Friday’s Feature – High Expectations

This one is going to be a super short feature because I’ve been on holidays and I’m just catching up with everything now and I nearly decided to pull the feature this week. However, with the summer anime season starting up it seemed like a good time to talk about one of the biggest issues with new release anime – high expectations.

Yes, this could carry over to any new release as the hype wagon gets going and then the haters get on board and the war of words and gifs and memes takes hold and eventually you forget that you haven’t actually watched or read the story but you already know everything about it (or everything that people have said about it). It kills stories dead in their tracks and turns you away, or worse, gets you expecting something amazing when what you get could have been okay but since you now have to swallow it with disappointment all you remember is feeling let down.

Sometimes the distributors have only themselves to blame for generating false hype, but the internet is definitely something to be feared when it comes to this.

I tried really, really hard to not get my hopes up for the D Gray Man series that was starting this summer but when I finally saw that Anime Lab had it I was all but jumping for joy. I can’t even blame internet hype for this one. D Gray Man was one of my earliest anime that I watched as an adult. It’s up there with Bleach, Death Note and Evangelion for cementing my love of anime and when I realised it had stopped way back when I was devastated (or at least really annoyed). Even then, I waited a day before watching the episode and told myself that I wouldn’t be upset if it didn’t live up to my memories of the show or to my overblown expectations. (Fortunately this story had a happy ending and I’ll write up my review of this episode later).

Last season it was Kiznaiver. There was so much hype about that anime and the promotional videos and the characters and how pretty it was and then what we got was kind of a decent anime but it in no way lived up to the expectations that had been built around it. I think if I’d watched Kiznaiver without any of the other stuff, I’d probably have enjoyed it more. And while that may not be fair, that’s the way it goes.

So what anime were you let down by after the hype machine got going? Or rather, what anime do you wish you had watched without any of the hype?


16 thoughts on “Friday’s Feature – High Expectations

  1. I had this problem with Kiznaiver and definitely One Punch Man. Everyone (and I mean literally everyone I knew) were singing high praises for the anime and when I watched it, I couldn’t even get past the first episode! It was absurd and weird and not my cup of tea at all. But I’m willing to try Mob Psycho 100 and fingers crossed for it to be better!
    On the other hand, I was okay with Berserk this season. I found the CGI weird af and sadly the story picks up from where the original series had left off so it was kind of disappointing! Also it’s super hyped this season! When I see the discussion forum at MAL, the fans just seem to be torn apart between liking and outright hating it.

    1. I didn’t watch One Punch Man when it was released for just that reason. Nothing could have lived up to that hype. After awhile though I gave the anime a go and found it okay. I still don’t get why people think its amazing but it is certainly interesting.

  2. My brother said Shomin Sample was hilarious and got me excited for the anime adaptation. Unfortunately, the animation was cheap and the gag delivery was lacking.

    However, I have to say the manga adaptation is way better. It just sucks when the anime adaption falls flat.

    1. That’s definitely a problem when so many animes are adaptations. There’s always some expectation on them before they even begin.

  3. Aldnoah.Zero was the biggest letdown for me, by far. It started off so strong, so hype… and then it just fell apart and kept giving me reasons to not take any serious event seriously. :'(

    1. I watched the second season of A/Z for the first time the other day. Glad I hadn’t rushed into that. Compared to the first season it’s pretty flat.

      1. Mostly, there’s no real stakes or tension. Inaho is completely OP and people keep getting brought back from the dead. Doesn’t make for an immersive story. 🙁

        1. I was more annoyed by Slaine’s character as none of his actions seem at all logical from the end of the first season on. I mean, what was he actually hoping for? I know what he says he is trying to accomplish but did he actually think that was ever going to work?

          1. On one hand was Inaho who was so logical he was boring to watch. Then there was Slaine, who was so emotional that it got annoying to watch him. Two different extremes, same general lack of empathy for each.

          2. See I liked Inaho because I like it when characters act logically and he just took that to an extreme (kind of like Spock really). Overly emotional characters however are a dime a dozen.

          3. Yeah, don’t get me wrong, I absolutely prefer the more logical and coolheaded characters! But when they go unchallenged it just feels like fanservice. It’s not a bad thing by necessity, but it’s also not deeper writing that expands on character development that I would have expected from a project involving Urobuchi.

  4. In the past, the anime club I belonged to use to have screenings of new anime every month and I’d base if I liked it off that. now, since the club went MIA, I can’t really judge new anime.

  5. Rewrite did not meet my expectations since the hype was so high, but it was still good. So good <3

    1. I kind of avoided caring about the hype over Rewrite given I have no prior knowledge of the subject matter. That probably helped because otherwise I probably would have been more annoyed at how it turned out.

  6. Huh, maybe that’s why I liked Kiznaiver better than what the overall opinion is; because I didn’t watch any of the promo material… who knows?

    But to answer the question, I was let down yesterday when I finished watching High School Fleet. I was so let down by my own expectations of something akin to Girls und Panzer or Arpeggio of Blue Steel that by the time it ended I had transformed into a delirious cynical laughing bastard. But I’ll stop here before this turns into another rant about it.

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