I don’t even know where to begin or how to go about typing up this post after reading what Ngee Khiong’s final post. One thing is certain though… Ngee Khiong echoed many of the same sentiments I feel about the Gunpla community in the back of my head except that I took a different approach to dealing with it (maybe I’ll save that for another post).
I’ve been reading NK’s blogs on a daily basis for the last few years and I’ve always admired how objective and open-minded his opinions were on the subject of Gunpla. The few times he posted on this blog, he would shed light on the matter in a wider perspective that few sees. A very respectable and tolerating person… but alas, I think it’s also those kind of people who tends to bottle their displeasure inside until it explodes.
Here are some of my thoughts on his thoughts… (I’ll assume you have already read his post and remember the gist of it)
Warning: Long wall of text… though nowhere near as long as NK’s post itself.
On the subject of “What’s the next model, etc”
From what I’ve seen, I thought this was one of the more natural and tolerable things people in the Gunpla Community can “discuss” without erupting into a nonsensical rage fest. Some will be more pleased than others while many more probably doesn’t even care (the “meh” group). I thought it is fun to speculate every now and then when Bandai decides to drop hints for us… I mean, isn’t the point of such hints are supposed to stir up a buzz? I supposed an isolated few will get a bigger buzz (for better or worse) than most would but that’s really just and only them.
If someone is really that butthurt over a gunpla announcement and bloody rage about it, then that’s their loss… and I laugh at them. They also need to pick up their life. Don’t let their negativity drag you down.
“People are bashing a model kit where the focus of the complain is not on the kit itself – not enough information on that anyway to be starting any sort of argument, but their opinion on the anime series. If you think about this carefully, both of them are not really connected, are they? All the gimmicks and features can be redefined and refined through the redesigning process of the designer, if the only concern is the negative feeling one cannot take off after watching a certain anime, how many good model kits will be sneered unnecessarily? I laughed at such people’s stupidity with all my heart 5 years ago, I cannot do that anymore now, when the source of the news, from that video I watched, is from my blog.” and “Freedom of Speech” section.
This is one of my sentiments but I can relate to this in a different situation. For me, this dates back to the very early days of gunpla reviews where it usually goes something along the line of “OMG THIS GUNDAM MODEL IS AWHSUM CUZ (Insert Gundam name) KICKS @$$ IN THE ANIME”. I’m like… “uh…wat?”. Of course, stuff like this is usually written by a “fanboy” of some sort. It is stupid and illogical to praise a gunpla because its anime iteration was awesome and it is also equally retarded to hate on a gunpla because of the anime it is from. The Gunpla itself didn’t do anything nor was it in the anime.
There are a few Gundams I don’t like or hate but I do like their models very much (the most recent being my MG Strike Freedom review). People should give credit where it’s due and judge a gunpla on its own merits, instead of where it is from.
“The moment MG Victory Gundam was shown, instead of thinking and discussing about the significance of the transformation gimmicks, people are more interested in whether V2 Gundam will be released next….” (The same cases of fail)
I am very guilty of this. Yes… I looked forward to the MG V-Dash when V was announced. And yes, I am also looking forward to a V2. I am also looking forward to the MG Deathscythe Hell and the MG ReZel Commander Type. It’s just natural progression and something to be expected or hoped for in the future; this sort of speculation is not really wrong. It’s not like the model itself gets completely overshadowed… people still talk/bash/praise it (and buy it) but are just expanding more on it from there. Critical thinking if you will…
Bandai is partly to blame for this as well. Since SEED, they have been notoriously obvious in their marketing tactics and business practices where one can effortlessly trace their future product line with rather decent accuracy (for the most part). But we also have had some nice surprises from Bandai as well. Since Sunrise and Bandai geared the Gundam franchise toward almost solely for the purpose of selling models and products, then the “fans” probably reacted accordingly and expected as much out of them.
Here’s my take on recolors and variations… I’ll just speak solely for myself on this part. The “milking” doesn’t annoy me because they won’t get any money if I don’t buy it… That’s a fact. However, the time and development funds they’ve spent on such releases could’ve went into making something new or reworking an older model into 2.0. And when a recolor variation is released, I feel like it pushes back the new things and we’ll have to wait even longer. That’s just what I think… I could be totally wrong since I don’t know Bandai’s product planner. Maybe variations have no effect on new models… who knows. Point is… some will be more happy about it than others. At the very least, I do agree that it at least provides variety to satisfy a few. Choices are nice.
I can’t really comment on people who flat-out rages over a recolor though… again, it’s just those isolated few who really aren’t worth caring about.
On the subject of the community, universe fans, fanbases, the “wars”, etc…
Another one of my sentiments. This… THIS! This is the main reason why I stopped visiting and avoid the so-called Anime “discussion” forums like a deadly virus throughout the net years ago. Most of the opinions on such forums are mentally damaging and it’s probably a quick way to lose brain cells. It is very laughable that some fanatics are arguing cursing at each other over some fictitious army/character/mecha that they are devoted to. I agree… it is retarded and childish. Maybe they really are just children? Nowadays, even kindergartners can hop on the net.
If such opinions really are that troublesome and you don’t want to associate yourself with them, then isn’t the best way to deal with it is to just that? Not associating with them? Ignore them… leave them in their own little world and let them continue their meaningless bickering while you can look forward to enjoying the better part of the hobby.
