The Anime Pulse #28 – Consider Yourself Dropped

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of The Anime Pulse. I ended up dropping a show this season and it got me wondering what a show has to do in order for me to kick it to the curb. I wanted to sit and reflect on this because there have been really crappy shows that I actually sat through and watched from beginning to end, regretting it every step of the way. So how can I justify dropping a show if I am willing to sit through some pretty atrocious pieces of garbage?

The reasons for ditching a series vary from person to person, but for me either two things need to happen. The first is if you absolutely bore me to the point where simply clicking on the next episode seems like a herculean task, or you are so atrociously annoying that I can’t even stomach watching another minute. Of course that doesn’t rule out the obvious third reason of just being so bad that even I, a watcher of some bad animes, can’t even stomach to watch another minute of it.

The show I ended up dropping this season was Hai to Gensou no Grimjar. This show has received a lot of praise in some anime communities and even in the rankings in Japan. It was number two or three in popularity and I’m sitting here wondering why. Of course, there are some who are voicing their negative opinions on the show, but for me, my reason is that this show is putting me to sleep. We are four episodes in and the show has done next to nothing to try and dig into the mystery of how they got there. They’ve literally spent four episodes walking around killing goblins. That’s it.

Sure there was a major event that happened in episode four, but there was hardly any build up for that event to make me even care. My reaction was “well.. that just happened.” Not to mention that this anime series feels like a cleverly disguised advertisement for an upcoming album. Every episode has featured a full-length insert song set to a rotating picture slideshow of still shots with SOME animation sprinkled here or there.. you know… to try and mask the obvious. Those scenes dragged on for what seemed like forever and actually made me wonder just when the hell it was going to be over with so we could carry on with the damn story… which the show hasn’t really done except for that one moment in episode four.

I know this is supposed to be a hybrid of slice of life meets fantasy, but this is just REALLY slow-paced, but then again, maybe I’m wrong for jumping the gun here because I have been proven wrong before. A show that started out slow that ended up being one of my favorite animes was Shiki… same could be said for Steins;Gate, but the difference between those two shows and Hai to Gensou no Grimjar, is that while they were slow, they actually didn’t stall for four episodes and do next to jack shit.

Another example of my interest being saved is with Mahou Sensei Negima. I’m currently reading Ken Akamatsu’s UQ Holder and I absolutely love it. I never read Negima, but when I checked out what the community was saying about UQ Holder, they said that a lot of the characters in there, like Eva, Negi Springfield, and Fate Avaruncus, came from the Negima manga. Seeing how I like UQ Holder and I liked Lova Hina, another one of Akamatsu’s works, I decided to start reading Negima and my first impressions of it, really are not that good.

I understand Akamatsu is a pervert through and through and he likes high energy scenes as evident with Love Hina. He has that in UQ Holder as well, but the beginning of Negima… Oh my GOD, Ken… you REALLY went overboard with that shit! First you introduce a HUGE cast of characters, completely throwing pacing out the window, and then you just whip up a tornado mixed with a headache on nearly every single page as every girl and their mother fawns over a 10 year old Negi Springfield. At least Love Hina seemed like controlled chaos… this…. I can’t even put it into words at how painful it was to read each chapter.

But I was told by a friend to stick with it so I trudged through each page and got to around chapter 50. The battle at the Kansai Magic Association was extremely well-done and turned my interest around almost immediately. Instead of cringing through each page, I wanted to see more of it as quickly as possible and now I am enjoying the manga greatly.

So my question to you all is this. What are your tolerance levels for a show before you decide to give it the boot? Do you give shows a chance or do you just push the big red button at the slightest hint of inferiority?

I ask because I used to be the latter. When I was just getting into anime, I would judge an show by its first episode and if it didn’t do anything for me, I didn’t even give it a chance. Over time I learned to abandon that way of thinking because some of those shows turned to be masterful or even enjoyable. Sure, not every show ends up like that, but I’ve become more tolerant of stuff out there. I mean, I did sit through both seasons of Shinmai Maou no Testament and have watched Pupa from beginning to end.

So going back to my earlier question, why would I watch a terrible anime series when I just ditch others? Because some of those terrible animes actually have SOME redeeming qualities that don’t make them complete and total garbage. The fights in Shinmai Maou no Testament were pretty decent. Sadly, that’s the only reason I could give to watch the show. Pupa was just disturbingly bad, but they only threw it at you in four minute blocks so you can actually get in, be disgusted, and get out quickly. I guess short bursts helps sometimes.

Of course there are many other shows I didn’t like but still finished, but then there are those like Hidan no Aria which made me want to put my head through a wall. If there is one thing I can’t stand is a high-pitched female character that yells, screams, talks fast, and overreacts. It’s fine if it’s here or there, but when I saw that the first episode featured this for lengthy periods of time, I was just like “NOPE” and pushed the Weakest Link button.

I just had to go on this little bit of a rant and get that off my chest.

Any horror stories you’d like to share? If so, drop me a line at joshpiedra@theouterhaven.net. Also, be sure to give me a follow on Twitter @TheAnimePulse

Until next time,

Ja ne!