Harsh! Consuming Media Not-So-Related to Our Interests

utena shadow puppets ghostlightning whining about the lack of robot shows

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.

bakemonogatari 12 senjougahara araragi chopsticks

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.

canann 01 canaan pole dance 01

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.

Further Reading

RideBack, oh RideBack… Yes IcyStorm, my RideBack experience sucked (it was relatively relevant to my interests too!) [1st impression ->] [aftertaste ->]

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
This entry was posted in comparative, meta and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

82 Responses to Harsh! Consuming Media Not-So-Related to Our Interests

  1. I gave Nanoha the benefit of a doubt and deeply regretted it. Then I gave Nanoha A’s the benefit of a doubt and have never been more rewarded.

    Good benefits: Kanokon, Strike Witches, Red Garden, Black Lagoon, Touka Gettan

    Bad benefits: Honestly, I think Nanoha might be the only one, I drop and I drop hard.

    • What made those other shows risky? How are they not relevant to your interests?

      I only know of your hesitation towards space opera and politics.

      • Kanokon and Strike Witches are dumb fanservice comedy shows which I never expect to like. Those kinds of shows usually have boring, annoying plots and characters and shitty productions and do absolutely nothing for me.

        I don’t know why I decided to watch Kanokon – I think it was jsut because I’d heard it was so extreme. The first thing that surprised me was the great production values, then how much fun it was, and then the brilliant ending that made it a solid favorite.

        Strike Witches, too, surprised me first with it’s great production values, and then again with how much fun it’s characters were and how much I could enjoy the plot. It was a fanservice show that had fun with itself and became something easy to adore, and once again had a fantastic ending.

        Red Garden I didn’t expect to like mostly because of the character designs. It looked like it was going to be some kind of artsy drama deal and turned me off. I heard some good things, and then when I saw what the writer/director did for Kurenai I knew I should check it out – great decision.

        Black Lagoon I expected to be too ‘dark’ for my taste. I knew it hwas full of violence and crazy things and that it was a show with a bad attitude, and I wasn’t really into that kind of thing – I liked violence, but as a consequence of the story and in a way that was fun and not serious. Enough people talked me into watching Black Lagoon, though, and it turned out not to be dark at all on the surface, and the kind of darkness that was there was something I’d come to appreciate from works like Baccano and Gunslinger Girl.

        Touka Gettan is by a director I hate, is told FUCKING backwards which is retarded and the first couple episodes were boring and confusing. I later found out this show was Utena in disguise and one of the trippiest experiences I’ve had half of (only ever watched half >_<)

        All of these shows manaaged to broaden my horizons in some way, too.

        I'm pretty sure Legend of the Galactic Heroes and Crest of the Stars will be added to this list if I ever watch more than 3 eps of either of them, lol.

  2. bianki says:

    I watch every thing that comes out every season (except for sequels of shows I haven’t seen the previous season of yet). I don’t really like moe fanservice, but if I find it funny and smart, I’ll watch it to the end.

    I applaud that you start watching stuff with a strong desire to like everything. I used to be like that. However, I realized that strong desire to like it = high expectations. Unfulfilled expectations would usually result to my annoyed bashing about how big a letdown something it. So now, I now watch everything with detachment and let the first three episodes build my expectations – unless it’s something I read before (which rarely happens). With no expectations, I can watch anything without prejudice regardless of genre. If the show can hold my interest until the end, then good for me.

    • bianki says:

      P.S. I don’t think there’s going to be mecha next season either.

    • Expectations can’t be avoided. We really expect to be entertained at some level since we do watch to be entertained. But the level of expectation is something to be played with — not every series need to be tremendously impressive so the letdown needn’t be as crippling.

      But hey, we may not have a lot of time for anime at all, so we want to only watch the shows that will give us the best value — so I can’t help but sympathize with how you view things.

  3. bluemist says:

    Mecha anime is way out of my interests, but by some twist of fate I came to like Gundam Seed. I know you might say this is not the best Gundam out there and is actually the near-bottom of the pile, but hell I loved it. Not because of the robots but because of the plot and some interesting characters. On the other hand, I tried to watch Gundam Seed Destiny, and it totally sucked. I dropped it 1/3 through the series.

    I like moe~ but I totally HATE the ones with extreme fanservice. I approach them with much hesitation, but somehow Strike Witches slipped through me clean. This one ALSO had mecha elements so only the moe~ kept me going at first, but then it struck me with awesome battle scenes, music and the GONZO nostalgia that made me like the earlier good stuff that the studio offered… unlike nowadays.

    • Skribulous says:

      Actually, Gundam SEED wasn’t bad at all. Gundam SEED DESTINY, though, sucked so bad it retroactively turned the SEED franchise into crap.

    • Unlike you, I can’t find a way to enjoy Strike Witches. I suppose I prefer my aerial battles with robots that look like robots and not underage girls. Hate is too strong a word for me, but yeah I don’t like it at all.

  4. Before I respond to your comments any further, please add links to posts/reviews you or someone you approve of the shows you ended up liking.

    I think it would very useful. At least I might be interested to read them.

  5. Ryan A says:

    Let’s get more tangential. Medium: Music. Released: 2009.4.22. Title: Pyramids. Genre/Styles: Experimental Rock/Metal, Noise.

    First, I walked into it thinking ‘the apocalypse’ as in dark. I’m not really into metal, especially abstract stuff; I’m not all into the abstract music in general. So we have, ‘the apocalypse’ + abstract metal. Yes, I was interested, but these are not things that I actually enjoy.

    Needless to say, I didn’t like it from the first track. There was excess mayhem and shrieks of death pounding throughout my skull…. but somewhere there was a light.

    I held onto the light until a sense of what this massive terrorific glory was beating against the walls… then there were angels, then there was melody.

    Eventually, I found the melodies and art-forms embedded. There was a sense of inner-revolution; my audible vision of ‘the apocalypse’ had a new rendition. I’m not sure why I tried to enjoy it, because if I had heard it before reading ‘the apocalypse,’ I would have not given it a chance. While I am not fond of Pyramids, I do respect it’s power and beauty; I can listen and enjoy.

  6. The Longcoat says:

    First off, I agree that Canaan would have been much more rewarding an experience if it had stuck to its seriousness. It demanded to be taken seriously, from the gritty action to the high budget-visuals to the international feel of its setting. Yun Yun really ruined that for me, much like Jar Jar ruined Phantom Menace for so many, and Liang Qi’s insanity fanservice and Hakko’s cat-outfit action did not help matters. I think Canaan is another example of amazing potential with hit-and-miss execution. I don’t think Canaan was bad; I enjoyed the ride from beginning to end. However, it could have been so much better with less of the silly/awkward and more of the serious. In that respect, I really sympathize with your feelings on Canaan.

