I recently responded to a tag post. It was one of those answer 11 questions ones. I like those posts because you can tell a lot about a person from the questions they ask. I’m not great at keeping up with my nominations but I try.

Anyways, there was one question that piqued my curiosity. “What is the one thing that would make you stay away from an anime”. Sir Meliodas from anime articles came up with it in this post right over Here.

It’s an intriguing question that I haven’t seen around a lot. Moreover, if we could get a decent sample size to answer it, I think it may reveal some very interesting things about anime viewers and the state of the industry.

It’s also a fairly difficult question since I tend to watch just about anything and generally go in blind, as such there aren’t many things that could scare me off. I don’t have any genre or theme restrictions and I am happy to give creative teams and studios unlimited chances. This is going to be a though top 5!

what happened here?

5) Toxic fandoms

This is the reason I gave in my tag post. I rarely get exposed to fandoms of any sort but when an anime has a very vocal (occasionally slightly aggressive) following, it tends to be a turn off. Not because I don’t want to be associated with the fandom or anything like that, I wouldn’t be anyways, but because when I hear about an anime non-stop in controversial ways, I get a bit exhausted. It fits off my appetite for the series.

In a slightly different take on this point. There are also fandoms on shows that are not controversial in any way but that are so protective of the show’s they like and characters in them that if you say anything less that adoring, they tend to lash out. This won’t stop me from watching and enjoying series but it will ensure that I never review them. At least not only own. As such, the shows do get stuck on my to watch list a lot.

cute anime boy and cat
by peterrustoen

4) Violence towards animals

There are things that we find difficult to watch even in a fictional context. Although it’s never pleasant I can sit through abuse or suffering of characters if it serves the story I’m watching. I might gripe about certain forms of fanservice but in the end, I won’t let embarassing objectification of characters stop me from enjoying and otherwise great show.

I draw the line at violence towards animals. It’s often a narrative crutch and it’s a personal pet peeve. I’m just going to cry and stop paying attention to the show so what’s the point.

by Angela Lee (MoonlitTiger)

3) No legal Canadian distribution

This feels like a cheat… it’s a really though list! It may seem obvious that if I can’t see it I won’t but what I mean is that I will avoid *alternate* distribution routes if I can’t find it in an official capacity. There are several reasons for that and if you’re interested, I can tell you all about it some day… For now, let’s just say it’s been a useful way to keep my to watch list under control.

Not that my watch list isn’t completely out of control. It is and somehow keeps getting longer despite the less than reasonable amount of time I spend watching anime. It’s not a problem as long as no one notices, right? Oh good!

I use this image a lot

2) Over 300 episodes

I’m sure I’m missing out on something. I bet you get crazy invested in a show you’ve been following for years but still. I’m a completionist and a lover of variety. The idea of randomly dropping an anime mid way through makes my brain itch. Honestly. I’ve only dropped a handful throughout the years and it still bothers me…

On the other hand, watching the same characters in the same universe deal with the same premise for such an extended period is just as brain itchy… All proper scientific terms here! I do have a workaround though. If the anime happens to be divided into reasonable seasons then that’s OK. I can watch 24 to 50 episodes that make up season one then take a break until I’m ready for more without it feeling like I’ve dropped a series. I know, I’m weird.

no comment

1) it’s called Mayoiga

I’m kidding…

For those of you new here, I have a running gag on this blog where I call Mayoiga the worst anime ever at every chance I get.

It really wasn’t that bad. Actually I don’t remember any of it to be honest. If I wasn’t constantly blindly hating on it, I would have forgotten its existence long ago. I’m just dedicated to the bit now. You should watch Mayoiga so you’ll know what I’m talking about!

I’m not implying anything, I just really liked this image

Real No 1) Unnecessary sequels

This is a little counter intuitive. First let me say that what constitutes a “necessary” vs “unnecessary” sequel is completely subjective. Your opinions on the subject are just as valid as mine even if they would be mutually exclusive. Second I am not a person who instinctively dislikes sequels or remakes. I tend to be optimistic and excited when studios decide to take another go at retelling a story I’ve loved. Moreover, with a few noted exceptions, I tend to prefer second seasons to first which is not the general trend among anime fans (actually I find that I’m almost always the opposite to the general public when it comes to season preferences… I even thought the Zoldyck family arc was great!)

