So I have been depressed, latel- my whole life and I cant seem to stop questioning the point of everything I do on a near constant basis. On top of my own internal criticisms, externally I was sent a brilliant question on another website I review things on "Why do you write long ass reviews no one will ever read?" You know I'm not exactly sure why. On the same day I put up a 70,000 character review of something I'll see someone get a million thumbs up for reviewing the same thing but saying "All I hav 2 say es i luved it <3<3<3." In fact go ahead and copy and paste that as a review to something you luved. I would like to say it is easy to take things like this in stride and just move on to the next thing I want to talk about, but on some fundamental level it does hurt at least a little. I mean my great intellectual peers on these websites, wont recognize my utter brilliance for what it is. I don't really know what to do in this situation, but I'm really good at one thing in life and that is hating myself. So to give into my masochistic ways, why not write a few more really long reviews no one will read, before I find that rope that is just strong enough to hold my body weight again? Yeah, lets turn pain into mild inspiration here, I actually think it's interesting to hear other peoples reasons for and general philosophy on reviewing something. To illustrate my own, I have decided to review the last anime I watched and explain how I see something while reviewing it and explaining what I think the importance of reviewing something is along the way.
So the last anime I watched was Monthly Girls Nozaki-Kun (MGNK) and it is a show about a girl named Chiyo Sakura who has a crush on a young Shojo manga writer. The show is loosely about her comedic attempts at romance with him and explaining what goes into making a romance manga.
So for the structure of this review about reviews we will be starting with what I consider the most basic forms of reviewing something and moving onto what I think are "higher" forms of reviewing something. Most people here and most sites like this want to review something because "One Piece was like totally my favorite show as a kid XDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD. I used to drink Capri Sun and piss my pants while watching it 10/10." Or they do the exact opposite "One Piece was the show that made me realize anime was bad. I used to drink Capri Sun and piss my pants angrily while watching it. 1/10." Basically people want to give their bald unvarnished opinions on something without really analyzing anything, it's just the catharsis of other people knowing your joy and pain. I can understand this type of review even if I don't like it. The whole point of communication is communicating emotional and practical needs, so there is a place for this type of review and there is a purpose. Thinking of these websites as a way to find new things to watch we cant really take these reviews as critical masterpieces but as a general nebulous cloud of positivity or negativity surrounding a piece of media we can gauge a consensus around something when a lot of reviews like this reflect a general sentiment in the extreme positive or negative. If I look at a show and 75% of it's "reviews" are generally one sentence saying "it sucks" you might think you're above such trite evaluations, but you aren't. People are swayed by consensus even when they think they aren't, in fact the small mental pangs those reviews give are probably more important than any amount of lengthy criticism I or someone else can muster. So I guess in a way they do deserve those thumbs up and I deserve a thumb up my a-
If I was to give my own blunt one sentence review it would be: TL;DR: All I hav 2 say es i nuanced it :^) :^( :^)
Let's say for some reason despite knowing the above and knowing that your magnificent words and brilliant thoughts will never amount to even one declarative like or dislike and yet you still wanted to actually evaluate something because like me you have all the time in the world and no rouge haired vixens to spend it with. Well I guess I have some advice for delinquents that still wish to waste their time and their youth away writing these.
The actual analysis should be the brain of your review and you should aim to have a critical take on something that is actually interesting and not just the same blunt emotional opinions about something everyone has. This is another reason why I can almost respect those one line reviews, if a person thinks something is just great than say that bluntly real quick and move on, if you think something is terrible do the same. We don't need to be told something over and over in the same way a million times, so brevity in this situation is actually welcome. The depth of your analysis depends on what it is you're aiming to do with a review and most of the rest of my review here is dedicated to exploring various depths I think you can reach. So more on that to come. The main thing you should take away from this is have something interesting to say but don't do it in a long review, you know like my long ass reviews.
