First thing: throw objectivity out of this discussion. I am not interested in pontificating about good or bad shows, or the practice of reviewing anime and manga. I’m talking here as a consumer, specifically a sampling non-fan. It’s something I’ve had practice with in 2009, with 2 straight seasons without robot centric shows. I do not enjoy reading robot manga; I like my robots animated.
I’m interested in how we discover things we end up liking. First of all, I approach each show I watch with a strong desire to like it. It’s never a situation where a show is auditioning for my time. Some people want that kind of power and dynamic between themselves and the subject show. Sometimes I feel that these people indulge themselves with imagining how the production staff of the show are personally auditioning in front of them, and these viewers (and reviewers) get to act like Simon Cowell or Michael Kors, or whoever.
My practice of criticism is far less like that, but again, I’m here writing as a sampling non-fan.
I want to go deep into the bones of how people watch shows that aren’t relevant to their core interests. Obviously there are people who just plain dislike shoujo, generic fightan shounen shows, moe (or whatever else) fanservice delivery shows; and will stay away from them as a rule. But some of us don’t have such hard and fast rules. We actually try things that will probably won’t give us value. How are we like during these instances?
My recent case for this is Bakemonogatari. It does not have giant robots. The lead seemed to be a wimpy harem one, in the midst of a possibly harem show. I am not a fan of these things at all, at times I despise them; but I gave Bakemonogatari all I got. And well, I was delighted.
Similarly, there’s Canaan. It does not have giant robots, but I enjoyed the first episode easily enough. While the primary protagonist and antagonist were interesting, and did have action-filled confrontations, the rest of the show indulged in the kind of fanservice and hijinks (yuri undertones, far-out unrealistic comedic attempts in a relatively realistic design aesthetic: characters, surrounding, action) that didn’t entertain me. I wanted to drop the show after 4 episodes. I stuck with it and well, yuck. Gotta trust my instincts a little more.
Again, this post isn’t about whether the shows are any good. It’s all about what you got out of the experience relative to your personal interests and expectations.
I wish to hear stories about you as viewers or readers giving a show or manga the benefit of the doubt and it you were rewarded for it.
I wish to hear stories about you as viewers or readers giving a show or manga the benefit of the doubt and you regretted it.
Keep in mind to mention what the parameters of your interests are, and how the subject shows lie out of such.