This said, sometimes I feel a story has just reached its natural end point and the characters have done their journey. They are now frozen in perfect little moments in time in my brain. At this point, I will simply ignore any further sequels and spinoffs. Especially if I have reason to think they are simply a money grab. (Not that I haven’t watched my share of soulless money grabs… I’ve enjoyed a few)

This was a though list to make and honestly I do end up watching more than my share of pretty disappointing shows because I have no real way of quickly filtering stuff out. What do you guys think. Do you have any criteria that make a specific anime a no no for you. Once a reader told me that if there where no girl characters on the promotional cover art, they knew it wasn’t for them. I think they are missing out but it also sounds efficient….wave2

65 thoughts

  1. Totally of topic here, but have or are you in contact with Raistlin? He seems to have vanashed… Or rather busy I gather… Great post, I will start following when I get back home. At the moment I am more concerned with Raistlin… I ask you as I had to scroll back to his Continue dont Quit post and thought I would try an extended reach out…

    1. I spoke to him a little while back and he wasn’t in the best of places. I’m going to reach out again, thank you so much for reminding me. I sure hope he’s doing better

  2. I tend to think I’ll watch and or read just about anything. But I have finally concluded there is only so much time and there are so many wonderful things to enjoy, why waste time with something I am not actually enjoying? Given that, there are a few things that will make me instantly quit an anime. 1-I hate the artwork. I’m an artist. And there is some artwork that just makes me squicky (another scientific term) and I can’t look at it. Cannot. 2-a voice that grates. I’m hyper sensitive. I know this. My hearing is ridiculously acute. No matter how otherwise great an anime is, if there is a character that screams all the time, or has a voice that makes me cringe – can’t do it. These two things I have an actual visceral physical reaction to. The 300 episode rule is true, those things are daunting. But I made it through Space Brothers, and really liked it, so I wouldn’t rule an anime out for that – but it ends up languishing on the bottom of the list forever…

    1. I understand n2 big time. I have had to force myself to sit through anime I that were great but for one voice…it’s torture!

      1. Black Clover. I managed like two episodes and couldn’t take it anymore. Looks really interesting but OMG does that boy ever stop SCREAMING and SHOUTING. (foovay runs off screaming…and shouting ‘mercy’)

          1. No, it isn’t amazing. That kid literally screams non-stop. He seems to have no “indoor voice”. And while I am hypersensitive to sounds, it’s gratifying for me personally to know I’m hardly the only one turned off by it. It irks me especially though, I think because I was interested in the STORY… but…maybe if they do a dub someday, without a screamer…

  3. I’m just here for the fact that a Cardfight Vanguard image made its way into the article.

    For realsies though, I definitely tend to agree with the over 300 episodes rule, right down to the being okay if its broken up into smaller season bit.

    I also tend to, but not always, follow the “If the girl in the promo art has tits bigger than her head” rule for avoiding stuff.

  4. I tend to watch a lot of stuff and don’t really let much put me off but I think 2, 3 and 4 in particular are something that definitely resonate with me as an anime fan. Animal cruelty is such a big one for me as an animal lover!
    Whilst I’m not a Canadian resident I totally get you with the distribution. In the UK we cannot always get things through official means whether it is streaming or DVD release which means Nerdy doesn’t get to watch it 🤣
    As for the 300 episode thing well, I’ve only ever completed one series which has over 300 episodes 😂 I have found that I tend to be a short and sweet kind of anime watcher instead of a long drawn out story kind of anime watcher 🤔

  5. As tremendously long as One Piece is, it’s very nice how it can so easily be divided up into manageable chunks. There is a clear beginning and a clear ending to every arc.

    As for toxic fandoms… those confuse me, and make me sad. How did we get to the point where what we like *must* be the greatest thing ever, and how dare anyone disagree with us about that? It’s ridiculous. All it does is limit how much we can enjoy anything together.

