You might want to ask high school kids about how much they like Shakespeare... While an inordinate amount of people do indeed like, love, and respect Shakespeare--and that like/love/respect hasn't seemed to dissipate in 400 years--that hardly means that "almost no one dislikes him". PLENTY of people dislike him or downright hate him, but few of those people have the knowledge or intelligence necessary to mount any kind of offensive against his reputation. Tolstoy did, and he did so with a passion. But I think Orwell's response was more telling. I'll quote the most relevant bits:
Which, more or less, goes back to what I've been saying: the only test of great art is survival, which is related to majority (if even selective majority) opinion.Orwell wrote:One's first feeling is that in describing Shakespeare as a bad writer he is saying something demonstrably untrue. But this is not the case. In reality there is no kind of evidence or argument by which one can show that Shakespeare, or any other writer, is 'good' ... Ultimately there is no test of literary merit except survival, which is itself an index to majority opinion...
This directly relates to your point about the majority establishing a standard: the problem is that that's the only way standards are formed on a scale that's larger than subjectively! Laws are nothing but standards which a majority came up; so is morality and our entire notions of what's good and bad. But, again, standards are subject to evolution and modification; they change over time. And there is frequently conflict between individual standards and majority standards that can't be reconciled. Unfortunately, as I've said, subjective standards would be all we needed if everyone lived alone on their own island, but we don't; we live in societies which requires standards formed by mass opinion. And while any individual is free to disagree with those standards, to change then they have to do a lot more than say "I disagree". One could say the whole point of dialectics is to try and hammer out standards of agreement between societies of individuals.
One thing about influence is that even if it's relatively objective compared to other qualitative standards we create for art, it's still extremely ambiguous and tricky to nail down. DBZ, for instance, might have had a more obvious influence on the anime industry, but do we see its direct influence in anime that we consider of high quality itself? I'd argue we don't. Miyazaki's influence is much more pervasive than meets the eye. Consider that he had a profound influence on Anno, for instance, and that a lot of cinephiles love Miyazaki's films and have no doubt been inspired/influenced by them on much subtler levels than we might see ostensibly in their films.Defectron wrote: DBZ fans like to justify the opinion that DBZ is the best anime because of how much influence it has had on the anime industry. On the other hand Miyazaki, for all his praise actually hasn't had a lot of noticible influence in comparison.
And, sure, it's not wholly about influence but about being able to last. In 50 years, does Miyazaki or DBZ stand a better chance of still being recognized in the industry? I think the answer is fairly obvious, and I also think it's impossible for something to last without it having influence.
It depends. David Lynch has been massively influential, perhaps only behind Spielberg and Scorsese in that department, yet his works haven't gotten wide exposure and have really been quite niche. It's like someone noted elsewhere in this thread (I think), "not a lot of people bought Velvet Underground records, but everyone who did started a band". So the volume of exposure doesn't necessarily equal more influence. If you have less exposure, but a high influence-to-exposure rate, then it's quite possible to be more influential than works/artists that are more exposed.
Obviously I'm just talking about if we're comparing the two, not if we're putting them in their more holistic anime context. Then neither comparison would fit.