Remember when you were a kid and you watched one of your favorite Saturday Morning Cartoons, and then Monday morning you’d talk about said cartoon with your friends at school? If the answer to that question is ‘yes’ then you’re one step closer to what we’re talking about on this post. That one thing we’re talking about…is opinions. Everybody has them, everybody is entitled to them, and everybody isn’t afraid to voice them.
When it comes to opinions, they’re always unpopular. They can be as simple as pineapple on pizza, or as confusing as who’s the best Spiderman (*cough* Tom Holland). The most common places to find them would be from the fans of the sports and entertainment industry; ESPECIALLY the anime and gaming industry! Before social media invaded the internet anime fans only knew about what new shows were coming by television advertisements or Toonami (cuz’ we’re products of the 90’s and that’s how we found anime). Back then we just enjoyed it; and wasn’t even focused on character or plot development, or why Team Rocket wanted to capture Pikachu so badly, or even how Sailor Moon was the pinnacle of the Magical Girl genre of anime; as it opened the door for so many other titles that came in afterwards.
To us; anime was fun, and we had fun watching it. Sure, we got bulled for watching it and gushing about it every single time, but during those days it was all we had growing up. Jump ahead to the 2000’s and now we’re introduced to the era of social media (i.e. MySpace). Now we’re able to take our love for anime to our online chat rooms which helped create small little communities. At this point you’re probably asking where do these ‘unpopular opinions’ you’re talking about come in? Hang in there, cuz’ it wasn’t until 2010 that everything changed.
When anime started getting mainstream attention during the start of the next decade, that’s when we knew there was a shift coming. Now that social media sites like Twitter and Facebook gave a platform to people to voice their opinions, people now have a platform to voice their opinions. Youtube gave rise to aspiring content creators to share their content with the world, of course they all brought their opinions along for the ride. Anime has become so subjective these days; now instead of enjoying titles like Dragon Ball Z, Gundam Wing, Pokemon, Cowboy Bebop or Sailor Moon just because they were fun to watch, we find ourselves on the receiving end of heated debates like how Vegeta is actually stronger than Goku, and why Gen Z anime fans like Boruto over Naruto. (Don’t ask us why.)
We’re not saying that you shouldn’t have an opinion, but at the same time it feels like anime fans have overanalyzed anime to the point where it has to be either good, or bad. Take the first season of SAO for example; while the creator may not have had any experience in what MMORPGs are or how they function (cuz’ yeah, the series DID have its flaws, and we saw how bad it was getting bashed online), to some fans it was still entertaining to watch. There are even opinions out there that state if you haven’t seen the ‘Big 3’ or ‘Big 4’ (if you count Sailor Moon) that you’re not a ‘real fan’; and that’s where things get toxic and ugly.
That’s probably what we’re forgetting; that anime’s original purpose was to entertain us. It was something different from what we were used to watching, and it had such compelling and complex stories that were beyond anything our minds could fathom. When it comes to anime reviewers (including ourselves), they love breaking things down and seeing how things work; from the story to the characters and everything in between. When we try to fit anime titles into one of two categories, good or bad, or tier lists (and we’re all guilty of that), it takes the fun our of enjoying what it was trying to do in the first place – entertain you.
At the end of the day its about enjoying the shows you like. You like AoT (Attack on Titan)? go for it! You think Rias Gremory is best girl? Have at it! You think Demon Slayer is the best show ever made? Cool! No title out there is without its flaws, but if you love your favorite anime (flaws and all) then it has value to you regardless of what other people’s opinion of it is. You never want to base or shape your opinion off of someone else’s opinion (even if you admire them), because when their opinion matters more than your own opinion; it makes you forfeit the entitlement of your OWN opinion.
No matter how you slice it; anime fans will always have an opinion about anime – and there’s nothing wrong with that. Unpopular opinions only become problematic when boundaries are crossed (especially when it comes to voice actors), and there have been several moments where that’s happened (the Darling in the FRANXX Ichigo situation comes to mind). When it’s all said and done; if you’re getting the entertainment value from the anime titles that you’re watching, then that’s all that really matters. You’re free to acknowledge and accept other people’s opinions of shows that you like, but don’t let their opinions shape your opinions. On that note that will do it for this post.
Until next time, stay nerdy! 😉