I feel kind of bad, I essentially inserted myself into the nominations when Pinkie of Pinkie’s Paradise covered this tag last week and it’s taken me this long to actually write mine in response. Maybe it hasn’t actually been that ling, but it feels like it.
The premise of this tag is to answer a bunch of questions regarding what I perceive to be an unpopular opinion. I found this tag pretty interesting conceptually for a couple of reasons. First off; there’s something weirdly appealing about watching people bucking the mainstream and having these unusual opinions on things most people see as a subjective truth.
The other is seeing the what some people actually perceive as a “hot take” at all. I’ve read so many people on social media prefacing a statement with “unpopular opinion” or “hot take”, only to then say something I feel is a pretty even split, or I even agree with. It makes me wonder how they got to there in the first place.
Anyway, I should probably write my entries in here, and what I actually perceive as against the mainstream. While the original tag didn’t require this, I’m actually going to steal an idea from Pinkie and split my tag into talking about an example from western media and one from eastern media (a.k.a. anime).
A Popular Series You Don’t Like
West: The Walking Dead.
It’s just depression porn and from everything I’ve seen about it, it’s barely about the zombies anyway. Which I kind of get, “we’re the real monsters”, yadda yadda. Although I feel like we’re overblown with zombie media anyway. I kind of feel this take might not be as hot as it was in the show’s early years, but it’s still going and people still get excited for it. I couldn’t get past the third episode before my yawn physically turned the show off.
East: Neon Genesis Evangelion
I don’t know if I would have liked this better had I seen it when it was brand new. But only going back and seeing it after the fact as this piece of seminal anime, I kind of didn’t see the appeal. It’s fantastically animated and the excessively bleak setting is incredibly impactful. But I think what really put me off it all was the Shinji being the ultimate wet blanket of a protagonist, coupled with the weird, totally nonsensical ending.
I’ve said before that a bad ending can ruin a good story, seeing as how it’s the parting experience and the one that inevitably paint your final impression of a show, movie or video game. It takes some real reflection to go back and see the piece as a whole and appreciate it for it’s entire achievement. An effort I’ve never wanted to go back and do with this series.
A Show/Film Everyone Else Hates But You Love:
West: The 1998, Roland Emmerich directed Godzilla.
It’s one of my ultimate guilty pleasure movies. Don’t get me wrong, I am totally aware of just how bad this movie is. But I can’t help but feel a sense of joy from watching this homage to a classic Japanese cinema icon that utterly misses the point and ends up having more to thank Jurassic Park for than the Kaiju genre it was named after.
I was just the right age for this movie when it came out and I’ve never stopped enjoying it since first seeing it when I was 10 years old. “That’s a lot of fish” is still a quote I make to this day.
East: Yu-Gi-Oh! GX
I kind of struggled to think of one for this originally. In comparison to western media, my scope of anime is much more limited outside of the past three years. Before that point, I’m mostly only really aware of the very mainstream shows. In the end I had to look up some lists online to refresh my memory of what actually is anime disliked by the mainstream.
GX ended up being something of a perfect answer. As a followup to the much loved original series, the dubbed and censored 4kids version of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX is much loathed by many fans. But I kind of loved how more seriously it took the card game aspect of the show, much more so than the original series. Which was a better, character driven show that just so happened to have card games in it.
As a kid who was obsessed with the card game itself, seeing it played properly in the show made it the perfect marketing tool that every other series of Yu-Gi-Oh that followed ended up being. It was also the last series I watched in the franchise, as it started introducing a bunch of new mechanics I simply wasn’t interesting in learning. But that’s a topic for another day.
A Love Triangle Where the Person Ended Up with the Person You Didn’t Like
Jack and Kate having their declaration of love in the final episode of Lost was forced as hell. Jack Shepard was very much the Scott Summers of Lost, he filled the leader archetype, and consequently had very little personality beyond that. In a show that I ended up sticking with till the end for the characters more than anything, the fact that Kate ended up falling for Jack felt really tacked on.
Let’s be real, Sawyer was the best guy in the show. It just seemed weird to me that they totally changed all of the character dynamics during that time skip in the show’s later half.
East: I’m still mad about the ending to Nisekoi.
I didn’t dislike Chitoge, but her and Raku’s relationship never felt real to me. They never really got past their weird, immature combativeness and it really bugged me. The post-time skip scene at the end was especially frustrating for me, as the pair despite dating for years hadn’t progressed in their relationship whatsoever.
Had we seen them in a much more stable, matured relationship despite their separation I would have been much happier with it. But the fact that they never even kissed till a day before their wedding made me wish they’d not had a time skip at all. Chitoge was third choice at best.
(in hindsight, maybe neither of these opinions are actually that unpopular. I dunno, let me know.)
A Popular Genre that You Hardly Watch
West: Straight up romantic comedies.
