Greetings! One of the awesome thing about fandoms is the discussions that occur about our favorite characters/shows/genres, etc. The anime fandom is great for this with new hot button topics seemingly occurring daily. It certainly helps that we basically have new anime daily with a constant flow of new episodes, series, or films. I personally love a good debate. I don’t mind discovering that I was perhaps wrong about a series or realizing that there was more to a character than I thought. There have been some cases where I have discovered a great series or movie based solely on the discussions that took place. I love discussing anime with people- I wouldn’t have this blog if I didn’t. However, there is one aspect of many discussions which does bother me. I personally am not a fan of arguments which amount to the idea of picking one of two extremes.

To clarify what I mean let’s look at an example- the your waifu/husbando is trash idea. We all have seen this numerous times- a popular show has two characters with a huge fanbase such as Re:Zero’s Rem and Emilia and discussion centers around picking an absolute side. One character is absolute perfection and the other is complete trash. In addition if you refuse to pick an absolute side you can be seen as “weak” by people in the discussion. This type of discussion is also seen when discussing series or genres. Who isn’t familiar with the such classics as the “SAO debate” or ” You’re not a true anime fan if you like…” threads that you see constantly.

There are a bunch of things that people forget when taking part of these discussions. The first is that liking a character/series does not mean that by by definition you have to the hate the option. Let’s go back to the Rem/Emilia debate for a second. Back when season 1 of Re:Zero aired I would have said I was on team Rem but I also thought Emilia was a great character as well. People were confused when I told them that I didn’t hate Emilia but just liked Rem more. It was my honest opinion- I liked both characters and still do to this day. I have been told “well you have to pick one and trash the other”. Why? Do people pick only one food dish to eat and absolutely refuse to eat anything else? People will generally say stuff like “I prefer tacos over pizza” but that doesn’t mean that they don’t enjoy tacos. If you believe that a character/show is superior to another that’s fine. However people need to acknowledge that there there are people who might like both or neither choice and that is perfectly acceptable.

That leads to my second point. There is such a thing as a middle ground in an argument. Let’s look at an recent example of this. Rent a Girlfriend was a series that generated a lot of debate and like SAO it had two strong camps. You had the “this show is a masterpiece” camp and the “this show is the worst” camp. For a while on MAL the only reviews you saw were extreme reviews. I am planning on doing a series review down the road so I won’t go too deep into my personal thoughts but for me it was a middle of the road show. There were aspects/characters I liked and some things I liked and some things that I didn’t. I have had discussions with some people where they honestly thought I hated the series because I criticized something about it. It is the same thing with SAO. I enjoy the series but there are some things that really bother me about it. So I don’t really fall into either camp and I know there others that feel the same way. Does that invalidate the opinion? Absolutely not. It is perfectly fine to take a middle ground stance on something. It does no mean that one is weak or indecisive. It just means that their opinion doesn’t fall on the extreme ends of the spectrum. If anything it opens up things for further discussion. I don’t mind if someone said a series I liked was “just ok” . It allows for a more open discussion conerning what they liked/hated about it. It is a good thing to have peeople take a middle ground.

Before anyone gets angry, I want to clarify something.

I want to make one thing clear I am not professing to be perfect myself. I know myself that I am guilty of some extreme opinions on this platform. There are some series which I praise repeatedly while ignoring some of the series flaws. This is something that I have been actively working on. It is one of the reasons that my reviews take so long to write. That’s also why I try not to post overly negative reviews about something as I know that there are people who enjoyed a series and I don’t want to seem like I’m dumping on anybody for liking something. I also acknowledge that it is hard to not let your emotions about something blind you a bit and if it does that’s okay. It happens to me all the time. It is fun to be passionate about something and to share that passion with others.

We all have that excitement when we are discussing our favorite series/character.

We all have series/characters that we love. That is one of the great things about the medium. It is great that we can have such discussions and share our favorite characters/series/films with everyone. I really enjoy seeing people talk about why they like something. The main pitfall that we all have to avoid is dumping on someone for disagreeing with you. Yes, it stinks to find someone who didn’t enjoy a series/character the same way you did but it happens. My closest anime viewing friends have a bunch of different tastes than I do. While that is certainly a bummer it also has opened me up to a different set of viewpoints and on occasion a series or film that I wouldn’t have tried otherwise. It is also a great means for looking deeper into a series/film and seeing it’s flaws or areas where it has value. Seeing those things in something is not a bad thing. Nothing is perfect nor is nothing without any value.

If you find yourself on the receiving end of criticism for your opinion, just keep in mind that it is your viewpoint. Not everyone will agree with you and that is fine. If everyone agreed then there won’t be any discussions or exchange of ideas and opinions. If everyone thought the same as you then there would be no discussions and things would be boring. I find it to be quite fascinating to talk to someone about why a series/character resonated with them. It actually tells you a bit about the person themselves.

It is ok to listen openly to another’s opinion.

I guess what I am really trying to say is to just keep an open mind when discussing something with someone. Someone having a different opinion does not invalidate your own especially when the difference leads to open dialogue. We are all just trying to have a fun time sharing and discussing the medium that we all enjoy. People will disagree with you. Some people won’t like a series that you did or sometimes they won’t connect with the same characters that you do. And that’s fine, it doesn’t change the fact that you enjoy it. So to answer the question posed in the title- Is your Waifu trash? Absolutely not.

Thanks for sticking with me on this post. This has been something that has been bouncing around in my brain for a while and I finally have gotten around to discussing it. I’m glad to be back with a post again and hopefully it won’t be another 3 months before another one. Of course I am curious to hear any thought/opinions on the topic so please comment below. Until next time, this is Railgunfan75 signing off. Stay safe, stay respectful and stay geeky my friends!