Reading this article made me think about omo’s idea about an anime-watching mindset, and how we respond to things that fit/don’t fit into it. He brings up an interesting point about how we tend to hate anime that goes outside of what it’s supposed to be, or rather, what we expect it to be. If someone tries to make a piece of work more that what it should be, it tends not to be a good idea for most people watching.
Case in point being Futakoi Alternative. I liked the change in direction they took in the middle episodes by having Rentarou be more self-introspective, and by making the show more emo as a whole. I felt it added to make the ending kick more ass than normal. But before that change of direction, it was madcap fun for the most part, so I can see why the sudden change would not work well with others. “Don’t fix what isn’t broken” and all that jazz. While the execution wasn’t as good as it could have been, I love what ufotable was trying to do. Trying to go beyond the means, attempting to make the show more profound than people expected. I feel it’s really hard to make a statement in anime, especially when people are interested in just rehashes of the same stuff. Placing a spin of things at least helps to try and be different, and may change a few mindsets at the same time.
In a more real-life aspect, it can seem like many people have a main mindset, and barely waver from that area in terms of the anime they watch. In the anime club I go to, I try to find out about people’s tastes in anime, and often they just fit a specific area. If that’s fine with them, then by all means they should go with that, but it’s depressing to hear people not bother even trying to watch a show because “I don’t think it will be something I like”. It still gnaws on my mind the fact that people won’t bother to watch shows after they hear certain buzzwords that seem to be incompatible with their mindset.
I wonder if I’m bothered by this more than I should, since really anime just one of many methods from which a person can derive entertainment. If the stuff you watch is stuff that makes you feel a certain way that you want, than have at it; if you don’t want to feel forced to move out of a comfort zone with what you watch, that’s cool. But I feel that the best stuff are things that you willingly allow to change your mindset while watching. Or better yet, not having a mindset at all when watching things. You could be surprised at how you react, or at how the show takes on new, interesting meanings.