Please note that I did not come up with this concept at all. I saw it on Twitter from Garr and thought it looked like tons of fun. I did respond to the Tweet but I also wanted to try doing it for a lot more anime and didn’t want to hijack the thread so I figured I would just make a post.

The thing I don’t really like about the original thread is that most of them don’t tell you which anime they are describing and I was super curious. So I’ll put in the answers somehow but if you feel like humouring me, feel free to guess. YAY!

how dull…

Let’s start with my original answer which was: High school boy is kinda depressed but getting better. I feel like this is probably obvious for anyone who knows me but might be a bit more cryptic for the wider anime fandom.

As far as I know, the description doesn’t have to be just one sentence. I have a feeling people stayed on the shorter side simply because Twitter has conditioned us this way. So here’s a completely accurate description of another of my favourite series. It’s an evaluation of the pros and cons of potential legislative systems and the necessary interplay with the executive branch. You know, I once again think this one might be a fairly easy guess.

Oh, wait, every single one will guess this one because the plain and obvious description of this show sounds ultra boring. A show about a mid-level high school volleyball team. All the members are pretty well adjusted and get along as teammates even though they’re not best friends or anything. It takes them three years to get to any sort of tournament. How the heck is this show so compelling. When a story this boring can make me eagerly anticipate each episode, it’s a character-driven show!

says it all

Hmm, let’s try this on for size. A career civil servant decides to do in-person inspections to figure out a few administrative discrepancies in the daily working of a collective national syndicate. I have the feeling that a lot of my boring descriptions might include the words “career civil servant”. For instance, A career civil servant remains consistent regardless of general circumstances. The remaining consistent part is actually the most fun!

I feel like I’m just starting to pick on civil servants for no reason. Let’s switch it to something really rare in anime. Two high school students discover a new coffee shop. Sometimes they go there and talk about the latest technology. You know, that actually doesn’t sound that boring. I would probably watch a show based on that description alone…

Oh, I know another one: A high school boy tries to learn the guitar but he’s not very good at it. After asking for help and practising a lot, he gets a bit better at it. Ok, some other stuff happens as well. I think this one is the closest to lying by omission, still, it does describe the majority of the show.

having trouble staying awake…

This actually isn’t that easy. I feel that the minute I use words like Yokai or mystery or adventure, I have already failed. But I really want to describe it well enough for it to be easy to guess. None of that High school kid attends high school cop-out!

I guess I could go with High school girl is ignored by her classmates but it doesn’t bother her much. The new guy thinks she,s kinda cute. Did that second sentence make it sound exciting? I mean I can’t just leave it at the first.

Oh wait I know, A woman has a bit of difficulty dealing with a career transition. Wow, that sounds horrible. It’s one of my very favourites!

Is it cheating if I describe an anime as Show based on a Mobile Game? Regardless of the show, and there are some great ones, I feel like that instantly sounds super boring.

I could be wrong

Ok, let’s go with a last one. A historical story that makes use of a lot of classic and modern references. This may be a bit thin. Not sure if anyone is going to get it.

This was never really intended to be a tag post but if you think it looks like fun and you want to try it too then I guess tag. There are no rules and it’s not my idea! So disorganized.

Oh, you know what we could do next? We could describe super boring anime in the most exciting way possible. How about A group of young ladies brought together by their love of baseball decide to form their own school team. However, they are going to have to fight for their right to even exist before they can have a chance of playing against other teams. Can these lovely ladies overcome a lack of funds and experience through undaunted passion? Will their shared hardships and training bring them closer together? Honestly, I’m not sure. I don’t remember anything about this show.

