The popular discussion forum Reddit has become the scene of a lively debate over the widespread aversion to spoilers within the anime community.. It all started with an intriguing comment that triggered a series of opinions and reflections.
The user expressed: “Personally, I’ve never had spoilers ruin my experience with any media. For me, even if I know where the journey ends, what matters is how the author of the story guides me to the end, so it doesn’t affect my enjoyment. In fact, sometimes spoilers make me more excited to see how the story develops. Of course, I know a lot of people who are very cautious about spoilers, and I try not to spoil the experience for them if they don’t want to. However, I have yet to hear anyone give a specific reason for how spoilers hurt your enjoyment. So I wonder why people are so afraid of spoilers. I want to try to understand how it affects your enjoyment“.
This provocative comment sparked an active discussion among Reddit users, each sharing their perspectives on the topic. Some agreed that anticipation and surprise are crucial elements to fully enjoying a story, while others argued that knowing certain details beforehand does not ruin your experience.
What’s interesting is that many users pointed out that spoiler aversion is especially prominent in the anime realm. This is largely because adaptations of mangas or light novels that have already been in circulation for a while become easy to spoil material for those already familiar with the original story. Those who only watch the animated version, often called “anime-only”, are in a vulnerable position, as spoilers can come at them from practically anywhere.
- «It eliminates the initial reaction of seeing something for the first time. I can’t be surprised by a plot development because I knew it was going to happen. For me, that’s a big blow to my enjoyment of the series.».
- «Because people like to be surprised, since life itself is predictable as hell».
- «One of the first animes that was spoiled for me was Cowboy Bebop, and I watched it only 5 years later, this year. I didn’t like it very much, although the spoiler was only about the ending. Your Lie in April – a week before the finale, the entire internet was flooded with spoilers, I didn’t feel anything because I already knew the ending. Madoka Magica: they revealed to me the true nature of the series and a death, but I enjoyed it a lot, it is my favorite anime».
- «Ruin is a very strong word, one that I wouldn’t use unless the plot relies heavily on a plot twist or revelation. However, spoilers are distracting and can detract from the experience as you begin to view the media through the spoiler lens. You can no longer just watch what is happening on the screen and immerse yourself in it. You start to anticipate how everything that happens on screen will fit with the spoiler. Your mind says, “That doesn’t add up, so it’s a distraction,” or “This doesn’t end like that, so it’s too early for anything serious to happen to these characters.” They take you off the rollercoaster of emotions and you only focus on how things arrive at the known end result».
- «It totally depends on how big the spoiler is.».
- «Just like 80 percent of experts, I avoid anime openings. When I look at something, I want to be surprised by the development, imagine the future and be wrong.».
- «I find people pointing out spoilers to be more annoying. I’m referring to those bitches that point out the spoilers in the opening, which one being anime-only wouldn’t even notice. Thank goodness I went blind with Attack on Titan and caught up on the manga before the second season aired. And frankly, episode discussions aren’t the worst spoiler offenders (at least if you’re like me who visits threads after a day or two, since spoilers are already locked and discussions are dead by then), jokes in completely unrelated memes and threads are».
- «Two reasons make me avoid spoilers/trailers/synopsis: The experience that a movie/anime will give you can be partially based on the surprise that a key event causes you. For example, your first viewing of will be less interesting if you already know its ending. And it won’t be as enjoyable as a second or third viewing, since you don’t know the movie well enough to appreciate it on a second viewing. The second reason is that when I know some key event is going to happen, or if I’ve already seen a scene, I find myself waiting for that key event or scene. And during that time, I won’t really be in the series, and I won’t appreciate it as much as I could.».
- «It annihilates any sense of suspense and/or mystery, paralyzes dramatic revelations, etc. Not to mention the fact that a good portion of people fixate on it and end up waiting for it to happen. (It also goes completely against the experience the writer/director intended to convey to the audience, for those who care about that sort of thing.) You can always go back to analyze the series, but you can’t blindly rewatch it, so people (rightly) feel like they’ve been robbed of a potential experience when something is spoiled. And while it’s true that you can appreciate how something was done once you know it, that’s very different from enjoying it.».
