Friday’s Feature: Betraying My Own Expectations as a Viewer

Admittedly, this is not so much a feature as a ramble.

If you were to ask me directly what kind of anime I liked and didn’t like most of my regular readers already know that I would put comedy, slice of life, and cute girls doing anything pretty much on the side of generally not liked and horror and darker anime on the side of anime I quite enjoy. Shounen titles and drama tend to fall somewhere in the middle depending on their focus.

So imagine my surprise as I began the process of finalising my picks for reviewing this Spring and realised quite an odd trend. With the exception of Attack on Titan and My Hero Academia (both of which are only medium priority because while I’ll enjoy them well enough neither one had a first season that I would add to my list of favourite anime ever – with these I watch, I enjoy, I move on) the majority of the titles I’ve picked are pretty low key and there’s a lot of cute going on. Though I will admit I’m not even going to try to classify Kado at this point because I have no idea what that is going to become.

Starting with the sequels: I’ve got Natsume Yuujinchou which can only be described as a slice of life with a supernatural paint job just to give me enough justification to say that I’m watching a fantasy rather than a slice of life (it’s a slice of life, I’ve more or less accepted that) and then The Eccentric Family which is much the same. Slice of life with a supernatural paint job. Just for an added weirdness, The Eccentric Family relies heavily on comedy and for some reason I still didn’t run for the hills but actually loved the first season.

The other two titles I’ve pretty much decided on are both fantasy. I’ll insist that forever but both of them also feature healthy doses of cute girls and other suspiciously cute characters and objects. Granblue Fantasy and WorldEnd have both given me enough reason to smile while watching that I’m going to continue. I don’t know if I’ll end up regretting those choices but for now it seems like a reasonable call.

Admittedly, I still have a whole bunch of other titles to decide on before I have a final list, but there’s an interesting number of comedy, slice of life and cute coming through this season. Meanwhile, some of the more action focussed shows have been pretty bland (through to awful) in their first episodes and in terms of horror there’s pretty much nothing going on (The World Yamizukan did not appeal).

Sagrada

Of course, this is why I don’t make a watch list before the season starts. Just because something ticks a genre box doesn’t mean I’m going to like it and if I didn’t at least try some of these other shows I really would miss out on things that I end up loving.

I watched the first episode of Natsume after seeing a random screen cap of one of the yokai in the show. I remember the feeling of being disappointed as the soft music played and the pastel colours filled the screen. Then I remember getting to the end of the first episode and immediately skipping to episode 2. And then binge watching the whole first season in a single afternoon.

Add to this the fact that I kind of enjoyed the first episode of Eromanga Sensei and either my taste has completely warped recently or some of these first episodes managed to execute ideas I would normally find repellent in an interesting manner (of course that doesn’t bode well for me finishing the season).

Spring 2017 is going to be a weird season for me in terms of reviewing and I’m still not sure what my final list looks like but hopefully it will be fun discussing all of the shows with everyone.


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Karandi James.

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15 thoughts on “Friday’s Feature: Betraying My Own Expectations as a Viewer

  1. I actually prefer dark animes myself. Sometimes I can enjoy a comedy anime, but it’s rare. I guess I like more serious stories :/ Maybe I should loosen up a bit and watch something outside of my usual genre.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I pretty much prefer dark and gloomy shows, including sci-fi and horror. Comedies I usually avoid. But lately my own tastes have been pretty much all over the place as well. I am highly enjoying Your Lie in April (I even think it is one of the best Animeseries that I have ever seen), and next up is Yuri on Ice. So yeah just like D says above: taste can sometimes be a really strange thing. I always am willing to try out pretty much everything (but I am still avoiding comedy series though…lol đŸ˜‚). Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting post.

    I’ve more or less experienced the same thing in the past, which is why nowadays I more or less go into every show with very little expectations (unless its a second season of something I’ve seen or based on a Manga I’ve read before). That way, I never get disappointed by my expectations being broken.

    That being said, I have often been surprised by shows I didn’t expect I’d care for at all. The best example of this would be Tanaka-kun Is Always Listless. The show sounded like the most boring thing in the world to me, and now not only is it a 10 out of 10 Anime for me and one of my favourites, but it’s also the face of my online persona, the very foundation of my blog. It’s really amazing how things can surprise you sometimes.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. While I did drop Tanaka-kun I was amazed I watched 4 episodes of it and even then I didn’t drop it because it was bad, it was just that little bit too slow for me. However, if I’d just read the description, I’d have never even started it and then the first few episodes were actually quite well done and pleasant.

