When I was younger I would always finish what I started so dropped anime weren’t really an issue. Whether it was a movie, a TV series, a novel, a magazine, it did not matter. Once I’d started it I was committed to the end. It meant I ended up watching and reading some things that just were not worth it.
When I got back into anime as an adult, I kind of carried some of those traits into my viewing. I used to watch until at least the half-way point before dropping a series, but as my access to anime increased (and my life away from anime got busier) I realised that if I didn’t want to waste the little time I had to spend watching anime on something I hated it, I would need to start letting things go. And so I now have a lot of titles that have fallen into the dropped anime category.
That doesn’t mean I don’t ever go back and watch them. Sometimes it is just the timing that’s the issue, or my current mood. However, there are some series that just aren’t right for me so I need to just walk away.
So my list today is a bit different from some of the others. It is simply my top 5 reasons for not finishing an anime series that I had started.
Please Note – There are no spoilers today because I am not talking about any specific anime.
Number 5 Reason for Dropped Anime: Overly Generic
This isn’t always a deal breaker (and those of you who read my blog regularly will know I quite enjoy a number of stories that are pretty generic). Sometimes generic anime are quite entertaining and it isn’t as though there are many stories that are original when you break them down into their individual parts.
But an anime that doesn’t feel like it is doing anything new will quickly fall into the dull category and when you are time poor, an anime that isn’t bringing anything new to the table is usually one that will hit the chopping block, particularly if it is pretty lame in how it goes about it.
A myriad of cute girls doing cute things fall into this category because of the generic high school settings with fairly stock archetypes. And I know fans of the cute girl genre will point to all the ways they distinguish themselves but to me they mostly all play the same way with the same gags so they don’t do a lot for me.
Then again, I’m far more tolerant of isekai stories and am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, even if when we get to the end of the season I realise I probably could have dropped them and not really missed much. Isekai Cheat Magician definitely fell into this category of anime I probably should have just dropped.
Number 4 Reason for Dropped Anime: It’s Bad
You would think that poor quality (whether it be visuals or story) would be higher up the list, but amazingly enough I’ll put up with bad as long as it’s entertaining. Still, there’s entertainingly bad and then there is just plain rubbish and it’s a fine line.
That’s the reason I made it to the end of Full Dive, because I kept hoping that despite so many negative attributes the whole show would end up saying something. Of course, I also just watch a lot of bad anime for the amusement of it so something just being poorly done, while sometimes being a reason to drop an anime, isn’t always a deal breaker. After all I did watch and enjoy King’s Game.
Still, if something is undeniably rubbish in terms of production, and the characters are also awful and the story is going nowhere, I will drop it but this isn’t the most important criteria for me.
Number 3 Reason for Dropped Anime: Offensive
This one is highly subjective as what offends one viewer won’t really be a problem for the next. I don’t like sexist remarks but that won’t stop me watching an otherwise good show, though I will probably complain about the character delivering them.
Even fan service won’t normally put me off if the rest of the story is interesting enough but I do have a limit. Seikon no Qwaser definitely went too far for me and so I stopped watching it. I was clearly never intended to be the audience for that show and rather than rail against it I just stopped watching.
Still, I know some people found the fan-service in Lord Marksman and Vanadis excessive and I didn’t really have a problem with it.
Adding something to my dropped anime pile is a much better option.
Number 2 Reason for Dropped Anime: Not My Taste
There are some anime out there that are amazing but I am just not into them. Sweetness and Lightning fell into that category and the season before Flying Witch squarely hit the not-my-taste reason for dropping. This one is probably the hardest category because objectively I know that the anime is actually quite good, but I’m not enjoying it.
So, the question is how many minutes do you watch something you don’t really like before you throw them into the dropped anime collection? Yes, I watch shows that are of significantly worse quality than these but they somehow appeal to me and when I’m watching for enjoyment, that has to be my main consideration.
Number 1 Reason for Dropped Anime: Irritating Main Character
I will put up with a lot in anime but when the protagonist annoys me at every moment in every scene, to the point where I’m not following the story but plotting that main character’s demise, I know I need to stop watching the show.
This was my main reason for not finishing Endride (though it also suffered from being badly written and generic) and it was my reason for not getting into Re:Zero. An irritating character is fine, or a protagonist I don’t like is fine, but a protagonist I loathe and cannot stand to watch is probably my main reason for not watching something through.
Even in the case of Re:Zero where we are supposed to dislike Subaru he was just too irritating to find anything about the show enjoyable. I couldn’t care less if he dropped dead and stayed that way because to be honest, he really annoyed me that much. I wasn’t alone in my dislike of Subaru though many viewers did persevere and enjoyed aspects of the anime, for me it was a deal breaker and added Re:Zero to my dropped anime collection and there is will stay.
So, what reasons do you have for dropped anime? Or do you always finish what you start? Share a comment below and let me know.
Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
39 thoughts on “Top 5 Reasons I Dropped Anime Mid-Season”
the only anime that I will drop in an instant is harem + echhi., sadly, this limits my choices.
