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Old 2012-01-31, 10:11   Link #21
Ledgem
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I just viewed it in the sense of "Ah.... it's sometimes good to be young and innocent, isn't it? It would have been nice if I still had that sort of "innocence" when it comes to this show."
Isn't this type of thinking also what leads to people often thinking back on their childhood and feeling that it was something wonderful? (Not because of anime, but in terms of life.)
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Old 2012-01-31, 10:15   Link #22
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Isn't this type of thinking also what leads to people often thinking back on their childhood and feeling that it was something wonderful? (Not because of anime, but in terms of life.)
IIRC, there is also a saying, I think it was by a sci-fi writer, that goes like, "The best litterature is what you have read when you have been twelve year old."

This is the age where most of your tastes most definitely settles too. And when we start defending them to affirm our identity. "No, I LISTEN TO ROCK! So I am NOT like those wannabe gangstas posers in the schoolyard!!" Well, we all have gone through that.
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Old 2012-01-31, 11:21   Link #23
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Both perspectives are double-edged swords that come with perks and perils.

The innocent/newbie perspective is finding about the medium for the first time, being blown away by something you weren't aware of previously and seeing it do things you didn't think possible. Indeed, that first-time feeling is hard to match, but will happen every now and then along the journey. Learning things for the first time is a good experience. However, trying to talk to seasoned veterans is something that has to be done carefully. You have to take into account that you don't know much yet and that there are others out there who know more than you do. Which is something not many newer people take into consideration. There is a tendency to think that the present is the best and that what came before it couldn't possibly measure up. Which is a dangerous assumption indeed. There always is more to learn and to see.

And it is something to remember. There will never be a point in time you know everything and it is pretty folly, egotistical and insulting to think you ever will. There is always more than one valid point of view for any title and there is always something you won't have seen or know about.

That said, being at the point of experience equips you with knowledge, perspective, some degree of wisdom and the ability to understand what has come in days long gone, how we got to where we are, trends that have repeated throughout history, who came up with techniques and ideas to improve the medium and who influenced who. History does matter. What may seem original/the best now may have been done in the past and heavily influenced that title, maybe better.

But on the flipside, that can taint a veteran's perspective somewhat. When you think you've seen the same old in a newer title, it can discourage them from continuing. Sometimes that approach may have merit, but not always. Apathy and ego are a bitter enemy of an anime veteran and it is all too easy to succumb to them and look down upon others thinking you're superior and that your way is the only way. It's something I've seen in many forms lately and is rather disheartening.

It is also something that is present within relatively new fans to a considerable degree. The digital animation era has somewhat spoiled people for the quailty/look of art that they receive now, making them despise anything hand-drawn or looking different to the modern style(s). If they really can't handle older styles, so be it, but such an approach will ultimately inhibit the experience and approach to anime in general. Art isn't the be all and end all for what makes a good series. There are series that have relatively weaker art but very good stories and characters. To set limiting factors on oneself ultimately reduces the experience one can have.

Within that lies a trend I see all too often these days is that newer fans tend to think that going back in time past a certain point is impossible and that things aren't worth seeing beyond that. The trend within a lot of fresh anime fans I see is the 'Two Years Wall'. Aka, anything made any more than 2 years before they started is too old and not worth watching, in terms of art, content and styles. That is a wall that takes a fair while to break down due to thinking the present is where it's at and that what's currently airing is 'the way.' Most people seem to get over that then hit a much more intimidating barrier - the 'Five Years Wall.' And that one is much more prevalent. The majority of new anime fans I've met in 2010-2011 seem to have a big problem with going back past 2006, which is rather puzzling. They say things like the art styles, the writing, the content within series - is what causes them to go no further back than there. And certainly 2006 did flag some shifts within the industry and what's more popular these days. But with it has come this notion that anything old-school or from decades gone by is unwatchable and should be avoided. That is something that frustrates me, but I've come to appreciate I once had that problem and it took me time to see beyond it and appreciate the past (started in 2003, 1998 was my wall). And that it does require direction from other people to do it as well as timing (such as thinking the present is not quite what you once thought it was).

