Apr 13, 2017 2:52 PM
My Philosophy on Dropping Shows
Since I started watching anime, I've had this so called "No Drop Policy." At first it was easy to not drop anything, as I mostly watched only the shows I thought I'd like. However, since I've started watching seasonals, I've chosen to watch more and more shows that don't appeal to me at all. It's been a real pain. And so, I've considered starting dropping shows. Sure, this may not add more anime to my Completed List, but I think it'll be worth it in the long run.
The truth is that there's literally no point watching shows I hate. I used to think it was cool because then I could give the show a low score. However, since I reached my goal of having a mean score below 7, there's no more reason to continue this madness. I gain nothing by sitting around watching a show I don't care about.
I'd love to just drop everything I hate that's still sitting in my Watching List, but I feel that I shouldn't drop the shows I'm more than halfway done with. This is because by that point in the show, I'm already rather close to done and that +1 on my Completed Anime List. So, when I do start dropping shows, I'll try and and do it withing the first 3 episodes, preferably the first episode.
But, this will still be tough for me, as I still have quite a bit left to finish from the Winter season that I hate. To demonstrate my feelings, I've compiled 3 rants about shows that aired in the Winter 2017 Anime Season that I should've dropped in the first episode if I wasn't stupid.
First on the chopping block is Fuuka. This show is perfect for being criticized this way because most of its flaws are apparent in the first episode. That episode really showcased its utterly dumb characters. The MC proved to be nothing more than an awkward phone addict and main girl Fuuka proved to be a really fanserviceable character with a victim complex. Both were completely unlikable characters from the get go. And as the series went on, I began to care less and less about the show.
One that REALLY made me dislike the show was the character designs. Let's take a look at Fuuka's.
Out of all the terrible character designs this show has to offer, Fuuka's is probably my least favorite. I hate how unaturally skinny yet well-endowed she is. And to be frank, I just hate how the boobs are drawn in this series period. They all have that weird shading underneath them that's meant to make them look larger. It's really quite annoying to look at and doesn't look as nice as other series that use underboob shading on their female characters.
For example, just look at the use of underboob shading on Nagisa here. It actually looks cute in her case. This is partly because her design as a whole is more appealing than Fuuka's. However, the shading in particular really made this shot because of how natural it feels. It doesn't just feel like they made Nagisa's boobs look larger for sex appeal, it feels like they felt like incorporating shading into this shot and happened to put shading there because it looked nice. Yet in Fuuka's case, her underboob is often the only substantial piece of shading on her body, showing the low amount of effort put into the show as a whole.
And though it may have been an effort to make Fuuka seem unique and special, Fuuka's hair color also constantly gets on my nerves. It wouldn't bother me much if other characters had outlandish hair colors too, but Fuuka's basically the only character with a super unnatural hair color. The bright blue just contrasts way too much with other character's hair.
As for the other characters, I have little to say. MC looks like like a generic MC. Tama-chan has terrible underboob shading. Blondie looks like a run of the mill bishie. Big boob girl has too big of boobs. And Track team guy looks like a generic sporty character.
To conclude, I hated Fuuka to its literal core and shouldn't have watched past the first episode. I regretfully have 3 episodes left as of writing this post, but I'll make it through them somehow.
Trickster: Edogawa Ranpo "Shounen Tanteidan" yori
Now Trickster is actually a carry-over from the fall season of last year. However, since its second cour aired in the Winter 2017 Anime Season, I can talk about it here.
I wanted to watch Trickster because I thought the association with Ranpo Edogawa would mean it'd be a good mystery show. I mean, my favorite anime Detective Conan has a character with an alias of Conan Edogawa, a character named Kogoro whose name is a reference to Akechi Kogoro, and a group of kids who call themselves "The Detective Boys." Turns out the references can't save a downright bad series like Trickster.
Again, my main problem was the unlikable characters. The two main guys, Hanasaki and Kobayashi are about as bad as it gets. Both of them feel like mish-mashes of MCs from other popular anime.
For example, Hanasaki's tracksuit wearing immediately made me think of Konosuba and Re:Zero. And he did share some characteristics with Kazuma and Subaru, but not even their best characteristics. He wasn't an advocate of true gender equality nor was did he have a waifu to obsess over. In fact, the only thing he really had in common with those two was his excitableness. But unlike those two characters, he doesn't go through an arc that made him a more likable character. Rather, instead of just accepting his world like Kazuma or achieving goals like Subaru, all he does when the going gets tough is feel sorry for himself.
