The Harm of an Uninformed, Outside Perspective on Anime

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.

I’m sure this is how most of the outside communities see anime already…

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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7 thoughts on “The Harm of an Uninformed, Outside Perspective on Anime

  1. The annoying this is that he points out that anime is inferior to old western cartoons without really giving much foundation to his argument. It was just his “go-to” example of an inferior product, and I really hate that. To sell a streaming site, because the post is a half ass advertisement, he created a very forced and weak argument with anime.
    Its bothersome, because a man with so much knowledge about Tex Avery cartoons can’t be bothered to understand anime has a rich field of study as well. He is also a teacher, so ignorance like that hurts our profession.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Valentino Senpai May 24, 2017 — 2:24 am

    People should look more into what the medium of anime is instead of going off of stereotypes, but I do have to admit the anime community itself is one of the main reasons for some of the stigmas associated with anime.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Which is sadly a fault of any community. We all love what we love to the point of taking personal offense to anything spoken about it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Valentino Senpai May 24, 2017 — 12:35 pm

        True but it seems like the anime community takes it a step further

        Liked by 1 person

  3. People outside of anime who know nothing of it, some won’t make the effort to research hence such stereo types people just follow along that. It’s a real shame and not something you can change to easily. I wish a lot of people weren’t like that at all but great article Josh XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Lita! Yes, it is an unfortunate side-effect of blind ignorance, but I cannot fault a person for just not having no expressed interest in anime. All I ask is that people don’t bad mouth something that they have no comprehension of. We can all be civilized beings if we tried, it’s just the easiest option is always the hardest choice.


  4. theanimeprince May 24, 2017 — 11:05 am

    Okay, I understand the situation. As much as I want to criticize the NYTimes article, for more than just it’s glossy outlook on the Crunchyroll streaming service and anime as a cinema: This is your post that i’m commenting on and while I get where you’re coming from, I don’t think I necessarily agree.

    To my understanding, your view is that an uninformed opinion is harmful because there are people that care. Now, I can easily say “I don’t care” but that’s not who you are trying to cater to, I’m clearly not someone you are catering to in this post and that’s fine. You are catering to the people that do care of the opinions of others because those are the people that relate to you. With that in mind, If I played out the situations with the mindset of “caring what other people think”: I understand that an uninformed opinion is harmful to me because “hey, I care what people think of what I love”.

    However, I don’t see how those people put themselves in that situation. Because generally, if you love anime the people who are closest to you and even a lot of the media you consume are people and things you can relate to because of the fact that it’s all related to your love for anime. A good example is how I’ve come to find your blog: I found it through my relations with other people that love anime and I relate to your blog because you also love anime.

    What I’m getting at is: It’s uncommon for someone who appreciates anime to be actively following other people and media that do not have the same interests as them, especially when it’s made clear that those people do not like anime just like you. That kind of relationship doesn’t work out especially when people like you and I are so passionately involved with anime and is therefore a big part of our lives. If someone did put themselves in that situation and are content with actively getting frustrated because they are associating themselves with someone or something that DOESN’T cater to their interests then I’d have to argue that it’s their own fault and they are choosing to harm themselves.

    The counter- argument to this is that sometimes one person has different interests and sometimes those interests clash. Take the NYTimes readers for example: Though, it does puzzle me that some anime enthusiasts take interest in reading the NYTimes news articles; The people who were clearly affected by this, I assume had to have both interests of reading NYTimes news articles and anime.
    The problem I find with this is that: They should recognize the way NYTimes does things and if there is one good thing I can say about NYTimes is that it has a lot of different perspectives that a wide array of people can relate to differently. So the different readers could also vary because a lot of people, anime enthusiasts included, don’t just read the NYTimes and all of it’s endless amount of articles. They filter out the different perspectives they don’t relate to like Glenn Kenny, who is the writer of this controversial article and instead focus on writers they do relate to like maybe Anita Gates or Manohla Dargis who have completely different viewpoints because they are completely different people.

    If I didn’t make my point clear, let me clarify: The ability to ignore uninformed opinions is ultimately greater than uninformed opinions thus I wouldn’t say that uninformed opinions are “harmful” rather they are a waste of time.

    Liked by 1 person

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