As anibloggers, we tend to review anime on a variety of factors, such as entertainment value and quality of plot, not to mention the cast of characters involved. Recently, I came to realize that before any criticism any of us do, we are always first affected by the show’s reputation.
What do I mean? It’s simple. Before anything else, we subconsciously first analyse the reputation of the show before we start writing. As such, it often seems counter-intuitive to write opinions which go against what most people think. See this article? Star Driver had been known to be one of the more popular anime last season, watched by many who all had good reviews of the show. As such, it seems almost compulsory, to have to put a disclaimer at the back of the post to clarify my stand on Star Driver.
And it’s more than just that. Reputation affects our judgement when it comes to criticizing the show. How? We tend to remember things by solely their reputations, after some time. We simply forget. All our impressions of the show are shrunken into a singular idea, which is the show’s reputation. Everyone often comments how NGE is one of the best shows of all time, but how many have the evidence to substantiate this claim and differentiate NGE from shows like, say, Top wo Nerae? Everyone often comments how Rei is nothing more than a lifeless doll, when in the show itself it’s clear that she is capable of actual human expression (gasp). Why doesn’t anyone pick up on the times she smiles or gets angry? Heck, have people completely forgotten the scene where she slaps Shinji?
And if anything, reputation affects us in real life too. We , as a result of reputation,never bother to examine the quality of a product or organization if their reputation is not as good as another’s. Say, for instance, President George Bush, who ran for two terms. Was he a bad president? Many would say yes, given his reputation for being portrayed as the dumb, childish character in various forms of media. However, was he as bad as he was portrayed to be? Similarly, take current President of the USA, Barack Obama , who’s decided to run for a second term, I might add! He’s remembered for his charisma and his election phrase, ‘Yes we can’. But was he as good as he portrayed himself to be? Sadly, you’ll find that both leaders are actually around the same level of competence.
Let’s bring it higher. Take, for instance, China. Would you invest in China? From an outsider’s perspective, no. Look at all the cases of poisoning and corrupted manufacturers! All the bootlegs and all the poor quality of XXX,YYY and et cetera. But no-one realizes that China is beyond all that. True, cases like these exist- many of them falsified, such as the ‘buttock-meat’ sandwich’ – but China is capable of doing much more than its reputation suggests. Take, for instance, Huawei Technologies. Who? Exactly.
As a result, it would seem that shows nowadays are more focused towards given a shining impression and thus, reputation rather than have quality content. Look at all the fight scenes in Star Driver. Entertaining, yes, but in quality and substance, they are lacking. Look at many of the shows that shall never see the light of being mainstream. B Gata H Kei? Forever a show about a slut, and nothing more, when it clearly isn’t so.
What do you think?