair and I can see where that would be off putting

      Reply
      • Artemis

        Incidentally, most of the reviews I’ve read (or tried to read) for SAO have either been one or the other. I agree with neither.

        Reply

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