The first two images are taken from what is a fairly disturbing and grotesque rape scene in the film. While there are certainly are some first-class sickos out there who get off to even the most vile depictions of rape in media, they in NO way constitute an overall majority of people broadly speaking.
Kagero's rape scene is in NO way animated or depicted in a way that is remotely intended to get any sane, rational audience anywhere within lightyears
of horny. The scene is stark, silent, and sickening as Tessai basically uses her prone body like an inanimate object (which ends up tying into a whole broader theme with Kagero's entire self-loathing psychology/self-image) while she's unconscious: and the look of horror and shame on her face when waking up to it is nausea-inducing and the stuff of nightmares.
I've watched this anime, including this scene with plenty
of different people/audiences over the decades (including some fairly young, healthily sexual guys): and the reaction has ALWAYS unanimously
been one of PROFOUND discomfort and fear/sadness for the female character rather than anything within lightyears
of "aroused" by what's happening to her.
I'm sorry, but someone who sees a scene like this as "titillating" or "erotic"... its far, FAR more indicative of something PROFOUNDLY and DEEPLY fucked up and badly broken that's going on within them personally than it is ANYTHING that is demonstrable within the scene in question in terms of how its directed, staged, and animated. By this metric, the rape scene in something like The Accused may as well also be tagged as "titillating" and "solely there to get the audience horny". Its a patently ridiculous, asinine, and frankly downright disturbingly warped reading of a scene who's basic intent is pretty damn obvious and in no way subtle.
I've seen PLENTY of examples of anime/Hentai where rape is depicted and used as a means of purposefully titillating and getting the audience aroused (something like La Blue Girl or Venus 5 springs to mind): and this AIN'T it. At all.
This is played 100% for stark, queasy horror. And it further is part of a broader point with regards to Kagero, who has a fairly heartbreaking and complex character arc throughout the anime.
If you're someone who watches a scene like this and reads it as even VAGUELY arousing and erotic: by all means, seek professional help ASAP.
Kokonoe wrote: ↑
Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:55 pm
I don't like overly violent shows. I personally think that the glorification of these gorefests is troubling. That's a whole other topic though.
Seriously though, there's SO many examples of works throughout film, television, and literature that use violence to outstanding and compelling effect that I don't even know where to begin listing them all.
This is basically just textbook prudish pearl-clutching of a similar kind expressed by parental/moral watchdog groups that have blamed things like violent video games, movies, and comic books for the "moral decay" of society for the past half century or so.
Ninja Scroll isn't snuff, nor is it a glorification of sexual violence against women: if you walk away from the anime's stark and unflattering depiction of sexual violence and the cultural objectifying of women by men in positions of power within its period setting and seeing it as in any which way a "celebration" or "glorification" of it, then I simply don't know what else to tell you other than that is an ABSURDLY fucking deranged and ludicrous reading of the material to the nth possible degree.
Similarly, Ninja Scroll's gory sword violence is hardly even VAGUELY more outlandish than just about almost ANYTHING you'd see in most ANY given Chanbara works in existence. Its maybe a hair
more severe than a typical Masaki Kobayashi film of this kind. I mean what, by this logic are we also gonna decry the blood-soaked violence in something like Kurosawa's Throne of Blood or in Lone Wolf and Cub as "a deeply troubling glorification of violence" as well?
This is little more than just a boilerplate standard conservative/reactionary view of violence in media, and one that's been explored and debunked to death a billion times over throughout the past half century (at a minimum) by people who are countless orders of magnitude smarter and better read/written than my dumb, college-dropout ass.
Kokonoe wrote: ↑
Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:55 pm
Can't say I agree at all being that women are being put on display getting raped for titulation. That's worse than any fan service those shows offered. If anything the women in Ninja Scroll are one dimensional and just there as rewards and motivations for the male characters.
There are three major female characters in Ninja Scroll: Benisato, Zakuro, and Kagero. Literally all of ZERO of them are used in ANY which way as "rewards" for ANY of the male characters. Not even REMOTELY.
Zakuro is the jealous, spurned third wheel in a bisexual love triangle among the villains (she's spiteful and viscous, but is in no way presented as a "reward" for anyone), Benisato is simply one of Jubei's seven main opponents that he faces (and yes, she's often nude, and its really the only nudity in the whole movie that seems to largely be there gratuitously just for its own sake; though her moving full-body tattoos are certainly a striking and memorable image), and Kagero is an incredibly fleshed out and well developed character who's romantic feelings for Jubei are in NO WAY depicted with her acting as his "reward".
