Time and Changing Perspectives

Perhaps I need to cool my head after this. I said in my Mayoiga post that my taste in appraising shows has changed. I am now feeling the aftereffects.

Even after founding this blog, I still prefer to be an outsider distant enough to give my own opinion. I had a noble goal of guiding newcomers to this medium by printing overviews, making my most favorites list and a bunch of information about my preferences in anime.

When was the last time you sat through a show and realized you just enjoyed the hell out of it?

I am still on fence whether anime has gotten worse nor better through time. What I am sure of is I kind of lost my original intention as to why I watch Japanese shows. As much as I like to encounter another Evangelion, Mushishi or Monte Cristo – I just want to enjoy them for their worth. I used to be that guy who is happy enough when he watched Attack on Titan and the first half of Sword Art Online.

I do not blame Seventh Style for my radical shift in perceiving shows. In fact, these people gave me a discerning spirit to determine what’s a dud from not. I was able to engage in meaningful conversations with people online who share the same sentiment as far as a certain show is concerned. Nonetheless, I cannot chew what I chose to swallow this time. Evaluating shows to find gems took its toll and I got poisoned with it.

Perhaps these upper-tier shows made my usual lackey standards go high enough and be classified as an elitist. Instead of enjoying the pure fun of watching anime series, I tried to find flaws (no matter how small are these) and say the show is good if it finally manages to evoke some strong emotions in me. Mind you, I still hate shows that do not make sense if I follow its logic. Yet I am much willing to give shows a pass if these are fun. The usual ‘GREAT’. ‘ALMOST THERE’, ‘DECENT’ and ‘EH?’ still remain, yet I cannot bear the toxicity of disliking shows at this point.

I participated in forums because I wanted to pick recommendations. That remains to be my goal, but I honestly felt alienated at times. Probably it is me growing old and watching anime is the only thing we have in common. Sometimes, I tend to bend my views to mingle with the general consensus. Disagreements arise, and I admit I am not good with handling these. There are moments I was left agape because I cannot keep up to their conversations. Joining a community is good, it is just that I am inherently a (functional) shut-in to begin with. Dealing with people is not my forte. With that in mind, maybe I am going to live as a recluse again just to shape my own taste. I am still torn between communicating with people online though. They’re nice enough and my apparent coldness is the only thing that prevents me. Hence, I intend to keep all of my social media accounts and this blog.

Maybe I am taking this way too seriously. It’s just anime man!

I am not going to deny that I watch these Japanese shows with a somber stance. To be honest, I do not watch non-anime shows (aside from news) in real life anymore. My life for the past three years revolves a third of these so it’s been integral with me. After all, these shows have been my only companion in the darkest portions of my life. Yet that’s another story.

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Until then, my friends and readers.

 

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3 thoughts on “Time and Changing Perspectives

  1. This post speaks to me so I feel compelled to comment

    What you’re writing here, to me, is nothing strange or alarming. Sometimes, we just notice our perspective changing in front us (really almost as if it were acting on its own and we weren’t part of the process), which is terrifying since you’d think this is something you’re supposed to control entirely. So, here you have an ongoing change in approach, and it’s always tough to deal with.

    My thoughts on this are pretty simple; embrace the change! Yes, embrace it; make love to it, even. When you’re discussing with someone, even if say they’re entirely upsetting because they’re from SeventhStyle and hate anime except if it’s over 20 years old, it’s always an opportunity. I mean, at worst, you reaffirm your convictions. That’s a pretty good thing too!

    Adapting your opinions to those held by the circles around you is immensely tempting; I mean, escapism is always tempting. Oh, don’t think it’s anything else; adapting your opinion to that of your surroundings is a form of escapism, because it means you’re fleeing your own feelings, and so from yourself.

    And this is something you touch upon with this post. Take Sword Art Online for instance; you say you used to enjoy it, but then SeventhStyle came around and you’re now convinced it’s crap. You won’t hear me take issue with this stance because I also detest SAO; but even so, sometimes the thought occurs to me. What if… it had worth? To someone? Out there? On this earth?
    This is a scary thought because it makes so much of “objectivity” crumble. I mean, that’s the heart of the problem; to you a show might be worthless, but to someone else it might be worthwhile. And who are we to say the contrary? Well, no one, as it turns out.
    And this leads me to appreciation. The SeventhStyle stance is deeply toxic because it adheres to an ideal of objectivity which just falls apart on its own once you delve deeper into fiction. Yet the idea of “objectivity” in art criticism persists. It never goes away. And never will. And you know why? Because it’s escapism.

    If you believe in objectivity, you don’t need to face yourself, because there’s one truth that doesn’t belong to you alone, but to the whole world. And so we live like that, basking in the comfort of objectivity.
    But just like the butterfly has to break its cocoon to take flight, the shield of objectivity doesn’t last forever; one day we realize just how stupid it is, and we break away from it. The problem being that doing so forces us to face ourselves and our feelings. That’s so scary!

    But, worry not, it’s not actually that bad. I mean, sure, it’s kind of scary because you need to be honest with yourself (and let’s be honest we all hate that), but look at this wonderful process you’re going through! The very fact that you’re having those thoughts means you’re in the process of gaining more and more from experiencing anime and discussing with others, since you’re involving yourself personally. That’s great! Even when you say you dislike a show, it’s entirely different from the SeventhStyle stance because it doesn’t stem from “objectivity” but from your own point of view. Everything becomes that much more pleasant and insightful when you decide to stand for yourself instead of being a Knight of Objectivity, even negative stances.

    tl;dr ily samui. don’t go anywhere. ❤ (this post was being too heterosexual, I needed to set it straight).

    P.S.: I wrote this at past 3am so don't you mind the lack of sense in those words

    Liked by 3 people

  2. My apologies for causing you unnecessary worries days. I am just in an ugly transition of affirming my taste and preferences at the moment without external influences. This phase is scary to be honest – I mean, I used to see shows while having a template to check if these qualify as good or not. I also usually go with the consensus first before I watch a show.

    Then a freakin’ show called Mayoiga trashed it with me leaving laughing towards the end. This is madness, isn’t it? Good gracious.Then I saw the community (even in Discord lel) facing it with full wrath and I started to question my way of judging a series. I am afraid that my basis would be just… “I drowned in feels with this so it’s good. WAAAAAAH.”

    This destroys the Knight of Objectivity principle, no? URGH.

    Nevermind, I ceased watching anime in the meantime (well, at least until Friday night) just to clear my mind. I also need to adjust myself for now. I cannot be serious all the time in the forums and perhaps, a little less onion skinned for less than pleasing remarks. Thanks for the concern though.

    PS: I won’t go anywhere. My apologies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be honest, don’t bother about ‘objectivity’. Objective criteria to analyze art aren’t ‘objective’ as that would mean that they are universally true and not debatable (e.g. gravity exists is an objectively true sentence because it’s you can’t debate the existence of gravity).

      When we talk about objective criteria, we are actually talking about consensus criteria and those change over time as society changes.

      Don’t fall into this mental trap, if you like Mayoiga, try to find reasons to justify that. Those reasons don’t have to be ‘objective’, they only have to make sense. I personally hated Mayoiga and I know why but if you like it and can describe to me why you feel that way, power to you!

      Anyway, it was a nice read! I’ll go straight to the second part.

      Liked by 1 person

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