In the past, I never really had strong opinions about anything. My feelings towards anime, video games, TV shows, or any other forms of entertainment fell into two major categories. I liked it or I didn’t like it. If it managed to get some kind of emotional response from me, I decided that I liked it. Or even if it didn’t, if it entertained me in some minor way and if it was positively received by the people around me, I liked it. My opinion was largely influenced by my gut reaction and the general reception of the thing which meant that I didn’t really have much to say when I was asked why I liked a thing.
This changed in my first year of university. In the weeks leading up to my first year, I watched the entirely of the Monogatari Series up until the most recent episode of Second Season. While watching the series I knew that there was a lot going on and that I liked it, but I couldn’t quite pinpoint what and the reason why I enjoyed it. I remember very clearly trying to explain Monogatari to a friend of mine and why I liked it, only to end up linking them to the MAL summary.
Not the best decision I’ve ever made.
Later that school year, I read B0bduh’s Monogatari essay and it really opened my eyes to the intricacies in anime that I was missing all these years. It was only after reading this essay (and half a million other essay written by other ani-bloggers) that I started looking more deeply at anime and media as a whole. Things like cinematography, authorial intent and biases, and unreliable narrators became things that I started to notice and understand. It made anime a lot more interesting for me and gave me something substantial to talk about with the people close to me that were also fans of anime.
This year for me came with a different kind of change. After first year, my opinion was still highly influenced by the people that I followed. It was – and still is – pretty hard to not have my opinion be affected by the people I respect, particularly because I didn’t feel confident in my ideas and thoughts enough to disagree. This year however, I found that my feelings towards anime differed from the bloggers I follow and the people I talk to regularly. I feel a lot more informed than I was in first year and more confident with myself and my ideas.
This is probably the reason why I decided to create this blog in the first place.
And for that I’m eternally grateful.