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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 2009-06-23, 12:59   Link #81
4Tran
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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Now that's something I wasn't aware of! When I've heard the word used to describe females in business/politics here, it's usually in the more positive sense. For example, we have a female mayor here, and she could be described as somewhat-aggressive. But people perceive this as a good thing since "she's no push-over" and "gets things done". She's been re-elected for multiple terms. I guess maybe some people who don't like her would spin it in a bad way, but that could also be because they don't like having a woman mayor (thankfully these people are the minority). So anyway... I definitely didn't know that connotation, so sorry for hitting an unexpected hot button; I'll know for the future.
Yeah, it's a really big difference if we're talking about "agressiveness" in terms of overall attitude and outlook or if we're talking about their writing/debate style. If this were more of a forum for structured debates, then it wouldn't be a big deal, but it's a bit different when normal forum connotations are in play.

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
Actually, this is a very interesting way of looking at it. I've seen forumites who post their thoughts/impressions ritualistically after every episode airs, to the extent that I sometimes wonder if they watch it in order to post. And of course there are also "episode bloggers" who post screenshots, summaries and impressions after each viewing.
In many of these cases, I would consider them to be critics, especially for the bloggers who post about every episode of a show as they watch it.

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Originally Posted by relentlessflame View Post
These people may or may not be "critics", but I guess the question is, when you get into these sorts of "rituals", to what extent does that impact the way you view a show? And if so, does having these sorts of "rituals", perhaps unknowingly at first, make it harder over time to simply enjoy a show? Hmm... I guess that's sort of a "how have the forums changed the way you watched anime" sort of question. Anyway, interesting thought.
I don't know about making it harder to enjoy a show over time, but it almost has to make a difference when it comes to affecting how one watches that show. After all, watching a show because you feel like it is quite a bit different from feeling obligated to watch that show and then to write about it.
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Old 2009-06-23, 13:30   Link #82
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I vote for #1 because I can have my own definition of "professional." Also, I consider myself a professional and therefore an anime critic.
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Old 2009-07-08, 01:08   Link #83
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This may sound dumb and all but a critic to me is just someone who criticizes positively or negatively. its that simple.
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Old 2009-07-08, 02:23   Link #84
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Originally Posted by Cipher View Post
This may sound dumb and all but a critic to me is just someone who criticizes positively or negatively. its that simple.
Indeed. The problem is that many people view the word "criticism" as something negative, when it is not really the case in the first place. It's good that you know it can go both ways.
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Old 2011-05-19, 02:01   Link #85
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Ah, interesting discussion, especially considering I read this during the time I started frequenting these parts.

It's really a fine line one has to walk. If you express your opinions to violently, you get regarded as a "hater." But it's just my feeling that people don't seem to understand that they can heavily criticize a series they like or say something positive about a series they hate.

After all, we all want better entertainment, right? I just feel that in order to really perceive what's good entertainment, is to have certain expectations and not just accept anything as adequate. Although most of us aren't targets for the anime industry, it's still a good mindset to have since probably everyone consumes some kind of media.

It's also the only way one can really rise above a lot of the noise. Any recent popular series will be hyped to the heavens, so being able to form an opinion of your own really helps you establish your own position first, before you are influenced by others. And then, you can share your opinions with others and by considering other people's thoughts, you can gain a better understanding of whatever you're watching.

It's not necessary for intellectual reasons. It's not like I don't enjoy moe or slapstick comedy, but even so, I feel my brain should be running even if there are boobs everywhere. The moment your entertainment starts thinking for you, that's when it has started to fail.

So 2 years later, I can answer "yes, I am an anime critic"
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Old 2011-05-19, 10:19   Link #86
Akito Kinomoto
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I understand that some form of critique is needed or the studios are likely to get complacent and deliver a half-finished product, but most of the time I just let myself go along for the ride. The expectations of some people are almost like they're actively trying to find the next Cowboy Bebop or Evangelion when that just doesn't happen.

While I can distance myself from any fiction, I get the feeling that I would become extremely harsh and dissect a piece until it had nothing left. I know some of my favorites have almost nothing going for them, but I score based on how much I like the work instead of the total sum of its parts. That said, I can't say my expectations haven't been rising lately, or maybe the better way to say that is "I'm becoming less tolerant of anything I don't highly enjoy" if that somehow makes sense.

