I figured I’d use the end of the year coming up as an excuse to write some stuff. This is my personal top 3 worst things to come out of anime fandom this year – which also means this only includes stuff that BEGAN or had a noticeably drastic change this year, so things that are ongoing but awful aren’t included.
3. Tomoko is just like me
No, she’s not, and you aren’t like her. As a quick note: I love Watamote, both the manga and the show, so this is not a problem with the series itself at all. Anyway, this has been going on since the manga first started being fan translated but had a huge boom once the anime came out and the series became more known. Now every pre-teen and edgy college freshmen who watches the anime will go around spouting how similar they are and ‘know those feels’ (these types are always spewing memes). Oddly enough, these are the same people who entirely do not get the message Watamote is trying to get across, nor understand basic elements of Tomoko’s character. They are the same people who have never understood how the opening is relevant and think it’s just a so whacky unfitting OP instead of one of the most telling aspects of the series.
I mean sure, one or two people might relate very closely, but most people tend to misinterpret “I like spending time alone” as “I’m just like Tomoko!” or what have you. This is essentially the same fucking problem that Welcome to the NHK created. People who have no mental issues, are not reclusive whatsoever, do not suffer from any social anxiety – essentially are not hikikomoris at all, would claim they are “Just like Satou because he likes spending time alone too” while making a facebook post on their way to class or coming home from a friends house. Tomoko and Watamote are just as badly misunderstood by the fanbase, and it’s created an obnoxious beast of faggotry. I’m not saying Tomoko and Satou are alike at all either – they aren’t – I’m just saying the fan situation is essentially no different.
2. Aku no Hana TV fans
This is something I’ve gone over before and should be no surprise it’s here. Aku no Hana’s anime series (if you can call it that) is a very poorly and cheaply done rotoscoped series focused on bouncy blob things and teen angst. The problem here, again, is the fans. The show had a massive backlash after episode 1 due to just how fucking terrible it looks and how poorly done it all was, but – and this shouldn’t be a surprise – a lot of people latched on and tried to become it’s defense force. They’d claim it’s artistic and that people hate it ‘for being different’, claiming that those who hate it are holding back the medium by flipping their shit over anything that tries something new, and basically being hipsters claiming that it looks great and people just hate it “for looking realistic and not being moe shit”.
First off, Aku no Hana did NOTHING NEW. Rotoscoping is not something even remotely modern – it was being done in the 90s and there’s even been full feature films done entirely as such, and plenty of anime have used it as well. Not to mention it’s been done WAY BETTER, this wasn’t bad for being rotoscoped – it was bad because they did a shitty job of it. So there goes the argument for being different or trying something new.
As for looking realistic…to quote myself, “This is not realism, it’s the nightmares of a person who was born blind and has to imagine how the world looks”. Just see for yourself;
There is no way to defend this aside “I like it”. Opinion is opinion – but claiming this is new, looks good on any level but your own personal view, or that everyone thinks it looks bad ‘because it’s unique’ is fucking wrong.
1. Kill la Kill apologists
Just because you say the show is bad on purpose doesn’t make it less fucking bad. The worst part is that the same people who defend this by praising it for ‘knowing what it is’ and ‘not taking itself serious’ and all that somehow making it great attack all the other shows THAT DO THE SAME THING IN THE SAME WAY. The only reason Kill la Kill gets a free pass is because the “i only watch mature anime for mature adults like myself” crowd can watch it and tell themselves it’s acceptable due to being from Trigger (who have yet to make a single good piece of animation) and having more ‘serious’ art and action mixed in. The show is not only godawful in every subjective way – it’s also pretty shitty objectively, as it runs at around 10fps half the time and was incredibly lazily created in every single aspect. You can’t claim factual low framerates are ‘just your opinion’ either.
