Elitism in the anime community

You elitist fucker, you.

I’d say out of all the communities I’ve seen online, anime can have one of the most elitist. Online, elitism is usually associated with assholes and hipsters and carries this connotation of unpleasantness. Well, you can think what you will of it, but elitism is a good thing. Why settle for mediocrity? If you could pick to have any sort of skill set, surely it would be an elite one like medicine or law, over something like cleaning?

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Now, how exactly would you define an elitist? Someone who thinks generic shonenshit is bad? Further than that? How elite do you have to go before you’re at the elitist stage? I’m going to say that, relatively, an elitist in the anime community is someone who can realise the flaws of shows that aren’t just generic battle-shonens, and can argue as to why a series like Hyouka is good. Now, liking Hyouka isn’t as elitist as you could be. In fact, it’s not very elitist at all; it’s popular and well received, but how many people would say it’s better than Sword Art Online? Not enough. The thing is that since the community is saturated so strongly with casuals that it lowers what it actually takes to be seen as an elitist. A true elitist would probably stick to more old or obscure series like Shoujo Kakumei Utena. In all honesty most of the people labelled as an elitist aren’t really elitist. They’re just voicing their opinions, which is a good thing. It’s good that people have different opinions, and it’s even better to voice them. It’s a nice change from “lol naruto da best! XDDD naruto x sakura!!!” or some other dribble.

pleb
SHINGEKI NO KYOJIN COOLEST THING SINCE DRAGONBALL!

I feel the problem with it is you either have to hide away within an elitist community (so you’re relegating yourself to a niche part of an already niche set of people) or try and be louder than the 10 insufferable fanboys around you, which can make you look like a big of an arrogant person. The truth is that that one guy in the crowd isn’t arrogant, he’s just having to make up for all the retardedness that is bestowed around him. Take a comment section, for example. If I was looking at a video or article related to <random anime series> and went down to the comments, only to see masses of people saying how good it is – then I’m probably going to assume it’s worth watching. Unfortunately, popular opinion isn’t always right (it’s often unbelievably wrong in the anime community). So what if this show that everyone is orgasming over is actually a big steamy pile of shit (so imagine comments on a Guilty Crown video)? Well it’s up to Mr. Elitist to shed some light to the unwary reader that the show isn’t as good as people would have you believe. And he’s going to have to stand out more than all the stupid comments that surround him.

So there’s why your average elitist probably comes across like a bit of a prick. Truth is, they’re only trying to help you. And if you don’t take that help, don’t expect them to be very happy with you. It’s hard to have an opinion on the internet. Moving on to the other option available to Mr. Elitist, joining a community that suits him. This is infinitely easier than trying to convince morons to open their minds (or just start using it for once). Let’s use /a/ as our example. Yes, it’s not perfect (you can thank Crunchyroll for that by sending their idiots over repeatedly) and you’re not going to get great posts from everybody, but it’s a hell of a lot better than almost anywhere else (just look at the MAL forums, or YouTube, or Facebook… I could go on forever).

Mr. Elitist probably feels nice, safe, and right at home in /a/. He can have in-depth discussions about shows, talk about the currently airing season and proclaim how his waifu is the purest of them all. But you’re stuck there. You can’t go anywhere else without having to wonder “what the fuck is wrong with people!” and “holy shit why are they so retarded?”. If you try take the elitist mindframe with you anywhere you’re probably going to have a bad time. You’ll be moving from that place where everyone and their mother has heard of Lain, LoGH, Mushishi, Eve no Jikan and many others, to somewhere where people haven’t even seen Eva because ‘it looks old’ or some bullshit.  This probably makes Mr. Elitist quite angry or upset, so please don’t take his possible hostility the wrong way – he’s suffering terribly outside of his elitist community. In fact, you could even try listening to him. He’s elitist for a reason – he likes good shit. You’d be silly not to. Back when I was a noob I’m glad I had an experienced voice in my ear. It saved me a lot of time I would have otherwise had to spend making my way through a load of shit to find the good stuff. Once you’ve found that good stuff, you then have something to compare future things you see to.

