A Seasonal Anime Fans Open Mindedness

I know that I wrote something about some of the negative aspects of anime culture.  To take things in a different and more positive direction, open mindedness.  I’m not sure how long this post well be, but let’s put that into more perspective.

Every season, there are new shows that nobody has ever watched before.  Whether or not there are new shows to watch about?  What do we have to judge them on?  Sure, some are based off of something that a lot of people have read or played, but for the most part we don’t have a big idea to go on with either of them.  There are things to base new coming shows off like studio and directors, but none of those are definite.  A good show from a manga, light novel, or a web series can have a bad adaption.  Then there are also the original series that there is no basis for being good or not.  A lot of open mindedness and fearlessness is necessary to try these new shows out.

To a fan of any other medium, a lot of “I’ve heard about this before” is involved.  Sure, there are shows like Mr. Robot, Breaking Bad, Orphan Black, and Continuum that have their own original stories and are good, but a lot of series like NCIS: Los Angeles all of those different Law and Order and CSI variations exist.  Star Trek: The Next Generation lead to DS9 and Voyager which take place only a little bit after TNG.  Even Breaking Bad has one.  Spin offs of shows that the audience is firmly aware of already can easy make ratings.  The advantages of these kinds of shows is that they are going to have seasons on seasons of running time and will most likely last forever.  A new series that have tries to take things a new direction and becomes successful with a lot of seasons behind it will most get a spin off series in which the material is no longer new again.  This is an advantage that watching anime series gives us.  Even though there are no guarantees that the show you watched is getting another season, the fact that we try something new is truly enduring.

Another thing that I think provides an advantage to seasonal anime fans is the diversity of tone.  If you even watch an America movie trailer, you will start to notice that movies are getting more and more similar all the time.  Looking at something like Independence Day: Resurgence, it looks like every other movie disaster movie that has come out recently.  It really lost all of the interest and uniqueness that came from the original movie, even though it’s a dumb popcorn thriller.  When a movie like The Dark Knight gets insanely popular, bad rip offs follow it for years.  Since the Marvel Cinematic Universe has gotten popular, other studios have tried to start their own and haven’t gotten as much success.  To me, the worst thing is when somebody tries to copy something but doesn’t understand how it worked or why it was successful because the endeavor ends in failure.  This doesn’t just go for movies, but also tv shows.  How many tv shows have you seen recently where a normal person walks down the path of self-destruction as they turn into a bad guy?  It’s a very popular thing.  I’m not saying that things like that don’t happen in the anime realm, but recently so many trends have stuck together that it’s hard to tell what is popular or not.   Take this season for example.  There is: a series of a young widower taking care of his younger daughter, a love drama with the main girl getting letters from the future, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (enough said), a soccer anime with moe guys, a muscular guy with an insanely large sword getting chased down for what he used to be involved in, a fantasy series where a young prince is going to take back his throne, and that’s not even everything.  There is such a high diversity of tastes going on and I can’t help but watch most of them.

In closing thoughts, I’m not saying that western audiences are anyway bad for watching what they do or how each industry is.  People should watch what they want to watch and not have to be judged by the rest of humanity.  That being said, I can’t help but think that recent anime fans are more open minded then both of them.  This is an opinion and I need the facts to make a solid theory on it, but this is from the unscientific observations that I’ve noticed and made.  Being excited for new intellectual property every three months is something that only anime fans have seemed to have accomplished.  Even if anime fans are considered odd to everybody else, it’s always the odd ones that don’t shoo everybody and everything away because of differences.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Wren says:

    Here’s what I think. In diversity of types of programs, there are a lot of different programs in anime. There are school animes and sci-fi animes and fantasy animes. In western media, there are mostly crime or sci-fi or high fantasy or comedy. I’m generalizing a bit, though.
    But in diversity of LGBTA and all, western media is more diverse. There are barely any transgender animes. But western media has more. And is, in fact, more trans shows/movies are coming out.
    In certain aspects, anime are more diverse. But not all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Are you sure? When you speak about representation, I think of Yurikuma Arashi, some parts of Sailor Moon, Soul Eater, Black Butler, Utena, Evangelion had bits of it, and I’m sure there are others I’m not thinking of. Doing a google search brings up a lot more.