    Code Geass:

    What I thought:
    “Something about a castaway prince and he has a tropey anime superpower, and I probably won’t like him ’cause everyone says he’s a self-centered a**hole.” Has mechs and good animation, will give it a try.

    What I discovered:
    Epic tale of the decade. Paul Atreides is ripped out of Dune, is made edgier and more antiheroic, gets mind control and takes over the world while basking in his own ubermenschian magnificence, and then resigns himself to play his role as Hated Messiah to the bitter, inevitable end. Depending on your perspective, may or may not have copious amounts of hints at the extraterrestrial British royal bloodlines-conspiracy, complete with the esoteric/demonic overtones of Geass abilities. Fantastic display of three themes: 1) All humans make mistakes, and all leaders are but human. 2) Karma will ALWAYS catch up with you. 3) Taking responsibility is the first step on the path to redemption.

    It took over my life for months.

    The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya:

    What I thought:
    Slice of Life anime about a crazy genki girl and the people who get caught up in her storm. Has no science fiction. Would rather watch Seinfeld again. Has been pimped to death by everyone, am obligated to try it out.

    What I discovered:
    Slice of Life anime about a crazy genki girl and the totally awesome, quirky people who get caught up in her totally awesome storm. Insane shock-value comedy over 9000. Kyon introduces me to Jaded GAR, Koizumi becomes my favorite trickster and poster boy for camp, Nagato is best character design ever, and could hold her own in combat against the archangels of God. Has science fiction up the yin-yang.

    It was a uniquely fantastic experience. No comparison.

    Gintama (manga):

    What I thought:
    A manga about a samurai with a blood-sugar problem who fights aliens. Summary on back look’s promising; Has potential for hilarity.

    What I discovered:
    Funniest comedy/parody manga series ever. Nothing about it is intended to be taken seriously. Breaks the fourth wall regularly. The hero drives a moped. Moved on to the anime: Even funnier. Pokes fun at everything from Bleach and Death Note to Japanese talk show hosts. In the endless-quotability department, is the anime equivalent of Firefly.

    It taught me the truth of the strawberry milk.

    Revolutionary Girl Utena:

    What I thought:
    Girly show is girly. DO NOT WANT. Will be lucky if it has any substance at all.

    What I discovered:
    Ho boy, where to start? Does it have substance? Try German classic novel Demian, Jungian psychology, Gnosticism, and Mahayana Buddhism rolled into one plot. Xenosaga is probably the only production to ever be more rich and complicated with its myth base and literary/philosophical references. Has cool sword-fights. Subverts and deconstructs everything about stereotypes and archetypes, girly and otherwise. Has cool architechture and was almost definitely inspired by The Rose Of Versailles, despite the director claiming they never saw it.

    A masterpiece of thought-provocation worthy of over 9000 college essays.

    Letter Bee:

    Still undecided with this one.

    I am a science fiction fan since childhood and avoid fantasy if at all possible, since it usually falls into Stupid Physics-Universe or Outlandish Monsters category. (Amazingly, LotR avoided both of these and was an epic journey to end all journeys in my opinion.) So Letter Bee is way out of known waters for me in terms of genre. Luckily, it looks promising so far between the pilot and episode 1 thanks to prodigious amounts of charm and heart.

  7. Baka-Raptor says:

    Canaan. I dropped it after one episode. Then I dropped it after two episodes. Nearly quit again after three episodes. Now I’m around episode 8 and like it quite a bit. The plot’s a lot stronger than I expected. Also, Alphard is my kind of woman.

    • Yes, Alphard is awesome. Similar to the ‘moral lesson’ you shared in your comment in the previous post, I can like characters in a show without liking the story or the show itself.

  8. coburn says:

    Well, the obvious interest-unrelated media form for me would be anime itself, in general. i.e. initial association with shittiness and video nasties overcome by Miyazaki etc, and the subsequent realisation that I enjoyed quite a lot of the dodgy marginal interest things (shonen jump, pretentious existential sci-fi) too. I suppose it’s often discovering things I already had an affinity for in an area which I had previously ignored.

    Within anime, mecha is the main thing I’ve dabbled in.

    Positive example: Evangelion. I’m not into mecha, I also don’t have much of a background in Western pop sci-fi (Star Trek etc.) either, but Eva went in directions which genuinely surprised me and it incorporated a sense of scale and bursts of brutality or extreme introspection which changed the way I thought about its genre.

    Negative Example: Eureka Seven. Compared to other mecha shows I watched (TTGL, RahX) it felt overwrought and overlong. Moments of glory strung me along, but the basic episode-to-episode arc-to-arc formula didn’t satisfy, it felt rote. That feeling of the formulaic pulled me away from involvement in the action, it felt like a re-confirmation of the negative preconceptions which I had had before exploring the genre.

    • Well, I find what you shared in the first paragraph to be the premise of Claiming Ground, to an extensive degree I feel. And it works! A good run that needs an encore 😉

      While I’m rather sad that you didn’t enjoy Eureka SeveN, I get it. Similarly I couldn’t get myself to like FLCL even with all it had going for it.

  9. Etrangere says:

    I dropped Canaan : loved the action scene, but characters were underwhelming, and the hijincks with the secondary characters as you mention, were too annoying

    I kept on with Bakemonogatori… almost dropped it. In the end I think I was more disapointed than please with it. Too much, too much fanservice and harem logic, it’s irritating.

    I can’t really think of a show I kept with despite not liking the beginning where I was glad I did. Maybe Ergo Proxy, I haven’t finished it yet, but the beginning was a bit dull and I’m not sure I’d have continued if I was watching it alone, but now that I’m in the middle it’s very gripping.

    • The Longcoat says:

      Ergo Proxy is a freaking trip. Seriously, the last 6 or so episodes are all designed to screw with your mind. Don’t give up if you get lost, there IS a strong plot within. A really confusing plot though… I had a link for a great post-viewing explanation of the plot but I seem to have left it in my other OS. Stupid bootcamp…

    • Hmmm… if you ever give Bakemonogatari a second chance, check out WRL’s coverage of it: https://ghostlightning.wordpress.com/category/analysis/bakemonogatari-analysis-2/

      I may give Ergo Proxy a try later on. I’ll keep your thoughts in mind.

      • Etrangere says:

        You misunderstood me. I kept watching Bakemonogatari to the end. I just didn’t like it anyway. And I did read WRL’s posts (I think that’s probably how I found/subscribed to this blog) – brilliant posts, but there’s a point when, as a girl, a certain amount of fanservice and what feminist call Male Gaze stop being an irritation you can ignore to concentrate on the plot and start making me feel dirty. Bakemonogatari crossed that point during the Snake arc.

        • Sorry about that, and for the late reply. I was rather provoked by Nadeko Snake as well, and I thought that the show was already thumbing its nose at its fans, as if disgusted by us who would like how Araragi would treat Nadeko, and his behavior overall… in the end I thought this to be brilliant, whether planned or not.

