The “Fair” Aniblogger – Honest or Gutless? | 12 Days of Aniblogging (Day 6)

I always feel tempted to soften my declarative statements in my posts. Doesn’t matter what I’m writing about. The urge is there.

It’s partially to appease the masses. Even if I feel strongly about a series, and it just so happens most people seem to agree with my assessment, there’s still always going to be at least one naysayer nonetheless. There’s going to be someone who objects to my overall analysis for a particular title, guaranteed.

With that being said, no situation is black-and-white and no evaluation is unequivocal. Even the best series have shortcomings and even the worst series have merit. Claiming that a series is perfect or irredeemable would be disingenuous. Or so I tell myself.

“To a degree,” “probably,” “somewhat.” “To be fair,” “admittedly,” “however.” In an attempt to sound agreeable, I sprinkle these words and phrases throughout my posts or reviews like I’m seasoning a homecooked meal. Even if I dislike a series, I attempt to list out its admirable qualities. Even if I love a series, I try to point out flaws I noticed. But am I actually saying something? Am I truly being fair? Or am I being cowardly and not being honest with my beliefs?

Sometimes I wish I knew.

24 thoughts on “The “Fair” Aniblogger – Honest or Gutless? | 12 Days of Aniblogging (Day 6)

  1. Your way of reviewing is a feat that almost all the anime reviewers out there strive to achieve. Being grey isn’t as easy as it sounds. While there must be some people out there who love a certain show, there are tons of other who hate it; being able to give both of them a satisfying answer is hard.

    While I also believe that when you are a creator, you’re the God of that world. Since this Lily Garden is yours, it’s your decision to put up a review favouring or disfavouring a certain work. No one has the right to criticize your opinion.

    In the end, it all comes down to how you wish to tackle this question. If it’s gutless to be grey, doesn’t means that it’s not the best option and even if it’s a honest behaviour, doesn’t means that it’s for the best.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s a pretty good question. This past weekend I wrote the worst review ever in the history of my blog, when I wrote a complete rant for the new Star Wars film. I have never ever written a post like that before, and I really hope it will never happen again. It was a review written out of pure emotion, and while I usually try to be fair and mild as well, in this case I could not.
    In all honesty pretty much all of my other reviews take the same approach as you, and I think it’s the best way to do so as well. Great post! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that was a side of you I had never seen before. Well, it was quite the controversial film and I can’t say I agree with the direction the franchise is going, so I understand where you’re coming from. You get a pass this time (and any other time you push out something that emotional).

      Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Phew 😅😅 Thanks Remy, that really means a lot. But yeah it is a side of me that I really hope won’t show itself very much again. I almost felt like I had turned into the Emperor himself lol 😂😂
        But thanks for the kind words, appreciate it 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I do this often myself, and I believe it to be the “fairest” way to approach something.

    Taking time to understand and evaluate both sides of a series, and understanding the perspectives of everyone, even those you don’t agree with, is the fairest thing you can do in my opinion.

    Keep doing what you’re doing, Remy!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I spend a lot of time editing out the probably’s, maybe’s, kind of like’s and sort of’s from my posts and still know they are riddled with them. Certain friends have marvelled over how I can be so opinionated and yet so passive in asserting my opinion sometimes. In my case, I don’t do it to be nice or avoid conflict, I do it because if I’ve found that making a blanket statement means certain other people will just immediately try and shut down my statement where as saying that ‘maybe something might possibly be…’ usually means they’ll consider what I’ve said before trying to shut it down. So sneaky but in real life fairly useful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sometimes that works, yeah. It’s a bit annoying that we can’t make a general statement without someone bringing up the exception in an attempt to refute our claims, but I guess that’s just what we have to deal with.

      Like

  5. As we’ve mentioned before, art is subjective. I prefer people mentioning the good and bad in all they review regardless if they like whatever or not. It annoys me when reviewers including those in reputable publications either needlessly bash something or praise it like it was the second coming of Jesus. Granted, many of those people are paid off by whatever media company, but that’s semantics. I force myself to mention legit pros and cons in whatever I review. I think it’s good to be fair as long as you’re honest and well informed.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dishonesty comes from lying about the merit and/or flaws of the show, or even pretending that all shows have an equal number of merits and flaws. For example, It would be completely dishonest to say that a show like Akashic Records has an equivalent number of flaws to a show like Fate/Zero. It’s just not true.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah I know this feeling very well – it’s part of why I never feel right writing reviews.

    I’m personally a big fan being as honest to your feelings as possible whether they are of love or hate. But keeping a certain amount of consideration for the work and it’s fans is also really important. This balance is a pretty hard one to strike, but you probably already know that more than I do.

    I don’t think your criticism is cowardly, it’s respectful and I appreciate that a lot.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ah, I see. Well, you manage to churn out engaging and meaningful content without really relying on reviews, so props to you.

      Oh, believe me, I’m always discovering more about that delicate and fragile balance.

      Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. A “fair” blogger is simply someone who’s honest and calls a perspective as they see it, acknowledging any other perspectives, and being open to the fact that other perspective exists. What isn’t “fair” is using purple prose and arcane jargon in an attempt to obfuscate or intimidate readers into accepting a certain opinion. K-On! of old used to be victim to this, with its detractors resorting to pseudo-academic, lecture-style talks to dissuade others from watching the series. The blog “Nikon Review” and its derivatives are particularly bad for that, and for a while, K-On! hate was popular thanks to this group. Nothing justifies this behaviour, of course, which is both disingenuous and not representative nor the anime bloggers out there.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. The way I see it is simple: when you’re writing something on your blog, it’s your opinion; there’s no “right” or “wrong” about it — unless of course you make basic factual errors, in which case no amount of “probablies” will help you! — so I think it’s important to let things flow in the style that feels most comfortable to you.

    That said, I do think it’s admirable to try and see both sides of an argument when it comes to something you like or dislike. I’d argue that if anything it’s probably (heh) more important to acknowledge why other people might like something if you dislike it, since negative opinions of things tend to cause people to be a lot more defensive than the other way around.

    This is, of course, partly due to that amorphous concept of the “current climate”, where an awful lot of negative criticism — particularly of anime and other Japanese popular media, it has to be said — seems to be from positions of ignorance. No-one likes their favourite media being badmouthed by someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about, after all — so even when someone with some sense comes along with some valid criticisms, people tend to be on their guard.

    Ultimately I think it’s just important to be fair and respectful, even if you don’t agree with someone or hold a different view to them. With how easy it is to be knee-jerk on the Internet — particularly on short-form social media such as Twitter — all too many people forget that bit!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. i don’t think you need to be dishonest to be fair. maybe im a coward, but i don’t particularly care. when i see good and bad, i point out good and bad. and i imagine i don’t always succeed, but i try to consider why something might be seen as good even if i don’t care for it. that seems honest enough to me

    Liked by 4 people

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