On understanding anime and each other: survival and domination

I’m learning a few things after 6 weeks of blogging anime. There does seem to be an inversely proportional relationship between my effort put into a post and the attention/commentary it recieves. My previous post, which in hindsight was under-theorized, went NOT AS PLANNED. However, it yielded the most stimulating discussion that We Remember Love has ever gotten.

In this post I’ll be pursuing a part of that discussion, related to the concept of understanding. The context of the previous post is the hatred directed towards studios, and by extension, anime shows and franchise. There is a perception that some of that hatred is ‘mindless’, and this mindlessness can also apply to fandom (i.e. my devotion to Macross). There is this idea that we would better off if we understood what’s behind the behavior, for us to be able to remove the ‘mindless’ tag from the behavior, with a view that if the hatred/fanboying would be reasoned out, we can just agree to disagree and move on.

I’ll be exploring the idea of understanding, and the purposes to which it is applied. And part of the method is an annotation of the previous posts comments section.

Here’s part of the exchanges:

lolikitsune on November 30, 2008 at 1:47 pm

[…]But… do we really need to understand hatred or criticism?

Just to be an ass for a bit and challenge the discussion occurring. Do people need a “good reason” in our eyes to hate something? Do they need to convince us? In other words, do they need to challenge themselves and think?

Most anime fans don’t like challenging themselves or thinking, a surprisingly large percentage even of anibloggers included.

lolikitsune went on to challenge a percieved double standard: hatred needs to be justified, but fanboying/love doesn’t. Fair challenge is fair. Sharing why I like the things I do can be of more interest than the fact that I like them. But this is not the point. Read on.

lolikitsune on November 30, 2008 at 4:20 pm

[…] Understanding hatred is a good goal, but I’d like to see equal challenges to love. Too often do I see someone saying that they don’t need to explain why they like something, that objectivity doesn’t matter, etc. I’ve heard “you don’t need a reason to like something” a million times. In the end, that’s the same as disliking something with no good reason.

This begins to approach the crux of this post. Again, the issue isn’t whether I agree with Dr. lolikit or not (for the record, I do). I’m after this idea called ‘understanding.’

animekritik on November 30, 2008 at 4:35 pm

[…]Putting love and hate on the same level is insightful, a fanboy and a hater are two sides of the same coin. Still, you add “People need to think more, and challenge themselves to understand their feelings more”. Why?? That sort of introspection is unseemly! Are we in need of shrinks now?
Analyze the shows, stop analyzing yourselves.

To which lolikit responds:

lolikitsune on November 30, 2008 at 4:42 pm

[…]Not all rational thought is “unseemly introspection.” If I wonder to myself, “why do I like AIR?” and then I come up with the answer that “oh hey, I like AIR because the environment it portrays is absolutely gorgeous speaks to my aesthetics, and in spite of the show’s countless flaws, I am drawn to that environment,” that’s not introspection. It’s reasoning.

And reasoning is all I want to see.

Understanding here becomes a product of a familiarity with the subject’s reasons for the behavior. Lolikit will understand the hatred, and perhaps the hater, if the reasoning behind the hate is provided (preferably by the hater).

@lolikitsune: Same here, all I’d like to see is reasoning as well or something to make clear that people are indeed holding a position out of their own belief and not because they read it on Derailed by Darry or something. If people would say something like, “I hate x because” or “I like y because” more often and then proceed to give a valid reason as to why then people would hear almost nothing from me ever on this subject other than perhaps an “I see” or a “suit yourself”. I’d already have my answers.

For the record I used to love challenging peoples love of Kyoani until they finally started giving some answers as to why they liked their work and started making some concessions as to their shortcomings (meeting me halfway can be huge in terms of making a counter-argument believe it or not) and then I pretty much backed off. No entity is infalliable or all-encompassing no matter what some would like us to believe.

Kaioshin here provides a good example of the behavior adopted by a person who ‘understands’, in lolikitean epistemology (forgive me, I couldn’t resist), reasoned-out hate leads to understanding by the reciever/observer. Kaio’s behavior upon reaching this understanding, is backing off (from an antagonistic stance). More on this later.

