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View Poll Results: When you think "critic", which definition first comes to mind?
a person who is professionally engaged in the analysis and interpretation of works of art 42 32.31%
anyone who expresses a reasoned judgment of something 58 44.62%
someone who frequently finds fault or makes harsh and unfair judgments 22 16.92%
other (please describe) 8 6.15%
Voters: 130. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2009-06-20, 16:26   Link #1
relentlessflame
 
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Do you consider yourself an "Anime Critic"?

So, as a result of on-going discussions in various anime and episode threads recently, we've stumbled upon a bit of a side-topic conversation that some felt might be worth discussing on its own.

When you hear the word "critic", what comes to mind? As you participate on this forum discussing the shows you watch, do you consider yourself a "critic"?

The Princeton WordNet online dictionary (first result on Google!) offers this rather interesting set of definitions for the word "critic":
  • a person who is professionally engaged in the analysis and interpretation of works of art
  • anyone who expresses a reasoned judgment of something
  • someone who frequently finds fault or makes harsh and unfair judgments
I think that, depending on which definition you go by, you get an extremely different take on the topic.

Here's why I think it's important:
I'm my experience, not everyone participanting in the forum has the same approach in their conversations. Some writers seem to be more focused on conveying their personal experiences, while others seem more focused on analyzing the show and describing its strengths and weaknesses. In some cases, this can result in some conflict, when people perceive certain posters as deliberately watching shows only so they can troll those who enjoy it, and other posters perceiving the fanbase as being mindless fanboys incapable of "reasoned judgement". This conflict between "I have the right to express my opinion, even if it's unpopular" vs. "If you hate the show so much, why are you even watching?" tends to result in some measure of animosity, especially over periods of prolonged exposure. And I think it all comes down to what people perceive their role to be in the discussion: informing, persuading, relating, critiquing, etc.

So, anyway, here are some possible questions for the thread (and if it sounds survey-style, it's only to help start the discussion -- you don't actually have to answer the questions if you don't want to):
  1. When you think of the word "critic" in this context, which of the definitions above tends to spring to mind?

  2. Based on that, do you consider yourself an "Anime Critic"?

  3. When considering which shows to watch, what factors into your decision? Do you tend to watch shows you think you'll like, or will you watch anything that seems popular or technically interesting?

  4. When considering which shows to discuss on the forum, what factors into your decision? Do you tend to discuss shows you like, or do you tend to discuss any show where you feel you have an interesting/differing argument/perspective?

  5. How do you decide when to drop shows? What factors into the decision? Does forum popularity/participation factor into your decision-making?

  6. Which of these two problems seems more troublesome to you: that people feel unable to present contrary/opposing opinions and arguments, or that people feel unwelcome/uncomfortable posting in threads due to fear of having their personal preferences unfairly questioned?

I hope that through this discussion we can all get to know each other a little bit better and appreciate our differing personalities and points of view!
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Old 2009-06-20, 16:32   Link #2
Kudryavka
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I guess I'm an anime critic. I don't just watch anime because they look cool or sparkly on the outside; I look for decent (preferably good) animation, character design that doesn't go way off the charts in insanity, and a storyline that doesn't focus on unimportant people for no reason.

Basically, I want an anime with a plot and a char designer who understads the human structure.

Does that count as a critic?
btw, I voted for the "anyone who expresses a reasoned judgment of something" choice.
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Old 2009-06-20, 16:51   Link #3
Ichihara Asako
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1) I'd say the second choice.
2) Yeah, I suppose.
3) Many things. Genre, production/staff, premise, various other elements. I used to rely on word of mouth (before the internet boom) to discover titles but found it to be quite unreliable.
4) I don't generally partake in episode discussion, especially as I often watch shows after they've finished airing and most series threads completely lack spoiler tags for episode events.
5) It takes a lot for me to drop something. But generally only when it's absolutely dismal on numerous technical aspects (crappy art/animation/char design, poor scoring, voicework, foley etc.) along with a story that fails to captivate me.
6) The former, definitely. People need to be able to present their views properly. I probably fall in to the latter category myself, since I am quite critical of many popular shows... received quite a lot of flaming over the years.