  6. 5: Absolutely. Hype never stopped me from tackling a series (see BnHA and OPM), but vocal fandoms have put me off things you would assume I like, as a lover of bishonen and a good action scene – I stay the heck away from Haikyuu, Attack on Titan, Naruto and Bleach because the fandoms are some of the biggest and craziest. Although my view of them has become less harsh over time, I’m still trying to come around on Free and Dangan Ronpa. (That’s why I don’t talk about those much – I have something which could easily be called “hatred” or “envy” (if viewed negatively) towards those series and I might never get rid of it, but Kuroko no Basuke proved I could.)

    These days, I make sure I get to legally available stuff first, but 3 historically hasn’t stopped me – that was basically the only way I could access some series (like PreCure before it was Glitter Force) and not everything can get picked up by legacy licence like KHR.

    2 historically hasn’t stopped me either, but these days it would be a hard pass because I don’t have the watching endurance. It’s a struggle to watch 12 backlog episodes for me, even when it’s my highest priority, because there’s always something else to do (for better or for worse for my watching habits)…even though I have a lot more time on my hands than other people.

    Generally, my big no-no is fanservice – the sort that does a lot for “PLOT” but doesn’t do a lot for plot and is geared towards dudes (of course, give me bishonen I like the look of and I’ll change my tune). It used to be all NSFW content, but that definition is evolving as I get older and continue my exploration of BL/yaoi.

    I’ll ask around/research to see if something is a good entry point if I need to (asking killed my chances for Slayers and has made me even iffier on Kuroshitsuji II…which I still have yet to start, LOL), but generally I avoid spinoffs/sequels to something I haven’t watched as well.

    1. Seems a lot of my readers aren’t too fond of fanservice although I know that’s definitely not th trend in the larger community

  7. Agreed on your list (except Mayoiga, which I haven’t seen so I can’t comment on it, except that I do like the art you posted below that entry whether or not it’s related to that show.)

    I can’t stand it when a series has a horrible person for a protagonist but tries to pretend said protag is not horrible and that I should like him. You know, the type who’s arrogant or abusive or otherwise unpleasant but who other characters like because he’s the main character and the script says they should like him. Even your typical bland, unremarkable protagonist who gets that treatment really annoys me, though that’s more forgivable maybe.

  8. I think the only show I watched more than 52 episodes of in one go is Hunter X Hunter. And I, too, liked the Zoldyck arc, but had I been watching weekly, I’d probably have bowed out during Greed Island. (In my mind there’s a distinct difference between shows with a lot of seasons, and long-runners. I mean, I’ve watched more than 52 episodes of Natsume and Haikyuu, but they come out in managable portions.)

    What makes me stay away from anime? Number 1 for me should be no suprise by now: it’s too much CGI and nauseating camera movement and/or light effects. I’ve enjoyed full CGI shows before (Land of the Lustrous, Hi Score Girl), but generally this dampens my enthusiasm and a show needs to be really good to draw me in despite that. (The first time I realised I didn’t like CGI was Blue Submarine No. 9, in the mid nineties.)

      1. And nearly every anime has some CGI in it these days. Some shows (like, Hisone to Masotan) are really good at disguising it. In any case, the trends been there since the mid-nineties, but it’s really been accelating these last couple of years. I’m about to transition from an anime fan to a retro-anime fan. Huh.

  9. Probably my main reason for not even trying an anime would be it is a sequel or spin-off of something I haven’t watched or didn’t like. Though I also hesitate to start long running anime if I haven’t been watching them since the start. Sometimes I’ll avoid something because of the synopsis but usually I’ll try an episode at least. I do avoid sequels when I feel the previous season has provided sufficient closure largely because of so many disappointing season twos that already exist.

  10. #5: I see your point, though I can’t say I’ve ever completely rejected a series because of its fandom, it might change how I engage with it. I am a Fate fan, after all, which is one of the most famously toxic fandoms out there, but I try to avoid the real cesspits.

    #4: Nah, never been an issue for me. Violence towards young children, on the other hand….