Let’s take another response to lolikit’s question on ‘needing to understand’ hatred:

[…]No, not necessarily. I think this is the pit that al|together guy dug himself into in his “anti-reading” of that porno thing [see here].

I’d say the desire to understand is quite a..uh…egostical(?) thing. Perhaps that stems all the freakin’ way back from Greece. Yeah, with those old gay men. That’s probably western culture for you. And of course, those that defy that canon of understanding are labled as x,y,z and every other meme under the sun. It’s quite hard to divest yourself of that philosophy, but to me it seems like the notion of understanding is more about society rather than the self, it’s to prove your status as a knowledgable person or w/e.

Okay, this is what really interested me. Why do we need to understand? What do we do with that understanding? lelangir speculated on two things: self/egotism, and society. I’m looking into this. I think it’s egotistical – even in its social application, but it is also necessary from a survival point of view.

In the concept of understanding, I want to distinguish a few things (dear reader, this is all a mental exercise on my part devoid of research on psychology and epistemology; please forgive this ignorance and share with me whatever you may know about these things that is relative to the subject at hand): First there are the levels of understanding (akin to levels of learning, IMO):

  1. Awareness
  2. Identification (including context)
  3. Appreciation
  4. Application

I’m not too sure if I can linearly place application after appreciation, but I’ll work with this for now. Interestingly, Coburn made a post on OH! related to the understanding and appreciation of a ‘complex’ anime: Neon Genesis Evangelion. To use that anime as an example:

  1. I am aware that it exists, and that people say it is good.
  2. I identify things in the anime that entertain me, and that the story somehow works (great character design, great mecha action, interesting character interactions, dark motives, astonishing if strange resolution).
  3. I take it as an example of anime progress, pushing the boundaries, awesome audacity.
  4. I begin to read other anime, (if only at least other GAINAX works) within the context of how are they adding to the overall body of work of anime (even if only anime science fiction).

Ok. If somehow I don’t make it to level 2, I will fail at life. Let me clarify that because I am dead serious. Let’s say that I have a self-identity of being an intellectual, a smart guy. That’s how I relate to myself, and I’m okay with other people relating to me as such. Not being able to articulate why I like Evangelion to myself or others, or failure to recognize the things about it that others enjoy assaults my self identity. I cannot interact with others who (I percieve) to know better about Evangelion. I fail at being smart. I could divert the attention to the anime and declare it to be the failure at being smart. But this is both risky, and inauthentic (I loved it too much for me to trash it).

This is how understanding can be read as a survival function. The self survives as an identity, and the self is determined to maintain that identity. In my case I became obsessed with Evangelion, and read as much as I can about it; lurking at forums and re-reading fansites and Wikipedia over the next year. After all that, I was an otaku; level complete (at 27 years old, LOL).

To review this bit: The self cannot function when its identity is compromised. Thus, understanding is critical, and therefore related to survival. This is not the biological survival, but the survival of the identity.

Perhaps I should share that understanding is fluid. New information, whether from the source text or secondary readings/reviews, etc. can change someone’s understanding. This change most likely impacts the appreciation of the anime, as well as possible adaptation of the methodologies used in the reading. Still staying with the Evangelion example, I recently performed a character reading of Gendo Ikari here.

omisyth on November 14, 2008 at 6:06 pm

You’ve given me a completely new perspevtice on Gendo’s character; years ago I was (as cliche as it may sound) young and naive, but thinking back, I can see how Gendo was hopelessly in love with Yui and, though he was kind of trying that whole “saving humanity” thing as a secondary goal, his deeds seemed to me to be focused on bringing back his wife. If you look beneath that cold, heartless, hateful exterior, you do find a romantic.

Also, more viscerally,

WTF? did you just make me LIKE Gendou Ikari?

I hate him with all my guts (heck, I’m a Shinji fan) but damn this post made me think “what a f*ing cool guy”.