          I certainly don’t mean to invalidate your own experience of the show. Thank you for your kind words for my posts on a show you didn’t even enjoy that much. Maybe someday I could write good for a show you do end up liking ^_^

          • Etrangere says:

            Yeah, I was happy of seeing your analysis take the form of criticising Araragi’s behaviour, even if I didn’t think the show itself really put itself in this, or maybe not enough. It’s not an uninteresting show overall, and I’ll probably watch the future episodes they’ll do to wrap the story to at least see if your analysis was correct or if they’ll leave it at that.

            Haha, sometimes it’s the show you don’t enjoy that much that can be the most interesting to read critical reviews of 🙂 but I certainly look forward to your future reviews of show I might enjoy more. Good anime reviews are hard to find, I was certainly glad to find this blog 😉

          • Thank you! I must warn you that my practice of criticism isn’t quite like the common review system where in the show is rated for its objective quality (number of stars, 5/5, thumbs up, etc).

            Rather, I just really enjoy talking about anime a lot and organize discussions around subjects I find interesting in the shows I watch.

  10. 2DT says:

    Two major shows I remember not wanting to see, but actually liking them in the end, were Fruits Basket and The Vision of Escaflowne. They weren’t my favorites, but I still thoroughly enjoyed them despite my initial instincts. I think I generally just have a bias against shows with a big female fan following. It takes me a bit of willpower to get past the first episode or two, then it becomes more a matter of whether or not I actually like watching.

    One show that I gave the benefit of the doubt and regretted… Well, I’m not sure. There are plenty of shows that I thought were going to be great but were actually awful, but I’ve generally dropped a show I disliked long before I have a chance to regret it.

    • 2DT says:

      Wait a minute, I just thought of one:

      Shuffle!

      My god, was that show a waste of my time. Two-thirds of the Kaede arc (all the way up to the resolution) were fantastic, but that’s only two episodes out of a very long series of… stuff i really disliked.

    • Of the shows you mentioned, I’ve only seen Escaflowne, which is quite relevant to my interests. Interestingly, it rather has a large female fan following. It rather feels like shoujo anime too.

      Of late, I drop shows very quickly if I don’t see myself enjoying myself. While I acknowledge that there’s quite a risk too of it turning out very good, but I operate within a context of enjoyment rather than objective quality. And given that there’s little time for anime in general, I’ll take my chances with not sticking around.

  11. kadian1364 says:

    I cut my teeth on Toonami of the late 90s here in the US (DBZ, Gundam Wing, Cowboy Bebop), and my tastes can be derived from the qualities of those shows. Most of my favorites hail from that period around ’97-’04, series with modern sensibilities, not so steeped in Japanese social conventions, a bit experimental, and before the advent of the moe aesthetic. I avoid: female-centric drama/romance (“romantic shoujo”), unfunny/extreme fanservice, and plain dumb stuff (most kiddy shows).

    Eventually, I got around to seeing older shows from the 80s and early 90s, stuff outside my comfort zone. My attitude was, Ew, old shows. Soooo campy. My interest and driving motivation to seeing them was mainly curiosity: what things hooked these older generation fans into anime, what did those that came before me see in the medium?

    The Bad
    Akira, Ninja Scroll, and Ghost in the Shell
    I lump these together because that’s how it’s done. Three titles that are eternally joined at the hip for their role in the popularization of anime in the western hemisphere before my time. A whole generation of fans born from the blood and guts of these three films, I owe it to them to see these films, right? They have to be good, right?

    Well, maybe not. I gave them the benefit of the doubt for their importance to western fandom, and, well, they were movies, not a big time investment. I hated Akira, felt so-so about Ninja Scroll, and liked Ghost in the Shell enough, but didn’t think any of them were anything special. I guess I’m just not into (extreme) violence, gore, and nudity, especially at the senseless levels the three films indulged in (Extreme! This ain’t kids stuff man!).

    The Good
    Macross: Do You Remember Love?
    For years I had heard the stories that older generation anime fans told concerning the franchise, regaling tales of Robotech, Carl “The Butcher” Macek, and of course, DYRL. My first proper introduction to the Macross-verse was ’08 anime Macross Frontier (aside from an ill-conceived foray into Macross Zero and some random episodes of the original Macross Cartoon Network once showed). Yet I never put much thought into finding the movie (It’s so old! I told myself), and it was only through sheer chance and dumb luck did I stumble across the torrent when I was browsing my usual BT sites (thanks Live-eviL!). I decided, what the heck, let’s give it a shot.

    So I watched it. When it finished, I stopped, breathed slowly, took some moments in silent contemplation to collect my thoughts, got myself a tall glass of water, and then watched it again. And again the next night.

    I used to think, That’s such a strange name, “Do You Remember Love”. A pop idol singing a song to end a war? Only in anime. Yet after a span of 2 hours, it was all made clear to me. I finally understood the meaning of its title. “Do You Remember Love” is a love letter to the dreamers, a gift to those who love epic stories, gorgeous and detailed animation, and beautiful, moving music. The guys at Anime World Order podcast once said that DYRL embodied everything they loved about anime, and even though we were separated in watching the movie by decades, and our experiences wildly different and years apart, somehow, I felt the same.

    • The Longcoat says:

      “I cut my teeth on Toonami of the late 90s here in the US (DBZ, Gundam Wing, Cowboy Bebop), and my tastes can be derived from the qualities of those shows. Most of my favorites hail from that period around ‘97-’04, series with modern sensibilities, not so steeped in Japanese social conventions, a bit experimental, and before the advent of the moe aesthetic. I avoid: female-centric drama/romance (”romantic shoujo”), unfunny/extreme fanservice, and plain dumb stuff (most kiddy shows).”

      -Yes! Thank you! Someone else remembers when anime had class and true sophistication. The industry’s current state depresses me.

      Re: Macross: Do You Remember Love?

      You, Sir, have just successfully convinced me to watch Macross after many years of evading the franchise. Your use of language has moved me; That is how you pimp a show properly. I thank you for showing me the light.

      *leaves to find a copy*

      • WAIT WAT?

        I acknowledge the awesomeness of the above comment. I added it to: The Ghosts of Discussions even, http://welovecomments.wordpress.com/2009/10/10/kadian1364-on-macross-do-you-remember-love/

        BUT WTF HAVE I BEEN DOING ALL THIS TIME IN THIS BLOG BUT PIMP MACROSS???

        Anyway, go enjoy your anime. I have a HUEG post on DYRL? next week. It’s the post I was fucking born to write.

        *bangs head on wall*

        • The Longcoat says:

          With greatest respect and sincerity, your pimping is like, “Hey Macross is great you should watch it,” and I think, “Well a lot of people think Naruto and Bleach and One Piece are great too, but I hate those shows.”