If anything, we mainly and primarily view the romance between them from squarely HER perspective, rather than Jubei's and we get WAY more insight into how it affects her
relative to how it affects Jubei. And insofar as how their romance does
impact Jubei: at one point late in the film, Jubei is given a VERY compelling and valid reason to have sex with Kagero (doing so would literally, physically save his own life from a fatal poison)... and purposefully turns it down
(at the long-term eventual cost of his own life) specifically because he doesn't see her as a sexual tool/object
, knows and is conscious of the fact that that's how she's largely been treated by men her whole life, and refuses to further play into that dynamic, valuing her self-respect as a woman/human being above his own life and physical safety.
Basically the movie actively goes out of its fucking way
to COMPLETELY subvert and avoid making Kagero into Jubei's "romantic reward" in the end, with Jubei instead showing a profound level of respect for Kagero's agency and humanity, to the point where he literally gives up his life-saving antidote
in his regard for it: because Kagero to him is a human being and NOT just an antidote to the poison, nor a sexual object to be used and discarded like so many have before him.
At this point, I'm genuinely questioning whether or not you've ever actually even SEEN this anime at all in the first place: because based on this completely absurd and made-up description of "all the female characters are there as rewards for the men", I'm finding it increasingly unlikely you've either actually sat down and watched this, or if you did that you barely paid any actual attention to it.
Benisato's nudity is literally the ONE SOLE
piece of female sexuality that is used at ANY point in the whole anime to titillate in the slightest (and its often fleeting, at best). Beyond this, there's Kagero's rape (which I'd already gone over) and another scene where Kagero is forced to watch her clan's Chamberlain have sex with one of his concubines while she's reporting to him. This scene, much like the rape scene, is played as discomforting and clinical rather than in ANY which way eroticized or titillating.
Rather than arousing or "hot", the Chamberlain's fucking of his concubine is shown as dispassionate, mechanical, and largely sleazy and gross: he doesn't even register so much as an ounce of pleasure or enjoyment on his face at any point in the scene, and seems to get on with the task almost like its a requisite chore, while the concubine's moans of ecstasy are transparently fake and overdone as a performance for the Chamberlain's amusement.
Much like Kagero in her prior rape, the concubine is simply being used as a sex object by the politically powerful Chamberlain, as a display of his power and status. Coming right on the heels of Kagero's rape scene, again there are actual purposeful themes of sexual shame, self-loathing, and the cold and detached use of women as commodities rather than people that are at play in both this scene and in pretty much all of the sexual scenes featuring Kagero throughout the anime.
None of these are in any which way gratuitous and serve a very specific narrative and character function that play into Kagero's entire character arc throughout the anime. They are GREATLY uncomfortable scenes to watch, yes, but they're supposed to be.
In both scenes, you are put SQUARELY in the shoes and perspective of Kagero (the anime's female lead) rather than that of the sexually predatory men that she's dealing with. The film is in NO way taking the side or perspective either Tessai nor the Chamberlain (nor Shijima later in the film), as the audience is AT ALL TIMES in the woman's perspective
and views every single scene of sexual violence and abuse through the woman's
lens rather than that of the men's.
the character we were previously following or introduced to earlier in the movie: Kagero is. Tessai is little more than a thug under Gemma's employ. We don't know much about him (nor do we need to), other than he's imposing, barbaric, and viscous. Kagero we get to know and like and root for throughout the film. We also get to know deeply her self-hating image of herself as little more than a sexual tool/device to be used by the powerful political factions she works for, and we follow throughout the film her gradual and subtle change from bitter self-resignation to this role to a fleeting moment of genuine empowerment and happiness with herself before she meets her ultimate, tragic fate.
When Kagero is violated by Tessai, the audience FEELS her terror and feels the ensuing guilt/shame she undergoes in the aftermath (the scene of her cradling herself in the grass afterward after Jubei leaves is one of the most powerful and emotionally harrowing moments in the entire anime). And the worst part is, its heavily implied full well that this was hardly the first time she's been made to undergo and deal with this type of abuse, and she more or less heavily suggests that she's been used in this fashion for basically her entire life.