In this case, we begin to see two possibilities for understanding. It’s harder to associate a survival need reading Omisyth’s comment, though in a preceding paragraph he described an epic investment in terms of time spent and thoughts devoted to understanding Evangelion. The reading I wrote gave him no big changes, but perhaps a new appreciation for Gendo Ikari.

In Yaku’s case, I risk reading a survival need because he stated an identity (him being a Shinji fan), that is threatened (too dramatic a word, I apologize) by a radical admiration for Gendo. While being a Shinki fan and admiring Gendo are not mutually exclusive behaviors, the antagonistic relationship between the two in the anime (Gendo did not care for Shinji much and did not play the expected role of father in his life, while risking his underaged son’s life and sanity to pursue his selfish ends) makes this reading possible.

Now we move on to the use of understanding (knowledge) to dominate others (power). Going back to lelangir’s example, which leads us to leucanoe’s MAL blog where Seung Park’s analysis of Crimsoness was discussed. My objective here is neither to agree or disagree with Leucanoe and his commenters. My purpose is to demonstrate how an understanding of a subject is used to dominate others (those with less understanding and/or with opposing views). Here are some quotes that I believe clearly communicate put downs:

These readings have more in common than they like to think: they are all remarkably similar to each other in their manufactured outrage against some supposed patriarchal hegemony that supposedly controls the world — and all remarkably boring in their utter lack of imagination. Let us therefore critically examine the short novel game Crimsoness by Porn from a feminist perspective, and see what we learn — or don’t — along the way.

Here Park refers to feminist readings of cultural products, and condemns them for their utter lack of imagination. It puts down the readings referred to, and anyone who would attempt to read the subject using the feminist methodology. Note that no such reading exists yet. Park imagines for himself such a reading and condemns his resulting product.

Crimsoness is an enjoyable novel game, and one that is designed to provoke laughter, not the unthinking rage that the protagonist of the piece demonstrates so well. From conversations with the author of the piece, I know very well that he had no intention of broaching any of these topics — indeed, he would roll his eyes at anyone who seriously read Crimsoness in an analytic manner. And at the end of this exercise, so would I.

Requiescat in pace9, Andrea Dworkin: sorry, but not all intercourse is rape.

And sorry, but sometimes a game is just a game.

Even Especially if it is written by someone named Porn.

Andrea Dworkin was an American radical feminist who is notable for her criticism of pornography. Again, it is not my purpose to agree or disagree with Park, only to demonstrate how he uses his understanding of the ff: the subject game (which he appends with his anecdote referring to personal interaction with the author of the game) and feminist criticism. He would laugh at those who attempt to read the subject in this manner.

The role Park plays is that of a judge, which has power over the subject. In this case he extends the power over those who would interact or read the subject. The judge is an authority role, and here Park makes the case that he is one.

Let me be clear that I’m not judging Park or any of the entities I’ve quoted in this post. They are neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad’ for my purposes.  To go back to lolikit, Park here reasons out his disagreement with feminist readings; in lolikitean terms, it’s not ‘blind’ aversion, it is thought out (even if someone disagrees with his reasoning).

To review this bit (and some concluding thoughts): Understanding (knowledge) can be leveraged to dominate others (power). Being the source of knowledge and an agent of understanding is a means to acquire authority. Authority can then be used to invalidate others, rendering them powerless in discussions, and other possible social interactions.

So that’s my amateur theorizing on understanding. If I am unclear and only detracted from your understanding of the concepts discussed here, then I apologize. And to the commenters and bloggers whom I quoted, all mistakes in context here, and all misunderstandings on this post are my own.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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43 Responses to On understanding anime and each other: survival and domination

  1. mechafetish says:

    You know. I think our need to understand something is directly proportional to how big it is of a shared experience for us. I think this is because power can only exist relative to others.

    You and I feel more pressured to “understand” an anime now because we are participating in the blogosphere and have to defend our tastes to our audience as a means to remain “authoritative”.

