I’m not all that much of a nerd. I’m certainly no gaming nerd. I don’t own a console more advanced than a Sega Megadrive. The last computer game I bought was Sims 3. My comic book collection consists of ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’. So forgive me for not hearing about Scott Pilgrim in anyway shape or form before the hype surrounding the movie. I don’t hang around in nerdy enough circles for anyone to recommend me the comics. But neither did I have any sort of bias against it. Despite what the title of this post might lead you to believe, I was actually fairly interested in the movie and perhaps, if the mood grabbed me to do so, I would check out the comics as well. That was until I saw the artwork.
Let me tell you a little story. Once upon a time, not that long ago, I was a newbie to anime fandom. I had seen about 10-15 series, most of which were in my predominately fruitless search for the next great seinen romance. I was not particularly internet savvy, having never before searched the internet for anything other than social networking sites. But despite this, I worked up the courage to post on an anime forum. I’d read all the forum rules so I wouldn’t go making some newbie mistake, despite not having a clue whether I was flaming or trolling or not because I had no idea what either of those words actually meant. But still, I posted a question, something about how many anime did I have to watch before I could reasonably call myself a knowledgeable anime fan.
In a proceeding forum exchange, there was one guy who decided it was his rightful place to make as much fun out of this newbie as possible. He was about as condescending as one could be, totally turning me off the site from there on and leaving me feeling a lot more hurt than any future encounter over the internet ever left me (this coming from a guy who ran that shitstorm known as the Aniblog Tourney so I’ve had my fair share of abuse hurled my way). But this guy’s tirade hit me more than anything else. It wasn’t as though he had anything useful to say either. He just wanted to be the big internet bully and show off to his forum buddies.
This incident all came rushing back to me thanks to Scott Pilgram. Why? Because this cunt had a Scott Pilgrim forum avatar. I never knew this when the original exchange happened. I only recognised this when I saw Scott Pilgram artwork. It was that guy there in the picture, with the ears and tail and everything. The fucker.
I’m writing this and thinking to myself ‘cry moar’, which is part of the reason I felt like writing this. Infected by internet culture, I’ve become used to dismissing what idiotic newbies write about anime, not knowing much better. Eventually though, they’ll grow up into regular forum posters, imageboard visiters and commenters and know as much about anime as that person who dismissed them all those years ago. They don’t know any better and probably know they don’t know any better. But all you’re achieving by doing this is turning people off what you love so much. You’re influencing a new generation to not want to watch your favourite stuff. This is also the main reason people don’t want to watch older anime. You’re turning them off by being condescending pricks.
Be nice to newbies. This is such a basic lesson it’s hardly like it applies to anime at all. I don’t want to turn people off Arakawa Under the Bridge simply because I was a dick to them. Seasoned veterans can handle it. Thick skin develops if you use the internet long enough. But don’t be condescending because they’ll harbour that loathing when they become seasoned veterans. Heck, look at me. 3 years on and here I am, a bountiful casket of knowledge and wisdom pertaining to all Japanese Animation and related products, loved and adored by millions. Fuck you random forum guy. You probably got the burnout anyway.
And I never intend on watching Scott Pilgrim.