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.

I hope this new anime likes me…

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!

my life is super exciting

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.

so I looked for any images with the word pain in my library and all I had was painting. So this is my favourite painting image in my library

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…

Yaoi kiss
Yaoi fanservice, come on clicks!

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.

32 thoughts

  1. The one trope that will cause me to drop an anime faster than anything else is where some kind of serious abuse is presented as normal and acceptable. Still, it is rare to see that kind of thing pop up in the first ten minutes. What more often kills an anime in the first ten minutes for me is just being really bad. Dull, dreary, boring plot and uninteresting characters. Even terrible animation doesn’t turn me off so quickly.

    Anime reviewers make it easier to drop an mime quickly. If the show turns out to be better than I thought, I’ll read about it in reviews and pick it up again. I’ve made spectacularly bad judgments on occasion, usually because of some subtle emotional bias i had that kept me from seeing the value of something. Anime bloggers are my backstop.

  2. The biggest turn off for me would be a series that are totally unoriginal aka the classic slice-of-life school anime with nothing unique or special to make me interested in watching. I don’t set incredible standards and would just a little twist on the formula like an alien, witch or vampire or otherwise wacky character. If it has nothing to cling on then my interest can wane especially if the jokes are not funny or characters are very bland. Last drop I can remember was The Detective is Already Dead. The characters whilst cute were bores and the plot was questionable.

    A big anime killer has also been relife events. Many an exam or increased workload has put some shows I watched on indefinite hold. Like others in this thread I have a four episode rule where I will watch a series for four episodes before casting my final judgement on whether to drop or not. I can often tell a winner sooner than that but not every series is a classic. Moreover some shows start with a bang but then go nowhere while others start slow but then suddenly get better.

    One thing I will say is I like football and when my team is doing badly then anime suddenly becomes far more entertaining than before! XD These days anime seems more fun than normal… 😛

  3. I almost always give any anime up to 3 episodes before I drop them, and even then I am inclined to give them another chance if I read a really insightful review that makes me think – well I must have missed that, maybe I should look again. But there are a couple of things that hit a nerve with me that will make me drop an anime almost instantly – disliking the art style, and a voice actor with a voice that hits my “OMG” meter. I have sensitive hearing and some tones to me are unbearable – like migraine inducing – and constant yelling sets off the ol’ PTSD so boom yer out if you set either of those off. The art thing is my own snobbery. That’s not quite right – it’s not “not good enough” but “not to my taste” – but still enough so that I can’t look at it continuously. The art thing is so bone deep I’ve watched series I couldn’t care less about or even dislike the characters/story because I love the artwork and can just look at the pretty art the whole time. I can’t say I get that little flutter for anime – or it’s a different one. I generally binge, so I go into a series having a pretty good idea of what I’m getting into thanks to reviews and recommendations – although I’m often really looking forward to something. I’d rather go in with an open aspect and be thrilled than go in all anticipation and be disappointed. However, I admit to being giddy when a new book comes out in a series I love, or by an author I love, or I get my hot little hands on a book I’ve been looking for. I could see getting that way about manga except I’ve made an executive decision to not get into manga due to cost and difficulty in acquisition. If someday I can dependably expect my local library to stock the ENTIRE SERIES of any given manga, or being able to purchase manga for a price I can afford, I’ll reconsider 😉

    1. I’m a lot like that. I really struggle to drop an anime once I started it.
      Do you read digital manga at all? It’s a lot less expensive for the most part. Shonen jump is 2$ a month and you have access to a huge amount of Viz’s library

      1. I have read some digital manga and I was following some Webtoons but I sort of lost interest. Part of the problem for me is that I can only read for so long on the computer and it starts to bother my eyes. Mainly I’ve decided I’m just not interested enough to fit it into all my other interests/scheduling wise.

        1. I tend to get over webtoons once I have to read them one chapter at the time. ” minutes of reading a week just doesn’t sustain my interest

          1. I can definately see that. But even the ones I liked, I soured on as a binge item also. 20 episodes of 3 or 4 minutes that still haven’t moved the story forward significantly… like a fight scene that goes on forever… sigh.

  4. I always love starting a new anime. Before you hit play there’s so much possibility and the show could be anything. That said, I will drop a show 5 – 10 minutes in if it is boring me or I’m just finding it obnoxious. Comedy anime, slice of life and idol anime tend to get culled pretty fast from my list unless they happen to really grab me quickly whereas isekai and supernatural anime tend to get a pass until they prove beyond a doubt they are broken.

    1. I think Isekai is the only genre that right now I’m just sort of fed up of. It’s the genre that has made me suffer the most so maybe that’s why. This said, I’ll still happily watch it.

