This is another challenge day that I am going to slightly bend for my benefit. I say that because, while there are anime I avoid due to various things like genre or story synopsis, there aren’t really any anime I refuse to watch on principle (which is how I interpret the original intent of today’s challenge).
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t anime that I avoid. In fact, I wrote a post a few weeks ago about 5 anime that are so long I can’t seem to make myself watch them. But the reason I chose today’s pick, My Hero Academia, is just slightly different and perhaps a little unfair.
Every fandom has a very specific pocket of fans and anime is no exception. I’m not referring to people who love anime; I’m talking about people who treat anime like a personality type instead of entertainment. These people are usually the gatekeepers (Oh, so you’ve only seen the popular anime), pedantic (it’s ANIME not ANIMES), and look for every opportunity to do terrible imitations of their favorite moments and characters (please stop running with your hands behind your back).
And, fair or not, there seem to be a lot of MHA fans who take their dedication to the series to Disney Adult levels. They’re the ones who attend the movies to scream “Go beyond! Plus Ultra!” in cult-like unison (I haven’t personally been, just heard stories).
And again, this isn’t necessarily unique to MHA, but it’s the one I hear about these kinds of instances most often. When I see people wearing anime apparel, many times it’s MHA themed. When people discuss popular anime, if it’s not Naruto, it’s MHA. And it’s all they will discuss.
Obviously, popularity is going to be a large contributing factor to the reason why it shows up so often in these circles. Some anime just click with Western audiences and seem to explode into corners of the internet where you wouldn’t normally see anime. So yes, it’s a little unfair to judge MHA based on this popularity drawing in a disproportionate number of people who are willing to make it their personality, even if it’s only for a time.
Like I said in the beginning, I wouldn’t label it as an anime that I refuse to watch, but I greatly hesitate and slightly cringe any time someone suggests I should. Just based on the stories I’ve heard, it’s hard for me to imagine being part of the fandom in any capacity. Every family has that one member who somehow manages to be the embarrassing one, and for me, MHA is that family member.
I don’t mean to necessarily criticize people who love MHA. If you boil it down, people are just throwing themselves into what they love. As far as obsessions go, it’s honestly quite harmless, and as long as you aren’t trying to shove it in everyone’s faces, I don’t see it as a real problem. I just have a hard time imagining myself participating, and that’s my hang-up.
So maybe there will come a day where I do watch My Hero Academia, but I can tell you with confidence, it won’t be any time soon.