(Apologies to anyone expecting this earlier in the week, I've been using the internet a lot less in the hopes of avoiding Dragon Age II spoilers.)
For a while now my opinion of Anime Vice has become more and more concrete, and for a while I was happy to say nothing until two recent events that prompted me to speak out, which I'm now doing. In this blog I'll detail those events and my opinion on Anime Vice in general.
Anime's for jerks - a joke by Jeff Gerstmann many years a go that has unintenationally spawned a lot of ignorant hatred towards anime and now Anime Vice - Used as a joke by Sara Lima to introduce their segment (which on that night also, unintentionally, gave rise to more anime and Anime Vice hatred during that show).
Comic Vine's anime segment on the Whiskey Media Happy Hour
Many users of Anime Vice may not be aware of the Whiskey Media Happy Hour.
- For three weeks a month it's only avaliable to Whiskey Media paying subscribers.
- With no full-time staff in the Whiskey Media offices, Anime Vice doesn't have a segment (and is never mentioned).
But once a month in order to showcase both the subscription service and the websites involved, they do a free for all show. On this day (in which Tony Guerrero (Middle, red T-shirt) would later "dedicate" to the Anime Vice community), Tony and Sara of Comic
Vine, decided that the best way to showcase their website and the paid subscription service, was to show and talk about anime trailers.
Anime trailers of Iron Man and Wolverine, which a year earlier was met with disappointment by Gia, John, Ana and the Anime Vice community (now you see why I included Tony's dedication part). A lot of users of Giant Bomb, Screened and Tested (but not all), who normally have a negative opinion of Comic Vine segments to begin with, saw this as an opportunity to jump on the anime bandwagon as soon as the quote in the picture above was said.
Meanwhile, the few of us in the Anime Vice chat (animevice.com/chat) did a collective facepalm that this was the one time that anime and Anime Vice was to be represented on the live shows and all it did was inspire more hatred with a segment that had little knowledgeable discussion (they admitted themselves before they stumbled through the segment that their anime knowledge was limited). It also did little in the way of improving the status of Comic Vine, Anime Vice, anime in general and the Whiskey Media paid subscription service.
In fairness to the rest of the show that night they were all having an off day, the free for all live shows have never once done the paid members only shows justice.
This image was used as the representation of Anime Vice's community which recently caused debate.
Community Spotlight Image Debate
The Community Spotlight features prominently on the Whiskey Media websites, its purpose is to represent the acheivements of each community and update users on potential ways in which they can help (Wiki tasks and such).
I myself, as I posted in the comments of the very article, did not notice the Anime Vice Community Spotlight because of anything notable that the community had done. I noticed because of the picture and tagline ("The wiki and task queue are bulging with activity") that was chosen to best represent the community. The most important articles and/or videos appear at the footer of every Whiskey Media website and someone at Giant Bomb had noticed it and took issue with the same thing I did.
I made a point of this and showed my disappointment and anger by posting the image and a link to the Giant Bomb thread. By now the same anime is jerks people who littered the chat rooms during the above mentioned Happy Hour show were voicing more hatred towards anime and Anime Vice.
To my surprise, some users of this very community agreed with me and we voiced our opinion throughout the article:
- That image, accompanied by that tagline, should never have been used to represent Anime Vice and its community as it's a negative stereotype
- As part of the Whiskey Media footer, it did nothing but add to hatred of anime and Anime Vice, fuel to the fire so to speak, inciting its own hatred
For our opinions, it seemed we were largely ignored by the two authoritive figures of the Community Spotlight, Ethan and FireFoxArt. Who both seemed to see no difference in the members of its community that had a different viewpoint and the anime's for jerks idiots of Giant Bomb who showed nothing but hatred towards the site.
No-where were our opinions, as Anime Vice users, were addressed and the problem itself, the picture and tagline were largely dismissed. That there was no issue with the choice of community representation through that picture and tagline and that anyone who didn't agree with them were against Anime Vice, rather than offerring constructive and disappointed critisism that was apparently added together with the Giant Bomb haters and an apparent nuisance.
