I posit that it is possible to dislike a show or manga despite the fact that one enjoyed the experience of it. Just the same, it is possible to like a work despite the overall experience of it being not enjoyable. I am suggesting that is not inauthentic to say that “I didn’t really enjoy reading Narutaru, but I like it anyway.” Or, “I enjoyed watching the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann movies, but dislike them anyway.”
For me, both cases are true, and this complicates the admittedly unimportant activities like rating these works (on MAL or melative for example). In both cases, I can honestly say I can recommend both works to others (with caveats).
Here’s a short list of works that I didn’t enjoy watching/reading but like anyway: (links are to blog posts I’ve done on these works)
- Mobile Suit Gundam F91
- Space Runaway Ideon (movies)
- The Prince of Tennis (manga, TV anime, and movie)
- The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi (2nd Season, ENDLESS EIGHT)
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion
- The Grave of the Fireflies
- Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji
- Mobile Suit ZZ Gundam
Sometimes, the case can be complex perhaps. I hate Mobile Suit ZZ Gundam, but I like the fact that I watched it. I won’t recommend it to anyone, but I’m happier that I’ve finished it rather than dropping it.
This may have to do with the satisfaction of being able to endure something I hate passionately, in the name of love for the Gundam franchise, but I’m not sure. Perhaps it has to do with how many fans dash themselves on these cliffs and perhaps never recover. This can apply to some of the above which I consider important or noteworthy, or just part of a franchise that I love.
Note that this isn’t about feeling good because the show looks good on my resume, but rather a sense of accomplishment in having experienced and developing an opinion on a work that has provoked a lot of discussion — regardless whether I write about it or not. More importantly, these shows are referenced by other shows and I value this ability to ‘remember love’ very highly.
Here’s a short list of works that I enjoyed watching/reading but disliked anyway:
- School Rumble (manga)
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (movies)
- Macross II: Lovers Again
- Project A-Ko
In the case of School Rumble, the ending screwed it up for me. It’s special in that the chapters leading up to the end were actually very enjoyable and hinted at resolutions or at least progressions that would have been awesome indeed. So the increased anticipation, plus spectacular disappointment led to me getting really really pissed off.
In the case of the TTGL movies, I felt that the fanservice was valued more than anything else; I felt like I ate a huge pizza topped with hamburgers and ice cream. I can’t say I didn’t enjoy seeing all those new robots and drills, but I don’t think the show needed any more drills.
It’s hard to make a rule to govern or explain this, but I am interested if either or both of these things ever happens to you, and your reasons when they do. Let me know!
Harsh! Consuming Media Not-So-Related to Our Interests – In this post I talked about moods as well as consuming works outside our interests. These aren’t major considerations for the topic at hand.