Broad things that get a lot of hate.
There are certain things that get a lot of hate and it has always baffled me why. Isekais get a lot of Hate, Fanservice and Harems get it too. I can understand SAO getting hate because it is SAO, but not a new series because it is "another dumb Isekai" when you know nothing about it. I think this quote is awesome and is pretty much my point.
You know, Caboose, I used to not care. I just went along with orders and hoped that everything would work out for me. But after all that's happened to me, you know what I've learned? Its not about hating the guy on the other side because someone told you to. You should hate someone because they're an asshole, or a pervert, or snob, or they're lazy, or arrogant or an idiot or know-it-all. Those are reasons to dislike somebody. You don't hate a person because someone told you to. You have to learn to despise people on a personal level. Not because they're Red, or because they're Blue, but because you know them, and you see them every single day, and you can't stand them because they're a complete and total fucking douchebag.
People want other genres and settings besides Isekai. That's the source of the hate. I don't think that's unfair.
There's a whole host of Slice of Life, non-fantasy romance / comedy that isn't being released stateside. The question is, is there an audience for them? I feel like the publisher that can successfully grow the audience for real life romance will have a gold mine because hardly anyone is grabbing these licenses. x)
Besides that, we got mystery, horror, and futuristic science adventure genres that are barely being filled by LN publishers at large, let alone JNC. We get the occasional bone, like Empty Box, Magical Girl Raising Project, and Clockwork Planet, but for the most part, we aren't getting a lot of releases in those categories, and certainly pubs aren't taking chances on interesting looking licenses that are unknown quantities there.
Side note: I've kind of come to terms with why I don't like harem. It's because most harem plots have telegraphed romance plots. I don't really care for that. If your harem left the field totally open from the start, and he could literally end up with anyone (but not everyone), I would love to read that story.
I feel like the Horror genre gets some hate. I don't really understand it. Horror can take on so many different forms. The two horror books we got at JNC were really different:
Yume Nikki - Almost like a Psychological, interpretive dip into the subconscious.
Ao Oni - A campy B Movie setup, with a movie monster and with some plot twists.
Just saying "I hate horror" is so broad. You hear people defend Isekai as a broad genre, horror is really broad too. It ranges from kawaii ghosts hooking up with dudes, to zombie apocalypse, to death game scenarios, to aliens, to crazy ex- girlfriends.
This isn't to say someone who hates horror should like it. But maybe just explaining your reasoning for your hatred would be nice once in a while.
Love Red vs Blue. One of my favorite series.
Otherwise, I do agree. There are a couple things about the whole "hate" certain sub-genres or tropes get.
- Understanding - A lot of people may not understand how broad stuff actually is. This is really a disappointment cause just the fact they've managed to get into anime/manga/light novels/visual novels means that they've overcome that stigma against Japanese media. Back on topic though, the problem comes from that people don't understand how broad stuff if. They tend to associate tropes and sub-genres with the lowest common denominator which means that they just don't like them because they had one bad experience. It's easier for them to say they don't like something because "it's a harem/isekai" than explain what they don't like about the story. They don't consider that harem just means 3 or more romantic interests, or that isekai means that the protagonist has gone to another world.
- Misplaced Expectations - This is more regarding SAO hate itself. The initial summary of the series is honestly misleading and bad. Stuff like SAO and Arifureta typically get described based off the plot of the first arc/volume rather than the story as a whole. People hear Sword Art Online is a series about being stuck in a Death Game which is incorrect. It's a take on gaming via full-dive VRMMO and the various conflicts that have come with it. It's a new field of technology in the universe and it's explored through seeing the protagonist get wrapped up in them. For Arifureta, people hear it's about the protagonist falling into the depths of a dungeon and being edgy/revenge-filled. More accurately, it's a series about the protagonist getting separated from his classmates and journey's the world trying to find his way home while encountering the growing conflicts in the world.
I think we can think about tropes and Cliches in a very similar way George Orwell writes how we should use words and metaphors. Orwell writes about new metaphors to dead metaphors; A new metaphor is basically one you made up and paints a vivid picture while a dead metaphor is basically like its own word with its own definition. Everything in between (a dying metaphor) is like a buzzword that has no fixed meaning. Deconstruction has lost its meaning now so instead of saying a series is a deconstruction we should explain how and why. Isekai is a Trope and tells us nothing, a Tsundere is a Cliche. A cliche is like a mould, you fill in the mould and mass produce it for authors; It is up to the Author to decorate and make unique, This Author show his creation to the public and they can judge its value. You may see many people Cosplaying as Darth Vader, there may be a lot of Store Bought Costumes but you will see 100% homemade Costumes and may even have a personal twist on it like a princess Vader or something.
Edit: I went to a fan Expo as Kazuma from Konosuba. Every aspect of the costume was homemade (except the sword), I did have help and it was a pretty rough job but a lot of passion went into it.
Definitely some questions arise concerning enjoyment of twists on known genre (which I do enjoy).
Like, for one, does the twist permeate every aspect of the genre to turn it on its head? Does it have to?
For instance, Smartphone's "twist" wasn't really utilized well in the early going, and probably wasn't what people were coming back to the series for. I'd argue the dude from Ragnarok Einherjar had better use of his cellphone than Smartphone's protag. Smartphone is not a series I'd recommend to someone tired of Isekai and Harem.