Well I was happy to see people agreeing with me nonetheless and my tweet about it was retweeted by the official Anime Vice Twitter account
, despite not an hour earlier the same Twitter account told us to " love it or leave it
Current Anime Vice and how it's being run
So yeah, I'm disappointed right now by recent events which have prompted me to voice my opinion of this website. The first is the most obvious.
Original Anime Vice was a better representation of Whiskey Media than it is now
Putting the fact that original AV had full time staff and regular video content aside (so as to make a fair comparision), I believe it was a mistake to change the direction of Anime Vice. I like Whiskey Media sites because its editors know ten times more than me about their respective subjects and by visiting I learn from them. Games for Giant Bomb, tech for Tested, films and TV for Screened and comics for Comic Vine.
I used to come to Anime Vice for the same reason, but now it's being led by people who don't have a career built around anime and how it shows. And because it shows, it has lost what the other WM sites have. Worldly, informative, editorial content that teaches me what I couldn't from simply reading a wiki page. Tom Pinchuk
I was already aware of Tom Pinchuk through his early days on Comic Vine promoting his comic book series and later when he start writing articles for them. I think he's a great contribution to what Comic Vine and Screened is and what they do. But do I want to read his opinion on anime on what came to be known as his Watch and Learn articles? Of course not, because it doesn't give me what I need from a Whiskey Media website, the sort of worldly knowledge based editoral content that I used to have from this website. (Despite this I appreciate what Tom Pinchuk does in keeping the site going.)
This problem spreads throughout as I don't want to read a written version of the once personality driven Quick Picks videos by SoratheKey, I don't want to read three separate manga articles in different days of the latest Naruto, One Piece and Bleach releases when I used to be able to read them all at once at the same time and I certainly don't want Community Spotlight articles in which the community is represented by "bulging" stereotypes.
What was Anime Vice meant to be if not what it was? One step forward and two steps back?
Sometimes I wonder why Anime Vice was created before hiring staff to help mold and shape it. If Original Anime Vice was not what Whiskey Media wanted then what did they have in mind when it was created?
Did they think that anime journalists wanted to work for what they've turned it into now, content that does little other than discussing anime/manga that people already know about? Because it's popular with mainstream anime watchers and not worldly anime watchers? Who ever heard of a mainstream anime journalist? Anime and manga can't even be considered mainstream with the general population to begin with. The other Whiskey Media websites are all about worldlyness and not mainstream are they not?
Why focus on what it was instead of helping what it is now?
My main opposition in the last few weeks has been fellow Whiskey Media paid subscription member ZombiePie. He was in the Anime Vice chat during the Comic Vine anime segment and has been in the Community Spotlight negative stereotyping thread. His point of view to mine is that because the original Anime Vice will never return I should focus on making the current one better.
But I think that's counter productive to my viewpoint, if criticism is never given then improvements can never be made. If I went back to being as active of an Anime Vice member as I used to be during the original days I would be helping what I don't like. Spreading the disease as it were. It would be an acceptance that there's nothing wrong with current Anime Vice, when I believe there is.
In the Community Spotlight debate, he claimed that our comments against the negative stereotype picture and tagline was making the Spotlight a success, rather than showing everyone involved that we're not all happy about the way the Anime Vice community was being represented.
I wasn't the only one who thought that was nonsense. Constructive criticism can never be turned on its head into something else. That article was a failure the moment that picture and tagline was chosen. It's not about views or post counts, it's about the princible of free speech.
My viewpoint is here to read as long as Anime Vice exists (and as long as this blog isn't deleted or locked), whether people agree with me or disagree with me is their choice. But I like this website and have a right to speak freely of it. And thanks, because I realise that reading to this line must have taken some time.
PS. No offence was meant to anyone mentioned in this blog.