For the last time, I don’t hate shounen…

For just a little bit, I’d like to try to set the record straight on where I stand with shounen manga/anime, from the perspective of a fan with more slice of life/moe preferences. First, defining “shounen” as a genre of anime/manga, targeted at the young male demographic (hence the name “shounen”), usually consisting of high action, long term story sequences. Popular shounen titles include Naruto, Bleach, Dragonball, One Piece, and Fullmetal Alchemist. (I realize there are more derivatives of “shounen”, but for simplicity, I’m sticking to this definition)

As the title suggests, I don’t hate shounen. While it’s true I don’t prefer it, usually, I’d be lying if I said I don’t anticipate watching Bleach and Fullmetal Alchemist on TV this weekend. I even have all of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood saved and have viewed the series beginning to end several times. I was also an avid Naruto fan for quite a while (until I got tired of a ninja who never learned in a village that doesn’t seem to know how to deal with a delinquent, but that’s a different story for a different day).

My biggest problem with shounen, isn’t shounen itself. It’s the fanbase. And I don’t mean the target audience, I mean the 17+ viewers who are old enough to also get on the internet and trash everything that isn’t their favorite airing shounen series. I’ve been accosted on more than one occasion simply because my profile (or site equivalent) shows that I like A Channel…completely unprovoked, (and most of these are their words, not mine), I’ve been messaged and spammed: “A Channel? Really?? You have no f***ing taste, NO F***ING IDEA WHAT REAL ANIME IS!!!” (caps lock seems to be a rampant problem with the opinionated) I would then ask “Have you seen A Channel?”. Usually getting back something along the lines of “I don’t need to watch it to know it’s s***!!!”

I’m not saying everyone should enjoy the same things I do, but if they want to talk about my “bad tastes”, you should have at least watched something more than what airs on your cable package. Before you can argue my favorite show isn’t worth the time, maybe you should watch it for yourself, make an evidence-backed opinion, state it reasonably, and I’ll get back to you. And to those who think moe-trends (or “moe-s***” as some put it) are ruining the industry, it’s not, moe is NOT ruining the industry. To be honest, it’s the ignorant, bigoted “fans” who needlessly trash fans of other series and genres.  What are your thoughts? Are they entitled to their opinions? Or should they really dial back the rhetoric and learn to accept that there’s more than one genre on the market?

I feel like this sometimes...

Of course, the people who need to read this probably won’t….because I used A Channel pics :3 I mostly wrote this after having a heated discussion with someone (IRL), and only really got his attention after shouting (louder than he was shouting) “I DON’T HATE SHOUNEN!!!”….that quieted him down so he could listen to me, and I was able to convince him and a few others that it’s not usually the slice of life fans driving the arguments (and that most of his “arguments” were unfounded as he didn’t even know what most of the “moe-s***” shows he was trashing were about). I’m not naive, I know that there are also some annoying moe fans out there, but I’m only speaking from a reasonable fan of slice of life in reference to more than a few unrequited character attacks from shounen fans who think I have no taste in anime and that I’m “responsible for the decline in respectable anime series”.

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

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3 thoughts on “For the last time, I don’t hate shounen…

  1. I think this comes up quite a lot in my recent editorial and it also reminded me of that post on the Project iM@S forums about someone’s parents berating him because he doesn’t play manly games like Call of Duty or Skyrim. I kind of understand why people react this way because the western culture have some kind of obsession for violence, killing people and shooting, something I’m not into at all. But yes, I won’t go into too deep since I wrote about it, but yeah… watching a show with cute girls is not any worse than playing an Fps games and it’s not harming anyone… so I don’t see the reason why berate people who like it.

    • Sometimes it’s just to qualify their own tastes, other times people just funnel their anger and hatred in an unnecessary fashion at an innocent target. I’ve just started to notice that, within the anime community, moe/slice of life fans seem to get the worst reputation when I honestly can’t find a legitimate reason why, until I started to look at where the arguments tended to start…
      Slice of life fans don’t have to go far to find like-minded fans to give them genre preference validation, meanwhile shounen (not all fans, but a lot of them) seem to find common solace in attacking other genres, making outrageous claims and not even showing the slightest understand of the shows they “hate”.
      I really liked that post you wrote and it’s true that western culture tends to push masculine themes like shooting people for sport, while Japan offers a more diverse preferential choice within media types, and this could quite possibly play into the unnecessary and unprovoked attacks on slice of life fans (and yes, I would qualify at least half of the messages/spam I’ve received as “attacks”).

  2. Pingback: BeldenOtaku’s Best: A Sampling of NewAnimeThursday’s Finest | NewAnimeThursday

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