    #3: I prefer not to watch things that aren’t legally available, but being a fan of certain franchises like Nanoha where much of the material remains frustratingly unlicensed in the US, occasionally I don’t have a choice. But if something is licensed, I’ll always support the legal version.

    #2: It’s honestly a challenge for me to get up for most shows that are over 26 episodes at this point. It’s a little easier if it’s something new and ongoing like the current Fruits Basket where I can get in on the ground floor, but I’ll probably never pick up another shonen long-runner ever again.

    #1: Agreed on this. Sometimes I hear people wishing this or that show had a sequel or another season, and I’m just like, no. It ended in the right place, on the right note, don’t drag it down by giving us more that we don’t need.

    Anyway, the single biggest “avoid!” flag for me are the shows that market themselves on actively fetishizing, glamorizing and selling parental or sibling incest. You know, like Oreimo and their ilk. I’ll never touch any of those shows no matter how much their fans try to defend them. That includes the ones that “technically” aren’t incest because the kids are adopted or step-siblings (like ImoCho or KissxSis) because they’re still made to appeal to the same crowd, and that’s something I simply refuse to support or condone in any way.

  11. Well…that is a good question really🤔🤔 I don’t think I have ever really had a reason to fully avoid an anime because of something. I did have animes that I didn’t like when I finished them, because of certain things that happened. Like for instance fanservice that was just so totally over the top, that it made the show almost unwatchable (I’m looking at you Highschool of the Dead! ). By sheer coincidence I wrote a post about fandom earlier this week, and how it seems that lately negativity is a thing that seems to be going on a lot. But well, on the other hand if I love a show myself, why would I avoid it because of toxic fans?
    So back to your question…I don’t think I have so far had any reason to avoid an anime. It might happen one day and if it does, I will get back to you! As always though: wonderful post Irina! Have a great weekend! 😊

    1. The sad part about toxic fans is they can sort if tint your perception of a show before you watch it… Have a great weekend too

      1. Yeah…which is exactly why I wrote that post this week. It annoyed me to no end, after watching a video this weekend on Youtube. And I don’t get annoyed quickly. But writing the post helped get some of that out of my system, and turn it into something positive at the same time! 😊
        Thanks so much!

  12. That list is so true, but honestly when it comes to toxic fandoms I just enjoy the anime and ignore everyone else since I’ve been around many fandoms with very very toxic fans, so I’m used to ignoring them at this point lol.

    But I get your point, one of my friend won’t watch Free! because of the fandom…it’s such a good anime, though. 😞😞😞

  13. I’ve been thinking about this one is a little bit and there only a few things that would make me step away from are obviously….lack of mecha. Ok, not serious at all there because I wouldn’t watch anything else otherwise.

    One is definitely length, because I haven’t watched some shows that are just around 50 because it’s hard to find time to watch them even if they are the best thing ever, because of how much of a commitment they are.

    Then there is direction a slice of life show takes. If I’m watching a slice of life, is it one just dedicated to the characters just relaxing all the time with no development, same thing happens every episodes or is there something interesting in it like Flying Witch where you see our witch character interact with normal things and normal people interacted with magical things. I kind of know which one I prefer.

    And my perception on fanservice has greatly changed recently. It used to be “is there too much of it”, but it’s gotten to “is it character motivated or camera motivated”. If a character takes off their clothes or flirt so to say, is it because the characters wants us to or is it the camera trying to find some unwarranted angle or feeling to directly appeal to the audience. That’s kind of why Fire Force might be on the chopping block soon if whatever happens to Tamaki is more prevalent later on from this point.

    1. I remember the HUGE amount of gratuitous fanservice in the Soul Eater manga (that was mostly thrown out in the anime). If the author sticks to the same pattern, it lessens as the story develops and he seems to get more interested in the plot than the girls… but we’ll see

      1. Yeah, I guess I don’t remember all as well as I could be. Not sure if I remember as much intentional groping I guess. Plenty of people Blair being Blair, boob jokes, making fun of Medusa’s kiddy underwear and such.