Most writing even non-fictional writing aims to have emotional elements, that makes what you're trying to get across more palatable to the dumb masses, I mean my dear readers. I like to make the thing I feel the most emotional about either in the positive or the negative the center of gravity for a review. If the analysis is the brain, the thing you feel the most strongly about should be the pulsating beating heart of the review. The emotional framework by which the other elements fill in. MGNK didn't have a lot of elements that stood out to me in this way except... The cutest most adorable protagonist I have seen in a show ever. I mean it was love at first sight. It's like someone took Asuka and said "I'll make an even cuter version" and the absolute madman actually did it somehow. Her cuteness in fact breaks the show, because I find it hard to believe the boring as -redacted- guy she wanted to go out with didn't like her back and was aloof to her attempts to go out with him. In fact it's hard for me to believe most men and women wouldn't immediately see Chiyo and start formulating wedding plans and imagining a long happy life together the second they see her for the first time. I mean the guy she likes isn't the worst but one question just kept coming up in my head as I watched this... IS SHE REALLY GOING OUT WITH HIM? IS SHE REALLY GONNA MAKE ME CRY? IS SHE REALLY GOING OUT WITH HIM? IS SHE REALLY GONNA PEN MEDIOCRE MANGA WITH HIM TONIGHT? IS SHE REALLY GOING OUT WITH HIM? IF THINE EYES DONT DECIEVETH ME THERE MUST BE SOMETHING WRONG AROUND HERE... Well this serves as an example of what I mean, you take an element you like or dislike a little bit more than the rest and you then seed the rest of the review with references to this as an ongoing joke and an easier way to make transitions. Yeah it was all just a joke. I don't really want Chiyo that much, crushes and anime are for kids. *Forced laughter, as he wipes away tears.* I'm sure that manga writer with bland looks and a puddle deep personality deserves someone as wonderful as Chiyo Sakura. You know what, it hurts too much lets just move on.
So you can have emotional elements to a review but you don't want it bogged down with a bunch of bizarre hit or miss humor that only a few weirdos will find funny or possibly just you. I haven't learned this lesson myself yet. I need to get down with the memes and the lingo of the kids today and try to up my social networking presence with some fly one liners. To start do people still say the word "fly?"
The point of most reviews that go beyond one sentence or a paragraph on the internet and in general is to evaluate something as a product. So back to MGNK the last anime I watched, I could at the very least say, it was a romantic comedy centered around a girl who likes a guy who makes manga. Well it had romance, it had comedy and it showed to some extent what a manga creator thinks about and does as a job. It focused on the two main characters just enough and it properly used the supporting cast as foil's to the main. So I guess just as a product doing what I think it's trying to aim for it does it pretty well and it doesn't fall into too many cliches and overused plot arcs on the way. I guess that is a success to some extent. Three out of four of things I have reviewed so far on this site don't really meet this level of "success" as I see it, they aimed for something and they missed the mark by quite a bit. I think this is kind of the lowest level of reviewing something professionally, just evaluating it on what it "tried" to do. If I was reviewing or analyzing things in this way I probably would get bored pretty fast, because 97/100 shows, games, films, etc in each genre are relatively the same and most meet or come close to the low bar of criteria they set for themselves. So there is only so much you can say about them in this way before you burn yourself out. I think you will find that most "paid" reviewers review things this way because it is rather easy to be charitable given this limited criteria. Well "X" met it's mark so go out and buy it and or view it for advertising/subscription dollars on CRUNCHY ROLL, LINK IN THE DESCRIPTION. Don't forget to like us on Facebook, Twitter, Pornhub and use my Amazon link when you make a purchase. Even the ones that have a pretense of calling their stuff an essay/video essay because the old format of selling things to people who haven't realized Disney owns every reviewer through maker studios doesn't seem as kuth anymore. In fact my house just got bought by a subsidiary of a holding company that is owned by another holding company that is owned by an advertising firm that is owned by Disney so I only have about fifty more minutes to write this review before I'm evicted and thrown out. I wont be having fun in the lukewarm southern California sun and that is assuming I spend that time finishing this review. I mean there are other things to look at on the internet that I can do some short activities with... Not too short mind you. What's the length in time of Chiyo's skirt? That came out wrong... You know what forget it, I'll just finish this review.
You definitely want to hide the fact that you're a marketer in a review, don't make it too transparent that you're covertly working for a company while pretending to be critical of them. Be critical of one small incidental piece of the thing in question so you can pull one over on us and pretend you're really evaluating it. For instance, I needed to get some weird stains off my wall next to where I keep my Chiyo shrine and Bioclean got those stains right out. The only problem was it contained a chemical that was toxic to puppies and now I don't have any friends. Aside from that though it was a top product I can highly recommend. Link below, to the side and up above.