  5. Unfortunately, I don’t know that I have the same feeling anymore. I do understand what you mean, but I think I lost that ability to just bust through shows sometime in high school. It is weird though, because I probably watch a lot less than you do now, especially with juggling school and other hobbies, and as a result I probably watch a lot less “bad stuff” relative to my own personal tastes. Either way, interesting topic and great writing as usual, Irina!

  6. It’s cool how often you come up with ideas I haven’t even thought about.

    I’m used to the 3 episode rule, or some other less precise measure. But thinking back over my favorite series, 90% of the time, I’m excited or not within the first 10 minutes.

    Jobless Reincarnation Part II’s debut? I was giddy from the opening seconds.

    Tsuki to Laika to Nosferatu? I was ‘meh’ from the opening minutes until the very end.

    It’s interesting to me how little I’ve really thought about my viewing habits.

    1. Latest example: takt op.Destiny. Strong suspected I’d review it at 02:20. Knew it at 04:38. Now, fingers crossed it doesn’t pull a DeadDetective on me!

      1. I haven’t had the best luck with Mixed Media projects but there’s usually some interesting production

    2. 3 episode rule is a classic but it’s also a lot. it’s like the lenght of a movie. I don,t have the patience to sit through an entire movie I’m not enjoying. I’m like a toddler

  7. The beginning of a season is my favourite part of it, because I get to check out so many new shows. I often drop shows in the first ten minutes, too. Usually, it’s just a vague feeling of “not my style”. And sometimes I get back to such shows, when I hear lots of good stuff about them.

    What I like the most is finding a great show that wasn’t even on my radar (this year: Pretty Boy Detective Club and Vanitas). This can only happen because I only skim seasonal preview lists, and then just click on shows as they appear. It’s so much fun.

    That also means I watch a *lot* of anime per season, so over the years I’ve learned to drop even shows I enjoy. Otherwise, I might burn out. I can always come back later (but usually probably don’t).

    My main dealbreakers come from my consitution (motion sickness, photosensitivity). There are shows I just can’t watch. They’re luckily rare. This season, Kyoukai Senki looked threatening, but it turns out I just have to skip the opening; the show itself is mostly fine (though there’s some borderline 3D effects I don’t quite gel with; we’ll see).

    1. I liked Kyoukai Senki more than I thought I would. I haven’t yet tries the whole taste testing thing of just watching the firsat episode of all the shows I’m interested in when the season starts. I do want to try it some day. For the moment I’m still binging older shows so I just get impatient to go back to them I think but when I start to widdle down that list a bit, I might do that

  8. Yeah; getting into a new series- anime, manga, western animation, live action- I love it all. It’s just fun for me to see a new series. And I think that the cause of that was probably Hiro Mashima’s latest series: “Edens Zero.” Like; reading the first chapter the same day it came out- the only other time I can recall being that excited reading chapter 1 was probably the short lived “Candy Flurry.”
    Reading it made me fall in love with it immediately- it became 3rd favorites series almost immediately!! Both “Edens Zero” AND “Candy Flurry.” Ever since; I’ve been reading every new series that comes to the “Jump” magazine.
    Somehow; it takes both very little and A LOT to drop a series. From the minute things like convenience and timing, to large things like just genuine bordem……..after 13 or so episodes. I didn’t even drop season 2 of “The Promised Neverland” until like episode 8 or 9. And the worst anime I have EVER seen in my life- “School Days-” I even watched into episode 5.
    But then I get into anime like “Toilet Bound Hanako kun” and “Darwin’s Game,” and all it took for me to drop them was me getting too wrapped up in other things to watch them. And when I tried to jump back in where I left off; I had forgotten a lot of what happened and had to go back- which just kind of made me lose interest in 2 anime that I thought were really good.
    Man; I missed reading your posts. They’re so well thought out and discuss some really interesting topics. Keep up the good work!!

    1. Thank you! I don’t know what it says about me but I watched all the anime you mention to the end… Even school days. I might need to be a bit more picky

  9. I’ve dropped anime’s too . Sometimes in the middle , but I can agree with not liking certain archetypes or story elements . If I feel something is too by the numbers then I will reconsider . Atm I’m watching Baki Hanmo , and at first I thought it would be too much but so far I’m liking the over top ness , the kind if grotesqueness of the character designs and everything . It’s a good break from all the Isekei lol

  10. Is that MakoHaru? All my Free! feels just came rushing back. Can’t believe it’s already 7 years since it was first released. I also make quick decisions in the first 10-15 minutes whether or not to continue watching something. If I’m still not into it halfway through, I tend to drop it lol

        1. DAKAICHI! -I’m being harassed by the sexiest man of the year- It was a fairly popular BL anime that came out a few years ago. It’s on Crunchy if you’re interested.

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