Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Philosophy is the Cancer of Anime

There are many things I hate about anime; moe, pedophilia, Kyoani, lolis, real robots and so on. However there's another aspect of anime that I hate which I haven't really touched on, and that's bullshit philosophy.

Ever since the likes of Evangelion and Serial Experiment Lain, there's been this belief that anime has to be 'provocative' and 'mature', which in Animeland, apparently means having characters continuously spout vague, cryptic nonsense and drowning the viewer in nonsensical symbolism.

No, this doesn't make an anime intelligent, it just makes it unwatchable, pretentious bullshit. If you want to convince me a character is intelligent, don't make her do pointless shit like quote Descartes; make her solve a complex mathematical equation, or accurately predict market movements, or interpret confusing legislation, that's intelligence!

Anime pseudo-philosophy is a pointless endeavor; its only purpose is the temporary self satisfaction of the viewer. So in a way, its pretty much the same thing as masturbation. Only without the porn or the vague sexual gratification. Hence, its actually a lesser form of masturbation. Therefore, every moment spent philosophizing would be better spent masturbating.

Nonetheless, I've always believed that a point is best illustrated visually, so here is the crux of my argument in comic form;

See what I mean?

Sadly, studios are going to keep producing 'deep' and 'thought provoking' anime, I can't stop them. However, I'm gonna stick with giant robots rocket punching space aliens. Y'know, stuff that's actually fun to watch.


  1. I haven't watch the two anime you mentioned so I will reserved my opinion for later. but I get what you mean. Most of the time I watch Ghost Shell for the sake of animation since I don't get what they were talking about 70% of the time =\

  2. The only anime philosophy I believe in is GURREN LAGANN ;__; And Eyeshield 21...and Rurouni Kenshin...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

  3. I like Nanoha's philosophy. "Listen or be shot."

  4. I'll be honest, you lost me at "monstrose of the echinopsis lagenifornisisuhancila"

    Too... Much... Info... o_0!

  5. I agree with the Evangelion part as I got lost in the anime. I just wanted to see EVA's fight Angels. If I want a lesson plan or be taught something, I will go to school.

    I just want to relax and let my brain rest while watching bouncing "boobies" and combining robots fight to protect mankind.

    @Anna Sagara - Gurren Lagann all the way.

    FYI - I can see the Major actually saying all that shit - LOL - great comic

  6. Lain and Evangelion were over the top. Weird and confusing for the sake of trying to make them seem more complex and insightful than they really were.
    Parts of GITS were too but I give it more credit. It was actually entertaining to watch. Certainly more plausible than Lain or Eva though it certainly isn't going to be appealing to everyone ^^;

  7. Several things. Remember, I am a Philosophy student, but as I said often before, "I am not a philosopher because I study philosophy, I study philosophy because I'm a philosopher."

    Now, several things:
    1. I reject categorically the claim that there are things which people claim to be fun and well, aren't. The possibility exists, but let's face it: Different people derive fun from different things, AND there are different forms of fun. I dislike painting things one likes as BadWrongFun. It's the same as OneTrueWay.
    It makes for amusing blog-posts, but it makes for very bad human relations and infighting amongst fans, which are, well, fanatics.

    2. I too hate pretentious pseudo-philosophy. Which only serves to make one look deep and insightful, but if you know anything about the topic, just exposes how clueless and stupid these people are. Case in point, Element Hunters which managed to botch the most basic of chemistry, and had truly horrible Latin "puns".

    3. There are shows that have intelligent characters. Often in "thriller" like, when the character has to out-wit their enemies, and/or spout common-sense wisdoms. Case in point; Lelouch Lamperouge, which beats people at chess, which outwits most of his enemies, and friends, and had the immortal line, "Only those willing to be killed should be allowed to kill." which I may not agree with, but could serve as the basis for a serious philosophical debate.

    4. Lain was not half-bad. It's just that most people in today's world have a real serious issue with anything reeking of Idealism in general, and Solipsism in particular.

  8. I don't mind if people go all philosophical on me as long as they're not just trying to make it look like they're my superior in terms of how they appreciate anime. To each their own, and if they don't like "my own" then fuck off for being a narrow minded shit.

  9. Duckie, you ended it kinda weird...

    You say "to each their own", and then if they don't like what you like, they're "narrow-minded shits"?
    That's kinda the opposite of "To each their own".

