March 31st, 2009

So there aren’t many things in the world that I hate; I tend to shy away from using that word, and I’ve long had a goal to keep my posts and general attitude positive. And, if I dislike something, I like to have a good reason for it. I can’t stand black olives, for instance – but at least I can point to a reason why I don’t like them.

Less traceable is my whole-hearted aversion to something else:


I have hated anime since the first time I saw part of a Robotech cartoon (my brothers were way into Robotech; I had my own 9-year-old scatalogical nickname for it). I hated the drawing style; I hated Minmae and her high screechy voice; I hated that characters’ mouths only moved one way, like tortured fish, instead of at least trying to imitate shapes seen in normal speech. I hated all these things with a passion unfettered.

But anime is cool, right? And I’m an international kinda girl; I like stuff from different cultures and I like to feel cosmopolitan. So I wanted to like anime. I thought maybe my distaste was founded in Robotech. After all, I loved Battle of the Planets, and that’s anime.

So a friend rented Spirited Away, an anime classic. And we settled down to watch it.

It was fingernails across the blackboard of my soul. The little girl’s voice shrieked into the inner sanctuary of my consciousness and made me literally writhe. The Jackson Pollack-on-acid story line, the hideous and incomprehensible characters, the irritating animation, the main character’s idiotic decisions, the unfriendly and unhelpful Team Nightmare creatures doing mind-blowingly absurd things – all combined in a synergistic assault on my sense of entertainment and aesthetics. It was as if the movie’s creators wanted to smash me into a thousand thousand pieces and then drag my shattered remnants through a solution of battery acid and lava. I felt an inexplicable rage that increased exponentially as the movie unfolded from whatever mutilated origami creature it had originally been mangled into. After about 45 minutes of fighting a rapidly increasing urge to throw something – ANYTHING! – I had to leave the room.

Since that time, I only have to see an anime drawing and I have a visceral reaction. I admit that it’s completely overblown and this loathing for anime is just as inexplicable as it is deep and intense. I honestly can’t think of anything else I hate as much.

Which is good, since that means I only have one thing to avoid. Well – that and black olives.

8 Responses to “Inexplicable”

  1. Joanne on March 31, 2009 11:15 am

    What about twangy ‘country music’ (Not the more modern kind, but the whole-hearted cowboy centric kind)?

    My dislike for country music meets your dislike for anime face-to-face. Being as cosmopolitan as you surely are — may I suggest adding that to your list?
    Or…does the Arkansa-ite in you like country music? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. fishiefishies on March 31, 2009 3:55 pm

    LOL – I’m definitely not a fan of country music either, Arkansan heritage notwithstanding. But it doesn’t cause the reaction that anime does. It just makes me make faces; it doesn’t make me writhe.

    I did think of two more things that provoke this same visceral reaction: the phrase “throws an exception” and the imperative sentence “Consider the following scenario.” These are both work-related, obviously, and one of them I see (and write around) on an almost daily basis. UGH.

  3. Amy W on April 2, 2009 7:28 pm

    I have to take exception to your disdain for phrases that reference throwing exceptions. Exceptions happen. No matter how hard we geeks may try, they happen. Consider the scenario in which a library method needs to communicate to the client that an error has occurred. This scenario is well handled by an exception. True, it may not be an exceptional example, but at least you considered it.

  4. fishiefishies on April 2, 2009 7:41 pm

    LOL – Miss W, I realize I wasn’t clear – it’s not the “exception” part of the phrase that I don’t like. It’s the “throw” part. I just loathe the verb “throw” in any kind of computer context. Why say “throw” when “returns” or “generates” work just as well and aren’t so jargony? ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Kelly on April 2, 2009 8:53 pm

    I’m right there with you on the anime. My parents have recently decided they LOVE it and are always asking me if I’ve seen such-and-such. Um, no. No, I haven’t. And I never will. I just do NOT get it. It’s so annoying.

    OK, I’m done.

  6. Amy W on April 2, 2009 9:02 pm

    Geeks love their jargon. It makes them feel superior to non-geeks and leaves aspiring geeks in the dark, engendering yet more superiority. I’m with you though, just thought I’d go raise an exception anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. dave on April 2, 2009 9:37 pm

    Bravo Amy. I’m glad you stick up for throwing those things. I mean, the exception could not be caught if it was returned or generated. It must be thrown!

    Right? ya feel me?

  8. fishiefishies on April 2, 2009 9:45 pm

    Ohhh, David. I feel so betrayed. Relentlessly you mock me.

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