I love anime. I doubt that’s a surprise at this point. While it wasn’t my original intention, pretty much this entire blog is reliant on the medium. I write about it every day, post about it every few days, and for some reason, people seem to enjoy it, and that means a lot to me. This whole medium means a lot to me.
In fact, I already made an entire post just about why that is. Check it out here! And that got me thinking about what the opposite would look like. Instead of all the things I love about this medium, what would be some of the things I dislike? Maybe even hate? I think that’s an interesting discussion.
But that makes me wonder: will I even find something I dislike? Well, yes. Yes, I will. I may love anime, but nothing’s perfect, and this is no exception. Anime has its quirks, as I’m sure most of you know. Some will bother others more, but these are what bother me the most.
So, you probably saw this one coming. Especially if you read last month’s random anime. I do not care much for fanservice or ecchi in anime. Both are different things but similar, and I don’t really like either of them unless used in moderation.
I said this before. You want to have a beach episode, go do it! You want the occasional male protagonist falling into a chest, have fun! But there is a time and a place for it. Your action anime should not have panty shots. Your serious dramas shouldn’t have panty shots. If it’s a comedy, then it’s fine. It makes sense. But if you want to ruin any tension your story has, an awkward panty shot or very excited jiggle physics is a good way to do it.
Ecchi, I have fewer problems with. This is an entire genre based on these moments. And you know what? Done well, they can be very enjoyable. They know what they are, and they don’t try to be any better. They’re funny, inappropriate comedies (that exist in other forms of media as well), and that’s great. They aren’t my favorite, but I get the appeal.
I will not, however, say the common belief that anime is more perverted than other mediums. I do not believe that. I can think of a few shows in the west that are worse. One of the biggest in a while, Game of Thrones, has a ton of sex scenes, which is far more graphic than what anime often shows, and there was even incest to boot. You know, the other thing anime does a little too often. You really back yourself into a corner with that argument. Other mediums are just as bad.
However, anime is worse, but often in a different way. Incest is the tip of the iceberg for anime sometimes. The most common complaint is the over-sexualization of teenagers. I can’t help my medium out on that one. Almost every anime takes place in high school or middle school, including the ecchi series, and they are not shy about it at all.
To play devil’s advocate, though, Japan is a different country with different laws and beliefs, so while it may seem weird for some of us, it’s not that weird for a lot of the world, and in a way, they’re doing nothing wrong with the age of consent being lower. Morally wrong, you could argue. Actually, lawfully wrong, no.
Sometimes our Japanese friends decide to test the limits of both, with a conversation I imagine went very similar to this:
Guy 1: “Hey, why don’t we make this cute girl that looks like she’s 5 and put her in perverted situations?”
Guy 2: “No.”
Guy 1: “But what if we say she’s 500 years old?”
Guy 2: “…”
And that’s how the “L” word was born, children. Yeah, anime screwed up on that one. It’s not my place to judge people’s taste, but it’s wrong in a lot of ways. Perhaps the worst is that it’s actually against the law. Well, it’s kind of in a grey area, but when people see 5– I mean 500-year-old girl climbing on her “Onii-Chan!” I can’t really blame anyone who thinks anime is messed up. It looks really bad, and I wish anime would better its reputation and do away with most of it.
This kind of leads into a whole other debate about the representation of women in general in anime, which isn’t always the best, mainly because of those aforementioned ecchi moments, but anime is far from the only medium to have this problem. Most male-centered forms of entertainment will be like that.
But that doesn’t mean anime only has those types of women. This is also the medium that will give you the most badass ones when it wants to. It’s just a bit of a mixed bag that never really goes in between. You get a lot of not very good female characters, and then a hell of a lot of great ones.
This is kind of the same point, but it’s more an issue I have with the community rather than the medium, but the medium plays into this and fosters it. Anime fans are so thirsty. I get it. I really do. And I believe most of it is in jest, and I’m guilty of sometimes playing into it too, even if it’s not to the degree as some, but you can’t get upset that more people don’t watch anime when it’s common for the community to have a collective brain aneurysm over a character’s feet or armpits.
That’s, I think, my biggest issue with anime in general, really. I just wish we, as the community, would do a better job making the community seem more appealing to be in. Because you have to be a special kind of person to want to actually be a part of that, or you must just really love anime.
On a less specific level, certain character tropes tend to bother me. Once again, anime is not the only medium with this problem, but you do often see characters that are nothing but walking tropes with crazy hair.
Some bother me more than others, but I would say that any character that strictly falls into one archetype isn’t my favorite. A tsundere that never shows any character growth or emotional growth gets annoying. You can only across so many passive male leads in harems. I can only stand so many “Hi, Onii-Chan!” characters. I wouldn’t say I quite “hate” any of these things, but I can definitely get sick of them.
When you see so many of the same things, it can all get very boring. Something with genres as well. I admit I’m a fan of Isekais. I really like them. One of my last posts was all about that. Still, I do get tired of how many series go for the same exact plot. Guy or girl dies, go to a different world, be strong, the end. While you can change the formula up, you still get mostly the same thing. It also frustrates me that I can’t find any light novels to read out of the genre either. Once again, though, that’s not a problem specific to the medium.
And that’s really what it comes down to. I don’t think anime itself does many things uniquely bad. Most problems it suffers from are things that other similar mediums go through as well.
Yes, anime has a few oddities here and there, some worse than others, but nothing that warrants the type of looks some people give it. Much of the problems with anime, and why some people are so turned off to it, is because of the community itself, and the way they embrace certain things, not really the thing that community enjoys.
Anime is also at that awkward transitional stage right now where it’s starting to get big around the world, but it isn’t quite accepted yet. And when people don’t understand something, they either learn more about it or hate it.
I’m very lucky because here on WordPress is a very good portion of the community. Some parts of that community, not so much, but ultimately, it won’t make me stop liking anime. That would be a difficult thing to make me do. I already fell away from it once and came back, so I don’t see why that wouldn’t happen again.
I’m not going to be dramatic and say I’ll never drift away from anime, anything can happen, but for the foreseeable future, even the things I don’t like about the medium won’t stop me from enjoying it every day, which is a good thing, because I’d have far less to talk about here.
Thank you very much for reading
What are some things you don’t like about anime? Just because we like something doesn’t mean we think it’s perfect, after all.