Its not at all an accident that Tessai is shown disturbingly playing with her limp, unconscious body - almost doll-like - for much of the rape scene: this is very much an apt visual representation of Kagero's entire inner-shame and objectification (not to mention that of women overall within the film's brutal, bleak, and unromanticized depiction of Edo-era Japan) that's at the heart of her whole character throughout the movie (and that she ultimately, albeit in very bittersweet fashion, emotionally rises above in her last moments).
Its gross, sick, degrading, dehumanizing, and utterly fucking horrible to watch: but again that's what its supposed to be
. That's how almost ANY rape scene should feel and be portrayed as in any given work, because that's what rape ultimately IS. And its shown here as much the polar diametric exact opposite of literally anything even remotely resembling anything the least bit "titillating" or "arousing" in a sexual act: at least for anyone with an actual conscience or a semblance of basic humanity and empathy anyway.
Subsequently, we're then made to witness the Chamberlain's dismissively casual and callous humping of his concubine through, once again, Kagero's
perspective immediately following her being raped by Tessai. The emotion we're meant to feel, beyond that of uncomfortable awkwardness, is the bitter shame and abject outrage via Kagero's visible and palpably visceral disgust, contempt, and rage that's boiling inside her throughout this scene - mixed with a healthy dose of shame, self-hate, and resignation - at the horribly degrading societal station that she (and by extension, most of the women in this world) are forced to occupy: as embodied by her boss' casual use of his sex slave, which is meant to purposefully be directly compared and overlapped with
Kagero's rape in the previous scene.
There is literally ZERO room in these scenes WHATSOEVER for these acts of sexual violence and abuse to be viewed within a ZILLION MILES of a lens of "Oooh baby, that's hot!
" Almost all of the visual/artistic choices made within them regarding the depictions of sexual violence are 100% narrative, character, and thematically-driven, full-stop.
Within JUST THESE TWO SCENES back to back, there is SO MUCH going on, in terms of emotions, themes, characterization, etc. Within a couple of (incredibly brutal and blunt) scenes relatively early in the movie, we get a very horrible and vivid picture painted of the overall role/societal station in this world for that of women and particularly as it pertains to this one character, her inward clonflicting feelings and views of it, and we are instantly made to empathize with her and root for her to overcome her self-hatred and rediscover some measure of self-respect and dignity as a person.
Its harsh and unflinching and not at all pleasing to watch, but its also incredibly economical and emotionally powerful storytelling. Its all conveyed SUBTLY through both character actions, through directorial framing, and through facial expressions & visual "acting" from the characters, rather than ANY expository or descriptive words uttered whatsoever. Indeed, there are barely any lines at all
within these two scenes, other than some (sexually disturbing & horrifying) threats from Tessai during the rape, some brief but tense banter between Jubei and Kagero immediately afterward, and the Chamberlain boredly & dispassionately rattling off orders for Kagero's next mission while she watches him with his "servant" in the next scene.
of the scant dialogue that's present within these scenes at ANY point ever describes the REAL story that's actually
going on and being told within them (purely visually/contextually to the audience), which is the setting up of the gender/sexual dynamics that are at the center of Kagero's entire story arc and role throughout the film.
THIS right here is a PERFECT example of the clear and stark difference between a work/story aimed at children and one that's aimed at older/adult audiences: both in terms of psychological/political themes, as well as in terms of general execution.
And moreover, there are clearly and obviously some VERY nuanced and thoughtful gender and sexual dynamics at play within the anime's two main characters and overall narrative (that are ultimately when it comes down to it, firmly on the side of women being seen as nuanced human beings rather than as sex objects for the amusement of men).
Indeed, I find it baffling how ANY of this can be so thoroughly missed, since the movie spends a LOT of its time with Jubei and Kagero fleshing this stuff out (albeit largely wordlessly and through character actions with only some key pieces of dialogue: its not a movie that hits you over the head with clunky exposition, apart from some of the details from its political subplots), which is why I'm genuinely wondering whether or not you've ever actually either watched the movie, or if you did, how much actual attention you gave it. And its not like Ninja Scroll is some super art house, existential work of profound depth on the level of a Fellini film or anything remotely all that challenging.
Frankly, much of what you're postulating about it is SO far removed and detached from its actual content that it kind of reeks of having thoughtlessly prejudged the movie on a super-shallow surface level from a self-righteously moralizing high horse (i.e. "there's filthy sex & violence in it, ergo it is inherently trash that is beneath me and unworthy of any critical engagement") rather than actively engaging with its actual content.
