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I don't intend this to be an personal attack on VivisQueen, but her rampage on the forums got me to realize something:
I like derivative. I enjoy marginally unique. And I LOOOOVE genre-referential. I'm the guy who watches dumb movies where I can guess the plot before the movie starts and has a good time. I'm the guy who reads Twilight because it's simple and predictable. And I love anime even more because the medium seems to embrace it.
Yeah, apparently Sky Crawlers lays the whole otaku culture out metaphorically as a wasteland of the soul for children who never grow up. Sure, I probably shouldn't laugh at Hayate no Gotoku!!, Penguin Musume Heart, or Sekirei. An intelligent, critical enthusiast would cry. He would cry from the bottom of his soul at the barren imaginations chained to drafting tables in Japan.
But I don't necessarily come to the medium looking to have my world shattered and achieve new levels of enlightenment. Most of the time, I watch anime because it's fun and because I can usually find myself laughing at the expected.
Brain dead? Possibly. But still, I stand behind 'average' anime as not soul crushing or evil or the source of all that is bad. It's entertainment. Possibly even good entertainment. I'm not entirely sure that I can blast a show for setting out to achieve very little and then nailing that accomplishment, because, hell. That's a worthy effort in and of itself.
Does this mean that I should be barred from reviewing? I'd say "no". But what do I know? I probably have brain damage from watching Toradora!