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Is it better for a series to start strong or end strong?

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Poll: Which would you prefer?


#1
Jun 4, 12:57 PM

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In your opinion, if you had to pick a show that didn't have the same consistency of quality the entire time, which would you prefer?

1. An anime that has a really strong hook, or really good first few episodes, but it just sort of dies down over time. The ending might be really boring, or done really poorly. You might feel as if you have been 'let down', because of how good the show started.

or

2. An anime that has a slow or boring start (or just not a good one), but one that gets better farther you get into it. As in, it would end up being really good by the time you finished it, and you could consider it to be 'worth the wait' if you actually got through all of it.

From what I understand the latter is the reason that people sometimes set a minimum episode count when starting a new series, to give it a chance to get better. But many people aren't willing to sit through anything even remotely boring or slow-paced, even if people tell them it gets better; if that doesn't happen till farther on in the series, people might not be willing to wait that long. The former , on the other hand, tends to upset people more, as they can get really into a series, only for it to end in a bad way.

Which is better (or worse) for you? And do you have any examples of this from series you've watched?

Edit: In regards to the second option, whether you choose to interpret that as simply boring or genuinely bad is up to you. I think that the most objective interpretation is whether or not something is slow-paced. If you're arguing that something is boring, then that is a bit more of a personal opinion. And if you are saying that it is just plain bad or poorly done, then I would say that is the most subjective interpretation of it.

Also, if you like slow series, or don't think that an slow start makes for an inherently bad or boring one, then don't go with that interpretation. It wasn't my intention to imply that they are synonymous, I'm just pointing out that a lot of people think that way
Modified by ISOQuorra, Jun 4, 3:37 PM
 
#2
Jun 4, 12:59 PM
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how many comments on the episodes discussion i read that "strong start but shitty ending" or something similar is said a recent example is Darling in the FranXX

meanwhile Steins;Gate starts so slow but ended up great for a lot of people
 
#3
Jun 4, 1:03 PM

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I'm gonna get a lot of hate for this
I think an anime has to have a good start no matter what. Without a good start, I won't even give it much of a chance. Maybe slow (Fate/Zero), but bad? I can't name a single anime I've seen that starts of legitimately bad, but gets better later on.

deg said:
how many comments on the episodes discussion i read that "strong start but shitty ending" or something similar is said a recent example is Darling in the FranXX

meanwhile Steins;Gate starts so slow but ended up great for a lot of people


The pacing of Steins; Gate never felt slow to me.

EDIT: I just read the OP's first post, and it seems as though they're not referring to a bad start, just slow. In that case, I should've voted for the 2nd option in the poll.
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#4
Jun 4, 1:04 PM

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If the series were good but ended like trash I'd want to throw it away and wish I never even started it. I'd rather be pleasantly surprised.

 
#5
Jun 4, 1:05 PM
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HopefulNihilist said:

deg said:
how many comments on the episodes discussion i read that "strong start but shitty ending" or something similar is said a recent example is Darling in the FranXX

meanwhile Steins;Gate starts so slow but ended up great for a lot of people


The pacing of Steins; Gate never felt slow to me.


i mean the main story started getting only serious in the second half so for a lot of people the first half was boring
 
#6
Jun 4, 1:07 PM

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if the ending is trash is ruins everything, so I prefer a good ending
 
#7
Jun 4, 1:08 PM

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I prefer an anime with a slow start/boring beginning, but gets much better by the end.
Personally I watch any anime all the way through, so I don't follow the rule of watching the first few episodes before deceding to drop it or not.

For me it has something to do with my expectations of the anime. If I watch something that had a terrible start, I wouldn't expect it to be that good. But when it does get good, it will probably blow me away and leave this taste behind that it was a good anime.
This also works for the opposite where a good start with terrible end will let me down and it will stay in my mind as that anime that sucked.

One of the anime that I can think of when talking about a slow/boring start with a great end is Katekyo Hitman Reborn!. While watching it, I wondered why it was so popular as the comedy was quite boring in my opinion. But when things started to get more serious I finally understood why so many people like this. Too bad that the anime ended before adapting everything from the manga.
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#8
Jun 4, 1:09 PM

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You can have both yknow?
But if I must pick , an anime getting better and better is my prefered route.
I don't mind the buildup if it's worth it in the end.
A few examples from this season includes kono oto tomare (very mediocre first episode but gets better and better each episode) and Sarazamai (1st episode probably is alot of non-sense to alot of people, but they all make sense as the plot progresses)

However, the beginning part CANNOT be TOO GENERIC (like the isekai we have this season)/TOO UNIMAGITAVE/ OFFENSIVE TO MY IQ, otherwise I'd probably just drop it in one episode. There's a limit of how much tolerant I have.
 