Though that having been said, as far as the female characters "being used as motivation for the male characters" goes... yes, I do certainly think its largely a fault of the film's that the ultimate conclusion of Kagero's (otherwise beautifully well executed, thoughtful, and moving) arc ends up in its aftermath resulting largely in motivating Jubei to his final confrontation with Gemma at the anime's climax. That's a perfectly valid and legitimate criticism and one that I've made of the anime myself several times in the past.
But even with its noted flaws (as I said, its hardly a spotless work of perfection and has plenty of room for critique), your overall reduction of the - generally nuanced and thoughtful (though certainly flawed and lacking in some areas) - sexual themes inherent in Ninja Scroll display a complete inability and/or unwillingness to seriously engage with the themes and ideas that the movie is presenting, because you have a personal discomfort with graphic content that is WHOLLY ON YOU PERSONALLY and NOT on the movie itself or what its trying to convey.
There is a VAST universe
of difference between "This movie contains themes and ideas that are poorly conveyed, and/or are inherently and innately awful, vapid, and retrograde" and "This movie made me feel personally uncomfortable". Those are NOT the same thing and should NOT be equated in the way that you are equating them here, as it does a gross disservice to works that actually aim to tackle difficult or taboo subjects in a genuinely worthwhile or compelling way and reinforces an overly conservative, censoring mindset of "this concept, theme, or idea is inherently off-limits and must ALWAYS be avoided and looked down upon as puerile no matter what because it makes me personally feel icky".
Kokonoe wrote: ↑
Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:55 pm
In what world if Big O, Kenshin, Outlaw Star a children show? Did you even watch these? Do you understand what they explore?
The society aspect of Big O is fucking insane and what is real and what is illusion, right or wrong.
Outlaw Star is simply not for kids that should be obvious.
First of all: yes I have seen these shows. No however, most of them don't explore themes that are NEARLY as awe-inspiringly deep or profound as you're making them out to be.
That having been said though: Big O certainly is indeed aimed at an adult (or at least older) audience to the best of my knowledge. Outlaw Star I'm honestly not sure of offhand (if it is, then that's fine obviously).
Literally ALL of the other titles you listed though, yes, are CHILDREN'S anime. That isn't my opinion, that is FACTUAL per their actual target demographic in Japan.
Kokonoe wrote: ↑
Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:55 pm
Kenshin in general is about a huge self reflection and a mature tale of forgiving oneself.
Kenshin is very much still a children's anime. I'm sorry to break this to you, but its from a manga that was printed within the same exact publication as Dragon Ball, Yu Gi Oh, Yu Yu Hakusho, One Piece, Naruto, etc. Kenshin is a Weekly Shonen Jump series: its audience - both as a manga and an anime - is that of grade school, prepubescent young boys. That's its core demo. That's an absolute, iron-clad fact. There's literally NO arguing with that.
Its 100% fine to still like it of course at any age: anyone is obviously free to like anything they damn well please. And I myself, contrary to how my posts tend to be seen on here, obviously like more than a fair few WSJ titles myself (not least of which the very one that we're all primarily here posting about). But no matter how much you may like Kenshin or how "deep" it may come across to you... its ultimately a young children's manga & anime when all is said and done. Full stop.
And frankly, its own similar themes (hearkening to classic Ronin Chanbara archetypes of masterless Japanese swordsmen with checkered, shady pasts and sorrowful regrets) are both WELL worn and trodden territory (if not outright cliches) within the Jidaigeki/Chanbara genre, and furthermore are VASTLY better and more deeply explored within TONS of ultimately more culturally significant and intellectually denser works. Kenshin is in NO way a unique or particularly special type of story within Japanese media: its kind and like are INCREDIBLY commonplace as their own entire genre throughout Japanese media (much like Wuxia is within Chinese and East Asian media overall).
And much like how Dragon Ball is hardly the be-all, end-all of Wuxia/Chinese-style martial arts fantasy stories... neither is Kenshin the be-all, end-all of Jidaigeki/Samurai stories (even just within anime and manga). For a children's entry into the genre, its fairly well executed obviously, and I don't really have much of anything negative to say about it in and of itself. Its a perfectly fine enough story for its type, and Trust & Betrayal in particular is masterfully executed (while also containing a very similar level of gore & violence as Ninja Scroll: funny how that's conveniently not a problem HERE though
But that being said: its hardly a particularly noteworthy masterwork within its own genre, and there are PLENTY of other stories of its ilk (just within the realm of anime & manga ALONE, nevermind out within the further realm of other media, particularly literary and live action film & TV) that present just as, if not VASTLY more, richer and denser stories and characters. That's not even a particularly unique opinion from me: most fans of Jidaigeki/Chanbara material will amost overwhelmingly likely express a very similar viewpoint.
