A long-overdue thought on a certain trend in the way we talk about anime.
The Tension Between: Emotionalism and Criticism
Ostensibly for anime critics; theoretically for everyone.
A Demonstration of Why Premise Criticism is Silly
I sometimes wonder if people realize that criticizing the premise of most fiction is a useless exercise. As I’ll demonstrate later on, if you approach any work of fiction in the right way, you can make the premise sound stupid. An attitude that seeks to find a reason to dislike a premise will always find one.
But what defines a story as good or bad isn’t the premise itself; that’s simply the foundation. What’s important is how well that premise is executed. Can they make you suspend your disbelief well enough to make you accept that there’s a kid who just won’t get in the freaking robot? Can they make you accept that there’s a kid whose face is naturally attractive to beautiful alien girls and beautiful alien boys who look like girls?
Critical Thinking, Anime, and You
We all watch anime for different reasons. Some of us want a time sink, some of us want entertainment, some of us want an artistic experience, some of us want a combination of things from our anime, even differing our expectations by show. And when we’ve seen a show we love, for whatever reason, we usually want to tell people about that show. It is one of the great pleasures of encountering any form of media: finding something you like and sharing it with others.
Yet, many of us (myself included) struggle to articulate what it is about a show that drew us in, and struggle to defend our favorite shows from the negative criticism of others. And on the other side, many of us fail to effectively communicate our problems with a particular show.
Everything’s Not Totally Subjective
No man is an island, as the saying goes, and this is true for evaluating art, as well.