Winter 2022 has only just started but there’s a number of sweet anime coming out, you know underneath the hype of the final Attack on Titan finally airing and crashing Crunchyroll in the process (or at least I assume that’s why Crunchyroll crashed). However I would argue that there’s never been a greater need for sweet anime than there is right now.
There’s no doubt that anime is largely an escapist hobby. When you think about it most hobbies exist for people to escape the working world and even their family obligations and have some time focused on something they enjoy personally just for the sake of doing it. With that in mind I wonder why most of the time anime fans as a community don’t focus on the good things but rather like to tear down various titles. And nothing seems to escape the torrent of negativity long.
As soon as any anime gets popular someone is making a video about why it is shit or someone else is making a list of ten things wrong with it (or how a good moment was ruined by terrible animation) and soon anime and characters that were once quite well liked become guilty pleasures that other members of the community have to write in defence of or explain that they like them in spite of whatever it is the larger internet community has decided is wrong with them.
And it’s not like I don’t understand why people make these sorts of videos and posts. One of my highest viewed posts from last season was the post where I asked “What is wrong with Platinum End” and proceeded to dismantle the characters and plot of that story six episodes in and even comparing the performances of my best anime of 2021 compared to the worst anime of 2021 posts, the worst anime post got faster views and comments (though we’ll see long term how those two posts go).
Negative posts get views whether content creators like that or not. For me that means I try to balance each season watching shows that I feel I’ll end up celebrating as well as keeping a few shows around that I pretty much know will fall apart just so I can find reasons to cheer for anime and reasons to make posts explaining why something doesn’t work. Occasionally I’ll be surprised and an anime I watched to celebrate, such as The Promised Neverland Season 2, will just not deliver and sometimes an anime I have zero expectations for ends up impressing but in those cases I still tend to be able to balance positive and negative content on my site.
What I never wanted my blog to be was a place to bash anime. I love anime. Even anime that doesn’t go well. My blog exists to celebrate the good and the bad and is just happy that anime is accessible to watch and I can share that hobby with so many others.
And honestly, at the moment coming on to two years of pandemic news (and that pandemic finally reaching my community – we’re just a little behind the times) and with everything else going on in the world, I just want anime to be fun again even if something isn’t great. That’s why I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the reception on Twitter to the Winter 2022 anime season.
Does the anime community want to embrace sweet anime this season?
For all that there are the big hitting titles like Attack on Titan and Demon Slayer continuing this season (and don’t get me wrong I’ve seen plenty of tweets about these particularly now that the first episode of Attack on Titan has aired) it is weird that the first premiere episode of the season that really took off was My Dress Up Darling.
This sweet anime dropped its first episode and while not everyone universally loved it, with a few blog posts focusing on the camera angles and panty shots in the first episode, the general feel in my time line was that people had found the first episode of My Dress Up Darling pretty adorable. And both the cute, blonde female character, Kitagawa, and the male protagonist, Wakana Gojo, were getting some attention with people liking one or both of these characters on first meeting.
What got a lot of attention was Kitagawa’s truly sweet response when Gojo agreed to her request as she leapt about the sewing room literally jumping for joy. I think all of us got a bit of cathartic release as we realised we’d love to be jumping for joy and it was impossible not to smile while watching. Not to mention Gojo’s over the top reaction to nearly dropping the doll he was making clothes for. So hard to watch without at least cracking a smile.
I’ll be clear, I am not the biggest fan of sweet nothing anime. Anime like Flying Witch just kind of bore me and normally I’m not one to go this anime is sickly sweet, I’m in.
But the last two years have happened. And while sweet anime still wouldn’t be my first pick, in the Fall season of 2021 I made sure I had at least one sweet romantic anime in my line up (Taishou Otome Fairytale). With the Winter 2022 season starting I’ve definitely picking up My Dress up Darling and so far I’m also picking up Sasaki to Miyano because I just need something sweet and light in my anime viewing.
Clearly I am not alone and other anime fans are embracing sweet anime at the moment (though some anime viewers always enjoyed sweet anime far more than I did).
As it stands I think the anime community need to not necessarily embrace sweet anime as a genre but they do need to start finding the joy in their hobby again and that includes myself. It is so easy to get swept up in negativity and pulling things apart but no matter how bad an anime is I still chose to watch it over continuing even one more episode of Manifest on Netflix or whatever else I started and turned off that wasn’t anime.
Make Winter 2022 the time to embrace sweet anime or at least to remember that watching anime is sweet.
Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
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