Saying Nice Things About Anime Genres I Like Less

When it gets right down to it, there are great and terrible anime in every single genre. I can’t count the amount of times someone tells me they dislike a specific type of anime only to have their next favorite be of that type. But even with a gaping open mind…*ewww why did I have to phrase it this way?* most of us can’t help having a few preconceived ideas whenever we approach certain shows. I do too.

anime confused girl

straight talk – I’m no sure where this is going…

Let’s face it, if there are anime genres you like more, or tend to gravitate towards, then there are some you like less. I usually watch a pretty wide range of series and have been lucky enough to find titles I really enjoy in just about every genre. However, diving through my Anilist stats has revealed that I do indeed have favorites and less favorites. What’s more, the gap between the two is wider than I would have thought.

Given the limitations of seemingly existing in a linear space time, it’s pretty natural to jump to quick assumptions and discount a series offhand just because it seems to fit a certain type. You physically can’t watch everything so choices must be made. I don’t want to do that though. Cause I’m  baby. And also, my tastes are varied enough to accommodate pretty much any base and weird enough that I can’t afford to not give an interesting sounding series a chance regardless of the rest. Not to mention that being a baby, I also get bored rather quickly if I watch the same thing over and over again so I can’t afford to discount entire genres.

In an effort to keep myself ready to seize all the best anime opportunities (anportunity? No that’s dumb, nevermind), I’m doing an exercise in positivity, today. I’m going to point out all the general qualities and high points traditionally associated with genres I tend to like less. Here we go.

anime enthusiastic

yay!

According to Anilist, my worst rated genre is Ecchi. I was really surprised to see this so low on my list. I adore NGNL and have a good appreciation of animated T&A. However, it turns out that a lot of shows I found excruciatingly boring also fall in the genre. But Ecchi has a lot going for it. If we look at the artistic and design merits of anime then what could be better than a show entirely build around being attractive and enticing. Anime is a visual medium and Ecchi takes full advantage of that. Also titties! I think I’ve made my point here.

Anilist also thinks I dislike Reverse Harems. This is downright ridiculous. I have made it very clear that reverse harems are a light in my dark grey world. I don’t know why I phrased it that way… The world is beautiful. I’m having a weird wording day. I consistently rate these shows on the low side because let’s face it, quality is questionable but personal enjoyment is through the roof! I do not need to convince myself here. Anilist seems to be under the mistaken impression that I’m not that fond of traditional harems either but that’s once again failure to properly contextualize the ratings I give. Sure I have found a bunch of harems boring, stupid or borderline insulting (name of my high school band,), but I already have excellent pro arguments too. Namely No Game No Life ( really representing Irina’s less favourite genres today), KonoSuba and Steins;Gate. It is more than worth sitting through dozens of boring anime to get to any one of those.

But let’s forget about AniList. Like I said, it’s based on ratings and those fail to take into account to many variables to really give you the full picture. Instead, I’m a self aware girl who knows herself…. Yeah, let’s go with that. So let’s talk about the genres I think I dislike.

anime wait

this post keeps getting away from me, what even was that last sentence?

High Drama. It’s not so much that I dislike drama rather than I’m simply very picky with it. I like it subdued and as naturalistic as possible or so exaggerated as to become comedy. Anything that falls into repetitive melodrama just gets on my nerves. But drama is one of the cornerstones of fiction. Life isn’t all fun and games and any good story is going to reflect that at some point. Even a sappy melodrama can be a great way of exploring some of those more difficult aspects of life and practicing a bit of empathy without having anyone go through real hardship. Basically watching dramas will make you a better person!

Finally, we have my personal kryptonite: Romance. And romance series have their good aspects too. There’s the…*sales and viewership numbers*. Ok wait I’ll do it seriously. There’s…um..? Well that general popularity does help in securing higher budgets which although they do not guarantee better quality do help considerably with production value?

Oh fine.. Love is a wonderful thing and one of the few real life magics we have access to. Experiencing a little bit of it, even vicariously, is worth your time. There’s something deeply satisfying about seeing a character you’ve grown to care about finally find a fulfilling relationship…. I assume. Also Nozaki-kun! That show is pure romance and it’s the best. I should get some Nozaki-kun art for my banner.