          Kadian’s pimping reached out to connect to those of us who were on the fence about Macross by implying he had a very casual interest in the franchise. He also made note of a key potential roadblock to enjoying Macross: The highly ridiculous notion of using a pop singer as a key plot device to end a war. I saw it in Gundam SEED and it made me sick with dumbness, but Kadian put these fears to rest by acknowledging he had similar concerns, and how this same potentially-ridiculous aspect of Macross is what made it so moving. He also presented his account of watching DYRL and the effect it had on him like a story, and his use of emotive language to express the profoundness of his experience is what sold it to me.

          Perhaps you have written many-a-post conveying similar sentiments with equally expressive diction, but just now I have not the time to read through your admirably large archive, so I have yet to see it. Apologies.

          • Nah brah, not really offended LOL. I’m just being an ass. No one should be obligated to read all my posts. Sorry for making you feel like you ought to (though you really do MACROSS FUCK YEAH etc etc). Cheers!

          • The Longcoat says:

            lol I like the ending liner. You should make that your catchphrase whenever you enter an IRC channel. “I have arrived, Macross Fuck Yeah!”

          • kadian1364 says:

            Doumo, doumo! I’m much too vain a person to say I don’t enjoy the praise. Even a buffoon like myself can write something nice once in a while.

            But yeah, read some of ghostlightning’s backlogs if you ever find some spare time on your hands. I can only create such reviews about great shows; that old coot gl can take the most mundane of episodes and stupor inducing of topics and create the most intellectually engaging, life philosophizing, literary referencing tangential conversations ever. That takes real talent.

          • I really have to say that I vastly prefer the TV series to DYRL, even if it suffers from awful animation and some jumpy pacing at times. It’s the same issue that I have with modern Kawamori that causes me to dislike DYRL versus the TV series, and that is that he takes the emphasis away from the Skull Squadron’s struggle in space which was previously balanced with Minmay’s singing and puts it almost all on the whole idol “saving the space” atmosphere and Minmay.

            As a result previously good characters like Roy, Max, Kamjin, Britai, Exedore….hell just about everybody that isn’t Minmay and Hikaru end up suffering horribly. And I know somebody is probably going to tell me that DYRL does something with regard to taking the emphasis off mecha and putting it on the character, but the thing is all of this characters I have mentioned had plenty of good character scenes outside of combat that are just missing entirely in the movie. It’s just inexcusable before we even reach the fact that they cut out what may just be may favourite part of the TV series and one of the most original arcs I’ve seen as far as mecha anime go. The post war reconstruction.

            Sorry, but as pretty as DYRL is I think it’s a terrible movie adaptation of the story as a result of just how much it changes things and mostly for the worse. Maybe if they had done a triology like the Gundam movies or even a pair of movies it could have been worked for me.

          • You’re not going to enjoy this week’s Macrosstravaganza, where the main main thing is remembering love, and yes for the shows you enjoy least in the franchise:

            DYRL
            Macross Frontier episode 10, which is the king cheese of (fr)homage in remembering love for Macross Zero (a show you wouldn’t even watch).

    • Hehe, unlike you I was very much into that kind of gore, gratuitous violence, and nudity. I loved those three shows and still do.

      Thank you for sharing what you said about Macross: Do You Remember Love?. I’m moved, I’m happy, I’m very satisfied… for obvious reasons.

      Wait for my post this coming week on it where I go all out as part of WRL’s anniversary. It’s the post I was born to write ^_^

      • kadian1364 says:

        Thank you for adding me to your Ghost of Discussions. Now I can check it off of my bucket list. ^_^

        I’ll look forward to that anniversary post. I’m expecting an Itano Circus to come out of the screen!

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  14. X10A_Freedom says:

    Most of my earlier anime are recommendations from friends, but some were exceptionally “high-risk” when I watched them…

    The Good (in chronological order):

    2002: Gundam Seed
    I have had no idea nor interest in Gundam all my life. The year was 1991. I was living in Tokyo and in the “Primary 1 club” at the local activity centre, the boys decided to make a Gundam Shrine/omikoshi for the summer festival. I had no interest, and helped the girls do a real pretty flowery one. I felt great at the festival, because mine/the girls’ shrine looked awesome while the Gundam shrine was totally crap (from an objective view!).

    Time-skip to 2001 and during my trip to the Philippines, I watched eps 35-39 of Gundam Seed on Cartoon Network as my cousin was into it. The dub was horrific beyond belief but something got me hooked. I obtained the Japanese version and was blown away at the character behaviour, and the philosophy on war. #2 favourate.

    2006: School Rumble
    Got recommended this by my best friend in r/l at a time when I was thinking I really needed to give up anime for good. The over-action and silliness of the voice actresses made me go *bleh* but for some reason I got totally hooked. Definately one of the best comedies around and is my #5 favourate.

    2007: Aria (entire series)
    I was not a slice-of-life person back then and held off watching Aria for 9 months after the School Rumble friend recommended me this. First few episodes were a bore but it was great eyecandy so I forced myself on. Before I knew it, I was totally immersed in the amazing world of Aria. So much as to hop on a plane and visit Venice. My fav anime of all time.

    Less notable ones are Minami-ke, Zipang and Bakemonogatari.

  15. X10A_Freedom says:

    The Bad…luckily, it’s short!

    2006: Eureka 7
    Apparently epic, the first 4 episodes gave me such a great dissatisfaction with the main character that I had no choice but to drop this.

    2007: Haruhi
    Recommendation by my best friend in R/L (School Rumble, Aria). Great production values but I found Haruhi too much of a b*tch. Trolls, please burn me now.

    • You severely underestimate Renton, but that’s okay. I too probably miss out on a lot of good things when I drop shows. But let me tell you this though. I dropped E7 after 7 episodes back then, but I watched it in full this year and it’s now my second most favorite anime of all time.

      Check the archives for my posts on it at your leisure.

  16. asher says:

    First, my criteria. Generally, I have a slight bias for art and animation that I personally find appealing such as Death Note or Full Metal Panic, etc. Slam Dunk is not an example this but I liked it a lot because of how story was orchestrated. Initial D and Prince of Tennis series are likewise, not examples of likeable art but made it to my fave list because its contents are things that I personally like, i.e., cars and tennis. I am not a fan of shoujo or shonen ai, and I hate damsel in distress (DID)characters. In sum, good art and potential depth of story lines and character are a must, plus a fancy of me personal interest = risk to watch.

    The most recent anime that I took a risk on and ended up not regretting it was Baccano! I have no idea what it was and I just saw it in Animax. The sight of fully blooded man trying to suffocate a little boy intrigued me, plus to animation was gorgeous. The experience brought me endless days of opening song LSS, I learned to retrain myself from guessing ‘what-happens-next’ (it’s those kind of anime, given its format) and literally just enjoy the show. I’m still amaze that out of the many characters it had to offer for such a short series, I only ended up disliking one, and that’s even in the epilogue eps.

