The Problem with Anti-Nihilism: You can’t build hope on negation

Disclaimer: This is a revamp to my previous rants, mostly because looking back, they don’t seem well thought out, and hopefully in this rant and in the following, this can clarify things better.

Once I was a fan of RWBY, it was a webshow about a cool magitek world filled with colorful and impressively designed characters and monsters who were allusions to fairy tales, folklore, and mythology. All of which are of my forte. In this show there was also potential romantic couples who’s stories I saw greatly contributing to what I thought would be a great narrative, couples who go through hell together and make it.

Not unlike the tales of Inuyasha and Kagome, Edward Elric and Winry, Han Solo and Leia Organa/Skywalker, I think you get the idea.

But with the dark turn in RWBY V3 with the couple Arkos being built up only to be killed off, it left me with a bitter taste in my mouth because I have seen where this song and dance has gone to in the past. I tried to like it and go on, but as my suspicions proved themselves to be correct, I decided to drop the show. 

And yes, I am aware these are based on subjective feelings and personal taste and distaste and I understand the point of dark stories like RWBY, doing the right thing no matter how dark and brutal, it’s brutal hopepunk(though I know of other hopepunk stories that are far more brutal), its kinda like The Book of Job

But that’s this is what I feel, and this is what I think.

But honestly, I don’t resent the late creator Monty Oum.

He was just doing his thing and I just disagreed with his style and choices due my own, and we have our reasons for our respective stu.

My grievance lies with a group of over corrective toadies who lurk on Tumblr, RWBY wiki, and reddit.

They don’t really care, or at least subconsciously, what these dark hopepunk epics like RWBY mean. 

They proclaim they do, and will drone on why it does in the most theatrical tone, but its not sincere.

They just want to use these claims of virtue as excuses to like tragic things happening to heroes because it feeds their little God-Complexes and their fabricated feelings superior to everyone else as well as giving them that lustrous title of being “being moral, but not expecting happiness.”

They just want to watch characters who uphold value, but don’t always expect happiness due to how unpredictable life can be, which then these sycophants then position themselves as “life” and proceed to watch tragedy, misfortune, and cruelty happen to them. Knowing these characters ultimately won’t fight back in the terms of being selfish or giving up

Like the tragic end of Arkos and what I dread Sun and Blake might end up as along with the bastardized Renora

Just to show off and say

“Look how we are upholding heroics and meaning while being aware that life is suffering and cruel! We align with Nietzsche’s Eternal Recurrence!”

and use dark epics as weapons to tear down anything they themselves don’t like and degrade and viciously mock those who’s tastes differ from their own.

Not unlike the Pharisees of Jesus’s time who took advantage of Old Testament Law and their positions to morally grandstand and inflate their ego, as well as hold power over others

And usually they have a very shallow understanding of tropes and archetypes and a total lack of self-awareness

It’s just virtue-signaling theatrically proclaimed by hackish and disingenuous ideologues and they seem to be from a trend that started 2011 or maybe even further back to 1987

You see, after 1987 the comic Watchmen had made its infamous influence on comics, and then in the 90s to mid 2000s, Kazushige Nojima, and, Gen Urobuchi, aka “The Butcher”,and Takahrio had taken video games and shonen anime by storm with Final Fantasy 7, Madoka Magica, and Akame Ga Kill!

In those days, God help you if you subjectively disliked these kinds of stories and disagreed with The Butcher’s philosophy, and subjectively didn’t like the tragic tale of Areith and Cloud and preferred stories like Sailor Moon, Inuyasha, The Dragonball series or you even liked both.

Because doing that would lead to a small but obnoxiously loud, passive-aggressive, smarmy, and overall sanctimonious minority who infiltrate these fandoms to start lecturing and chastising you, and accusing you for wanting everything to be all “Sunshine and Rainbows”

Which they mean anything thats even one shade lighter than these works they worship, saying stories with well-earned happy endings “been around so long” as if these new stories were oppressed by them before the great prophet Alan Moore came to them like Moses when the Jews were enslaved to the Egyptians.

And now with RWBY and the unfortunate death of Monty Oum, they now have someone to raise up as their respective secular Jesus Christ who’s death they elevated from a tragic death of a passionate creator to a secular Crucifixion, dying to redeem us from the original sin of Happily Ever After.

And RWBY and any similar stories are not allowed to be challenged, or even at least contrasted outside of their zones of sanctioned dissent.

But this is another topic for another day

To get back to my main point, and to make it even more pithy, they want to loop on the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back, and Fate: Zero and never follow up on the Original Trilogy or Fate: Unlimited Bladeworks, because they think the latter somehow magically undoes/denies the former, ergo weakens the hope.

They want couples like Jaune and Pyrrha, and possibly Sun and Blake and the hollow husk of Ren and Nora to end tragically constantly because they think that’s what characters and ships like them are only good for in epics because otherwise is somehow inherently “detrimental” no matter how its gone about.