    It’s a bit sad because you are the one who taught me that there should be no divide between high culture and low culture, that value is relative, and that everything should be enjoyed on its own merits.

    Before, awesome anime was awesome.

    But now, awesome anime is awesome because…

  2. ghostlightning says:

    Well, my blogging is more towards sharing rather than being right about things. Reasons are great in that they tell me about the person reasoning. I’m interested in people, what I have in common with them and how we differ. Every now and then there will be those who will dismiss me or you without making the effort to understand.

    Getting to know us has no impact on their identity. Being right about their anime or some such, is.

    So what’s left for us to do? I’m not as interested in positioning myself as an authority, a Rossiu to anyone’s Simon.

    I’m not even as interested in shoulds, only in how important it is for people to maintain their ‘shoud’ves’ and ‘must bes’.

    I feel the need to know and understand too (I guess pressure could apply) – as a survival need – because I’m interested in what people enjoy. Blogging is a participation game for me, not so much a domination one. I win when I get to interact, not when I invalidate someone’s comment or post. Besides, I haven’t seen half the anime you have.

  3. mechafetish says:

    As much as I like to talk about quality relative to the anime I like, I do believe that there is a place for irrational love/hate of an anime. The problem is that this is a very personal thing which cannot be a shared experience the way mutually agreed upon “quality” can be.

    And it is in these mutually agreed upon “quality” standards where the battle for power takes place. Battles for control over discourse happen all the time, particularly in the hallowed halls of the academe.

    The concept of “expert knowledge” underlies the structures of power that order modern civilization. In our case, the “expert” is the arbiter of quality.

  4. mechafetish says:

    I forgot which political theorist is was, but I think this is a battle for control of “expert knowledge”, a very powerful thing in the modern world.

    The trouble is, since the net is by nature, participatory, it becomes very hard to construct walls around your discipline to solidify your expertise. That’s why this is all so messy.

    Ghostlightning and I, or the people at Oh! or THAT cant simply get together and agree to create an authoritative “PHD in Anime Theory” which they would confer on those who share their opinions while excluding those with contrary opinions.

    Even the size of your audience (Blog Hits) doesn’t confer upon you the status of “expert” anymore. The ease by which your audience can participate leaves you constantly on the defensive with regard to your ideas. Also, it is very easy for disaffected viewers to simply shift attention to other blogs should you displease them.

    The net being what it is, we are in the middle of an entirely new landscape for discourse, one that makes it increasingly difficult to establish expertise. Its quite exciting, but also a little bit scary because we can only arrive at the truth, or destroy ourselves in our own chaos.

  5. ghostlightning says:

    Baka-Raptor commented something in the previous post that really made me think. To paraphrase,

    If us viewers aren’t the guardians of quality, who is?

    I don’t relish that role. It maybe closer to your idea of expert, as the arbiter of quality.

    I make it easy for a non-Macross fan to dismiss my raving, because I declare myself a fanboy. But it doesn’t mean my conviction of the awesomeness of the franchise is baseless or inauthentic.

    Maybe I really just don’t relish becoming the person who tells people not to watch something; to put parameters on their own taste and freedom. I’d rather invite, not control.

    I’d rather be a connector and a pitch-man, in Gladwell’s terms, than be a maven – even if mavens are characterized by the absence of their own self-interest in giving advice (which is the source of the legitimacy of their influence).

    As for official titles that bestow expertise and mastery, yikes. Not for me. Despite my hunger for exposure (blog hits and such), I don’t see myself trying to be better than anyone else.

    Everyone else is the audience, the readers. Discourse with them is the game. As for the Truth (with a capital T), I don’t concern myself with that as much as I do with what’s possible.

  6. animekritik says:

    Is there a truth to be arrived at in anime, something that would give objective criteria for liking and disliking a show? If there isn’t, then what is the status of this “knowledge” you are trying to reach?

    Classically, knowledge is the agreement between the mind and the object (Aquinas). If I think an object is red, and it happens to be red, then my thought is true, and I have knowledge of the object. Can we apply this to art, or anime in particular? I think it’s questionable.