- «As an example, the punch line of this joke is that “Juan” and “Amal” sound like “one” and “all” and, therefore, can be used in the phrase “if you have seen one, you have seen them all,” which is used with humor to downplay an emotional moment: A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One goes to a family in Egypt and his name is Amal. The other goes to Spain and his name is Juan. Years later, Juan sends a photo of himself to his mother. Upon receiving it, she tells her husband that she would also like to have a photo of Amal. Her husband responds: “But they are twins. If you have seen Juan, you have seen Amal.” You can see the cleverness of the joke, but it probably wasn’t very funny. Or how flaccid and grossly overacted the big winner announcement on a reality show is when you don’t give a shit about the results (because you just caught the end of the episode tuning in to whatever’s next or something like that).».
- «I was spoiled about the nature of the armored, colossal titan from Shingeki no Kyojin. When the real reveal was made and people were in “OMG mode” I was like “okay, they finally said it now let’s move on to the fight.” In the case of Bleach, I planned to read the manga after the anime ended, then they spoiled me about Unohana and Zaraki, now several years later I still haven’t started reading the manga and I don’t plan to read it. That should make my position on spoilers clear.».
- «I quite dislike spoilers, although it depends on the type of series and what the spoiler actually is: minor things or spoilers for episodic series don’t bother me much. Unfortunately, I have a very good memory for useless things, so if something is spoiled (no matter how unimportant), I will still remember it even if I see, read or play it only years later. My biggest problem with spoilers is that when I watch the show, I think about the spoiler more than the rest of the show. I find myself constantly thinking, “Okay, how does the spoiler foreshadow this?” instead of drawing my own conclusions. Instead of choosing from an ocean of possibilities and thinking about the most plausible ones, now I only think about how what is happening links to the only certain outcome. It’s a different viewing experience, and I enjoy it less».
- «Spoilers don’t have to ruin the experience, but they don’t have to spoil it for people either. I wholeheartedly believe that people who give spoilers without warning are assholes. Seriously, why in the world would you want to mess something up for someone and be okay with it?».
- «Once you’ve been spoiled, you forever lose the chance to be surprised in the way the author intended, and in return you gain nothing more than what a new viewing might also give you. I realize that in many cases the way a twist is constructed is more interesting than the twist itself, but there’s always time to remember all the juicy foreshadowing once you’ve finished watching the series. They ruined Madoka Magica for me. It’s still my favorite anime because of how shocking it is, but I can’t help but think that the spoilers stole part of the experience. Then I saw the movie completely blind, and its ending, although I think it is inferior to that of the series, impacted me much more».
- «For me, it’s when they reveal something to me that takes away my desire to see/read. Things like which girl the MC ends up with at the end of a harem series (when that series has little else going for it than the continuous cycle of baiting one girl after another), or who the murderer is in a detective story. I tend to like them less the shorter a work is, because they reveal more. However, I generally hardly consider the background of the characters or the world to be spoilers, unless the main plot of the work focuses on them enough to include them in the “mystery” category.».
- «It is not like this. In any case, it improves my experience, since I start to analyze everything that foreshadows what is going to happen. I can usually catch the foreshadowing of a certain outcome long before it’s revealed, so spoilers don’t mean much to me. I like the journey, not the outcome. For example, I continued to enjoy Your Lie in April even though I knew from episode 1 or 2 what the outcome was going to be. The first three minutes of Madoka Magica set the tone for the series, and I wasn’t surprised by any shift in tone as it was established from the beginning. Although Madoka Magica was spoiled for me, I can’t say for sure, but I liked it more when I saw it again».
- «I guess that lessens the surprise factor. I like to discover things as I go. That doesn’t mean I can’t be surprised even if I know certain things beforehand. I started watching the Zombieland Saga a few days ago, so I already knew the main twists from the first episode, but the beginning made me jump… Although I’m sure I would have been even more stunned if I had gone in completely blind».
- «Like others have said, I think this depends entirely on one’s personal preferences. I love puzzles and solving things on my own. And in general, I don’t like stories that are too predictable. That’s why I find it difficult to watch simple action and romance shows, but I love comedy and thrillers, because I’m constantly trying to figure out what happens next. Another important part is that I feel like a show is really good only if it’s rewatchable. So hopefully going blind will give me a good mental workout, and watching it again will allow me to see things I missed the first time and enjoy them in the right context. Shows like Monogatari are top-notch because I constantly find new things (foreshadowing and interesting details) even after rewatching them multiple times».
- «Spoilers adjust your expectations of a show. As you say, it’s very much about guiding you down a path, but with spoilers it sometimes feels like the path is already lit rather than full of possibilities. If the story being told depends on existing possibilities, it is “ruined.” Now you wait for the only way instead of experiencing the journey».