Kobayashi also immediately made me thing of other anime protagonists. The most direct comparison I can make is with Kaneki from Tokyo Ghoul. Both either started out with white hair or has their hair turn white for no other reason than that it looks cool. Both are a bit reserved when it comes to personality. And both are too overpowered for their own good. However, in Kaneki's case, he was actually interesting in the beginning of his show. This was because he had to adjust to a new lifestyle, which in retrospect, is highly relatable for just about everyone, including myself. This relatability is likely one of the root causes for Tokyo Ghoul's mainstream appeal. But to no avail, Kobayashi failed to be interesting all the way from his introductory scene. The scene in which he meets Hanasaki for the first time only shows him being a crybaby and letting the audience know he's the victim here. And even as he starts to bond with Hanasaki, he's still boring and flat as a character. He goes through a very obvious character arc that's simply "Other people suffer too." Everything about his character is predictable and boring to watch all the way through.
Even if Trickster didn't star two horrible main characters, I doubt I'd like it even then. I despise the setting. It's annoying because they're trying to go for futurism and they're doing it really poorly. A bunch of the technology is just stupid and often looks horrible too. For instance, the robots from who knows which episode appeared to be animated using CG. Like most CG in anime, it clashes with everything else in frame and looks awful. Even the little holograms annoy me because the characters also use computers. What's the point of a computer if these characters can conjure up a hologram at no expense? This seems as if the writers had no common sense.
I also dislike the series's structure and main villain. The structure is strange because sometimes it's episodic while at other times, there seem to be arcs that fail to get me invested in the characters. Also, all of the mysteries in this show are presented horribly. They're either blatantly obvious or impossible for the audience to solve. Now, I haven't seen many mystery shows, but one of the things I value most in them is having mysteries the audience can solve on their own. Detective Conan does this masterfully, but I'll explain the beauty of that another time.
All in all, Trickster failed on so many levels for me that it's hard to believe I've sat through 23 episodes as of this writing.
Digibro once said something along the lines of 'You can tell what a show is going to be about and its general quality from the first episode.' Boy am I a fool for not listening to this and not dropping Youjo Senki after the first episode.
The first episode of Youjo Senki was a bunch of fantasy stuff with all these characters flying around on the backdrop of war. Everything about that screams boring for me. I've had hardly any experience with military anime and haven't found one I can get into. And frankly, I find that setting boring because war is boring and often fought for dumb reasons. Until I find and watch an anime that makes military interesting to me, I doubt I'd like it played straight like in this show. I also dislike fantasy for the most part because in simple terms, it makes the narrative feel less real and makes things more confusing. I'll probably expand on this opinion of mine in a later blog post.
So, the thing that kept me watching was the one thing Digi claims is least indicative of a show's quality, the premise. I kept watching because I liked the idea of a grown salaryman being forced into the body of a vulnerable little girl and having to live in a world other than his own. That kind of thing will always be cool for me. That's why I'll keep eating up these isekai light novel adaptations. However, as Digi pointed out, the premise does very little in terms of telling you what watching the show's going to be like.
Youjo Senki's first episode did what knowing its premise could not. By not starting at the beginning of the story, the objective was to inform viewers that this would be a show with lots of fantasy and action.
And I didn't listen. I kept watching the show despite the distaste I felt for the first episode and saw the stuff that actually interested me in the second episode. And I gained nothing afterwards. The stuff I was interested in was hardly on screen (as its absence in the first episode foreshadowed) and was not executed in the way I wanted it to be. The whole "Being X" conflict didn't click with me the way Conan's struggle against the Black Organization in Detective Conan did.
I didn't like the "Being X" conflict because it only affected the main character. There were hardly any narrative stakes. Meanwhile in Detective Conan, even though Shinichi was the first person to be de-aged by the Black Organization, they eventually harm other people as the series moves forward. Rather than feeling like an internal conflict as in Youjo Senki, the conflict in Detective Conan is external and affects just about everyone.
Hopefully I've made my thoughts clear. So now, I shall resolve to drop ALL the shows I hate as soon as I feel I won't EVER like them. 2017 Spring Anime Season, prepare for me to drop as much of you as I want!