It’s always one of the following defensive replies:
1. The fanservice is on purpose! They know what kind of show it is, it doesn’t take itself seriously, so it’s okay!
2. It never tries being something it’s not!
3. It’s fun so who cares!?
This is essentially the Nintendo fanboy group of the anime world. They will tell you the piss poor animation – which is factually terrible – doesn’t matter because the show is fun. They don’t watch anime for the visua- oh wait. It’s the same type of thinking that leads people to believe that a game needs bad graphics to have good gameplay. “Graphics don’t matter” – yes, they do. They do because if the option of good quality graphics is available (and that option IS available) you can do that ALONG WITH GOOD GAMEPLAY, the idea that you can’t have both is just fucking retarded. Anime does not need to stutter through itself to be a ‘fun show’. I mean does anyone truly believe that if KLK was animated smoothly it’d be worse for it? I sure hope not – but guess what, the fans will say yes. The fans will say this is also ‘on purpose’ and somehow adds to the quality and makes it the best show of the year and one of the best in the past decade. Yes, I’ve had people tell me straight up that “the frame rate is that way on purpose to add to the style”. It’s just fucking pathetic.
Kill la Kill is an awful show, but people like awful things – that doesn’t bother me, a lot of things are awful or not based on opinion and this is no exception. What bothers me is the people who defend it with this bullshit. No anime has all this fanservice, terrible writing (even for this ‘its not taking itself seriously’ type of show), low frame rate, etc ‘accidentally’. They are all very aware of what they are, and almost no fanservice dedicated show – such as this one – EVER takes itself seriously. This is a shitty, extremely cheaply animated, ecchi jerkoff show for people who take THEMSELVES too seriously – which is kind of ironic. They take themselves so seriously that they somehow don’t realize they shit on every show EXACTLY LIKE THIS but actually usually a bit better for the SAME REASONS THEY ARE USING TO DEFEND IT. Even if you don’t do that, the fact remains that you cannot ignore how much is legitimately and objectively BAD about this show – yet even the quieter or non defensive fans do.
The argument that “it’s that way on purpose” or “stop taking it so seriously” is a really fucking stupid fallacy, not a valid counterpoint. If you like this show – fine – but do not sit there pretending every single fault with it is somehow a positive aspect or magically forgivable ‘because its whacky XD’.
You can like the show, hell, as I’ve been told by some, they like it BECAUSE it’s bad. That’s fine, so is simply enjoying it for being a fun show. My problem is with the people who defend it in the exact way I stated or blow off complaints about it with something along those lines – not ‘fans of the show’ in general. I hate this show, and for a lot of reasons that are irrelevant to this post – but nothing this show could offer is worse than its defense force.
So Kill la Kill apologists and overly defensive fanboys take the number one spot as the very worst 2013 trend in the anime world.
I know I’m missing a lot, but three seemed like a good number – for the whole two of you who actually read my blog, feel free to post your own or disagree with mine. I try to respond to most comments. I haven’t lately really, so sorry about that.
Working on my game of the year, a review for Tales of Xillia, and other posts along with more top lists for 2013, so hopefully those will be up somewhat soon…though a top op/ed style list is gonna be difficult with how strict youtube is nowadays.
Tomoko in Watamote is high functioning aspergers with histrionic personality disorder
but hikikomori is mix between avoidant personality disorder and borderline personality disorder
that very different
“No, she’s not, and you aren’t like her”
I didn’t know you were psychic, retard-chan. Actual hikinomori’s exist. It’s more common then you think.
You sure showed me.
“Hi, I’m Get cancer, and I don’t know how generalization for the sake of simplicity works!”
Wow,so much hatred bud.Im out,not to see you again
Congrats man, you just offended yourself from reading someone else’s opinion on something. Welcome to childhood.
And there comes the result of being too used to BBCode, haha.
Hi Tallon, this is a quite nice article. I agree with a lot of things you say about [i]Aku no Hana[/i] and its use of rotoscope, though not to this level. That is, there were instances of the show where this style actually worked, they made it look surreal and voraginous. The problem of this show is basically that it uses the same shallow rotoscope effort for these dreamy sequences than for whatever mundane school scene, which makes the show look inconsistant and the artstyle badly if not at all uncombined with the substance.
