The Toxicity of “Media Shaming” and Its Effects on Criticism in Anime

“Here we go again.”

It’s what I continuously say season after season when another discourse comes to light within the anime community. I don’t think it would necessarily be a problem if the discussions were fruitful and people were more understanding, a problem that I talked about back when responding to Irina’s article several months ago. That’s not to say that I think discourse is invalid or that I think that people shouldn’t be discussing how they feel about a particular show, but there’s a limit as to how you should do it and treating your debate partners with respect and understanding while doing so.

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My thoughts on rape scenes in lieu of Goblin Slayer

Warning:  This may be be difficult for some to read.  If discussion about rape is too much for you, please go ahead and pass on this.  I will always support mental health and taking care of yourself.

The anime adaptation of Goblin Slayer has come out this season and it’s raised a lot of discussion in the community due to some of the material in it with one scene in particular I’ve heard about.  I haven’t seen the scene in question, nor have I sat down to watch a lot of shows this season but I wanted to take time to post my thoughts on rape scenes in general in media because I feel there are a couple of important things to think about when it comes to this discussion.  Once again, this isn’t a direct commentary on this anime as I can’t do that.  I’ve not seen it so I won’t say Goblin Slayer is completely acceptable or to burn it as filth or anywhere in-between.

So to get into it, while I think there are a ton of other factors to consider, I believe there are two big questions to always ask when creators put a rape scene in a series like this.

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12 Days of Anime 2017 [Day 10]: Doki Doki Literature Club – How We View Media Can Refine Our Perspective

Now, I’m going to start this off with saying that I realize that this may not feel like it meets the definition for “anime” for some, but personally I feel that Doki Doki Literature Club is close enough and unique in its own way to at least consider it a part of the “anime-esque” media, considering it greatly pulls from the convention of Japanese visual novels. Oddly enough, I could probably be writing this about the actual Japanese visual novel Kimi to Kanojo to Kanojo no Koi (Totono) and make the same sort of comparison, but without any translation for it (something which I hope happens at some point), this is what I have to work with.

Doki Doki Literature Club (DDLC) is questionably innovative in what it does for this reason, but that doesn’t make it any less gratifying to see it play out in of its own. There’s something to be said about how we perceive media, and I think DDLC makes an excellent observation about that which can change how we view certain works in the future, while also giving us appreciation for the past works that led up to the creation of a better one. It becomes a sort of love letter to the creators and players of these sorts of games, which I think is pretty neat in its own regard.

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