Actually, that’s pretty much all I can think of for genres I’m less fond of. And two of them are only there because ruthless statistics bullied me into adding them. I did enjoy this little exercise though. Now that I think of it Revolutionary Girl Utena is both very clearly a drama and a romance and it’s amazing. I may just have talked myself into a romantic series. A real one where the relationship is the central focus point of the plot. Ok this is a weird place. I’m not sure I’ve been here before. I can’t believe I’m saying this but do you guys have any romance anime to suggest????

P.S. I recommend taking the time to find qualities in genres you dislike, even if it’s just as a thought experiment. It’s a nice way to remind you why you like anime!

Junko smiling

trust me! would I ever lead you astray?

Irina

I'm much nicer than I seem, we should be friends!

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53 Responses

  1. Brooke says:

    I swear, this computer is MALFUNCTIONING!!! I go and like some stuff that I SWEAR I liked before but they say they haven’t and next thing I know, they’re UNLIKED again and I have to like ALL of them again!!!

  2. According to AniList, my three least favourite genres (by mean score) are ecchi, music and mecha in that order. “Music” mostly refers to music videos, with the exception of song-driven shows like Classicaloid, so I couldn’t care less about it, but I am quite aware of how much I am not in favour the other genres.

    To be honest, I’ve been stuck on how to write a post called “Mecha and I Have a Complicated Relationship” for a while, but it seems insensitive to put it out during Lita and Scott’s Mecha March and it escapes my train of thought very other month (i.e. procrastination). The fact I’m watching Egao no Daika (Price of Smiles) and think quite highly of shows such as Concrete Revolutio and Planet With probably doesn’t help things.

    I would’ve thought sports was lower on my AniList stats since I’ve shied away from most of the big sports anime, but it’s at 10 of 18, i.e. right in the middle. To be fair, that does include my PTW and the occasional anime club episode warping the stat…

  3. Pete Davison says:

    I think what this highlights more than anything is that pigeonholing things by genre is not super-helpful — probably the prime example here is the fact that you brought up NGNL for both ecchi and harem without even mentioning the fact it is also an isekai anime, and a heavily stylised anime, and… and… you get the idea!

    Okay, yes, certain shows do have certain things in common, and there are certain trends and tropes that wax and wane in popularity, but I’ve seen plenty of evidence over the years that liking one particular show in one particular genre doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be a fan of that genre as a whole. I have a friend who adores Konosuba but isn’t big on other isekai, for example. The opposite is also true; I know several people who claim to despise CGDCT shows but are all over K-On.

    Ultimately it pays to have an open mind and, now and again, try things that you’re less familiar with or don’t know anything about. You might find a new favourite. You might also find something that you hate, but you won’t know unless you try! Your reaction to every individual creative work, regardless of genre, is going to be different, so it pays to cast your net wide.

  4. Krystallina says:

    Isekai has some wonderful fantasy worlds…I just wish more of them had protagonists born on them and not magically teleported!

    Horror can also creep me out and often too graphic for my tastes, but it’s the kind of genre that can have a lot of impact and makes you see if you caught all the hints.

  5. BiblioNyan says:

    It’s so weird for my that I always *think* I loathe reverse harems, but I find most of the ones I’ve seen to be entertaining enough to toss on to my list of shtick to watch when I’m feeling down. The same can be said for straight romance. Not a fan of the genre but one of my favourite serials is all about romance (well, two technically although the second is RomCom) and that’s Ore Monogatari. Not a big lover of sports anime either but Initial D is my life and soul haha. 😆😆

  6. Dawnstorm says:

    I’m not sure whether people are going to believe this, but I’ve never let genre stop me from watching a show. I do have a few genres that aren’t exactly a draw: mecha, for example. I find giant robots boring by themselves, but if you’ve got good designs all’s forgiven. I can probably name a lot of mecha shows I like without even thinking too long (Evangelion, Break Blade, Star Driver, Planet With…).

