Spoilers and Hype as Roadblocks in Regards to Discussing Anime

Last week, there was an announcement revealing that the interesting yuri manga, Happy Sugar Life, would receive an anime adaptation for Summer 2018.

As someone who wrote about the series a bit back in 2016, I’m rather excited that this is happening. Be that as it may, I’m at a bit of a loss here.

In short, I don’t know how to discuss or promote Happy Sugar Life. Spoilers and Hype both keep me walled in.

First of all, Happy Sugar Life is quite the dramatic series. As such, I worry that venturing into spoilers territory would take away a lot of its impact. Plus some people will resent you for life if you spoil something so that’s why you have to be careful with words. Even that post I wrote back in 2016 was extremely vague. At the cost of trying not to “ruin” anything for anyone, I basically don’t provide any useful information in that article at all.

But is the extra effort worth it?

Perhaps you disagree, but I believe that purposefully avoiding spoilers weakens the post or review or discussion piece. Details are left out and the connections are simply not as focused. But at least anyone can read what you’ve written (or said if you’re a vlogger or doing a podcast) as a result, right?

Well, some people will flat out ignore that sort of content to begin with. To be fair, however, different pieces of content have different types of audiences so that is to be expected. Some people will avoid series reviews, some people only like reading Top ___ lists, and so on. Individualism is so wild, huh? Well, this isn’t really a draw, to be honest, but it’s something to keep in mind, perhaps.

What really irks me, however, is that spoilers are everywhere. People are talking about current episodes on Twitter, the genres that give away everything are boldly listed there on the seasonal charts or on other web sites. You basically have to quit social media if you don’t want to get spoiled at all. So it just feels like you’re at a disadvantage if you’re a considerate content creator since it almost seems like everyone else is throwing caution to the wind to talk about things you want to talk about.

And then there’s Hype. From my experience, Hype almost always cause disappointment. Sure, sometimes a series may live up to the excitement and everyone is happy as a result. But it seems more likely for a series to fail to surpass or even reach expectations and then people start throwing around the words like “overrated” and the like.

So what’s a fan, who has been exposed to the source material of an upcoming anime adaptation and is hoping to get others excited for the future series, to do? Be vague (to avoid spoilers) yet nuanced (to not cause misunderstandings or misplaced expectations)?

 

It’s a rough sell. But I guess that’s the best we can do. We can just let the series speak for itself.


Do you disagree with what I’ve written here? Do you agree? I would love to hear about it in the comments section down below.

Thank you for reading.

28 thoughts on “Spoilers and Hype as Roadblocks in Regards to Discussing Anime

  1. When talking about things in a review that is supposed to spark interest or warn others about a certain piece of media it is quite the balancing act as you said. Some will be upset that you didn’t completely back yourself up with facts and if you do spoil some aspects without warning then others will harp on you for ruining it for them. It is quite conundrum especially since you will receive many people who feel a different way on the internet.

    When entire stories are meant to be filled to the brim with surprises maybe it might be best to fit it into a top 10 or discuss it in a seasonal outlook where there is no necessity to go fully in depth into it. Rather you are there to fill a specific role or spark some interest into the reader. There are ways to get around discussing titles riddled with spoilers and by adapting to different forms of posts it may work much better to appease most.

    Hype I think is a bigger problem as if you love something you can’t help but gush about it. If you don’t explain efficiently it could leave blind hype and therefore may lead to people feeling more letdown, but by explaining why you are biased towards the specific form of media could help them understand if it is right for them. No matter what is done it is a tightrope that is too thin to see without a magnifying glass. Unless you do an analysis or discussing spoilers, then you are free from the shackles of spoilers! FREEDOM! XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mmm it really is tough to balance out. But you’ve definitely provided some great ways to work out these limitations and restrictions in regards to spoilers.

      Hype seems a bit more black-and-white, but explaining why you enjoy a series does seem like a good idea.

      FREEDOOOOOOOOM

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I think the answer to your question is “it depends.” 🙂

    I have some strong feelings about spoilers, but I too recognize that there is a time and place for them. When deciding whether or not to spoil, I first consider who my audience is, as well as the purpose of my post.

    If I want to do a series review, my intention is to inform the reader about an anime in a comprehensive fashion. It should give them enough information to determine if this is the kind of series they might like to watch by examining the strengths and weaknesses to a fairly detailed degree. If I include spoilers, I feel as though I’ve ruined the purpose of the post because I’ve then taken away the potential experience from my audience. Telling someone what happens in a show feels too much like I’m holding my writing to be of greater importance to the reader than the subject material itself. When considered this way, you can see how including spoilers seems rude.