#9
Jun 4, 1:10 PM

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If you watched Game of Thrones you know the answer.
 
Jun 4, 1:13 PM

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HopefulNihilist said:
I'm gonna get a lot of hate for this
I think an anime has to have a good start no matter what. Without a good start, I won't even give it much of a chance. Maybe slow (Fate/Zero), but bad? I can't name a single anime I've seen that starts of legitimately bad, but gets better later on.

deg said:
how many comments on the episodes discussion i read that "strong start but shitty ending" or something similar is said a recent example is Darling in the FranXX

meanwhile Steins;Gate starts so slow but ended up great for a lot of people


The pacing of Steins; Gate never felt slow to me.

EDIT: I just read the OP's first post, and it seems as though they're not referring to a bad start, just slow. In that case, I should've voted for the 2nd option in the poll.


A disastrous presentation in the first episode of an anime usually means a disastrous production for the whole series because usually ep 1 suppose to be the highest quality / presentation/ budget of the show to attract viewers .

If the general production/ presentation/ story cannot even meet the baseline in first episode , it is a strong indicator that the whole show would be that way. (With a few exceptions ofc)

Again, bad first episode =/= slow first episode.
 
Jun 4, 1:18 PM

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deg said:
HopefulNihilist said:



The pacing of Steins; Gate never felt slow to me.


i mean the main story started getting only serious in the second half so for a lot of people the first half was boring


I actually have to disagree with you.

The first half is actually way superior than the 2nd half because it is unpredictable.
Alot of strange things that happens, and there's a mysterious organization behind it that the audience has yet to discover, as well as alot of surprise element.

2nd half pretty much follows an exact trope and formula because it is suppose to undo the stuffs did in first half, which makes the plot very predictable, and lose alot of excitement.
 
Jun 4, 1:19 PM

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That depends on the length of the anime. If it's a short one with only 12 or 25 episodes I'll obviously prefer the second option. But if it's a long running one like Naruto or One Piece, then I prefer the first option because it's easier to endure bad writing when I'm already a fan of the series.
 
Jun 4, 1:21 PM
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Ventus_S said:
deg said:


i mean the main story started getting only serious in the second half so for a lot of people the first half was boring


I actually have to disagree with you.

The first half is actually way superior than the 2nd half because it is unpredictable.
Alot of strange things that happens, and there's a mysterious organization behind it that the audience has yet to discover, as well as alot of surprise element.

2nd half pretty much follows an exact trope and formula because it is suppose to undo the stuffs did in first half, which makes the plot very predictable, and lose alot of excitement.


well lets just agree to disagree there then
 
Jun 4, 1:21 PM

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I’d rather something start bad then gradually get better. Sooooo, yea.
 
Jun 4, 1:21 PM

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Reapermask said:
I prefer an anime with a slow start/boring beginning, but gets much better by the end.
Personally I watch any anime all the way through, so I don't follow the rule of watching the first few episodes before deceding to drop it or not.

For me it has something to do with my expectations of the anime. If I watch something that had a terrible start, I wouldn't expect it to be that good. But when it does get good, it will probably blow me away and leave this taste behind that it was a good anime.
This also works for the opposite where a good start with terrible end will let me down and it will stay in my mind as that anime that sucked.

One of the anime that I can think of when talking about a slow/boring start with a great end is Katekyo Hitman Reborn!. While watching it, I wondered why it was so popular as the comedy was quite boring in my opinion. But when things started to get more serious I finally understood why so many people like this. Too bad that the anime ended before adapting everything from the manga.


Hitman Reborn is an outlier.

The series is SUPPOSE to be a comedy , and author originally intended for it to be a comedy.
However because those jokes are not even that funny, and they're not very well received too, Jump's higher up forces it to become a battle shonen later on and got way more recognition and approval. (mostly due to the art-style and all male casts that attract alot of female audience)
From then on the whole series turn from a comedy into a Battle Shonen with an overarching story.
Modified by Ventus_S, Jun 4, 1:24 PM
 
Jun 4, 1:24 PM

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I may end up dropping both type tbh
Slow start is fine, but I will drop anything that couldn't catch my interest in the first place. I also drop anything that becomes dull as the story goes, so I guess I will look for something else instead.
 