Very Good points for dropping an anime, I am still the same and will watch a series half way through but it’s been rare ive dropped any anime, some of the ones dropped or on hold in my mal list were due to distractions or being bothered at the time of watching them,. I wish to go revisit them at some point 🙂 Awesome post
I definitely relate to you in that I was such a completionist when I was younger. I’d 100% all of my video games, and I would obsessively buy and listen to whole albums by my favorite bands. Now I’m just an old curmudgeon who won’t waste his time on anything even remotely subpar.
I overall agree with your list, though the choices are kind of obvious. The only thing I disagree with is the notion that a bad show is still watchable if it’s entertainingly bad. By personal principle, I don’t relish in the awfulness of a show; I’m just pissed off.
Or better, I don’t even start watching it. I’d usually check out Bobduh’s First Episode Retrospectives and ANN’s preview guide before I start picking seasonal shows, and as a result, I usually only watch around 3-5 shows at a time. But even then, I have a pretty low tolerance for shit.
If I had to think of a specific reason as to why I drop shows, it’d be that the story is going in a certain trajectory that I don’t like. I have pretty high expectations as to what direction a story /ought/ to go and how the themes /ought/ to be articulated. Occasionally the show surprises me with its ingenuity and craft and my expectations are broken in a good way. But a lot of the time, the story just disappoints me, and I lose all hope. Of course, part of my mind is always worried that I unfairly dismissed a show prematurely, but the negative feelings I feel are so great that I just can’t watch anymore. Maybe this is a counterproductive way to watch shows, but it makes me feel good about myself, so I’ll just keep doing it…
Excellent list! As someone who used to be staunch about finishing things from start to ending, I quickly discovered that forcing myself through books, games and anime that I wasn’t enjoying even if it was very popular, just wasted my time and made me really antagonistic towards the thing itself. So since 2 years ago or so, I’m more picky and drop shows or put them in the on-hold list, in case I might feel like continuing from where I left. If I find I haven’t continued after a few years, I just drop them :’D
I think the biggest nowadays of dropping an anime is if it feels slow. Slow doesn’t give me momentum as a bingewatcher, so even tho there’s good series out there that are slow, I just find I’m not as attracted to them or will feel like watching them （；^ω^）
True, slow can be a turnoff. I found that with Flying Witch. Nothing wrong with the show but just too slow for my liking.
Slow can really kill any momentum and turn a thing lukewarm, in my opinion, even if it’s interesting or I like the premise…Like Tokyo Ghoul, which I haven’t continued yet because after 4 episodes I just found it slow so it’ll have to be another day :’D
Yup, that about sums it up 😉
I personally try to find joy in every anime I watch. That said, what makes me lose interest or not gain any interest at all are the types of anime that are basically a carbon copy of another anime. The typical high school setting anime is something for example that I do not like at all. I’ve watched so many anime like that I can’t really stand it anymore. It’s not that I rarely even laugh at the gags you may find in these anime.
For me, I tend to finish what I start. Only in extreme cases do I drop a show. The latest I dropped was Big Order because, let’s face it, that show is abysmally bad.
Abysmally bad is a great descriptor for it. I made it through but probably just to see how bad it was going to get.
I dont know if I should watch Re: Zero now because of this list. At least I got informed.
Re zero is a bit slow but it’s definitely worth it. I love the show and will continue to watch it!
Give it a go and see what you make of it. If he doesn’t annoy you all that much, you’ll probably enjoy the rest of the show.
I think you’ve got a good list here and I’m sure pretty much any of my own reasons for dropping things would fall under one of these categories. For the most part I don’t drop shows because I both don’t like doing so and because I somewhat value the bad experiences they create. Knowing how bad something is gives me context for the things I do like in other shows and in kind of a sick way makes me appreciate other stuff more (I’m crazy). It’s interesting that an irritating character is so high on your list when absurdly bad quality or perhaps even the blandness of the show probably outstrip that aspect for me. I find it all the more tolerable when something like Re:Zero illustrates its protagonist unpleasantly and obnoxiously for the sake of reasoned agenda. But then again, whether its on purpose or not, being annoying is still being annoying I suppose so I understand why a lot of people dropped out midway through.
I also kind of like some shows that are really bad just because they do make me appreciate other shows that do things better (that’s particularly true in the horror category).
I usually drop a show when the main characters are boring and/or the story doesn’t sort itself out halfway in. Unless the characters get to the point of utter annoyance, it’s safe. If there is a character that I can emphasize with, I will watch to the bitter end. I’m all for a good idea but when they drag it on for too long I’ll stop watching. If i’m sure it’s going to be a bad show, I would watch with a friend or a family member. As long as the characters, generic or not, do something that’s semi-intriguing, it’s a win-win situation.
I agree with you on Re:Zero, Subaru really ruined it for me, I just can’t understand what he’s thinking and the plot is sadistic to boot. Still watching it though.
See, I just couldn’t make it past the first episode and while everyone seems to agree the story is good (for the most part) when I tried to give it another go, he was still there being just as annoying and I once again didn’t make it past episode 1 and I’ve now crossed it off my watch list.
