Critiquing Is Not Hating – You Can Love Something and Still Critique It.

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Today I want to take a quick look at the difference between critiquing and hating, because for some people the line between these two gets incredibly blurred. Though what I find more disturbing is how quickly someone who is critiquing something can be accused of hating. So let’s make it clear: Critiquing is not hating.

This creates a clear problem for having a meaningful discussion (or any kind of critical thought) when anything perceived as a negative impression of something someone else values is hating it. Sometimes it doesn’t even need to be a negative view but merely not an overly positive one and the ‘H’ word will get thrown into the ring. And that effectively ends the dialogue. You can’t reasonably discuss something once one side of the table assumes you are attacking them and that you are doing it because of an inbuilt hate.

Critiquing is not hating - I'm calling it out.

So if critiquing is not hating, what is it?

To start off I’m just going to give you a dictionary definition of the terms and then look at what that means in practice.

To critique is to review critically or to evaluate. To clarify, critical might mean inclined to find fault with but it also means involving skilful judgement as to truth, merit etc: for example a critical analysis.

So in this instance a critique is to review something in a way as to make a judgement as to something’s merit. It does not mean to criticise it (although if the truth that your analysis leads you to is that there is little merit it may seem as though there is criticism) nor does it have anything to do with an emotional investment such as liking or hating (admittedly, most people fall out of critiquing when writing reviews because they do fall back on a position of personal opinion).

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Hating on the other hand is to regard something with a strong or passionate dislike. It is an entirely emotional state of being and does not rely on any kind of analysis or thought or evidence but is merely a position someone holds (though they may have come to that position after critiquing). Actually, I like the 6th definition given in my dictionary: devoted to expressing resentment or dislike: a hate session. That seems more like an appropriate definition for someone who is a hater of a series or is hating on a series rather than critiquing.

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See, the critiquer is willing to engage in a discussion and hear other view points. They are willing to accept that their opinion was formed by x, y, z and if yours was formed by n, m, o instead then you will have a different view point. They might also think you are crazy for considering n, m, o important but they will see where your view point came from.



A hater on the other hand is devoted to the negative. They are utterly and completely unwilling to consider for even a moment that something might have merit or even just suck less than their view of it. They don’t want a reasoned discussion, they don’t want your opinion, they don’t want to even hear that another opinion might exist. They just want to repeatedly tear down any and everything to do with the object of their loathing. Which I guess could be an interesting hobby but I doubt you could ever add it to your resume.

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We all hate things (that’s part of being human), but does that mean we are naturally predisposed to hating?

Not a chance. Firstly it takes a lot of energy to be an active hater. Secondly, I firmly believe that my own views are not absolute and this is an opinion shared by the many people out there engaging in conversations about anime and films and TV shows and they kind of enjoy hearing a different view point. It makes the conversation more than an echo chamber.

Those following my blog probably know already how I feel about Black Butler 2. That doesn’t stop me from respecting the views of others on the sequel and including those posts that share a more positive side of the show. I think this is important because as an anime viewer I want to read as many view points as I can about something to consider it differently, to see things I may have overlooked, and to just enjoy discussing how a single anime can affect so many people in so many different ways.

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Then again, do I think I am a critiquer?

Probably not. While I do provide some analysis mostly what I write are my impressions and reactions to shows with my thoughts on why I had these. I’ll save the really critical analysis to those a little more qualified than myself.

However, I think it is important that when we read the views of others we remember that someone disliking or being critical of something we liked isn’t a personal attack or a direct challenge. There’s no reason to feel annoyed over their opinion as their are as many opinions as their are people. And if they are hating on something you love and refusing to listen to any other view point, you are probably better off ending the conversation on your end and finding one of the many other amazing anime fans online to have a chat to.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Inquiring Minds Want To Know 2019 #5

Inquiring Minds Want To Know Feature Image

This was a bit of a more recent question but I felt this one really needed a more immediate answer so it jumped the queue a little bit. As always if you have something to ask you can send the question my way by filling in the simple survey at the end of the post or you can use this link to the inquiring minds survey.

Do you think someone who only watches dubbed anime could write an anime blog?

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Meme - When you mention subbed anime, no one Bats an eye. But when you mention dubbed anime, everyone loses their minds.

This one could have a really short answer and be done: Absolutely.

While I personally prefer subbed anime and tend to watch in subs with a very small handful of exceptions (or when watching with a friend who won’t read subs), that doesn’t make me any better at writing an anime blog or reviewing anime than someone who watches dubbed. Both subs and dubs are translations, some subs are great and some are terrible, some dubs are great and some are terrible.

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Looking at the anime community, there are quite a few bloggers who watch and review dubbed anime because they prefer it. The only downside they really face is that if they review seasonal anime there’s often a delay between a release of the episode in subbed form and dubbed form meaning those who watch the episode subbed will have their reviews out first.

Still, that minor issue isn’t something that should stop you wanting to write about anime if you want to write about anime. If you love it, or are at least really interested in it, and you want to write an anime blog, go for it.

Run With The Wind Episode 12 Twins

However, I would suggest thinking through what sort of a blog you want to build. Are you wanting to review seasonally, write articles about the industry, review older anime, more researched pieces, opinion based pieces, etc? I kind of started my blog without having a real plan and I very much had to figure out what I wanted to write on the go and if I could do it over, I probably would like a do-over of starting my blog with everything I learned over the last couple of years because I’d definitely waste less of my time and be a bit more focused.

Given I don’t really want to open up the subs vs dubs argument again, this week I’m going to ask my readers a nice simple question: What do you think you need in order to write an anime blog?