    I almost gave up on Honey and Clover had I not rewatched the first three episodes on the third attempt. I felt that the first two episodes were rather slow and I barely made it past ep 2 on the first couple of tries. I even thought that the art was kind unappealing so it was easy to pass up. Good thing on that relatively boring day, I decided to watching anime was a better way to waste time and didn’t stop since. I was even able to incorporate the Yamada, Mayama and Rika in Social Psychology which resulted in a hearty debate by my kids.

    Now, I said I’m not into shonen ai but I survived Gravitation and don’t really regret watching it. I did so after several reassurance from a friend and the plot was indeed okay, sans the outrageous concert outfits. There were also adorably fun chibi parts and the lead guy, um, looked nice. That was the first and last of that genre I ever saw.

    On to the present, I am trying to give Bakemonogatari a continuity attempt. Surprisingly, what turned me off was the constant use of the collage, cut-out animation. However, the characters appear intriguing enough and the saving grace was that there was something in ep 2 that I was able to clearly relate with psychology. Given these, especially the psych part, I hope I’d find the will to make time to continue it. On hiatus is ItaKiss, the immense martyrdom of lead girl began to annoy me. Finally, (sorry GL/MF) I’m not feeling Revolutionary Girl Utena that much. In terms of continuity, Bakemonogatari > RGU. The old school, exaggerated bishie art, hints of shojo ai and DIDness did it for me. I do agree that I’ll probably miss some epicness of the series (maybe for ItaKiss too) but I guess that’s one shade of epicness I’m willing to forgo.

    • By ‘your kids’ you mean your students in psychology right?

      I am very interested in how you did incorporate these characters/their narratives in class. What was the course, and what was the specific lesson? I think that it’s well worth doing a post on ^_^

      Of course there’s no real mandate to like the shows that I and mechafetish happen to like. I just know that from experience that there are many shows worth the second chance (I used to dislike the whole Gundam franchise, and I had dropped Eureka SeveN once too). However, there is no hard and fast rule that will tell you how your experience of a show will change.

      • asher says:

        Yes, but these were non-Psych freshman students who took up General Psychology. On the module of Social Psych, their previous knowledge regarding self-concept, stereotypes, attraction and relationships (some social psych concepts) were elicited by means of playing “Dr. Love” and giving love advise (hormonal adolescents–go figure : ). The ‘letter sender’ is characteristic of Yamada asking what she should do. Their responses varied from the sender being too stupid or a martyr, to blaming “Mayama” for giving the sender hope or a wrong message. Of course this was rebutted by some who said something like why would “Mayama” change the way he’d interact ‘with a friend AS as friend’. IIRC, even some hinted that Rika should also stop giving Mayama something to think/hope about regarding their situation.

        Btw, the names were changed as not everyone relates to anime. I just incorporated it because the original letter in the module was typical–H & C was more interesting XD.

  17. Gorilla says:

    I have little to no interest in sports, so sports anime were always at the botttom of my list. But then I read good things about Hikaru no Go and decided to give it a try and I was blown away by the epicness of it. I loved every part of the show story,characters,animation and music. Since then sports has become one of my favourite genres because of Hajime no Ippo and Major which are two other personal favourites of mine.

    • That’s a big turnaround, and from a rather non-action packed activity such as go too! Sports anime aren’t my preferred genre, but I have no particular dislike for it. The Slam Dunk manga (and anime) is something I’m very, very fond of. And for a time, I had loved The Prince of Tennis as well.

  18. DonKangolJones says:

    OK, there only certain genres that I outright despise. Those are hentai, yaoi & the dreaded HAREM!!! I don’t mean stuff with harem elements. I’ve enjoyed more than my fair share of those. I mean Love Hina, Tenchi Muyo types of harem. One guy, half dozen to a dozen hot & crazy females & a ridiculous premise to all join them together into one tight space.

    I found the highly acclaimed Ai Yori Aoshi, loaded it up onto my screen and awaited the horror. I usually drop these things so fast you can’t even call them a viewing. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that I found Ai Yori Aoshi incredibly endearing, and engrossing… for the first 4-5 episodes! Then they moved to a mansion to cover their asses, started moving in crazy bimbos & I said f*ck it! No more! I’m not sitting around for something that probably never ends and is going to be full of this mess. Goodbye. In short, I regretted it. It made me full of regrets. And that… is regrettable. Indeed.

    Curiously, the one hentai that I EVER thought was decent was a harem. Koihime. I suppose Kanokon & Clannad count as well. But I think Kanokon fits much better into the ecchi category, if I had to single one out. And Clannad as a whole was so spectacular, that I refuse to shove it into that category! I refuse!

    • Same man. While I don’t hate harem the same way as you, I certainly haven’t gone out of my way to watch them and I don’t intend to do so any time soon.

      As for H, I can’t say that I really watch H the same way I watch other anime, if you know what I mean.

  19. DonKangolJones says:

    *SMACKS FOREHEAD* How could I forget Haruhi & Lucky Star?! Those are probably the two biggest risks I took this year! Lucky Star was a risk because I had heard how it catered heavily to otaku, especially anime otaku who love Haruhi. I thought I would be lost & probably wouldn’t get the humor. I was wrong. Even without seeing Haruhi at the moment, it still touched home & was hilarious. I always get excited anytime I see Konata walk into a manga store. Now that I’ve finally scene Haruhi I have to rewatch the show.

    The Mela– f*ck it. HARUHI is long enough! When I decided to watch Haruhi, I VERY much expected it to be over-hyped and for my viewing experience to fall woefully flat (like my time with Fate/Stay Night & Shakugan no Shana … That’s right! I know there are rabid fans who loved both show, but I found both to be terribly boring, mundane & flat). I hated the dance that went along with the show & everything about it screamed, “WASTE OF TIME” to me. I was wrong. I’m even inclined to call the show a masterpiece for it’s unique format & ingenious execution. Like Lucky Star it slowly won me over & by the time she & Nagato performed at the culture fest it was a complete KO.

    Kind of off subject, but I found it funny that my wife had the reaction I expected to have & I had her expected reaction. She hated the show & thought it was stupid as hell. She also thinks Haruhi is a mega-b*tch. I agree on that point, but most everyone around is full of WIN. (blows kiss to Future Asahina) She doesn’t read the blog, so I should be safe. <..> ^__^

  20. BobaFetish says:

    +1 on series already mentioned: E7, Aria, Honey and Clover. Aria in particular: I found it extremely hard to watch until I discovered the best method was to turn the brain completely off and absorb it vegetable-style.