If there's any bit of analyzing that's taking effect now, it's likely that it stems from continually adjusting my scores to keep things in perspective with regards to how much I enjoyed or how much I didn't like a show. The test of time isn't very kind, but some shows, for me, have continuously kept their place at the top. Does that mean they've accumulated huge nostalgia value to me, or does that mean I was watching something so brilliantly designed that not even my rising expectations could screw them up? I don't know, but what I do know is that the enjoyment side will always be the side of the coin that matters for me.
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Old 2011-05-19, 11:32   Link #87
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Yes, I would consider myself an anime critic, although not a professional one, mind you (I mean, I'm not getting paid to do this, nor am I professionally trained to do it).

The initial main reason I sometimes choose to put on the critic's hat is succinctly summed up by the following...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Akito_Kinomoto View Post
I understand that some form of critique is needed or the studios are likely to get complacent and deliver a half-finished product...
Excellent point, Akito.


Through out my life, I've been part of a few different fandoms. I've been a Marvel/DC comics book fan. I've been a pro wrestling fan. I've been a Star Trek fan. I've been (and am) a sci-fi fan in general.

The reason why I'm now an anime fan, and have been for a few years now, is because I sincerely find that (for me personally at least) anime offers the best combination of simply enjoyable entertainment, of thought-provoking entertainment, and of relaxing entertainment. No other entertainment medium or genre currently satisfies me on all three levels like anime currently (and usually) does.

However, all of the above applied to comic books, Star Trek, and/or pro wrestling at various points in the past as well. But I've seen all three of those go through peaks and valleys, and it's been my observation that "the valleys" often occur when fans become a bit too accepting of relatively weak material compared to what came before.

A certain amount of fan critique is needed to simply keep creators and producers honest, I think.

That being said, I do recognize that most of us here are people in the foreign market for what is primarily a Japanese/East Asian entertainment industry, so as time has gone by I see a more pressing reason to be an anime critic: It's helpful for determining what anime shows to recommend, and to who.


In my view, part of the role of a critic is to gauge comparative quality between different offerings within the entertainment medium or genre that the critic is evaluating. This is likely the primary reason why numerical rating scales exist, after all. How many "stars" a professional film critic gives a movie can give us a sense of what that critic thinks of that movie in comparison to other movies.

This can be helpful for prioritization purposes if you're wondering "What movie should I watch next?" (depending, of course, on to what degree your tastes overlap with those of the critic who's assigning the star rating).

While I respect how some members here find the time to watch pretty much every new anime that comes out, many of us will not find the time to do that. So it's helpful, I think, to have a sense of how one anime compares to other anime shows. This can give us a sense of which anime shows are "must sees", which anime shows are "good watches but not must sees", which anime shows are "well, it's worth watching if you can't find anything else of interest to watch that you haven't already seen", etc..., etc...

This is particularly relevant during an unusually strong season like this Spring 2011 one. I've ended up dropping Spring 2011 anime shows that would normally "make the cut" just due to the sheer depth and quality of anime shows airing right now.


Long story short, it's difficult to accurately gauge the comparative quality of different anime shows without taking (as much as possible) a consistent critic approach to each of them. So that's what I try to do, at least.

I do recognize, though, that different anime shows are sometimes aiming for different things (comparing K-On!! to, say, Bleach might not be terribly productive as the two shows have significantly different core appeals) so that's something I try to keep in mind when evaluating anime shows.


All of the above being said, there is one other key reason why I often put on the anime critic hat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Komari View Post
Because there's a lot more to talk about when it's something you don't like.

For whatever reason, I find it more interesting to talk about perceived flaws than I do to talk about perfection (perhaps for much the same reason that flawed characters are generally considered more interesting than "overly perfect" ones).

There's only so many different ways to say "That was absolutely awesome!".

But each perceived flaw is different, and can be interesting to discuss and debate over. I won't lie - I love a good debate. At some level, I just find it fun to weigh the pros and cons of different shows that I watch, and to discuss those takes with others while seeing how their takes compare to my own.

In fact, this is probably the main joy I get out of a forum like this one: A place to compare and contrast different viewer reactions.
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Old 2011-05-19, 14:23   Link #88
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Originally Posted by Akito_Kinomoto View Post
The expectations of some people are almost like they're actively trying to find the next Cowboy Bebop or Evangelion when that just doesn't happen.
Why is that a bad thing? Once a standard of excellence has been set, it's up to other works to meet that standard or be considered "good but not great." One hundred years ago, 2 meters was the high jump record. Today, it's 2.45 meters. The bar has literally been raised, and you don't make the Olympic team unless you can go well over what once was a world record.

Media is the same way, and anime is no exception. People say, "Oh, you can't expect the animation to be the same quality as Tom and Jerry was" and I say why the heck not? That was 50 years ago, and accepting less nowadays is a sign of complacency. Similarly, people say, "The next Evangelion will never happen," and I say it's because people don't care enough to make it happen. Anime can get away with being mediocre because no one pushes it to be better.

