Random Ramblings: Mindless Self Indulgence


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Why do we put ourselves through this garbage?

(Sorry. This isn’t a music post. Although, they are a pretty good band.)

Aniblogging is an entirely subjective activity for most writers. Despite what you might believe, that “really funny” blog you like isn’t really adding much to the discussion or advancing any opinions of the show they’re reviewing. That is, unless, they actually like the show.  For example, as much as I didn’t like it, we’ve done weekly anime reviews in the past. It ended with our writers realizing it was not something they really enjoyed unless the anime we were reviewing was actually enjoyable. It was annoying. It became a chore. What it really all comes down to is your tolerance for shows that you don’t enjoy. But why not just stop watching the show? Is it really important to keep watching a show after three grueling episodes that reveal that this series isn’t worth your time? I started thinking about this after realizing that I haven’t rated a show under 7 out of 10 since I’ve seen Blood-C and I definitely knew what I was getting into before I started. It was good fun, but I really don’t watch lowly rated shows or things I don’t enjoy immediately. So what’s the big deal?

Like I said earlier, I usually give shows a 3-4 episode viewing before deciding that this series might be worth my while. It gives me enough time to evaluate if I enjoy what I’m seeing and if I want to see more. Pretty simple right? If a show doesn’t hold my attention I’ll usually drop it or put it on hold.  This is something I carried over from my sister who basically got me into watching anime. Although she doesn’t watch much anymore, other than keeping up to date with the most recent JoJo’s, she still follows this rule. I feel as if many others do the same thing or something close to what I’m trying to explain here. They watch a PV, check out a few episodes, then decide if it’s worth the rest of the ride. Although, there’s sort of a problem with this formula. I don’t even come close to the amount of anime a lot of people watch from seeing the “days of watched” on myanimelist or other websites. This must mean people knowingly run through a show they don’t really enjoy right? One of my good friends who I convinced to start watching more shows in high school now has surpassed me in anime watched. Of course, our tastes differ, but he definitely has blown through some shows that he hated watching. I’m not talking about shows like School Days or Blood-C that ring about a sort of “it’s so bad that it’s good” feeling when watching, but shows that were really not entertaining at all to the him when it comes down to rating. I feel as if a lot of it has to do with anticipation that things might get better as the series develops.

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Expectations are always high for shows with great budget, a well known studio, or a promising source material.  Though, a lot of these shows are known to fail. Adaptations or sequels also have this mist of doubt surrounding them. Eureka Seven AO was something I personally did not like halfway through. I dropped it and saved myself from a lot of disappointment. Fans who kept watching had to deal with characters they didn’t care for and an ending that was mostly sub par/jeer worthy. People always want things to be good. No one wants to be disappointed in series. No one wants to watch a show they considered “bad”. Let’s try to break down what to do if a show isn’t meeting your standards and you’ve already given it a good 3-7 episode chance. Step 1: Stop watching the series. Step 2: Wait and see if the consensus of reviews results in a decent to great rating. Step 2.5: If the ratings aren’t satisfactory, don’t watch the show. Step 3: Return once the series is finished airing and give it a second chance. Hell, even after following these steps you might downright hate the show! But at least you didn’t go through any hair loss or forget to watch the San Antonio Spurs get demolished in the playoffs. Despite how simple it is to avoid mundane or uninteresting shows, people still sit through them.  We still see blog posts and video reviews of shows that the writer obviously do not enjoy watching. Why is this still prevalent these days? We have infinite resources to inform us if something is worth watching or not. So what impels a large portion of the audience to keep watching? I blame circle jerking for the most part.

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I’ve read blogs, been on the boards, watched video reviewers and the predominant message in a lot of their content is “Wow. This show is so bad: [Insert Family Guy Tier Joke] No one should watch this show, but i’m going to keep watching” This does absolutely nothing but promote or compel the audience to watch to show in an attempt to connect with the personality. Even in the comments of the review there are no constructive criticism or concise following. It’s all either banter or circle jerking. So what happens to the series being discussed? Nothing is translated correctly or relevantly to whether or not this show is worth watching. People continue to watch not for anticipation that the show will get any better, but in hopes that there will be something to use as a great joke in their post or comment of said blog post. There isn’t even consideration from the writer that the show they’re watching might be good. Preference in taste comes into account and the show is labeled as bad or written off with jokes about how much better it could be. Sure, you can have a favorite series of the year but does that make it objectively the best show of the year? Most likely not. Sugar coating words does not change the final feelings transmitted when writing. If you didn’t enjoy a show, just stop watching it. Why stick to it for the sake of repetitive humor and group monotony? Even after 10 full episodes reviewed, blogs may even flip the switch, praise the show, and end up giving it a rating higher than anticipated from earlier reviews. This is basically my main argument in why I dislike episodic reviewing. Despite what you may over analyze in each episode you review, as a whole, the series may break expectations or falter where you least expect it. This is all getting a little irrelevant to the topic at hand so I’ll leave it at this. Let’s stop watching things we don’t enjoy. By we, I don’t mean as a whole, but you yourself.

If you don’t enjoy what you’re watching. Stop watching it. Nothing will be learned, gained, or sacrificed by dropping a series. It’s fucking anime. It will always be there if you feel like coming back to it. Leave the scores and analysis for people who care for the show or have a higher tolerance for things that just aren’t your cup of tea. I don’t sit around watching 5 moe shows expecting to be coming out of them saying “wow that was worth my time” because I just don’t enjoy those types of shows. What’s important in watching anime is not the score that will come about when finished, but if you had a good time watching it. Did you learn anything? Did it entice some sort of feeling or excitement from watching it? Did it make you laugh uncontrollably? Was it entertaining to you? It’s all just entertainment. A form of media and art that was made for others to appreciate. Not to baffle about whether it meets a 4-6 on your review table. So sit back, relax, and check out those first three episodes.

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About Kefka
Writer for NeoParadigm City. Aspiring Jpop gravure idol. Look out Shakira.

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