    I do all my series reviews that way, and even though I leave things out and write intentionally vaguely at times, I don’t think I have a shortage of things to say about the show. Because my goal is to help the reader make an informed decision about whether or not they’re interested enough to watch, I can more easily frame my writing in that manner.

    If the purpose of my post is discussion, then it’s an entirely different story. Take my KADO post last year for example. There, I expected that my audience had seen the show in order to engage in any king of meaningful discussion in the first place. If the aim is to talk about what happened, then knowledge of the events is prerequisite. You can’t even really call it a spoiler at that point! Still, it is courteous to simply warn readers ahead of time if they haven’t seen the show so they can choose whether or not they want to read further.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wahaha, yeah, the post covers several open-ended questions which have/provide no hard/universal answers. A Remy Fool special at this point.

      You bring up some great points. It’s really amazing how much thought can go into a post before, really, when you have to consider who is reading your content and why. Similarly, I’m always impressed that you have tons to say without touching upon spoilers in your reviews!

      With that being said, your KADO post is quite different but with good reason. People who open and read that post should have already watched the series so it’s not spoilers!

      Thanks for dropping by with the great comment, Weekend.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. When I review stuff that I spoil heavily I either 1) make sure the show is old enough to discuss full out without a huge risk of spoiler hazards. The ten-year rule is usually good enough for me to discuss outright full plots step by step without feeling guilty about it. Or 2) I just post a spoiler warning.

    Sometimes, if I feel I can get away with it and some plot twist is just that good, I’ll nix discussing it fully and just touch upon it, but, as you said, I find it very hard to explore some of these plot elements thoroughly without just explaining what they are and analyzing what’s right, wrong, weird etc. about them.

    I do try to avoid spoilers for stuff I’m looking forward to watching/reading, but life on the Internet makes that so difficult that it’s almost not worth the effort sometimes. I find that it’s really not that hard for most things since most people in the community are good about posting spoiler warnings or putting things behind spoiler masks, but some of the more massively popular things are damn near impossible. Some people spoil the more popular things for fun.

    I got tricked into reading a massive spoiler for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ on Reddit that seriously bummed me out. Title of the post was something completely unrelated and it was a prank to an image that blasted a character death.

    However, I’m also insanely curious, so sometimes I can’t myself but read spoilers. lol

    As for hype, you’re right in that it commonly leads to disappointment. I can’t tell you how many times a show or something has been suggested to me because it’s just ‘so awesome’ and ‘amazing’ yet when I watch it I’m kinda underwhelmed. Even if it is really good, there’s that nagging ‘but it’s not THAT good’ feeling.

    It’s even bad when you’re dealing with things that aren’t even happening. Take Half-Life 3. That’s been something people have been pining over so badly that it’s turned into a meme, but even if they got it someday, somehow, it’d never live up to the ridiculous buildup.

    It’s odd. I almost like it better when something is getting flak before I watch it, because then I’m not disappointed if it’s bad and I’m pleasantly surprised if it’s good.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Both are very reasonable policies to follow.

      Yeah, vagueness there is quite the hindrance. I guess that’s probably best when you resort to #2.

      That’s terrible! Some people are just mean-spirited, huh? Sorry to hear about that. But, ah, curiosity is a killer.

      Gotta agree with your points on hype and hate (perhaps an overly strong term, haha). It’s easier to root for the underdog sometimes, haha.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Spoilers are tricky and you don’t know exactly what will spoil something for someone. In the end I think if the anime or manga is good, it will stand on its own and not be ruin by a plot point being revealed.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is a tricky one, because so far as I’m concerned if you want to talk about something in depth it’s very difficult to do so without, you know, talking about it! The approach I tend to take is that I avoid spoilers on “immediate” platforms such as social media, Discord or private chats, and then I analyse things in their entirety when I’m writing about them at length.

    I work on the assumption that people don’t want to randomly stumble across spoilers on, say, Twitter, but if they’re reading an article they’ve made an effort to click through to that, so probably want to know more. In some cases, I know people read my articles with no intention of playing the games in question but find it interesting to hear about the story and how it is handled — this is particularly common with visual novels, for example; I have a friend who is always interested to hear about the concepts and themes they explore, but doesn’t really enjoy actually playing them himself.

    Spoilers don’t have to spoil someone’s enjoyment of something, anyway; this is actually a relatively recent concept. Consider how much discussion there has been of literature and theatre over the years; you can’t analyse works like this without “spoiling” them, so why should modern media such as anime, manga and games be any different? I think you’re good so long as you’re not making a deliberate attempt to ruin the experience of someone else — e.g. if they’ve specifically said they want to go in blind, and you go “OH, AWESOME, YOU’LL LOVE THE TWIST WHERE AKIHIKO IS ACTUALLY A DEMON LESBIAN FROM MARS” directly to their face.