To get some of the more mundane product like aspects of my own review out of the way I have to say I really like the art of this show. There is an almost "crispness" to it compared to other show's I have seen. Everything is nicely outlined and detailed and there is a vibrant use of colors. I really didn't expect to see this much detail and visual flair in a show like this either, because most of the anime romance & comedy shows I have seen so far have terrible or just standard art. All of the character's in this look distinct and have a nice style to them that still manages to keep with the show's realistic modern setting. Well the main male lead is kind of boring looking... But I might think that for reasons not related to the art that I already mentioned. On that subject again let me just state bluntly that Chiyo's hair looks amazing. Her hair shines like a radiant sun in my clear grey skies. I mean it's almost a more important character on it's own than a lot of the actual people are. There is an absolutely beautiful scene in this show with rain and some blue flowers and the environment contrasts radiantly with Chiyo's color scheme. I think they spent half their budget and time animating this one scene. They knew this was going to be "it" the one nerd's were going to remember them for and they were right. This scene deserves a short film award and possibly an Oscar for best non-verbal use of a waifu in a comedy.
The voice acting and sound were "good." Yeah as I've said before I'm not the best at evaluating the audio aspects of a show.
A reviewer should probably know more than the average person watching something. In part because it justifies your opinion being heard over others but also because it is just good to have more knowledge and broader frame of reference in which evaluate something. I clearly know nothing about anime voice actors and yet here I am arrogantly reviewing this show as if my opinion matters in the slightest. Just call me a spaceman because I want to crash land into planet Zettai Ryouiki while Chiyo's voice actor gives me messages from ground control.
So the second level is evaluating something against other things of type/genre and what it says about anime as a whole. Well as a work place slice of life, it's inferior to stuff like Shirobako and New Game! that more properly represent what it's like to be in the anime and game business respectively more than MGNK manages to show us about Manga creation. I'm not sure it does a lot more than the one episode of Golden Boy where he is an Anime creator does and Golden Boy was a softcore porn comedy. As a romance it fairs slightly worse. To it's credit it manages to navigate around the obvious pitfalls and it leaves the viewer wanting slightly more by Spoiler: not having any of the characters get together at the end. But for reasons I'll explain later in more detail the main characters lacked chemistry and real romantic inclinations. It manages to be pretty funny and milk the obvious humor you expect it to for most shows of it's genre, which is not something I can say for every romantic comedy. Again I don't think any of the previously mentioned three things I reviewed before this fared as well against the rocky edges of other shows in their genres. In fact I think they compared rather poorly to most other shows in their genre or in Ergo's case that were attempting similar things thematically.
So why does it matter if something isn't as good as other shows like it or shows of it's genre? Well to be blunt in a broad sense it doesn't matter. From the perspective of someone who doesn't care about anime at all, these comparisons are like farts in a heavy wind. On the other hand if you do like anime, the point of criticisms like this is to evaluate whether something is worth your time and appreciation in comparisons to works that already did things much better or worse. We cant evaluate things in a vacuum and there isn't some standard of measure to appeal to, so the best thing a critic can do to show their expertise and show why something is wrong or right is comparing it to other things like it. Now watch as I use something that isn't an anime as an example to stun and confuse the audience and then hopefully catch them off guard with a comeuppance towards a relevant point.
There was a movie staring Don Cheadle called Miles Ahead (2015). In this film Don was playing Mile's Davis, probably the most famous Jazz Musician ever. This was an acting part he had wanted most of his life and I could see why. He looks like him and to his credit his acting in the film was an almost immaculate recreation of the real Miles Davis. The reason I'm bringing up this film in particular in a seemingly totally unrelated review about an anime that isn't at all about Jazz music is that I was eagerly awaiting this film and in that eagerness I had some expectations about what this film would entail. You see Mile's Davis music is very complex and experimental and in the hands of a good film director editing and camera techniques can be used to abstractly represent his music while simultaneously relating it to Mile's complicated life and personality. You can use his odd time structures and improvisation to great effect in going balls out wild with your own film making techniques... Only that didn't really happen in this to my grave disappointment. The movie was filmed and edited in a pretty standard way. Certain media subjects like this come almost prepackaged with certain expectations regarding the content I will now attempt to explain why.
