I present to you translated, a manga by a Pixiv artist that’s been making waves on the internet! A very interesting commentary on anime fandom and anime appreciation.
Personally speaking, the fallacy that everyone’s making is assuming that there is some from of objectivity when it comes to criticism and anime appreciation. There is none. What there are are only opinions. If both the critic and the one listening to the critic understands this simple fact, these kinds of situations won’t even occur and both can say their piece. I believe that that is the true issue being raised in this comic.
Why, then, do many people want to claim that art can be objective? Pulling out my cynical side, I argue that they want to establish objectivity so that their own tastes can reign supreme over others. By applying value judgment to taste they can then feel like they are better human beings and look down on others for liking or disliking certain shows. For instance, the term “otaku-pandering” is just a way to “other” the otaku and make oneself feel superior to them. Not only that, this way of thinking only serves to make people feel inferior for liking shows that are deemed bad, necessitating the use of the term “guilty pleasure” to absolve themselves of their guilt. In fact, if you really think about it, every show is a guilty pleasure if you choose to follow someone else’s standards. In the end, I’d argue that it’s all about enjoyment. There are people who enjoy art that challenges them. There are people who enjoy art that moves them. There are people who enjoy art that impresses them. If you enjoy different kinds of art for different reasons, why is your enjoyment any less genuine, less valuable or less legitimate than the enjoyment of others?