    But very few people do that, thankfully. I’ve somehow managed to avoid being spoiled on all manner of things that people have typically been extremely sensitive about over the years, including the storylines of the Trails in the Sky/Trails of Cold Steel series beyond the first chapter, how Ico and Shadow of the Colossus end, what happens in The Eden of Grisaia… and prior to playing the Fate/stay night visual novel I managed to get by without knowing anything about the series whatsoever despite it seemingly being EVERYWHERE!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very thoughtful comment as usual. I’m with you on spoilers not necessarily ruining one’s enjoyment with a series or IP. In fact, I’m usually spoiling myself before getting into a series. But good point about those immediate platforms and the audience’s desires. Gotta agree with your friend – the concept behind an IP is almost always very interesting.

      I hope you continue to not run into thoughtless people, haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. If I know I’m actually discussing major plot points in the later half of the series, I’ll put a spoiler warning on a post. However, normally I just kind of accept that some information will be spoiled by writing a review as without any spoilers you kind of end up with generic statements about a show that don’t reveal very much.
    As to hype, I think we all kind of have to decide how much to buy into it. I usually don’t, but Junji Ito Collection I kind of allowed myself to believe it was going to be great and then ended up fairly disappointed, whereas I expected nothing from Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens and ended up really enjoying it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When I write my weekly reviews, I don’t worry about avoiding spoilers. I presume that’s what the reader is there for, to discuss what happened last week, and that anyone not interested will simply scroll on by. You can’t have that discussion without spoilers.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Those lines of reasoning make sense to me. Without getting into specifics it’s hard to convey exactly what you want to say about a series or a scene or a character.

      Ahhhh I’m an episode behind Hakata and the next (last?) one comes out today. Same with blog posts. But yeah, I’m glad to hear you’re also still enjoying the hitman/baseball anime.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is a tough one. I definitely agree with hype and all the disadvantages that comes with it, but spoilers when promoting something really won’t do, but like you said it doesn’t give useful info either .. Thin line maybe? A teaser? Not really sure.

    Reviews are also hard because I usually assume those who will read it are familiar with the material but then I find that some are actually taking it as recommendations of sorts so I try to not include major spoilers but overall impression instead.

    And if I’m on the reading side I’d usually skim the review and avoid any major spoilers, but a spoiler free one is much appreciated.

    I think it also helps when you know or are familiar with the one giving out that vague or teasing reviews about a show because you trust their taste. That’s how I basically find great shows and books these days! Meeting other bloggers and familiarizing myself with them in a way that allows me to trust their judgment 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Teasers or teasing reviews seem to somewhat resolve the issue but it’s probably easier said than done.

      Gotta agree with you on reviews. It’s hard to appease everyone!

      How do you usually find spoiler free reviews? As in, what’s your opinion in them? Does the fact that they leave a lot out work for or against the author’s intentions?

      Oh, you’re definitely right about becoming familiarized with other’s tastes and preferences. It’s pretty neat!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m okay with spoiler free reviews since I would usually want to discover it on my own and though it may not always work for everyone it might for me depending on how the author wrote it. If they seemed indifferent or detached in the review it might work out against them as opposed to passionate raves about a show, though a little lacking in helpful details, could still attract..

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Mmmm fair enough. I also prefer spoiler free reviews but I understand they are more difficult to write in comparison to review which let loose.

          I guess it’s really up to the author, ultimately. The tone and the delivery really changes a lot of things like you said!

          Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m vague if I say something. When Super Lovers was announced to become an anime all I said was that I love the manga and adore the mangaka above all. That’s really all I wanted to say. If people are curious and want to know more they can read the source material or the synopsis. I don’t want to be the one to spoil them.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I usually avoid spoilers pretty well. Partly because I just don’t care about stuff and partly because when I do actually look into things I’m a master of just skimming for the info I want/need (speed readin’). Social media definitely makes it harder but if I see something that might be a big spoiler for me I just don’t engage with it and quickly scroll past it. Usually works out.

    What you pose in your article is an interesting question though. Personally, I try to avoid spoilers where possible but still offer examples where appropriate. You have a more unique issue (as apposed to me) of having experienced the source material prior to an adaptation you are hyped for. For that I think it would be best to explain why it /might/ be something the reader would have interest in.

    Any way, it was an interesting read.

    Liked by 2 people

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