    Understanding seems to be more of a game: how to express yourself in such a way that you can be accepted into a group and still retain your identity as an individual. It is not about finding the reasons you like Evangelion, so much as creating reasons for liking Evangelion that other people can relate to and yet at the same time you can call your own.

  7. Baka-Raptor says:

    I’ve been reading Liar Game, a Kaiji-type gambling manga by the creator of One Outs. In one of the recent chapters, the two main characters, a super honest girl and a cynical gambling mastermind, were discussing the nature of trust and doubt. Honest Girl thought doubt was a bad thing and insisted that we should all strive to trust each other. Cynical Gambler insisted that doubt signifies an attempt to understand someone and trust is a failure to try.

    No real point there, just thought I’d share it because it’s about understanding and Liar Game kicks ass.

  8. mechafetish says:

    @ animekritik

    I completely agree with you! I’m just saying that, when we perceive someone as knowing the “truth” on a subject, that person wields very real power over us. And that’s the kind of power structure that exists in the world today. I do think its sad, but that’s the way it is.

  9. TheBigN says:

    “Is there a truth to be arrived at in anime, something that would give objective criteria for liking and disliking a show?”

    Given that objectivity is in itself arbitrary, it’s all a matter of consensus as to what to truth is. Which is why it feels strange to me whenever I don’t “get” what other people find so cool about some shows, and while others don’t understand why I like other shows, for example. I guess it’s a search for common ground, and the more you can express about something, the more possibility is there to find something that others agree with, or at least see where you’re coming from. If that’s the only criteria used in trying to understand you though, that’s being too simple/easy at the same time. 😛

    The question I think of from that is do we actually really need to build a consensus in the first place, and I guess that depends on what you want in interacting with other anime fans. :/

  10. ghostlightning says:

    @ animekritik

    I can spew another ocean on text on the arbitrariness of meaning, but that’s for another post. For my purposes here, I take on the assumed consensus of what a particular show is about, and how those who understand this get to this point then perhaps leverage it on others.

    @ Baka-Raptor

    I gotta get my hands on that one. You know what you just did? You led me to a desirable possibility for discourse: sharing anime and manga that relates to the subject at hand. It can make people stretch their taste to sample other works. I’ve just gotten Kaiji and will start marathoning it probably when my wife and I finish One-Outs.

    Since you’ve read/viewed at least three gambling anime/manga, why don’t post something on what these works say about life and the world, in your own fashion? I’d be thrilled to read it. My wife is a lawyer for the national casino but neither of us are gamblers that way. But I’m very intrigued.

    @ Mechafetish

    I’m with you there. Your experience with Gundam makes me second-guess anything I post on this site about that subject. It’s not like you’re attempting to dominate me, but the power relationship exists. But see, it shouldn’t stop me from attempting any reading of Gundam, or disagreeing with you. I’m just acknowledging that the power exists. My behavior is influenced without effort.

    If that’s not power, I don’t know what is.

    @ TheBigN

    Consensus is a ‘natural’ phenomenon. Language itself is the biggest consensus result there is. The word consensus itself (the grouping of sounds and letters) means the way it does because you and me and most english speakers agree that it means what it does.

    Consensus changes, as the particular word will change or have multiple meanings as it becomes adopted by groups for their own purposes. Memes and all that. We don’t necessarily have to agree what an anime means, but we will agree with some people some of the time and I don’t think this will change or is a bad thing. It is necessary for survival, especially outside the anime blogosphere context.

    What does the N in “TheBigN” stand for? Why is it so big? ^_^

  11. Objectivity doesn’t exist. Understanding, that thing is important. But how that relates to objectivity, I’ve no clue.

  12. don’t answer that, I’m gunna make a post.

  13. Pingback: On the Nonexistence of Objectivity « Euphoric Field - Suspended Animation Dreams

  14. choujin1 says:

    Too much heady thinking for me. Make Hulk head hurt.

