- Write and Keep Writing
- Don’t just review popular or mainstream sh*t
- Do not restrict yourself to a single genre
- Keep a balanced opinion
- Don’t Fixate on the Barrier
- Avoid Re:reviewing
- Try to Go Beyond a Statement
8. Spoiler control takes practice
The most annoying thing about a review is avoiding the spoilers. I am personally not satisfied with just doing a short review. It’s been five years, so f*ck it. I don’t plan on doing short reviews, because there isn’t a challenge in doing posts like that. For my stubbornness though, I often forget to control the spoilers. My early reviews are pretty much a summarization of the anime, and then a paragraph below it to discuss my thoughts on the thing I just spoiled. As I stated before, I did that because most people never go past the third episode. Before I was a reviewer, the people reviewing anime are really just negative gruffs. The reason is because it’s a lot more interesting to say you hate something than to gush about something you love. My review style has always been a defensive counter flow to those assh*les, and I know for a fact that my reviews have made a difference. There are a lot more people reviewing positively for the most part, and thank goodness for that. Anyways, my reviews tend to be very very unnecessarily long because I don’t control my spoilers. After the 50th one or something, I basically just didn’t care about spoilers. I was always concerned with improving my reviews that I never bother to care about spoilers. I talk about what I want to talk about, and people generally respond positively to my reviews. I don’t really know if they actually read my sh*t, because even I don’t proofread back then, but whatever. It was a long time ago.
So, starting out, is spoiler control something a reviewer should be mindful of?
No. Spoil as much as you want.
Never spoil for the sake of spoiling.
I spoil crucial plot points because I was in love with it. I want to talk about it immensely in how many paragraphs I can make. If spoilers are preventing you from talking in depth about a show, then spoil it. Spoiler control is hard, and there is really no smart way to avoid it. Most movie companies are even releasing trailers with spoilers in it, so it’s really evident that controlling it is just so damn hard. Here’s what you need to remember: passion trumps spoilers. If you really love or hate something, then you should spoil the story to justify your emotions. I hate Mahouka, and it’s because the main character can resurrect the dead. I hate people that love Mahouka, because they don’t understand how much Mary Sue cliché they are defending. I hate the very idea of Mahouka mainly because I cannot believe it can get away with such blatant arrogant bullsh*t like that. Your dude just resurrected the dead. Where the f*ck do we go from here? I mean, seriously, why are we even alive on this Earth? Do you feel my utter hatred for Mahouka? Do you see how unreasonable yet oddly entertaining my rant is? Do you see how much it personally affects me, even though it isn’t really that big of a deal if the Mary Sue can bring the dead to life? This is my passion, and it provides for an interesting review. I don’t give a sh*t if the dude’s ability to resurrect the dead is the big plot twist of the third arc, because I need to let this passion out above all else.
Besides, if you worry too much about spoilers then you might become a stiff reviewer and that’s even worse. “This anime is directed by blah blah blah….The story is like this, and the animation is like that…I don’t really want to give the story away but I do like this anime….There is one part that I really hate but I will not spoil it for you…” Eh. In this world where innocently browsing Wikipedia can spoil you, reading youtube comments can spoil you and even your f*cking your facebook feed can spoil you, why should you even bother? We live in a world full of spoilers. Some people don’t even watch a movie if they are interested in it, they’ll talk to someone that has seen it and asks them to spoil the entire story for them. It’s a personal pet peeve of mine, like for f*cksake just watch the damn movie. So being mindful of spoilers shouldn’t be a concern for you. If you want to review an anime then just do it spoilers be damned. It’s better than being a stiff reviewer or a shallow one. Spoilers aren’t as heavy as a reviewer that can’t review because of restrictions.
Spoiler control comes with experience though. I personally learned that some anime are so formulaic that you can give away some of the formula without actually spoiling its main story. I can talk about how dark and atmospheric Madoka is after that one pivotal moment, and I don’t have to spell it out. It’s a plot twist so insane that it literally turned the anime upside down and got heads rolling. I mean really, I can dance around the topic without giving it away. People that have seen the anime knows what I’m talking about, and I’m sure some people drowning in this spoiler world of ours are already reading Wikipedia to know what is. I’m not going to lie that spoiler control is a powerful thing, because it can drum up intrigue on the show. A good reviewer can actually use spoilers to their advantage, and it does take practice. How exactly does that work? Well, for the most part, you just passionately rant about something without actually spelling out what it is.
Like in Erased, for example. I can talk about the ending. Do you guys remember the ending? The story peaks to a head to head with the killer, but then things sudden changed pace. We suddenly see this very upsetting moment happen, and you can’t really quite accept it. I f*cking can’t, because the anime spent the entire series building up on something else. It’s on the gawd damn title poster, so the betrayal cuts deep. I know some people love how relatable the anime is, but there is just something unfair about it that I don’t want to accept. Sure, this opens up possibilities for the main character and someone else to explore things but f*ck that. He sacrificed so much to get nothing in return. Did I spoil the story? Is my personal bias intriguing enough to try the anime? I used the spoiler to my advantage. I never outright told you what it is, but push enough buttons with your vague approach and people will eventually watch the show. Spoilers can entice people to watch a show, so don’t avoid it. Tame it, and use it to your advantage. Please, don’t gawd damn read the summary on Wikipedia. Train your ADHD mind to actually enjoy something for once, you privilege sack of wasted space.
Spoiler control takes time though, so just don’t worry about it. If your goal is to better your reviews, then spoiler control gets easier to do after you published ton of your sh*t. Once you recognized your own review pattern, how some shows of the same genres behave similarly and how most clichés are utilized, then controlling spoilers will soon be a piece of cake. It takes time, but a graphic artist once told me that “In order for something to look good, you need to spend time on it”. Back then, he was referring to courting an underaged girl but I think his advice applies here. Just focus on sharing your passion first, and the rest will fall in line. Don’t worry about it. Tell the whole world that the big twist of Erased is that he never actually ends up with the girl he spent majority of the series with, because a sudden time jump with him in a coma forced the girl to just marry and have a baby with someone else. Never let spoilers stop you from sharing your passion about a show.
I’m so glad I saw this. I needed these tips! Thanks. 😀
I can’t decide whether I should type spoilers in my reviews or not. I think I might add some spoilers sometimes.
I personally don’t mind spoilers at all. In the end I decide on my own whether an anime is worth watching .
Yeah, spoilers shouldn’t be that big of a factor. You can also just give the old “spoiler warning” sign before you do it. It’s up to the readers if they spoil themselves at that point.
I might have to go back to my reviews and add the spoiler warnings.
Gosh i love these posts so much. You give extremely helpful tips and your writing style is so engaging!
“Here’s what you need to remember: passion trumps spoilers. If you really love or hate something, then you should spoil the story to justify your emotions.”
I know its only the tip of the iceberg but this paragraph here really resonates with me. That’s what im all about and what i want to come across when im sharing my thoughts on something. So if i need to spoil something about the Anime to emphasize my passion, I will!
I’m glad you like these posts. I enjoy writing them too.
And yes, spoilers shouldn’t be an issue. A review shouldn’t be so restrained.
I try to keep spoilers to a minimum, but yeah sometimes you have to reveal stuff to critique it. Madoka Magica for example is tough to comment on without mentioning how the tone changes after a few episodes.
Yeah, sometimes it’s just unavoidable so I tend to not worry about it.