Vending Machine on the other hand has a twist that permeates the story... But it almost blends too well into the setting that I just started to accept it, and it no longer shocked me. If I encounter a refrigerator or department store reincarnation, it won't shock or absorb me. I call this the "South Park" effect. If you try to shock people with absurdity too much, they eventually become numb to it.
@drone205 well as you said some specified characters can be cliche because we’ve seen them mass produced or written in this case. Which made me think the author for My Hero Academia made what I would call the most different Yandere of all time and that is Toga. She is so unique and different from any Yandere I’ve seen so far. I want more authors like Kohei Horikoshi, who make unique characters with cliche characteristics.
There is nothing new under the sun. Anytime someone says "This is totally new and unique", I can't help but think, "Other than this thing that is quite similar that was done a century ago." This was big way back when Buffy was around. A certain section of the fans talked CONSTANTLY about how X and Y were totally unique. Like when she got telepathy. "Oh gosh, no one ever did this before, this is AWESOME!" Me: "... other than the X-Men decades ago, any number of early scifi authors in the beginning of the twentieth century, and probably earlier, you mean?"
Execution is important, really, more than anything else.
To my defense I did say “I’ve seen seen so far.” to your defense I did say of “all time” XD.
Execution is important, really, more than anything else.
Definitely. But then I assume you don't necessarily defend Isekai as a genre from people that say they dislike it then, right? Because even if it is executed well, it's still an Isekai. I mean, you can argue Isekai "can be anything", but at the end of the day, it's mostly medieval fantasy or game based fantasy with slight twists; and even if the setting changes, that doesn't necessarily change it into something we haven't seen before. And no matter what twist you add to it, like you said, there's nothing completely original, you're still going through the motions of plots you've probably seen before (defeat the demon king, live the slow life, set up a country, be the villain, be the chosen Mecha pilot). The most original Isekai / Reincarnation setting we have is probably "So I'm a Genius", and that one is pretty interesting and fun to me, but I don't know if we've seen that plot somewhere before.
Though, we in the light novel scene haven't seen every story concept stateside yet (except in other genre). So there's still some room to do plots we've seen (or missed) elsewhere, but not in English published light novels. For instance, there's not much "fantasy slow life" stuff here. That's probably going to change. There's no Mecha focused light novels. There's no traditional Voting Game / Death Game novel stateside (we have a few Battle Royale / survival type things, but not the classroom "Mastermind / Curse" focused ones).
Not sure how what you're saying correlates, really. Simply because we've seen it before doesn't mean it's good, nor that it's bad, so not sure what "isekai" has to do with it. In fact, I'd argue the opposite, as a majority of the online hate I see for Isekai isn't "I dislike it" so much as "Isekai is objectively bad, because..." - Often the reasons being contradicted. Geeks like to factionalize and tend towards hypocritical behavior. One of the best ones I saw is one person who went on and /on/ about how horrible fanservice was, and any work with it in it sucked. Then ... went on and on about how the -gatari series was so awesome. That stuff has a /lot/ of fanservice in it.
Only time I defend isekai really is when you get the person going "Oh god, isekai sucks, why are you doing isekai?!" often while they go on and on about another, just as trope-tastic genre. Liking or not liking something is fine. I don't like love triangle fiction, nor do I like the type of horror that feels like the author realllly wants to be the next Lovecraft without actually understanding the setting past memes. But I'm not going to say a work with love triangles is objectively bad. Just not for me. :) I did that a lot when Iron Blooded Orphans was relevant. It was ... not for me, but I'm not going to say it sucks. Just that I don't like that sort of fiction, myself.
Certainly things we haven't seen LN-wise here, but I'd argue even those we've seen in other works. As an example of Fantasy Slow Life, for instance, you might look at the various Watt-Evans books. While stuff happens in them (much like fantasy slow life), there's a lot of just ... fantasy living in them. ;) One of my favorites when I was younger was this series about a young wizard who wasn't really great, who just ... lived in a castle for a while. There was a plot involved, but a lot of it was just him living. I wish I could recall the name now. :)
On the subject of "this thing is crazy original... Wait, I've seen before", Vending Machine I was reading, and then I started Strongest Gamer back up, and the "magical shopping box" is now a genre trope apparently. I'm sure it predates these stories (some wishing device that has unlimited use with minimal sacrifice?).
Do you typically read reviews before you try a series? How do you choose what to buy / read LN wise over other LNs released at the same time (especially if all of them are the same genre)?
I feel like you can judge it based on it's construction after the fact, but if you are trying to decide what to try, it's those marketing elements that really get one. Isekai and other LN genre too are really sold on their twist / original element.
Me, I try to avoid synopsis and reviews as much as I can to avoid spoilers, so I definitely am sold on those marketing elements. The more bizarre your twist if you are an Isekai, the greater chance I will try you. I'm probably missing amazing stories because of this. Certainly Yen seems to be chasing the "bizarre twist" between Slimes (there's a lot of them but they're still odd), Vending Machines, Mommies, and Pizza Parlors. There may be some Battle Harem, Demon King Reincarnation, or Slow Life stuff they're passing up that is more well constructed.
(Demon King with harem I can safely say I wish would get a bit of a rest at this point though, no matter how well constructed).
Edit: Sounds like we all have biases with what we like genre wise which helps determine what we try too. I definitely have those "marketing terms that make me go NOPE" lists. xD