30 thoughts

  1. School youth hangs out with his friends and has random talks . Also something with a cat , snail , monkey , doll , hornet , bird , and also siblings brush each other’s teeth . You know what this is kind of hard 😂

  2. That sounds like a fun challenge even if it involve making something sound boring. Okay, let me give this a try.

    A man travels around the world trying to talk people out of conflicts. (Yugo the Negotiator)

    A girl hears about suicide and spends too much time on the computer (Serial Experiments Lain)

    People with feathers and halos are busy living life in a walled community. (Haibane Renmei)

    A love triangle is separated by war, a coma, and parallel universes. (The Place Promised In Our Early Days)

  3. I got a few of your examples! But some I felt a little too vague/non-distinct. Oh well.

    “Talkative individuals look for swords.”

    A little short, but can’t think of any way to make it as straightforward and boring as that.

  4. A duck wants to be with a prince…and doesn’t.

    A boy endeavors to become leader of his village by making friends with his enemies.
    (Actually… that sounds fantastic)

    A woman’s mind in a robot’s body combats cyberterrorism.
    (I am trying really hard… there has gotta be a better way)

    I am not even going to try Fate Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works….

  5. Oh, this seems like a fun idea! The best I could think of for my favorite (while keeping it boring-sounding) is “A high school girl keeps going to the bathroom during school.” Hopefully that’s not too misleading…

  6. I’ve seen this kind of thing in forum discussion threads before, but not in any blogs that I read.

    “A woman has a bit of difficulty dealing with a career transition.” Ha ha, I love that! Talk about understatement.

    Let’s see, some anime that I like…

    Boy joins school literature club, does lots of reading and thinking.

    Third grader befriends people as she grows up.

    Boy doesn’t meet girl, because she already died three years ago.

    A 26-episode commercial for a toy you can’t buy. (credit to an ANN reviewer for this one, actually, but it’s too good not to steal)

    1. That is too good not to steal – tiny bit cynically but as someone who regularly watches anime adapted from games with no North American releases I can’t deny it

  7. Okay, let me take a few shots at this, because I have way too many that I love.

    I guess this will be the easiest: crybaby loser boy dances to gain a coach (I hate describing Yuri on Ice like this (个_个) )

    Second try: Cold moronsexual pines for 13 years over an oblivious, demonic moron who comes back to life (Mo dao zu shi, if you haven’t watch, I totally recommend. The Donghua is bloody amazing (⌒▽⌒)♡ )

    I am terribly bad at this apparently o(〒﹏〒)o

  8. I did the facebook thing with the first one!
    A young groundworker loses his brother and gets in a fight with his father in law. Even though everything works out his bride leaves him at the altar.
    It is still rather specific but now sounds so Mundane!

    These other ones I made up for you!

    Ten your old, travels the country with a mouse. In the end he doesn’t achieve anything..
    Mind you this only accounts for the first season.. as the filler season fixed that.

    Someone stands in the way of a Spikey haired man.. the Spiky haired man goes angry and the other person goes away.. and/or joins the man.

    Girl uses a broken pair of scissors to ruin other people’s clothes! That might seem interesting to some.. but only if you know how ruined those clothes get.

    Then there was the one about that girl that wanted to make money by remaining to stand one of those pool Islands. For the most part she did…

    Girl pursues a black rabbit through a town of very 2 dimensional people is one of my favourite shows of all times as well.

    Girl gets offered to be a magical girl.. but she doesn’t go through with it is a fan favourite I find kind of overrated but I included here anyway!

  9. My favorite description for a show comes not from anime but on Hulu’s description of the series finale of The Good Place: “Various conversations occur between various groups of people.” Which is so vague it could describe pretty much any story ever.

  10. The problem here is abstraciton. At some point you’ll just describe a genre. I mean, I know you’re desribing Natsume, but it might just as well have been March Comes in Like a Lion or Your Lie in April. And your Cinderella Nine description? Could have been the Taishou Baseball Girls as well, and that’s actually living up to the description.

    It’s difficult to identify a show and make it boring or exciting. I mean “Cute girls do Cute things,” was originally a derogative description of a genre in which nothing happens, and then people adopted it. They should have left out “cute”, maybe. “Girs do things.” It’s quite literally a historical example of how an attempt to make a genre sound boring failed.

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