“My Opinions are the Best and Yours Suck, so Agree with ME!” – Anime Blogs

Using Angel Beats! pictures for no real reason.

Anime bloggers are generally nice and polite for some reason. In fact, I was like that at some point or another, and maybe I still am. But behind all that eloquence and the amiable facade might lie something that most of us don’t want to admit to.

For many anime blogs, the tones that their posts take usually attempt to be as “objective” as possible, judging anime by story, art and whatever nonsense to make ourselves seem “professional” or “classy”. That may all be well and good, until you realize that what every anime blog is trying to do, be it the mainstream anime blogs like Random Curiosity, “objective” blogs like Star Crossed, or highly opinionated blogs like AOIA, Baka-Raptor or The Cart Driver, is shove our opinions down the reader’s throats.

I have said many times before, and I’ll say it again: no review is objective. The fact that we review an anime means that we throw our opinions at the audience in an attempt to create discussion or simply make ourselves heard, is subjectivity defined. Nothing’s wrong with this line of thinking, but as our blogs become more popular, we gain credibility.

With credibility, comes power and influence. Just look at the more influential blogs out there. The more famous they are, the more inclined the reader will be to agree with the views of the writer – the exact reason why critics of all kinds are generally well-respected. It’s a very sad example of the manifestations of mob mentality.

Now this is the problem. When a critic, in our case, an anime reviewer, posts a review, he/she is automatically putting his/her opinions on the spotlight, effectively shunning others’ opinions not agreeing with the writer’s. When I say shun, I mean make it hard for another to post an opinion contrary to the article at hand. This creates that “your opinions suck” feel that most reviews seem to emanate. Add to that the power and influence that comes with popularity, and you have a recipe for simple mind control. Now, that doesn’t mean that people cannot disagree with a popular blogger, it just makes it harder, or perhaps less tolerated by the community.

I admit, I do tend to shove my opinions down readers’ throats more than others, as my most recent posts show. I don’t feel bad about it, considering that AOIA’s readerbase seems to not be afraid of disagreeing with the authors. But for very popular blogs, they have the tendency to affect people one way or another, and that’s not necessarily a good sign.

Again, no real reason.

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47 Responses to “My Opinions are the Best and Yours Suck, so Agree with ME!” – Anime Blogs

  1. adtcruz says:

    Objectivity depends on the approach, in my humble opinion. If a review is based upon how the critic weighs a series based on his set criteria, chances are it’s more objective than subjective. If the review focuses on what the reviewer liked and disliked, it’s subjective. Period.

    And please; I’m already sick and tired of the “Subjectivity” vs. “Objectivity” debate. It’s a complete red herring against the real issues like bigotry, populism, and mob rule — attitudes which, sadly, some of the bloggers, readers, and “pundits” themselves have.

    • @fkeroge says:

      Weighing anything by a set of criteria is subjective (and really ineffective) in and of itself. Story, characters, art and all other aspects of an anime do not make a show by themselves and should not be judged separately. Besides, what passes for well-animated for you doesn’t necessarily mean that it passes for me or others.

      This is more in the subject of subjective vs. subjective than it is objective vs. objective. What I was trying to say here is that ALL bloggers shove their opinions down others’ throats, and that more popular blogs have the potential to change others’ opinions to one that agrees with them.

      • Shance says:

        Re: Criteria = Objective/Subjective, I don’t think “criteria” doesn’t mean “your own” necessarily. That’s why it’s objective. You get to use a criteria of your own, others, the general public, or all of them altogether. It doesn’t have to be one, because that’s subjective. And most of the writers out there merely base their criteria on general opinion. So please.

        And re: Bloggers shoving their opinions to readers, you’re on their turf, their blog, their territory, their personal soapbox. I mean, look at Digitalboy/Digibro: He’s a prime example of a blogger who blogs, swears, swags and doesn’t really care. How you take it is almost none of their concern, because for all I know, on most of the prominent bloggers I follow, more than half of the time they’re bullshitting and more than half of the time of that, they don’t really care, agree, disagree, comment, or whatnot

        • @fkeroge says:

          Then please give me an example of an objective criterion. As far as I’m concerned, anime simply cannot be judged objectively, unless you want to count the frames used in animation and pass it off as an objective review. If it could be, I’d like to see a well-done one. Even if the writer doesn’t entirely base his review on his own opinions, personal touches will eventually find its way into EVERY review.

          You seem to be misunderstanding me. I don’t have anything against opinionated blogs. My own posts are enough proof of that. I was simply saying that many readers might find it hard to voice an opinion contrary to that of the writer, and they shouldn’t be afraid to speak up, like what you are doing right now.