Jun 4, 1:37 PM

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Ventus_S said:
Reapermask said:
I prefer an anime with a slow start/boring beginning, but gets much better by the end.
Personally I watch any anime all the way through, so I don't follow the rule of watching the first few episodes before deceding to drop it or not.

For me it has something to do with my expectations of the anime. If I watch something that had a terrible start, I wouldn't expect it to be that good. But when it does get good, it will probably blow me away and leave this taste behind that it was a good anime.
This also works for the opposite where a good start with terrible end will let me down and it will stay in my mind as that anime that sucked.

One of the anime that I can think of when talking about a slow/boring start with a great end is Katekyo Hitman Reborn!. While watching it, I wondered why it was so popular as the comedy was quite boring in my opinion. But when things started to get more serious I finally understood why so many people like this. Too bad that the anime ended before adapting everything from the manga.


Hitman Reborn is an outlier.

The series is SUPPOSE to be a comedy , and author originally intended for it to be a comedy.
However because those jokes are not even that funny, and they're not very well received too, Jump's higher up forces it to become a battle shonen later on and got way more recognition and approval. (mostly due to the art-style and all male casts that attract alot of female audience)
From then on the whole series turn from a comedy into a Battle Shonen with an overarching story.


Didn't know that, thanks for informing me. I quess the series has taken a turn for the better with that decision
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Jun 4, 1:38 PM

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Honestly i prefer a weak start and a great ending, that makes the journey that much interesting and engaging, at least for me.
 
Jun 4, 1:47 PM

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I prefer a slow start (includes mystery, establishing the world, getting to know the characters, building up tension) or boring beginning and then gets better by the end.

If it has a strong start and then gets worse, that would indicate to me, they did something to fuck up the potential of the show or ruin the show by going into an unlikable direction. Slow starts set the minimum expectation of the show and exceeding your current perception of the show as it progresses makes the watching experience so much better. It's also a great feeling after completing something that wraps up a series well instead of thinking what could have been
 
Jun 4, 2:03 PM

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If the second option stands for "bad," then I'm definitely not interested in the show, as I can say based on my experience, I haven't met an anime starting on a low-quality level and improving enough to make me think positive of it afterward.
The anime, starting "good," can at least entertain me at the start and give me a few hours worth an experience until it falls down, and I forget it as fast as possible.

If we're just talking about a "slow start" (ignoring the actual quality), on the other hand, then it already isn't a problem as I heavily like them, and do a lot of things expect considering them as boring.
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Jun 4, 2:21 PM

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A series should always try to end strong. If it degrades overtime then people will be disappointed.
 
Jun 4, 2:25 PM

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I refuse to answer because I hate the idea that a 'slow start' is seen as automatically boring/bad.
 
Jun 4, 2:28 PM

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I prefer an anime with a weaker start to get better as it goes on. I fucking hate watching anime that start off good but become total garbage.
 
Jun 4, 2:33 PM

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I am someone who will drop a show within the first 5 minutes of me watching it, so it definitely needs to have a strong start.

The Journey > The Destination
 
Jun 4, 2:34 PM

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Gets better by the end because it will leave an impact on you, it is very hard to have a strong start immediately. Relating to the characters and their lives is better.
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Jun 4, 2:48 PM

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All's well that ends well also goes in this case.
Kokoro did nothing wrong.

 
Jun 4, 2:52 PM

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So basically choosing between Darling in the Franxx or FMA:B?

But I'd rather take the first option if I had to choose. Usually the first few eps are the hardest to go through in a show so if they're done well then gg
'On-Hold' is another way for a completionist to say 'Dropped'


 
Jun 4, 3:02 PM

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As I was told in English class at school - a story has a beginning, a middle, and an end LOL. Ideally it should be strong in all departments :D
 
Jun 4, 3:27 PM

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The ending is the last memory you'll have of it, so obviously you want it to be the best part.
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Jun 4, 3:30 PM

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An anime with a slow start/boring beginning, but gets much better by the end
DEFINITELY this, by FAR.

See, all a beginning has to do for me is...

1. have something that can hook me, which can be as simple as any one of the following elements:
* appealing theme song
* appealing background music
* appealing character design
* interesting setting
* attractive aesthetic design
* intriguing setting premise
* intriguing plot premise

2. Not offend me with something I don't like.

That's all a beginning has to do.