I do small reviews of series I complete in my blog which are both on personal experience/expectation and discuss technical elements of the show (art/sound quality, story etc) though with no particularly consistency; some shows I'll talk about one element more than another, not evenly distribute my time between everything. But they're mostly for my own reference and for friends, not an attempt at being a professional reviewer or critic (though I have had some reviews published in the past, I obviously put more effort in to them).
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Old 2009-06-20, 17:00   Link #4
Reckoner
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Thank you for making this thread relentlessflame .

I guess to start off I would consider myself as the second definition of a crit you put there, "a person who expresses a reasoned judgement of something." Though people often perceive me as someone who "frequently finds faults or makes harsh and unfair judgements."

I as a fan of anime take in shows to watch based upon my own personal interest, and sometimes hype, because I do like to see what th ebig fuss is all about (Unless it is something like Lucky Star, in which I dare not pick it up).

I usually try to discuss all the shows that I watch, but I do tend to discuss the shows with more diverging opinions more since it just inherently makes all the discussion more intersting. I always feel that it is boring to go into a thread of an anime and see pure appraisal of it as if it was Hamlet. This is perhaps why many people on these forums have commented to me that I seem to "hate" all the shows I watch. Some of the more recent threads in which I have participated in with heated discussions have been Clannad, White Album (This one I actually enjoyed and was not one of the naysayers), Toradora (Enjoyed until the last couple episodes), and K-ON! (Where this thread popped up from).

Something that people love to throw around on forums, especially Animesuki, is that if you do not like a show, just drop it and stop ruining it for everyone else. Now, if I truly hate a show, I will drop it, but because I have a lot of negative comments and don't drop it usually means that I thought the show could have amounted to much more.

This kind of gets into what relentless said above, about certain critics seemingly getting mad at the "senseless fanboys" and the people who just want to enjoy the show to think that the critics are just people trying to troll the threads and ruin their enjoyment.

I hope that people can understand that dissenting =/= trolling and that liking a show that many people criticize for various reasons does not mean you are senseless fanboy.

Anyway I guess I would have to say that the issue that bothers me more in forum discussions is that people feel unwelcomed in threads due to the fear of having their opinon's unfairly questioned.

A forum by definition is a place to discuss. If threads degrade into simply being a place to say "Hi, I liked this episode, 9/10" without discussing what we liked about it or other things, then there is really is almost no point to the thread itself as I could get the same information by looking at the ratings of various anime series in databases such as ANN.
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Old 2009-06-20, 17:26   Link #5
npcomplete
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I voted "other" because to me, a critic is:
("a person who is professionally engaged in the analysis and interpretation of works of art"
OR "anyone who expresses a reasoned judgment of something")
AND "someone who frequently finds fault or makes harsh and unfair judgments"

1 or 2) = fans, who may express reasoned critical opinions on stuff they are a fan of
1,2+3) = critics, who will express reasoned critical opinions on stuff they are not a fan of
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Old 2009-06-20, 18:02   Link #6
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I guess I'm sort of like Reckoner. Shows that I enjoy, I enjoy and join in positive comments or try to respond to criticism I feel is unjustified. Shows that I dislike, I don't watch and don't bother commenting, I will probably post my negative opinion once and then respond to any further comments about my opinion, but I'm not going to get too invested in it. It's the shows that I kind of like, but which take strange turns where I feel compelled to make my argument and participate in the controversial discussion which end up occurring.
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Old 2009-06-20, 19:25   Link #7
OceanBlue
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Why did the fact that this came from the K-On! board not surprise me at all?

Also, I don't think your conflict has much to do with the thread topic at all. How is that conflict related to the idea of whether or not you consider yourself a critic? It seems to me that joining the two together forces one side to say that they aren't critics, because you're suggesting that one side of the conflict doesn't use reasoning when making their decision.

More on topic, I consider myself an anime critic because I make judgments on anime I watch based on some sort of reasoning. It doesn't have to be complex, but it has to be present.

Edit: I guess I'm trying to say that those who don't criticize something can still be critics as well. They've made a judgment that a certain quality has surpassed shortcomings in the work, and have decided that they aren't worth mentioning.
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Old 2009-06-20, 20:34   Link #8
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanBlue View Post
How is that conflict related to the idea of whether or not you consider yourself a critic? It seems to me that joining the two together forces one side to say that they aren't critics, because you're suggesting that one side of the conflict doesn't use reasoning when making their decision.
I'm certainly not trying to suggest by any means that some people don't use reasoning; that's just silliness. If your definition of a critic is "anyone who makes reasoned judgements", then it stands to reason that we're all critics. But that's why the question of "how you define a critic" is a central part of this topic. I know that I, for one, wasn't thinking of it in that way.

