Kimi no Na Wa Is Apparently The Number One Anime Of All-Time

And we all know MAL wouldn’t lie to us…right?

We’ll have to see what happens when people can access a copy of the movie that isn’t a shitty Chinese rip, but the fact that the audience who watched said rip rated the film so high in the first place really speaks well regarding just how far Makoto Shinkai has come over the years. Regardless of my actual thoughts on the movie – which I’ve made clear was far from masterpiece levels of positive – I’m really glad for the dude and am hopeful that Your Name’s success (no, I’m not calling it by the weeaboo name) will finally put him on the same level of recognition as Hayao Miyazaki and Satoshi Kon. They may not make the best of anime these days, but in an industry that is getting increasingly commercial with no end to the growth in site, directors like Yoshiura Yasuhiro, Makoto Shinkai, and Mamoru Hosada are our last remaining auteurs. And when one of them makes an anime that’s not only successful with the anime fans, but also a good chunk of the mainstream in general (the Japanese box office has got to be a good chunk higher than the initial $58 million on opening day by now), I think that should be celebrated, even if you may have wished it be a different director instead.

Of course, with fame comes trouble, and there’s already a bunch of people pouring out of the woodworks to talk about how they don’t care about Your Name, or Shinkai in general, arguing about stuff like “I need more than two minutes of actual character interaction” or “this makes no sense”. Which I’d say is a good thing. I like seeing a little controversy on products, regardless of whether or not I actually enjoy it, because it helps to keep anime alive for years on end (certainly helping Clannad after all this time at any rate). And more importantly, it keeps the fucktards who either lean too far to one side or the other to go to war with each other, far away from me, and hopefully they’ll kill each other in the process so I never have to meet them. People say neutrality is submission to the enemy. I say as long as both sides say that and I stay alive long enough to see One Piece finally end, it doesn’t matter one bit.

I said this before in the latest season preview, but I really don’t like to keep up with the anime community, or whatever they think is cool at the moment. These days, I don’t even read other blogs or the anime news or whatever. Anime fandom has always been a bit insular what with anime still being seen as too silly a medium for the mainstream, but I can’t even understand what the nerd crowd is saying anymore. I know the Internet Age has made being into Spiderman the next “sexy” or whatever, but there’s a difference between “sexy” and “special”. And I don’t see the appeal nor the specialness in regards to speaking in a language that only those who get anime-isms would understand, whereas a normal person would be left scratching his head regarding the logic that allows young women to stand in line outside whilst wearing thongs in the middle of the rain. Or why this tweet that consists of nothing but a non-Simpsons quote just got a hundred likes. Or anything involving Gundam nerds.

The biggest problem I have with being surrounded by a community though is that in this age of overblown hype and instant information, they can make you misremember your own opinion on a show (in both a positive or a negative way), and it doesn’t exactly help that sometimes I feel like I’m the only blogger around whose brain works properly. I thought Kabaneri was a solid show after I finished it, but I’m not sure what I would have thought if I had paid attention to the Biba hatred during that final stretch. And I’m pretty sure a bunch of my hatred for Classroom Crisis was because people were praising things that I didn’t get or didn’t think was worthy of praise (although that didn’t change the fact that I thought that start was awful visual novel garbage before I even knew it was written by a visual novel writer). Ultimately, my opinions are my own, but I’ve been in enough situations where I’ve coasted on hype during a show’s airing to know how dangerous it can be, especially when said hype inevitably fades and the show has to stand on its own. Remember Mayoiga, guys? How many of you who found it funny on airing think it’ll hold up if you saw it now?

And of course, there’s only so much hype to go around, so when a community pays attention to a select few shows and you don’t go out of your way to do your own searching, you can miss out on good shit that no one’s paying attention to because some fucktard didn’t like it/pre-judged it before he even saw it and spread his cancerous word amongst the masses to watch his own shit instead (if you think I’m talking about you, relax. I’m not). Further complicating things is when people only pay attention to a show for its style, which as I’ve stated in my review of The Get Down is a shit reason to give hype towards because that sort of appeal fades after five seconds. Then there’s people using past history as a reason to avoid something, which is the main reason why Euphonium and Shirobako got shafted during their early runs. Granted, they turned audiences’ minds around as they went on, but it shouldn’t have gotten to that first stage for either of them in the first place. Don’t even get me started on people using past history as a reason to look forward to something. Need me to namedrop Mayoiga again?

Also, is it me, or does the anime community just not watch much non-anime shows unless it’s stuff like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead (and even that kind of fan is hard to find at times)? I notice that none of the people who praise Re:Zero for how shitty its main character is has ever name-dropped Bojack Horseman aka the most famous cartoon as of right now next to Rick and Morty for its jackass characters, depressive story lines, and the amount of weirdness combined with its unique animation techniques used to express all this heavy shit. How come I’ve never seen a single one of you guys mention this thing? What, not Japanese enough for you guys? Or do you find the sight of a half-man, half-horse too ugly?

