When I was younger I would always finish what I started. 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, 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. 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: Overly Generic
This isn’t always a deal breaker. 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.
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.
Number 4: 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.
Number 3: 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 otherwsie good show, though I will probably complain about the character delivering them. Even fan service won’t normally put me off. 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.
Number 2: Not My Taste
Pretty self-explanatory. There are some anime out there that are amazing but I am just not into them. Recently 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? 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: 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.
So, what are your reasons for dropping an anime, or are you someone who has to complete what you start?