Besides that, this is about a lot more than that thread. It just happened to come up as part of that conversation.
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Old 2009-06-20, 20:53   Link #9
Vexx
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The definition I've always understood it to mean...
To criticize something means to have an opinion on the merits or demerits of a work. Critiquing something can be positive or negative (i.e. the word is misused a bit if one thinks it only means negative assessment).

In order to *have* an opinion - you had to have spent time judging and reasoning out the merits/demerits using whatever yardsticks suit you. That may be purely emotional warm fuzzies, a weighted metric performance review, or some mix of both.

Yes, a "critic" is also a profession... but they're just someone we pay to burp opinions up. Their output is no more or less valid than getting your inputs from your buddies on that movie you're thinking of watching. Someone who has seen a LOT of movies and spent time thinking about how they're constructed will have a different set of yardsticks than someone who has seen a LOT of movies and just immerses themself in the experience. Sometimes that may be the same person who can do both.
---
As for this forum... it is the extreme viewpoints that tend to generate a lot of heat, be it a "defender of the Perfect" or a "How did this ever get a greenlight?" Part of the problem is when people present their opinions (however constructed) as assertions or facts (often without supportive examples) and then question the sanity of other opinions that were arrived at using different metrics.

I'm guilty of jumping on people for presenting an assertion as a "fact" without any meaningful supporting examples. -- doesn't matter whether I agree with their point or not, I just dislike arm-waving rhetoric and I tend to have trouble with opinions that people can't provide some reasoning for (even if the reasoning is "purely gut emotional" -- at least they know the basis for the opinion).

Meh... granted Animesuki isn't going to require classes in communication, debate, critical analysis, or dissertation - but people, no matter how they post -- should try these ideas out for more interesting fruitful discussion:
1) Don't present subjective opinions as fact. Be very careful of asserting something "sucks" rather than saying "I didn't enjoy it because of these factors."
2) Realizing that other people's opinions may be arrived at with a different set of value metrics. What is important to them may not be important to you.

I have people on this forum that I trust a great deal when they tell me that I should watch a particular series because I've found they have a good eye for series that please me. That is when this forum is at maximum value for me.

And... for the occasional vicious troll or equally nasty religious zealot fanboi, either who often hijacks the thread, I'm trying to get better at using the mod button rather than get into a circlejerk fight.The mods probably hate seeing my name in the inbox since there's probably a fire at the other end.

Last edited by Vexx; 2009-06-20 at 22:18.
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Old 2009-06-20, 21:03   Link #10
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I'll just say that I poke fun at (read: point out shortcomings) my favourite anime/manga series. I also point out the good points in series which received thumbs down from people.
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Old 2009-06-20, 21:08   Link #11
Tamad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
So, as a result of on-going discussions in various anime and episode threads recently, we've stumbled upon a bit of a side-topic conversation that some felt might be worth discussing on its own.

When you hear the word "critic", what comes to mind? As you participate on this forum discussing the shows you watch, do you consider yourself a "critic"?

The Princeton WordNet online dictionary (first result on Google!) offers this rather interesting set of definitions for the word "critic":
  • a person who is professionally engaged in the analysis and interpretation of works of art
  • anyone who expresses a reasoned judgment of something
  • someone who frequently finds fault or makes harsh and unfair judgments
I think that, depending on which definition you go by, you get an extremely different take on the topic.

Here's why I think it's important:
I'm my experience, not everyone participanting in the forum has the same approach in their conversations. Some writers seem to be more focused on conveying their personal experiences, while others seem more focused on analyzing the show and describing its strengths and weaknesses. In some cases, this can result in some conflict, when people perceive certain posters as deliberately watching shows only so they can troll those who enjoy it, and other posters perceiving the fanbase as being mindless fanboys incapable of "reasoned judgement". This conflict between "I have the right to express my opinion, even if it's unpopular" vs. "If you hate the show so much, why are you even watching?" tends to result in some measure of animosity, especially over periods of prolonged exposure. And I think it all comes down to what people perceive their role to be in the discussion: informing, persuading, relating, critiquing, etc.