My only real issue with Kenshin has nothing to do really with the title itself, and more to do with its wider North American perception among die-hard Cartoon Network anime fans as being somehow uniquely outstanding and original as a work of Samurai fiction, when in reality it is simply one of the few if not ONLY works of Samurai fiction that such fans ever even bother to try and explore or expose themselves to.
There's nothing wrong obviously with only exploring just one lone entry into any particular genre, but its certainly annoying and bothersome when it being the sole, lone example of a genre entry that a certain set of people have actually been exposed to or explored is somehow also mistaken by them for it being either uniquely the ONLY of its kind, or otherwise somehow the absolute pinnacle best of its kind, despite said-audience having little to no exposure to anything else within its wheelhouse.
Kenshin is perfectly solid (and sometimes occasionally flirts with being legitimately great at times) but there's still a GIGANTIC universe of other Samurai stories out there (literally decades if not centuries
worth) with very similar themes, character-types, and ideas that are, in a great many cases, VASTLY better executed and better explored overall. Path of the Assassin, Lone Wolf and Cub, Lady Snowblood, Dagger of Kamui, Vagabond, etc. just to name a few off the cuff within the realm of anime and manga.
And outside anime & manga, there's virtually the entire back catalog of Akira Kurosawa, Masaki Kobayashi, Kenji Misumi, Hideo Gosha, and on and on and on and on and on. And most of these examples, unlike Kenshin, tend to be aimed at MUCH older audiences than Kenshin and tend to tackle their themes and concepts with a GREAT deal more nuance and depth by comparison. Similar to how Dragon Ball is pretty featherweight itself within the grander scheme of Wuxia overall.
Kenshin's perfectly fine, but its much more "baby's first Jidaigeki" than it is some standout, outstanding, culturally significant classic of the genre (and once again, that's not a particularly unique opinion or take on it within the broader audience of Chanbara fiction). I don't have much of a problem with it, but I do have a problem with the absurd pedestal that its often placed on largely by people (primarily within Cartoon Network/Toonami spaces) who either don't know or don't care that there exists FAR more (and far better) of its kind out there and portray Kenshin as if its the only Kidaigeki anime/manga that's ever mattered.
Kokonoe wrote: ↑
Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:55 pm
Wing goes hella into politics it isn't just some kids show lol.
Gundam Wing's politics are roughly about as shallow, obvious, and idiotic as those of the Star Wars prequels. Its literally THE textbook example of EXACTLY the kind of "faux-deep and faux-mature nonsense idiocy for 13 year old boys who are trying too hard to appear grown up and intellectual" that so many people in this community are usually so hyper-vigilant and trigger-happy about decrying (but conveniently never do when it happens to be some sacred cow Toonami title like this one).
Wing's vapid stupidity is particularly all the more egregious and glaring within the overall larger lineage of Gundam titles, some of which explore Gundam's usual pet "war is hell" political themes with a FAR greater degree of depth, impact, and substance (such as War in the Pocket or 08th MS Team). As it stands, Wing is little more than the cringingly overwrought, melodramatic angsting of shrieking, wailing middle school boy pilots who act as EXACTLY the sort of thinly-veiled power fantasies for the show's grade school-age audience that vastly superior and more ambitious Gundam titles like War in the Pocket specifically aim to subvert and take the piss out of.
And yes, Gundam Wing, once again, is a goddamn kids' show
. Its ALWAYS been a kids' show. That's not my opinion: that's the stone cold fact of its native Japanese target demographic (the fucking show was practically made to sell toys for fuck's sake). Its "political themes" (such as they are) being as shallow and paper-thin as they are makes the fact that it was made for 3rd grade children even more apparent and glaring. People here being blown away by it as children IN NO WAY reverses the reality of its actual target demo that it was written/created for.
Gundam Wing isn't an anime made for adults just because it has (laughably idiotic) attempts at "political intrigue" any more than Dragon Ball or Naruto are examples of anime that are made for adults just because their characters can bleed and die. Once again, the Toonami audience being so ridiculously media-sheltered that these (largely standard Japanese children's) shows were enough to blow their socks off as kids doesn't somehow alter the reality of their actual Japanese production, marketing, and target demographics.