          • Shance says:

            Personal touches doesn’t necessarily mean the post changing from being objective to subjective. There are ways to circumvent that. Opinions doesn’t necessarily mean an adulterated stream of thoughts coming from a single mind. We take others’ into consideration, so you can’t say something is already subjective just because his criteria or his thoughts are based on things already pointed out by the general public. If you’re looking for the purely objective criteria, chances are you’ll find nothing. It’s an extreme figment, therefore meaning it cannot be possible, but that doesn’t mean it can’t wholly exist, especially as a criteria for criteria.

            And the concept of categorization based on certain criteria is a common thing being thrown out because, as Azuma’s book already pointed out, we are currently in an era of database consumerism, i.e. we consume visual material by the droves, therefore having the need to “archive” and categorize them based on how we see fit. From there, the Hegelian theory opens up two paths for the fan: animalism and humanism. Animalism is co-existing with the current environs, while humanism is fighting the environs and shaping them into their own. I think the concept of database animalism is clear enough, so the point of “shoving my thoughts into your brain” and “mindlessly agreeing to what bloggers say” shouldn’t be explained anymore.

            • Carillus says:

              I went to Google all the terms you used, but it’s really hard to get a grasp on exactly what point you’re trying to make because academia doesn’t exactly make for easy reading. I think quite a few people would appreciate it if you were to rephrase this in more layman terms :V

          • @fkeroge says:

            Since you are now speaking in a language that most of the readers wouldn’t understand, I’ll decipher what you have just said.

            You are saying that based on the studies of a researcher (I read his book for my research on Filipino otaku culture, actually), we are now in a time where people watch a lot of shows, and that we have a need to classify them into arbitrary “folders” in our minds. Then the person either chooses to have an opinion of the show that goes with the norm, or one that goes against it.

            If I understand what you are trying to say correctly, then we are not even in the same page anymore. What does the initial thoughts of the anime watcher have to do with the thoughts he might have after reading an influential person’s opinion? I don’t think you have addressed the main issue here.

          • @fkeroge says:

            Personal touches doesn’t necessarily mean the post changing from being objective to subjective. There are ways to circumvent that. Opinions doesn’t necessarily mean an adulterated stream of thoughts coming from a single mind. We take others’ into consideration, so you can’t say something is already subjective just because his criteria or his thoughts are based on things already pointed out by the general public.

            Why not? Isn’t the act of stating an opinion subjective in itself? Opinion is defined as, according to the Free Online Dictionary: “A belief or conclusion held with confidence but not substantiated by positive knowledge or proof”. As far as I know, being objective means being in line with cold, hard facts, free from any personal sentiments. Besides, if the public has a certain stand on a specific topic, that’s called public opinion, which is still subjective by the definition of “opinion”.

        • adtcruz says:


  2. Yamadipati says:

    Well i don’t know about the anime side of the hemisphere much, but i do know about the figure side of it.

    Bluntly saying, we (my shinkis and me) do our reviews and other figure posts as we like it.

    However, we do give objective reviews. As in if there are faults we mention it, and vice versa, if there are things we like then we say it loudly. Being biased is alright as it is human nature to be biased, as little as it may be. But being a fanboy is a big no.

  3. kluxorious says:

    I feel bad for those who are agreeing just because it was written by famous bloggers etc. That’s like they can’t think for themselves. Thank goodness I am not that kind of reader/blogger though. Like you said, review is an opinion of the said author so it is subjective. There’s no right or wrong. There’s only preference and possibly different of opinions.

    Isn;t that fun?

    • @fkeroge says:

      It’s not that readers can’t think for themselves, but rather, regardless of what the reader thinks, he will hesitate to counter, or be forced to agree with the opinions of a famous critic as it seems to be a popular opinion. It’s called cognitive dissonance.

  4. GoodbyeNavi says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with posts being subjective. I think what is problematic is the attitude is that only your opinion matters. What is fun in reading blogs is seeing what others think about a show. As someone told me, blogs are nothing but people’s opinions. You’re not writing an essay or a journalistic article, it is not necessary to be objective.

    • @fkeroge says:

      The “only my opinions are valid and everything else are garbage” mentality is exactly the reason why many blogs exist. Though many people don’t admit to it, posting your thoughts and opinions on the internet to gain sympathy or support for your cause is the main reason why people blog. Being vocal on the internet means that one does not see his/her opinions in whatever he/she reads. Thus, he/she blogs to make him/herself heard. Unintended or not, some people want to be heard, regardless of what other people think.

