In Burning Questions, Sam Weller pontificates on, ruminates upon or investigates into any and all anime and manga topics.
One of the more uncomfortable sections of fandom - - whether it's with anime, video games, comics, or otherwise - - are those who go completely out-of-control mad. Often, it’s through a typically lengthy blog post, wherein the offended party proceeds to throw friend and foe alike under the bus. He (or she) has been wronged, and they’re out to let everyone know about it.
And while some enter the fray to diffuse the aggression, others bask in the sidelines and ask, "WHY?!?!" What could make you so upset to disturb the relative peace of the internet?
...and has it ever been anime?
Now, I’ve already asked if an anime can make you cry, but I need to know the other side of the spectrum. Anime oftentimes is designed to cater to a certain level of criteria. Shonen, shoujo, mecha, etc. And it takes care not to stray from these definitions so its audience remains comfortable. But anime can be very affecting, and while it’s easy to inspire tears or sympathy, it can be harder to inspire anger or discontent.
For me, anime rage can take two forms...
- You are genuinely upset at the outcome of a story, and carry that around with you into your daily life.
- You get into an argument with your friend about anime, and the two of you develop some kind of rift.
I have examples of both that have happened to me in my otaku life.
For the former, it was POKEMON. Yes, POKEMON.
Now while I can chalk up my rage to being young and immature; I was livid that Ash didn’t make the Indigo League on his first try. I had followed Ash, Misty and horn-dog Brock through multiple attacks of Team Rocket, heart felt moments with Pikachu, and even saying goodbye to Butterfee. Over 75 episodes had brought Ash and his audience to that hard-won point! He had that tournament in Kanto - - he just had to win!
But he didn’t, due to some B.S. Charizard pulled in the last round. And the fan boy rage ensued.
I specifically remember asking my mother how such a thing could happen. My mom who - - like Ash’s mother - - had no knowledge of Pokemon or tournament fights, calmly explained to me that sometimes, even in stories, things don’t always work out the way we like. Her patience taught me a lesson. Even if you get really upset, anime characters won’t always win a fight. While that might have shaken me to my very core at the time, it was something I had to get used to. I also had to remember that Pokemon aren’t real - - as much as I wanted them to be - - and it was after that point I stopped actively watching that show.
Fooled me once, POKEMON... you won’t fool me again.
Now, the latter instance is something I put a friend through, not myself. And it’s not about a specific anime; it's about what you do in high school when you really like this stuff.
Friend of the Vice Pit, Joe Locastro, had been a buddy of mine since the beginning of my anime viewings. We'd shared a lot of shows together and, generally, had always been of the same opinion when it came to what we liked and disliked. But we also liked to draw, and art... can be serious business.
While we never came to blows over it, Joe and I would often get into competitions over who could draw something better. As fans of anime, drawing skill became a point of pride and we needed it to impress our friends. It started with DBZ-inspired faces, then it evolved into robots and samurai and the dreaded “self-portraiture”.
(Leave it to your imaginations how many fedoras, zippers and large breasted cat girls were rendered).
While we both developed our own sense of style, I always hated how Joe refused to draw with a pencil. He was so smugly convinced that pen was just the way to go that I starting using a pencil almost out of spite. And he also had a better eye for little “anime style” details I missed, but I’d often make up for it in original styling and a dedication to drawing "the Marvel Way," as my books had instructed.
(And by “original styling” I mean using furries in a lot of my pictures).
Though I learned something about figure drawing, I learned more about accepting your friends... despite their reliance on dash lines and robot parts. And I do find that lesson has translated into a healthy attitude regarding online anime discourse.
So what anime related has ever made you TRULY upset, Vicers? Can you forgive and forget? Or does the fire still burn? Make sure to vent in the comments before you blow your top!
Sam Weller is a writer and actor who's scribed for shows like FIRST EDITION, GEEK THERAPY, and most recently BATGIRL: SPOILED. He also really likes anime. To know what is going to happen next, follow@cravesam