Criticism vs. Hate

No matter how much I criticize KyoAni, I love most of their works to death

Image Cred­it: a‑ka

I found the romance some­what lack­ing”, “the ani­ma­tion in this scene was hor­ri­ble”, “good god what were they think­ing while mak­ing this”, etc.

Some­times, when you’re lis­ten­ing to a per­son­’s opin­ion on a par­tic­u­lar sub­ject (say, a cer­tain ani­me or maybe manga/VN), this per­son seems to go on long tan­gents about how a cer­tain aspect of the sto­ry did­n’t meet their expec­ta­tions and con­tin­ue by pick­ing apart oth­er qual­i­ties that the writ­ers did wrong in their eyes, and seem to have more to say about the neg­a­tive aspects than the pos­i­tive aspects of the sto­ry. Jesus, this per­son must FRIGGIN’. HATE. THIS ANIME.

And then you real­ize: “No, wait… what? This per­son likes this ani­me? Not just like, it’s their favorite? Well hell, how the heck was I sup­pose to know that when they kept on talk­ing down on it!”

Some­times it just ends up being that way. A series that you love will def­i­nite­ly end up being the one you’re most pas­sion­ate about — and you’re going to be pas­sion­ate about it when it comes to both its good and neg­a­tive qual­i­ties. But, in the over­all scheme of things (for opin­ion­at­ed peo­ple that are pas­sion­ate about sto­ry­telling and the like), the neg­a­tive aspects usu­al­ly gloss over the pos­i­tive aspects when ana­lyz­ing the qual­i­ty of the series, because with­out those aspects, their lov­able series could have been even bet­ter. They rant about them because those neg­a­tive aspects are an unwant­ed poi­son that found a way into their beloved sto­ry, and they want vengeance.

Melo­dra­mat­ics aside, it always leaves room for more dis­cus­sion and a more inter­est­ing read than a bunch of crap that prais­es the liv­ing hell out of any­thing and every­thing relat­ed to it, espe­cial­ly when many peo­ple share the same love for that series but always go into a “praise the god” cir­cle­jerk (i.e. Clan­nad; love the series, yet hate how much the ani­me fan­dom for it devolves into “best ani­me EVAR” tan­gents with no real sub­stance). It’s fine for a com­e­dy or slice-of-life, sure, but when it’s heav­i­ly sto­ry-based, it’s much more appar­ent that the neg­a­tive aspects are just as much a part of the lore as the pos­i­tive aspects. This is often ignored, and diehard fans tend to tell the crit­ic to “shut up” so they could pro­ceed to share more of their fan­f­ic ideas and dis­cuss how “awe­some ^_^” the series is. And then there’s the “hur­rr, if you hate it so much why don’t you stop watch­ing it” Fan­Dumb cliché.

Are you kid­ding me?


“Neg­a­tive aspects go Akarin~!”

Any­ways, being pas­sion­ate about a cer­tain series does­n’t always mean prais­ing every aspect of it — doing so may not even give you the feel­ing of doing the pos­i­tive parts jus­tice — and feel­ing dis­ap­point­ed with cer­tain parts should come with it, or at least acknowl­edg­ing cer­tain parts that feel point­less and under­played. Or else it’s just blind fan­boy-ism and noth­ing more (it’s not always the case, but when you refuse to acknowl­edge any neg­a­tive aspect by mind­less­ly shoot­ing all cri­tiques down, then yeah). Per­fec­tion does­n’t exist, as the pros can­not exist with­out the cons. Even with series that are seem­ing­ly per­fect (*cough*Card­cap­tor Saku­ra*cough*), if you dig far enough, there may be some neg­a­tive aspects that you’ve nev­er noticed before. For series that aim for mature themes, depth, and sym­bol­ism, these cons may be much more eas­i­er to find.

So…yeah. The next time you read one of Wah­fu­u’s reviews (say, Rewrite) note that he loves the VN, but tends to go on tan­gents about aspects he did­n’t like. Not because he hates the sto­ry, but because he likes it and his pas­sion is flow­ing out through his tan­gents. *insert awe­some shounen hand ges­tures* Unless, ya’ know, he says he hates it.

Because when some­one says they hate a series, they most like­ly hate it.

6 thoughts on “Criticism vs. Hate

  1. Yeah I com­plete­ly agree, I rarely ever say any­thing neg­a­tive about a favorite series but with that being said I still acknowl­edge the neg­a­tive aspects(which some­times I may not real­ize until its brought to my atten­tion). I’ve thought the same thing about some­one not­ing all the neg­a­tive aspects of a series and then learn­ing its one of they’re favorites, your post sheds alot of light on that for me and cer­tain­ly makes it more understandable =)

    1. @Shikon: I’m in a sim­i­lar boat as you in terms of focus­ing more on the pos­i­tives. I think it varies to some extent, some peo­ple find it hard to explain in-depth why they like some­thing, and some­times find them­selves talk­ing more about parts they did­n’t like instead. Which is healthy, I sup­pose, since it opens their eyes to how the series could have been better.

  2. When I was much younger and a new fan of ani­me, I tend­ed to praise all the time and rarely, if ever, crit­i­cized any ani­me I watched. But as I got old­er, wis­er, and became a more knowl­edge­able fan, I always try to point out the pos­i­tives and neg­a­tives in every ani­me I watch and review, whether I loved it or hat­ed it. For my favorite series, I can under­stand why some peo­ple don’t like them and acknowl­edge at least a few neg­a­tive things about them. Noth­ing’s per­fect, and I’ve found that peo­ple will take you much more seri­ous­ly as a fan of some­thing if you’re will­ing to admit that the thing you love has its flaws despite every­thing else great about it.

    1. @Yume­ka: That’s very true! No one respects tun­nel-vision and blind fan­boy­ism. Even if it’s just a mar­gin, it gives the fan­dom a bet­ter image when some­one looks at a series with open eyes whether they love it or hate it.

  3. Very much agreed. Though I tend to speak more pos­i­tive­ly of of shows I like. It’s the ones that build me up then dis­ap­point me that get me typ­ing and typing.

    But yes. As hard as it is, see­ing what oth­er peo­ple think can be enlight­en­ing, just that you have to trudge through all the bash­ing before find­ing a prop­er analysis.

    1. @Ron: Yeah, shows that man­age to build up antic­i­pa­tion and then fail to deliv­er tend to push on one’s but­ton the most, espe­cial­ly if it pulled off every­thing else well. And I agree that find­ing what oth­er peo­ple think, no mat­ter how dif­fer­ent their way of think­ing is, is a great way of look­ing at a sto­ry in a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive. Under all of the mind­less praise and bash­ing of your favorite series is some­one who is will­ing to dis­sect it in-depth.

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