Thursday, May 9, 2019

Do Spoilers Ruin Anime?

Does knowing the end of an anime ruin it? 

(Ironically, this post will include spoilers for several anime series: Clannad, Penguindrum, and The Promised Neverland)

Personally, I do not think that spoilers ruin a good anime, but I do think that they can ruin the experience of watching an anime. Part of what makes an anime a joy to watch is the experience. It is a kind of leisure hobby so it should be pleasant. It's a nice feeling to be surprised, so I think that purposefully spoiling an anime (or any story, for that matter) for anyone is a jerk-move. However, I do think that anyone who goes on the internet should be prepared to come across a spoiler or two at some point.

As someone who has been on the internet and the anime community for awhile, I've seen a few spoilers before going into a series. When I started watching Clannad and Clannad: After Story, the series had been over for about five years. I had been a part of the anime community for over a year and I was aware of a lot of the memes regarding the series. Before I even started watching Clannad, I knew what was going to happen to Nagisa. I knew about Usagi and I knew what was going to happen to her. I didn't know the exact circumstances, but the series was spoiled for me. But it didn't really ruin the story for me. I still liked the anime and I could see why so many others love the series. Knowing that Nagisa and Usagi die in the anime didn't ruin the overall story or message on love and family.

Penguindrum is another series that was spoiled for me but in a different way. Unfortunately, Penguindrum is not as popular in the anime community as Clannad so there aren't many Penguindrum memes in the mainstream. There also aren't many spoilers discussed in the public arena of the anime community. However, I still spoiled the series for myself by asking too many questions to a friend who already watched the series. I was just wondering why the siblings Himari, Shouma, and Kanba didn't look anything each other...I soon found out why. 

And while on the subject of spoilers, I think it's worth talking about The Promised Neverland. I actually did not have this anime spoiled for me because I just read the manga after I heard so much hype for it. But as the anime was airing, I read so many posts from fans telling others to not spoil the first episode for new viewers. I even wrote my recommendation for The Promised Neverland with as little spoilers as I could while still trying to maintain the hype. I think that The Promised Neverland is a great experience that should not be spoiled, but I also don't think that knowing the events of the anime ruin the story that's told.

So in my opinion, spoilers can ruin what could be a good experience or surprise. But a good anime with a great message and characters isn't really hurt by knowing some of the plot points and twists. And I also think that by spending time on the internet, whether it be forums or Twitter feeds, you're bound to come across some spoilers sooner or later. So while it's nice of people to offer spoiler warnings, I do not think that kind of courtesy should always be expected as the norm.

With that being said, let me know your thoughts on spoilers. Feel free to share your experience with spoilers and whether or not they ruined an anime for you. Let me know what anime you've gone into already knowing how it was going to end.

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