Last year I touched on my reasons for rewatching anime in a feature post that I had a lot of fun writing. However the question this week is a slightly different take on the situation. It isn’t about rewatching something you enjoyed but rather taking the time to watch something you didn’t like the first time. For some people that might seem a little crazy, but there’s definitely cases for it.
I originally really didn’t like Stein’s Gate. Eventually after a rewatch I ended up enjoying it very much. Has this ever happened to you? Where you watched a show for a second time, and ended up liking it even though you didn’t like it the first time?Raistlin
Those who have followed my blog since 2016 may remember my initial thoughts on Ouran High School Host Club as expressed in my review of the series. While I ended up writing quite the positive review of the series I did explain my impression on the first attempt at watching it:
I didn’t finish it the first time through. I got, maybe 10 episodes in and just couldn’t take any more vapidness so walked away.Karandi – 2016
Yeah, Ouran was one of those anime, like Haikyuu, that people kept insisting I should watch. However, I was worn down on Ouran much faster than Haikyuu for the simple fact that the person recommending it incessantly knew me well enough to dangle a decent female harem lead as bait and for the sheer novelty of a non-blank slate harem protagonist I decided to give it a twirl. And yeah, it really didn’t go well.
I think for a lot of Ouran High School Host Club I continue to have mixed feelings toward it. And maybe that is what draws me back to it again and again. There are elements, such as Haruhi’s character and the twins, that have clicked with me, and even Tamaki is less annoying once you get a better understanding of his character. There are other elements, like the repeated banana peel joke, that still fall flat and I wince as those scenes and setups approach just waiting for the poor punchline.
However, the one element I have the most mixed feelings about is the opening. Whether in English or Japanese I’ll go from singing along to its infectious boppiness one day to cringing the next time I hear it and reaching for the remote or the mouse to skip it fast. One day I’ll find it charming and another grating. Still, given how many times I’ve now watched the anime, I’m pretty sure this one counts as an anime I’ve fallen hard for.
As for other titles I’ve had a similar reaction to, most of them are comedies. Things like Acchi Kocchi where when I first started watching it I was more bemused than amused and just kind of transfixed and staring at the events unfolding. By the end of the series I was enjoying it and when I went back I found that the first episodes were among the strongest in the series and now that I’d gotten used to the tone and characters they were so much more enjoyable.
Kyou Kara Maou was another one where the first time I started watching it I bailed a few episodes in because I just found the characters to be too over the top and the jokes weren’t landing. While I won’t argue that Kyou Kara Maou is a particularly amazing anime, and visually it has dated badly, but I for whatever reason went back and watched it and I ended up very fond of the cast and enjoyed the story. The fact that I can now access it through AnimeLab in Australia is just brilliant and I’ve been doing a slow rewatch throughout the year and it is still kind of fun though I think this one will wear out with repeated rewatches because there just isn’t quite enough substance.
As always, I want to know what my readers think. Which anime did you not like the first time but came back for a second dose and discovered something you could love? Of course if you want to ask me a question please DM me on Twitter or complete the survey.
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