People regularly whine about “ugly” anime, complaining that if a series is ugly, then it’s not worth watching. Natsume Ono‘s style is the finest modern example. Her latest work can be seen in the new House of Five Leaves (which began only last week on noitaminA,) but you may also know her as the creator of Ristorante Paradiso.
Her trademark, polarising style lays in her character design: big, round eyes; wide, thin mouths; pointy noses; they inspire a certain sense of revulsion (with their ‘shark’ eyes and rubbery facial expressions) and would never be considered attractive in the conventional sense, but then, that’s the point; Ono is doing it on purpose, therefore, complaining that her characters are ugly is like complaining that the sky is blue; it’s just her style, so why get so hung up on it? At least it’s trying to set itself apart from the rest (originality.)
For some people, though, that’s still too hard to accept. They refuse to understand why a series like House of Five Leaves is even being made, let alone why anyone would ever bother watching it, and that’s when the ‘p’ word starts getting thrown around, too. The ‘p’ word is obviously pretentious.
Enjoying House of Five Leaves is pretentious because no one can honestly enjoy such ugliness, right?
Pretentious has long since become a word within fandom used by a person to express aghast that another could ever truly enjoy something that he/she doesn’t. It’s no longer a matter of taste, but of pretention, we’re all merely deluding ourselves by enjoying such ugly, complicated and confusing stories.