On [i]Watamote[/i]. This is a show I have been planning to watch for a while, precisely due to my liking of [i]Welcome to the NHK![/i]. I find your criticism here applies perfectly to that other series so I will instead respond in the way of Satou. Because as I think that you make an interesting point on the way the fans often express their attachment to the characters, and I am a little bit annoyed by this “I am totally like him/her” trope, I don’t think you need to be an actual social outcast, let alone a pathological sociopath to relate to Satou’s situation and see yours reflected, to a point. I often say that Satou is one of the characters that have hit home harder to me and while I do have my social issues as well (some of them rather serious), it is not because my case is that extreme. What ties me to Satou is, for example, the way his different period in life (childhood, teen years, college) are not connected. That is, one of the things that have affected me the hardest is my inability to keep a consistant group of friends when I grow up, from one stage to another, it seems to me that I simply move on and leave everything behind. This issue has hardly been treated in the fiction stuff I watched, therefore and even though Satou is an extreme case overall, he actually speaks a lot about me. I can say that I project my own concerns in this character, or that he reminds me of them. It’s not a matter to be proud of, which is probably the point you are criticizing, but it’s not either something I’d have to hide, because it is very closely tied to why I love this show as much as I do.
I appreciate what you said about Tomoko and people falsely claiming to be like her. I lost interest in the series ages ago, back when the manga was first being fan translated, but I have seen people say this. I always doubt them; people just love to try and wear mental disorders and social awkwardness like it’s a badge, while people who actually have these issues are suffering the actual consequences and wishing they could move past it. It makes me sick.
The sad thing is, I am quite like Tomoko… or at least I was. I relate to her because I know, to a lesser extent, how she feels. In junior high and until about half-way through high school I had social anxieties, I had few friends, I was judgemental to hide my insecurities, and it all probably had something to do with me being an asspie… er, person with Asperger’s. I eventually met another guy who was similar, and had some help from some silly old specialists, and I came to just not give a shit what people thought, and to seek out those who were like me. I empathize with her, and yet can’t help but laugh as well(nervously mostly) because I totally get it. It’s a really bad case, but I think it was that way in order to be funny. And the show is funny in the same way black comedy is. I really like her because of that and I just wanna give her a big ol’ hug. Because I wish I could have gotten one of those.
But, hey, where is “people who complained about Railgun S’s ‘filler’ arc? Those guys annoyed me so fucking much. The worst part is how they expected it to be the Daihaseisai arc, which is still fucking going right now. And I even actually saw people saying that the Sister’s arc was boring. That I’d say is worst for me.
I think I’d have included the idiots complaining about ‘filler’ in Railgun and the Sister’s arc dragging/being bad but I was luckily able to forget about all that after I stopped bothering to defend it on forums and such to people who were simply unwilling to listen at all. I think if I included it, I’d probably put it in the place of Tomoko, as it’s got nothing on how bad the NHK fanbase was/is anyway.
As for relating, sure, you are one of the minority that can. I myself suffer from a lot of severe social anxiety disorders, agoraphobia, panic attacks and am such a genuine recluse I can’t leave my own home for the most part. I can’t relate to Tomoko directly (though I can understand and somewhat empathize), but my point is there’s always going to be those who can relate – but most of the people claiming they are just like her do so for the reasons they themselves point out…which are always stupid. “I think people are dumb too” or “I spend valentines alone too im just like her i know her feeeels”.
Actually, that brings up a good point I should have mentioned, the “I know her feels” bullshit. Memes are retarded, but even moreso when 90% of the comments about a show are all that same one.
Most of the people claiming to relate were just kids who got bullied – which hilariously enough Tomoko NEVER WAS REMOTELY. They just think anything slightly similar to even some tiny aspect of themselves means ‘wow, she’s me!’. They even go so far as to act like “some people don’t realize there are real people like this out there, like me!” while claiming somehow they are the same because they aren’t super social.
I love the show, and I love the real aspect behind who Tomoko is – the side you sound like you can genuinely relate to. It pisses me off when almost everyone misses who she is. Especially the part about “I was judgemental to hide my insecurities” which literally everyone tells me I’m wrong about her doing…when that’s what the entire fucking character of Tomoko exists to do and represent. She’s a pretty mean spirited person who forcibly perpetuates her loneliness by how horribly judgmental she is of everyone around her – even those being perfectly nice. The opening spells it out for people even, with her being a chained up ‘monster’.
