A Million Anime to pick next: How to Choose What to Watch (Part 2)

Welcome Island Guests to the second part of my how to pick your Anime post! Today we will be discussing a few more ways you can pick an anime the advantages and disadvantages of each method!  Perhaps somehow someway we can distill the ultimate technique from this! So we can find “the PERFECT anime”…but it’s me writing this so I seriously doubt it!

<Disclaimer> This is strictly my opinion and does not contain facts , I think by now now I finished about 40ish anime series and dropped/tried  about as much as well. So that isn’t a whole lot. I am not inexperienced but I am also not nearly as dedicated as many here. Any form facts only refer to my opinion.. It is a fact I feel this way.. no one has to share any of these opinions or feel compelled to do so <End of Disclaimer>

Thanks to this method Irina made me watch Kyousougiga , Fred made me watch Bloom Into You and Naja made me watch Samurai Flamenco. A recommendation from a person you trust and believe can be an absolutely empowering way to select an anime you are going to watch next. It has the potential of bringing people together and depending on your range of friends .. or bloggers you follow you could end up with some items very unaware to you!  So how does this method hold up?

Positives

Like with the other two this one  is among the more social ones methods. You can respond to another’s recommendation after all. It offers room for discussion that is actually a fair bit different than the other two.  You can either respond to someone’s blog or they can ask you very insightful questions. These things are often catered towards you so the conversation feels a lot more personal which to me is the way I prefer to talk to people. Generally you know the person whose advice you took to an extend as well so you can extrapolate and really judge pretty well if this anime is something for you. It can give a sense of purpose to watch on.. to talk about it with a friend or familiar.

Discussing something in a group of random people is always more tricky! I really dislike Sword Art Online for example, but I would not make a twitter post saying how much it disappointed me! Reactions can be to extreme even if I do have my motivations and can explain them clearly to people! They won’t listen.. with friends that is a bit less of an issue at least there is a chance they will! At least as long it’s not something they are completely enamored with. Letting a Friend, Senpai or Peer advise you can give you access to series you have never even heard of before. In turn  allowing you to experience stuff you would by your own accord. This is a method I really seem to prefer if things are going well. It is really fun to discover anime like this.. However this one comes with a pretty steep disadvantage as well.

Negatives

While this method can allow for pleasant conversations and deep discussions This one can also polarize you and your friends!  One of my best friends recommended me Code Geass and I watched it.. when I told him I hated it, but I did see why he would like it as I can see it’s a good anime, just not for me,  he got incredibly salty. I disliked anime he liked before and that wasn’t to much of an issue but this one hurt his soul. I will always be honest with my friend and honestly I really disliked a few things in Geass as it just wasn’t for me and I saw a few flaws such as some events feeling very forced. I don’t think it’s a a bad show which I told either but the atmosphere was soured for a bit. When a stranger tells me I should die because I do not like code Geass it stings, when a friend says ‘I thought you had better taste than that’ it actually really hurts. While the hate ratio is a lot smaller.. if things go bad.. they go a lot worse than among strangers.

A show I genuinely could not stand was Goblin Slayer, a friend of mine adored it. During a anime with friends night we hosted .. In this format we do a draw a lucky person who picks an anime. We watch 3 episodes and move to the next person. Who picks another anime, or can continue to watch on. My friend made us watch trough Goblin Slayer as he got selected first so I played nice and watched it with a polite smile. Then I was picked for the next selection but he interrupted me. ‘Let’s just watch all of Goblin Slayer, if you guys watch anything else now I think i’ll just go home and watch it myself’. At least two other people did not like the show (which meant 50% of us and one felt neutral) but no one dared to speak up so everyone agreed. To scared that disagreeing would anger him. I said I’d prefer to watch something else and just got “well it’s not like we would watch anything better than this is better!’ I agreed as long as next time we would let someone else pick. He said that’s fine and he will just stay home that time.

I stayed for one more episode, but I already was boiling inside! I hated the show and I hated how he acted. To vent I decided to play on my phone a bit (to calm a bit) and he sneered at me for it! Basically calling me an idiot for looking away. I told him I hated the show and that I already said that before and that I don’t mind being her for the company but the show is just not for me and that I would like to stay to see if we might watch another show later and for the company. He then declared we had to watch in absolute silence and I left.. he did not speak to me for days for disliking a show he loved. Whenever a reviewer I trust loves a show I don’t like at all I do notice some distance increasing. It’s not that much of an issue in the long run but disagreeing with people you have close to your heart never is all that fun. It can at times even discourage me from watching something they absolutely love that doesn’t sound like it’s completely me!

Advise

I can honestly say that this is a great method to approach anime but be a bit weary. People tend to see things very black and white in this day and age and if your friend is like that sometimes it’s just best to keep smiling. It’s not like it’s as toxic as the internet.. but a bad reaction can last longer than a few negative comments. Know your friends and know yourself. If your friend something you know you really know you’ll dislike.. stay away from it. There is nothing you can gain by destroying his favorite when you talk about it. There is nothing you gain by lying how much you love it either! They wil notice because they want to talk about it more! Forcing yourself to sit trough something you hate just to please a friend will not result in a fun time for anyone.