As someone who has read and watched a lot of critics of varying level's of merit, there is one almost universal truth about media criticism and that is that one of the things that makes something a masterpiece is something commentating on it's own media or in the case of the MGNK anime something commentating on a related media. (To be fair, it was a manga to begin with.) So let's say I make a movie about making movies like 8 1/2, Ed Wood or F for Fake, well what you might do like these films did is show why the medium of film is both important and as it is the way of making a film is analogous to life itself and what these things mean in a broader sense. You can use camera techniques, editing, acting set design and special effects to bring attention to the things about film that make it a film and not reality. Most of the fiction we consider groundbreaking for a medium does something like this with it's said medium, the most important literature is generally about writing itself and how this new work aims to transcend everything about it up to this point. Even as a relatively younger medium we're starting to see a similar pattern with video games, the games that are seen as the most important are the ones that manage to take the tropes of earlier games and ideas and use them to transcend into something new while commentating on the media as a whole. The majority of people don't give two damns and a fudge about any of this, they just want the same tropey slop thrown in their face because they like when lights move on a screen like people chained up in Plato's Cave, but critics and people who have seen more than the average amount of crap most people see, tend to appreciate these aspect's of a work because it play's into that type of media they like and because it uses the media as a way of reaffirming that media's importance and by extension those critics lives. It also take's a connoisseurs eye to notice these things and it plays into a form of elitism and special understanding when you can spot the minute small differences that deem something a masterpiece or mundane. It would be hard to spot these thing's if they didn't relate to the media itself and their area of expertise. So hence a culture of criticism naturally gravitates positively towards work's pertaining to what the critics are criticizing in the first place.
While this is definitely true of things within a media like what Shirobako is to anime. I would also add this expectation to things that are related to the same media or that can be utilized in creative ways being transplanted from another media, like Miles Ahead was from music to films and what I was thinking MGNK could be for manga to anime. Luckily for me this show... Disappointed on this front in almost every way imaginable.
So as a pretentious reviewer of very little merit, what I expect out of a show like MGNK is some moment's where the nature of manga and it's creation are used to bring attention to their own medium in a way that a more conventional manga and anime, such as the one's they're talking about creating would not. Similar to the expectation I had with Miles Ahead. I also expect this to reflect on the characters lives in some way and relate a manga's creation to a person's life and have a profound statement to make with this. MGNK manages to avoid doing this to a point that it almost seems to be intentionally trying to avoid going in a direction that might make it's use of it's own premise seem interesting. I could imagine using the format of manga as a way of making unique choices regarding editing, transitions and artistic choices with this anime, they don't really attempt anything like this. The only time they even hint at something like this is in the ending and opening credits. I can see using the manga they're writing within the story as an analogous narrative to the story being told in the anime itself and there are points in the anime where this is done to small comedic effect, but I think it could be done to say more important thing's than a one off joke or implication that certain characters might like each other. The point is all of these aspects that are basically begging to be used for something more are just wasted in this show. Chiyo and Miles clearly deserved better.
Love is a universal subject and it's the type of subject that has an instant appeal to most audiences. When you're aiming for money, fame or electoral power the more universal and seamless you can make the product seem the more of each you will seemingly get. The problem is other people have realized this and the world is filled with silly love songs and films aiming for a universal mass market appeal. That is why ironically they have to appeal to particularity now to standout amongst the crowd of attempted universals. Why isn't this just a show about a girl who falls in love with a young guy? Because we have seen that before a lot in anime and everywhere else. Why isn't this a show about a guy who just creates manga? Because we have also seen that and also male characters don't sell merchandise. So we have these two mixed premises making manga and young people falling in love. Do these two necessarily make for a good combination? Well if you're asking me, I think it's horrible that she would like that smelly bastard, but if you mean what is my opinion of the story, well I can imagine this combination working, but I don't think it did here. The problem is the love elements felt tacked on in comparison to the information and laser focus on manga creation and despite them trying these two never feel enough like a couple to be convincing. In fact I think the secondary characters Yuu and Hori seemed more like a couple I wanted to root for. I think part of the problem was the third element in the mix "the comedy" while well executed for it's own sake nerfed a lot of the moments that should have been more quiet, romantic and emotional. At least part of this shows running time should have been at least a little dedicated to making me want to see these two get together in the end, but I never really cared about that outcome one way or the other and it certainly didn't help that I thought Chiyo deserved a million times better. I mean I'm a complete loser and I've lived out more romantic scenes in my life with members of the opposite sex than what this show showed.