      • GoodbyeNavi says:

        And what is wrong with that? If the blog is their only outlet to talk about what they like or don’t like, then it shouldn’t be an issue. I very rarely come across those blogs in which “only my opinion matters, yours sucks” and if I do, I ignore them. For the most part, I enjoy reading other people’s opinions because people are different. If you want objectivity, don’t read a personal blog.

        • @fkeroge says:

          Nothing’s wrong with it. I don’t think I said that I dislike opinionated blogs. In fact, I’m probably one of the most biased anime reviewer out there.

          • GoodbyeNavi says:

            I wasn’t saying you personally dislike opinionated blogs. Just responding to your statements. I can see in an issue in which people are hiding under the guise of objectivity but its really a farce. Other than that, give me subjectivity. Tell us how you really feel!

  5. feal87 says:

    Objectivity is just a myth, nothing can possibly be objective in anime blogging because any kind of judgement will always be related to your point of view. (I found To Love Ru entertaining, but most other bloggers were bashing it to death! :D)
    My style of writing (as you know well) is to just explain what I thought of the episode/series in a very informal, personal and fan-focused way. It’s more about being a fan than being a journalist after all. 😀

    • @fkeroge says:

      Objectivity is not a myth. It exists, actually. The sciences are objective, relying strictly on observation and a set of established rules, and the emotions of the researcher do not matter. You cannot say that you don’t like the fact that mixing 5mL of .5M HCl and 5mL of .5M of NaOH combines to form 10mL of NaCl solution. Anime does not rely on these things. There are no established rules for anime, and any observation can be interpreted in a way that can be compared and contrasted to the personal feelings of the writer.

      • feal87 says:

        Nope, even science is not objective because most science base itself over “postulates” that are rules accepted and that cannot be proven. That’s subjectivity for you, even in MATHEMATICS! 😉

        • @fkeroge says:

          Postulates, or axioms, are statements or propositions that cannot be explained or proven by the system that uses them to construct itself. An example of a postulate is that you can always draw a straight line from one point to another. We cannot prove that (at least not with the scientific method), nor can we disprove it, because the fact that we can draw a straight line from A to B is something derived from experience or observation (objective), but the explanations for this is beyond the grasp of human reasoning. You’re not even making sense anymore.

          • feal87 says:

            Yes, and there are different peoples thinking that there exist different axioms. That’s the reason for which there exist multiple “mathematics” very different from the one we commonly use, because some people subjectively thinks that some of these axioms does or does not apply to this world.
            What’s that, if not subjectivity?

            Well I’ll leave it here, it seems i’m talking to a wall…:P

            • @fkeroge says:

              I suggest looking up the meaning of the words “objective” and “subjective” in the dictionary before making a fool out of yourself. I don’t want to be mean or rude (at least all of the time), but the situation (and my mood) demands it. Sorry, man.

              And really? Emoticons?

              • feal87 says:

                Ahahah, yes emoticons and yes, as I said I won’t pursue further as I’m talking with a wall. 😉

                • feal87 says:

                  And sorry, but it’s hard to argue seriously with a guy who start by “you’re making yourself a fool” without even trying to understand how the other side was gently trying to avoid a flame discussion.
                  I’ll make sure not to comment further in your posts not to hurt your precious ideas and pride. 😉

  6. Alterego 9 says:

    Well, for one thing, there is a lot more to blogging than just the reviews about how much we liked or disliked a show.

    All the editorials about Japanese culture, about how the anime industry works, about analyzing the symbolism behind a certain anime, or predictions about what the next season will be like, etc.

    These all have elements that have the potential to be objectively right, and if two bloggers disagree about these, one of them can be wrong.

    • @fkeroge says:

      Posts about Japanese culture, symbolism or any other indisputable observations can be, and are most likely objective. What I’m talking about here are opinions like anime reviews or season previews. Though both can have a sliver of objectivity or two, the fact of the matter is, they are still opinions and are subjective by their very nature.

  7. TRazor says:

    Riyoga covered the topic of subjectivity pretty thoroughly over here: http://subtlechaos.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/why-theres-no-such-thing-as-objectively-good/

    This creates that “your opinions suck” feel that most reviews seem to emanate.

    Huh? As long as the reviewer is reviewing the show and not taking shots at the fans, I don’t see how the reader should be offended at all. It’s a case of different opinion and no more. I think yuri is boring. You on, the other hand, disagree. Does that mean I’m “shunning” your opinion or does that mean I think your opinions suck? No. You have your thing and I have mine, simple as that.

    The big blogs (not talking about RC, talking about the latter category you mention) are big for a reason – they make good points and whether we agree with them or not, we respect them for they are at least entertaining. That doesn’t make us mindless zombies/part of the mob.