Always keep yourself in mind, friends and close ones react better to you genuinely liking something than you faking, Kirito’s duel wielding skill being kind of interesting! Conversations will always expand and you will be caught in the act of faking! Being overly blunt will also get you no where though! So while this method has the biggest gain.. it could come at risk being an obstacle between you and your friends. Know what type of anime your friend watches, know why they recommended it to you ( ‘Pinkie I think you will really like this anime’ usually is safer than “you guys everyone check it out I just watched and binged the Frick out of it”)

A lot of you seem to really be into Manga and while I am not that much into the reading habit, myself that is mostly to blame on availability and me not being very comfortable with the digital form of the media. My phone screen is to tiny and I like to read in a relaxed position and I can’t do that with my laptop all that much! So this is the form of anime picking I am least familiar with. Still it is worth taking a look at. Let’s investigate!

Positives

The most obvious positive from doing an anime pick this way is that you are familiar with the source material. Most of the time anime adaptations are fairly faithful though abridged renditions so if you like the story beats in a manga, you’ll probably like them in animated form as well. This form of anime watching also offers you a unique viewing experience compared to the others. You see your already beloved work come to life. Take Bofuri for instance for me. I would not have imagined Maple’s demon voice to be so funny! I did not read source material as I do not dabble in Manga myself but I sure as heck would not have imagined this so funny! Jojo’s  Bizarre Adventures is something I have read and when I saw it come to live it blew away my mind. The music, the style, the whole shabang.. this is one anime I think really is better than it’s Manga counterpart. 

Still such a viewing experience is totally different from what you get when watching something in season whose source material you do not know!  It can be very empowering and nostalgic, or it can be quaint a funny! The comedy and horror genre work a lot better in animated form in my opinion because they now have actual timing.  When you read the manga first you often get some interesting insights in characters as well. A experience that the non-manga anime watcher misses. These characters you already know! It’s like a reunion with friends rather than meeting some for the first time. So your experience can be amplified when it spans across media! Like seeing the Seven Page Muda come to live or see the Super Saiyan transformation animated for the first time after just reading it.

Negatives

Kicking in open doors again! The book is always better. When something is written down it usually always gets the motivations of characters more fleshed out, it’s usually more consistent  and also easier to make a call back. A Manga also moves at your own pace rather than the shows pace so you are the one in the driver seat. All in all  I do think it’s fair to say that “the book is better” is a way more popular opinion than “the anime was better than the book”.  So there is an increased risk of being let down if it’s already something you absolutely love. Air Gear would be a good example that comes to mind and a friend never shuts up about how D-Grey-Man the  anime was so lackluster compared to the Manga. I personally disagree I did not find the anime lackluster at all but that might have to do the next negative.

The Pricetag! If you want a book in your hand like me , reading manga first can be an extremely pricey hobby!  Meanwhile Crunchyroll, Netflix and other services on the internet are relatively a lot cheaper. At least here! I do not know how prices are in the rest of the world but paying 13 euros for a single book of manga for a show that is in its entirety on Netflix for the same price a month…plus access to all the other shows is off. I know it supports the creator more.. but I’ll be honest I can barely afford my own food and clothes..When money is an issue..Manga is not always an option. I know there are ways to get it digitally, but I just don’t have a pleasant experience with that without an E-Reader. My phone is too tiny..and I feel uneasy not having that available to make notes for my blog or not able to tell my manga loving friend about the amazing thing I am reading. I don’t like reading on comics on my laptop all that much either.

The final negative is the simple fact that you’ve already seen it. It isn’t very surprising. Don’t get me wrong this can be a good thing for some people but something that never surprises me .. essentially it’s a remake and I tend to like those but I am never overwhelmed by love for them as I miss that raw emotional experience new products can give me.  While your standard Shounen can be rewatched without to much drama, stuff like Danganronpa (Okay thats a game and an anime but same fault applies) where you find out “who did it” can really have a lessend impact on you.

Advise

If you have money to burn, this method is super healthy for the community!  It keeps mangakas strong and series ongoing!(If you read/buy ongoing releases) It also will give you a very consistent pay off, if you get that stick out of your ass and don’t look at what an anime skips/misses from the manga but rather how it brings that same story to the table in a new way.

You need to be the type that thinks like ‘Cool they made an anime about Attack on Titan.. that means more Attack on Titan’ rather than be the type that goes ‘Okay let’s see if this anime does my beloved manga justice’  If you can look without having a list of checkboxes I’d say this is a unique anime experience that no other method can offer, but honestly.. I’d rather buy manga of an anime I love than the other way around.

