Forming opinions; why you don’t have to agree with everything and love/hate a series

Anime/Manga and other types of similar media, are often quite difficult to discuss. It’s a form of entertainment that’s multilayered and has a lot of different aspects, that in turn attract a lot of different people. While there can be and are similarities, no one group or individual anime fans are the same. There will always be differences in opinions and especially in tastes; likes, dislikes and the comments surrounding them.
For the most part, people seem to get along well enough, either tolerating and learning something from each other or by shrugging it off; liking/disliking the object of discussion, arguments being not strong or concrete enough to change one’s mind, but remaining respectful nevertheless. However, a radical type of opinion is often popularized.

The most popular opinion to have is to hate or absolutely love a certain series or a certain type of series or say someone has “bad taste” otherwise. Here’s some examples:

  • SAO/Tokyo ghoul/Insert any popular big hit anime is the best/worst anime ever and if you disagree, you just don’t understand it well enough.
  • Neon genesis evangelion is a classic, up there with Cowboy bebop and if you dislike it, you’re just not smart enough for the complex themes of the show.
  • All shounen anime are formulaic tournament arcs and hype battles with fanservice and no plot.
  • Moe blob and slice of life anime are thoughtless and empty, you forget them after finishing the series/ Slice of life is the best genre ever and you just don’t get the subtlety of it all.
Are you noticing a theme?

You could say that everyone is entitled to their opinion, they have to express their own and to disagree with yours and vice versa. It becomes a problem when someone goes into it with the mentality of “If they’re not with me, they’re against me”. They defend their opinion with all they have and that is often turning to insults (most of which target the person or question their intelligence). Where do these feelings come from?

Usually, when forming an opinion one bases it on:

A) Own previous experience, what you liked/disliked before
(in the series itself, what you’ve watched previously etc);

B) On the opinions that the people you look up to/like express;

Both of which are naturally quite personal. Getting criticized on your own opinion often feels like a baseless personal attack. How dare they attack this thing I like and relate to? How can they not see how good and worth the watch it really is? The opposite is more than possible, how naive can they be in believing this trashy show is worthy of something? Why do they waste time and push their trashy shows and opinions?

You might even be able to see both flaws and good qualities of a series and still appreciate it nevertheless. Then why is this important?

People easily get influence into baseless mob hate and adoration, all at the same time. What I mean by this, many haters or lovers of a certain anime may actually be just following a trend; “Oh X is totally the worst/best anime ever”; just cause a lot of people are repeating it and not bother to actually think for themselves.

My closing thoughts for this still very open problem might seem simplistic. Like what you like, but research and try different media/anime/manga etc. Opinions aren’t always as stable as concrete, they often change, in varying degrees and into varying sides. The real important thing is to remember to be open to new ideas; that anime might be not so perfect, while the other one might have its own merits. There is no requirement to either love or hate something, after all, sometimes, the middle is the best between two extremes.

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