I think this title may need some clarifying. I just thought that the way more accurate, 5 anime with first episodes that I personally didn’t like much but ended up liking the show, was a bit of a mouthful. Not super catchy and stuff.
I have blogger friends that have been urging me to make a bit more of an effort with my SEO and a good catchy title with a strong focus keyphrase is very important it seems. This is my attempt at SEO friendliness, let’s hope it works!
So yeah, these first episodes aren’t necessarily bad, but I didn’t like them much despite the fact that the shows ended up much better than expected!
There was nothing wrong exactly with the first episode of Problem Children but it was such a basic, paint-by-numbers harem isekai. It felt like downright déjà vu. And that cocky Gary stu main character seemed like he would get difficult to take after a while.
It quickly became apparent that Problem Children is indeed an isekai but it tries a lot of unusual things, and as for Izayoi, he’s the least present and important of the main cast. Forget a harem, he’s lucky to get screentime. Instead, the series became a true ensemble cast blending a few different narrative styles along the way and sprinkling some honest surprises.
I’m not going to say it’s a masterpiece but it is unusual, and for my money charming, fantasy anime unlike what that dull first episode would have lead me to believe.
For me, Demi-chan had a similar issue as Problem Children. The first episode is misleadingly mediocre. Not bad, just so average cute girls. I was getting ready for another one of the millions of nice cute girl shows I had seen with a monster twist and potentially some uncomfortable scenes of a teacher leering at his students.
Nope! Nopidy nope, nope. It was a show full of adorable girls, don’t get me wrong. But instead of focusing on high school fanservice and how nice everyone is, the show decided to take a more earnest approach and actually gently deal with the issues faced by people living in societies not adapted to them.
To be fair, I’m not sure how they could have communicated that in episode 1 and as it stands, I think the progression is just right. But I never expected that from the start of the series.
Look, I’m not saying Granbelm was an amazing show. I had plenty of issues with it. But it also had some great moments and I’m glad I watched it. Something that I wasn’t sure I would do after the first episode. The first episode of Granbelm is a mix of bad pacing and clumsy exposition. It tries to introduce a series that was all about the characters and their relationship, through a hard-to-follow action sequence that barely introduced us to the cast.
Not only was that not the tone of the series at all, but it was also highlighting what in my opinion were the weakest aspects of Granbelm, (i.e. the mecha battles). The tonal shift from episode 1 to episode 2 was striking and happily, the series overall ended up more concerned with character development which was a marked improvement.
Gintama is funny and occasionally just unexpectedly stirring. I know this from the manga. Because I didn’t get past the first episode of the anime. I’m exaggerating but honestly, I don’t like the first episode of Gintama. It seems to employ a completely different type of humour and almost feels like they decided to start the series off with filler episodes.
It didn’t work for me and for a while, I thought maybe the show wasn’t my thing. I quite like the manga though and I did get past the first episode eventually. It’s a show I watch on and off whenever I want a few giggles so it’s going to take me forever to finish it
For those of you who may not know, for a long time, I considered Berserk to be my favourite anime. I have read most of the available manga but I prefer the original anime. It is still in my favourites, and although I find it challenging to recommend, I think many anime fans would love it. It’s one of the most ruthless and yet loving character studies I have watched.
But you know what makes Berserk even harder to recommend, that first episode. No kidding, I was pretty much set on dropping the show after episode 1. I liked nothing about that episode. The only reason I didn’t in fact drop the show was that I was watching a torrented fansub version and it’s not like I had any other anime available to just watch so I figured I might as well watch episode 2 and 3 which I had then stop downloading it.
Episode 2 was a 180 turn. It wasn’t just a tonal shift, it seemed like the show had restarted as something completely different and I just wanted to know how we got from here to there. By episode 3 I was engrossed in the story and had actually forgotten the first episode altogether.
Berserk is one of the very rare anime I have rewatched and when I did, I was once again taken completely by surprise by episode 1. It sure makes it much more relevant in hindsight, but I still don,t like that episode. I’m so glad I stuck with the show by sheer happenstance!
There you have it. 5 series I ended up liking, some of them I like a whole lot but I did not like at first. It’s sort of a tribute to the fact that I have to give anime a proper chance. Are there any series you enjoyed but hated the first episode?