It’s natural for our opinions to change over time as we acquire new knowledge and experiences, for us to realize we may have been hasty with our ideas, or that we just plain made a mistake. So it is with blogging as it is with other aspects of life; for those of us who have been blogging a long time, I’m sure we can all cite past posts where we wrote things we later regretted. Perhaps we wrote a post criticizing a particular anime only to find out after a second viewing some time later that it isn’t as bad as we first thought. Or maybe we wrote a post about a certain aspect of anime fandom that, as time went on and we became a more mature, well-versed fan, we realized we should have expressed our feelings differently. Today I thought I’d do some self-reflecting in that area and pick out posts that I’ve written over the years that I regret in some way now, and I would also like to invite my fellow anime bloggers to do the same…
I’m sure if I went through every post I’ve written since starting this blog in 2006, I would find more regretted posts than just the three I’ve discussed below. But these are the three I remember even though years have gone by, so that’s a good indication that they’re at least among the top regretted posts I’ve ever written.
So, without further adieu, let me start owning up to my mistakes!
In this post I discussed the lack I felt of female anime fans within the fandom. What was kinda funny about this one is that, if you look at some of the later comments, particularly the ones posted on October 3rd, over a week after writing the post, they’re all quite negative…and they’re all from people who had never commented on my blog before. I remember writing a reply to one only to have another negative comment from someone else I don’t know pop up. They kept coming one right after the other that day and it was weirding me out – the fact that none of them had Gravatars and they all came on the same day made me think that someone had linked the post on a popular site, perhaps an LJ page of like-minded people, and from there they all followed the link to my post.
But I digress, the negative comments did bring up some valid points and looking back on it now, I should have revised things I said, particularly in my 5th and 6th paragraphs. I made generalizations about how female fans relate to the hobby that I shouldn’t have and I really don’t have that much experience with a whole variety of fans to make the assumptions I did. I was mostly going by people I see at conventions and encounter online, which can’t accurately tell you the relationship these people have with their hobby. Plus I didn’t make it clear what I mean by an “anime fan” to begin with and what kind of relationship with the hobby that entails. So yeah, I don’t regret writing the entire post, but I regret a bunch of things I said in it.
In this post I discussed some reasons why I felt typical Americans can’t get into anime. The first reason I discussed, and the one I wrote the most about, is unfortunately the one I dearly regret. I said that anime’s emphasis on continuity in their stories is less appealing to “lazy” Americans who want to be able to watch and enjoy something right away and not have to worry about “starting from episode 1 in order to get what’s going on.” First of all, I made it seem like only anime has episodes with narrative continuity, while most American shows are episodic, which is not true. Even though I hardly watch American TV, I know there are plenty of American shows that have a continuing story. But honestly, with the prevalence of slice-of-life anime in recent years, there are just as many episodic anime as there are story-focused anime. Also, now that I think about it, if a show is genuinely good you should be able to watch it at any episode and enjoy it, whether it’s an episodic series or not. So the whole point I made of “anime has continuity and American shows don’t” doesn’t have much validity. The other points I made in the post after that are alright, I just regret those first few paragraphs.
Wow, two regretted posts on the same day, two years apart. September 21st is not my day for blogging apparently XD
This is one of my older posts, written almost five years ago, and it kinda shows in my writing style. I wasn’t quite out of the “anime is better than all other TV shows/movies” phase, and thus I was pretty biased in this post. I think the main problem with it is that it was too large a topic to discuss for one post – each of the subtitled sections I had in the post could have been posts in themselves, and I really needed to cite examples and delve further into each comparison. And again, I have little experience with American cartoons, TV shows, and movies, so who am I to make these comparisons anyway? This post was the result of my yearning to rationalize why I like anime so much and don’t care for American media, which ultimately doesn’t need any rationalizing because it’s just a matter of cultural preferences and personal tastes. And I really should have cited exceptional American TV shows and movies, as well as crappy anime, to balance things out. But yeah, I was too biased in this post and the ideas I brought up should have been expanded on with real examples. I brought up some good points, but as a whole, it’s definitely a post I regret.
It’s funny that I can’t recall anything regretful in any anime review post I’ve written – only in editorial-type posts like this that discuss general anime fandom. Maybe it’s because I’ve watched so many series over the years that the only way I’d change my opinion is if I watch the series again, which I rarely do for any but my favorites. But anyway, I’d like to invite all of my fellow anime bloggers to also think about things they’ve said in past posts that they regret now. Perhaps even write a post about it the way I did here XD After all, it’s admirable when someone admits mistakes they’ve made or that their opinion has changed, especially here on the Internet where impregnable opinions seem to be the norm =P