lel

You know, I don’t really know where I’m going with this. I guess I’m trying to say elitism is good? I mean, why wouldn’t you listen to someone that’s pretty serious about a topic and has spent a lot of time on it? I recall years ago that I would only ever watching big cinema releases. You know, the stuff that you could buy at supermarkets once it was out on DVD? Then I had an elitist film teacher for 2 years. Now I watch things I usually wouldn’t have like foreign films, arthouse cinema and old films (like 1920s shit). I also now find it a lot easier to see the good from the bad with new releases, and have grown to dislike a lot of mainstream cinema. I’m not saying I only watch obscure things, but now I can certainly see a lot of cinema is, well, pretty crap. Special effects and famous actors don’t make good films. And I thank my film teacher for that. I appreciate how lucky I was to have access to his knowledge. Which makes it all the more distressing when I see people dismiss anime recommendations because they’re not ACTION AND ADVENTURE YEAH.

You know what, you might well and truly have shit taste. I don’t care, it’s probably terminal without cure. I’m not ever going to say stop watching mediocre shows. I’d recommend other things over them, and encourage you to watch things that are more or less objectively good, but I’ll also try by best not to shove opinions down your throat. Just be courteous to me and any other strongly opinionated individuals and listen to us now and then. I don’t care what you like, you can like whatever you want. What’s annoying is when you’re telling everyone how good Naruto (or some other shit) is, when in reality it’s mediocre at the best of times.

Sometimes I just want to scream this at people. :-(
Sometimes I just want to scream this at people.

I guess it’s also worth mentioning the effect of shit taste has on how onlookers view the anime community. To a normalfag, anime means either a) Pokemon, Naruto, Bleach, possibly even Shingeki no Kyojin or b) excessive fanservice and peadophilia. What I wish people would think of when they hear anime is stuff like Akira, Evangelion, 5 Centimeters Per SecondYojouhan Shinwa Taikei, etc.

Ehh. I don’t know. People are fucking stupid and I should learn to ignore them. I’ve just stopped looking at comments on YouTube all together because they’re so infuriating. I’m just going to stop writing here because I’m just ranting at this point and probably sound like I wear a fedora. If you have any thoughts on elitism, good or bad, leave a comment (I guess).

Disclaimer: I’m far from being truly elitist myself. By most standards, my favourite shows are pretty entry level. Well, by the standards of /a/ and the likes, at least. Which is why I’m always shocked when I see ‘long-time anime fans’ who haven’t even seen, like, 5 of the shows I’d call great.

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16 thoughts on “Elitism in the anime community

  1. I can say that you really have no life so… Why bitch over someone’s shit they made and are getting millions off it not giving a flying fuck what you think about it. Why would I listen to Jimmy’s opinion of a show anyways. Are people that lazy and fucked up pants on head retarded not wanting to be happy and inspired. MK Ultra, bitches.

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  2. I don’t see why you would be grateful for being an elitist. You should instead be grateful for being able to enjoy anime. If you enjoy generic shounen anime, then you are able to enjoy most of the anime that gets produced which is great. Being an elitist leaves you limited in your options. Once you hit hundreds of days worth of anime time, there won’t be much to watch any more. Being an elitist, it’s rare to find good anime every season which was especially the case this year. As a filthy casual, you can just watch most thing and enjoy it.

  3. Hi, i am commenting here, but i didn’t read your article in full, because i disagree with enforcing ones’ shitty elitist opinion upon others.

    Having said that, a general remark, i would say there is no problem with anime at all. Indeed 95% of all made anime is completely retarded imbecile nonsense and that is reflected upon the anime community, but that is fine, truly. Anime doesn’t have to be something great, or be fulfilling our expectations, anime is simply anime, a human construction, a thing, and it is actually a pretty shitty thing, and that is completely fine! :)

    @a2c2a

    sorry could you repeat again, is anime a visual medium or not? I didn’t get that part :/
    Also if i got it correct, based on your opinion Nariuto is the best anime?

    As for your critique on the appraisal of anime, i found it rather stupid, to put it softly. You can indeed call anime a “visual medium”, however that doesn’t make an anime which is not able to hold upon a coherent story a good one. Whether you tell a story “visually” or have it expressed through words, the fluency and value of the story nevertheless remain as essential criteria. At the end of the day what anime is appraised upon is the experience, you can hardly ever derive a satisfactory experience from an anime which has an awful story but “great” animation. If anything to truly utilize the medium of animation, the animation and story have to be intertwined, one supporting the other, that is in itself what animation is, and what constitutes it as a unique form of expression.