They’re either formulaic as all hell, or are screwball comedies that don’t do anything for me either. Of course there are amazing examples that are earnest and impactful and work on me in the way they intended. I went on a date and saw Run, Fat Boy, Run back when it came out and it had me tearing up at the end. But being chronically single these days puts this genre pretty low on my list when I fancy seeing a movie.
East: Cooking Anime
I was originally going to talk about the more mature genres of anime, aimed towards a more adult audience. How I come to my anime for over the top action scenes and abject silliness, but at the final stage of editing this post I something popped into my head and felt like a better alternative.
I love cooking myself. I have an entire shelf on my bookshelf dedicated to cook books and relish the chance to try new and challenging recipes. And yet, for some reason, the idea of watching fictionalised show about cooking has never appealed to me. I know food in anime is a massive thing in general, but seeing a show based around the making of food has been something I never felt a drive to consume.
Maybe it’s some weird sense of envy, maybe it’s not the level of escapism I’m looking for. I couldn’t tell you, but Golden Kamuy is the closest thing to a cooking anime I think I’ve ever actually watched.
A Beloved Character You Don’t Like
West: Ron Burgundy.
I don’t get why people like Anchorman so much. I mean, it’s got its moments, but the whole thing just feels like a drunken conversation. It’s weirdness and super obvious ad-libbing throughout kind of takes me out of it. Will Ferrell is also a comedian that doesn’t really do it for me. And his role in Anchorman is the distillation of that style of comedy put into a character that I don’t hate, but I certainly don’t like either.
East: Sasuke Uchiha.
Guy’s a terrorist and a war criminal. Throughout Shippuden, he should have been arrested and executed as per the laws of the ninja world the story takes place in. People like him because he’s a sexy edgelord, I can’t stand him. Sasuke was too wrapped up in his own shit from the very beginning of the series, and to me his redemption never felt like it made up for years of being a little shit who treated everyone around him like crap.
A Popular Show or Series You Can’t Get Into
West: True Detective.
I’ve tried my hardest to watch the first season of it on several occasions. And I like what I see, but every time I watch one, I totally forget the show exists for months until someone brings it up to me again. For some reason it just doesn’t fire the correct synapses in my brain and stick in there.
East: Kill La Kill.
For pretty much the same reason. I’ve tried to watch this one on several occasions, and there’s just something about it that doesn’t work for me. I don’t dislike what I see, but I just don’t have the desire to continue. Every time I go to put an episode on, something else catches my eye and I just feel like watching that instead. It’s weird.
A Popular Show or Film You Have No Interest in Seeing
Oh boy, let’s rack em up:
Walking Dead, Bleach, Breaking Bad, Death Note, Peaky Blinders, Sword Art Online, The Office, Fairy Tale, Shazam, Seven Deadly Sins.
I’m not the type of person who hates things because they’re popular. More like, I have no interest in investing my time into a series that runs for seven or more seasons of 20-something episodes. I just don’t have that much free time.
A Movie or Show Adaptation You Prefer More than the Book
West: Is it cheating to say Jaws? If it is, then I’ll say Lord of the Rings.
Reading those tomes, having already seen the movies and knowing what was going to happen was a painful experience. I guess that’s not a fair comparison either though considering that’s just not me wanting to read the books rather than an adaptation being a better told story than the original source material. I guess, I’m missing the point here… Oh I know:
West: 80% of Steven Spielberg’s movies that were based on books
East: Demon Slayer.
I don’t want to say the art in the Demon Slayer manga is overly simplistic or anything, but the anime is such an audio visually impressive piece of art that it’s really difficult for me to go back and read the manga knowing the anime is going to continue, and that’s the way I want to consume that story. Truth be told, there are a lot of anime I feel that way about. I keep thinking I’m going to go back and read My Hero Academia, but always just end up airing on the side of waiting for the anime.
As a bonus entry in terms of amazing adaptations, I want to highlight is Yusuke Murata One Punch Man manga adaptation of ONE’s original webcomic. His artwork is so absurdly detailed and impressive impressive that it puts every other adaptation of the story to shame. Sorry ONE. I still love Mob Psycho 100.
This is the part I always struggle with, I super feel like I’m imposing on other people when it comes to the part about nominating other people to spend the time doing the thing I just did. Truth be told, I enjoyed doing it thoroughly, and my own curiosity of what other people deem as an unpopular opinion outweighs my anxieties about doing it.
So here are the people I follow who I’d like to nominate, totally unsure if they’ve already done this tag or not, feel free to ignore me if you’re interested though, I won’t take it personally:
and I was about to nominate Alyssa of Al’s Manga Blog, but as I was about to post this I noticed she’s already done it.
Also, I wouldn’t take my choice to copy Pinkie and do both Western and Eastern media in the post. I just felt like I had something to say about both like she did. I do hope to get to do more tags like this in the future, we’ll see if I end up popping into anyone’s brain going forward when these things get passed around.