Hello one and all. Welcome to my fifth blogiversary week. During this week five years ago, Mechanical Anime Reviews was somehow born. You know, if a blog can born like a baby. Yeah, that’s not something I ever thought I would think up, so I’m going to pass around to need some brain bleach for that one. It’s on me. Anyway, the main point here is creating some short opinion or informational posts to go along with how I usually celebrate my blogiversary. These are things that have been on my mind for a while and I think it’s time to talk about them finally. At least, it’s a good time to do it.
I know that I have written a post about politics in anime before, but I feel like this need a refresher. Especially with 2020 being what it was. I just want to say right now, I don’t think there is definitive black and white situation when a creator posts their politics or opinions in their own content. I don’t just mean writing and drawing manga, creating anime, or whatever. Especially since they are using their own mind to create the thing they are using in how they express themselves. Creating characters out of their creative own mind comes with how they perceive the world around them and how those characters would react to it all. That’s just the way it’s going to be.
That is a thought which leads me to saying that I don’t think that saying “get politics out of anime” is a thing that could be realistically said. Mainly because that fact is completely impossible. Everything is affected by everything else. There is no magical way to clear it out of any kind of creative work because we are human, not robots. I’m not just saying that for series like Legend of the Galactic Heroes, space operas, Gundam, and other things. I mean even slice of life have to deal with politics too. Yuru Camp had the girls having to get jobs in order to pay for camping gear or what about class theme in Kaguya-sama that permeates through each characters stories? There are little doses of politics everywhere in everything because that’s how the world works.
I think we need to talk about viewer perception here too. There are many ways in how a viewer can interpret a created work. Which means, of course, reading politics and creator opinions depends on the viewer as well. I know that there are plenty of viewers which only want entertainment in what they watch without engaging into a lot of the subject matter and I think that’s ok. At the same time, I can’t do that myself because watching something for just entertainment’s sake is very boring to me. I need a little more meat in the works I consume. What is the driving force of that world? Is the creator trying to say something? Is there an inherent class warfare in this series or something? There is usually a lot to consider and that depends on what I or anyone else sees in that work.
Which continues on to whether or not you want to follow a work because you don’t agree with it. There have been a lot of anime, manga, etc that try to tackle complex situations and politics in a political leaning direction. Especially those which think they are saying something very intelligent when they might not be due to lack of self-awareness about something? That goes for a lot of things, by the way. I think it’s ok to have a negative opinion about what a work is trying to say and do even when others don’t agree. Being human means we all see things from different angles and perceptions because, once again, we aren’t programmed like robots. Engaging with that conversation could be positive for both if it’s not two sides yelling at each other.
This post was in my mind for a while due to how I’ve been writing posts for a while now. Not just 2020, but in 2019 and before as well. Not just with Mamoru Oshii October and the science fiction movie event from October 2019 too, but in general. In the United States, it’s been a very wild year in a lot of ways. The quarantine, people refusing to wear masks after months of covid-19 cases, the insane guy in charge doing horrifying things, and so much else. Blogging has been one of my outlets and I feel like you have been seeing a lot of my opinions and points of view leaking into each post because it has nowhere else to go. There you go, I’m being political again. I guess that’s a good way to end this post. See you tomorrow for more.