I often wonder, when did I become so critical? When during my endeavors did I become such a prick? Why do I get so angry at ignorance, and why do I feel it necessary to wave my opinion around in everyone's face? Why am I now part of this group that has been labeled as elitist?
This new attitude that I have adopted of being overly critical on the entertainment I view; is the direct result of my anime viewing. I started off as any other wistful teenager, perfectly content viewing my Naruto and Bleach each week. I didn't need anything else, in my narrow scope these series were good, amazing and I spent so many hours watching the anime and reading the manga. This did not last though, I started to view more anime, started to pick up on tropes, the cliché's that managed to show their ugly heads in every series. I started to get angry, annoyed, even stopped watching anime. I then, for a short while became a movie buff. However, the cycle repeated itself. I became disturbed, thought that I was the one at fault, for not accepting these. I looked around and everyone else seemed to enjoy the series, but I couldn't, not anymore. I grew aware of these problems while others simply ignored them, but I couldn't ignore them.
I decided to give anime a chance again, approached it in a narrow view and was able to start taking it face value again. Anime was entertaining, the flashy explosion, excessive fan-service, the cliché and tropes, I embraced them all, was full aware of their existence, but enjoyed the shows in spite of them. I watched and my understanding grew, I became to appreciate entertainment as that, entertainment. I looked away from the faults of shows, but at the same time grew to appreciate those that stood above the rest on a higher level.
Then I mistakenly became active on the internet. I wanted to discuss anime with others, because I had so few friends in my life that actually enjoyed anime. I browsed forums, blogs, and offical websites. However, as I surfed I got the same overwhelming response, every show was the greatest, and every show was the worst. The ability to look away from the surface level in anime seemed to be missing from the communities. People either loved a show or they hated it, there was no middle ground. If someone loved a show then it was blasphemes to say anything negative about the show and if you defended a show that someone hated then you were flamed for it. It was all personal feelings, nor constructive arguments or anything of the sort.
Eventually I grew tired of the nonsensical flame-wars that seemed to engulf the the anime community. I started to lash out, pointed out the problems in shows, in often very arrogant tones. I became desperate to convey any sort of sense to these fans. I eventually gathered the title of an elitist. At first I was annoyed at this title, but I grew to welcome it. I searched for my other so called elitist and found the arguments and conversations to be more stimulating. Bashing and flame-wars still existed, but where much less frequent.
It was like a haven, a place where I could be myself. People understood each other, we/I knew what entertainment value was, but we also knew to analyze a series, how to pick out the faults of it. There was no turning away, I was able to list my favorite series and have conversations about them, why I enjoyed them and even accepted the criticism that came with it. I became more aware of what it was that drew people to a certain show, movie, or anime series.
I matured with the tittle and it grew on me. I welcome the title and the criticism that comes with it. I no longer mind being called an “jerk” or any of insults that were thrown at me. I like having an opinion, we all do, there is nothing wrong with it. Everything at the end is subjective, but I embrace this feeling that I can share my opinion with others and have not it cast aside, but rather embraced and discussed. I have an opinion, and what's more I know why my opinion is that. I am able to look at the wider range of things, my vision isn't narrow, I understand this. I welcome this elitism because it will always mean a wider range of opinions and a larger scale of discussion.