Conversely, for a lot of old-schoolers I know, 2006 seems to be a barrier of a different kind for them. As if it's a year they don't won't to look further from. I've been finding it near impossible to talk to them about anything present or to get them interested because content, art and styles have changed so much. Therein lies a different challenge - to see if anything from days gone by can be matched by anything current. And that is sometimes a harder challenge than trying to get a newer person to look back. If not most of the time. It also seems to have instilled a lot of fatigue and negativity in my old-school friends that things will only get worse for them from now on and they're gradually becoming harder to talk to, which really saddens me because I get the most satisfaction from talking to them, yet their numbers are dwindling and they're getting more reclusive. I really hope that doesn't happen to me anytime soon.

Which then brings me to a point I'm pleased to see TinyRedLeaf already mention. If you have been on the anime journey for quite some time, you probably should feel some obligation to inform those trying to find their way around the medium for the first time, because the anime world is very much the inside looking out. This is a hard fandom to crack into from the outside. Finding people with similar tastes to you can be tricky at times, or who have the patience to appreciate where they're coming from and the direction they need/seek. It is worth remembering that everyone was a newbie at some point in their lives and had someone give them tips and guidance on how to proceed, or titles worth watching. Or that even when we're seasoned and looking for something different, there is someone out there willing to show the way.

And lately, I'm taken a more active role in doing that in my local part. It's not one that is always rewarding and can flare up some egos of the more apathetic, bitter people. But generally, it's given positive results and made a good number of people explore things and try out titles they otherwise never would have. Usually they end up liking them, which makes it all worthwhile. Catering to veterans and newer people is an interesting balancing act at a club level and at a convention level, but lately my friends and I have managed to get consistently good results from it. It was also pleasing to find generally good feedback from showing people older shows all the way from the 60s up to today and finding a lot of those older shows were better than 2011 material for them, which was probably the most encouraging result I've had from my efforts in getting people to expand their viewing content and go back in time a bit.

Another peril when delving deeper into anime fandom is when you become someone that can only talk about anime/manga/games and nothing else. I.e. Hard to be sociable/get along with or talk about everyday stuff with. It's not fun to be around that type and they're very hard to tolerate. Anime fandom should be an aspect of one's life. It shouldn't be the focus/only factor of one's life. And it can be hard to find common topics outside of anime/games fandom to talk about with other fans, which perhaps creates that perceived social barrier within the fandom. Certainly there are those that think it's justified and should be the case, but it's not an attractive quality at all. Tonight I was talking with a friend in between screenings and we discussed his studies, then went on to symbolism, metaphysics, the state of foreign investment, old school metal music before drifting back into anime discussion for a bit. It's much more fun to be able to talk about things other than anime and other things within the fandom with other anime fans, from my experience.

Final point I'd like to make is it can be a peril to consider sales to be the true mark of quality or determining factor of what people should like most. It isn't. Sales generally represent a more solid marketing plan and/or a more dedicated/substantiated fanbase. You're your own master. Decide what you like for yourself, but try to be open to others and consider why they like what they like. That doesn't mean you have to like what they like or what's selling most. As long as you can understand why without losing your cool, you'll be fine.

All in all, I prefer the experienced perspective rather than the innocent, because I would never have tried out older series or more abstract content if I stayed in an innocent/newbie/'only the present matters' perspective. It is a battle to avoid getting discouraged by newer people being resistant and trying to force what they like down others' throats and not listen to other points of view. But it is a battle worth persisting with - otherwise people won't learn what else is out there or will never appreciate the past or the other side of the coin. As long as there's something still to watch and people open-minded enough to talk about likes and differences of opinion with in diplomatic, respectable ways - being an anime fan will still be fun.
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Old 2012-01-31, 13:03   Link #24
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Isn't this type of thinking also what leads to people often thinking back on their childhood and feeling that it was something wonderful? (Not because of anime, but in terms of life.)
It can ... but that is not in of itself necessarily "bad", I feel.

