The Importance of Originality

My thoughts on the media we consume every day.

One of the things that I hate the most is repetitiveness. In songs, in books, in movies, you name it! If it’s repeated too many times whether its a singular word or a situation, it drives me mad. For me, media is meant there not just to entertain me, but to inform me. Books, movies, shows, etc. all present a story in front of our very eyes for us to explore and enjoy, but too often do these stories seem to mirror one another too much to the point where they are practically the same story. To me, if you don’t have something new to add, then what is the point of your creation. If another movie or book follows the exact same plotline or close enough, then why are you beating a dead horse?

It’s something that has never made sense to me and is a huge impediment in my free time when I try to find new shows or books to read. For others, they don’t care- they are in it for the entertainment, pure and simple and that is great for them. That’s where they find their joy and I’m happy for them, but for me…I’m more picky when it comes to the media I consume. I want it to surprise and impress me on some level, to teach and inform me of something that I didn’t know or think about before. So, when I hear good things about a show or book from others and I go to enjoy it only to find a lack of true originality, I’m disappointed and let down. A big proponent of this is the romance genre- too often do we see the same issues, situations, and problems surface. Now, of course, many of these situations are based on things that are common in reality and are important things to focus on, but my problem with them is often these plot points(cheating, miscommunication, divorce, monetary problems, etc..) are only there to create drama.

They have no true place or role in the overall plot and are simply there to cause the couple to fight and risk separation- and it can happen again and again and again in the exact same show and relationship with no resolution or true effort from the parties involved to bridge the gape. For me, when it comes to this situation the show begins to drift into the over the top, dramatic, reality tv kind of thing and begins to lose value or power. Yes miscommunication happens in a relationship, but instead of having it turn into a crazy dramatic, sobbing in the rain kind of situation, why don’t we for once turn things on there head in a new twist? Step outside of the path that mainstream media has created overtime and walk down paths rarely traveled or even unknown?

I think this is why I love anime so much. There is so much diversity, originality, and uniqueness in anime. No two shows are truly alike- they each brings something new and fascinating to the table, instantly grabbing my attention. Even with the cliche tropes that exist such as slice of life or being pulled into another world, you can find something different whether its the characters, the world, the plot, the politics, etc.. It also is inherently foreign to me, as it is created in Japan or China and shows a world view, history, and understanding that I am not familiar with. With Western media, a lot of it is set in modern times, creating a sort of baseline and understanding between the show and the audience.

Its only really with fantasy or supernatural plotlines that something new and different that interests me seems to be explored- and is consumed quickly as seen by the popularity of shows like Supernatural, Merlin, Stranger Things, The Umbrella Academy, Outlander, Bridgerton, Lucifer, Witcher, etc.. Though, granted, I have not seen any of these(don’t worry, they are on my watch list), all I have heard is how interesting or different the worlds and plots are in each of them- the writers and producers took a risk in creating these shows, in diverging from the main path of modern media, and it really paid off. I’m hopeful that with these show’s success, more interesting and unique shows like them will come out soon as well for us to watch and enjoy. For now, I think I will stick with the world of anime and it is truly where I find my greatest joy and fulfillment in terms of media nowadays, but I will keep an eye and ear out for anything new or interesting that may appear…