So yeah, the anime community can be very selective in mostly bad ways. But at the same time, this community I actively avoid is the reason that anime continues to get made in the first place, so I can’t just dismiss them out of hand. As much as I don’t care to read the forum posts on MAL (especially the ones that are asking if the anime deserves to surpass FMA: Brotherhood in terms of ranking), Your Name needs these sorts of discussions if it wants to survive in the long run because anime creators care more about the faceless online masses than they do me. And if it’s controversial, even better, because that’ll keep Shinkai from ever playing it safe in his career. After all, you don’t want to end up like Naotaka Hayashi and be held up to an impossible standard after just one amazing kinda decent anime that he obviously can’t reproduce. Not that that’s stopped the general anime fandom from getting their hopes up, of course.

Even elitist bait I love that’s destined to never be popular like Concrete Revolutio exists because the creators wanted to impart something to people that they’ve never experienced before. And they can only do that by paying close attention to the community’s activities and figuring out what hasn’t been done yet. Sure they’re more often going to do the thing that makes them money like Light Novel Adaptation #3864, and it didn’t exactly help that Revolutio ended up getting little marketing and a disappointing budget (especially compare to the other two Bones shows that season) in response to its lackluster reaction, but you got to afford that apartment somehow, right? I mean these guys obviously love cartoons, but they aren’t exactly worth sacrificing everything over. Shinkai’s just one of the lucky few who can get away with listening to the fans whilst not sacrificing his vision. Not only has he stated at AX that he made Your Name in response to the reaction he got from 5/cm (or something to that effect), but Your Name is a serious upgrade in regards to his skills as a director and the story itself is undoubtedly his as well.

I’m not above poking fun at the ridiculous reaction to its quality whilst laughing how it actually is better than everything else in the top five, but at the end of the day, regardless of how good you think it is, is Your Name’s new position as the #1 anime on MAL really something to care about? I’m going to say no. First off, for everything that surrounds an anime and whether you care about the community or not, the only thing that should be used as evidence for an anime’s quality is the anime itself. Pay attention to what’s in front of you. Don’t pay attention to those Metacritic scores that say Monster Hunter is a great game despite the agonizing amount of grinding and unfair mechanics you have to wade through to get to the actual monster hunting in the first place, because obviously they like them for some weird reason and you don’t. And that’s fine. Everything is subjective.

Second, does it really matter these days what connects with the mainstream and what doesn’t? A lot of people loved One-Punch Man when it aired whilst hating on Concrete Revolutio when it came out in the same day, and look at how that turned out for me? I ended up putting the latter amongst my favorites, eagerly look forward to it getting released on blu-ray, and still talk about the former with my friends. I have no beef with the large amounts of OPM cosplayers and events every time I go to a con. In addition to the fact that you never should, I’d been dealing with the Deadpool fandom for a while now, plus the me on this blog is a me that I leave behind when I close my laptop. Which I should do soon, because I’ve been typing this thing for hours now, I’ve said almost everything I wanted to say, and I’m getting sleep…

Zzzzzzzzzzzz…

…..

.

…ah crap, fell asleep for a bit. Anyways, how you deal with this current generation of anime fandom is up to you, but remember this: they are important to the medium that you love, but that doesn’t mean you have to care about them. Just watch Your Name when it comes out properly, decide whether you like it or not, and ignore everyone else’s thoughts whilst doing so. If you’re having trouble with the last part, just treat them the same way you want to be treated and things should work out fine. Seems to be doing alright for me. I don’t want to know, nor care at all, what activities those folks at AniTwitter are participating in at this very moment. And they don’t know or care that I just murdered four prostitutes in the back alleys of Downtown Dallas.

Minor Quips

  • Hopefully I’ll still be alive when The Simpsons finally ends.
  • So who wants to place bets regarding whether or not Koe no Katachi ranks just as high?
  • Isn’t watching a shitty ripped file of a Makoto Shinkai movie like watching an Alfonso Cuaron film with the TV turned off and the external blu-ray speakers on?

12 responses to “Kimi no Na Wa Is Apparently The Number One Anime Of All-Time

  1. I think one thing to note is that the average anime fan is much younger than the average fan of non-Japanese animation or TV shows or movies. And with that younger age comes an immaturity – a need for their opinions to be quantified by the masses. It also doesn’t really help that anime itself isn’t taken seriously by the masses to warrant “real” critics having a say in what is and isn’t good leading to “anime critics” telling us the best shows are something like Soul Eater or Attack on Titan or something.

    And like you, I too have become tired of the anime community. The only anime blog I still follow is yours, and I used to read quite a number of them. It really is quite lonely having “unique” taste, but hey, that only makes our experiences and reactions to media that no one else loves all the more special doesn’t it?

