I’m a bit behind on my Demon Slayer reviews here, but that doesn’t mean I’m not still watching the show. If anything, Sundays have been something of a highlight of my week with new episodes of both it and Attack on Titan airing on the same day. So why is there some corner of the internet that needs to drag everyone else down?
I get that’s there’s some fun in being the contrarian. Back when I was a student and I liked debating people all the time, it could be fun just to play devil’s advocate. The thing is, when you’re doing that with people you know, there’s always a point in the conversation where your façade cracks and they realise they’re being taken for a ride.
Even if it were a genuine “argument”, it didn’t ever get mean. I like to think we had a combination of the civility and the classic English politeness to not genuine cause a rift in our friendship over it. I know it goes without saying at this point, but internet culture has evolved in such a way in the ten years since then that I’m not sure people are really able to have this kind of discourse without it kinda feeling personal on some level.
The past 48 hours have been somewhat of an odyssey for me on social media. Early on, as people were seeing what was a very visually impressive episode of Demon Slayer, shorty followed by a very climactic event and visually iconic moment in Attack on Titan’s final season. I’m watching and enjoying both shows, so I was just here, nodding my head in agreement and thinking that these are two damn good shows just airing at the same time.
I mean, some people starting letting their excitement get away from them and make over the top sweeping statements about these two shows and their status in the long history of anime. But that’s to be expected, they’re just caught up in the hype. But as the hours ticked on, a countermovement started to form, to the point that as I was driving to work the following night my twitter was full of people bashing the two shows.
More Demon Slayer than AoT, but still.
It’s like, there’s some corner of the internet that just can’t abide by people enjoying something, and take an excess of enthusiasm born from hype as an affront to their sensibilities. You get people crawling out of the woodwork to wring multi part tweets talking about how Demon Slayer is mid, or even a bad show just being carried on it’s animation.
How, if the show didn’t look as good as it does, it’s simple story and “uninteresting characters” wouldn’t be able to carry the show to anywhere near the levels of hype and popularity it has.
To which I have to respond: Yeah? And? So What?
Early on during my own experience with Demon Slayer, I talked over and over again about how the show was exceedingly simple, working the classic shonen formula like so many other series have done before it. And yet it does it while trimming away all of the fat and just giving us what we need between some of the best looking, beautifully animated and amazingly scored action sequences I’ve seen in anime.
I’m a simple man, one with a simple mind and while I know exactly what Demon Slayer is, I’m perfectly content to enjoy it for those aspects born from the animation studio and not necessarily for what came from the original manga. It’s one of the reasons I haven’t been tempted to go and read ahead in the manga like I did with My Hero and Jojo’s. Because I don’t really like the art in the manga all that much.
And my need to know what happens is nowhere near as strong as my desire to see a beautiful action sequence like episode 19 of season 1 and episode 17 of season 2 and be surprised by its outcome.
I have have started watching Arcane on Netflix, and quickly found myself hooked on that show as well. I could get into aspects of that show’s story and characters that feel like they were borne from trope and cliché, but I’m not going to because I don’t care. Arcane is fantastically unique looking series unlike anything else. Which is more than enough for me to just sit back and soak it all in. which is the mentality I feel like I take into pretty much all my media consumption these days.
I’m past the point of wanting to tear things down just because my timeline is filled with people enjoying something. I don’t want to be the guy who just get’s an intellectual kick from pretending to disagree with someone, especially to a crowd of strangers on the internet who take every word I say as earnest truth.
But that’s the thing isn’t it. Friendly debate doesn’t exist anymore, the concept of Devil’s advocate has long since passed on. Now you’re either just trolling, farming hate likes or wording arguments in ways that don’t even leave themselves open for debate. Rather, just ending a point by stamping as fact, as if just ending the sentence that way is enough to primitively discount any point made against you.
*sigh* I could write a thousand posts on here about the futility of arguing with people on the internet and how I still feel myself age a year every time can’t stop myself from falling into a comment thread of people trying to fight their side, knowing full well that there is nothing less likely then either of them actually “winning” the debate.
Because in the modern era of debate and conversation, there are no winners, only losers. Which is what I will end up feeling like the next time a popular series like Demon slayer has another killer episode and I have to suffer a timeline full of people telling me my taste is garbage and I’m somehow a zoomer who isn’t aware of anime anime before 1999.
I wish I was a zoomer. Because then I’d be 15 years younger and not ground down by the millennial experience… or maybe the point of being a Zoomer is you come out already burnt out… man, you’d think we’d all relish our entertainment all the more considering we’re living the cyberpunk dystopia these days rather than argument about that too.