I didn’t realise Kim Morrissy was a woman. For the longest time, I swore the person who posted about light novels and used the pseudonym “Frog-kun” was a dude…
…but enough of my misconceptions, I want to talk about a piece of hers.
These days, it feels like everyone’s a critic, or at least has the capacity for it. I’ve seen a lot of people identify as critics even when they don’t get paid for it, so it can’t just be about money. On the flip side, the reviewers here at ANN often talk about how they consider themselves plain old anime fans just like anyone else. The more I think about it, the blurrier the divide seems to me.
This particular paragraph jumped out at me when I was reading the piece. It made me wonder, exactly how do the people of WordPress identify on this front? There are a lot of amateur reviewers who can only dream of being in Morrissy’s spot (or an equivalent outside of anime) that crop up on this platform and then there are some professionals as well.
I feel like the more one actually puts out reviews, the more they are a reviewer. My actual reviews are few and far in between, so while I’m a blogger, I’m not a reviewer. I said of myself (in a post I’ve since gotten rid of while cleaning out my drafts folder) “You can tell I like to chase arguments…” and that’s what I could call myself: an argument chaser. However, just because I like to pick and pursue my own arguments (like I’m doing here…see?), that doesn’t make me a critic either, although some critics use their arguments very skilfully.
So what is an anime critic? (We have to stick with the topic of the blog after all and those who identify as “manga critics” in this blogging space are, unfortunately, few and far in between – even rarer unicorns than those who are purely “manga bloggers”, as opposed to those who blog about manga in conjunction with other topics…
but that’s a subject for another day, I guess.)
A critic is someone who has to pick on anime in a professional capacity, I guess I’d say. They may not have a particularly binding opinion and people are free to feel what they like about their opinions (Anime News Network, in particular, does get a bit of flak for this precise reason), but they have to be recognised by the title somehow.
Meta context: I started with a quote, so I’m ending with the meta context. This post was started at the end of 2018 and has been languishing in my drafts folder…basically ever since then. You can tell why I’ve been letting it gather dust (it’s too broad for the blog)… but also why I had to trot it out (I have a nascent idea for a post on Mashiro no Oto, but it’s boring to just keep trotting out “Why Do I Like [so and so anime]?” as a title and topic over and over again…).
So, what is it that makes a critic?