There are a lot of different ways to watch and share your opinions about anime thanks to the internet. The number of shows, sites offering simulcasts, and fans have grown on a yearly basis.
— 洋介犬＠はずネジ五巻発売中 (@yohsuken) April 9, 2018
All of the options are great for fans, but recent years has seen a rise in “hate-watching.” This trend has given rise to a fandom that sticks with shows with the sole intention hating on it and trashing their fanbases.
The toxic trend serves as the basis of a 4-panel short manga written by Yohsuken, who describes it as the “worst way to watch anime.”
“Ah…while I’m watching this anime…”
“…from the very start, all I’m looking for are ways to talk trash about it online.”
“I wonder if I can ever go back to how I was before when I didn’t think about those kinds of things and just thought ‘This anime is fun and interesting.'”
The phenomenon of hate-watching has exploded in recent years due to a combination of social media, the digitization of entertainment, and binge-watch culture. It’s common for an anime to attract fans and detractors that love sharing their opinions.
Hate-watching grew out of satirical criticism shows like The Angry Video Game Nerd and Mystery Science Theater 3000, which uses humor to critique “bad entertainment” as a way to mock self-serious critics and rabid fanbases.
The style grew popular, especially among anime fans, due to a jaded outlook and the ease of access to seasonal anime. Until the mid-2000s, many “bad” anime were filtered out by localizers and fansub groups, which limited the pool of available anime to either critical hits or cult favorites. Modern fans have to do their own filtering now, which has led to hate-watching as a form of venting at the expense of acting toxic to others.
The same Tweet featured another 4-panel manga showcasing how fans should be true to their own personal opinions.
“The movie I saw today was good!”
“Oh, looks like it’s getting really bad viewer reviews online. It’s doing terrible at the box-office, and my friend just sent me a message saying it was ‘boring.'”
“But I still think it was good.”
“If your honest opinion is that a movie was good, don’t be so quick to let others, or even yourself, deny that feeling.”
Yohsuken’s shorts raises good points about how fans shouldn’t deny their feelings, but they shouldn’t go out of their way to just rip on something they don’t like.
Now, have you seen the latest episode of Doki-Doki Island Adventure: I’m My Brother’s Kawaii Shield? Pure trash.