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1 AUG
2009

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!

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Sunagan avatar Sunagan
Nov 19, 2009

You kinda have a really good point here ;)! I've been thinking about the same kind of thing... Even though i'm perfectly capable of intellectually rating and analyzing a series, the ones that are not really well defendable in a reviewers point of view (or are trampled upon by some of the reviewers of the site, lol xD) still end up as my favorite ones, simply because they are addicting or because i laughed my ass off xD. Way to go, patches ;)!

therik avatar therik
Aug 6, 2009

Patches, I less than three you sometimes.

I think it's great that we have have reviewers who enjoy this more "ordinary" fare (...well, mostly it's you, but I think that a couple of others also fit the role to a point, myself included [in spite of the K-On! hate, which is more of an allergic reaction to the undeserved hype rather than any major disgust at the content or quality of the show]).

In any case, Toradora was humped on the forums, and it's largely humped elsewhere, looking at the ratings here, in ANN and in AniDB. It's good that at least one reviewer reflects this perfectly valid opinion, even if the anime is uncreative, derivative and unadventurous from a purely objective critical standpoint.

I think it helps to be an actual "otaku" as it were, and to find some joy in the Japanese sense of humour and aesthetic presented by anime, rather than JUST the fact that the medium opens up new possibilities to be exploited. I'm half-tempted to re-watch Shuffle! in honour of this blog post, but I fear I haven't the time. Maybe later.

~D

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