I have never known an anime to start a revolution. – Godlen
Deb Aoki of manga.about.com asked,
I wonder who can claim to be the Lester Bangs of manga/anime criticism?
ANN’s Zac Bertschy was quick to answer,
I’m not sure the medium inspires that kind of voice. IMO there will never be a Lester Bangs or a Hunter Thompson of anime.
I’d say what made Lester Bangs was not uniqueness but authority, which the postmodern otaku may be inherently resistant to.
Even if you got them to say, “he’s RIGHT,” it wouldn’t change their lives. They wouldn’t permanently alter their perspective. It’s the same sort of disassociation of appreciation/deed that enables someone to love anime and pirate everything.
Anime is so inherently commercial that anyone writing about it while wallowing in the same fuck-you-and-fuck-this, youth will kill the system attitude is going to sound like a ridiculous, trying-too-hard poser who’s going for the image not substance.
Deb Aoki suggested that it wasn’t authority so much as passion:
well, not so much the authority — but the energy and creativity he put into his writing, & his enthusiasm for his subject.
so little commercial anime is really, truly revolutionary nowadays, such that it’d inspire passionate critiques.
Michael Pinto jumped in:
But if a show is mediocre, isn’t that’s something to hate? They are in the “entertainment” business after all…
Gia of Anime Vice did as well:
If we’re talking fans, they AIM for subversive, they just have no clue how to do it =P
At this point I noted that we had a lot of prominent reviewers turning their thoughts to the topic:
@michaelpinto @debaoki @animevice @ANNZac Hm, what if the real reason is that as reviewers we expend our energy thinking about the meta? 😛
And indeed, what if that is the function of anime in the first place – a tool for social control, and a means to prevent people from revolting by taking their minds away from their bad days?
Think about it – but don’t think too long. You’ll miss your show.