I've managed to see a few anime in my experience that are much worse and much better at romance than this. Like I said earlier I like that it avoids obvious cliches. While we're on that subject though, you know there is one cliche in particular I just have to ask about regarding anime and romance. Why do so many of them have a part right near the end where usually the female love interest runs away for absolutely no reason? Where did this terrible cliche start and why do the makers of these shows think anyone will be convinced they're actually going to go through with this and not have the couple get together? This dumb bit of plot has happened in so many romance anime I've seen so far that I instinctively fast forward through a show when this starts to happen. I think it was the absolute worst in Love Hina but that was only because everything about that show was terrible. I'm assuming that show also might be the source of a lot of bad cliches as it seems to be the route and root from which all evil comes regarding Japanese animation. If you see the DVD in stores grab it and flush it down the nearest toilet and don't stop pressing the button until either the toilet breaks or the police come. Luckily this cliche didn't happen in MGNK and I give it some extra credit for that. The problem is in the absence of obvious cliches and overused plots, MGNK doesn't really give us anything else to cling onto regarding the romance.
One of the jokes I thought was funny more by implication than with execution was that a guy who writes romantic manga isn't very romantic and has a hard time seeing the forest from the trees, when it comes to romance in his own life. This was hinted at here and there in the show, but I think a lot more can be done with this comedic premise than was done here. I really like characters that are hypocritical at their core, I wanted to write a book about a vegan butcher. There wasn't a lot of humor in the show, which was kind of weird for a romantic comedy but when they did aim to be humorous I was always laughing with the show, which is something I can say in it's favor. It's humor was simplistic but effective. I just think that like the other two premises this was woefully underutilized and it actively hurt some of the romance as stated before.
The manga creation elements were interesting as factoids and as a behind the scenes look at how they get created was interesting in an educational way. I genuinely don't know much about the creation of manga or even anything related like western comics or animation so I cant say how accurate it was. I think the earlier failures I mentioned with this show and it's lack of creativity in use of the subject matter here hurt the manga creation sections the most in that we mostly see the characters physically making the manga and then maybe a cut or two to what the semi-finished or finished results are. Where as they could have found more creative ways in editing and animation to better illustrate illustration. The jokes about the cliche nature of the manga may have been a bit funnier if the characters in the world of the show didn't seem just as hollow in other ways. So the manga sections didn't really add anything aside from some slight facts, but it also didn't detract much.
All media and art is a mirrored reflection of the people who make it and the society around them. With that in mind, I actually think reviewing a thing for it's own sake as counter intuitive as it may seem is actually the least important part of a review or a piece of criticism. As I showed with the first level of reviewing most people can evaluate rather easily if something lived up to it's own potential or not and this type of reviewing can be done by basically anyone and unless you care about the reviewers emotional responses and ability to spot minor infractions in a piece of media like they're a factory worker looking for defects on a consumer product, there isn't much gained from this type of criticism. On the second level most people who are into something enough to care what a critic has to say need to have enough knowledge to know whether their comparisons between things in a media and broader medias actually pan out, making the critic a redundant interlocutor in your own internal monologue. As in the critic is only as good as your own knowledge on the subject. So the third level encompasses the previous two, but it also starts to turn it's attention away from the particular piece of media in questions and starts to use it as a way to use a particular piece of media as a lens towards asking broader questions. Bigger questions about life, society, yourself and all that nonsense. So what's really important is what the piece of media in question can say about humanity in general and how you can use examining that to show how this reflects positively or negatively on us. Usually I think most people would stop at this, I mean what more can you milk out of something and still realistically be reviewing it while also trying to ask bigger questions with it? MGNK doesn't really say a whole lot that can easily lend itself to larger questions about life. I guess that people really want to see the same types of stories and comedic situations shown over and over again ad nauseum, because the majority of our history has been oral story telling so we are preconditioned for wanting to hear the same things over and over again. I mean at least in this case this show and manga were worth making because Chiyo needed to be birthed into existence to save me from my mundane life of boredom and sadness. In other words it's worth it because of cute girls, Miyazaki was right anime and reality are a mistake.