    • @Kipras
      Seeing as you know nothing about anime and put minimal effort into your reply I will do likewise:
      >sorry could you repeat again, is anime a visual medium or not? I didn’t get that part :/
      >Also if i got it correct, based on your opinion Nariuto is the best anime?
      No and no.

    • “Anime doesn’t have to be something great, or be fulfilling our expectations,”

      ==> LOL. There is nothing wrong with trying to make something (including anime) into being better or great.
      Don’t enforce your shitty taste upon others.

  4. >watching anime for the plot, dialogue, or character development

    top fucking kek.

    Anime is a visual medium and its primary purpose is to show the talent and creativity of animators, not spend hours on end showing nothing but mouth flapping. Let’s not delude ourselves here – talking is primarily a way to cut costs in anime, nothing more. If you want good plot, dialogue or characters go read a book. Anime is for animation. Complaining that Naruto or Bleach don’t have a decent plot is like complaining that science demonstration videos don’t explain the theory and the experiments and mathematics behind the theory. If you want theory go read a book. Anime is for showing not telling. Long dialogue shows that you have no idea how to direct anime. Good anime has minimal dialogue, same as manga. It’s a visual medium so you show things visually, not through text. If you use tons of text it shows that you’ve already failed as an anime director. Why would you watch anime for philosophy? If you want philosophy go read a philosophy book or watch a philosophy lecture. If you want history go read a book or documentary. Anime is a visual medium, its unique ability is to show us what other mediums cannot. By forcing anime to focus on philosophy, dialogue, characterisation and other things that are better left to the written medium, you’re taking away the best of what anime has to offer.

    I will agree that Naruto has shitty animation for the most part. But if you say “in reality it’s [Naruto] mediocre at the best of times” then you’re wrong. Dead wrong. Naruto has had some of the best animators in the industry work on some of its episodes (Norio Matsumoto and Shingo Yamashita just off the top of my head). Several action scenes (Orochimaru vs Sasuke in the forest, Sasuke vs Naruto valley of the end, Hidan & Kakuzu vs Kakashi, etc) were some of the best action scenes that anime had to offer. I’m not saying anime should be only watched for the fight scenes, there are tons of great scenes that don’t focus on fight scenes, I’m in no way diminishing their merit. If you spent years animating girls’ flowing hair, dancing girls, or monsters and special effects (e.g Yozakura Quartet), then that’s commendable and you’re doing the animation industry a great service. I’m in no way saying that fight animation is the only good animation. K-On had great animation. I don’t personally care for it because I’m not a moefag, but I will not deny that it was successful in delivering what was expected to its target audience, and that’s what matters. Naruto was an action anime. People watch action anime for the action scenes, and it had good action scenes. So it’s a good anime. What’s wrong with that? Most anime is “excessive fan service” because that’s what sells. Call it shit or great, it is what it is. I don’t have a problem with people watching and enjoying fan service anime, yes, dismissing all of anime as fan service is stupid, but there’s no denying the reality that MOST anime is pure fan service. And what’s wrong with that? IMO “ironically watching” badly animated anime like Musashi Gundoh is no more commendable than unironically watching fan service anime like Soro no Woto. As you said, it’s just opinions.

    People are being inconsistent and applying double standards when judging anime – nobody bashes Ninja Scroll, Vampire Hunter D:Bloodlust, Redline or Sword of the Stranger for having a shitty generic plot but when it comes to shonenshit like Naruto and Bleach people will jump all over you for watching an action anime with a shitty plot when it’s no worse than majority of action anime out there, and Naruto has objectively better animated and choreography fight scenes than One Piece, which nobody ever complains about (at least not for at least a decade).