So, anyway, here are some possible questions for the thread (and if it sounds survey-style, it's only to help start the discussion -- you don't actually have to answer the questions if you don't want to):
  1. When you think of the word "critic" in this context, which of the definitions above tends to spring to mind?

  2. Based on that, do you consider yourself an "Anime Critic"?

  3. When considering which shows to watch, what factors into your decision? Do you tend to watch shows you think you'll like, or will you watch anything that seems popular or technically interesting?

  4. When considering which shows to discuss on the forum, what factors into your decision? Do you tend to discuss shows you like, or do you tend to discuss any show where you feel you have an interesting/differing argument/perspective?

  5. How do you decide when to drop shows? What factors into the decision? Does forum popularity/participation factor into your decision-making?

  6. Which of these two problems seems more troublesome to you: that people feel unable to present contrary/opposing opinions and arguments, or that people feel unwelcome/uncomfortable posting in threads due to fear of having their personal preferences unfairly questioned?

I hope that through this discussion we can all get to know each other a little bit better and appreciate our differing personalities and points of view!
I've only just started "critiquing" anime I've been keeping up with, but I'll go ahead and give this a shot.

Going into these forums and expressing your thoughts and opinons on a certain episode of a certain anime is definetely where the charm in these forums lie, and it's definetely one of the main reasons I keep coming back. Going into a topic and reading "I loved the episode of Anime X this is the greatest show ever" doesn't really leave a good taste in my mouth, because it's hard to believe what they're saying is actually true. I find it more interesting when people point out the good and bad parts, what they enjoyed and what they didn't. Not only does it make for much more interesting discussions, but if someone sees that someone else like a certain aspect of a show that they also did, then it could make for some much needed friendship.

1. How do I define "anime critic"? A pretty good summary of how I define it can be seen above, but I'll repeat it here as well. I define an "anime critic as someone who expresses their thoughts and opinions on said anime. What they liked, what they didn't like, what were their favorite moments, and what didn't exactly click with them.

2. Yes, yes I do.

3. I'm open to almost every genre of anime that's out there. Drama, Slice of Life, Mecha, Comedy, Horror, you name it. As long as the basic premise of the show is interesting, and I like what I'm seeing in the trailers that come out, I'll at least give it a chance and watch the first episode. Popularity also has a big part of it for sure. If a certain anime is getting lots of buzz, I'll be sure to check it out to see what's all the hubub is about.

4. I have no limits when it comes to discussing anime of a forum. No mater how good or bad it is, I'll point out those moments and scenarios without hesitation. Whether or not it brings up any good points of discussion, or if anyone agrees/disagrees with my points, I just go with the flow of the topic. Apparently some people have a hard time swalloing the fact that their perfect anime isn't so perfect in the eyes of someone else, but that's just another one of the fun parts of being able to discuss these things with other people.

5. No one else plays a factor into what I decided to drop besides me. No matter how many times someone tells me "why don't I just drop the show if I'm not enjoying it"?, as long as there's something in that particular show that keeps me entertained, I'll keep watching it. As long as the good point outweigh the bad, I see no reason to not follow the show until the very end.

6. Second one by a long shot.
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Old 2009-06-20, 21:11   Link #12
OceanBlue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
I'm certainly not trying to suggest by any means that some people don't use reasoning; that's just silliness. If your definition of a critic is "anyone who makes reasoned judgements", then it stands to reason that we're all critics. But that's why the question of "how you define a critic" is a central part of this topic. I know that I, for one, wasn't thinking of it in that way.

Besides that, this is about a lot more than that thread. It just happened to come up as part of that conversation.
Okay, I see. I was just bothered, since I had the impression that the thread was created mostly as a response to the K-On! board. [I didn't know there was a specific thread]. Sorry.
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Old 2009-06-20, 22:00   Link #13
CrowKenobi
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I voted the first, but am seeing a lot of the third 'round these parts...



I'm confused about something... why do some "critics" stay with a show that they obviously don't like... is it to bash a particular studio, lay waste to the newest "hot" anime, or...?