It is how one reacts intellectually and emotionally to that perception or reflection on one's early experiences in something that can make a thing "good or bad", constructive or destructive, etc. - and it need not just be limited to physical age, it can be with any shared experience of an activity, etc. as it is just beginning, forming and growing....
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Old 2012-01-31, 13:44   Link #25
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Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Isn't this type of thinking also what leads to people often thinking back on their childhood and feeling that it was something wonderful? (Not because of anime, but in terms of life.)
Like what Flower said, I don't think this necessarily constitutes a problem.

I mean, is it bad to have happy memories of one's childhood?


But, ultimately, what I'm talking about is that "kid's first time in a big candy store" sort of feeling when you discover something new and vast for the very first time.

I think for most anime fans their first year or so as a fan is a very exciting time, because this is for most of us a foreign form of entertainment. You generally don't go into the world of anime knowing it like the back of your hand. There is a point for most "gaijin" anime fans when anime is very new and fresh.
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Old 2012-01-31, 14:34   Link #26
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Personal example, the first large scale anime series I ever watched (that wasn't dubbed'n'minced localized junk) was Love Hina. I thought it was awesome (wow, anime does something besides shouting and fighting?) and I was hooked on romance comedy anime. Later I figured out that the series was, at best, horribly flawed, poorly animated, and loosely adapted. I'd never recommend it now except as a point of academic interest (and Motoko's story still happens to be a favorite of mine).

The point is, though, I enjoyed it at the time (new stuff!!!) I've since gone on to find much much better examples of the genre. So it goes... Once in a while you DO happen to land on the best thing evar on your first try - but often its really just the amazement of the newness. For me, the hunt is now about looking for gems in the mud. You still have to play in the mud (watch a lot of anime --- at least the first couple of episodes) but watch for clues that quickly indicate you're grabbing mud instead of a gem so you can move on.

Last edited by Vexx; 2012-01-31 at 15:07.
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Old 2012-01-31, 14:43   Link #27
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I have an opposite experience. I've become less critical as time has gone on, I've been able to expand my tastes to new horizons. Things I did not care to see earlier, I now appreciate more.

I started as an anime fan as a super critical person. I never REALLY had this candy store feeling because I always found it hard to find titles I like. Considering it was something like Cowboy Bebop which got me more interested in anime, it shouldn't be too hard to imagine why, there's almost nothing like it. Most anime used to be pretty trashy in comparison (And if you ask me today, I still say there is little that compares to that master piece).

Do I envy innocent anime fans? Absolutely not. I value my approach to understanding and appreciating different stories, dissecting the ideas and themes of stories and trying to get some sort of personal meaning, substance from my entertainment. My approach has offered me the greatest form of entertainment, something I find to be a bit more fulfilling.

I don't bother trying to lead innocent anime fans to think like I do, they don't have to and there's no "right" way for people in general. Lets face it, most people seem to enjoy things on a first level basis only. They'll get giddy if a character is GAR, or if a character is moe, if it has pretty art and visuals, if it has a catch j-pop song. For me, these are the hardest people to communicate in general with.

Not that I don't like the more simple entertainment here and there, but my favorites have always been things with more depth and complexity than the usual ilk of anime. Because of this, I've never really shared the same experience as you guys, nor do I envy it.
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Old 2012-01-31, 14:43   Link #28
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To contribute one more related thought to the pile, I'd like to submit that what the viewer is trying to get out of anime (or what it was that drew them to anime in the first place) also plays a role in this equation.

Of course, when we were new to anime, part of the appeal was that it was new and different to us. But for some people, that sense of newness and excitement was critical to their enjoyment. In that case, it's quite likely that increased exposure will really dampen their passion for the medium, and that can be accelerated by "over-dosing". But for some people, there are certain specific things -- themes, emotions, character types, art styles, etc. -- that appealed to them even beyond the "newness". And for those people, even an seemingly-endless amount of experience can still not dampen the sense of excitement they feel when they watch a show that strikes the same chords. It may not even matter how "bad" the critics say that thing is -- so long as it's striking the right chords with that person, they'll still love it.