Nice list! All of these are very legitimate reasons for dropping a show. Me, I tend to only drop shows outright if they’re just flat out boring. I can usually make my way through any show if it can manage to bring something to the table that holds my attention. If it’s just boring, such as your example with being really generic, I just don’t want to give it anything more than a shot. Sometimes, there are shows that aren’t really generic and present themselves in a way that would appear to hook in viewers, but in the end just ends up being so predictable that it’s not even worth it for the pretty visuals and fight scenes. I really don’t like outright dropping shows since you never know what might be a diamond in the rough, but there are those occasions when you have to cut the cord out of lack of hope.
I think that’s why I”ve sat through as many shows as I have. Part of me keeps thinking they must be going somewhere. However, having been burned so many times I’m getting better at letting things go.
I usually complete what I finish if it’s a short anime and I’ve already watched at least half of it. And if I’ve watched half, then the assumption that I at least enjoy it and want to see how it ends. If the first couple of episodes don’t interest me, then I likely will drop it by then. The exception would be if someone says, “It gets better,” though sometimes I’m under the mindset that the first episode should have already been good.
I also have a tipping point where even if I start hating something, I feel I’ve committed too much time to it. Taboo Tattoo would be my current example of something I really should let go and yet have not.
Really good list of reasons. I can deal with generic and I can deal with bad, as long as the other factors aren’t in my face that is, and I can usually tell by the synopsis if I can put up with a series or not. It’s worked for me thus far. But the other 2 offenses can’t be saved. It could even be a side character but if they’re annoying and show up enough it puts me on a thin line of enjoyment. Everything else is going well but just when I think I won’t see them for a while, BOOM, there they are again -_-
It really is interesting how off putting an annoying character can be. Even the best story in the world can’t be tolerated when you are irked by the mere presence of a character.
Hahaha such valid reasons
I always try to finish everything I start, but in saying that I’m so tempted too drop Hakkenden. God this show is so disjointed and crap. The only reason why I continue is because I bought it physically – I’ll be dammed to just let it sit on my shelf, realising I wasted money. Anime isn’t exactly cheap 🙁
Hakkenden is pretty disconnected, and it doesn’t exactly finish, but I still quite enjoyed it (though I didn’t physcially buy it). For me, I quite liked the characters but if you aren’t really caring about their plight their isn’t a lot else to the series to make it compelling viewing.
I used to be anal about finishing stuff too, be it anime, books or western shows. Lately though, my tolerance for bad shows seems to have plummeted. Most of the reasons you’ve listed apply to me as well. Usually, I drop shows if they bore me to death or piss me off too much. H.O.T.D is a fine example. I was initially interested by the premise but 3 episodes of pantyshots and gore later, I was so very done.
I think the more exposure you have to shows (or anime) the more critical you become because you know that there is something better and you probably don’t need to be spending minutes on something you aren’t really in to. Thanks for the comment.
I don’t recall ever actively saying that I would never finish a show, but there are a few shows that I started and just sort of forgot about… I can and have watched some terrible anime all the way through, but it was because it was entertaining to see how bad they were. But shows that as you said aren’t my taste or just feel “meh” to me are the ones I usually stop watching. Twin Star Excorcists is an example. I thought the first episode of it was okay. It’s probably a good show as a whole, but I keep forgetting about it and haven’t gotten past the second episode… I definitely understand your reasons for dropping shows though.
Your list seems pretty complete. However this seems like a good chance to rant, so let me mention the deadliest sin an anime can commit: combining the drop reasons. For example I found Requiem for the phantom both bad and having annoying caharcters.
But to also add to the list: an annoying antagonist is just as bad as an annoying protagonist, so stories where the bad guys are bad guys for the sake of being bad guys are marked for being dropped.
Have to agree with the annoying antagonist (or pointless antagonist) reason for dropping an anime.
I actually really liked Requiem for the Phantom but I can see how the characters might annoy others.
I like harem shows but they have to over the top but if the lead girl is a loli i drop it like its hot and try something else
I don’t drop anime’s, however what I do is take long breaks. I can go months, sometimes even a whole year not finishing an anime, all because one night I wasn’t in the mood, decided to watch something new and didn’t end up going back. Most times when I’ve stopped watching an anime I’ve regretted it because once I go back something amazing happens and I’m angry that I avoided it for so long😅
I also use to try and finish everything I use to watch, it became exhausting. Then I fell into the trap of judging an entire anime based on the first episode. Thus my 5 episode rule was born, if I don’t like it after episode 5, then I will probably ditch it or just really drag out watching it, putting it off until there is nothing else I can watch at the time. I agree with your reasons for dropping anime, I also dislike annoying main characters. They get under my skin and into my brain to the point where I no longer care about the anime…a.k.a We Were There
I have to complete what I start – the only time I’ve not finished an anime is when the dub was just so unbearable to me that I had to stop watching. I’m really, really picky with what I watch though, so I usually pick what I think I will like from reading the description, or recommendations from friends who I know would recommend to me things I would like, or they think I would like, so I rarely wind up watching an anime that I dislike. I’m all over generic concepts though, as long as I enjoy them to some degree XD