InVinsybll
2 years ago5,000+ Views
Is Anime Missing the Point of 'Meta'?
One of my best friends shared a video with me the other day, where youtuber Digibro talks about the laziness in meta that is so pervasive in popular anime anymore.
In the video, he basically centers around how there are many anime now that do this attempt at subverting typical tropes in anime, but their subversions are little more than patting themselves on the back for identifying tropes and then still feeding into them.
You see this a lot in mainstream anime these constant re-iterations of the same kinds of cliches be it Tsundere female characters to walking in on someone when they're naked. I'm pretty sure @hikaymm raised some points about this regarding Asterisk Wars.

Here's the video.

One of the major points he makes in the video centers around the light novel series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. The series became super popular, spinning off into several anime adaptations. The core of it, though, is where he says genuine subversion of these cliched tropes lies. On the surface, the characters are all these one-dimensional anime stereotypes, but as more gets revealed, you come to find that these characters are actually putting on a front in order to maintain the reality around them.
He makes the point that light novels came around as a way of incorporating the art of anime into a narrative while also having the ability to champion your clever writing. They really swelled in popularity due to the success of Haruhi Suzumiya and Monogatari.
With the popularity of anime like Monogatari and Haruhi Suzumiya, other anime have attempted to do these kinds of subversive nods to the overall meta, only to fall flat and miss the point entirely.
At this stage it's not uncommon to see jokes in anime that are basically saying 'what is this, some kind of anime?' and at first it's a laugh because it's a clear on-the-nose reference, but the more it happens the more you see that it's useless self-reflection that offers no actual insight or anything.
All these anime are going for meta, only to reinforce old stereotypes and not introduce new elements or dynamic characters.
This isn't true for all anime, of course, but very many.
I would argue that some anime feed directly into these stereotypes, knowingly and deliberately. Take Mirai Nikki (Future Diary) for example. Yuno Gasai is a Yandere character, which is already a small twist on the classic Tsundere. Instead of shying away from that, the anime makes it a focal point of the story.
It all comes to a huge twist in the plot, where we come to find out that Yuno's yandere attitude is explicable because of her traumatized past and the events that led to the start of the anime. I think this is a subversion of the typical -dere tropes we see a lot of in anime, because underneath Yuno's demeanor is a realized character with developed motivations and backstory.
Generally speaking I think that DigiBro makes good points about the way that anime has gotten lazy with regards to the way they approach attempts at subverting the meta.
As he says toward the end of the video, "calling attention to the fact that you've put a bunch of stupid bullshit in your anime series doesn't stop it from being STUPID BULLSHIT."
Don't half-ass subversion attempts. Either be genuinely clever and do something new or just accept that your series is going to be the same as so many others.
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some stereotypes help feed the stigma that anime gets ): when i mention anime to people they immediately think: incest fan service hentai etc... and when ppl try some anime for the first time it gives them a bad impression if they watch something that's really ecchi etc. i talked to a girl today about anime and she said she liked 7 deadly sins and loved it but told me that she thought anime was sexist because Meliodas kept on squeezing Elizabeth's boob. but she also saw a few episodes of Kill la Kill and thought Ryuko's suit was making fun of the fan service stereotype. i had never thought of it that way but I think she was right because Ryuko realized how naked she was in her suit and complained about it while in other animes where girls are wearing revealing clothing the characters seem fine with it lol
2 years ago·Reply
Dude when ever your parents try that crap with "You watch to much anime!" Just do what I always did growing up Mom: Josh I dont like you watching thise types of shows Me: Mom would you rather I be watching these shows than be hanging out on the corner doing something youd rather I not? Id rather be addicted to anime and video games and you know what im doing rather than being out (clubs stuff like that. not talking about being over a friends house lol) partying and getting in trouble? would you rather I watch these shows or go out and face peer pressure to do drugs and smoke? Mom: .................... Me: Exactly. Now I'll go do my chores after this episode of Hellsing Ultimate. Mom: *sighs and walks away*
2 years ago·Reply
@alliepetey I totally agree with you! It's also really hard because it mean I have to be extremely careful what I watch at my house in the living room because my mom is super up tight, I could never watch half the shows listed above in my living room on the tv because my mom would freak out, its bad enough she hates anime in general but that kind of stuff would fuel the fire
2 years ago·Reply
@msfancysunshine lol it worked for me and my mom was super bad growing up when it came to watching anime or any cartoon that had adult topics lol It wasnt until my last 2 years of high school that they just finally excepted that thats who I was lol
2 years ago·Reply
@Straightshooter I'll have to try that next time xD
2 years ago·Reply
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