With less than two months to go now until the arrival of XY, we're all very excited for what the future may hold for the Pokemon franchise. New games, new pokemon, new saga of the anime, plus the Origins special on the horizon - there's a lot for us to look forward to.
But before we move into the new anime saga, there is a rather difficult and regrettable issue which first needs to be addressed - namely, that it's no secret just how unpleasant the atmosphere in the anime forum became during the Best Wishes era. Regardless of how you felt about the series itself, there can be no doubt that BW represented something of a low point for us here at Bulba. Best Wishes was an extremely devisive saga amongst fans and that tended to spark off a lot of tension in and of itself, but sadly a number of the strategies deployed by the anime staff in order to keep the peace were not very successful in practice, and in some instances may even have contributed to the problem. The Debate forum would be a prime example of this - it was created with the intention of keeping the more recurrent and contentious topics from derailing other discussions (before it came along you may recall that just about every new episode review thread was sidetracked into a debate about Iris's contributions to the show), and also as a means of keeping more heated discussion separate from more casual, laidback discussion. In practice, it just became a hotbed of general unpleasantness, fun for absolutely no one, and a means of simply redirecting problematic discussion rather than actually dealing with it.
As the current Head of the anime forum, I apologise for whatever mistakes may have been made in the past, and hope that the new XY saga can be regarded as a fresh start for all of us. Just as the anime will be entering a new phase, so too will the anime forum. Over the coming weeks, you will see some important changes taking place within these forums, with an eye toward improving the atmosphere and creating a much more amicable venue in which to discuss the upcoming saga.
The first major change, effective as of today, is that the current Debate forum has been retired and will be replaced with a brand new one for the XY saga. As before, this is intended to house some of the more prevalant discussion topics within the anime forum, but we have no desire to see it become a repeat of the first and, as such, it carries a whole new set of rules which you will be expected to familiarise yourself with before posting. These rules have been designed to put emphasis upon the importance of maintaining a friendly atmopshere, and on promoting thoughtful discussion:
Secondly, we will shortly be introducing a designated "Rant Thread", with the intention of providing a venue for those of you who want to let off steam about aspects of the series that seriously irk you (although obviously there will be limits as to how far you can actually go with your rants - for example, you are still not allowed to attack or insult the writers personally). The idea here is to restrict the particularly sustained negativity to a single thread, which others don't have to touch if they don't want to, whilst still allowing an outlet for those who desire it. NOTE: this thread will be strictly for letting off steam, NOT debating with the views of others, and anyone who doesn't use it in the intended manner will be denied access to it.1. Explain your views. Don’t just say you like or dislike the topic in question, or use the debate topic to bash sagas or characters.
2. Stay on topic, if the threads are dedicated to discussing a specific thing, keep as much of your post about that topic as possible. Try and avoid going on large tangents that could drag a thread off topic, even if some of your post is on topic.
3 . Respect the opinions of others, and aim to maintain a friendly atmosphere. Debates threads are not competitions, or an avenue for you to try and convert people who see things differently from you. The idea is to explain your opinions in a way that others who feel the same way can more easily identify why they share that opinion. Respect that people have their own reasons for seeing things differently from you.
4. Avoid stating the exact same points excessively or aggressively. Debates threads aren’t for proving viewpoints “objectively” correct or poking holes in other’s reasons for liking things. If you’ve made your point, it’s best to move on and give somebody else a chance to explain their views.
All other rules that apply to other sections also apply in Character and Sagas debates as well, and it is recommended you be familiar Pointless Post and Flaming and Baiting rules. You can view the now updated list of rules here.
Anyone is free to make a debate thread, however your thread will not be posted straight away. Each thread has to be approved by a moderator first, and we aim to approve each thread within three days at most. However do note that sometimes it can take longer, and if your thread has gone unapproved for several days you may send a polite reminder via PM to one of the moderators.
Thirdly, we will be placing more of a restriction upon the ever-ubiquitous but frankly very tiresome "filler" debate. Again, we will create a thread in the new Debate forum where you can discuss what the term "filler" means to you, but you are asked not to post in Preview and Review threads just to pass judgement on the basis of whether the episode is a filler or not (eg: "This is clearly a filler episode, so I'm not interested") - doing so may earn you a Pointless Post infraction. The majority of users do not care about whether an episode is a filler or not, and find this discussion very wearing.
We value the diversity of opinions displayed by our users, and would like nothing more than to create a forum atmopshere in which anime fans of all stripes can feel welcome and respected. It doesn't matter if you prefer what Generation I had to offer to anything that has come since, if you're a Diamond Pearl fanatic, if you're glad that Ash and Team Rocket are such important fixtures of the show, or if you prefer the TPCi voice cast to that of 4Kids or vice versa - at the end of the day, we want you to find your Bulbagarden experience enjoyable. We ask that you allow others the space and respect in which to do the same.
I will be posting further updates in this announcement thread as they come. In the meantime, if you have any further questions or concerns, feel free to contact myself or one of the other anime mods.