I Try Not To Write Negative Reviews

A little while back there was a lot of hoopla going on about this little thing called Black Fox. A little anime movie that a lot of people seemed to really like and had some praises on. It got to the point where I had checked it out myself and the result of that was that I couldn’t care less about it. I was almost ready to just write a review in order to tear it apart, but that’s too easy to do. What would that do though? There was this side of my self pulling back telling me that there was no point on going on this pointless tirade. Sure, a post would come from it but one that wouldn’t have any value in it. If you’ve noticed, I haven’t wrote any many strongly negative reviews. The last one was a couple months ago in a see of pretty good shows that I’ve also written about. I don’t want to just spread negativity around everywhere I go. That’s an angle I’m not going for as much anymore. Negativity isn’t fun for me is what I’m saying.

I know this is a cheap thing to say right out of the bat, but it’s easier for someone to be known for their negativity then their positivity. If the internet has proven anything lately, it’s that people like watching and reading negative videos and posts then positive ones. Either the viewing party is curious about why a person is being negative about something they like OR the viewing party wants to see someone else dunk on something they don’t like because it’s fun. Don’t lie, both of these are true at some level. I know it because that’s something I still do which makes me a hypocrite. It’s that human nature sort of thing which draws people into it. The points and quality of the negative post or video do matter, but not as much as one would think to make their case. Just the fact that it’s a negative video or post gives it the click bait it needs to be successful most of the time.

It’s not like all negative posts are considered equal. Some are far better then others. Especially when a person can look at something through their education and experience when talking about how something is bad on a lot of technical levels. Watching those sorts of videos and reading those posts could be an educational experience. That’s not easy negativity, that’s hard negativity. Learning from a professional on how to do something is always great. On the other hand, some negative posts and videos come from people who put little thought and effort into what they are doing by not paying attention to the media they are watching close enough or too close where they nitpick everything on screen without considering or understanding the context of what is going on.

Positive posts and everything else are harder considering that there is a lot of things going against a series when walking into it to get a positive experience out of it. There are so many factors to consider here like what mood the watcher is in, is the genre to the watcher’s tastes or not, is the show doing enough to get the viewer to watch if it isn’t to their tastes, and other things. I would even throw in that people would think that a show is a shoe in for them when the categories a show is in fits someone’s tastes. That’s true, but there is also the factor of expectations which can hurt a series too. Imagine if something is in your wheel house and it just doesn’t perform at all. That adds some extra layers of negativity don’t you think? So in essence, a series has a lot of factors against it before a person can write a completely positive or mostly positive review on something. It’s a lot of work to be positive, man.

And all of that leaders to how I wrote my posts and reviews. I don’t like writing about something if I can’t find anything positive to say about it. Looking at you, Black Fox. There has to be something positive in a show that draws me into it to write about it. Of course, I’m not always completely positive right? If anything, I try to find a good balance between the good and bad attributes of a series in question from my point of view when writing about it. I don’t have any hidden agendas that make me want other people to hate on a series too, I like writing posts that are fair with my own tastes on the said. Can that be called positive? Maybe not. So in general, I just want to inform everyone that something exists and whether or not something is in the reader’s tastes to watch. That’s it. That’s the post. Took me long enough to get there, huh? My build up has been terrible recently.

Maybe with that thought process comes a question of my standards when reporting on when I watch or read something. Yeah, I don’t care about how my standards make me look honestly. I go into new series, seasonal or otherwise, with hope that it will just like a series and let go of it if I don’t find value in watching something anymore. When that happens, I never talk about the series again if it’s seasonal or in the first place if it isn’t. I suppose I do have some tastes when it comes to solid stories, good characters, and how deep the story is with a side of space ships, science fiction elements, and giant robots sometimes. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but robots aren’t always necessary. Though, I will make the note that anything can be improved with robots.

But anyway, I don’t jump into something expecting it to be the best thing possible, just that it’s good enough for me to watch. That way I won’t let my own internal thought processes and biases weigh down a series that I haven’t even watched yet. Hopefully, that mindset will allow me to know when a series is good to me or not That’s it. If it’s an almost perfect series and it wows me, great. Going to put that on my list of favorites that has been growing recently. If it’s not, then I will still watch it. If something is good and watchable, that’s all I need sometimes to relax and cool myself off considering how busy my life is. I’m not picky, I like just watching things to watch them sometimes. Then I write about them maybe. That’s how review posts appear on this blog. I’m not a reviewer, just a blogger and that’s ok.