Seriously though, why did some Japanese miscreant go and create MGNK? Was it because there is a non-stop need for Manga to be penned so the rights can be bought by an animation studio, that then goes and makes a show out of it with the cheapest animation techniques, using non-union labor so that they can then sell merchandise of these characters? Probably. I would like to think an angel like Chiyo was created with only the best of artistic intentions in mind, but I have to be honest with myself for a second, she was probably made to appeal to some loser like me so I would buy her figurines and Dakimakura and believe me I will -I did. I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel here to make a point, about how there is not a point to reviewing a show like this. I'll remember Chiyo and some of the good art in this show, but aside from that in about three years time I wont remember anything else about this show. I can say the same for the majority of things it's possible to review. I like to see things as an "argument" in part because of my previously mentioned philosophical background and because I debated people for aeons on the internet and probably wasted more of my life doing that than I can ever care to admit. There is a symmetry between types of communication lies, stories, arguments and basic conversations and the more you get critical about them the more you realize what makes them believable and interesting is usually the same emotional appeals and buildups that slowly ramp up to an actual point. In Plato's Republic Socrates makes a point about how people from certain trades come to view the entire world through the lens of their occupation. A plumber sees life in metaphors of plumbing. A brick layer relates everything to laying bricks. If this is true for these professions then I suggest it is also true for critics. I've come to the point where I see peoples personalities in a similar vein, they're lists of likes and dislikes and packets of unrelated information to be evaluated and judged like any other declarative statement and so is the media we tie to these things. Well like most art, most people aren't that interesting or even worthy of an evaluation. If each human had a back cover synopsis I would suggest skipping to that. Instead of wasting time reading the bland filler and the cliche arcs in the middle. I said earlier art was a mirrored reflection of humanity and I was saying that in a partial sarcastic jest because while that is true, I don't assume the good things people usually say when they say something grandiose like that. Especially in the case of MGNK it reflects our own averagness back at us. Our want for the typical things in life, that we all supposedly want, laffs and romance. There is a lot of art, but only a smidgen of it in the extreme positive or negative is really worth pondering about for more than a few seconds. This is not one of those, I'm just sorry. *Clenches teeth tightly as tears roll down face in a steady stream and the wind blows against his poorly animated hair.*
I think most fundamentally when reviewing something you have to ask what it is you as a reviewer bring to the table. The thing you're reviewing already exists, other peoples ability to evaluate it does as well. So what specifically can you bring to analyzing this that makes your opinion worth a damn in the first place? Are you particularly good at analysis? Do you know a lot about the subject? Do you have a history with it? Does it have a special place in you life in the positive or the negative? Can your analysis shed new light on a work previously thought to be totally uninteresting? Do you have some kind of writing talent or charisma that can make up for the lack of other qualities? In my case it's obviously my good looks and my humble nature, but you have to consider what you bring to something before wasting people's precious time. I think this is the way a critic is most like the artist whose work they're criticizing in the first place. It all comes down to trying to make something that will be entertaining, currently relevant and meaningfully timeless and not just something that is forgotten in a few days or possibly worse derided and criticized in turn. We hope our creations and analysis are helpful and that they help people appreciate things on a deeper level than they did before. To expect greater things and push forward a media in a way that would seem too smart for audiences of a previous generation... Who am I kidding, I cant even live up to my own advice. I have nothing interesting to say about this show. Where is that damn rope?
Reviewers are subject to their own cliches, bland argumentative arcs and a propensity towards the over dramatic in heightening their own importance. I've never been fond of the "emperor has no clothes" analogies myself. In part because I love empress dowager Chiyo the sixty-ninth ruler of sunrise land and this review is in fact both my oath of fealty to her name and her house and my declaration of courtly love to her and I will not have lowly rabble besmirching her honor. I also don't like it because it encapsulates all the pitfalls a bad reviewer can fall into. It's easy to fall into the extremes when reviewing something "this is best thing ever" and it's inverse are thing's you should shy away from as quickly as you can when you realize you want to evaluate something. People hate nuance and I'm going to rail against some of what I see as false moderacy in a minute, but when reviewing something you should aim for nuance as much as possible concerning your own emotions and peoples tendency to over rely on them when describing the appeal or lack thereof something. "The emperor has no clothes" line is often stated as an extremely emotional declarative statement and usually isn't warranted anyway.
