First off, I'm not entirely sure where this topic should go, so if I've put it in the wrong place I am truely sorry for that moderators.
Okay to the point at hand.
As this is a forum for FullMetal Alchemist, I'm sure almost everyone has heard or read a sentance similar to, "FullMetal Alchemist is more than a shounen manga.'
Now the thing I wanna discuss here is, why do people feel the need to say things like this? It's not limited to FMA either. I've heard people say similar things about many other manga, anime, films, tv series and books. Dark Knight is a good example, as I think that argument was pretty much shouted at the Oscar committee. Alot of people seem to really be insistant that something they love is more than the genre it's assigned to and I don't really understand that.
FullMetal Alchemist is a really good shounen series that does alot of things right where other, less good series, go wrong. To me this is fine, but others seem to insist and saying 'oh it's more than that' without really giving more explanation as to why. What's wrong with it just being what it is; a series about two male protagonists who get into lots of fights. Yes there's more to the story than that but if you strip away all the nuts and bolts, that's what you've got. Just done in a really excellent way.
I think part of the reason people try and say things are more than they are, is this really, really stupid idea that's still floating around that some genres of media are lesser than others. It means that if someone wants to tell someone they like something that falls into one of these 'lesser' genres, they socially feel the need to then justify themselves. I'm sure we've all seen someone give us the 'nerd' look when we dare to mention we like anime or games, and I feel this is absurd.
And saying an good example of the genre is more than it is, really doesn't help in the long run. If all the good shounen titles are actually more than just shounen titles, well then that means they're not true examples of the genre, and so when people asses the genre, they will ignore them, and thus the genre will only have it's weaker entries to help it's cause. Basically it's like having a class of students, and saying that all the smart kids are actually no reflection of the teachers ability because of their IQs or something. If you get what I mean...
So how about from now on we stop trying to justify our tastes? How about we can say 'This is an excellent example of the genre' and leave it at that. Just because there's parts of society that think the genre is inherently lower than others, doesn't mean they're right. There's nothing wrong with the genre of shounen, it's just that the most well known series in that genre happen to do things the wrong way.
Well if there's anyone still awake after reading that mindless drivel I just wrote, I'd be interested to hear what other people think about this, whether or not it's something a few people agree with or I'm just a crazy person with too much time on their hands.