    Similarly, I’m not exactly fond of reverse harems, but I’m saying in a season where Tokyo Meiji Renka is among my favourites show, and when I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ll do with the Fruits Basket reboot next season. And then there are shows like Yona I keep forgetting count as reverse harems, so there’s that. Hakuoki is fun, too. Wait, did I say I don’t like reverse harems? Um…. Amnesia was bad (mostly, it had its moments).

    I used to say I don’t much like sports anime, but I’ve given up saying that. Run with the Wind is awesome. So is Haikyuu. Or Ping Pong – the Animation. And that’s not counting all the off-beat shows, like say Basquash (basketball with giant robots – yeah, a mecha sports show, oh and not just any basketball with giant robots – street basketball with giant robots, not that boring televised stuff – you don’t want to live in those neighbourhoods, when what amounts to wreckingball bounces off the house you’re living in…).

    I’m completely aromantic. I’m in my fourties, male and heterosexual, and never had a girlfriend, and I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I don’t get what romance is about, and how it’s different from friendship. It’s not just sex, I’m told. I’m sure they know what they’re talking about, but I don’t. So naturally, romance is one of my favourite genres.

    So I have plenty of recommendations: try True Tears. (I’m kidding. It’s both a romance and drama – and when I say drama, I mean Mari-Okada original melodrama, so you don’t get much more dramatical. The show’s just quirky enough that there’s an off chance you’ll like it despite it all, but it wouldn’t be my first recommendation to you, though. It’s got potential, but it’s far from a safe bet. It is one of my favourites, though.)

    Hmm… how about Mysterious Girlfriend X. There’s this new tranfer student, and she’s a real weirdo. Her hair covers her eyes, and she starts laughing out loud during class for no reason at all (well, she has a reason, but she doesn’t share it). Our protagonist is curious. When class is over, he finds she has drooled onto her desk while she was sleeping during class. So without knowing why he finds himself tasting her saliva. This surpises and shocks him, but it’s fine. Nobody saw. Next day, he finds himself stricken with a mysterious illness. Now who bring him the printouts, but the new girl? And she’s not wasting time. He’s been tasting her drool, no? He’s too surprised to deny it, and she enlightens him. He’s not sick, he’s just suffering from withdrawal symptoms. So she plops her finger in her mouth, and then in his, and – would you look at that – he’s all better. So the logical consequence is that they’re now going out, so he can get his daily dose. But what are those strange feelings he feels all of a sudden? Oh, don’t you know, you can exchange feelings with the drool: she knows what he thinks and the other way round. You see, you wouldn’t base a relationship on a purely physical connection, would you. No? Right. (A shoutout for excellent musical score.) .[Actually, at the end of the day, it’s very much a romance, so I’m not sure about that one either. The characters are good, but at the end of the day it’s, I think, more of a concept show. Again, one of my favourites.]

    • Irina says:

      I’ve added bot to the ol watch lst (I have some serious doubts about true tears but heck – you never know until you try!)

      • Dawnstorm says:

        I really did bring up True Tears mostly as a joke. I didn’t lie when I said it’s a favourite, but even among fans of the show it’s fairly common to laugh at the drama at its height. It’s a really well executed example of everything you don’t want and little else. There’s good character work which you might like, if you can get past the serious-business mood of the show. And it’s PA Works, so it’s pretty. It’s true that you never know, but you can make educated guesses.

        • Irina says:

          im hoping for a so bad it becomes hilarious moment

          • Dawnstorm says:

            I can think of two right off the bat. They exist, but they don’t set the mood. They do provide crucial relief, though, so to an extent I wonder if they were deliberate. (I get that a lot with Okada’s writing.)

    • Irina says:

      I’m not sure how romance is different from a friendship with a lot of sex but I also can’t really think of anything much better than a friendship with lots of sex so there’s that….

      • Dawnstorm says:

        Personally, I probably prefer the no-sex variant. I’m not ruling anything out, but people’d probably have to find the option to change the default, and that’s been edited out of the user interface a couple of updates ago.

      • Fred says:

        Long and useless lecture on love follows:

        Romantic love is a drug that leaves one in an incredible state of euphoria. Massive levels of endorphins flooding one’s system. In successful love, it gradually decrescendos from an urgent boiling to just pleasantly warm. That much energy can’t be sustained and would kill you. OTOH if it doesn’t work out, the hangover is horrific.