    Rewarded for: Tenshi na Konamaiki. Back when anime distribution was mainly IRC-based, I was browsing around and found eps 16-19 or something on a random filelist and watched those. If I had started from the beginning, I don’t think I would have got past episode 6, but after watching the whole series (took Anime-Empire three years or so to sub 52 episodes, I believe) I felt very rewarded despite the relatively poor animation quality and uncomfortable plot concept. It’s one of my favorites based on the strength of the humor and insightfulness into anime tropes (the four males in the series are almost explicitly labeled as Manly Idiot Delinquent, Cool Perfect Guy, Normal Dude, Pervert). But the ball doesn’t get rolling until episode 7 or 8, and up until that point some of the humor just isn’t very good. The two friends of mine who’ve finished the series enjoyed it immensely, but if Bakemonogatari is a hard sell for some people, you should try pitching a shonen series in which four guys try to get with a girl who thinks she used to be a man, and repeatedly tells them so. All the characters are just as uncomfortable with this as the viewers are, though.

    I’m sure the last paragraph tl;dr will be completely forgotten when I mention that my biggest letdown was TTGL. While TTGL was certainly stylish, I loathed the main characters and philosophy. For the Sunday morning target audience it may be fine, but as an adult I couldn’t like a production that condones brute force, penis power, and unwavering fanatical belief in one’s own righteousness as the ideal solution to all problems. Certainly it’s a _good_ solution occasionally, but in TTGL everyone who has a differing (strawman) viewpoint is a villain. Paint an American or Japanese flag on the enemy mechs and it could be a WWII propaganda cartoon.

    As for Kamina and by extension, Simon… well, I would argue that he’s not the epitome of manliness fans make him out to be. I definitely have a place in my heart for headstrong iconoclast heroes (Captain Harlock, Roy Focker, Shell Bullet Kazuma) but they typically have maturity and a backstory that provides a contrasting perspective. Kamina’s what, 17? I thought his manliness was shallow, more about bluster and arrogance and being the kind of guy that crushes beer cans against his forehead. I kept watching the series, desperately wanting to like it and hoping Gainax would add depth to the show, and came out very disappointed at the end. And now, I take a perverse pleasure in actively disliking a show for which there pretty much is a “Love This Show” mandate.

    Oh, and the final costume change was uuuuuuuuuuuuugggly.

    • I may just look up Tenshi na Konamaiki. You make it sound interesting.

      Wow you really disliked many of the shows I really really love! I’m an adult, and such childishness is inspiring for me. I wouldn’t argue it’s righteousness gosh no, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I cried as much in uplifted glee after my recently concluded fifth viewing of TTGL.

  21. Omisyth says:

    I flat out dislike shoujo and most fanservice and harem shows and I’m fairly ambivalent towards romance and mecha. Otherwise, I normally look forward to most shows when I see the preview for each season. I think I’m one of those people who expect a show to audition for me and impress me, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If it’s good enough for me, I’ll watch it, but if it’s just not for me I’m going to try not to waste my time with it. That’s somewhere between discerning and overly-critical, which is good enough for me.

    Shows I took a chance on and regretted: To-Love-Ru, Kanamemo, Needless, Chaos Head, Rosario To Vampire, Wampire Knight, Narbari no Ou Kanokon

    Shows I took a chance on that rewarded me: Potemayo, Zettai Karen Children, Tower of Druaga, Blassreiter.

    Some of the ones in the “reward” list are in genres within my parameters of interest but the first episodes didn’t impress. I’m definitely glad I stuck with them when all’s said and done though. It’s a shame though, that I could go on and on with the “regret” list instead of the “reward” list.

    Also, note the absence of Basquash in the “regret” list. THAT’S RIGHT I LIKED IT.

    • The less time you have (and it’s started now!) the harsher you’ll get I think. I’ve started getting a lot busier, and I’ve been quicker to drop shows as a result. The reason I made this post more about your (our) personal decision making is to focus on the part that an enjoyable experience takes both what the shows got, and what we bring to the table as well (in terms of past experience with life, similar shows, etc) as well as the expectations that come with it.

      I want to say here that our harshness and dismissiveness has less to do with the objective shortcomings of the show. A recent post of yours comes to mind, the one about the difficulty of enjoying everything.

      Sometimes even I can only give a show so much of myself. I had just decided that I’m not going to even try Trapeze, despite the recommendations of people I happen to like.

  22. sadakups says:

    I’m a mecha fan too, but I’m usually open to other genres, but when watching other genres, I tend to be really cautious and I was ready to drop a show if it fails to entertain me for three straight episodes.

    I was recommended by a friend to watch Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, despite that I’m not much into moe, but boy, I was in for an unforgettable anime experience after watching the first five episodes, and I realized that I had a knack for mystery.

    Same goes for shoujo titles. When I first saw Lovely Complex, despite not being the first shoujo title I’ve seen, the show turned me into a fan of the genre. I may not look like it, but there are some good shoujo titles around there.

    And of course, there’s Honey and Clover. I can’t thank you enough, ghostlightning, for the recommendation. I’ve watched both seasons twice already and I still like it.

    For this new season though, I’m still finding it hard to get attached to certain titles, maybe except for Kimi ni Todoke and Natsu no Arashi 2, as both shows had a good start.

    • Shoujo: Revolutionary Girl Utena. Rock your world. It’s rocking mine.

      I’m happy you really got something out of Honey and Clover. I enjoyed Kimi no Todoke’s pilot too, and I’ve decided to keep watching… same with Letter Bee.

  23. DK Eternity says:

    I’m quite open to different genres, except for shoujo. I’m also quite careful in picking shows when it comes to stuff like slice of life and romance. And with that…

    The Good:

    Aria – Like I said, I pick my slice of life shows carefully, and I decided to give this a try after a friend told my how much he liked it. I was surprised to find that it was quite an experience to watch and be immersed in the whole Aria experience.

    Macross Frontier – Okay, this is a somewhat different kind of scenario. I’m a mecha fan, but I was never able to really get into Macross, which made me hesitant to actually start watching it. However, I decided to give this a try not too long ago, and found it to be just plain awesome (except for episode 8 of course). It kinda made me regret not starting Macross sooner… Now, I’m finishing up SDF Macross and will watch DYRL after that.

    Haruhi – I haven’t really read the light novels before it aired, so I initially thought it was gonna be one of those school life shows where Haruhi gets people caught up in her crazy antics. I gave it a try anyway, and really enjoyed it. Great story, great comedy, great characters. Definitely an awesome experience. After I finished watching, I began to read the light novels as well, because I really enjoyed the Haruhi experience.

    And now, the bad:

    Kanamemo – I just gave this one a try out of curiosity. I found the first couple of episodes to be somewhat boring and almost decided to quit, then saw a good episode and decided to continue. After that, the show just went downhill for me, but I was able to finish without dropping it. I admit this show does have its moments, but overall I was disappointed in it.