I think some of the veterans dismiss those sorts of specific passions as folly, naivety, or a lack of critical thinking. They base their definition of good and bad off of their own criteria, which are usually the same criteria of those who make it their mission to watch as much material within a medium as possible. But I think having these sorts of specific passions and focusing on those, perhaps even at the expense of having some sort of "broad, balanced exposure to the entire medium", can mean that you can get enjoyment from something much longer than others will. And, in that case, I think you can still have the benefit of experience, and ability to analyse things on a critical level, without necessarily falling victim to the destructive thought pattern that the vast majority of everything sucks (and the even more dangerous but oft-seen corollary, that people who like those things anyway are either unsophisticated, or simply idiots).

So I don't know if I necessarily envy the wide-eyed innocence of new viewers, but I can say that I definitely do not envy the jaded veterans who seem to hate everything but still watch it all anyway out of habit. They can sometimes tend to imply that arriving at their destination and conclusion is everyone's ultimate destiny, but I think that people can forge their own path if they focus on compounding enjoyment rather than just gaining experience.
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Old 2012-01-31, 18:06   Link #29
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Some of you said that after becoming experienced with the media, the best course of action is to guide the newcomers, show them the good stuff. I have to disagree with that, honestly. As many of you said yourselves, when you first watched those horrid shows that you now think were a waste of time, you still DID enjoy them back then. They served the purpose; entertained.

If a seasoned anime fan were to spoon-feed someone "innocent", not only does that accelerate the coming of an elitist behavior, making them picky way earlier, they'd also run out of watchable material pretty fast. That doesn't help.

And honestly, everyone should just experiment by themselves, gradually refine their tastes and find the right shows for their individual taste. Anime's not an objective-based hobby, one cannot guide others towards the correct path if they don't yet know what their destination is. In entertainment, or art in general, the fun comes from searching for what suits you the best.
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Old 2012-01-31, 18:08   Link #30
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One thing unlikely mentioned so far:

How many of you are past the "everything from Japan is awesome" phase?

Gotta admit. Anime had brought this sort of thinking to many many many people. I remember a time thinking many things Japanese is great. This includes everything from the country itself, culture, products, women, etc. Whatever. You name it. This line of thinking can blind a person from any bad aspects of Japan.
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Old 2012-01-31, 18:32   Link #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyuu View Post
One thing unlikely mentioned so far:

How many of you are past the "everything from Japan is awesome" phase?

Gotta admit. Anime had brought this sort of thinking to many many many people. I remember a time thinking many things Japanese is great. This includes everything from the country itself, culture, products, women, etc. Whatever. You name it. This line of thinking can blind a person from any bad aspects of Japan.
Well, most of that comes from Japan (or east in general) being so different from us, the western audience. It almost feels like an alien world at first.

With that said, does interesting still mean awesome, or is that beyond the dividing line in your opinion? But I get what you mean, Japan is as disturbing as it is amazing. Like most countries, anyway. Their xenophobic mentality rubs me the wrong way the most though. =/
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Old 2012-01-31, 18:39   Link #32
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I was never easily impressed. I remember being harsh to shows like RahXephon, Fruits Basket, and Hellsing. If anything, I would guess I am getting less and less critical over time.

Yeah, I don't like Madoka Magica or Fate/zero... but I like them better than Bokurano and Fate/stay night. Yeah, I think K-On! has no soul... but neither did Ichigo Mashimaro.

Basically, I never liked shows that I don't like in the first place, so I never stopped liking the shows I never liked.
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Old 2012-01-31, 19:11   Link #33
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Originally Posted by Kyuu View Post
One thing unlikely mentioned so far:

How many of you are past the "everything from Japan is awesome" phase?

