Content warning for discussion of rape, rape culture, and consent.
I’d like to amend this post to say that I’m not intending to lay hate on people who watch this series. I’m a firm believer in the ability of someone to enjoy something while still being critical of its faults. My beef is with the show itself and people online and in person who are using it as a particular platform for their insensitivity. In short: don’t tell survivors that their experiences don’t mean anything.
I’m of the strong opinion that I owe my readers here an apology. I’ve mostly dropped off the face of the earth for the better part of this most recent anime season, and I’m sure there are maybe one or two people who are wondering what my problem is. Either that, or they’ve given up completely on me and moved on (which wouldn’t surprise me). I’m certainly not someone who feels comfortable making a lot of excuses for myself, but I thought I’d at least explain why my absenteeism as a blog maintainer and writer has been so all-consuming and absolute. Surprisingly, a lot of it has to do with one particular series that’s been airing this Fall, My Little Monster (known in Japanese as Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun or “My Neighbor the Monster”).
I’m a big fan of anime, and though I’ve been really lax (some might say avoidant) about writing about it, I still watch plenty of anime. I have to be honest, though, I often find myself pretty disgusted with the fandom that surrounds my hobby of choice. I’m not what I’d call an “elitist” by any means (the term “elitist otaku” is such a joke to me that I can’t even take it seriously), but I’m often frustrated by what comes across as an overwhelming sense of entitlement and rampant thoughtlessness that defines to many what it means to be an anime fan. It might be cynical of me to say this, but one thing I look forward to every anime season is lurking in the seasonal preview threads at ANN and watching what can only be deemed a shit-storm of really angry, extremely passionate people argue about minutiae before devolving into name-calling before bannings begin and the thread implodes. The Fall Preview thread, however, went from entertaining to downright hostile very quickly, and managed to throw me headfirst into a bout of depression that made me feel like I was back in high school all over again.