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?
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,