The first few episode threads I'm cool with, but to see the same criticism in all the subsequent threads is just...
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Old 2009-06-20, 22:03   Link #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanBlue View Post
Okay, I see. I was just bothered, since I had the impression that the thread was created mostly as a response to the K-On! board. [I didn't know there was a specific thread]. Sorry.
No worries! And I didn't know what you didn't know, though I was sort of confused. Anyway, that's why we have conversations -- so we can understand where each other is coming from.

As for the rest of the thread, I just want to thank everyone for their thoughts so far. It's already been very enlightening for me. I'm going to think about it some more before I post my own reply, but already I'm starting to see that maybe we've all got more in common than I originally thought.
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Old 2009-06-20, 22:26   Link #15
Kudryavka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowKenobi View Post
I'm confused about something... why do some "critics" stay with a show that they obviously don't like... is it to bash a particular studio, lay waste to the newest "hot" anime, or...?
Because there's a lot more to talk about when it's something you don't like.

I strongly believe that these "critics" who stay with shows they don't like have nothing more to say than "It's awesome," when it comes to things they like. No real criticism, because they wouldn't dare defile that pure thing of their affections. But when it comes to shows they don't like, they "criticize," no, bash away at them like there's no tomorrow.
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Old 2009-06-20, 22:49   Link #16
orion
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1. I said "other" because a critic can be all of them depending on the situation. If you're looking for movie, book, or theater reviews, then it's "a". If you're on a forum, it can be "b". If people disagree with your views on a forum, then it can be "c".

2. Nah, I'm just a fan. It's not much fun being a critic.

3. I only watch things that I might like. Having an interesting topic and character designs play into it. It's usually a blind leap of faith for the first few episodes anyways.

4. Time. I work so I'm only going to be in threads where I find the title interesting. If I like the title, I'll hang around a bit longer.

5. If a show starts to get dull, don't like it or know that I'll buy it when it comes out in my region, I drop it and move on to something else. I frequent some less popular threads so forum popularity is not a factor.

6. Other. People who post contrary opinions that seem to just bog down a thread episode after episode. I agree, you guys need an outlet. How about just creating your own thread if the series has a subforum? Posters should have gotten it the first 5 episodes that a few have problems. But for 12 episodes having to read it over and over again from the same posters. I feel that it's not very productive or very positive to slog thru dissenting stuff taking over an episode thread every week.
Since K-On! got mentioned before, I feel that a lot of opportunities for discussion and input from the manga readers were missed because they had to defend the title in every episode. The input from that part of the population was less lively than in other threads where the negative comments were less.
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Old 2009-06-20, 22:59   Link #17
chikorita157
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When you think of the word "critic" in this context, which of the definitions above tends to spring to mind?

Criticism (Noun): the analysis and judgment of the merits and faults of a literary or artistic work (from Oxford American Dictionary)

A critic is a person who gives criticism on any kind of work.


Based on that, do you consider yourself an "Anime Critic"?
Sort of, but most the time, no because I don't usually criticize anything unless the flaws are glaring which make the episode somewhat. I do give input in every episode I watch and give a rating for each episode base on various factors including the content, voice acting, animation, etc in a unbiased fashion which sometimes not possible.

When considering which shows to watch, what factors into your decision? Do you tend to watch shows you think you'll like, or will you watch anything that seems popular or technically interesting?
I only tend to watch shows >=8/10 rounded rating, but with new series that are currently airing, I usually watch 4-5 episodes before deciding to go on or drop a series from the 4-5 episodes I watched. I tend to watch shows that catch my attention or interests me, as long the said series have no excessive fanservice and ecchi.

When considering which shows to discuss on the forum, what factors into your decision? Do you tend to discuss shows you like, or do you tend to discuss any show where you feel you have an interesting/differing argument/perspective?
No influence, I only influence myself on what I watch and I only discuss the shows mainly on my blog after I watched all the episodes in my final review.


How do you decide when to drop shows? What factors into the decision? Does forum popularity/participation factor into your decision-making?
I only drop shows if the show have way too many flaws (such as too much fanservice/ecchi, animation, content being rehashed frequently, bad storyline, etc.) Forum popularity/participation does not factor in when I decide to drop a series or not

Which of these two problems seems more troublesome to you: that people feel unable to present contrary/opposing opinions and arguments, or that people feel unwelcome/uncomfortable posting in threads due to fear of having their personal preferences unfairly questioned?
I usually ignore these comments... but if it's bothering me, I usually write a intelligent, well thought out editorial post on the blog to rebuttal.
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Old 2009-06-20, 23:02   Link #18
Echoes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowKenobi View Post

I'm confused about something... why do some "critics" stay with a show that they obviously don't like... is it to bash a particular studio, lay waste to the newest "hot" anime, or...?

