“Should Anime Have a Message?”


Anime fans have lately been discussing whether anime should have a “message,” with the general sentiment apparently being that it is better off without it.

The exchange:

“Do you lot think anime should have a message? If it’s pushy then I’d rather it didn’t…”

“Who cares if it’s good.”

“They usually get too preachy. Whether it makes any impression depends on the viewer.”

“Any kind of title has a message. It’s something someone made, after all.”

“I hate messages. I preferred the very first Gundam. Anime is for entertainment so it’s no good to lose sight of that.”

“I prefer it to have a message, but it must still be entertaining first and foremost.”

“Viewers may like a message, but the makers must remember making it entertaining is their top priority.”

“Ones which leave you with a message to think about after finishing are good. Without a message it is just empty.”

“Real drama does leave you with a message. This is what’s so good about Madocchi – it has a formal tale of spiritual growth, and the fun parts too.”

“As far as messages go, the ones in TV commercials are enough for me.”

“Eroge anime may have messages but they still just cause you to droop. If people like that sort of thing, let them.”

“Lately there are anime which deliberately quash their message element, like Geass – it seems interest in them wanes a bit faster that way.”

“Does Madoka have a message?”

“‘Life isn’t that soft’ or something like that I think.”

“Madoka’s message is ‘Don’t love anyone’ or some such.”

“Anime is more entertainment than art. It doesn’t need to have any message. That said, it’s probably best not to have  them promoting the depraved.”

“Right, those who feel a message can pick it up and appreciate it, others can just enjoy the show.”

It is interesting to speculate as to how closely the “message” and “no message” camps correspond to the so-called Type A and Type B otaku factions


    Post Comment »
    Sort by: Date | Score
    Comment by Anonymous
    07:18 14/05/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    The message behind Madoka is obviously: "If a white cat-fox thingy asks you to make a contract, just say no kids".

    Avatar of Knets
    Comment by Knets
    07:28 14/05/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Madoka's message is quite clear: before you sign a contract, read the fine prints.

    Clearly you missed that ;)

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    10:26 14/05/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    More like strangle the terms and conditions out of that white furball of death since he wont tell if you don't ask :3

    Avatar of Darkrockslizer
    Comment by Darkrockslizer
    13:43 14/05/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    Except for strangling one won't affect that thing much.

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    16:27 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not enough to kill him, that is.
    Just gonna torture that poor fucker till it wished itself dead.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:57 14/05/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    I thought the message was "If it's not in the law then it's not illegal."

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:16 15/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    OH no, I sense another friendship speech incoming...

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:52 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    i though it was, ya know, heart of the cards = friendship

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:34 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Or better, hire a lawyer before making the contract.

    15:58 14/05/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    I thought the message was drink Morning Rescue. :3

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:59 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    The key to not losing in FML is to not make a contract with QB

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:07 16/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    FML = Full Metal Loli?

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:21 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Not the same anon, but most anything has a message in it if you look in the right place. Take south park for example. Of course this is balanced by scroty mc boogerballs...

    You don't need a message in anime, but seriously, if they go out of their way to not have a message that approachs The Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog, where they decided since they had no message they'd shoehorn one in at the end via sonic sez.

    Avatar of Diemeow23
    Comment by Diemeow23
    16:17 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    I totally agree, that's what I love so much about so much about anime! It gave the medium of animation more meaning instead of the american way where they thought that meaningless and endless repetitions of adventures and jokes could go on forever(of course with a tiny variety. Man! did Evangelion ever gave them a scare in 1995 when it came out ).

    People found this out the hard way when it didn't exist people only stuck to American cartoons or comics but when anime and manga came, they wanted nothing less, ironic isn't it!? Of course American animated show had their exceptions like a lot of disney's works but in the end they were never as complicated, diverse(or arousing) as anime came to be.

    To idiots who can't get the plot's or even just appreciate them just stick to Dora the Explorer and have a stupid mouse cursor to point you to the answers! Erotic or Not, Plot filled or just Slice of Life one thing is for sure anime was never intended for actual retards!