A lot of reviewers also fall into the want to come off as universal. They're a cultivated and molded product from external criticism as much as the thing they're reviewing is. In part because a lot of reviewers are marketers in hiding and they don't want to scare away possible ad revenue and a consumer base by showing any of their "gross" particularities that might scare you away. Notice when you watch some famous internet reviewers how hard they try to come off as "moderates" politically and how contrived this stance is when you think about it for even a millisecond. How many refuse to discuss any issues that are minorly uncomfortable? You might say "well is it their responsibility to discuss these things?" I would say it depends on what they're reviewing. I'm not suggesting people shoehorn a political stance in like I haphazardly inserted reviewing into this review about a random anime show. If they're reviewing Biocream for instance, unless they have evidence that the people making it are dumping chemicals in a near by lake I think they can stick to the script and just regurgitate what the company told them to say. In media criticism though, I do think it's a reviewers responsibility to discuss and not shy away from topics that are politically charged when it is inherent in what they're reviewing. Anything else is cowardice and advertising. If there is anything I'm sick of in this regard it's reviewers constantly trying to find a "middle ground" on something whenever they do bring up a political or societal issue. There isn't two sides to the truth, faux perspectivism and pretend neutrality can only take us so far on the most important issues of the day. Luckily for me this show doesn't bring up anything of social relevance. I would be in some real hot water with the two people who end up reading this if I had to reveal my political stances on anything. Chiyo likes artistic dreamers, I think my stances would be cool with her and that is all that matters in the end. Wow, you can say my review lacks the substance I opine for in other peoples criticisms, I'm hypocritical and moronic or you can say regarding my review "The emperor has no clothes."
Who will criticize the critics? If only there was a critic of critics, who could come and critique my criticisms in a critical way. I'm going to invent my own god, a golden calf with Chiyo's face on it called the uncriticized criticizer. This being will be the bedrock of all critiques and the source from which all good criticisms will come. Like Chiyo it will be a flawless package of arguments immaculate in it's own creation, so it will have no need for internal criticism and it will swat away your weak observations and thoughts before you even utter them. Pray to theeee.
Despite my bashing of it, I've come to the point where I actually enjoy criticisms and reviews of things more than the actual work itself a lot of the time. I'm sure a lot of people have had this thought, but maybe not. I'm a hermetically sealed, mint in the box NEET whose only contact with the human race is these shows and video games at this point. So I'm probably completely off base here. Which is why I want to be a super Saiyan review master, but alas I can only be Hercule in my own sad story. I guess that's why I do these reviews though, it's fun and self indulgent or something like that. Well now that I have criticized literally all of humanity and most of it's art and my fellow critics it's time to turn the critical lens inward. I critique therefore I ain't. If I could analyze myself and get over my own short comings I probably wouldn't be writing this review at six AM on a Wednesday...
Well I guess since I asked why someone would create this it's only fair I ask a similar question of myself. "Why did I watch this?" Well in all honesty I saw a picture of Chiyo, reverse image searched it faster than you have done anything in your life and I found out it was a comedy about Manga creation. I've liked some show's with a similar premise and wallah, I watched it. I don't think this show was particularly worth reviewing and really I could place any show in this shows place in this review. It wasn't bad, it wasn't good, it was just a painfully average experience and if I didn't have the review about reviews conceit going on here, I doubt I would have a whole lot interesting to say about it and I may have even failed with all that additional effort. This is another way in which the critic is like an artist at the end of it all, we release what we create out in the wild and just like an artist we are only as influential and as important as our audience allow us to be. I expect a reach of two people or less and a possible gold star and veggie tendies from my mom after all this effort.
If only Chiyo wanted to help some loser write his reviews instead of wanting to help a respectable and successful young manga artist. I mean there is also the whole her being a fictional character thing, but I can get over her small faults. You know what, I'm gonna make my own piece of art about a reviewer who is aloof, self important and lacks self awareness. I'll inflate his self importance to a level never seen. I'll just steal Chiyo whole sale and put her in my work, yeah I'll just take her and the anime shes in and shoehorn the whole damn thing whole sale into some random piece of work I'm making that is only slightly related to what I'm talking about. I doubt anyone will notice I mean, they come to super brilliant critics like us to tell them what to think anyway so I'll just write a review justifying how awesome it is later. Yeah... I'm not talented enough to do that. So until then, I guess you can have whatever this is instead.
So my review clearly lacked brevity. Was overly prone to the emotional. I didn't bring any special knowledge about the show, it's creators or anime in general. I don't bring any kind of special knowledge or charisma of any kind to the table. It wasn't funny except possibly unintentionally and I can't live up to my own standards. If I reviewed my review I would give it a score lower than is currently possible on this website and this review is a reflection of me as a reviewer... On that note, thanks for reading. The show was medium out of well cooked and my neck is about to look raw, peace out... Actually my fifty minutes is up, Disney owns that rope now.