Brace the Gates: A very, VERY brief discussion about Gatekeeping in Anime

I wanted to use a picture from YU-GI-OH! but I decided against it.

This has been something that has been stewing in the back of my mind for a while now. It is also a post I really didn’t want to write. However I’ve hummed and hawed about it, and decided that I may as well just rip off the band-aid and get it over with. Shallow Dives in Anime has never been an ‘issues’ blog, even when it comes to Anime issues. I talk about the anime I watch, re-tweet some anime butts on my twitter, and then go about my day.

Still, I have, and will probably continue to do so, discuss the growing mainstream popularity of anime, and what changes, good or ill, that may bring. And in doing so, the topic we are discussing today was inevitably going to come up. .

And look, I had a whole mini-essay (ugh) in my mind. However when I started putting fingers to keyboard, it just wasn’t coming out right, and frankly I was talking about stuff that I really don’t want to have on this blog. This is a personal hobby blog, not a platform to discuss divisive cultural issues. So I’m just going to share with you MY opinion on the whole issue of Gate-keeping in Anime, and let you make up your mind on whether you agree or not. Here it is.

Anime fans are more than willing to welcome anyone into the fandom, regardless of their sex, gender, or political views, just to help spread the love of this medium. But they won’t do the same for ideological or moralistic extremism.

That’s what I think. You may agree, you may disagree. You may have a different experience with the Anime fandom than I have. All of those are correct, all of those are valid. I’m not talking about the assholes on twitter when I say this, but the normal run-of-the-mill anime fan and I can only speak to my experience.

Your view on that is wholly your own.

Here’s some anime booty.

puncayshun on Twitter: "this run is anime booty round and plump anime booty"
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6 thoughts on “Brace the Gates: A very, VERY brief discussion about Gatekeeping in Anime

  1. 100% agreed. I was working on a whole post on this issue too, but it can be hard to untangle some of these issues from those cultural ones you bring up. I am just extremely tired of hearing about how we’re “gatekeeping” when we don’t accept those ideologues and extreme moralists, especially the ones who believe art should be strictly policed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope you’re right. And I believe you are right. I will add that as anme is an international art form, and these extreme views are largely a U.S.A. phenomena that this is a correct response. The U.S.A., despite our arrogance, actually does not rule the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That was interesting. I have a lot of sympathy for certain strict moralists, usually the ones who want to see better representation of women and LGBT+ characters. But I don’t think we should be policing art, either. Let better anime rise on its own as it sees fans supporting more progressive series.

    I don’t want to be a gatekeeper though. I’ll invite my friends to watch anime even if they might be the kind to take issue with it. I suppose that’s because I want to hear their thoughts. Plus, I have fun picking anime tailored for a specific friend. For example, I introduced one of my siblings to Toradora because she likes cuteness and drama. I got one of my friends to Ascendance of a Bookworm because she does book-binding and crafting irl. For a more mature friend who likes fantasy, I recommended trying out some of the Fate Series. You get the idea. I think my point is that gatekeeping is pretty dumb in my opinion.

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  4. Which is why I think people aren’t trying to gate-keep people who have different views and ideas, but to gate-keep those who would want to hijink the medium to fit this or that cultural issue. When anime fans have long since reconciled and accepted the strange and weird parts of the medium.

    In terms of LGBT+ Anime has always had a leg up compared to other mediums with the large prevalence of yaoi and yuri. Whether or not that ‘works’ is for other people than me to decide.

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  5. My theory is that if you don’t like a genre of anime, don’t watch it.

    I think the hard core moralizers believe that if you can restrict the ideas that are presented to an audience then you can prevent those things from happening in real life. I think that they believe that if you show something in any but the most negative light that means you encourage something. Even showing it negatively tells us that such a thing could exist and ought not happen outside of very controlled presentations.

    They believe showing something forbidden causes males to fantasize about it. Showing it as an acceptable option in a fictional reality weakens the taboo against it here. Fantasy becomes real behavior. We ought not to encourage pedophilia. That’s what is behind some efforts to censor loli content from our screens.

    I am reminded of all the “studies” purporting to claim that television and movie violence causes violent behavior. I have yet to see one that has any scientific rigor. That faded away but they are trying the same trick wrt video games.

    Some people went ballistic over Shield Hero. You simply are not allowed to postulate a false rape claim in an anime. This violates dogma and supposedly encourages men to blow off all accusations of rape as false. Likewise the presentation of slavery as anything but a horrific living condition is interpreted to be making light of a terrible thing and encourages us to make light of a real problem. Even depictions of slavery that are horrific are deplored. It only encourages the sadists among us to dream about owning slaves so they can abuse them. Or it might “trigger” someone.

    Nothing new here. Goes back to the old Hayes Code which morphed into the MPAA

    Liked by 2 people

    • General Principles

      1. No picture shall be produced which will lower the moral standards of those who see it. Hence the sympathy of the audience shall never be thrown to the side of crime, wrong-doing, evil or sin.

      2. Correct standards of life, subject only to the requirements of drama and entertainment, shall be presented.

      3. Law, natural or human, shall not be ridiculed, nor shall sympathy be created for its violation.

      Liked by 1 person

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