    Of course we’re all shoving opinion down people’s throats. We’re all egoistical pricks to think we need our own special place on the web where readers should flock and read our content.

    • @fkeroge says:

      The moment you post your review and a person reads it, he is in your domain, which makes it hard for a person to voice out a conflicting opinion unless provoked. That’s what I meant by “shunning” others’ opinions. This is especially true for blogs that use story, animation and whatnot to try and justify their opinions. These kinds of blogs appear very intellectual and analytical, making disagreeing with them hard to do.

  8. Smiley says:

    What you say is true; if something has no right or wrong, anything written about it will inevitably be subjective. However, voicing your opinion does not necessarily mean that you are rejecting all others. I think most readers understand this when they visit a blog, and most writers are well aware of the futility of trying to claim that everything they write is the “truth”.

    The people who do hold the “I’m right and you’re wrong” mentality are merely trying to superimpose the qualities of a black and white situation onto one with no such distinctions. Really, the closest thing to the “truth” that we’d ever get is if Word Of God actually speaks up.

    • @fkeroge says:

      I don’t really mean that the blogger is intentionally rejecting others’ opinions. As I’ve said, the more famous a blogger is, the more inclined a person is to agree with him. This is what I meant by the “your opinions suck” feel that most reviews have.

      • Smiley says:

        I guess it can be taken that way, but in the end I still feel like the reader has the choice of agreeing or disagreeing. Perhaps it comes down to how strongly the reader believes in something?

  9. Canne says:

    There’s no denying the subjectivity in the blogsphere and no denying that there’re lots of ‘opinion shoving’ going around. But I would like to view that in more compromising way. There isn’t just shoving but also opinion consuming.

    We express ourselves and also consuming other people’s thoughts. That’s how we grow and evolve. At first one might not have much to say and is able to just agree with others. But as time goes by, the same person will eventually develop his own voice. I think that’s how it works and it’s okay to me 🙂

    • @fkeroge says:

      “Opinion consuming” is an interesting take on this. Yes, I can believe that people can assimilate others’ opinions to form a more solid (or unstable) personal stand.

  10. Yumeka says:

    Good thoughts, and this is one of the reasons why I don’t write reviews on my blog very often. Being too opinionated has the advantage of attracting light-minded readers, but the disadvantage of alienating those with differing opinions and thus adding diversity to the blog. I try to keep the majority of my posts (mostly editorials) centered around observations and personal experiences rather than just continual reviews of individual anime episodes or series. When I do review series, I try not to have any kind of antagonistic tone towards people who may disagree, but as you said, it’s impossible to be completely objective when writing a review or even an editorial. But I do the best I can to show my readers that I’m open-minded despite having my own opinions about things.

    • @fkeroge says:

      Being open-minded may alleviate some of the opinion shoving, but it does not completely remove it. Opinion shoving does not necessarily have to be intentional – voicing an opinion, with or without ill intent, involves the disregard of contrary notions. If you truly consider every opinion, then you wouldn’t have one yourself.

  11. Baka-Raptor says:

    Bloggers who hold back are liars. Nobody wants to get their opinions from a liar. Polarizing bloggers aren’t successful just because they’re more entertaining. There’s also a trust factor that the sugarcoaters will never have.

    • @fkeroge says:

      I was once one of those sugarcoaters you speak of, until I realized that people read blogs for opinions, not watered down documentaries. After that, I tried to be as biased as possible, and I think it’s working.

      Why do a lot of people seem to misunderstand the intentions of this post?

  12. Pingback: Deciphering Anime Fandom: Reciprocity In Commenting | KaminariAnime

  13. Solidad says:

    Interesting point and I completely agree on it. I do observe that most of the readers flocking to review sites are not entirely for finding or learning new things. Its more into looking for that sense of agreement with the reviwer. I commonly find this in video game reivews, where readers often disagress to anything that the reviewers find negative about. Granted that video game reviews are purposed for helping gamers on their purchase decisions. But it seems it also doubles place for fans of the game to find someone that agrees with them. In sense, Anime Blogs that centres on opinion also has this same effect. Not everyone, but it does happen.

    Personally, what differenciates blogs is the bias. As long as the author is aware of his/her biases and discolses them to the reader (Although readers should be able to find those anyway), it makes them more respected, or at least, tolerable. I’m sure readers won’t read a blog in which the author denies his/her bias, unless its for entertainment.

  14. Jay says:

    This might be my primary reason why I love to steal your reactions then post it on my blog.

    Furthermore, may I ask: is this dorama?

  15. If I agree with this post, does that make me part of the problem? =P

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