Criticism vs. Hate

No matter how much I criticize KyoAni, I love most of their works to death

Image Credit: a-ka

“I found the romance somewhat lacking”, “the animation in this scene was horrible”, “good god what were they thinking while making this”, etc.

Sometimes, when you’re listening to a person’s opinion on a particular subject (say, a certain anime or maybe manga/VN), this person seems to go on long tangents about how a certain aspect of the story didn’t meet their expectations and continue by picking apart other qualities that the writers did wrong in their eyes, and seem to have more to say about the negative aspects than the positive aspects of the story. Jesus, this person must FRIGGIN’. HATE. THIS ANIME.

And then you realize: “No, wait… what? This person likes this anime? Not just like, it’s their favorite? Well hell, how the heck was I suppose to know that when they kept on talking down on it!”

Sometimes it just ends up being that way. A series that you love will definitely end up being the one you’re most passionate about – and you’re going to be passionate about it when it comes to both its good and negative qualities. But, in the overall scheme of things (for opinionated people that are passionate about storytelling and the like), the negative aspects usually gloss over the positive aspects when analyzing the quality of the series, because without those aspects, their lovable series could have been even better. They rant about them because those negative aspects are an unwanted poison that found a way into their beloved story, and they want vengeance.

Melodramatics aside, it always leaves room for more discussion and a more interesting read than a bunch of crap that praises the living hell out of anything and everything related to it, especially when many people share the same love for that series but always go into a “praise the god” circlejerk (i.e. Clannad; love the series, yet hate how much the anime fandom for it devolves into “best anime EVAR” tangents with no real substance). It’s fine for a comedy or slice-of-life, sure, but when it’s heavily story-based, it’s much more apparent that the negative aspects are just as much a part of the lore as the positive aspects. This is often ignored, and diehard fans tend to tell the critic to “shut up” so they could proceed to share more of their fanfic ideas and discuss how “awesome ^_^” the series is. And then there’s the “hurrr, if you hate it so much why don’t you stop watching it” FanDumb cliché.

Are you kidding me?

Akarin~

“Negative aspects go Akarin~!”

Anyways, being passionate about a certain series doesn’t always mean praising every aspect of it – doing so may not even give you the feeling of doing the positive parts justice – and feeling disappointed with certain parts should come with it, or at least acknowledging certain parts that feel pointless and underplayed. Or else it’s just blind fanboy-ism and nothing more (it’s not always the case, but when you refuse to acknowledge any negative aspect by mindlessly shooting all critiques down, then yeah). Perfection doesn’t exist, as the pros cannot exist without the cons. Even with series that are seemingly perfect (*cough*Cardcaptor Sakura*cough*), if you dig far enough, there may be some negative aspects that you’ve never noticed before. For series that aim for mature themes, depth, and symbolism, these cons may be much more easier to find.

So…yeah. The next time you read one of Wahfuu’s reviews (say, Rewrite) note that he loves the VN, but tends to go on tangents about aspects he didn’t like. Not because he hates the story, but because he likes it and his passion is flowing out through his tangents. *insert awesome shounen hand gestures* Unless, ya’ know, he says he hates it.

Because when someone says they hate a series, they most likely hate it.

6 thoughts on “Criticism vs. Hate”

  1. Yeah I completely agree, I rarely ever say anything negative about a favorite series but with that being said I still acknowledge the negative aspects(which sometimes I may not realize until its brought to my attention). I’ve thought the same thing about someone noting all the negative aspects of a series and then learning its one of they’re favorites, your post sheds alot of light on that for me and certainly makes it more understandable =)

  2. When I was much younger and a new fan of anime, I tended to praise all the time and rarely, if ever, criticized any anime I watched. But as I got older, wiser, and became a more knowledgeable fan, I always try to point out the positives and negatives in every anime I watch and review, whether I loved it or hated it. For my favorite series, I can understand why some people don’t like them and acknowledge at least a few negative things about them. Nothing’s perfect, and I’ve found that people will take you much more seriously as a fan of something if you’re willing to admit that the thing you love has its flaws despite everything else great about it.

  3. @Shikon: I’m in a similar boat as you in terms of focusing more on the positives. I think it varies to some extent, some people find it hard to explain in-depth why they like something, and sometimes find themselves talking more about parts they didn’t like instead. Which is healthy, I suppose, since it opens their eyes to how the series could have been better.

  4. @Yumeka: That’s very true! No one respects tunnel-vision and blind fanboyism. Even if it’s just a margin, it gives the fandom a better image when someone looks at a series with open eyes whether they love it or hate it.

  5. Very much agreed. Though I tend to speak more positively of of shows I like. It’s the ones that build me up then disappoint me that get me typing and typing.

    But yes. As hard as it is, seeing what other people think can be enlightening, just that you have to trudge through all the bashing before finding a proper analysis.

  6. @Ron: Yeah, shows that manage to build up anticipation and then fail to deliver tend to push on one’s button the most, especially if it pulled off everything else well. And I agree that finding what other people think, no matter how different their way of thinking is, is a great way of looking at a story in a different perspective. Under all of the mindless praise and bashing of your favorite series is someone who is willing to dissect it in-depth.

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