While I was lurking around the Internet, a particular post at the Project iM@S forums has caught my attention since it has a close relation to the Anime Fandom besides just Japanese games.
It’s a known fact that most Anime features a lot of cute and pretty girls, possibly more than the amount of male characters. The trend of moè characters has gained popularity in the second half of the 2000s. Eventually, this has caused some harsh criticism from some fans, which I have explained in a prior editorial, so I won’t go into too much detail about that. However, I feel that a cultural difference is the reason why some feel this way.
Since I’m Asian myself, I tend to favor Asian cultures such as Chinese and Japanese ones more favorably than the western cultures. Because of this reason, I have lost interest in most western pop culture because most movies that gets shown today has a lot of violence, crime, stuff getting blown up, etc. From this, I feel that the West has some obsession over violence as shown with the so called “manly” shooting games like Grand Theft Auto 4 and the numerous rehashes of Call of Duty flying off store shelves opposed to the other games that don’t feature this element whatsoever. For me, I just don’t see any fun in shooting people in a video game and would rather play a different game.
In comparison, the stories in Asian shows/movies are drastically different, although they still have shows with violence and action. The only difference is that it doesn’t overshadow everything in sight. Also, there is a popularity of cuteness, which is prevalent in Japan and has spread to other Asian countries. As a result, you might see more female characters in proportion to males with some shows having an all female cast and these shows are largely popular. At the same time, it has received harsh criticism from a certain section of the fandom in the West for being “mindless entertainment” even though it has the potential of becoming good. Just because the show has cute girls doesn’t mean it’s automatically bad. One has to look deeper and see that this is not the case at all. For instance, Fate/zero had some pretty women and young girls along with an interesting story. In another example, Madoka Magica has four girls and a cute magical girl mascot. However, the story developed into a deconstruction of the magical girl genre filled with drama and despair. Even so, I still see a reason why people react this way.
I can see why some people feel this way mostly because the cultures from the West and the East are different. In the past, there was Anime that has matched what western Anime fans liked in the 90s and early 2000s. This has changed in the second half of the 2000s, which some starting to hate the new trend with a few going so far to berate fans that enjoy these kinds of shows and other forms of media online or real life. People have to realize that Anime is intended for the Japanese audience. Therefore, beggars cannot be choosers. Moreover, I don’t see anything wrong in liking these types of anime. Watching a show that has a lot of cute girls is not any worse than playing a shooting game on a game console. It’s not harming anyone. I think that this is only coming from the ignorance and elitism in the fandom and not everyone is like this.
In conclusion, I felt that the dissimilarities of the cultures is one of the contributing factors on why some fans hate or even go so far to bash it without any fair reasons in backing their argument up. Since the western pop culture places a lot of emphasis on violence, some fans expect the same in Anime, which is an unfair assumption. At the end of the day, the story matters more than cute girls or violence and has a potential of becoming good. For that, fans should just enjoy the show and don’t worry about it.