We are always told to view things that are foreign to us with careful optimism; sometimes we view alien items are hostile. Sometimes we feed our own opinions, both positive and negative, into things we seemingly could careless about. With the recent backlash towards a certain popular news site, I thought it would be apt of myself to weigh in on the situation.
While I won’t express names or further issues here, I will state that the article praised one service and then proceeded to only showcase a seedy scene from only one anime. The issue that stemmed from this was that the author behind the post had written a piece that was drawing a poor light onto the service Crunchyroll and then proceeded to… state on social media how quote on quote, “Butt-hurt” we anime fans get. I would argue that is true and yet it is also true for ANYONE of any fandom. Take sports as an example of a group of fans who will rise up in arms over someone trashing a team or a person. We lash out because we genuinely care about what the outward opinion of a topic or person is; even when it has no bearing on our daily lives.
The outside perspective of anime is something that is always in the back of our minds as fans. We suffer from day to day judgement from everyday individuals who only go off of what they have read versus what they actually know. That is why there has been such a backlash, such an uproar from the community over this representation or lack thereof. To be honestly fair any other fandom would be in a similar situation if they were represented as the anime community was in the aforementioned piece.
While I fully believe that somethings can be blown out of proportions, I also see and understand that how the rest of the public perceives anime is massive as well. I remember being young and naive and always wondering why people always mentioned, “Oh that hentai stuff.” When ever someone mentioned they liked anime. Having a stigma hanging over you like that is enough to make anyone upset. Having atypical pieces like the one featured on the prominent news site completely undermines the work in promoting the positive anime out there. Anime is so much more than a guy walking into a women’s changing room, it is so much more than the ‘plot’ or fan-service. Anime has a heart, it can be as beautiful as a night sky and as passionate as a romantic evening. When we strip away all the good that anime has, we are isolating and persecuting it for only the bad minority.
My biggest bit of advice that I could possibly give is to look into anime yourself. Don’t let the constrained views and impressions of one person dictate your entire outlook on a subject. If you remain closed off and singularly focused, you risk missing many beautiful things. So, give the anime community a chance before you hop up on that soap box and throw paint at us for watching, “hentai” because I am sure you will end up finding something you love and enjoy.
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