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Opinion: In Polite Company, You Should Never Talk About Religion, Politics, or Anime

You all know the old adage: in polite company, you shouldn’t talk about religion or politics. Well it’s time to add a third topic to update the adage for the modern era. In polite conversation, you should never, ever, bring up a conversation about religion, politics, or anime.

At the end of the day, religion, politics, and anime are deeply personal topics that can turn any dinner party into a nightmare. People who seek out political debates are surely terrible, but have you ever heard a subbed anime fan telling a dub watcher that they’re watching anime wrong? We’ve heard the arguments before from both sides: dub fans are dumb dumbs who can’t read, but sub fans are gatekeeping monsters. These are the kinds of issues that no one should have to confront while just trying to have a nice time with their friends or family.

And, of course, we all have a racist uncle we have to tolerate each year at Thanksgiving. We all know not to bring up politics with him, but don’t bring up Avatar the Last Airbender around him either, unless you want your whole family to start another screaming match about how Avatar is an anime despite the fact that the show was created by two white Americans and animated in Korea. Year after year, your moron uncle will insist that Avatar is stylistically very similar to anime and has many of the same themes and story rhythms, but that’s just his rotting brain trying its best to make sentences using what remaining neurons it has. Can’t we just eat some turkey and talk about what we’re thankful for?

Perhaps you think that anime is the least intense of these issues. Perhaps you’re wrong. At least when arguing about religion, no one is trying to figure out if the Buddha is stronger than Mohammed and write 17 pages detailing the Buddha’s power level based on feats he’s accomplished in religious texts. In a world where everyone is an anime fan, we now have to avoid intense arguments over whether One Punch Man’s undefinable strength means he would kick Goku’s ass despite the fact that One Punch Man has never shown any fighting technique at all and has never pulled off feats close to what Goku has. 

Sure, around our liberal friends, we can talk about how Goku would fucking destroy One Punch Man and anyone who thinks otherwise is a piece of shit. But your grandmother who’s 95 comes from a different time — one where it was more acceptable to pretend that the ultra instinct super saiyan form doesn’t exist.

The world is a prickly place and sometimes you shouldn’t have to worry about the more serious things going on. In the past, those serious things included just politics and religion, but the society we live in grows more complicated by the minute. These days, just to stay safe, we should avoid difficult conversations surrounding politics, religion, and yes, anime. Because anime fans fucking suck. And now everybody’s one.