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:58 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    "The medium is the message." - Marshall McLuhan


    Learn to quote properly, for fuck's sake.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:41 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't think that anime needs to have a forced message since the anime itself IS the message.

    Its just whiners that bitch since they are too dumb to connect the dots. Go watch Barney and Sesame street instead, idiots.

    If they would put these obvious messages in anime, it would bend the personalities of the characters just to "SHOW" the message to dumbfucks who needs to be spoonfed information (unless its for kids, or a disney show)

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:18 21/07/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    @Diemeow23 : The thing is, the disney stories that don't suck are always those that were stolen by the Americans like Snow white or the Lion King, they were never created by the Americans to begin with but just stolen to rip off the peoples money.

    The Americans can never do anything creative(just look at the stupid looney tunes or Animaniacs or Tex Avery and the whole other shit. Even things like Scooby Doo make you ask yourself why you watched them after you've seen Case closed(Meitantei Conan)/Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro or Spiral because the cases (in Scooby Doo)sucked and weren't anything near to suspense/horror at all).

    Well, it's not surprising,though,because many Americans are stupid and stupidly patriotic to say: "All that's not American is not worth enough to watch it or to see it as a role model to enhance ourselves" and keep doing the same crap over and over (not surprising thoungh,because their genes derive from people who were kicked out of their home country (the socalled "Purigans") because they were a stupid sect and millions of people that were either prosecuted because they were criminals or betrayed their homecountry when the times were hard and fled to an easier lifestyle,from latetime slavedrivers and Black Slaves from Africa; that tried to exterminate the indigenous Americans(the Indian tribes) to gain control over the whole land and started wars with Europe although they never did drop a single Bomb on America).

    They have inherited all the scumgenes from all around the world so it's not surprising that the outcome is the way it is and that they can't do any better than this...

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:21 21/07/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    @above,it's a typo,should have been "Puritans", not Purigans

    Avatar of Diemeow23
    Comment by Diemeow23
    16:44 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    I think him being able to kind of able to quote that was just coincidence I don't really think he was trying.

    Heck that's the first time I've heard that!

    Maybe I'm just not Literary enough(or something)

    Avatar of Uncommon0taku
    Comment by Uncommon0taku
    07:21 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    you gotz it backwards, its telling you to say yes, oh yes - YES YES!!

    -to the dark side, give into your desires and be yourself.

    Avatar of Shippoyasha
    Comment by Shippoyasha
    16:05 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    On a slightly more serious note, the reason why Madoka exists is simple.

    You see all those girls making contracts with otherworldly beings, interdimensional avatars that looks like teddy bears or even goddesses of multiverses and I think it's post modern look at just how serious that kind of a contract is. That if taken at any kind of serious light, girls would get killed, and bad, world shattering intergalactics would happen. I'm pretty sure that at this point, most Precure at their highest power could destroy most galaxies. XD

    Avatar of Tomoyo D.
    Comment by Tomoyo D.
    06:37 14/05/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    That's like asking "Should food have calories?" All art carries a message regardless of whether or not it is planted consciously.

    Avatar of SunnyJ
    Comment by SunnyJ
    07:01 14/05/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Exactly, what makes an anime popular to someone is how much of an impact it has on them or what it makes them think about after it completes... It may not be a message, but it's something to think about.

    Avatar of Uncommon0taku
    Comment by Uncommon0taku
    07:17 14/05/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    All Japanese Anime have social messages, even the dumbest corniest badly animated - subbed/dubbed ones have a message.
    As long as you can observe it without your troll senses kicking in.

    You will come away with something - sad, happy, comforted, or in some cases more horny than before you watched it.

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    10:25 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    2D = Good
    3D = ....

    Avatar of yuriphoria
    Comment by yuriphoria
    12:17 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Humans are the real invaders of course.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:01 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Is it sad that I actually enjoyed Mars of Destruction?

    Avatar of Gogetters
    Comment by Gogetters
    07:55 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    What was the message in Mars of Destruction?

