Over the past few weeks, I’ve already had one episode of both Double Decker! and Zombieland Saga spoilt by people who put the plot twist into their post titles…
…so beware, this is gonna get ranty.
Spoilers. They’re inevitable in the line of anime blogging, but for latecomers this means a lot of dodging, as I’ve mentioned in the past.
However, what about people who are saving other people’s weekly commentary for when they’re going to get to it? (Like me.) Not everyone watches shows at the same pace, for a variety of reasons, but spoilery post titles sort of take the fun out of things…especially when the shows in question are comedies which rely on twisting norms or set-up ideas, like Zombieland Saga and Double Decker!.
Okay, if you still don’t get what I’m talking about, let me explain: Zombieland Saga episode 2 is the one you remember as the “rap battle” episode, right? Well, the writer from Angry Anime Bitches called their post for the episode Rap Zombie Rap, which is either a really bad mummy joke or about the musical genre. Episode 1 already tipped off the fact Zombieland Saga was going to do different musical things every episode, so it wasn’t much of a deduction from there…
Sidenote: I didn’t mention it in the post about the topic, but I specifically kept Zombieland Saga on my watchlist because the show is so dependent on using surprises and comedy as parts of its success that I believed there would be repeat performances of this dilemma…it’s just that I just never foresaw this happening with other shows as well, although I probably should have.
Similarly, I didn’t realise episode 6 of Double Decker was actually spoilt by the title the related post has on Moe Sucks, Kirill now has a brother, until the brother in question was actually introduced. It did tip me off to listen more closely to the brother’s voice (so I learnt the name of the voice actor for “Milla”, Yuki Fujiwara, through checking the credits and in this way, I confirmed the twist from the voice actor’s picture before I saw it happen in the episode), but in exchange, it was also slightly less satisfying to get that punchline as a result.
Note I do read these post titles when I see these emails, as part of my anticipation for watching the episodes (and it’s part and parcel of sorting out my emails, anyway), so I sometimes learn these things about a week before I actually watch the episodes. It would be too tricky to try and follow everyone through the Reader alone and it could always be the case a post title is lying for humour’s sake. By the way, I’m kind of adamant about clearing out my folder of WordPress emails every day – it’s part of my daily routine – and the only way to connect with some bloggers on a regular basis is through their episodic reviews, so if you’re just telling me to unfollow the offenders or stop subscribing to their emails based on a few spoilers, either way it’s a lose-lose situation.
…oh. You’re asking me why I’m being a hypocrite by revealing the offending spoilers in this post?
I’m not. Unlike some people, I have a spoiler policy. You might not ever read it because it’s like small text on certain types of ads, but I keep it there for a reason.
So what does this all amount to? Basically, I’m asking the blogging community to have a little more respect for those who are digging through archives of anime posts. A post’s title is representative of its content, but it also is representative of the blogger behind the content…and a blogger who puts spoilers in their titles, intentionally or not, implies that blogger has no tact.
Certainly, you don’t have to assume you’ll need spoilers for every anime post you write, but exercise some common sense, know your audience and know the impact of where you place your spoilers. Then you’ll know when to use spoiler warnings and with enough practice and restraint, you can evaluate which spoilers can be taken out of post titles and take those out as well. It sounds like that should be obvious, but people tend to forget that when they prize speediness of weekly reviews over everything else (and might possibly be fatigued from other commitments behind the screen on top of that, or might be still buzzing with excitement from just having watched the episode).
So if you’ve gotten this far, congratulations. I don’t have anything to reward you with aside from the standard questions and subsequent discussion though, so here are the questions: Is my ranting unwarranted? Did I somehow forget a solution to the spoilery post title problem that won’t cause a lose-lose situation as a result and if so, what is it?