    Back to exploding heads and spurting entrails…

  15. lelangir says:

    before I read the post:

    I’m learning a few things after 6 weeks of blogging anime. There does seem to be an inversely proportional relationship between my effort put into a post and the attention/commentary it recieves. My previous post, which in hindsight was under-theorized, went NOT AS PLANNED. However, it yielded the most stimulating discussion that We Remember Love has ever gotten.

    Absolutely true. Never try and write a good post, haha.

  16. lelangir says:

    some preliminary comments here, a post at yukan

    after reading


    Putting love and hate on the same level is insightful, a fanboy and a hater are two sides of the same coin. Still, you add “People need to think more, and challenge themselves to understand their feelings more”. Why?? That sort of introspection is unseemly! Are we in need of shrinks now?
    Analyze the shows, stop analyzing yourselves.

    Uhhh, well, a lot of the time, perception is social, society is structural, perception is a structural thing, it isn’t simply personal. It’s not just in the realm of psychoanalysis. Of course you’d know people use Hegel to talk about very structural things (binaries). IMHO analyzing ourselves yields far more effective products than does analyzing the object of our fandom because we are then able to say precisely why it is we like not a specific anime, but the trends in this “liking” itself.


    You know. I think our need to understand something is directly proportional to how big it is of a shared experience for us. I think this is because power can only exist relative to others.

    Absolutely, that’s because in the ‘sphere there is no institution – its people constitute its entirety. There is no singular ideology to which we subscribe, there is what Foucault called “capillary power” wherein people dominate each other out of mutual suspicion. It’s interesting to apply this in a microscopic way…seeing if blogs themselves can create institutionalized ways of thinking which don’t apply elsewhere in the ‘sphere.

  17. Pingback: Yukan Blog! » Blog Archive » Another reply via post to a ghostlightning post

  18. Ryan A says:

    I think we’re beating something with a large stick here, hehe.

    Before anything, oneself is oneself, oneself is not another, and the only thing humanly possibly is an attempted understanding of another[, within a given context (as is the case with everything)].

    As we see here, some say reasons are or are not required, well they absolutely are not required in the world of one. Self-justification, to oneself is not a necessary act, but we do it anyway; we give ourselves excuses and reasons. I don’t feel its important as to the why, egotism, etc, because it varies too greatly across the individual spectrum.

    More importantly is the justification we can express to others [, when they request it]. When we can express our justification well, a bridge of understanding between others may be created. The crucial key being that others must be open to it, otherwise, understanding fails…

    … understanding requires, firstly, an open party, but I think that’s obvious. With a bridge of understanding, everything is possible or impossible; magical things can happen, people can change.

    The better justified an individual is, the easier it may be for others to understand them; it’s a social thing. ^^

  19. @Ryan


    If only SEELE had read that before they started Instrumenality…

  20. ghostlightning says:

    @ lelangir

    I responded to your post at Yukan.

    @ Ryan A

    I subscribe to a theory that there is the self, and there is another thing that is the identity. The self confuses itself with the identity almost all the time. What it often fails to distinguish that the self has an identity, it isn’t is the identity. Much like I have a blog, but I am not my blog.

    This duality makes the conversations with the self possible. It is the identity asserting itself over the self. The identity, when justifying liking Ikki Tousen Great Guardians to the self is saying “this is you, you’re into Kan-Us naughty bits; that’s why you like this”


    Now we’re talking. SEELE knew of identity. They recognized it as the field of absolute terror. It defines the self, but also limits it, and keeps others away. Sometimes this field is so strong nothing and no one can come close. No one is let in, and those who try get hurt.

  21. omisyth says:

    Screw it, I’m going wth short statements.

    People wish to convey thoughts and feelings. Therefore, ethy wish for understanding.

    Others wish for reasoning for such conveyances. The initial people themselves wish for reasoning as a result of others wish for it. Therefore, people reason/ make excuses.

    People are egotistical. Knowledge is power. Ego + knowledge = domination.

    People wish to be appreciated by others. Therefore, opinions are adjusted, viewpoints accepted and minds are changed.