Right? She’s certainly cute and isn’t really a terrible person, but she’s bringing all the bad shit on herself and only making it worse. What she needs is to try and understand people, only then can she be understood. I’m currently in the middle of my probably life-long quest to understand people, and while it makes me even more misanthropic, I can’t help but feel that’s the wrong way of going about it.
I can actually offer a different interpretation of the opening actually. She’s chained up, which is her self made prison, when she finally breaks free though she gets stopped by wall(that camera that shatters), which is that part where she inevitably fucks up and recedes every time she makes any progress. There is also a feeling of isolation in the series too. Most extra’s don’t have faces, if they’re even in color. While the show is going, you’re Tomoko basically. You’re cut off too. You are alone. And I think this means people are confusing sympathy for a character who has at least one aspect they can relate to and thus feeling what she feels vicariously, with straight up being “LOL JUST LIKE ME”. The fact /a/ went all apeshit over that fact should actually tell them something. I get liking her, I wish I could go in there and help her, teach her my ways, and then play 5 hours of video games with her, but those guys were fucking stupid.
But you want to know what I think was worse? Back before the anime came out I read, for some reason, some posts on Mangafox(yes) about it. There were people who were getting all upset of it and saying how “mean” it was, as if this wasn’t some kind of self-depreciative humour/satire, and the author was just some big meanie making fun of these kinds of people. I think that’s an even worse and stupider interpretation. But that’s just it, people always do this kind of thing.
BTW, did you know Yen Press is publishing the manga now? I’m so happy.
This shitty layout only lets comments go up to 3 in a chain before removing the reply button for some reason, but yeah I just didn’t feel like explaining in huge detail what I felt the OP represented. I just meant to say it was meaningful basically, while most people, like /a/ or MAL, just felt it was out of place and they never understood it – they thought it was a silly joke of ‘lol so random’ style.
As for the manga, I already bought a couple of the JP volumes so I’m part of that group the mangaka thanks from 4chan all the time back when I was still on /a/ (not the penis sending group!). I do plan on buying the english releases too though…but Yen Press is a bit scary. They very rarely actually finish releasing anything and have very often made me fairly upset because of that, so I’m holding off for now. I understand that’s kind of counterintuitive – as less sales means higher drop probability, but if my one sale would make the difference then it’d end up dropped either way.
And I luckily never saw anyone like that – who felt he was ‘making fun’ of anyone. Though I have seen, from Japanese readers, attempts at starting a conspiracy over him writing all this based on a girl he stalks and wants to bully. THAT I felt was just fucking hilarious beyond belief and only just remembered now. I say he because if I recall the writer is male, the artist is the girl, but you get my point – they treat it like it’s some mean spirited story, but Tomoko is the only thing like that in it. There’s no secret meta joke shitting on people with issues.
Hell, saying this is being mean towards anyone is like claiming any writing of this style is – you’d never hear someone who reads literature claiming Charles Bukowski is attacking anyone aside himself, for example. Self deprecation is a common theme in writing because writing often gets across the feelings of the writer and their experiences and life. The anime/manga fandom is always dumb.
At first I too thought the OP was out of place for a comedy. And in some ways it’s style DOES clash a little. But then I thought about it and it blew my god damn mind.
I didn’t know Yen Press did that. I don’t really have a problem with it though, as with most long-running series(Railgun excluded) I end up dropping anyway. It’s why I don’t normally watch things with more than 50 or so episodes(that and they’re usually craptastic poorly written shounen battle manga). Speaking of which, if Seven Seas ever stops publishing Railgun I am going to hunt them down and kill them. I am so proud of my collection of it. It’s the most I’ve been able to stick with a manga I’ve bought.
I do kinda like the idea that he got the idea from stalking some chick. That’s just hilarious. Like he just follows her around and writes down what she does and makes a comic about it.
Well, you know how some people are. They take everything at face value and counterattack anyone or anything they see as attacking some group of people who can probably defend themselves. Why do you think “Social Justice” blogs exist(as if whining is actually Social Justice or something). And yeah, the anime/manga community can be pretty dumb sometimes. *siiiigh* But it’s not just them, you know. It’s the whole damn world.
I heartily disagree with the top two objectively, but completely agree on the fandom trends. I remember Ghostlighting once upon a time railing against apologist fans, and I totally feel that here.