    • I think one thing to note is that the average anime fan is much younger than the average fan of non-Japanese animation

      I don’t think so. Most kids grow up watching Cartoon Network and Disney films, right? And I’m pretty sure the average anime fan (at least from my generation) watched The Simpsons growing up. Now Bojack, it’s true most young fans wouldn’t watch that, but given its huge success, surely most anime fans would have at least heard of it. Or is that too much to ask?

      It really is quite lonely having “unique” taste

      E. Minor’s taste is pretty unique and he keeps up with current anime word even less than I do. And Draggle mostly stays away from the common word as well, although his “unique” taste is most likely not compatible with your “unique” taste.

      • What I’ve noticed is that a small but vocal number of critics of the film have created a sort of echo chamber and set a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy amongst each other with regards to how bad they think the film is. You could say the same for a lot of people hailing it with praise (I enjoyed it a lot, probably my top anime movie to date).

        I’m not dismissing their experiences as false, but I think one of the bad things about delving too deep into the anime community is the emergence of this sort of bias reinforcing behavior. Rather than reaching their own conclusions about something, people let their expectations be shaped by others.

  2. Great piece! I tend to keep up with the anime community, but I’m more so interested in the anime community of the past rather than the anime community of the present, mostly because I’ve been going through my massive backlog of shows I’ve yet to expose myself to (mostly early to mid 2000s stuff), and I’m really interested in what people thought about some of these back in the day just because of either the show pulling some crazy bait-and-switch, or because I thought it was really good and I was interested in figuring out why it got forgotten. It’s a bit more interesting, too, because I’ve noticed the Animesuki fansubbing community felt a lot more mature than your average trip onto /r/anime today. There were arguments, there were disagreements, but at the very least, people could provide their own insight and analysis without being handwaved and told they were “looking too much into things”. Which I feel can be somewhat of a problem today, and people like Roriconfan’s community certainly aren’t helping with that. If anything, those people are kinda bullying others into thinking exactly like them, and it’s pretty sad. That’s exactly why I can understand you not being to into the community anymore, because it’s filled with both fanboys and just outright hateful people. The anime community was had these people, but their voices are louder today, due to the internet being more accessible.

    “And they don’t know or care that I just murdered four prostitutes in the back alleys of Downtown Dallas.”

    Wait what?

    • I love living far away from anything related to Roriconfan. I was offered to write for an upcoming anime site in order to help bolster its popularity, but when I saw he was a writer, I turned it down. Nobody even knows that site exists now anyways.

  3. Great writeup – agree with a lot of what you’ve got here, especially about ratings. I think a lot of people take them too seriously. I don’t see ratings on MAL as indicative of something being “the greatest” or whatnot – they are more of a gauge of the MAL community’s enjoyment and evaluation of a piece, and how highly they would recommend it. Simply put, a high rated show is well-regarded within in the community, and has a greater chance of being liked by someone who hasn’t seen it. But trying to interpret it as if Gintama is more of a masterpiece than Spirited Away is just an exercise in frustration.

  4. 1. You will die and never see the ending of One Piece and The Simopsons.
    2. I generally don’t get hyped over something that people make a huge deal of. Like Kimi no Na Wa… (Using the original name doesn’t make one a weeaboo, if I knew kanji I would’ve written it in kanji, anyhow, original is good in names)
    3. I haven’t seen this movie, but these weeaboos and anime deviants, sure are on a roll. Give it fucking break! Its just a fucking cartoon… Well I like these shits too.
    4. You are so right about these anime fans who are only about anime!
    I came to the industry as apro fan for 3 years, but Ive never neglected my previous hobbies. I watch new hot movies, TV shows (BBC’s the best, NF and HBO are great, AMC and… rank under em), I even still listen to my old DLed BBC podcasts! Whereas most of anime fans are all about anime, and quite franckly it make me feel disgusted, as I never have or will get the piont in the Idol shitty anime and Mahou Shoujo crap. I may like mainstream, but my most fav anime is Monogatari Series, which is a little underrated, as it is my life long best anime. If you have seen it, you will understand everything I’ve said so far.

    I didn’t want to comment these, but after reading your review, I got the feeling the you may understand my words… As I was unsuccessful so far 😢

    • I may like mainstream, but my most fav anime is Monogatari Series, which is a little underrated

      Underrated my ass. It’s still one of the most popular anime out there.

      If you have seen it, you will understand everything I’ve said so far.

      Hahaha, you’re at the wrong blog if you think you’re going to find praise for Monogatari here.

      • Is it really? Because I get the feeling its not that known to the anime communities… Because I did some researches on various grounds, and its not your popular type, but the type that lives forever.

        And, praise for MS? WTF is that?

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