Gotta admit. Anime had brought this sort of thinking to many many many people. I remember a time thinking many things Japanese is great. This includes everything from the country itself, culture, products, women, etc. Whatever. You name it. This line of thinking can blind a person from any bad aspects of Japan.
I was never in the "everything from Japan is awesome", mostly because I came into pop culture/anime from the other direction. I was already studying japanese traditional culture, architecture, history, etc. So I already was quite aware of the unpleasant bits as well as the pretty bits. Every culture has its acne as well as its beauty.
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Old 2012-01-31, 19:13   Link #34
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Aha, I suppose it is easy for me, since I started out hating anime. I remember watching shiz like pokemon and DBZ and thought they were okay at first but quickly fell apart as they went on and on and on. The first subtitled animu my friends showed me was Love Hina, and I absolutely despised what I saw and said "Is that how anime is like now-- crappy perverted jokes and worthless people?"

There was one exception-- and that was Yu Yu Hakusho, but I took that an exception.

I then received some subtitled animu from people. What was there? There was Samurai Deeper Kyo, which was the cheapest looking thing Deen has ever done (quite an accomplishment) and .hack sign which really bored the heck out of me. Back then, I completed every anime I would see, even if I hated it just to guilt trip my friends for recommending me this shit and so they'd never send me any more anime.

Fortunately Adult Swim eventually redeemed anime for me, giving me stuff like FLCL, Trigun, Paranoia Agent, and the Big O. Cartoon Network also greeted me with Kenshin and thus I saw them as exceptions but still regarded anime in a bad light.

It wasn't until Haruhi Suzumiya came along before I would attempt to really take anime as a serious genre, and with the explosion of fansubs, I started to take a lot more interest. I've went through several cycles of Joy, apathy, despair, and revival and realize it'll probably happen again and thus I don't really mind.

A few years ago, I avoided Kanon and Clannad because I decided that Kyoani was too dedicated to making moeshit, and the only good thing they did was Haruhi and that was overrated too. Well, sure I liked Air, but apparently being slightly more obscure = good. Well, that's changed eh?

If I ending up hating anime, it doesn't matter. I've always hated anime, it's just that recently, I've been hating a lot less.
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Old 2012-01-31, 19:29   Link #35
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Originally Posted by Last Sinner View Post
Both perspectives are double-edged swords that come with perks and perils.
History does matter. What may seem original/the best now may have been done in the past and heavily influenced that title, maybe better.

But on the flipside, that can taint a veteran's perspective somewhat. When you think you've seen the same old in a newer title, it can discourage them from continuing. Sometimes that approach may have merit, but not always. Apathy and ego are a bitter enemy of an anime veteran
There are two phenomena:
1) The anime newbie finds novelty in anime which boosts enjoyment. Novelty declines as experience increases.
2) The anime veteran finds depth in anime which boosts enjoyment. Depth increases as experience increases.

Recognizing a well-used trope can be un-fun, if the trope is not original.

Recognizing a well-used trope can be fun, if the trope is used to avert a stereotype.

Watching Madoka as a newbie is probably not as fun as watching Madoka as a veteran. The veteran can appreciate how much Madoka builds on the foundations of earlier magical girl shows.

Similarly, reading modern literature (e.g. Walker Percy) is more fun for people who know Shakespeare than it is for people who don't.
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Old 2012-01-31, 19:35   Link #36
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...It wasn't until Haruhi Suzumiya came along before I would attempt to really take anime as a serious genre, and with the explosion of fansubs, I started to take a lot more interest....
Ah ha! Another person roped in via KyoAni! For me it was the Clannad: After Story OP (as I think I mentioned to you some time back).

****

To come back to the question posed by Kyuu - I would say that I am still a little in love with Japan, but with a lot of qualifications. What Vexx says is absolutely true - every culture has its ugly and beautiful side - and Japan is no exception. But I guess I consistently remind myself of the aspects of Japan I love, and have loved for many decades now. I guess this could be called "remembering your first loves", but remembering them in the right way. And this actually ties back into part of the OP's questions.