        Shakespeare says to love moderately. Long love doth so.

        And then there is Bloom into You, where one party has never fallen in love before and the other still hasn’t but is willing to work at it.

        It isn’t clear where the line lies between friendship and love. Romantic love has more urgency and euphoria. I suspect it has some evolutionary reason for existing because I don’t know of any culture that doesn’t at least give it some lip service.

        The Greeks had a bunch of different words for love. Off-hand there are “Eros” for sexual love (and the god of sex), “philia” for friendship, “ludus” for playful love, “agape” which is spiritual love, “pragma” which is long lasting love and “philautia” which is self-esteem, and “storge”, family love. There are probably others…

        …Oh yeah, there’s “mania” – obsession. You could also consider “narcissism” another Greek word for self-love, only instead of philautia which is self-esteem, it is vanity.

        The kind of tummy fluttering, head over heels, euphoric love we typically call romantic love isn’t Eros. The Greeks would have considered it ludus. All part of the game of love with some Eros mixed in. Asagao to Kase-san is entirely ludus with some controlled Eros on Tomoka’s side.

        Eros is pure lust, male or female, straight or gay, and by itself, the Greeks didn’t have a high opinion of it. They just accepted it as extremely common and most useful as an additive to ludus. Malakía was self-indulgence in an erotic fashion. (I think you can figure out what that is.)

        They held philia in high regard because they felt it only occurred between equals. To like someone was to accept them as they are and as an equal, regardless of official social status. Storge was also important as it is the two-way love between parents and children and siblings. Without it, parents would soon eat their children, siblings would murder one another and the species would die.

        Pragma, which is the love that has endured the test of time, was also held in high regard. People who have stayed together for many years and worn off all the hard points and jagged edges in their relationship and still care about each other have pragma. We use the word today in pragmatic, “that which works”.

        Agape was held to be the highest love of all. A kind of selfless spiritual love for God (or the Gods), for mankind, for the universe. I’m not sure it actually exists but it would be nice.

        • Dawnstorm says:

          If I could like this post (in the software sense), I would. Yeah, the Greek had a lot of words to subdivide the semantic field. Other cultures do it differently. And that’s sort of the problem. If I don’t get “romantic love”, what is it that I don’t get? Do I not have those feelings? Do I have them, but break them apart and distribute them over different categories? It’s sort of hard to figure this out, since most of our abstract terms are synthetic, and synthesis isn’t exactly reversible: you lose things if you analyse the concepts, because the sum’s more than the parts.

          I’m definitely aromantic in the sense that I don’t get any highs from participating in the cultural song and dance that we tend to wrap up in the concept of “romantic love”, and I think my interest in romance shows is at least in part a form of exoticism. I do sort of get annoyed by the ubiquitous special-someone mysticism that’s a common subtext in all romance shows, and very few of the romance shows manage to treat jealousy in a relatable way. But it is rewarding to see people grow into happiness.

        • Irina says:

          You can map all of these hormonally but I guess that takes the romance out of it.
          I wouldn’t know much about love of God(s) but I am quite certain that love of mankind, life, the universe and everything (being drunk on life) does exist at least for limited periods of time

  7. Karandi says:

    I’m not big on comedy, slice of life, or cute girls doing cute things (which kind of combines comedy and slice of life with moe characters). That said, there’s certainly some anime that fit into those categories that has worked really well for me, but if I’m tossing up a couple of shows that I’m iffy about for my watch list, I’d pick a horror, action, romance, more or less anything else other than ecchi over a comedy.

    • Irina says:

      We are very different people. I am really enjoying the comedy slice of life with cute boys we are watching together!

      • Karandi says:

        The supernatural aspect of that one definitely keeps me interested and this second season has really picked up the plot. I’m enjoying this second season a lot more than season one and I didn’t mind season one.

      • Brooke Cannon says:

        Honestly, I don’t care about being on the bandwagon and I’m bisexual so I get crushes on boys AND girls. I don’t just get crushes on popular people either. I don’t care who’s popular. OK why am I speculating on this!? THIS ISN’T ME!