    I agree with you that casuals don’t know about all the great obscure anime out there, but this is not because people don’t do their research – they will frequently go on forums to ask for recommendations, or they might google and read a blog or go on MAL – and that’s as much as you can really ask for unless you expect them to be actually autistic and go through “every anime released in 2008” type lists, but because they get recommended stupid shit. People will often recommend for example, for action, garbage such as Hellsing, Darker Than Black, Berserk, Baccano, Claymore and Trigun which have terrible animation and are a borefest, meanwhile nobody recommends Real Drive, Birdy Decode, Kurozuka, Nabari no Ou, Seirei no Moribito or Kai Doh Maru which have far better action scenes than all the anime I just mentioned. Yes SnM is boring for the most part but at least it delivers better action scenes than the majority of action anime. Another problem is people don’t keep up with new anime, so recommendation charts don’t get updated so people will miss out on good new stuff like GARO, and think DBZ is still the best action out there. Now MAL top anime list is not bad, it keeps up with the new stuff but is not separated into categories so people who love action will look at Haruhi and think the list is full of moeshit. People will look at Kara no Kyoukai 5 and think it’s mainly action when the action is actually average and you watch it for the romance. Then people look at Trust and Betrayal and think it’s mainly a romance story whereas in fact the romance plot is shit and you watch it for the great action scenes instead. Worse still, they will see Summer Wars classified as Comedy, Sci-Fi thinking it has no action when it has some of the best fight choreography and animation in all anime.

    So what? You say. Just watch the first episode and decide for yourself instead of reading shitty anime reviews. This fails because first episodes tend to be misleading, e.g Soul Eater, Zetsuen no Tempest, and Guin Saga put their best action scenes in the first episode, so people thought the anime would have decent fight scenes throughout, but it turned out the the first episode was the only episode with a decent fight scene. On the other hand if you watched the first episode of Utawarerumono you’d think the series has no action when it has a bunch of great action scenes later on. And watching clips from anime is a bad idea because you have no idea if that clip was the only good action scene in the entire anime or if there were more and better action scenes in the anime – in short, you don’t know if it’s representative of the anime or not.

    So what we end up with is a world where you have to watch almost the entire series to determine if it’s what you want, and you can’t rely on recommendations because the people who make them are usually uninformed, trolls or idiots and will never recommend decent obscure anime, so they become even more obscure. No wonder some many people are casuals. And let’s not pretend watching more Chinese cartoons makes you superior in any way to people who spent their time doing something more productive instead. If you want to change the situation then keep an up-to-date recommendation chart, complete with all good anime including the obscure ones nobody outside of Japan has ever heard of.

    • “If you want good plot, dialogue or characters go read a book”

      ==> Nonsensical silly response. Many want good plot, dialogue and characters when watching a movie (which is as much visual as anime). Why not with anime?

      • Probably because anime and movies are visual media and don’t convey things like plot and character development particularly well. Eg movies are always worse than the books they were based on (unless the book happened to be exceptionally bad)

        • >movies are always worse than the books, so thats why they cannot convey plot well!

          very flimsy argument.

          Movies that are adapted from any source face tremendous challenges.

          lets go into some challenges that they can face:

          -the decision of being faithful to the source, which could harm the profitability of the movie
          -consultation from the author, if any
          -hiring the right people making the movie, a retarded director that doesn’t give a fuck can instantly ruin the project ( m. night shamalamadingdong)
          -budget, not exactly a problem with big films today, but something to keep in mind
          -running time, it causes omission for things
          -time constraints
          -meddling studios, they can absolutely fuck up your shit just to save shekels.
          -the source is absolute shit thus dooming the project, eg. anything that stephanie myers (twilight lady) queefs out from her fat vagooper

          Often, movie adaptations aren’t even made to be good films. They usually solely exist to make money off of author/brand recognition. And sometimes, they’re even trends.

          if we really want to see things translated well, consider TV shows. I mean, actual fucking TV shows that HBO and AMC can own. Often, they can translate well from other sources because you don’t have to worry about some of the problems I mentioned.

          I know it wasn’t based off of a book, and instead a visual novel, but I fucking love the shit out of Daredevil’s TV Show.

          The running time of each episode was an hour and there was essentially thirteen episodes. It had the time for character development, good meaningful conversation, an involved plot with actual political intrigue, and great fight choreography.

          >If you want good plot, dialogue or characters go read a book.

          That’s like saying the cinematography in a film is all you need, fuck acting, writing, characters, story and plot.

          I’d write more, but I seriously can’t be assed. I might continue in a few days.

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  5. How can you even claim to be an anime fan when you don’t like naruto and bleach? I haven’t heard of those other shows you mentioned but I’m pretty sure that they won’t be as good. I bet they are the type of shows that are made for pedos. People like you just like to appear to be superior to us real anime fans because you have nothing better to do.

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