In this post I talk about spoilers, and how important they are to my survival as an anime fan.
A few days ago, ghostlightning went totally out of character and started saying weird things over twitter:
Wut? Then I read the previous message:
Wtf is this guy on? Legend of the Galactic Heroes is awesome!
Ahh, oh well. It’s not the first time I’ve seen people, not only ghostlightning react to an anime plot development that way. One of our friends still refuses to watch any further episodes of Gurren Lagann after episode 8, and ghostlightning (again) as much as he says he loves Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket, it’s one of the titles that he outright says he doesn’t want to re-watch.
As for myself, I realize that it has been a very long time since I had felt emotions that strong after viewing an anime. In this age of Wikipedia, Random Curiosity and other similar resources like 4chan, it has become all too easy for me to manage my story expectations for an anime by spoiling myself. This way I am able to prepare myself for any and all untoward story developments which may occur. Worst comes to worst, I may simply put on hold or drop an anime altogether based on spoilers in order to minimize my own emotional discomfort.
However, is this truly the way anime is meant to be enjoyed? Honestly, I think not. I am reminded of Elmo’s words in Macross Frontier wherein he asserted that music is culture, and that culture is love. Might we not make a similar comaparison for anime?
If anime is indeed love, then perhaps to spoil ourselves is to deny the fullness of the gifts it has to offer. In 1923, Kahlil Gibran, through the voice of a great prophet, spoke about the nature of Love. For those of you who are unfamiliar with his work, you may check his book the Prophet here for free. ]
Had he lived today, perhaps he might have said the following about watching anime (lovingly pillaged and butchered from Chapter 2: Love of “The Prophet”):
Then an Otaku, clutching his gunpla and DVDs said, ‘Speak to us of Anime.’
And the prophet raised his head and looked upon the people, and there fell a stillness upon them. And with a great voice he said:
When anime beckons to you follow her,
Though her ways may be strange and not always so good.
And when her story enfolds you yield to her,
Though the FAIL hidden among her scenes may wound you.
And when she speaks to you believe in her,
Though her voice may shatter your expectations as the dimension eater lays waste a planet.
For even as anime decultures you so shall she troll you. Even as she is for your Fanwank so is she for your rageHate.
Even as her drill pierces the heavens showing you the way to tomorrow,
So shall her quantum brainwaves ensnare you into bridge bunny-hood.
Like sheaves of corn she gathers you unto herself.
Her fanservice threshes you to make you naked.
Her plotholes sift you to free you from your husks.
The GAR-ness of her sons grinds you to whiteness.
LOLTOMINO kneads you until you are pliant;
And then she assigns you to her sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
But if in your fear you would seek only anime’s peace and anime’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you spoil yourself on RandomC and pass out of anime’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Does this mean I will stop spoiling myself in regards to anime I am watching? Probably not completely. But I have resolved to lessen this habit somewhat. That said, here are a couple of questions for our readers:
1. When you visit episodic anime blogs, do you read the episode summaries after you’ve seen the episode?
2. How do you feel about spoilers? How significant are they in your experience of anime?
3. If you do spoil yourself frequently, what are the reasons why you do so?
Until next time,