  22. Anime love takes on a new difficulty level. What happened to simple things like dreaming about NarutoXSasuke.

  23. TheBigN says:

    The “N”? Quiet weapons for silent wars. 😛

  24. lolikitsune says:

    This has escalated through lelangir’s comments and post into something beyond my meager high school graduate self’s comprehension; too much srs bsns, etc. I’m going back to trolling for now.

    Also, digiboy’s “understanding” of Kanokon I think is flawed, but that’s something for another time.

    After all, Owen already beat the shit out of anyone who pointed out Kanokon’s major objective flaws, so… *AHEM*

    right, no more srs bsns. bye bye

  25. ghostlightning says:

    @ omisyth

    That sounds like a good summation of all the huffing and puffing I made using OVER 9000 words (not really). While simplicity is a quality of elegance, neither are natural to me ^_^

    @ The Sojourner

    Oldfags like me who started reading blogs from Cruel Angel’s Theses and The Animanachronism first before they read anything else.

    I write about robots that go PEW PEW PEW once again in the next post I promise.

    @ TheBigN

    Most interesting. I’ll speculate a meaning for every post that you’re caught commenting on here. For now, Let N be “Netherlands”.

    @ lolikit

    May you bring lots of lulz for the rest of us.

  26. I go to Sankaku Complex. What is Animanachronism?

  27. Ryan A says:

    @ghostlightnight, of course, I was simply terming oneself as a single physical human, as a distinction between another. I believe in what you mentioned, self vs identity, there’s a whole new ball game there; I just wrapped it up for simplicity, and without proving that one individual’s self+identity does not overlap with another’s (hopefully that is the case, but then there is psych-theory and a bunch of goodies I’m not qualified to flesh out and prove).


  28. Ryan A says:

    errr, sorry I spelled lighting wrong *facepalms* (bad typing habit)

  29. ghostlightning says:

    @ The Sojourner

    The Animanachronism is lolikit’s other blog.

    @ Ryan A

    Sorry, this Eva-esque discussion baits me into spewing walls of text on hapless e-passers by. I did what I could not to derail Coburn’s post at OH!

    Yes we do normally collapse self with identity to the point of being indistinguishable, so there’s just me and you. And me right now is just surviving this exchange by understanding your comment so as not to come off as some toolish Evatard.

  30. Pingback: CCY-senpai wa 17sai 0.04 « Miao on My Mind

  31. usagijen says:

    I think we can throw a whole bunch of philosophical jargons here relating to understanding and the self, existentialism, etc. but since I’m not quite knowledgeable in that field it’d be best to avoid that. Though I think I’ve come to embrace some sort of “I think therefore I am” philosophy when it comes to understanding anime (partially influenced by my brother who “trolled” me ever since I was a little kid, for mindlessly fangirling over Marmalade Boy), and I see that as a good thing.

    In my case, it’s like the “need to understand why I love the animes I love” came about when my baka aniki challenged it — as I became aware of the existence of people whose views differ from mine (reinforcing lelangir’s theory about the blogosphere being primarily social, or something — I fail at paraphrasing). In an effort to understand my own biases as well as my brother’s, I decided to embark on this whole “journey for enlightenment” (or however you wanna call it). It’s both egotistic and social in this sense (depends on who you’re trying to deal with, and what your objectives are, I guess), as you get to know yourself better, as well as the other person, see the point of convergence and divergence in your point of views.

    …and I don’t think what the whole point of my comment was any more @_@;

    Guess I’ll just quote myself on a previous post which states a bit about my stand on “understanding anime”:

    “The more I think about it, the more I realize that we actually need both these negative and positive forces in the blogosphere, to broaden perspectives on just about everything. The interaction between these anti- and pro- factions will always bring in a new light on things, because the varying insights of these factions is what brought them to such opposing ends of the spectrum to begin with. There are things which the cynics can’t see, and the zealous [TS] fans can, and vice versa.”

  32. animekritik says:


    Marmalade Boy is one of my favorite shows of all time (except for the US arc, which was not in the manga).

    Sorry everyone, carry on.