    I suspect you meant more like, "To each their own, and if they don't like what I like, it's cool so long they don't come and tell me how what I like is wrong/stupid"?

    Also, if people who don't like what others like are, well, narrow-minded (it is a form of narrow-mindedness...), then to be wide-minded (not "open", because that's just willingness to give anything a shot, not a gaurantee of liking it), would mean liking everything, and in this case "To each their own" is either impossible, or moot, since every person's "own" would be all-encompassing.

    And now I better take a shower and sleep, though Melanie Oudin in the US Open beckons...

  10. Bet your not big on LOST then lol.

    I dont mind some philosophy now n then in anime. Can't remember much anime I've seen thats all philosophical though. I do like Serial Experiments Lain though. Prefer Haibane Renmei, but you probably wouldn't like that. Probly for the reasons u spouted above.

  11. My brain hurts for everytime I hear philosophy, fukk no wonder my brain aches whenever I watch Eva.

    On the side note, you hate real robots :sad: T~T

  12. Hmm I actually laughed out loud when you made the comparison to masturbation. When I think of the philosophy behind a series, I'll think of its overlying themes. Suzumiya Haruhi dealt with the mundane essence of life that most of society come to accept as adults, Death Note questions people's definitions of good and evil. I agree there are some series that may not pull off their theme as effectively, but watching a series that opens your eyes and question your own thoughts and beliefs can be an enjoyable experience.

    As for characters using literal references to prove intelligence, I may have not watched enough anime to think of concrete examples of this. When I thought of intelligent characters, Light Yagami and Lelouche Lamperouge came to mind, but that might just be because I find logic and tactics intelligent. I'm sure others will appreciate someone who has read many things to be well versed in history and culture and find them intelligent.

  13. Hello there, I'm sorry for being off topic, I know that it's too much to ask for this but can you include me in your blog roll? I already included you in my blog, I hope I can make it in your blog... Thank you very much

  14. I think having some philosophy in anime is interesting. An example would be Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, where I found the themes/concepts to be thought-provoking/motivating. I still think about concepts from that series at random times.

    However, I do watch anime to enjoy myself and relax, and don't really like over-analyzing every episode for themes/symbols.

  15. I think there's a difference between an anime being smart and an anime being pretentious. GITS is smart in that it introduces a new idea of where technology could eventually lead us, and shows the various facets and consequences. Of course, that's not to say that GITS does not have its bullshit philosophical pretentious moments.
    I definitely do agree on philosophy in most anime though. There is nothing more I hate than a monologue of a man pondering on the philosophical meaning of his own existence or his reason to fight/ act/ love... etc. (That's 90% of all "serious" anime out there), although I do sometimes enjoy the obscure references and consequences.

  16. Reminds me of Yuki, now I know how you feel listening to her on Haruhi ^^

  17. Yo! More cat-riding pics. Enjoy!

  18. There are sometimes or some shows were the philosophy works well.

  19. My take on this is rather simple. It's bad enough to be thinking about stuff for 10 or more hours a day about stuff my profs stuffed in my head and I'd rather not do more of that when I'm trying to relax.

  20. "Anime pseudo-philosophy is a pointless endeavor; its only purpose is the temporary self satisfaction of the viewer. So in a way, its pretty much the same thing as masturbation."

    Tyler Durden, is that you?

  21. If BS philosophy is the Cancer of anime, then I guess the other stuff mentioned is the Plague. I mean, when you compare pretentious philosophy to its contemporaries, mindless action and nonsense moe, not much of it is actually produced.

  22. Goddamn, I really need to learn to be more punctual with replies >_<

    @ Kluxorious
    Yeah, GitS was good, but they sometimes got way overextended with their metaphors

    @ Anna
    Best philosophy out.

    @ Acesan
    Another great philosophy on life.

    @ Blur
    Yeah. That's pretty much how I feel watching some of these shows >_<

    @ Baka-Raptor
    Proudly so. And besides, didn't you do a similar post regarding Cowboy Bebop?

    @ Bluedrakon
    Yeah, Eva was one of the worst offenders out there. What really annoyed me was how everyone kept calling it deep when it was just a load of shit most the time.

    I mean, "clone god"!? How the fuck do you clone god?? God's a fucking transcendent entity! >_<

    @ Anon Object
    Yeah, GitS was very good overall, but they did get way more pretentious then they needed to be.

