NOTE: This blog is a bit personal, a bit of a rant, and might even come off as pretentious. It is mostly unedited because I wrote it as a way of getting things off my chest.
A part of me wishes I would stop reading comments and discussion about Flowers of Evil. People are still criticizing the anime for taking its rotoscoping approach. Recently the video and images of the live-action that they rotoscoped over for the anime were posted on niconicodouga, and some people have claimed that it is actually better than the finished anime.
I read another comment (from a few weeks ago) saying something to the effect that "I hope they keep the semi-rape scene". I'm not sure which scene they are referring to since I have not read the manga, possibly it is the one from episode 3. Then I realized how disturbing it actually is for someone to hope for a rape scene. Is this the type of people that watch anime? Is this what people think of when I tell them that I like watching anime? That I look forward to loli-sex scenes and the like?
It doesn't help that Flowers of Evil stars a male lead who I identify with to a large extent. So when people criticize the character for being weak-willed, indecisive, a wimp. I feel like they just are not taking the time and effort to understand his character and where he is coming from. It is one thing to say that he has acted wrongly and condemn him for his actions (for example stealing Saeki's uniform). It is another thing to just ignore him, call him names and conclude that the world is better without scum like him. By extension then, sometimes I feel like people who criticize characters like Kasuga, or Shinji from Evangelion, are also criticizing me. That by extension, I'm weak-willed, indecisive, not worth paying attention to, not worth trying to understand etc.
Part of the reason that I continue to write comments on this website, and write occasional blogs is because I hope that by doing so, I will be able to help open people's perspectives. Maybe if I write my thoughts on an anime, or an episode I just watched, I can help people look at anime differently, or consider something that they have not considered before. Another part of the reason I continue writing on this website is because by writing about anime I am simultaneously trying to figure out more about myself. Why do I watch anime? What do I find interesting/fun/cool/, why do I find it interesting, and what does this say about myself as a person?
So, I try to keep an open mind when looking at characters and judging characters. Trying to understand a character is like trying to understand another person. The difference of course being that these characters were created, and their actions scripted by the author. Characters are kind of like foils or examples. And it's just annoying to read comments where it is pretty clear that little effort is being made to try and understand characters or their story. This does not just go for characters that I relate to. I like to believe that every anime is interesting on some level. The very fact that a certain anime gets produced is enough to start a discussion.
Again, perhaps this is all just me trying to justify my hobby, to justify all the hours I have spent over the years watching anime, trying to justify that my education in the humanities is worth it and relevant to everyday life.
P.S. On a lighter note... I only realized after I wrote this that there is some good discussion going on at the Crunchyroll Flowers of Evil Discussion thread (you just have to go to the latest pages). I'll probably somehow end up posting comments both in the anime vice discussion thread and CR. It's not spam if they don't know I wrote it on another site! >=D