Anime series in its own can be rather random, so randomly selecting the randomness seems like quite a fitting way to go about things. Of course it’s chaos of the utmost level. It’s the equivalent of that Harry Potter Jelly Bean stuff.  Every flavour beans! Anime is so fast and wide that you can experience Foie Gras while you never heard of it (it’s delicious even it’s a no-no) but you also can go “Alas.. Ear Wax”  It sounds incredibly fun!  Let’s investigate!

Positives

People tend to really stick inside a comfort zone, this applies to both the ones viewing the anime as the ones recommending it. People usually are very careful about what they pick! It’s always .. “something similar too” or something with a high MAL score (which can be a whole selection method of its own but I am including it here if you can read between the lines)   In my experience.. everything that gets a super high MAL score is great.. yet at the same time is also catered to everybody. Which in my opinion means it will not resonate as strongly with me as an anime that cater to a sentiment I love. Take Dragon Quest : Your Story for example. So many people hate the ending but I love it so much!  Not per se designwise.. but the sentiment. That feeling that something is made for you!

In general you do not get that from  the high scoring anime. You do not get that from what a friend recommends (unless they really really know you!) That can only happen by you searching the internet yourself and even that is biassed towards your self proclaimed like pattern.  You might overlook something great. While Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is quite well known I discovered it by accident. A friend asked for fun for a Kamina hugging pillow, she did not recommend the show to me as she felt it might be to weird for me as a rookie! I only saw a picture of the guy and by searching I stumbled on the show not knowing what it was. I watched it to make sure I had the right person in mind for who Kamina was ! Within two days I saw the entire show! That to me is the magic of anime and that to me is an experience I almost uniquely get from watching something randomly.  I knew Magical Index was fairly good, so even though I recognize it I never get that blowing back expectations sensation. It’s fine about what I expected

Selecting Random Anime is also a great way to pick anime to watch with your friends.. because I tried about seven times before by vote and the discussions that arrive with all putting in picks we hardly make progress. They either hard refuse to watch anything but their own pick.. or are just in a different mood from you and might not feel like Isekai..while you don’t want a standard Shounen etc. This way it’s always a completely neutral unbiased pick and that can give you some sense of rest, no conflict , just blisfull chaos The best thing! There is a website to do this with the click of a button and you can even specify if you want a dub , a sub or pick a genre if you still want some inkling of control!  You can select a random anime right here.

Negatives

Where all other forms I posted have some form of control this one does not. It can recommend a very good show.. but it can also make you watch one of the worst anime ever rated on MAL. There is no way to tell.. well it actually tells you the MAL score.. but if you play it in honesty and abide by the rules of randomness this one has by far the biggest chance to waste your time. Now I am a loon that really commits herself to these things in order to discover. When I am on vacation in a foreign country and I do not know a certain dish in a restaurant that is the one I am getting. This left me with a few painful experiences and random anime will not be any different.. I am very lucky in this usually though.. most bad stuff came from random cooking at home. Regardless if anything is going to waste your time.. this method is it!

It is also  is probably the least social anime pick ever. Where your own pick can at least allow for some discussion by picking a vaguely familiar sounding name, no one will really discuss Record of Lodoss or Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl with you. It might make interesting blog topics.. but I am not sure how well random anime reviews would work. You could try and risk wasting even more time but who knows it might be the next hot new trend.  Obviously I am going to try reviewing completely random anime I even already rolled for what I have to watch before next week’s post! I have no idea what it will be about! I just wrote down the name! What it is I will keep secret! To avoid spoilers.. even though by the time this post has gone life I probably already have seen it. So I do need to get back how heavy this negative will turn out to be! Just a suspicion for now!

Advise

So guess what, I hyped myself up for completely random anime selection! This seems something really fun I want to try now.. but that’s because of the person who I am. I wonder why I haven’t done this before! Well for one I did not know about the website but still! Basically if you rolled your eyes when reading this section title, this isn’t for you. If you went oooooh  and did an eyebrow lift in intrigue this one’s for you. If your face did not move I challenge you  use the website and pick a random anime!  Write us about your random experience! I know I will! A post I will try to knock out for next week! I will watch the first five episodes of a random anime and will tell you if I will pick it up and watch more! Yay! I am so happy I am doing this.. so while I I can think of a few more methods to pick your anime, I will get to those somewhere along the road! Until then I am going to be random!

4 thoughts

  1. On my hand, it usually goes better when I critic an aspect of the show rather than saying the show is not for me. I find that people get less defensive when my problem with the show is very clear and specific. Although I know it’s not always possible. Some shows just don’t feel right or have many many problems. On those cases, I just say that it was alright and never speak of it again, xD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes certain characters just get under your skin Code Geass is just not my show.. I can see why people think it is good but I am utterly able to enjoy it! I could say I think a lot of events feel very forced in the writing and unfolding.. but they basicly tell me to shut up.. so all I can do is say.. well I guess it’s not for me xD

      Then all I need to do is is avoid talks about it for the rest of my life 😛

      Liked by 2 people

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