One of the things that has been identified as undesirable by a number of posters in the thread is embracing a state of familiarity (in the bad sense) or taking things for granted. Well, one way I have found that helps avoid these things is this very "remembering your first love" principle - again, if done in the right way.
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Old 2012-01-31, 19:49   Link #37
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I think for most anime fans their first year or so as a fan is a very exciting time, because this is for most of us a foreign form of entertainment. You generally don't go into the world of anime knowing it like the back of your hand. There is a point for most "gaijin" anime fans when anime is very new and fresh.
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Of course, when we were new to anime, part of the appeal was that it was new and different to us.
Interestingly, I was never "new" (as such) to anime. I'm Austrian, and when I was a kid my TV experience was dominated by cartoons from two countries: USA and Japan. I can't remember when I first heard the term anime, but by the time I heard it, I'd already had a history of watching it. (I'd just call anime Japanese cartoons - the German equivalent term, that is.)

But of course, what I watched as a child was a very limited selection. There were several times when I got to know a new aspect of anime. (My first encounter with in-your-face-panties was in Agent Aika. God, how confused I was. I stared at the screen and thoguht I was watching something that kids did to try and look like grown-up perverts. It was... odd.)

As a child, what I saw was mostly World Master Piece Theatre stuff, but also other shows such as Sindbad or Kimba, the White Lion or Captain Future. Notice a trend? Not a single anime that was set in Japan. The first one I'd seen that had a Japanese School setting was Attaku No. 1, an anime produced in the late sixties/early seventies, but not broadcast in German until the early nineties. I was fascinated by the cultural stuff. After that, Japanese settings were more common (e.g. the Sailor Moon craze that swept the country).

My first subbed anime was Silent Möbius (the TV series); for that it has sentimental value. I'd like to see it again some day, just to see whether it holds up...

I only recently discovered the wonderful world of fansubs, watching a lot of anime like that. Watching that much all at once, I did get a better sense for tropes and such, but it wasn't really new. It's just that - whereas before I was limited to what they would show on TV, in the cinema, or what I could buy in stores - now I suddenly had access to pretty much the entire current output of the industy. So I did watch a bit too much all at once. But my taste was pretty much in place. No big surprises.

I've practically grown into anime all my life. There was never a single big wow-moment. There were many smaller revelations (the first Japanese setting, the first dubbed anime, and some more), but that's about it.

Availability, though, does make a difference. Back in the seventies/eighties/nineties/naughties I'd watch pretty much any anime they'd show on TV. (That would include kiddy shows, such as Hamtaro, or Magical DoReMi...) With a wider selection of anime, of couse I became a bit more discerning. Do I want to go back to the "good old days, when I started watching anime"? No. No no no no no no. I like to have shows to choose from, thank you very much. I would never have sat through Dragon Knight, if I hadn't been anime-starved at the time. Did I say, I was watching everything?
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Old 2012-01-31, 20:20   Link #38
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Watching Madoka as a newbie is probably not as fun as watching Madoka as a veteran. The veteran can appreciate how much Madoka builds on the foundations of earlier magical girl shows.
It doesn't necessarily work that way. There are long time watcher such as I, who don't care about a meta-series perspective and take everything at face value. I find creating enjoyment as an extension of myself artificial, and being sort of the same thing as those people who watch shows they know they won't like yet have fun overthinking and criticizing them. I don't use my experience for things like that.
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Old 2012-01-31, 20:37   Link #39
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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
Aha, I suppose it is easy for me, since I started out hating anime.
...
If I ending up hating anime, it doesn't matter. I've always hated anime, it's just that recently, I've been hating a lot less.
Surely you're being very loose with the term "hatred"? You've ended up on an anime site, after all, and you've been here for a few years!
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Old 2012-01-31, 20:42   Link #40
Archon_Wing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem View Post
Surely you're being very loose with the term "hatred"? You've ended up on an anime site, after all, and you've been here for a few years!
Well, you have to go somewhere to complain about stuff, and to find stuff to complain about!

My very first post was in that worthless hate thread "Anime you hate but everyone else likes" (which is still alive ). And then I came to witness the spectacle of endless eight to rant and watch people suffer.

However, since then I've found much more legitimate and productive reasons to post though.

But yea, by and large, I don't blindly hate tv series for being animated by Japanese studios. Though once in a while I relapse.

In all seriousness, even though I like to run around with "hater" in my custom title, it's more of a legacy, usually... (Unless it involves like p4 or something)
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