< Piro >
Thursday - June 21, 2001
[quick note - i wanna say thanks to Hot Soup over at Lethal Doses for filling in for me today. Largo and I just were not happy with the script for yesterday, so chapter one will continue on Monday. Thanks soup! (ping is so cute in the last panel ^_^)]
Have you ever been in one of those arguments with friends or just random people on the net about how good or bad a anime show is? Ever been in the position of trying to defending a show that you REALLY like, but you can't really explain why? Unfortunately, 'Generally Accepted Opinions" (GAO's as I call them -architects have a bad habit of creating acronyms for everything because we are lazy) exist, and normally pretty well match your own opinions about things. Its when your feelings on something don't gel well with the GAO that you can find yourself standing alone in a spotlight, surrounded by people with railguns and bags of tomatoes. Not fun, is it?
One positive thing about GAOs is that they are a big help to people who are just getting into anime. For the most part, the community has a pretty good idea what anime titles are good, and which are, like, really bad. ^^;; What's sad is, sometimes people's opinions of a show have more to do with what others think of it than what they themselves felt about it. That's bad. Others often feel they have to keep their feelings to themselves, and just sit there and take it as other people rip on their shows. That's life. Some people feel the need to go on the attack when someone makes a statement contrary to the Generally Accepted Opinion, and form a lynching party. That's just plain wrong.
Sadly, all of this is a deep rooted part of human behavior. Thats what wars and religions are all about. I think that most GOAs are not universal things - they tend to exist independently within groups of friends, online communities such as IRC channels and forums. Gee, sounds a lot like the term 'Peer Pressure' doesn't it? ^_^
I tend to ignore Generally Accepted Opinions completely. Why? because i tend to always be on the wrong side of things. My statements about my admiration of an anime series or show is usually more of a defiant statement than a timid declaration for which i hope people agree with. Anyone here ever seen Shamanic Princess? I love this anime. Is it one of the best animes ever made? No. is it a fabulous piece of storytelling? No. Is it any good? Depends on what you are looking for.
And that's the crux of the issue. Sometimes what you get from a show is not easy to describe. The story in Shamanic Princess doesn't necessarily grab me, but some of the visuals, especially in the first few episodes, are amazing. Also, the soundtracks are fantastic (I highly recommend the first and second soundtrack for the series).
I think it's the backgrounds... gloomy, medieval towns completely devoid of population - the characters, highly stylized, complexly detailed, almost surreal - and the music, spooky, engaging, saucy, intense, soft... the scenes, where Tiara is talking with Jopolo in her boarding room, with the rain and the wind whipping against the glass, a distorted look at Tiara's face thru the rain soaked leaded glass.... images of Tiara sleeping, dreaming, tortured in her thoughts. The inane conversation with her fellow schoolmates, and the rather fascinating character designs that these secondary characters have, angled eyes and articulated ponytails...
Can't explain it. Shamanic Princess is just one of many odd shows that i take this kind of inspiration from. Some of it comes out in my work sometimes. I think that's why people like me aspire to draw. I guess i've just been reaching for ways to communicate these perceptions and emotive responses in ways that words never have seemed to be able to communicate.
Generally Accepted Opinions are notorious for being more statistic and fact oriented than on the raw inner feelings people have about things. An anime is considered good because it's story is well done and is entertaining, the animation is top notch, and the mecha fight scenes are oh so accurate. In actuality, most GOAs are negative in nature. "this show sucks' or 'the story is stupid' is an easy to define attribute, and cause for instant dismissal of a show.
I've had people flat out tell me Shamanic Princess sucks. (shrug) maybe it does, maybe that's what most people think. I don't really care. I've taken a lot of inspiration from it and many other things that many would consider an 'unworthy waste of video tape'. Some things in those shows have found their way into the way I do things. So, you like Megatokyo? Well, guess what... ^_^
So the next time you feel the urge to try to convince someone that they shouldn't like something, lay off. They probably see something in it you didn't, and that is never a reason to suppress someone's opinion. Who knows? That 'little thing' they see might show up in a piece of art you print up and hang up on your wall someday, because that person was finally able to communicate what it was he or she understood - and thanks to them, you finally got it...