For this week’s blog, I will like to share a small rant. It is highly based on my personal opinion and experience. And to this day, this topic is still relevant, unfortunately. But I will be as professional and adult about it. I will be discussing the topic of anime and some video games; particularly, the so called “otaku community.”
As a child, I didn’t have much friends. I was kept mostly to myself as I enjoy my video games and anime. I always wished to have friends with common interests such as those. When I attended a community college, I found out a club for students titled as an “Anime Club.” I was excited to meet people around my age who were also into anime and video games. As I joined however, I started to regret it as time went by. Every person I met from that club were toxic, critical, arrogant, selfish, and just rude overall. And mostly because we had different opinions on our hobbies and interests. I spent years in the club because I wanted friends but instead, I made enemies out of the most immature community that only made me feel even more embarrassed of being a fan of anime and video games that now I tend to keep those interests of mine secret. My reason being, I do not want to be labeled nor associated with the same people who ruined my hobbies for me. Here are some points that were mostly what irks me about “anime fans” after a decade of experience associating with them.
• Dub vs sub: A debate I find honestly, ignorant. Most “fans” always feel the need to criticize any anime that has officially translated to English for the American audience. I then always beg the question, who cares? What I especially loathe, is when the “fans” would act as though the English language and voices, their own speaking tongue by the way, is horrendous and ruins anime. Now, I watch both English dubbed and Japanese original with subtitles. Let me say that I prefer watching in English voice work. Why? Cause personally, I wish to admire and watch the animation in motion while listening to what the characters are saying. For most anime I seen with subtitles, I read slow and the subtitles change too fast for me. And hearing the characters speak in a language I do not know nor understand is distracting when I try to read, and I find it hard to read and watch at the same time. Stop calling English voices dumb cause you speak English too. Also, anime deserves to be shared with the world so of course they must do voice dubbing and translations for the audience from each country and culture.
• Anime are not Cartoons: The definition of an anime is “a style of Japanese film and television animation, typically aimed at adults as well as children.” Cartoons are by definition, “a motion picture using animation techniques to photograph a sequence of drawings rather than real people or objects.” Both are animation. Cartoon is the English term we use while Anime is a genre for the Japanese style of animation.
• Supporting the arts: What really grinds me, is when the self-proclaimed “Anime fans” brag because they caught up on their favorite anime on a internet website. Not Netflix. No Hulu or even Crunchyroll. From a free service such as “animesanctuary” or some sort. First of all, those sites upload anime from sources ripped from television services or dvd so you can watch for free. Guess what? You’re stealing. Anime costs money to produce. If you call yourself a fan, you should purchase the dvds or actually watch the programs on legally paying services such as Netflix. Oh, but you don’t want to spend money on anime? Don’t call yourself a fan when you’re not even supporting the art form. You have no money? Get a job instead of binging on One Piece for 15 hours straight on a website with pink subtitles that were written by an unprofessional translator with poor grammar.
• Manga: The same goes for the graphic literary versions of which most anime are adapted from. There are websites like manga reader or manga panda which allow you to read manga for free. Same issue with watching anime for free; You’re not supporting the art! Also, each chapter is uploaded weekly while they are technically scanned. Therefore, the pages may be distorted or darkened. And worse of all, the translation; they are not accurately translated. I recently purchased and finished reading the 15th volume of My Hero Academia on Kindle. I am aware I can read it for free, but I wish to support the artwork since I love the series so much. I am willing to wait for volume 16 in December of 2018. I read a comment the other day where a person complained to VIZ Media, a manga and anime publishing company in the U.S. stating to “let the characters say [insert swear word here] in the manga as the they do in the same chapters on “manga panda.” Why does that matter? Because it doesn’t make the character or series appear “mature”? No. Swearing does not make you look mature.
• Being called autistic or retarded for having a different opinion: Isn’t it adorable that when you have a different opinion from another person, you are scolded and labeled as “autistic”? This offends me, not only because I am diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, but the fact that these “mature” people believe Autism is the same as “mental retardation.” Autism by definition is “A serious developmental disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact.” In other words, it is a disorder that revolves on the impairment of social interaction and communication. Please enlighten me on why one must be “autistic” for the reason of preferring the English dubbed version of My Hero Academia rather than the Japanese original with poorly written and translated subtitles. I’ll wait patiently while I sit here drinking my tea.
• Console wars: Though not related to anime, it is something the “geek” or “nerd” community does that irks me. Much like the subject on being scolded for having a different opinion, apparently if you play video games on an Xbox One rather than a PlayStation 4, you’re retarded. Really? Let people enjoy their games and play on wherever they feel like it. I own an Xbox, PlayStation, PC, and Nintendo Switch. I love video games and yes, each system has their pros and cons. But why bully someone or criticize just because they like to play Destiny on their Xbox One instead of a PS4? “Oh, PS4 is a better console.” Yeah, in your opinion. Let people enjoy things.
Overall, these are majority ignorant debates that this community still argue on to this day. Even as grown adults. I still love the art of anime. But I guess the fans would always disappoint me for how embarrassing they make themselves look. I let you enjoy your interests the way you prefer. So please let me enjoy my interest my way as well. That’s all I ask.