I am not saying the forums itself are bad. In fact, forums are very useful and informative. However, when I didn’t want to read the nonsense part of it anymore, I just left and never looked back… since then, I haven’t really seen any “x sucks” debates. Should you really have to visit a forum, then just avoid all the questionable topics. I’m sure Ngee Khiong could’ve at least done that to reduce some of the stress (he did pulled the chatbox and disabled comments on his blog afterall).
Close-minded personal preference based discussion
In the end it’s just personal preference on certain kit, people will only be happy when their favorite kit is released, nothing else matters, yet, in discussion they would act like they know everything by giving advises, criticize others, sending people off when their ideas are different. When I see how close-minded these people are, and that I’m in the same community as they are, trust me, I would think about running away and be with my own friends who share the same interest as me, those who are more open-minded and mild in their manner of discussion.
So he actually did thought about it…. and he would probably be not so frustrated and had a more enjoyable time instead of wasting it away with the haters. Why didn’t he?
On the subject of “haters, hate mails, hate, etc”.
Hate emails and the likes are completely unnecessary and totally uncalled for. Seriously.. WHY?! What is there to hate about someone who is doing you the free service of rounding up hobby news for you to indulge in? Can the haters do better or something?
Haters are just that… They’re haters. They will hate everything about you no matter what you do. Even if you provide all the news on a timely manner, perfectly translated, and make everything else perfect, they will still hate. Therefore, their opinions should not matter and completely irrelevant. By not ignoring them and giving up means giving in to their pleasure at viewing others misery.
Here’s a great post from Danny Choo about haters which I’m sure many of you have already read- LINK!
My Overall Thoughts
The Gunpla community that Ngee Khiong wants… sounds very beautiful and perfect. A little idealistic perhaps. It is almost akin to asking humanity for world peace. Not gonna happen. Well… some parts of this community IS very peaceful and open-minded but it is impossible for the ENTIRE community to be the way he wants it to be.
This sort of trash talking, faction, discrimination, etc. is not unique to Gunpla. You can see this with ANY and ALL hobbies… scratch that, you can see this with ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING where emotions are linked to. As a matter of fact, I think the Gunpla community is rather mild in terms of negativity toward each other– It is very much a joke in that sense; I am willing to bet none of the haters will even start a fistfight against each other if they were to meet in person. Look at something like political parties, religious groups,console gamers, PETA, environmentalists, or even sports and car fanatics. THOSE actually can get messy and troublesome, if not outright dangerous, when one side gets seriously offended- riots, protesting, gang fights, or demonstrations can occur. It’s nasty… but this is very much a human thing and as humans, we’ve come to accept this as “normal”. We can’t really stop it but we can certainly avoid most of it by simply ignoring it and not getting involved. On the flip side, this shows that some people are truly passionate about this sort of stuff… the energy is just used negatively.
I think Ngee Khiong also cares too much about unnecessary things. While he did provided many reasons for his displeasure about the Gunpla community, I can’t really connect the dots to his action of closing his blog. While hate mails are directed specifically at him, which is unfortunate and is disheartening, I don’t see how people wanting a certain gunpla or doing their own things (be it bickering, buying pirated gunpla, etc) matters to him. Most of it feels like it should belong in the “who cares?” category and had he ignored them, he would’ve been so much better off and happier.
I also do not see why he has to take the blame for things. He was just the voluntary messenger who brings us the news. It’s not like he created the source for the news, nor did he created the models, nor did he decided which model to be made, nor did his blog killed your puppy. You get my point? He didn’t do anything except sharing the news with us! Why is he to blame? If he haven’t posted the news, someone else would’ve… and the fighting would’ve ensued anyway. It’s just a matter of time.
I think Ngee Khiong knows just how big and influential his blog is on the Gunpla community, and instead of keeping his opinions on the down low or view objective– which probably allowed some to run wild with the news– he could’ve been more vocal in persuading people to also be a little more objective. He said he can’t control the freedom of speech of others but he can certainly utilize his own just as much as the others do. Given how well-respected he is, I’m sure some will probably learn a few things and actually listen to his open-minded perspective. Over time, I don’t doubt he would’ve been able to make a better change in the gunpla community.
I don’t see all the nasty stuff that Ngee Khiong sees because I chose to avoid them all so there might be some things that I am not understanding or seeing. Frankly, I think he is hanging out in the wrong side of the ‘hood (hey! everyone is cool on this side!). I also think he is holding back a lot of his frustrations by staying modest and humble… since it was his last post, it would’ve been good (for his own sake) to just let it all out and truly RANT.
At the very end, everyone is only responsible for their own enjoyment in this hobby. Sharing part of that joy with others is optional (but it is something we all chose to do anyway). If by closing his news blog makes him a happier person in enjoying this hobby, then I very much support his decision to shut it down… even if it accomplishes nothing else. At the very least, he is keeping his EX blog running so he is very much “alive”.
Ngee Khiong, I truly thank you for everything all these years and I definitely appreciate the effort you’ve put out in getting the news for everyone. I am sorry the community as a whole is not as friendly as it should be. I’ll continue to visit your EX blog to check how things are going. Should you ever drop by this blog again in the future, rest assure that you will be able to enjoy the hobby for what it is with everyone while sipping milk tea here.