A Guide to Anime Spoilers

A Guide to Anime Spoilers

Do Spoilers Matter?

While spoilers are present in blockbuster movies and games, they aren’t quite as prevalent in those mediums as they are in anime. Not many people care if you spoil a 20-year-old movie, but if you spoil a 20-year-old anime, there will definitely be some people who will get mad.

Additionally, since most anime are based on popular manga and light novels, there are a lot more ways to get spoiled with anime than, say, games. And with so many possible ways to get spoiled, do spoilers even matter for anime anymore? The answer is yes, but it also depends.

So, why am I writing about anime spoilers today? The main reason is that I had nothing else to write about. But if we ignore that, then the reason is that recently I have been involved with some spoilers. Earlier this year someone decided to spoil Kakushigoto for me and yesterday someone decided to spoil The God of High School for me.

I will say that I don’t think the people who spoiled me had any malicious intent. But, stupidity isn’t an excuse, and in the case of the spoiler from yesterday, they have been blocked on Twitter, banned from the comments of this site, and banned from joining our Discord server.

However, I too have been accused of spoiling anime in the past. Most notably, I was accused of spoiling Death Note earlier this year. So with that said, in today’s article, I’m going to give you a crash course on how not to spoil anime. And, I’m going to be spoiling Death Note to do so. You’ve been warned.

Tiers of Spoilers

There are four major spoiler tiers as far as I’m concerned. From most to least egregious, they are source material spoilers, new episode spoilers, new season spoilers, and series spoilers. But, as you’ll see, spoilers are generally bad regardless of which tier they fall into.

Source material spoilers are what will get you banned from interacting with me. This is when someone who has read the source material for an anime decides, for whatever reason, that it’s a good idea to spoil what’s going to happen next. Don’t ever do this. It makes it so whoever you spoiled can no longer be a part of discussions about where the anime currently is because now their perspective is tainted.

New episode spoilers should be pretty self-explanatory. If a new episode of an anime is released, don’t spoil it for people who haven’t seen it yet. This one isn’t a type of spoiler that I’ve ever had issues with. Usually, people who watch a new episode want others to go into the new episode without spoilers as well.

Light Yagami from the anime series Death Note
Light Yagami from Death Note

New season spoilers involve spoiling anything from the current season of anime. This means that spoiling Re:Zero season 2 counts as a new season spoiler, but the spoiling Re:Zero season 1 does not. It also means that by this point Kakushigoto wouldn’t count as a new season spoiler since that was from earlier this year.

Finally, we have series spoilers, which is what my “spoiling” of Death Note counts as. This is when you spoil something, anything, about a series to someone who hasn’t seen it. For example, if you were to say that Light Yagami dies at the end of the Death Note anime, that would be a spoiler.

But, if you say that Death Note involves bad writing such as L constantly suspecting Light even after he was cleared solely so that the plot could progress, I’d say that doesn’t count. Especially when you’re stating that claim to people who have already seen Death Note.

When Does the Moratorium on Spoilers Expire?

One of the biggest questions people often have is, “when do spoilers no longer count?” And while some would say that they always count, I’d say that it depends. It depends on both the tier of the spoiler, as we’ve already covered, and the impact of the spoiler.

Source material spoilers are never okay because by default they mean you’re spoiling the future of the anime. The only time you should talk about what happened in the source material to anime watchers is after the event has occurred in the anime. Then, you can discuss how it differed between the two mediums and how everyone felt about it.

New episode spoilers get a bit trickier. It’s fine to discuss spoilers for new episodes as long as it’s somewhere that spoilers are expected to be in. For example, if you want to discuss what happened in Fire Force season 2 episode 11, you could do so in the comments of my review of that episode, but not in the comments of my review of episode 10.

The issue with new episode spoilers, though, is that once a newer episode comes out, those once-new episode spoilers transition into new season spoilers. The big difference between new episode spoilers and new season spoilers for me is the severity of the spoiler.

Light Yagami's death from the anime series Death Note
Light Yagami’s death from Death Note

If a new character is introduced in the new episode, you probably shouldn’t spoil that. But, a week or two later, that’s a low-impact spoiler. I would say that mentioning how L constantly suspects Light is the same. But, if you add details and say that L suspects Light even after Light gave up his death note to Ryuk and had his memories wiped, that would continue to be a spoiler for the rest of the season and beyond.

And lastly, series spoilers. For me, series spoilers are the most major spoilers that don’t have a date after which they no longer count as spoilers. Many new season spoilers will become series spoilers, but not all. That example I just gave of a new season spoiler for Death Note, along with Light’s or L’s death would be a series spoiler.

Any character death is a series spoiler. Even if that death happens in the first episode and is a core mechanic of the series, that death was still intended to be a surprise to the viewer.

But, aside from character deaths and excessive details, I think most spoilers are fair game after a few years. So my “spoiler” of Death Note was fair game considering the series is about to become 14 years old.

How to Avoid Being That Guy (or Girl)

At this point, you may be wondering how to prevent yourself from spoiling anime for others. Well, the good news is that if you’re even worried about the possibility of spoiling someone, you’re probably not going to spoil anyone.

People who spoil anime tend to fall into two groups. Either they intentionally spoil the series because they think it’s fun to ruin the enjoyment of others. Or, they intentionally spoil the series because they somehow think that spoiling the series is an acceptable and normal thing to do. The latter group tends to be source material spoilers.

Ryuk from the anime series Death Note
Ryuk from Death Note

But, if you’re worried about spoiling other people, the best thing you can do is tag your spoilers accordingly. Mention the name of the series that’s about to be spoiled, warn people that it’s about to be spoiled, and when possible, hide the spoilers.

On Discord, you can hide spoilers by putting “||” on either side of the spoiler content. In the comments of DoubleSama.com, you can wrap your spoilers in “<spoiler>” to begin the spoiled content and “</spoiler>” to end it. And if I see an untagged spoiler in the comments, I’ll generally edit in these tags on your behalf.

Conclusion

That’s basically everything you need to know about spoilers. Spoilers do matter, but they matter less as time goes by. And for everything other than character deaths or major plot points with specific details, I think that by the time the series is 2 years old it’s fair game.

If you enjoyed this review, found it to be helpful, or also think that Death Note has forced plot progression, remember to click the like button ❤ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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