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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?

Jun 4, 9:14 PM

Joined: Feb 2018
Posts: 144
I prefer the second option, the strong ending. That's what stays in my mind, what I will remember even after a while - but I probably forget how the very first episode has been rather quickly. But that's maybe just me.
I think I tend to give a better score too to anime with good endings ( as in well made / strong ).

But I do have a hard time with slow pacing, especially in the beginning of something new, so I have to believe my friends / people here on MAL when they promise something will get better. They're mostly right XD

Jun 4, 10:25 PM

Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 717
A good ending can easily make up for a shitty beginning, but its really difficult for anything to make up for a shitty ending.
Jun 5, 12:09 AM

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 3012
Joker Game was one of my biggest disappointments... after two great first episodes, it became... meh. Though, if it's too boring for too much time... I'll leave it. I did consider to drop Durarara in the middle of the first episode, but my friend said it's going to get better so I continued. Don't regret that,

Jun 5, 12:13 AM

Joined: Jul 2015
Posts: 1815
i think the latter and the majority agrees infact. it's just way more better for a strong ending, rather than an strong start but weak ending. some animes imo i found them boring but oh boy the endings :ok_hand:
Jun 5, 12:20 AM

Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 401
That's basically saying: would you want Darling in the Franxx or Steins;gate

is that even a question

Jun 5, 12:26 AM

Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 851
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 lot of people keep referring to Katekyo Hitman Reborn for having a really shitty start but gets better later on.

I tried watching it, and the beginning is rather crap tbh.. still dont if it gets better or not cuz I've placed it on hold

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Jun 5, 12:35 AM

Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 4849
I have yet to watch an anime that "got better over time" If I cant get behind the characters, story, premise etc at the start why would I give a f**k later on? Odds are I'd just drop it before that.
Any show that someone told me it "got/gets better later" it just didnt.
Jun 5, 1:55 AM

Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 49
I think that slow start doesn’t mean a bad start. As for me, the indicator of potentially good anime is the strong directing, interesting characters and their interactions and some small details that will play important role later on.
As an example of anime with a strong start, but with a boring and generic middle or weak ending is Shield Hero, SAO, Tokyo Ghoul, Death Note (the 2nd half), Psycho-pass (after the first season), Darker than Black, Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (2nd season) and maybe remake of Yamato 2199, which I haven’t finished but I’m sure that after 9th episode the show won’t become more interesting and deep.
As an opposite example with a slow start, but with good middle and the ending I have anime like Steins;Gate, Baccano, Durarara (first season), Fate/Zero, Jojo, LOGH, Madoka, Gurren-Lagann, Shinsekai Yori, Cowboy Bebop, Toradora, Sangatsu no Lion, Clannad, Girl’s Last Tour, Garden of Sinners, Fullmetall Alchemist: Brotherhood and also i’m sure that Count of Monte Christo will become very good because I see a lot of ingredients of good show in first few episodes even though the start is a little bit slow it does’t feel like a waste of time.
Jun 5, 2:29 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 64
The second choice needed to be understandable, although it's true I voted it, it needs a little more explanation - a slow start isn't just about the quality of art sound and stuff but the general idea is what needs to take the watcher to - if the 1st ep is boring and it's idea is bad even if the story is getting better in 2nd 5th or 10th ep it doesn't matter because the 1st ep is usually making the setting for the whole anime so probably the people who vote for the second choice doesn't mean start badly and slowly with a bad setting but starting slowly with a good setting and story that makes you interests in the story so although for the first arc it's kinda slow and not much eventful the story and the idea will hunt u to keep going and so when it is getting more exciting when u will reach the end u will want to rewatch it, because if the ending itself is making a good end but u have still have a thought "alright it's ended let's got the the next anime" it's not kind of ending to a slow place series in the start but a good ending that u will want to watch the first slow-paced episodes again just to watch again the first ep.
I will give an example for my one of my favorite series to do the opposite - Death Note, that starting really good and don't fall back in the first part maybe for a an episode or two, which is understandable in all kind of long series to have a episode or two like this, but for the second part that everyone might agree that really dropped the quality u won't dropped it yet because the first part made a good setting so when u will come to it's good end u will probably want to watch over again, maybe not for the second part but the first.
In the other hand, FMAB is probably for the must fans from the first series started really fast and not so well like the first series but after the old material has gone it's only just got better till the last and final episode, but will u watch again the series? the start wasn't good as the new arcs, but because u can't go to the better episodes without the first episodes u will watch them again, and just is the example I need for my opinion.
Jun 5, 2:59 AM

Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 204
KRKodama said:
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.
I voted for option 2 without a second thought but you make a lot of sense.
Jun 5, 1:10 PM

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 7440
1. Strong start but can not maintain = Disappointing potential waster

2. Slow start but finishes strong = Satisfying payoff

It's definitely option 2 if I was forced to choose, but ideally I prefer something that starts strong, stays strong, and ends stronger.
"Should I be concerned over the obvious delight our daughter takes in the ultra-violence?"
"It's genetic"
-Red Arrow to Cheshire (Young Justice)
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