Note that I'm okay with a beginning being "boring", in the sense of "it doesn't progress the story much" and/or "there's not a lot of action", as long as there's something that I like about it. I'm okay with sitting around in the vicarious company of characters just going about their daily lives in a cool setting, for example.

In fact, a lot of the time, it's actually useful to have "downtime" episodes, in order to give a better sense of what the characters' lives are like before major changes happen.


Anyway, after a show has hooked me, it gets the rest of its time to set up its conclusion and make the payoff worth it.
 
Jun 4, 3:36 PM

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Definitely, a strong end is better than a strong start. I love anime with an amazing ending like Neon Genesis Evangelion (EoE) and Madoka Magica.
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Jun 4, 3:41 PM

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For me slow start, but gets better shows always work out much better than the opposite. I can think no examples of the latter where I would end up still liking the show. But I can think of plenty where it made me dislike it.

Meanwhile in case of former many shows I ended up liking a lot were like that. Just from my favorites I would say LoGH, JoJo, Monogatari, and I guess to extent 3-gatsu no Lion and Madoka Magica (though those were never bad/boring, but they definitely get a lot better over time) are examples of shows with slow start that get much better later on. I even dropped some of them initially as a result. But I didn't give up on them and picked them up again when being told they get better. And I ended up loving them. So I think that it's important to just keep open mind, and not give too much weight to first impressions. After all it just means getting through few (usually) episodes/hours of something not that good (though slow is not necessarily bad either) to reach many episodes/hours of greatness.

On the other hand in case of boring/bad end, it means getting through something bad after being shown how good that show can be. That's something that I really find insufferable, and dropping the show (unless I'm very close to the end already) seems like the sanest choice that can be done. Better just remember the earlier parts fondly and to forget that the latter part exist, rather than being made to dislike it in its entirety due to all the bad parts. The most recent memories will end up strongest after all.
Modified by MrZawa, Jun 4, 3:51 PM
 
Jun 4, 3:44 PM
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there's nothing i hate more than a series that starts amazing and then turns to complete shit at the end, I end up feeling like I wasted my time.
 
Jun 4, 4:17 PM

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Interesting question, so you phrased it as though you are building up to a worse or better product over time(but gets worse or more boring over time).

For the purpose of making it a fair comparison, I'll set some ground rules. I'm going to assume they deteriorate or improve the same amount per episode and had the highest points being equally good.

It naturally sounds better if the show is improving, but it's improving from a terrible start which means half the show would still be garbage until you get to an okay middle to get the good ending episodes. This applies the other way where you'll get good starting episodes to an okay middle and bad end. Both options are pretty equal in quality, but the start is more important to me.

The exposition part is more important so when stuff goes down, you'll already be attached to the characters and their world. That's what I define as a good start anyway something in which introduces you to the characters and story so that you are attached to them. Good endings, on the other hand, tie up loose ends nicely and give you satisfactory and well-made conclusions on the characters and story. Endings can't do anything else well, the characters and their stories are already established and coming to a close at that point. Endings can't really save characters unlike the fresh state the beginning starts within which the characters are defined. In both cases, the middle would be average, but probably for different reasons. As I suspect the good ending would more so deal with the details and character moments in the middle part. Meanwhile, the good start would have moments that are faithful, but not as well made as the start.

 
Jun 4, 4:32 PM

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Strong start or end: I sleep

Strong middle: REAL SHIT
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Jun 4, 4:33 PM

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BestBoiEren said:
if the ending is trash is ruins everything, so I prefer a good ending


This.

A good ending can raise a shows score from a 6-7 to a 9-10, but also the other way around.
    
   
 
Jun 4, 4:39 PM

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Has to be both or it's gonna be very hard for me to like the anime (there have been some exceptions though)

I don't mind when the middle portions of an anime are weaker in comparison, however.
 
Jun 4, 4:42 PM

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if the 2nd half is bad, then the show overall is bad, that just means the show wasted potential regardless of how good its first half is. Its actually kind of sad how many shows that are legit amazing end up having weaker or slower starts but the ones with amazing starts tend to shit the bed hard later on. its so rare to find a show great all the way through

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tokiyashiro said:

Jizzy as you would call yourself because youre a dick The most butthurt award goes to you And clearly you havent watched that many shows thats why you cant determine if a show is unique or not Or maybe you're just a child who likes common stuffs where hero saves the day and guys gets all the girls. Sad taste you have there kid you came up to me in the first place making you look more like a kid who got slapped without me even knowing it and start crying about it to me

 
Jun 4, 5:08 PM

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Depends if the creators care about quality or not or just want money and people's views. It's better for the sake of gaining popularity and traction for the show to start strong even if the ending is weak and disappointing, because they know people will still watch through to the conclusion of a story they've become invested in over time. If the beginning is poor, many won't become invested in the first place.