The first few episode threads I'm cool with, but to see the same criticism in all the subsequent threads is just...
Well, most people probably enjoy a show on some level if they watch the whole thing through, even if they end up with the opinion that it isn't too good of a series overall. It's also common to have a "finish what you started" mentality, I know I don't like dropping shows if I've already seen half of the episodes, for instance. If a show is getting almost exclusively good press, that often prompts people to be more, and in some cases, overly, critical and focus on the negative parts that aren't getting covered.

Of course, you can't rule out that there are individuals who just enjoy raining on other people's parade. Or the tons of other reasons people might have that elude my rambling mind at the moment.

I associate a certain level of thought and constructive criticism and due praise with the term "critic." I think you have do not only say what you liked and disliked, but also explain why and comment on different aspects of the series, like the storytelling, animation, writing and so forth. But that's just me.
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Old 2009-06-20, 23:21   Link #19
Tamad
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Komari View Post
Because there's a lot more to talk about when it's something you don't like.

I strongly believe that these "critics" who stay with shows they don't like have nothing more to say than "It's awesome," when it comes to things they like. No real criticism, because they wouldn't dare defile that pure thing of their affections. But when it comes to shows they don't like, they "criticize," no, bash away at them like there's no tomorrow.
I don't know if I can speak for the majority, but I sure as hell would not silence myself from criticizing something I like or even love, because it's apparently hard for people to understnad that no anime is perfecct and it's bound to have something that doesn't ticke your fancy. When it's something you don't like, you call their opinion bashing? I find that absolutely hilarious.

And yes, I tend to stick with a series I don't like because there is something that lets me enjoy the show to a certain extent despite its faults.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orion View Post
6. Other. People who post contrary opinions that seem to just bog down a thread episode after episode. I agree, you guys need an outlet. How about just creating your own thread if the series has a subforum? Posters should have gotten it the first 5 episodes that a few have problems. But for 12 episodes having to read it over and over again from the same posters. I feel that it's not very productive or very positive to slog thru dissenting stuff taking over an episode thread every week.
Since K-On! got mentioned before, I feel that a lot of opportunities for discussion and input from the manga readers were missed because they had to defend the title in every episode. The input from that part of the population was less lively than in other threads where the negative comments were less.
If the problem that someone had on a series continues to make itself known in the next episode, isn't it only natural for you to include that fact in your analyzation of said episode? Like I said before, an episode thread doesn't only have to be filled with positives, and you act like only the negative ninnies are the only ones who continue to repeat their same problems, when in fact it can get equally tiresome for one of the positive series followers to continue saying how "awesome" it is or to keep picking a fight with someone who even blinked wrong at their beloved show.

As for the K-ON! issue, nobody is forcing you to read through a negative opinion. You said it yourself that the same people keep repeating the same thing over and over, so if you see their name then just skip their post. You act like they're stopping you from having the discussion you wish to have about the episode, but I see it as the people who continue to argue with them that are at fault. Instead of ignoring it and moving on with their lives, they repeatedely continue to nitpick and question their opinion just because it isn't awesome. When that happens, it could go on for an ungodly number of pages, and in the end no one really wins.
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Old 2009-06-20, 23:45   Link #20
CrowKenobi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamad View Post
As for the K-ON! issue, nobody is forcing you to read through a negative opinion. You said it yourself that the same people keep repeating the same thing over and over, so if you see their name then just skip their post. You act like they're stopping you from having the discussion you wish to have about the episode, but I see it as the people who continue to argue with them that are at fault. Instead of ignoring it and moving on with their lives, they repeatedely continue to nitpick and question their opinion just because it isn't awesome. When that happens, it could go on for an ungodly number of pages, and in the end no one really wins.
So, you're implying that the critics can say whatever they want, but when someone calls them on the carpet, they're the "bad guy?"

When the reply to the critic is nonsensical, then by all means, that could be true, but should a poster who uses the facts, sarcasm and wit to debunk a critic's post be labeled the same way? (especially when he wins the argument and the critic is left sputtering a reply...)

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