3 Popular/Unpopular ANW Opinions (2020)

I did my 10 Unpopular Opinions in 2019 and 10 Popular Opinions in June 2020, so here are 3 more popular and unpopular opinions for 2020. These opinions involve the ANW 12 season.

Popular Opinions

#1: The DD Scandal Was Absolutely Devastating

You know what I'm talking about. No comment here.

#2: The Ninja Community is Absolutely Supportive and Genuine!

I may not know most of the Ninja community personally, but from what I've seen behind and on the scenes, it is no wonder why the sport of American Ninja Warrior is so loved. Especially this season, with the global pandemic and recent DD scandal, I love seeing Ninjas supporting each other and battling this disastrous time together. In a cynical time of many lows, the attitude and character of the community always warms my spirits.

#3: The New Obstacles in ANW12 are Fantastic

A lot of the new obstacles from ANW 12 have been very well-received. I really like the new ODC obstacles submitted this season. I personally find Chase the Ring (Kevin Carbone's signature obstacle for 2020) to be better than Sky Hooks (which I mentioned in my 2019 Unpopular Opinions list that I liked more than the other ring obstacles), since it emphasizes your mental focus and strategy in addition to your lache coordination. My favorite obstacle by far this season has to be Corkscrew (Josh Norton is a genius!). While the obstacle in play may be debatable by some, I really like the concept of the obstacle. That obstacle takes some serious static and dynamic engineering to put on the course.

Unpopular Opinions

#1: None of the Eliminations in ANW12 Were Shocking to Me

When it comes to shockers this season, you might think Michelle Warnky, Allyssa Beird, Sean Bryan, and Caleb Bergstrom. But in all honesty, I didn't really find any of those runs to be all that shocking. My first reason why is because since the competition format was significantly altered (i.e. no tour or Vegas finals), I didn't have much to expect from the competition. In a normal season, I would be shocked since they made it to Vegas the previous season so there would be some expectation. But since the competition was greatly adjusted, I just had a "go as far as you can" hope for all competitors. And given that only around 150 Ninjas got to compete for this entire season, I personally think it was a victory being able to compete. Especially when being able to compete came down to luck-based factors, such as being selected and being healthy enough to compete (keep in mind some competitors this season withdrew due to quarantining reasons).

Of course, here's my second reason. When it comes to shockers, I think we all experienced the greatest shocker not only this year, but in worldwide Ninja history. Case in point, the scandal. At least with some early setbacks from some competitors this season, we know they can come back stronger next year. But you-know-who on the other hand is completely dishonored and erased from everything Ninja related.

#2: ANW12 is Overhated

Don't get me wrong, there were a number of things ANW12 did that I typically don't like in ANW. But in all honesty, I really do think ANW12 is a lot better than what people give it credit for. For one, not having a "tour" or the Las Vegas finals made it unique in its own way. This is the first time in ANW history where the entire competition took place in just one location (this even counts the first 3 SASUKE seasons, since the finals were on SASUKE in Japan). Not to mention, I liked how the competition format played similarly to Australian Ninja Warrior, in that there were different qualifying "heats" and then semifinals and grandfinals. Not to mention I liked the addition of the Power Tower being the final competition faceoff and the addition of the qualifying "team" dynamic. Personally, after eight seasons of the same qualifying, city finals and Vegas format, I felt this was a fantastic change of pace.

Not to mention, as I stated in my Popular Opinions, I really liked the obstacles that were used this season. While I do think they could've mixed it up a little more, I felt the obstacle choices were pretty solid overall. You could say that because there were less rounds the designers had to go for less obstacles in a "quality over quantity" approach. But even then, the obstacle choices were overall pretty good.

Now of course, there are a few factors that are legitimately the show's fault (the same leaderboard problems, some excess sob stories, etc). However, most problems people blame this season on come from uncontrollable factors such as the pandemic and the scandal. While there is certainly room for improvement on how ANW handled these situations, I personally felt they handled it better than I expected.

It's kind of early to go into a full review about the 2020 season, but so far, I will say that ANW12 is quite overhated. At this rate, it's not a top 5 season for me. But it's certainly better than what people give it credit for. Would probably say it's #6 or #7 worthy if I had to add it in my ANW Seasons ranking list.

#3: The ANW Fanbase is Toxic

I'll probably get a lot of hate for this. But I don't care, I think it needs to be addressed. I think the ANW Fanbase is toxic. Actually no, I think the word "toxic" is way too overused. I can sum up most of the ANW fanbase in two words: petty and privileged.

I've had this thought for a while now, but I think the 2020 season truly cements my opinion on this. I am getting sick of all these fans constantly whining and trying to find fault in ANW. While I do believe ANW has made some dumb decisions, there are just way too many people trying to nitpick and pout about things in ANW.

I believe the 2020 season, at least to me, truly confirms how privileged and petty the fanbase is. One of things that outright infuriates me this season is how so many fans complain about there being "too many sob stories". I've mentioned this before and I'll say it again, I don't mind competitor backstories, but even I agree that they can be excessive at times. However, the whining on sob stories feels like it's at an all-time high this season. Considering that this is a difficult year where many have been struggling, I've gone from being ok with others' opinions to just being outright disgusted with the fans' complaints.

I wrote a full rant on everyone's reaction to Pauline Avila's run, so I'm not repeating myself with specific examples. But to me, this year reveals just how toxic the fanbase truly is. It truly shows how petty and privileged ANW fans are. To me, it is appalling to see fans whine about a COVID doctor's run because they "wanted to see more action", especially when most fans have had it easy this year just sitting at home doing nothing. I'm sure those runs meant a lot to the participant, the participant's family, and many other loved ones. Again, I would agree to an extent on fans' complaints with sob stories. But I believe this year in particular really shows how apathetic and privileged the fanbase is. I'm sure most of you guys have no idea what it's like being in some of these Ninjas' shoes.

Might I also add, rather than whining about how the season didn't go the way you guys expected, how about you guys just be grateful that ANW is even on this year? Some Ninjas may not have been able to compete due to sickness, so be grateful for the Ninjas that were able to compete this year. Quit with the "why [he] didn't get selected this year" or "why did [this Ninja] not compete?" complaints. Disaster struck in 2020, and ANW is making as much lemonade out of the lemons we got.

I'll tell you guys this right now, if you want to complain and whine every ANW episode, don't watch ANW. You don't have to like the show guys. Or better yet, if you're craving for finding fault in ANW, maybe do a CinemaSins "Everything Wrong With" video and make things entertaining.

I get that this is what all fanbases are like, but no matter what, listening to fans pout and whine constantly is not cool. Especially when it involves things that likely means a lot to the participants and other close ones. I'm not saying that all of you fans are privileged and toxic, since I do see a fair number of users here on ANWNation and Reddit engaging in civil and polite discussion. But I do believe that a fair number of fans (as in, I want to say around 60% of the fanbase) are incredibly toxic and privileged. For those that are like this, I'll put it to you this way: you people seriously need to watch your privilege. For those of you engaging in civil and polite covnersation, keep doing you.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of American Ninja Warrior Nation's writers or editors, or of NBC.

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