For quality though, I think it's no question on landing the ending. Some shows start out great, but other shows that are great don't start out that way. If an ending is rushed, incoherent, unsatisfying, and overall terrible though, it irreparably damages the final product for me. Stories should build to a crescendo of glory.
 
Jun 4, 5:09 PM

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I voted for the strong beginning and I realise that that might be a little immature. Not to mention that now I'm reminded about "Little Busters" and how I have to watch several stupid episodes, until it gets interesting. I ended up dropping it after the 1st episode, later I found an absolutely awesome scene of the anime on YouTube. So as hard as it is I have to return to it and give it another shot.

Can anybody put my mind at ease and just tell me at which ep does "Little Busters" get interesting or just more plot oriented. Thanks in advance.
 
Jun 4, 5:17 PM

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HyperL said:
Strong start or end: I sleep

Strong middle: REAL SHIT


How about strong start, middle , end?

I call it masta-piece <3

Usually those have the potential to become my 10/10.
 
Jun 4, 5:19 PM

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JizzyHitler said:
if the 2nd half is bad, then the show overall is bad, that just means the show wasted potential regardless of how good its first half is. Its actually kind of sad how many shows that are legit amazing end up having weaker or slower starts but the ones with amazing starts tend to shit the bed hard later on. its so rare to find a show great all the way through


I feel you. This is something that happened alot in 2 cour series.
I feel like many of those shows are intended to be either 17 episodes or 30+ episodes , but they're forced to choose 24 or something due to Japan TV program restriction.

Not to mention usually their 2nd season suffers from significant drop in quality of production.
Modified by Ventus_S, Jun 4, 5:23 PM
 
Jun 4, 5:26 PM

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Did anyone watch "The Lost Village"?

Stronger ending pls.
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Jun 4, 5:31 PM

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This is one sided question... Slow start doesn't mean a bad start but there is no slow ending (?)

@Peaceful_Critic
Ah, OK fair enough.

I remember don't liking the 3-4 first episodes of Hinamatsuri and probably "loved" the rest but that's the only example I can say about boring start but the opposite one happens more and mostly fades good memories
Modified by mhkr, Jun 4, 7:08 PM
 
Jun 4, 6:08 PM

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Not surprising that the second option has 90% of the vote. Not a perfect analogy, but it's kind of like asking would you rather start with $100 and have it all stolen from you or if would you rather start with no money but find $100 lying on the ground. Everyone is going to pick the latter.


What's the difference?
 
Jun 4, 6:09 PM

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mhkr said:
This is one sided question... Slow start doesn't mean a bad start but there is no slow ending (?)
Read OP's edit:

"In regards to the second option, whether you choose to interpret that as simply boring or genuinely bad is up to you."

 
Jun 4, 6:13 PM

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zieek said:

Can anybody put my mind at ease and just tell me at which ep does "Little Busters" get interesting or just more plot oriented. Thanks in advance.


The main route only officially start at the second season or maybe last arc of first season (about episode 20s).. I actually more enjoyed what you call boring episodes.. I already solved the mystery (remember the messages in the cats ?) since the first season, so big but slow reveal in the second season boring me a little ...
 
Jun 4, 7:42 PM

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Almost all of my 10/10 anime have a slow start and gradually improve over time to leave a lasting impression on me by the time they end.

Meanwhile, watching anime like SAO or DiTF to a lesser extent leaves a sour taste in my mouth by the time they finished despite their strong start.
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Jun 4, 8:49 PM

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End strong always. Monster is a good example, it ends really well. Steins;Gate is also common apparently but that never felt slow to me.
If an ending isn't that good then no biggie. Now, if it gets worse over time I'm going to drop it. Even if the ending ended up being decent, it needs to always have some sort of consistency.


The sole reason for me having a slower start is infinitely better is because I just love thrillers. I love to see momentum build up and up. Then go out with a bang! That makes it so memorable, which is key to making an end strong.
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Jun 4, 8:51 PM

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I think I'd prefer a slower start leading to a big payoff at the end.
 
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