  33. ghostlightning says:

    @ usagijen

    Epic comment is epic. While I agree that “negative” opinions shouldn’t be suppressed (though negative attitudes are a pain) Macross haters, purists (Robotech haters) and elitists (Macross Frontier/7 haters) can all kiss my culture-loving ass. Hate is a wasteful emotion. Life’s too short to hate anime and its fans.

  34. lolikitsune says:

    In my case, it’s like the “need to understand why I love the animes I love” came about when my baka aniki challenged it — as I became aware of the existence of people whose views differ from mine (reinforcing lelangir’s theory about the blogosphere being primarily social, or something — I fail at paraphrasing). In an effort to understand my own biases as well as my brother’s, I decided to embark on this whole “journey for enlightenment” (or however you wanna call it). It’s both egotistic and social in this sense (depends on who you’re trying to deal with, and what your objectives are, I guess), as you get to know yourself better, as well as the other person, see the point of convergence and divergence in your point of views.

    That’s like, exactly what I did with AIR. The only person I ever tried defending my ideas in front of was my older brother who kept calling the show trash.

  35. picchar says:

    Wow. My brain just went through a heavy work out. The last time I used my brain this much like this was when I was studying back in the Phils @.@

    I guess computer coding uses a different part of my brain or something. This is way more interesting than codes ^o^

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  40. Sunagan says:

    Though I wrote my blog post about 180° in a different direction, I must say I largely agree with your words as well. Of course, it’s all about explaining our reasoning to eachother. Giving an opinion without openness or reasons is just (unconscious?) self defence, or stating an unwillingness to think about the matter taking the easy way out. That’s exactly the reason why I think talking it over and explaining your likes, dislikes, feelings and rational thoughts about an anime is so interesting at times; it provides us with fresh ideas. It’s just like the amazing perspective switch you mentioned from a Shinji lover who came to appreciate Gendo as well: it’s what makes some anime so intriguing. A silly example I also mentioned in my blog is Azumanga. The co-owner of my blog, Omurqi, simply loves the series thinking it was one of the most hilarious things ever, while I was basically through with it after about 10 eps xD we still have hilarious conversations about it every once in a while. On the other hand, while I’m an avid shounen fan, omurqi manages to hate a few of the shows I love most. What can I say, it certainly keeps the discussion fresh and turbulent :-P.

    Moreover, for a self-proclaimed ‘amateur’, you’ve made some pretty sharp observations about the nature of objectivity and our drive to understand one another (as wel as our need to protect our identity, which I think is pretty hilarious actually if you think about it – and well, that’s what basically all human behavior boils down to at the end, isn’t it?). I really enjoyed reading this post and it’s at moments like these that I feel jealous of not having english as my native language – no matter how well I can express myself in my own language, it’s always gonna sound just a bit clumsy in English – oh well ^_^…

    • Thank you very much, you’ve said a lot of encouraging things here and I appreciate it.

      I am from the Philippines and English is not my first language. I speak it often enough that I “think” in Enlish. It also makes a difference that I consume all my entertainment in English, and that my wife has a poor command of the vernacular (Tagalog) that we speak in English at home more often than not. (If you don’t mind sharing, where are you from and what is your primary language? ^_^)

      LOL I have the same experience with AzuDai. My friends on and offline regard it very highly while I find the anime unfunny and boring. I dropped it at ep 13.

      Also, back to my wife. She doesn’t really like most of the shows I’m into. She wouldn’t give something like Eva or Cowboy Bebop the time of day. She abhors tragic ends, while I love them so much. So what does she end up enjoying? Naruto, Bleach, The Prince of Tennis… shonen manga!

      We did enjoy Legend of the Galactic Heroes together and I’m so glad for that.

      I think curiosity… in light of my discoveries watching Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is a delightful way (and a most interesting factor) of maintaining and preserving individuality. I find it the best way to move in and out of our respective A/T fields.

      I certainly enjoy when people share more of themselves in these comments, in the spirit of connecting, as opposed to protecting.

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