--

Quote:
When you think of the word "critic" in this context, which of the definitions above tends to spring to mind?
I think a critic is someone who makes it their job to pick apart media and art. Whether or not they get paid for that job is a different story.

Quote:
Based on that, do you consider yourself an "Anime Critic"?
Nope. I rate an anime on how well it executes itself technically, the depths of its ideas, and the quality of how it conveys those ideas. In fact, as you can see from my custom title off to the left, I'm more of an anime cynic: I assume the worst and leave it to the anime to prove me wrong.

Quote:
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?
Art quality is the thing that sucks me in first. I'm a visual guy (for example, the Haruhi novels feel ridiculously flat to me compared to the anime), so it's a big deal whether or not the anime is pretty. After that, the plot or theme is the next thing taken into consideration. If I don't like the theme, it doesn't matter how nice the anime looks. Next comes length: animes that are 14 episodes or less get bumped up in priority; animes that are 30 episodes or more get kicked down. Finally, the absence of knowledge of any of those can be offset by a recommendation from a friend. If a friend says, "You should check this one out," I don't need to know a thing about it before I'll start watching it. (That definitely doesn't mean I'll finish it, though.)

Quote:
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?
I discuss shows I like, because those are the only ones that I'm passionate enough about to have a real discussion. It doesn't hurt that I often have a differing perspective for most things, though.

Quote:
How do you decide when to drop shows? What factors into the decision? Does forum popularity/participation factor into your decision-making?
If I finish an episode and want to see the next, I'll watch the next. If I finish an episode and don't care about the next, I'll stop watching the anime altogether. I couldn't care less what people think, unless their discussions lead me to believe that the anime will improve as it goes on.

Quote:
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?
Well, if people are unable to present contrary opinions, then you have groupthink at work, which is useless for intellectual discussion. On the other hand, it's simply infuriating to check your forum reputation and see that someone has marked you down for little more than "uhh hurp i disagree with you." I've quit discussion threads outright because I realized I couldn't state my point of view without getting downvoted like crazy. From that perspective, the unwelcome/uncomfortable problem is many times more troublesome, because it actively limits the amount of critical thinking that can occur.
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Old 2011-05-19, 17:11   Link #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akito_Kinomoto View Post
I understand that some form of critique is needed or the studios are likely to get complacent and deliver a half-finished product, but most of the time I just let myself go along for the ride. The expectations of some people are almost like they're actively trying to find the next Cowboy Bebop or Evangelion when that just doesn't happen.
Well, that in itself would be a flawed critique. Forcing the expectations of other show onto another is no less silly than saying a car is bad because it can't fly. It would also be pretty flawed to have such a narrow view of quality.

Kinda like food. You can't really objectively say that apples are better food than oranges, but you can say that a rotting apple shouldn't be eaten. There are just certain things you shouldn't eat, even if it largely comes down to taste.

And thus I do think certain things can be considered "bad" and flawed" as much as something can be considered good, even if people disagree.

Quote:
While I can distance myself from any fiction, I get the feeling that I would become extremely harsh and dissect a piece until it had nothing left. I know some of my favorites have almost nothing going for them, but I score based on how much I like the work instead of the total sum of its parts. That said, I can't say my expectations haven't been rising lately, or maybe the better way to say that is "I'm becoming less tolerant of anything I don't highly enjoy" if that somehow makes sense.
My philosophy is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It may not shine in every aspect, but it may come together well. This can usually explain why I can say certain parts of the show I like are flawed, but I don't think it interferes with the overall narrative or experience.
Quote:
If there's any bit of analyzing that's taking effect now, it's likely that it stems from continually adjusting my scores to keep things in perspective with regards to how much I enjoyed or how much I didn't like a show. The test of time isn't very kind, but some shows, for me, have continuously kept their place at the top. Does that mean they've accumulated huge nostalgia value to me, or does that mean I was watching something so brilliantly designed that not even my rising expectations could screw them up? I don't know, but what I do know is that the enjoyment side will always be the side of the coin that matters for me.
Being able to withstand the test of time is probably the best way to validate a rating you gave. If the feeling hasn't subsided, they've done something right.
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Old 2011-05-20, 22:08   Link #90
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I tend to consider myself both a 'reasonable critic' and a 'seasoned anime veteran'. I've watched roughly over 300 titles over several years at this point and usually don't rate anime very lightly on my MAL profile either. I generally take time to analyze the characters, plot, art, music and other aspects that are put into the full work before grading it as well. I'm neither fair nor harsh when it comes to grading because I'm honest on how I grade work, although it's only become more apparent over the last year and a half or so.
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Old 2011-05-21, 17:29   Link #91
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I don't consider myself a critic. If anything, I'm just an anime fan. That doesn't necessarily mean I don't critique anime or have my own standards, it's that, taking Gamer_2k4's definition, I don't make it my job to do so. It's good to have standards as a fan yes, or else stuff will start sucking, but "critic" is such a heavy word in my view that I don't think it should be applied to such a simple task.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
Being able to withstand the test of time is probably the best way to validate a rating you gave. If the feeling hasn't subsided, they've done something right.
That's true, though sometimes I just find my memory to be worse than that of a goldfish's, and I can't trust myself to mess with the ratings that I have already given. (No, I don't remember the goldfish thing is already disproven )
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Old 2011-05-22, 11:09   Link #92
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Generally, I think it'd be more accurate to say "Amateur" or "Hobbyist" critic, unless you have qualifications and/or are getting paid for your work, whether by a company or through self-employment.
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Old 2011-05-22, 20:57   Link #93
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I used to write semi-serious anime criticism and analysis, on occasion, back in my college days. I don't do that anymore.