  14. This might be a weird one but I tend to stay away from the insanely hyped stuff. If people keep gushing about an anime, en masse high chance I will take a hard pass.
    Super hyping killed Geass for me, it killed Attack on Titan and Death Note. Anything that is described as the greatest show ever, still isn’t Tengen Toppa so I will oftenly disagree on how good it is. Nothing kills a show for me like desperately trying to see that super sugoi that others see in it. Big risk of toxic fanbase anyway, but even on initial viewing, in such shows I keep wondering whats wrong with me for not being hyped or what I am missing. So I usually skip, or weight for the hype to completely die down.

    1. I understand what you mean. I also have this tendency so I sort of try to consciously dehype shows in my head… But then I might end up being too harsh just to be a contrarian…
      This said – Promare was the amazingest you should see it right now!!!

  15. This is a good topic for a blog post on anime. There are types of shows I avoid too. I generally dislike Shounen Jump tournament shows, personally. I’ve seen several and feel that part of my viewing life is satisfied. And I agree about some anime reaching a natural stopping point and then going on for money rather than quality. Those are the shows when you have to be strong and stop watching. Bleach is a fair anime if you stop watching after the hero rescues the maiden.
    Food Wars is sort of fun for a tournament show, if only because some of the cooking techniques are worth trying in the real world. I do notice that that school has no actual classes, just competitions and giggling villains. Any time I see a giggling villain I lose interest in the show. The first few times I saw the trope it was used as a joke, but its a huge turnoff for those A Certain Scientific Railgun and A Certain Magical Index. That’s a tournament show, too, and the animation is competent, but the villains are lame! Sigh. Ruins the show.

    I avoid homo-erotic shows the way you avoid shows with panty shots. So Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is clearly for gay bois. Every costume has boob windows, like Power Girl from the 1980’s. I am not the intended audience. No straight man is.

    The bicycling racing show is best if you watch up to the singing hill climb, where all the repetition finally pays off with a triumph. There’s 40 more episodes after that, but none of them are worth watching. The hero singing Hime Hime Hime while encouraging a wounded teammate to catch up to their team on a steep mountain road, that was a great moment. They should have just ended it there.
    And don’t even get me started on Endless 8 from Haruhi Suzumiya season 2. They should have done all 5 of those identical episodes as one, using editing to catch the problem and solution without annoying the viewer. Then spend their time making more episodes rather than waste half their budget on what most fans thought was an annoying ripoff. Even if it was in the books.

    Silver Spoon may be a very controversial show for you, if you haven’t seen it already. There is no cruelty, but its about farming food animals, and includes all the heartaches of raising animals for slaughter and then eating them, and its treated properly, with compassion and love. The message is courteous and consistent, but you might find it difficult.
    I agree with you about violence for its own sake being a major turn-off. Yuki-Yuna has Cancer was a horrible show, with violence for no real purpose other than mangling a bunch of magical girls. Similarly with Magical PTSD from earlier this year. Horrible. I kept hoping they’d eventually get somewhere non-horrible, but nope. The violence in A Certain Magical Index was horrible too. I dislike that they base so much of that show on violence. I wanted to like it because its pretty and the character designs are good, and I’m watching Accellerator this season, though we got a giggling villain already. The author lacks writing ability, so doesn’t know how to use his setting in a likeable way to tell stories. Instead there’s too much violence without real purpose, and most of the villains are memory wiped and released to do it again. Perhaps the author feels that Japan is soft on crime?
    I’ll leave this as things are. Must ready for work. Have a great weekend!

    1. Who avoids shows with panty shots? If it’s me I’m sad you have never read any of my collabs with Matt… I’m actually very comfortable with sexuality in fiction but I know not everyone is.
      The weird thing is that you mention JoJo which has a heavily male dominated audience. I thought you would have picked a sports anime or something with a more female fanbase. In any case we already know that my tastes are very different. I am the one person who adores endless 8. I’m not sure about “controversial” but I personally don’t enjoy watching animals get killed so if I have to pick two identical shows except one has animal slaughter for me it’s a way of deciding. Especially as my own personal and unfair bias makes me unable to properly appreciate such shows and certainly completely unfit to analyze or judge them in any way. Just like you, it’s not a morally call, simply a personal failing.

