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Apr 7, 2017 4:47 PM
Anime Relations: Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu
I've always been entranced at the idea of actively discussing the anime I watch. So naturally, back when I was newer to MAL, on the off chance that I was watching a currently airing show, I'd always post something in the Episode Discussion Thread. I had a good time back then, but now I find posting there somewhat of a drag.

The first problem I've got is actually a self-imposed problem. Usually, before I type out my post, I sit down and read EVERY single post before mine. This is both time-consuming and redundant. If I'm not there early or the anime is insanely popular, I end up having to read pages upon pages of replies. This was especially bad when I hopped on the Re: Zero hype train near the end of it run and naturally made my way over to its episode discussions. Obviously, I had to read all the replies. This isn't to say that I didn't enjoy it, it was just time consuming.

Though, in the same way watching more and more anime has allowed me to recognize cliches and such more easily and be annoyed with them more easily, continuously reading these discussion posts has made me more disillusioned of the usefulness of posting there. I know exactly what to expect the moment I click "Discuss it" when updating my list.

The first thing I'll see is always Stark700's triumphant post at the top of the page. This guy has some kind of self-imposed obligation to be the first one to post on every single episode discussion. Through this guy's posts, it's been made pretty clear he watches the shows in Japan as they air on TV. I wouldn't care that much about this if he was actually fluent in Japanese. The problem is that he's clearly not. He'll misunderstand things sometimes and make himself look like a complete idiot at times. And even worse, if someone points out his misunderstanding by quoting him, he'll just ignore them and seemingly never attempt to make his viewing experience more productive.

Even so, the content of his posts are never all that ground-breaking. His thoughts are pretty much as predictable as it gets. He just buys into the character struggle, even if it feels contrived, as shown in this post. I knows it's my opinion, but from the beginning of that show, I personally failed to empathize with the characters. Plus, that backstory itself was as cliche as possible, making it boring to watch. I just can't see how a seasoned anime watcher like himself can buy into that!

However, I can appreciate that this guy attaches a picture to his posts a lot of the time, as I find that visually appealing. Though, that cannot make up for his put together in a flash writing style. For example, in this post, he forgets commas and misspells a word. This shows that he's in a rush to get his post out and doesn't care much about the quality of his writing. As an A student in Honors English, this contradicts my ideology that everyone should always try their best in their writing and it only saddens me to see this utter failure at doing so. I could bring up more examples, but I'd only be treading water.

None of this is to say I hate Stark700, as I know it'd be disrespectful to hate a moderator. In fact, there are things he does that I actually like. His reviews are spectacular and feel much more heartfelt than his other writing. Unlike some of the dumb reviewers on this site, he doesn't judge a series in random categories like Art/Animation, Story, Characters, Music, or Enjoyment. He just dives in and gives the reviews a flow that regimented reviews can't possibly have. They're truly a joy to read.

Enough off-topic. Since I've talked about one user individually, I was going to go in depth about some of the other regulars, but if I did, this blog post would never be finished. So instead, I'll summarize my points in a not so time-consuming manner.

I enjoy reading longer posts, so I really appreciate those who type out a whole paragraph or so. However, those posts do take longer to read compared to shorter ones which are much more often one-off jokes or something generic like "I liked it." At the end of the day, when it comes to post length, I can't make a decision on my preference.

Actually, everything I've said up to this point comes back to one thing: Quality.

I'm looking for what I consider to be quality discussion. I'm tired of reading summaries of events from the episode and one-liners. What I would love to see more of is observations/analysis of the characters, themes, aesthetic, etc. I love the people who contribute this sort of thing to the discussions. For example, the infamous Fai will occasionally type out a long and thought provoking post. The things he says in those situations are actually interesting, and therefore worth reading.

I used to like the one-liners. If they were funny, it was cool. Now, just like how I can't laugh at a joke I've seen a million times before, I can't laugh at those one-liners like I used to. Perhaps it's just my changing tastes. And to be completely honest, the reason I've begun to feel so disconnected with the MAL community is my growing interest in Digibro.

Digibro is an analytically-minded person. And by consuming his Youtube content, I have also become more analytically minded and crave to see more thoughts put together in a way similar to his. MAL users don't care about that stuff. They don't care if you can tell them WHY you think a show is good. They just want to know who has "shit taste" and who doesn't. Or, in the case of these episode discussions, all they want is the +1.

Because I don't share the same mentality as the frequent forum posters, I don't feel like I belong anymore.

There was a time when I did belong. I'd post out of a self-imposed obligation to post on every episode of every seasonal I was watching in the given season. The contents of my posts would be almost identical to what everyone else was saying, only changing the phrasing. And the reason I kept doing so for so long was because I wanted to have a higher post count. I once did all the things I've said I hate about the Seasonal Episode Discussion Threads. And I hate myself for it.

Posted by Eve778 | Apr 7, 2017 4:47 PM | Add a comment