  8. ameithyst says:

    Ahh, I love the thought behind this post! 🙂

    As for me, I’m not fond of mecha and most especially the ecchi genre. I used to like harem when I was young, but I tend to ignore a lot of them these days, especially when they’re paired with ecchi. There are exceptions, though, but not a lot I believe. You mentioned Steins;Gate which I just finished watching recently and I got to say that I didn’t mind it’s harem-ish feels at times. There’s a lot of factors to it but mostly because I like how Okabe knows what he likes to do/happen as well as who he likes and everyone’s supportive of him.

  9. ramon3ljamon says:

    The only “genres” I instinctively categorize shows into are “character centered” or “everything else”, which yes I suppose don’t fit within the conventional understanding of the term.

    I simply don’t care if you’re riding a horse, a dragon, a spaceship — I’m interested in what drives you, what doesn’t, and how you’ll react when you’re put to the test. I want to grasp your outlook, understand your decisions, witness your evolution or lack thereof.

    —————————————

    Romances

    You previously told me you watched the below:
    – Kare Kano
    – Spice & Wolf
    – Tamako Love Story
    Did you like any of them?

    A couple suggestions:
    – Paradise Kiss — drama’s a bit too heightened to my taste, but overall an engaging coming-of-stage story with fleshed-out characters & a prominent romance thread
    – Koi Kaze — when you’re feeling adventurous!

    • Irina says:

      I like the kare kano anime but not the manga. I loved the economy in Spice and Wolf. I do not remember Tamako.
      I did not like Toradora or Snafu at all…

      • ramon3ljamon says:

        I rated Toradora 5/10 on my MAL, which seems fitting because I have zero recollection whether good or bad of the show.

        SNAFU I actually liked. Primarily as a bumpy journey of personal growth, for a self-conscious teen who buries his insecurities with cynicism & self-deception. And I live for the kind of brutal banter the two romantic leads would throw at each other.

        Forget romance though, the best love story I saw touched on a parent’s unconditional love. Wolf Children is the shiznit ma’am.

  10. wingking78 says:

    I have genres I like better than others, but at the end of the day it always seems to come back to the characters for me. Like I’m not normally a fan of ecchi or slapstick comedies, and I’ve always said I was never big on harems either, but despite that I actually enjoyed Yuna and the Haunted Hot Springs last year, which was very much all three. And it came back to the fact that I really liked most of its main cast. Compare that with High School DxD, another supernatural ecchi slapstick harem that I dropped like a hot potato because I don’t have words that would do justice to how deeply I loathed its MC.

    • Irina says:

      I’m like you. Character driven narratives are my thing

    • Dawnstorm says:

      Same here: Yuuna was lots of fun, and it couldn’t have sat firmer in the centre of harem comedies. I felt similarly about Tsugumomo, Monster Musume, or Asobi ni Iku Yo.

      Meanwhile, Highschool D&D was just… not my thing. I dropped it after about half and episode, then came back to it because plenty of people were praising it, made it to around episode four or five, when I could understand why people were praising it and also why it really wasn’t for me.

  11. Supernatural shows bug me. Superpowers solve all problems 🙂

  12. ospreyshire says:

    There’s certainly some points over here. My least favorite genres in anime would be harems, romance when it’s not paired with another genre, ecchi, and some shonen action stuff.

  13. Love that part about drama anime, as I totally relate! I think one of my biggest “hesitant” areas would be watching a romance anime for the sake of romance alone. Personally, I don’t mind my romance blended into a fantasy epic, or perhaps some weird far-flung sci-fi thing, but just romance? Why, it feels like I’m just wasting my time. At least romance anime tend to have really pretty characters.

  14. Lumi says:

    Drama is my personal favorite genre, but it IS best when paired with another genre.

    For example, Oyasumi Punpun is a slice of life comedy early on and turns into the grimfest later on, tricking me into not being able to put it down in the vain hope it will revert to its beginning genre.

    As for most hated, I also do not particularly care for Ecchi. If I wanted anime tiddies, I’d just watch actual hentai, which have some really good production these days.

    Juuuuust wish there was more vanilla stuff.

  15. tanteikid94 says:

    I guess I dislike horror anime. I have gotten into it

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