I consider myself very lucky. I have the privilege of still getting excited about anime. After all these years and all these shows, I still get that special rush when I start a brand new series. Do you guys know what I’m talking about?
For me, it’s a bit of the old butterflies in my tummy and a rush of excitement. A brand new world is unfurling before me and it could become anything. I’m about to meet a whole bunch of probably super attractive people and some of them might become special. It’s a feeling that’s pretty distinct. I get it when I start new games as well and occasionally books and manga but not always. I occasionally get it in the middle or at the end of movies, oddly, but pretty much never for live-action series.
Maybe it’s because, after all this time, anime still regularly surprises me. And it actually could turn out to be anything. Or maybe it’s just that I still have the mind of a toddler and moving colours mesmerize me.
And it’s partly for this reason that I go into every anime with a very positive attitude. It’s probably also why I tend to rate on the higher than average side. You know how sometimes you get points on tests just for writing your name. Well, I sort of give anime a whole bunch of points just for being anime and it goes up from there.
But even a standardless positivist like me has some anime they just don’t like. And really, there are shows I don’t need to watch. Especially when there are so many I do need to watch!
I have mentioned before that I rarely drop anime but when I do, it’s overwhelmingly in the first 10 minutes or less. I know that a lot of people would think this is ridiculous… You can’t really judge an entire series based on the opening credits. Most characters aren’t even introduced by that point. And for a normal person, that would make total sense.
But I’m an enormous anime enthusiast. If the picture is moving, you’re 90% of the way to getting my seal of approval. And to be clear, you still got a good shot if the picture is not moving. What I’m saying is that a show doesn’t need to win me over in the first 10 minutes, I come pre-won. It just needs to not lose me in that time.
And it’s not easy for an anime to lose me. There are themes and character archetypes I either find uninteresting or annoying. If there is an overabundance of those right off the bat, I might need to sign off. Themes are actually not the right word here. It’s more like narrative/production hooks. You can tell what the production is going to rely on to hook viewers pretty quickly and if it’s something that you actively dislike, it’s likely going to be a painful watch.
Comedies are also easier to judge in a lot of cases. Since humour is subjective, if all 10 fist jokes didn’t land for you, then it’s likely not your type of humour. This is rare in my case but it does happen. I’m also very impatient with dramatics. Generally, if characters are throwing tantrums in the first minutes before the series has had time to build up any kind of emotional climax, it’s likely going to get on my nerves.
The thesis are a bit more difficult to pick up on right off the bat. I’m also not opposed to watching shows that contradict my world view or morals. I wouldn’t say they are likely to change my way of thinking but that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a well-crafted show that I don’t agree with. If you look at some of my favourite animes, they occasionally contradict each other in messaging. To me, it’s more about how a series makes its points rather than what those points are.
I don’t have any break it elements. I tend to like a wide variety of art and to just enjoy the art of animation in and of itself. So although there are series I have picked up just because of the way they looked, I don’t think I have ever decided not to watch one because of the way it looks. Similarly, I won’t rule out a show simply because of the presence of fanservice, loli or shota elements, violence, racist or sexist themes. I don’t know why I added fanservice in there, it seems like it doesn’t quite belong on the list…
To be clear, I don’t consider any of these elements a plus just for being there (well maybe a bit of fanservice). I simply think it’s possible to still craft a good story even with those elements present. And I think it is possible to enjoy many aspects of an anime and come out of it completely disagreeing with the message. At least, I think it’s possible for me.
So really, for me to drop an anime (most of the time) it just needs to be unpleasant for me to watch in the first 10 minutes. Like actually, ugh I don,t want to watch any more of this. And for someone who would rather watch anime than do most anything else, that’s not a common occurrence.
Do you still get excited when you start new anime? And is there something that will make you drop an anime right away? There’s no judgment here. Just because one person doesn’t like something you like please don’t make them feel bad and vice versa.