    Vampire Knight – It’s Shoujo, but I thought that this show will also have a lot of action, so it will probably be okay. I continued watching it, hoping to see some awesome action scenes, but I never really did get what I was looking for, and I guess the show never grew on me…

    And the risk I’m taking for this season:

    Kimi ni Todoke – Shoujo… Definitely not my type of show, but after hearing a lot of good things about this show, I decided to try it out. So far, episode 1 was unexpectedly good. Let’s see if I can continue watching this all the way to the end.

    • I’m risking on Kimi ni Todoke as well. I like Noto Mamiko a lot (the seiyuu for Sawako) and this has contributed to my appreciation of the show, not that it’s going to be enough to keep me interested should it start getting boring.

      Save for Macross Frontier for obvious reasons, the shows that were rewarding risks for you are the same for me. Aria is wonderful, and I had a lot of fun with Haruhi’s show.

  24. schneider says:

    Nowadays I follow shows of any genre with some very few exceptions (no yaoi), but until my uni days, I only wanted to watch shounen.

    Good:

    Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex – My anime mentor pushed this show into me, which I had a lot of misgivings with. I wasn’t into anime that made me think back then, but SAC can still be enjoyed in layers. It felt very much like a futuristic western law-enforcement thriller, with a whole array of deep topics to dig in. It polarized me against the movie, though–SAC’s Major kicked so much ass compared to the movie’s Major (who represents a kind of robo-moe for me). I know you don’t like it, but I find its plotting nothing short of amazing.

    H&C – A friend gave me this for the Christmas break and I started it on a whim. And, just wow.

    Giant Robo – I was actually trolled to start on Giant Robo. Before it, I didn’t like the retro aesthetic and thought that steampunk was dumb. And now it’s on my MAL favorites.

    Aria – Aria’s not my kind of show either but it is a great relaxation tool (and a cure for insommia).

    Kure-nai – I didn’t know what to expect from this show. That worked in my favor, as Kure-nai is really one-of-a-kind, melding drama, slice-of-life comedy and action together. Also got me out of my loli-hate. Murasaki is MAI DOTTA

    Bartender – I thought this was some bartending competition anime! It turns out that Ryu Sasakura helps patrons through his GLASS OF GODS. Really lovely episodic show (written by Imagawa to boot).

    Gundam X – I think you know the story to this already: that I hated this show when it aired on local TV, being unable to appreciate the lack of robots blowing each other up (compared to Wing). Then I checked it out again. It’s not excellent, but it’s about humanity’s capacity to endure hardships, right wrongs and carve a future by themselves. Garrod and Tiffa’s relationship is one of the most uplifting things I’ve seen in anime. A proto-Renton x Eureka actually.

    Turn-A Gundam – I was that close to dropping this since I couldn’t stand the weird moustache head (and again, lack of pew pew), but I steeled myself until there came a point that I was actually enjoying myself. Now Turn-A is my favorite Gundam design.

    Nanoha – Not a fan of magical girls but Nanoha provided quality SRW fanservice, of all shows. I watched up to StrikerS and didn’t think it was all bad.

    Bad:

    Higurashi – I watched this back during the Higurashi craze in 2006, but by episode 17 I had all but lost interest. Dropped without regrets.

    Clannad movie – I watched Air movie prior to this and thought it was okay, so I wanted to go out of my way to sample more Key works. Big mistake. I hated this movie so much that I had to watch the TV series to get rid of the bad aftertaste. It worked, kinda. But I won’t watch any more Key shows. (except maybe for that Angel Beats show, where apparently everyone is DEEEEEEEEEEAD from the start)

    Shana – Okay it’s not bad, but by episode 3 I just forgot all about it.

    Dragonaut – Lol Gonzo, big-name seiyuu cannot carry a shitty show.

    Hmm, I’m surprised I remember so little bad experiences in comparison, but maybe that’s because I hate dropping shows…

    • I did try Higurashi for an episode and got bored real quick. Otherwise your regrets list has shows I’ve little desire to try myself.

      As for Gits:SAC, it’s a case of really wanting to like the show, but can’t find myself doing so. I get why you like it. After all I did read the manga and loved it. The TV series was quite relevant to my interests, but I just can’t get into it.

  25. TheBigN says:

    True Tears and ef: Adaptations of a game genre that I don’t usually follow because of some preconceived notions (ah-ha!), both pulled me in for certain reasons (for the former Noe all the way for better or worse, for the latter, the SHAFT influence no doubt), and I don’t regret watching those shows.

    I don’t regret watching CANAAN either; in fact, I did quite enjoy it. And that’s really all that I want from a series, since it’s easier and usually more fun to take something as it is than as something that you want or expect it to be.

  26. gloval says:

    I’ve mentioned it before that I tend to find something to like about the shows that I’ve watched. However, I did have an interesting experience with Lucky Star. Do you know Josh, the guy who has arranged a vast collection of anime sheet music? He’s a college friend, and back in 2007 he suggested that I watch Lucky Star, so I checked out the first episode.

    I saw the cheerdancing OP and all the talking and talking and that extended discussion on food and all the while I had this bristling uncomfortable feeling. Maybe I wasn’t used to the extreme dose of moe and loli/chibi stuff, unlike what I thought myself to be. Anyway, my impression was that the show was brave, but I got to pass.

    A few months later, Macross Frontier Deculture Edition had shown and it was a long wait before the season proper. I was back immersed in anime and decided to stay there while waiting for Frontier. I stumbled back into Josh’s online anime sheet music collection, which now also featured videos. I noticed how his videos remembers love on Lucky Star and I thought, wow he must’ve really liked that show a lot. So with nothing else to do, I gave it another try, also curious at why Josh loved it.

    Strangely, I no longer had that uncomfortable feeling (maybe I finally had enough exposure to moe and loli/chibi). I realized too that I’ve watched similar shows in live action (Friends come to mind). It was a great fun ride, filled with laughs and occasional edifying emotions. The wait for Macross Frontier became bearable.

  27. Slice of Life is my current uphill battle when it comes to approaching a genre I’m not typically inclined to watch if given other options. For many people it seems like they revere it as the definitive genre that stands above all others as inherently praiseworthy (at least that’s the impression I get), but to me it just seems like every Slice of Life series coming out nowadays is exactly the same except for one (which I will mention). Here’s the formula I keep coming across. You grab yourself a group of 4-5 quirky female characters, throw them into wacky situations that generally include most of the following:

    – Trip to Kyoto
    – Summer class woes
    – The girl working at a cafe (in this case, cosplay)
    – Meeting of new students after a long break
    – New Years
    – Christmas
    – Sleepovers
    – Sports festival
    – Beach episode

    and watch them do their thing and react in a very predictable manner based on a singular defining dominant character trait. I just can’t crack this genre for the most part the way it’s been going for me. I’ve been trying to find a gateway title for a while, but so far the only Slice of Life series (and people are probably going to tell me it’s not somehow) that I’ve regarded as memorable that I’ve seen was Welcome to The NHK, which actually dealt with some issues. Unfortunately I have not seen anything that seems to be in the same style.

