Continuing World

Stop Using the Word “Trainwreck”

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I understand that not everyone likes the current bombastic mecha offering from Sunrise, Valvrave the Liberator. One could chalk it up to its elements, which only seem to exist to deliver the maximum helping of shark jumpings every week. You got attractive boys and girls, some war drama (and comedy), garish mecha, and the occasional song-and-dance routine. It does seem aimed for just about everyone.

There are those who describe the show with a word, and that is trainwreck. My first encounter with the word stemmed back in 2008 with Code Geass R2. Somehow, I was watching a show with other people who deemed it bad, but could not bear themselves to drop it. Despite their claims of the show’s lack of quality, they seemed to be enjoying it, for what else keeps them coming back? I guess it makes people feel nice and special if they have something to mock, something to feel better over. And they do it to a cartoon, or even better, the cartoon’s fans, because they deserve to be mocked for their bad taste!

Everyone in the hobby has probably mocked something. But why level a sustained effort in putting down a popular show? Is it too much to be grinning wildly along with the show’s fans every week that you have to say you’re watching it ironically? That if you like a show that’s bad without knowing it’s bad then you should feel bad, but if you know it’s bad then you should feel good because that just makes you better than the others?

Maybe you watch Valvrave, too. Maybe it’s like Shouko’s cooking, absolutely awful on the surface but actually nutritious and tasty. Maybe you think it’s pretty dumb, but it manages to walk the tightrope of expectations up to the next week. Maybe you genuinely want to know what happens next, because there is no other anime that deals with nanomachine space vampire pilots. Maybe you just don’t want to call it good, because you lose to some high and mighty arbiter of taste if you do.

Then maybe you could stop calling it a trainwreck? I fail to see how it makes you smarter. Quite the opposite, in fact.

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