There’s nothing wrong with watching cartoons as a child. There’s nothing wrong with appreciating animation when you’re an adult. Hell, I have a couple of DVDs full classic cartoons from when I was growing up, and as an adult I’ve gleefully rushed out to buy Toy Story, Ratatouille and The Animatrix. Liking animation is good for the soul.
But then there’s anime. And where there’s anime there is, the western anime “fan”. These bizarre and rabid obsessives of Japanese animation are typically the social outcast Neo-Goth type; clad like a thrift-store reject from a Matrix convention, usually with some self-involved rambling blog letting you know what latest OVA they picked up or which new anime soundtrack is synched up to their iPod - they seem to live their lives for another country’s culture, a culture they wish to embrace but can never be a part of.
No matter how anime fans want to paint it, stuff like Dragonball Z is nothing more than a glorified cartoon about trading cards. Don’t tell me because it has blood and death and occasional nudity it’s grown up and adult. Don’t tell me because it’s been running since 1982 and has 500 episodes that means it’s good. 7th Heaven did too and it was a pile of overbearing moralistic shit. It’s a style of animation made by a culture which gave the world schoolgirl panty vending machines for crying out loud, the normal rules of quality, standards and ethics do not apply. The Japanese also have one of the world’s highest teen suicide rates. No wonder, after sitting through the same crap that western fanboys slaver over. Give these poor kids some more He-Man and a little less Fruit Basket, please.
Most of the anime I see on shelves in the west, certainly where I live, seems to fall into several bizarre, pathetic categories: worrisome teenage schoolgirl obsession, tentacle/demon rape fantasy, and twee trading card spin-offs.
Don’t give me that crap about Miyazaki. I know you will. It’s always the anime fan’s last bastion of defence. I saw Spirited Away and it was nothing more than a surrealist oriental take on western fairy tales. I don’t care how good you say it is, I refuse to believe that a movie about an ugly pig flying a red baron bi-plane is better than any of Pixar’s output. This Miyazaki character is just being used as a smoke-screen by social outcasts, to cover for their real reason for liking anime: they share the same bizarre twisted perversions that many Japanese do; only it’s not socially acceptable over here, so better to hide behind a few pretensions of so-called respectability. Or at the very least a silly kids cartoon based on trading cards.
After all, why else would anyone get so defensive over something so ridiculous, other than latent guilt? If you like Akira, fine. Went through a phase in your teens where you got into 3x3 Eyes? All well and good. There’s nothing wrong with that. But if you’re in your 20s and have a DVD rack full of nothing but Studio Ghibli titles (and your secret Urotsukidoji stash at the back of the closet that nobody knows about of course), time for you to realise you are an adults living in a western world. Start acting like it. Turn off the pervy cartoons, get out of the house and meet some real, normal people with hair and eyes in proper proportion to their heads.
Cinema Blend writers fight back against out of control fanboys in our ongoing series of editorials, Bad Fandom! For more Bad Fandom click here.