    @ Guy
    I haven't seen Element Hunters, but I've heard some horror stories about them butchering rudimentary chemistry.

    @ Duckie
    That's part of the problem though; a stupid amount of anime fans like pretentious shit because it makes them think they're smarter then people who don't watch that crap.

    @ Meimi
    Heheh, you guessed right there. I think I watched a grand total of like 2 episodes of Lost -_-

    @ GunStray
    Well, the thing I hate about real robots is that they generally take themselves way too seriously for a show about GIANT ROBOTS. Nadesico was awesome though. Except for that Prince of Darkness shit >_<

    @ Anamae
    Whilst the intelligent are generally well read, the well read aren't by neccessity intelligent; I personally know a guy in uni who is probably the most well read and eloquent guy I've met. It still doesn't change the fact he's a collosul dumbshit who barely managed to scrape into uni >_> I much rather characters like Lelouche who uses logic and strategy to get things done.

    @ Quick
    Yeah k.

    @ Reltair
    I can see where you're going with GitS, but I think it would still be a very intelligent show without trying so hard to remind its viewers about how intelligent it was all the time.

    @ Yi
    The worst I've seen is Shinji and his fucking unfamiliar ceiling >_< Really, you'd think the boy had a ceiling fetish!

    @ Kodomut
    I actually don't mind Yuki quite as much; she generally stays quiet and only speaks when she has to

    @ Phossil
    Perhaps on those rarest of occasions

    @ gndynames
    Damn straight, high five for truth ( ..)/\(. .)

    @ Glo
    An interesting hypothesis Glo.

    @ bokunobibletoads
    Sure, why not. Yes, I am Tyler Durden.
    (Sorry, I haven't seen/read Fight Club, so I can't do much with the reference -_-)

    @ Anon
    Oh god, moe makes me want to vomit >_< In regards to mindless action, I don't mind it as much, so long as it doesn't try pretend that its anything more then that.

  23. @ Guy - I was going for more of a "to each your own and respect others opinons of the things they care about" even if those opinions don't necessarily align with their own. Like if someone says they hate my favorite series and really put it down, I'm not going to try and claim they're not a "real" anime fan or anything like that. To debate the topic is fine but I dislike when because your opinion is different your credibility is low.

  24. I whole-heartedly agree.

    I just commented on it several times lately.

    I said the Federer/Djokovic match was one of the best I've watched, and got, "You haven't seen many tennis matches, have you?"

    And even worse, because here wasn't "One of the best": Was at a comic book store, said I thought the first episode of Code Geass was great, and this dude went like, "Hurk! (sarcastic forced chuckle sound), I take it you haven't watched a lot of anime?"

    I suggest when people say they love something you hate, ask them WHY. Then you might find out their tastes differ, like Snarky and moe ;)
    Rather than accuse them of having no knowledge.

    I can think an anime is crap, and someone else can like it _for the exact same reasons_.

  25. @ Guy - I catch that situation the most over Evangelion somehow, so I USUALLY just avoid the topic of that anime series altogether. That series is a crazy button for so many fans, debates over it get too nasty and immature for me to handle. Although now that I think about it there are individuals in the figure community that do that too when someone doesn't like/want a certain figure over others, so silly. My buddy doesn't like a figure that I consider to be one of the best gems of my collection. But it really doesn't bug me because there are a lot of personal reasons why people love certain figures. If I adore a character and that figure completely embodies that character's spirit I have a hard time seeing the flaws because I'm so happy with the figure.

  26. You know, I have an easier time understanding people who are rabid if you don't like something they do, than those who are rabid/dismissive if you like something they don't.

    One promotes love, in a twisted way, one tries to diminish it.

  27. I am a man of wit and persuasion.

  28. so far anime with strong philosophy mostly end up unwatchable with "huh?". like Ergo Proxy and GitS.

    i would prefer anime like Code Geass that really entertaining by the settings / stratergy. those are much more exiciting and it suits anime more :3

  29. hmmm, i loved eva and lain. lain is definitely a philoblob, if you'll allow the phrase, but i don't think evangelion was trying to be philosophical at all, it was trying to be psychological. And considering that it all came out of Hideki Anno's actual mental dilemma, I don't see it as "pretentious" in the least, although I could totally see people being bored to death!

    Happily for you, there are still a few anime shows left between Loli Scylla and philosophical Charybdis.