...so, no, I'm not a critic in the slightest. But, I like joining in on casual discussions about shows that I like, and occasionally writing reviews, which is *why I'm here*.
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Old 2011-05-25, 11:58   Link #94
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Originally Posted by gsilver View Post
I used to write semi-serious anime criticism and analysis, on occasion, back in my college days. I don't do that anymore.

...so, no, I'm not a critic in the slightest. But, I like joining in on casual discussions about shows that I like, and occasionally writing reviews, which is *why I'm here*.
Same with me. I don't consider myself a "critic" at all, however I do like to read and join in discussions from time to time.
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Old 2011-08-29, 15:07   Link #95
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In my opinion, it's definately anyone who expresses a reasoned judgment of something, I've always believed that to be true of & in any case or scenario along similar thinking lines and not just from watching anime
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Old 2011-08-29, 15:11   Link #96
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Nope. Not at all.

I like to talk about things I enjoy, though.
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Old 2011-08-29, 21:34   Link #97
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I'm on the second definition, but it can't be help when there are times that "we" became biase in giving criticisms.

For example, I may say I don't like the anime because it's not in my list of favorite genre ( eg hentai, yuri, yaoi, ecchi etc).

I usually crticism even to the most or almost not notice things like character lines, skills, style of drawing and plot, which for me doesn't seem to fit.

Well, they 're just opinions, it depends whether to takes them seriously or not..... better not..
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Old 2011-08-30, 01:32   Link #98
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I would always try to find a reasoned judgement but sometimes, especially on shows you are very biased with, reason tends to disappear.

I'm definitely a critic but sometimes I just gloss over imperfection if there's something I'm a big fanboy of. I can definitely not critic a show made for fanservice because one can say its crap anime that's ruining the industry, but then again its just doing its job. If I critic something like To Love Ru, I would never find anything good to say about it except for the design, but I like To Love Ru so I don't bother using reasoned judgement and just say "It's hot".
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Old 2011-10-08, 00:00   Link #99
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I stuck with the safe definition of a professional analyst. Personally, I have a lot of trouble with being rational about works of art. It seems to me that analysis of works of art can easily become too rational and complex, and let the emotional essence of the Art (with a capital A) escape. In any case, I feel uncomfortable saying a show is "good" or "bad," and more comfortable saying I do or don't like it. Once I start to say why I like it, however, I am always afraid that the reasons I give are just spurious rationalizations for the subtle truth of feelings.
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Old 2011-10-08, 00:45   Link #100
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I feel both anger and pity for anime critics.

They are just watching anime series either: (a) to excessively hype a series he likes or (b) to blatantly insult a series that doesn't fulfill his taste for anime. Of course, their statements are opinionated, but what stands them apart from a typical anime fan that says "I don't like <insert anime series title here>" is his tendency to acquire a following, which many inexperienced fans would treat as Word of God.

On the other hand, I feel bad about the job of an anime critic, because he has his enjoyment of being an anime fan taken from him, and — especially for famous anime critics — when you become a critic, it's hard to go back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anton Ego from Ratatouille
In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.
That said, I don't think I can call myself an anime critic. In fact, I'm far from being one. I have been experienced in viewing anime series in a neutral viewpoint as a contributor in several wikis for a few anime series. And currently, I can say that I still enjoy watching anime as I enjoy sharing what I know from them.
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