As I always note for the sake of perspective: Fist of the North Star (in all of its brain-exploding, graphically gore-soaked, raping and marauding biker punks, post-nuclear war Mad Max glory) was ALSO a manga & anime aimed at the very same demographic of grade school-aged small children in Japan as Dragon Ball, Yu Yu Hakusho, Naruto, One Piece, Yu Gi Oh, and yes even Kenshin.
Japan not treating its children like fragile china glass in terms of their media diets doesn't therefore mean that their kids' shows aren't in fact still kids' shows at the end of the day. And that very much indeed goes for about 98% of the anime that aired on Toonami, certainly at least back during its pre-revival heyday.
Kokonoe wrote: ↑
Sat Oct 19, 2019 10:55 pm
Either way. The point is that those shows are all mother fucking classics. To say otherwise is to be revisionist of history. Either someone personally likes them or not is another story.
Dragon Ball, Ruroni Kenshin, and Yu Yu Hakusho are the only titles you listed that I would agree are generally seen (love them or hate them) as classics. The others... not really. Not outside of the VERY insular realm of diehard Toonami/Cartoon Network fans at least.
Gundam Wing is SOMEWHAT looked back on fondly within broader fandom (globally I mean), but is hardly regarded as a Capital C Classic the way that the original Mobile Suit Gundam series is, and indeed Wing also has more than its fair share of detractors (of which I'm certainly one of).
Even more egregiously, G Gundam was widely (and justifiably) DESPISED for YEARS as absolute garbage until the Toonami audience embraced it many years after the fact. To this day, nostalgic Cartoon Network stans largely remain the primary torch-carriers of that particular series, and beyond that maybe a scattered few hardcore mecha fanboys. Its still regarded largely as a black sheep overall within the broader Gundam audience.
Big O has a passionate as all hell fanbase... but its largely within the realm of, once again, die hard Cartoon Network fans. It doesn't seem to have nearly
as much of a footprint beyond that: hell, the only reason it had a "2nd season" at all was because Cartoon Network sought out the original creators and helped to fund it, since the show was FAR more popular on Toonami than it EVER was in Japan (where it actually bombed) or anywhere else in the world.
And Outlaw Star is FAR more of a cult/niche hit than it is an outright classic-classic, even within anime circles. And I say that as someone who likes it a decently good deal myself.
And Hamtaro... does ANYONE, anywhere actually, sincerely, and unironincally give a flying fuck about Hamtaro? Like, seriously? If so, that's pretty depressing.
My snark on Hamtaro aside, my above appraisals there certainly aren't about whether or not I personally like or don't like any of these titles. There's a good deal of anime that I personally either couldn't really care less about ultimately (like Saint Seiya) or regard as absolutely unwatchable, brain-rotting sewage (like Pokemon) that are, like it or not, unquestionably iconic and notably important or landmark. And I'm certainly MUCH more fond of and partial to something like Outlaw Star for example than I am plenty of other examples of otherwise much more widely popular and "iconic" titles that I don't really happen to care for or respect.
Other than a handful of notable exceptions though, most of what you listed simply AREN'T really seen (within wider, broader anime circles) as the kind of indispensable, cornerstone classics that you, or other people within the Cartoon Network-sphere, might think they are. Something that doesn't generally get brought up enough is how much of their own heavily filtered bubble much of the diehard audience for Cartoon Network/Toonami anime titles often tend to view things or operate within themselves.
For example, I don't think I've EVER seen Big O (which I have nothing remotely against personally) come up very often within any anime discussions that aren't firmly rooted among primarily Cartoon Network enthusiasts. Likewise, I cannot stress enough how virulently LOATHED G Gundam was for over a decade+ until Toonami basically all but single-handedly rehabilitated it by introducing it to a whole new audience who had none of the preconceptions or baggage of older Gundam fans from before.
Point being, the lens of anime as viewed through the diehard Cartoon Network/Toonami audience is INCREDIBLY skewed and not at all totally in line with that of anime audiences as a broader, international whole. Its very much a bubble, one with its own oeuvre of "important classics" and its own heavily skewed & filtered "revision of history" that certainly isn't at all nearly 100% in line with that of bigger tapestry of anime as a broader medium beyond CN/Toonami's particular Western/English language niche.