      1. For some reason, I thought you’d already watched Silver Spoon. In any case, slaughter is a major theme, but it’s generally not graphic. It’s certainly not the kind of animal cruelty that’s there to show us how mean the villains are. That said, I never watched season two, because I absolutely hated the way the treated the meat industry. There were scenes that turned my stomach, morally not viscerally, and that doesn’t happen often. It’s basically: why do we kill those cute piggies in such cruel ways? Eats pork. Oh, now I remember. I prefer hypocrisy to that sort of moral argument, since once you go down that road, you can justify anything with “because it feels good”. It renders ethics obsolete.

        1. I read silver spoon but never watched it and skipped over all the parts I thought would make me sad. I know who I am

      2. A sport anime with a female audience would be one like that ice skating and the swimming shows. Those had zero appeal for me, but the fangirls posted about how “delicious” it was. Fruits Basket is another girl anime filled with pretty boys, and thus has little appeal to males. I watched the original one years ago, when it was new, and the new version is kinda pointless. Its remaking a perfectly good show.
        I am surprised there was a person who liked Endless 8, much less that it was you.
        I’m also surprised that Jojo doesn’t have female fans. You would think something with so much overt homo-erotic content right there in front of you that it would be popular. I guess its too obvious to appeal? It isn’t dirty enough? I don’t understand that.
        What’s a good sports anime beyond those swimming and ice skating ones that girls like? I really enjoyed Harukana Receive, and not because of panty shots, but because it depicted girls/women with plausible body shapes honestly competing in Volleyball on a beach without being bimbos or idiots. That was a good show. We’ve both written posts which mentioned it.

        1. I really liked Hajime no Ippo when I was a kid. A boy who had a crush on me showed it to me because it was his favourite anime. I still like Ippo actually.

          And I’m just teasing here, but since you told me you avoid homo-erotic shows like I avoid shows with panty shots and as you’ve just said I’ve actually reviewed quite positively shows that had a whole lot of panty shots, I’m guessing that means you also like homo-erotic show.

          1. Uh… no? I don’t go for the homo-erotic stuff. I incorrectly assumed you wouldn’t be interested in panty-shot anime. Some are worse than others. Some are pretty much an excuse for panty shots. Some are of girls which are too young to be anything but icky. I’m grateful for shows like Sakura Quest where there are adult women characters, so I can avoid any guilt and just enjoy the fact that Japan understands that there’s moe for adult women in their programming. I liked those women best, since you’re asking. I also liked the PE teacher from Accellerator and Railgun and Index. She’s a Yamato Nadesico with a G36. Men who are good at rifles appreciate women who are competent with firearms and still have long beautiful hair.

  16. 5. A lot come to mind.
    4. No argument
    3. This was a big problem for a lot of Gundam shows up until a few years ago. Had no choice. Thankfully, times have changed.
    2. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned once or twice that I can’t do long-running shounen. And no, Gundam does not count as 300 episodes, because they don’t all tie in together as one.
    1. So, you’re not waiting for a sequel to Deadman Wonderland?

    And yeah. Mayoiga was REALLY bad.

    1. This is turning into a Mayoiga bash post… Can’t pretend it’s not at least partially my fault.

  17. Thanks for the mention. Who knew my question would result in such a great post!

    Too much unnecessary and forced fanservice is usually where ill be turned off by a series. I hadn’t thought of animal abuse because I havent seen it a lot in anime I watch, but I absolutely agree and understand it, I would probably be much more concerned about the animal than the series.

  18. I’ve only got three and even they have a few exceptions tagged on to them, but generally I’ll avoid, 1) Stuff I can’t legally stream it in the UK, 2) stuff with gratuitous and overly intrusive fanservice and 3) stuff with gratuitous violence or that has gore purely for the sake of gore.
    Mostly though I’ll watch anything.

    1. I don’t do research so I usually don’t know about fanservice or violence until I’ve watched it – and I never know if it becomes relevant to the story later so I keep watching…. I’m not good at dropping stuff

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