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:21 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I barely notice any messages in anime at all. We do have the same conception of a message, right? Oh well, perhaps it's just me.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:53 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Just had to say...


    or whatever the fucks ;D

    (yes, Bleach and Naruto have messages... zzz)

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:31 15/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Wisteria Berlitz
    10:16 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    Avatar of Lilith
    Comment by Lilith
    07:11 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.2)

    Except the new wave of anime is all about making plot-less shows with cute characters. The message is as follows:


    I remember watching anime back when I was a kid and having my first deep thoughts, nowadays it's all about not thinking, apparently. Thinking is hard, it makes sad people... sadder?

    Grow up, otaku scum.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:01 14/05/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    Come off it. Even K-On has messages. (How wonderful it is to goof of with your best friends. That you can achieve something, even if you start out as a total noob. How formative and character shaping even seemingly wasted time is. And so on, there are many more.)

    Avatar of Yourtime
    Comment by Yourtime
    07:00 14/05/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    that's more like "Should Sankaku write something without missleading titles?"

    Avatar of Uncommon0taku
    Comment by Uncommon0taku
    07:19 14/05/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    are you implying "who is edititng the editors?"
    are you trying to incite a mutiny?

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:38 15/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Misleading title is misleading.

    Avatar of Diemeow23
    Comment by Diemeow23
    16:45 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Hahaha We're not confused you idiot, or are we?

    Comment by Wisteria Berlitz
    10:16 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    Avatar of toyNN
    Comment by toyNN
    07:09 14/05/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    LOL...Now that would be impossible!

    But in fairness this title does seem to be actually what the article is about..

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    08:57 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)


    That statement and your Avatar are in perfect sync.

    Avatar of Kitsunemimi6
    Comment by Kitsunemimi6
    07:37 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    That is true & they should, it increases the overall satisfaction after you finish watching it...

    For better, or for worse...

    Avatar of Y0k41
    Comment by Y0k41
    08:09 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I was thinking about this....then Panty & Stocking came to mind.

    Avatar of Veridis Quo
    Comment by Veridis Quo
    06:52 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I was typing a long message but this one post of you made me delete it all and upvote yours.

    Avatar of Elcachetondelpuro
    Comment by Elcachetondelpuro
    06:54 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Veritas est

    Agree, anyway my short answer to the question would be: "sure, why not?"

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:16 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Sure, however the question was asked with the implication that a message be intended.

    For example, Vladimir Nabokov wrote Lolita with the intention of plunging the reader into a state of "'aesthetic bliss,'" and was against an intended message. On the other hand, Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange had a clear cut intention of preaching the message that being evil by choice is better than being programmed to be good.

    Avatar of Megidola
    Comment by Megidola
    08:15 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    All food contains calories, but there's a difference between celery and chocolate cake.

    The issue is how explicit and/or profound a message an anime should have.

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    09:01 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Of course anime needs a message, the problem is everyone on that board seems to be using the word "message" in this case like "Moe." Like some kind of useless buzz word.

    Preachy is when a message is written badly and not weaved into the actual actions and plot of the characters and story. It it's written well, then the message is whatever the protagonist does to handle the situation, and affects you however it affects you. Technically a story has a preachy message in any case where something takes place in modern times and doesn't have extreme sci-fi elements, because it's unavoidable commentary on modern society at that point.

    And hell, even porn needs a 'message.' Porn without a plot or scenario is kind of like watching a piston at a car factory. About as much noise and about as much entertainment.

    Avatar of Koji
    Comment by Koji
    09:39 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    It does not necessarily follow that because food has calories then art carries a messages.

    In some cases, a work may be just a guilty pleasure to consume. Anything you decide to take from it would be your interpretation.

    Avatar of gKrow
    Comment by gKrow
    06:46 14/05/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Sometimes it's good to be able to watch something without having to think.

    Avatar of Elcachetondelpuro
    Comment by Elcachetondelpuro
    06:55 14/05/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well it is true that do you apreciate way more an anime with a message when it is surrounded by shallow shows ñ_ñ

    Post Comment »


Recent News

Recent Galleries

Recent Comments