    So then this Slice of Life thing:

    The Bad:

    Manabi Straight: I’ll probably get shot by digiboy for this, but I managed to pull off only a few episodes before I decided this wasn’t going anywhere remotely interesting in my eyes. I think the scene where I dropped it cold was when there was a 5 minute music video of the girls shopping and posing all “cool” with one of the series many singles playing in the background.

    K-On: Through some force of will I managed to finish this, but where I guess I should have felt a feeling of accomplishment there was only this hollow feeling that goes with wasted time. My problem with it is the same as mentioned above. Too derivative, bland characterization, over-commercialization and just generally a sense of boredom while watching the same old gags and quips getting replayed over and over throughout a comparitively short 12 episodes. It felt like the show ran out of steam around the 1/3 mark.

    The Medicore:

    Haruhi: I’ve gone from hating to liking to hating to casually liking to just plain being indifferent over this series 3 year rampage across the anime scene. At first I was curious as to why it was so popular, then I thought it had some merit, then I was put off yet again by the whole atmosphere surrounding the franchise and various fanboyisms, then I came to live with it, but in the end it just left me feeling rather indifferent and the second season hasn’t done much to alleviate that feeling.

    Lucky Star: As Slice of Life comedy’s go this one has left me with some of the least feelings of disinterest and dismay upon it finishing. It could be genuinely funny and amusing, but it could also get caught up in that commercialism that I dislike, which plagued the second half of the TV series run in way that made it seem more like a commercial for Kadokawa than anything. The OVA helped alleviate those feelings a bit by being pretty fun, but as time goes on it has slipped into obscurity and thus is not really memorable to me at all.

    The Good:

    Welcome to The NHK: For all the bashing Gonzo gets that seems more like sport than it does a sincere reprimand I think they did an amazing job with this one. I immediately found myself attracted to Sato and his quest to cure his hikkikomorism for several reasons. One is that he came across as fairly well developed in the real sense and not just in the character appeal sense. Another is that he actually came to feel like more of a real person than his counterpart in that he had flaws and they weren’t just played for laughs, but were really serious issues with his personality such as distrust of others and delusion as to the way the world worked. Add to that a cast of characters that complement his day to day activities and share their own stories, flaws, virtues and struggles in life and you have pretty much the only slice of life series I can call truly memorable in any way that I’ve seen so far.

    ….Unless PlanetES qualifies which I’m sure somebody will tell me it doesn’t. But seriously if anyone wants to recommend me a Slice of Life show based on what I actually would like to see out of the genre then be my guest. I don’t care about years or when it was made, I just want to see what something good….even if I’ll probably never see it as an inherently superior genre.

    • “Inherently superior” is a lulz concept. Do you think mecha is an inherently superior genre?

    • TheBigN says:

      Manabi Straight: I’ll probably get shot by digiboy for this

      You mean shot by me when you say this. It gets “better” in ways that you might have liked to see, especially given the typical responses you have to these shows.

      And what ghostlightning said. 😛

  28. Martin says:

    Excellent post…’scuse the late reply. Two very good points here: one, it’s easy to see how some older fans get burnt-out and disillusioned. Many of us watch less over time, but some wind up with an “Everything that’s new sucks!” attitude that’s hard to shake off, usually accompanied by a “The fans suck too!” POV. At that point the best thing to do is take a step back and give yourself a break from the fandom altogether. Or…

    point two: get out your comfort zone and mine for a new vein of entertainment value, as it were. When I felt like things were getting stale and uninspiring, I just dug for quality in different areas…and the sensation of pleasant surprise was as strong as it must have been for you.

    Initially I was almost exclusively a sci-fi and thriller fan. Fortunately, directors often work across different genres, so I was able to diversify while still feeling like I was on familiar ground. I got away from Gunbuster/NGE-style mecha and into romcom via Anno’s work on Kare Kano; Serial Experiments: Lain moved me in the direction of Haibane Renmei thanks to ABe’s character designs, and it turned out to be one of my all-time faves. I’ve been in love with the picturesque melancholic dramas and headscratchers ever since.

    One thing I can’t explain is how I enjoyed Clannad! Moe has never appealed to me and I’ve not sampled any Key adaptations before or since, but if I let that bias my views I would never had even watched it…nor Lucky Star or K-On!, come to that. Oddly, Tsukihime introduced me to Type Moon stuff but with hindsight it was the weakest adaptation of their work so far. I’m amazed I became such a fan of Nasu’s writing really, given how notoriously downplayed it was compared with F/S N and KnK.

    • Thanks! I really wanted to get people talking about their biases outside the context of ‘biased reviewing’ — that is as if they’re bad people for having such biases.

      One thing I love about what you said is how it made me think about how some annotated blogrolls’ comment on WRL’s variety… this is something I would never have thought about myself very much. Your story makes for a pretty good analog with how the blog went along the way it did, a year later (though I haven’t taken the plunge re Key game adaptations). I would’ve been happy just making a Macross fansite, but I’m really glad to be able to put out posts like this that gets the kind of responses it does.

  29. Sakura says:

    I adore mecha and even if the anime itself falls short I can at least take pleasure in the mecha itself.

    Gundam Seed Destiny being an example of that. Currently re-watching Gundam Seed and in doing so it really does make me feel even more, that Destiny was just major character assassination. Instead of building on our previous season, lets reduce everyone to a shell of what they were. (Should probably do a post on that.)

    Having said that, mecha isn’t my only love and I try to judge shows on their premise and trailers to see if I’ll like the look of them. But if you’ve decided you don’t like a particular kind of show then that just amounts to weeding out the type you like from the type you do and only watching those. I’m pretty biased in that if I see moe, fanservice or harem I’m not particularly inclined to give it a go. Just seeing pictures of something like Clannad was enough to make me stay away. Seeing moe in a mecha setting would probably be enough to turn me off, even if the mecha looked sweet.

    Having said that, I felt rewarded by Ouran High School Host Club and Nadeshiko Shichi Henge. Both Haremish (one girl numerous boys), but not really in that cliche Harukanaru sort of way.

    Both more shoujo really and hella funny, so maybe they don’t really count as looking outside of my anime bubble since I like shoujo. Probably helped they weren’t overly fanservice, well Ouran maybe a little.

    I did take a chance on Strawberry Marshmellow and was really surprised by how much I loved it despite all the cute floating around.

  30. Pingback: On Enjoying Works You Don’t Like and liking works you didn’t enjoy « We Remember Love

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