      I can’t think of large amounts of representation in Western media. What examples do you have?

      Like

      1. Arria Cross says:

        Whoa. Easy there, my friends. I get what both of you are saying, but let’s acknowledge the gap between Western and Asian media, namely the culture. I’m Asian living in North America so I understand that there are a lot of differences between them. As anime fans, we can’t help but compare anime to Hollywood shows. I love anime and I prefer to watch anime over any Hollywood movies or TV shows, but that doesn’t mean I see the other one as superior to the other. As for Hollywood films getting more and more similar, anime isn’t innocent either. Sure, anime is amazing but they also need to sell them so many creators unfortunately rely on proven tropes that’ll sell. Thus there are also many anime that feel the same.

        As anime fans, we know how diverse the genre is. There is virtually an anime out there for everyone, if one just cares to look. I think Western media is also the same, it’s just that not ALL of them are treated the same. If a film or a TV show starred a big celebrity, like Angelina Jolie or Leonardo DiCaprio, it’s expected to be a big hit even if the story’s already used a thousand times in other films. Small, more original and definitely more diverse works are pushed aside and shadowed over by the big-budget shows. International film festivals are treasure troves in discovering original gems that tend to be snubbed in mainstream theatres. I think that this is also true in anime to some degree. If we compare ourselves to occasional anime fans who only know mainstream anime like ONE PIECE, Naruto, Dragon Ball and such, they’re not aware that there are many anime in different genre. I’ve encountered people who think that all anime are like Naruto.

        I personally am not a seasonal anime watcher. I don’t like watching airing anime and I think that I’m pretty open-minded. I don’t like watching airing anime mainly because the buzz/hype surrounding these series are really strong when they’re airing. I tend to wait until the buzz/hype dies down a bit before I watch an anime because then I’d be firmer on my own opinions about the series without being too much influenced by others’ “Oh my gosh you have to watch this, it’s great!” or “This anime sucks. Don’t watch it.” I think that open-mindedness is subjective, and doesn’t necessarily have to do with whether one watches seasonal anime or not.

        Anyway, I’m not saying you’re wrong or anything. I’m just sharing what I personally think about this matter. It turned into a good topic of discussion, so thanks for stimulating my brain to work. Keep it up. Cheers!

        Like

  2. This is what I really appreciate about anime: as a medium of entertainment, it’s not afraid to walk new ground or break tropes in order to deliver on a good story. While there are a lot of series that tread familiar ground in order to stay safe, good adaptations of manga/LNs or new original series often manage to find a way to take already-seen concepts and ideas and either present them in a new way or pull them off in a way that sets a new standard. Take 91 Days, for example. It’s set in Prohibition-era America, and it’s an anime. How often does that happen? One could say the same for Re:Zero and its unique time-travel mechanic, or the dark epic fantasy that is the new Berserk. I want to see more and more anime that push the boundaries of what we consider standards, and as the medium progresses, I feel that we’ll be seeing that more and more. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dreager1 says:

    I agree that the variety with anime is such a key selling point. No matter how many come out, there are always new titles with unique concepts. Soul Eater was a nice take on the meta human school since I’ve never seen a main character who uses a Psythe before that and the idea of the heroes being the Death Gods was certainly interesting as well. Serial Experiments Lain (I believe that’s the pic to the left right?) was also quite unique with all of the conspiracies and general vagueness where you could interpret every scene very differently. Of course, I still do love the classic action titles like DBZ and Bleach as well, but it wouldn’t be true variety if we didn’t have at least some of those as well. Between Yugioh, Hero Academia, One Punch Man, LBX, and Digimon, I’m enjoying how these shows are all so different. Great article!

    Like

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