Or to my fellow Christians/Theists, keep repeating Good Friday and never allow Easter Sunday, because The Resurrection somehow denies the Crucifixion.

Thinking this constant stripping of heroes down to skeletons and keep going on without healing will eventually make them stronger, along making themselves into a race of supermen.

I think the pretentious former chairman of DC Dan Didio can sum it up

Heroes shouldn’t have happy personal lives. They are committed to being that person and committed to defending others at the sacrifice of their own personal interests. That’s very important and something we reinforced. People in the Bat family their personal lives basically suck.”

Which the problem with that specifically with DC is Dan had no clue how the DC universe works

But the bigger problem here is they want to pursue hope and the big picture, but they want to build it off constant negation

Negation of happy endings for couples in epics, negation of surviving heroes, and even sometimes to the point it leads to the negation of the major goals in the epic themselves.

They want hope, but they don’t want to stop the angst for longer than 2 or 5 episodes/chapters.

And when all the blood and tears are spilled, they slap on a pretty picture of a new hopeful world and just say “That’s all folks!” As if that suffices

I’m sorry, but it doesn’t work like that for most people. It’s not like a 1950’s PSA where you just force it upon a kid and the kid goes “Golly gee willikers mister! You sure taught me!”

And before you say Disney or Marvel, with the rise of indie content such as comics, it’s becoming clear Disney and Marvel ain’t cutting it for a lot of people, but once again, this is another issue to cover for another day.

You need to show good things that happen elsewhere in the absence of where it’s normally found, and the kind which we get to follow, subplots.

Let me provide an example with the story of Code Geass

Lelouch and Suzaku, the two main protagonists of this story are very flawed protagonists, one hyper-pragmatic and cynical of people outside of his sister and friends, and one too idealistic and somewhat cowardly, both characters who’s stubbornness and arrogance cause much tragedy to fall upon themselves and others in the overarching story.

They loose lovers, they loose family, their endings are rather bittersweet and warn us of our vices and what they lead to.

However

In the background we have other characters who are better people, and some become couples, some that do literally end up together or at the very least, presents them in a way that you can assume that they do.

Villetta and Oghi

Sayoko and Jeremiah

Milly and Rivalz

Kallen and Gino

And for good measure, Akito and Leila from the spin off Akito the Exiled

And they are people who we follow and get to empathize and sympathize and feel for, not just thrown up for a few episodes and we never see again 

So while there is a lot of darkness and tragedy in the over arching story Code Geass, it doesn’t become fall into black hole that is stunting and sterilizing tragedy

Hell, just to add a bit more, in spite of the tragic endings of Night Raid in Akame Ga Kill, in the Manga at least Tatsumi and Mine had managed to make it(which these ideologues seem to conveniently leave out)

And what do stories like RWBY do to compensate for the tragic endings of certain characters and ships, provide new and similar ones we get to follow?

Just throw in Blake’s parents(who somehow exist and are basically royalty in spite of the previous 3 volumes where Blake was giving poverty-stricken orphan vibes), and Jaune’s sister, wife, and kid who only see for a few episodes.

None of which are enough fill the sucking vacuum.

And often this negation brings about a growing nihilism as a nasty by-product, no matter how well intentioned the motives are.

It’s kinda like in Lord of The Rings when those with good intent tried to use Sauron’s Ring and wen’t crazy and caused needless losses, pain, and suffering around them.

Or to any hardcore Tolkien fans, how Melkor tried to “fix” things by screwing with the creations of Eru and the sub creations of his fellow Valar and created a bunch of monsters and needless tragedy.

Which then these ideologues blame everyone else for the nihilism because their stories allegedly raise their hopes in the wrong ways and made everyone subhuman and weak.

and target not well written, but still endearing stories.

They blame Sword Art Online fans

They blame Fairy Tail fans

They blame Dragon Ball Z fans

They blame Sailor Moon fans

But no blame must ever come to their way of things when they ruined things are are deemed “for us”

For an example, I made a post online how I was just tired of dark stories like RWBY and how it’s bleeding into other stories like DC comics when Dan Didio trashed Superman Lois’s marriage and aborted the marriage of Batman and Catwoman

and zealot who I mentioned earlier One RWBY Zealot after bragging about the greatness of dark stories like RWBY, sycophantically supported Dan Didio’s writing choice’s because

“Single Superman and Batman sells well”, because that’s something he would buy

It’s almost a gnostic and pretty narcissistic mentality

“Our way always makes everything better, other people don’t like it, its because everyone else is too weak and have never dealt with grief, tragedy, hardship nor powering through the bad, because if they did, they would like what *I* would like, and they would dislike what *I* would dislike, because *I* am aware of the reality of the life and still uphold heroics, and *I* and those like *me* are the ambassadors of life itself!”

And despite the cultural damage this is causing, these people seem hellbent on keeping their hold over epic fiction while blaming everyone else for everything going wrong.

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