Has anyone been so hyped up for a show, just to find it disappointing after the first few episodes? I have, and it crushes my soul. An example of this was Sword Art Online (SAO). I had read the light novels because a friend of mine recommended it to me before the anime was announced, so when I had heard of the release, I was excited. Needless to say, I was disappointed, not because it was a TERRIBLE show but not good enough to live up to expectations. A more recent example may be Shingeki no Kyojin (SNK / Attack on Titan), though I will reserve my judgement until the show ends, but the hype is definitely there. Hype for anime is always going to be around, but is it a positive or negative influence to the anime community?
Negatives of Hype
Most of us have experienced the primary downside to hype. Getting too excited for a show that sucks or making a mediocre show terrible in your mind because you thought it would be so much better. I have trained myself over the years to have low expectations for most things but some times the hype just gets to me.
An often overlooked negative of hype is that it causes a crazed fan base to be created. They are so excited for the show that when other people state their unfavorable opinions about the show, they go bat shit crazy. It is great to be devoted to your favorite anime but other people have opinions too and it often blinds them. As an anime critic myself, I try to find the flaws in every show, even if I love it to death. Not because I am an elitist, but because I believe that something better that removes these flaws will come along and amaze us all.
Anyways back to the hyped up fan base. They not only condemn those that like the show, but often times, condemn other shows of that season as being bad because it is not the hyped up show. I know this is a very large generalization, and not everyone that is obsessed with a show does this, but there are always some people every season, and they are generally very candid about their opinions.
Positives of Hype
Now lets not try to bring out our inner Hachiman Hikigaya, and instead look at the positives. I believe in a philosophy of delayed happiness. Something can only bring true joy when you have to wait, or work for it. After all that times and effort you feel ecstatic, which to me is an amazing experience. After all the hype of an announcement of a new show, When it lives up to its expectation, its a great experience for everyone. Some take it even farther, and for shows they undoubtedly think they are going to love, they wait until the anime has ended and marathon it later.
These shows not only grant greater pleasure after waiting, but also bring the anime community together one one topic. Today I can walk up to any anime fan, and ask them if they have seen Shingeki no Kyojin. If they have not seen a couple episodes or at least heard about it they are not true anime fans anyways. (Not because I think its good or bad, just cause if you cover any amount of anime in the past 2 months or so SNK will come up on the internet). With this catalyst even if I have not watched anything else they have watched, we can share opinions and talk about Shingeki no Kyojin. Without the hype I would have never been able to do this.
Passion for anime is always a welcomed spectacle, but when it gets to the point of hysteria I think it blinds you toward other things. It also helps if you are not a narcissistic asshole that lacks EMPATHY. Empathy and amazing anime studios that do not botch anime with potential is all we need to expel the negatives of hype (probably need to get rid of hipsters too but whatever). I know it is probably an impossible dream, but its not bad to be optimistic once and a while.
Also, the main reason why I am writing on this topic is… I AM SO FREAKING HYPED FOR KYOUKAI NO KANATA. Kyoto Animation making a dark supernatural show with actions. Yes please. I hope it does not suck, oh man I am going to be so sad if it does.
tl;dr hype is good but do not let it blind you
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