I’ve seen some Twitter talk regarding anibloggers hosting their own panels at anime conventions for a while and it got me thinking what I would like to discuss if I ever got to partake in the activity. There’s a few subjects that interest me that I don’t write about on my blog because words can’t really express them properly. Stuff like starting an anime blog and how to be popular. Thoughts regarding what anime are essential viewing. Who would win in a “battle of the awesome” between Kamina from TTGL and Mako from KLK? Honestly, if the opportunity comes for me to host that kind of stuff, I’ll be all over it.
But more than any subject I can think of related to anime culture, the panel I’d like to host the most, if I ever got the chance, would be an “Anime That Everyone Disagrees With You” panel.
Despite how I might seem in my writing and all, I like differing opinions. I think they make the world a better place and it leads to all sorts of conversations that can help you learn not just about the person, but also about the anime itself. One of the main reasons I started the blog was to ask “do you see what I see?” and have them go “well yeah, but…”. I mean obviously, I don’t dislike people who think differently from me. Aside from the fact that I’d have to hate everyone on the planet if I did, I would have to hate my real-life friends who adore stuff like Sword Art Online and The Pet Girl of Sakurasou whilst they go “What the fuck is this pile of shit?” whenever I try to show them Detroit Metal City or Popee the Performer – yes this actually happened. Controversial opinions and all that just tickle my fancy – mostly when I’m the one doing it, but I’m only human – and motivates me to write more than singing the same old praise for Baccano that everyone else does.
What I “don’t” like, and this applies to me too considering I’ve noticed my “less than savory” reputation amongst some other anime guys, are opinions that feel like they’re half-assing between being professional and personal, or they lean too far to one side without even considering the other. It’s bad enough that I can’t read some of my old stuff on Kokoro Connect without closing the window, so you can bet that I’m not going to read your stuff if you partake in that activity. Long story short, I hate opinions – good or bad – when the person doesn’t “get” what they’re criticizing (or alternatively, when their reasons for not getting it are explained poorer than anything coming out of the mouths of one of those men’s rights activists). Yes I don’t exactly have a high opinion of Muppets Take Manhatten. That doesn’t mean I have to be ignorant of what the whole point of the film was and whatnot. I just happen to think Manhattan was too awkward and mediocre to make the whole “sad Muppets splitting apart” thing actually work.
With that said, I am aware of the limitations caused by words. I could explain why Manhattan is awkward as hell on a separate post, but in addition to the fact that explaining why you don’t like something because of atmosphere or whatever is tough enough on its own, the Internet by itself is a strange, evil behemoth that has a tendency to warp things beyond recognition, good intentions or not. Hell, it might be warping my words right now. I could do a vlog or a podcast, but not many people want to listen to those and I’m sure the Internet will still find a way to mess those up. Monologues aren’t exactly the safest thing for the whole world to see.
The most fun I ever have with my opinions on anime and whatnot is when I go on Skype calls with my colleagues, whether it’s to record a podcast or just friendly banter before watching something horrible. Well, I lie. The most fun I have is when I meet with them in person, like I did at Anime Boston recently. But of course, the price for that is too expensive to do on a regular basis, so I have to settle for Skype most of the time. And let me tell you, talking with other people is great, partly because you have a specific outlet to talk to, and also because responses are quick and unstilted (once you get used to it I mean) without that 140 character limit that Twitter has.
Spoken discussions like that give the perfect environment for people to see the other side of the coin and whatnot. It allows for clearer reasoning and unless someone is a true jackass, there’s no over exaggerated yelling or dry sarcasm for comedic effect that may or may not work. And above all, when we agree/disagree with someone in person, we can become more involved in said person’s views without necessarily changing it or ours in turn. Ironically, by being free of the restrictions placed on the written side of things, we are free to truly express ourselves as respectable people. And when it comes to the world of opinions, especially in regards to our different artistic priorities, I want to hear them from people whose opinions I can respect.
Also, the more people I can respect, the better. Sure it’s fun to talk to the same people over and over again as long as something new pops up, but it feels limiting in a way, and it can get repetitive if new stuff doesn’t pop up regularly. Which is why I’d like to host a panel regarding the subject at an anime con one day. Because a panel – provided it’s popular enough – would draw a lot of physical people. More opinions. More respect. More fun. Hell, if it turns out well, I’d like to make it a regular event whenever I go to one of them conventions. I’d call out people for an hour or so, they bring up an anime they have an unpopular opinion of, and we can do a quick (and hopefully funny) discussion regarding why that person has it. The other members of the audience would get involved to if they want, provided that said involvement doesn’t involve “judging the person” and disturbing the panel in general. Great way to know the person, the anime, and possibly extra stuff as a whole. What’s not to like?
I’m not hosting the panel by myself though. Someone’s going to have to join me.