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  4. Karandi, this is why you’re fun to read. You’ll give most everything a shot, even if it has a fairly short chance to earn your viewership.

    Prior to last year I was pretty much in the same boat. My anime choices were almost always action/fantasy/shounen. Now I watch a large variety including slice of life and shoujo. Like you said, you don’t know what you’re going to miss if you don’t try it. If I didn’t branch out, I wouldn’t have seen Ouran, Toradora!, or Your lie in April.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think if someone had just tried to sell me on the premise of Ouran I’d have laughed at them for thinking I’d ever watch that. And it did take more than one go to get through the first episode of it. Now I own the DVD and its become one of the anime I regularly binge to relax.

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  5. Taste is a strange thing. I think.

    Natsume surprised me with how much I liked it as well. And now I find myself watching Ao no Kanata no Four Rhythm and liking it more than I imagined despite the ‘cute girls in a club’ premise. I admit though that unlike you. I don’t often give my non-preferred genres much of a chance. Some shows end up on my list by accident that’s all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve come across enough shows outside of my genre range that I have enjoyed that I give most things a go, but I do drop things outside of my usual genre much faster than things that might be along the lines of a genre I like. Hence why I haven’t outright dropped Silver Guardian even though it is dreadful but I just dropped Tsukigakirei when it is arguably a very good romance.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The list I write of titles as the new season starts and I see what comes out on the services I use is always fun. Shows get added, ticked, crossed, scribbled out, reordered, and eventually I throw that list out and write down my final watch list. I never really know what I’ll end up watching until I’ve seen it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I actually do miss out on a lot that way. The Saga of Tanya the Evil will wrap up in the 12 episode next week then I won’t have anything that I legit look forward to every week. Dragonball Super has become more of a chore than a must watch since it left the dark Future Trunks arc. I’m just not really feeling a lot of the titles right now. I suppose Attack on Titan, but as a manga reader I know the really exciting bits I want to see animated wont happen for a bit.

    I also have a hard time watching the very predictable fantasy genre these days. Something like Tales of Zestiria might hold my interest for a few episodes but not over the long term. It’s pretty rare I enjoy predictable plots with clear cut good VS bad stories. If they bring something fresh and new it’s always exciting.

    What comes to mind is Heroic Age. Even though it’s a classic Space Fantasy, it tells it in such a unique fashion with over the top Kaiju action I was hooked. Granted I first saw it on netflix years after it came out, still it was nice to still feel great watching a show despite it’s somewhat simple story. Honestly I love Kaiju fights and over the top action and that series had both.

    I should probably give Chain Chronicle another shot. I only watched the first episode, but it seems very predictable. Also I should force my self to watch season 2 of Tales of Zestiria. Since it might have more of the more interesting character who eats demons and less of the cliche Sorrey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chain Chronicle is as generic a fantasy as they come. I had a lot of fun with it, but it doesn’t ever move beyond standard expectations of sword and sorcery fantasy. So if predictable is a problem, give it a skip.
      Season 2 of Tales of Zestiria is kind of meh. Actually, it’s a lot meh. And the final episode has now been delayed so none of us have even seen how it ends. By the time that episode comes out, I don’t know that many of us will care anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually maybe predictable is not the word I should use. In retrospect its shows with naive plots that revolve around the idea that everyone can get along or that the world is naturally peaceful. Zestiria and Magi come to mind. Even though there are part of Magi that I really, really enjoy the entire show is not a wash. I just don’t like Aladdin’s insistence that world be peaceful because we can all get along if that makes sense. I much prefer narratives with hard fought peace if we must have peace in the end.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Now that point I have to agree with. Making friends is lovely but isn’t always possible. That’s part of the reason I’ve always liked Sailor Moon. Even though love and friendship are key themes, she literally turns her enemies into dust. As a kid that was a pretty novel concept compared to the other ‘cartoons’ where everyone just made nice.

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          1. I actually do like predictable shows. And many that I do enjoy are very predictable. Fairy Tail comes to mind. I guess it’s just how they handle it. I will agree that I first attracted to DBZ because opponents were literally blasted away (aside from Vegeta who was still beaten to within an inch of his life). I actually did watch Sailor Moon too and I noticed that as well even for a ‘lighter’ show like that. They solved problems as they came but didn’t pretend we could all just get along.

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