During the summer, I have shared my thoughts about the Anime Fandumb. Of course, I forgot to write about the very thing that also fuels the whole moe debate and the old versus the new, the Nostalgia Filter.
People have the tendency to look back at some stuff they experienced during their childhood such as video games, music, animation, movies, comic books, etc. Because of this, this usually influences his/her tastes, which changes over time. Of course, nothing ever stays the same as new trends and art styles will take shape. This is where Nostalgia Filter comes into play in which a person views majority of new material as mediocre or bad quality and over time, be mostly forgotten except for the best, thus leading to an inaccurate impression of quality.
A well-known example of Nostalgia Filter in the fandom is the Genwunner (corruption of Generation One), which is a vocal group of Pokémon fans that only like the original Pokémon games for various reasons and will never be satisfied by any of the changes. This consists of disliking all the new Pokémon because they are based on objects (such as the Ice Cream Cone Pokémon) and animals or complaining about certain gameplay mechanics like the move “Stealth Rock,” which kept Charizard in the never used tier since Generation IV. Of course, this ruins it for everyone else because these fans will drag others an emotional debate of which generation or Pokémon designs are better. Sadly, people doesn’t realize that the newer generations are a big improvement over the original games and that the first generation had a good number of game breaking glitches and even ugly sprites.
While most Anime fans tend to have an open mind when it comes to watching, there is a small vocal group of people who always complain that Anime is dying because of x or y reason and only like the old shows. One of the recent examples of this is the whole debate over Free for the fact that it was catering to a female audience as seen below:
But if a girl ‘trespasses’ into a male space, what happens? (Even when it isn’t ‘trespassing’, in the case of Free!, in which a space was actually made for us ) We can expect such timeless classics as: degradation, ‘you’re not even a REAL fan!’ ‘I bet you don’t even know ______’, all kinds of threats, and, of course, the posts you see on this blog.
It seems that people are mad about Free because it catered to a female audience and saying it’s the death of anime is very close-minded and elitist. These remarks pretty much tells me “I don’t like it because it’s not the action/mecha/etc. shows that we have back in the old days or you are not a true fan because you don’t like x show.” Of course, this author points out the unfairness of males watching shows made for females, but not vice versa. However, the same remark has been used with moe being the thing that is killing Anime from the same people. They keep moving the goal post, which also shows that nothing satisfies them.
On the other hand, I think Lauren from Otaku Journalist sums up the negatives effects of nostalgia filter on the fandom in her post rather perfectly. She argues that these fans are to blame for their inability to acknowledge any new anime and include any groups into the fanbase. I think she is right because there are always going to be new shows that have the potential to be good. Anime covers a wide variety of demographics and genres, so what is wrong with pandering a certain audience since studios have been doing it for ages? I think people need to view things with an open mind. If one doesn’t enjoy what he/she sees, drop it and move on.
At the end of the day, I think Nostalgia Filter is a big issue in the fandom that will always exist just like the Anime Fandumb. Eventually, new Anime will become old as animation quality keeps improving with technology. Not only that, old Anime has it’s share of bad shows just like new ones. Even so, perhaps some fans feel this way because Anime got popular. I think it’s the same feeling seen with music from the 80s being better than today’s music as it stood the test of time. I think some fans are quick to judge new Anime and I think both old and new needs to be viewed equally.
With that, what are your feelings about the Nostalgia Filter in the Anime fandom? Do you think it’s a bad thing?
Edit: I realize that I some of my remarks were accusing fans of liking old Anime, which I didn’t have in in mind. I apologize for that. To clarify, I was focusing on the small group of people who of course not only crying the death of Anime for X reason, but also those who accuse other fans for not being true Anime fans because they like x show. Of course, the definition of a true Anime fan is another topic of its own.