How do you get out of cynicism?

If you’re nowhere as cynical when watching anime and everything is a refreshing experience for you, I (can I say it, can I really) envy you.

I’m not being remotely sarcastic at all but little bit remorseful and quite sober (it’s 4:00 PM here in Taipei, Taiwan).

I’ve lost that enthusiasm long, long ago when I first got back into anime. At that time, I was in college, and someone introduced me to Ninja Scroll. Everything just looked so cool, freshing and edgy with enough blood and sex and the fact it was animated was somewhat surprising for me. I watched kids’ anime when I was a child in Asia but nothing else for many years after that. I went through high school worrying about not being able to fit in, suicide, prom ( I did have an excellent prom with a girl who was stacked), and other good stuff.

But after that, and after many, many, many, many more anime, finished and unfinished, I got cynical. That may be why I don’t get comments often for my articles (even though that’s not the point here). Because my post is rather boring and the same old critiques are repeated in my post – “uninspired, unfunny, uninteresting, bland, boring, same old same old, run-of-the-mill…” and other highly energetic and interesting words.

Boy, if I was someone else reading these words in the same article I’d fallen asleep or change the damned channel in under one micro-second!

But after seeing so many things done over and over again, I’m rather bored. Really, really bored.

I envy other people who can write something about a show which I find boring, such as Zero no Tsukaima season 3. I actually do, because they can find parts that make them excited and they feel wonderful about it, even episode 1.

I’m just not a fan of that show.

Does any of you know how to stop being cynical and bored and just be excited about everything being reviewed? Please, I humbly ask your assistance and I’d love to be enlightened.

Please.

10 thoughts on “How do you get out of cynicism?”

  1. Hmm, something that helps with me at times is to watch some anime that are infamous for their bad writing. They’re 1) great to make fun of, and 2) make everything else look so much better.

    Another thing that helps is to stop having expectations of everthing, and just watch the anime as it is. Try not to look for things that you’ve already seen, but instead try and spot things that you haven’t seen.

  2. @psgels – hmm, I’ve gotta find some of these bad titles then. Also, I really should stop having too much expectations. After all, anime is for entertainment (even I said that before).

  3. Cynicism is the domain of adults so maybe you should either try to cultivate your inner child or maybe find someone young to introduce anime to and let their feelings as they discover anime wash away your cynicism.

    And yeah, lower those expectations. Sturgeon’s law dictates that 90% of everything is crap so 9/10 animes that you watch will be crap.

  4. I wouldn’t say that 90% of everything is crap. Actually, most anime have found somewhat of an audience, it just happens not to be everyone and that is to be expected.

    You are right, it is not the anime but it is you. Everyone likes a good story, the first time they read it. With every passing reading the enjoyment degrades.

    That doesn’t mean you have to move away from anime culture altogether, it merely means you have to readjust yourself. Look at the folks at tvtropes.org where they deconstruct every piece of media creation down to its bones and find enjoyment in that. Or look at the experience of old gundam otaku that has been in the anime world for a decade or more and had seen a dozen *stolen gundam!* plot lines. They literally have seen everything and have every reason to loath every new series, but they find little pleasures in the weird things like analyzing orb MS design path or skipping around the anime to understand parody doujinshi. (alpha’s 4koma in the self-parody level GSD….haha)

    cut back on the filler anime like the numerous moe moe anime per season and watch stuff that actually have new premise (say SHnY) or outside the traditional genre or in a different time period. New shows today generally feature incremental changes over the previous one so that is why they look so similar. However jump ten years and everything changes, for example look at the anime lineup in the era where eroge didn’t exist.


    Finally, self reflect on whether it is the anime or just the general mood of things that prevents enjoyment in general.

  5. To Ray: I’ve certainly had days, weeks, and months where I felt that everything in my fandoms was dull at best, terrible at worst. It’s happened when I was into console games, indie comics, anime, manga, and ren’ai games. In all these cases, there would be days when I was just ecstatic about some new title — and then the next day, I was back to being bored.

    My recommendation: first, take a break from blogging. Don’t worry about keeping up with news. Second, try getting into some other hobby. Watch other sorts of shows/movies. Delve into different comics. Or explore something quite different, like music or theater.

    To Shin_Getter: H games have existed since before ’92. See http://www.shii.org/geekstories/eroge.html

  6. @ dork at large – I’ve actually taken quite a few breaks already. I do other things like watching CSI (they play the reruns in Taiwan) and I like collecting knives. It’s not I’m bored, it’s more like most anime today simply don’t tickle my fancy, and the ones that do often simply caters to the unintellectual part in me – which I do enjoy, but often, there isn’t much to write about.

    @ Shin Getter – I happen to have SRW on my hard drive and I didn’t finish that, same thing with Gurren Lagen. Sensei, teach me about konjo, hard work and passion!

    @ thenullset – that’s an interesting thought. Perhaps it’s time for this disciple to bring someone else to the dark side.

  7. It’s alright to be cynical as it lets you be objective and its okay to have standards, but personally I think it could backfire and ruin the fun of literally everything.

    I think you could just rewatch some of your faves or even resume some you may dropped or put on hold. (I just quickly skimmed your anime list and I feel that there’s at least ten or so that you may like)

    Also, that whole ‘moe’ complaint is legit and it IS getting pretty ridiculous. I for one like some of these shows don’t get me wrong. But there’s so many manga out there that I feel deserves an adaptation and it makes me wonder WHY they haven’t done it yet.

    Just so you know, I’m a late bloomer to anime (I watched when I was a kid, but through highschool I largely ignored anime watching because I thought it was ‘uncool’) so while I can’t say that I know as much anime as you do but I do have my roots in comics/manga in general so if you want I can throw in a few recommendations. Just give me a reply and maybe a couple of stuff that you’re looking for and stuff.

  8. @ Smashingtofu – that’s right, I like moe but if each season is saturated with it up to my throat, then reviewing becomes pointless. So, what do you recommend?

  9. Wait, just make it clear, I meant manga recommendations, if so:

    Parasyte/Kiseijuu (If you’ve played Resident Evil 4 before and you get deja vu, then its because Resident Evil 4 borrowed elements from this sci-fi/horror classic)
    Blade of the Immortal (Of course, its still an ongoing manga, but its probably a good time to pick it up as the anime just came out)
    Monster
    20th Century Boys (I heartily recommend both of these and any description by me will be a big fail)
    Dragon Head (post-apocalyptic survival)
    Vagabond (a fictional and vagabondic approach to Miyamoto Musashi by creator of Slam Dunk)
    National Quiz (A satire where Japan is a lone, totalitarian superpower and revolves around a quiz show)

    That’s a couple; let me know what you think… : d

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