TL;DR – I try to walk into a series with a positive mindset and write at least a balanced point of view, if not positive, when writing about a series. I’m not a reviewer, just a blogger. Thank you so much for reading my little rant, everyone. See you when the next post appears on this blog.


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40 thoughts on “I Try Not To Write Negative Reviews

  1. You’ve described my exact approach to gaming here. I’ve got better things to do than dunk on things I don’t like… I’ve got shelves full of many varied and fascinating things to explore, and if I inspire just one person to check out something they might not have otherwise given a second glance, that’s far more valuable to me than a bunch of people nodding along and going “haha, suck it [thing I don’t like]”.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. That was a great post. I do wonder a bit why you haven’t made as many negative reviews compared to other reviewers including myself. I agree that it’s good to have a healthy balance with positive and negative elements in reviewing things. Even things I gave 1/10s to have one positive thing about it and my Pros/Cons section forces me to mention those positives. When I give full 10/10s, I mention the negatives in it or at least aspects that people may not appreciate as much.

    There have been times where I wonder if I’ve been very negative in certain aspects. I still struggle from low self-esteem (it was part of the reason why I came up with the Representation Matters series after seeing actual studies done on certain issues) and I’ve internalized a bunch of negative emotions, so I wonder if it explodes in certain posts. I know I certainly got negative when I’ve done some of my news posts and when I did THAT huge rant over the summer if you know what I’m talking about.

    It’s good that you have that positivity. You never came off as forced or superficial with that optimism which I respect about you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I honestly really like your reviews in general because even the negative ones could be pretty informative and interesting to read in a lot of ways so I think you do a good job.

      And I’m glad it sounds genuine because this is my safe place where I don’t need to spread negativity around. I’ve got enough worries and things as it is honestly. Maybe more then enough.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you, Scott. That’s good to know about how even my negative reviews come across to those who read it. I do my best to be balanced. My next review coming this Saturday involves me saying multiple less-than-flattering things to a certain anime series even though I’ve been kind to multiple things from this particular creator.

        Of course and I never felt you were spreading negativity even with your negative reviews. I totally understand.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hahaha! This is going to shock you if you know my opinions on this person’s work. We do like some of the same things this person has worked on and it’s a series you briefly mention in passing and someone else in this comment section has done a full review of it. That’s all I will say about it. :3

        Liked by 1 person

  3. As you say, there’s a big difference between saying that something is garbage and that anyone that likes it is by extension garbage and looking at the aspects that didn’t work and why. I always try to look at what I like and don’t like. Often times, there’s a lot more to be learnt from examining the flaws as that’s how we learn in the real world.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. The world needs as much positivity spread around as we can manage at the minute. There’s so much negativity out there, sometimes we need to remember that, hey, good things actually exist. I know I’ve done my fair share of negative reviews of series, but I like to think that I always find a bright spot to highlight somehwere. I tend to drop any series that I don’t think has any promise whatsoever.

    Your reviews are great Scott and I looked forward to reading them every time, keep up the good work!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, I usually drop shows that I don’t like either which helps out the positivity too. Definitely not in that “I need to talk about how bad this show is to piss people off and get attention” sort of thinking.

      And thank you so much. That means a lot to me.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. We talked about this before, but I tend to cover things that speak to me on some level. So if I cover a thing that was “bad”, it’s because I felt like I had something to say. Still, I try to strike a balance as you mention. I enjoyed the post Scott 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Haha me too! Okay fine, maybe not me but I appreciate your position on positivity. I think you set a good example around here, being a beacon of hope and positivity, an All-Might if you will.

    I can be not so nice, but I hope I’m not all bad… more like an anti-hero or a chaotic neutral than being heinously venomous.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Interesting post as always.
    Nowadays am trying my hardest to reduce the number of negative anime reviews that I write. Its honestly no fun just writing back to back negative reviews for anime it just makes you become jaded and you won’t even notice it. I have a big anime in my collection that are just ready to be reviewed and I like almost every anime in my collection such as Assassination Classroom, Excel Saga, Code Geass, Magi, Nadeisco, Rahxephon, Escaflowne, Full Metal Panic, The Heroic Legend of Arslan, Snow White with the Red Hair, Yona of the Dawn, Rurouni Kenshin etc yet sometimes I get too addicted of writing negative reviews for anime I don’t even own.

    Negativity can be good to inform a bad product but at the same don’t overdo it or else you will just become jaded and you will eventually lose your passion for the medium that you enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m a bit the same, I think – if I don’t enjoy something enough to finish it, I probably won’t review it, because I’d rather spend the time I have writing about something I enjoyed – or at least, something that had strong *and* weaker elements.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There’s just so little time, huh? Gotta spend it wisely.

        And like you said re: negativity breeding traffic, I know I don’t have it in me to go for those trendy ‘take-down’ posts etc. I’m definitely more keen on reasoned analysis + emotional responses to a show.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t write about anime I don’t enjoy. I may point out flaws or indicate how much better it could have been. But if I didn’t enjoy it on some level, I wouldn’t have watched it thru to the end. Life is too short to waste it on bad anime and especially to waste it on a reviewing something just to vent on it.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I think balance is the right idea. Positives and negatives are like two peas in a pod.

    However, negative reviews are different from toxic reviews. Pointing out a show’s flaws because you expected more is one thing, but condemning it without making a clear or reasonable point “just because I didn’t like it” is another.

    After all, you’d only want others to know why you didn’t like a certain show, and not be aggressively offending those that did (unless that was your intention lol).

    My personal take? I would’ve loved to read your Black Fox review, had you been interested enough to write it.

    But I also acknowledge that damage control is important when writing negatively. Therefore, a balance between a convincing negative and an obvious positive is necessary.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re right about the difference, but maybe I don’t trust myself to but rail against something when I’m negative and everything.

      I wish I had the nuance to write about Black Fox with that perspective, but I just see myself railing on it badly and such. Gah.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I used to be really into writing negative reviews, but nowadays I try to focus more on sharing the love I have for the things that mean the most to me, particularly if it’s something that I feel tends to be underappreciated.

    I still complete everything I watch, in the event I have something to say, even if I’m not a fan, but more often than not I try to avoid discussing the things I’m negative about at length nowadays because it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    Great post. Sums up my own thoughts on the subject rather well.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. “If the internet has proven anything lately, it’s that people like watching and reading negative videos and posts then positive ones.”

    At least in the short term, I’ve seen the same thing. It goes hand in glove with shortened attention spans: a negative emotional hit is faster to deliver, at least in general, because a sneer requires very little build up.

    But there’s a bitter cost associated with that approach. The law of diminishing returns requires greater and greater levels of negativity. A content creator can’t keep that up forever. Burnout, and maybe even wrecked emotional health, are pretty much inevitable.

    “I know it because that’s something I still do which makes me a hypocrite.”

    I don’t think you’re a hypocrite. to me, it looks like you’re starting to grow out of it. to be clear: I’m talking about a fixation on the creators who focus almost exclusively on tearing things down, not creators who write constructive criticism or technical criticism — a point you made in your post. But you understand the implications of a negative fixation, and you’re moving away from it. I think that’s healthy both for you and your site!

    Balanced or leaning positive reviews are actually restorative to the creator. That means we get more of the material for longer!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Your observation reminded me of a week ago when I finished watching Guilty Crown. I legitimately tried to enjoy the series despite its glaring faults in the second half of the story, and despite the trainwreck there were some things that I enjoyed coming from it – such as the whole ethics shtick and me striking a parallel between the Catholic revolutionaries of Mexico and the show’s protagonists. Better to get something good out of it that you can talk about rather than watch it for the sake of bashing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. This feels so belated but I wanted to make sure I got the full idea of your post before commenting. Like many others have previously mentioned, I think there’s a fine point of writing a review pointing out flaws. I tore apart “King’s Game” despite having a lot of fun binge-watching the series. I also was trying to be edgy and a bit more direct in how I felt. I feel like a lot of times, I’m not clear on if I liked something or not.

    I definitely agree with the reoccurring comment that writing back to back negative reviews doesn’t do anyone good. Once in awhile making a clear point that whatever you were watching didn’t strike a chord with you, with reasons, is a good thing. Writing positives all the time tends to dampen the impact of when you REALLY enjoyed a series, verses something a bit more average? Having an average review once in awhile allows you to develop a specific writing voice imo.

    As always, great food for thought! It’s brought up a lot of points to consider and adjust for!

    Liked by 1 person

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