An Anime Fan’s Taste Over Time (A personal journey)

Writing something like this has only been built around my thoughts of Soul Eater.  I haven’t told very many people about this, but I have secretly hated Soul Eater for years.  When I first watched it, there was just something off putting about it.  I was assigned to watch this show again for a blog Secret Santa of July thing and I am going to be saving a lot more of my thoughts for that and a review later on, but I have been finding that I really like it.  This seems like a small thing, but it is huge for me.  My tastes have really changed over time and that is something that I am proud of.

I feel everybody goes through their anime watching experience in separate phases.  For a lot of people my age, around AGE CENSORED, this is the shonen and action phase.  This was the time where the fandom was getting their media through television and VHS tapes.  A lot of action shows showed up on this little block called Toonami.  These were shows like Dragon Ball, Z, Gundam, Outlaw Star, Cyborg 009, and so many others.  It didn’t matter what it was for me; as long as it had characters fighting I didn’t care what it was.  I never thought of the sophisticated plot elements, themes, and character development, this is just what I watched as long as it was straight forward and had some fan service too.  For me, this phase lasted a long time.  Almost all the way through twelfth grade.  I think a lot of people have never escaped this phase and are still stuck on shows like DBZ and Naruto to this day without getting a look outside of that realm.

The next phase in anime fandom is usually the anti-shonen one.  People try to look through something more adult and had a lot more blood and gore.  Something edgy.  While I did back away from the Shonen battle stuff for a while, I started my obsession with Gundam and other mech shows like it.  This shaped a lot of how I define what my favorite series are now.  How great the world building is, how I define great characters, what is the meaning behind what is going on, and all the nuances that I can find in a show that make it what it is.  While my love for mech shows is always going to be strong, I’ve been trying to branch out as much as I can.

Right now, my tastes in anime series are still changing.  I’ve tried my best to become more and more open minded in my tastes and that is not something that is easy to do.  Casting aside an initial opinion of something based on the cover art is really hard thing to do.  The phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” is easy in concept, but hard in execution.  I’ve started enjoying shonen battle series again, jumped into more shoujo and josei series, and also started watching some sports anime starting with this season.

Stretching out of one’s comfort zone is extremely hard.  As an introvert, I feel like I know this extremely well.  Personal problems aside, having a friend or random person on the internet suggest something that you’ve never seen before helps growth.  I had a friend show me the greatness of Mushishi and Haibane Renmei.  My course was set after watching those two shows.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. TheWarner says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever had a genre of anime that I liked at any time, but I understand what you mean. I have friends who will still only watch Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, and Dragon Ball Super. I think they just like shonen anime with huge fight arcs. I love anime about strong friendships, which is what drew me to shows like Naruto and One Piece, but I enjoy shows from all genres. I hate shows with fan service, but for some reason I love Girls Bravo, which has no plot to speak of. I hate sports anime, but I love Eyeshield 21. I’ve always been willing to watch anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Yeah, an individual’s tastes is complicated most of the time. We can’t argue about what an individual likes even if they never stop watching the same things over and over again.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. mrconair says:

    I’m remember watching One Piece as a kid (and now thanks to it, despite being less than a week from finishing my Japanese Major, I still call mr. Sword-in-his-mouth guy Zolo). I don’t like the series much now, too repetitive and emotionally simple for my taste, but I certainly think youngsters find it valuable. I also find it a trend for those who have recently deemed themselves “too old for shounen” to be the most bitter towards it, which is also unhealthy. After all, some of the best modern anime are shounen series. Ditto for those who think seinen series are intrinsically better; a lot of them are just super low brow shounens, like Tokyo Ghoul and Ajin. I think all demographics and genres have their high and low points, though Josei titles are definitely the most under-watched.

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    1. Scott says:

      The way you feel about One Piece is exactly how I feel about Dragon Ball Z. I used to like it and watched it a lot of times over and over again, but ever since I’ve watched so many other series, I have noticed so many flaws in it. I can’t appreciate it as much as I used to, though I see a lot of my friends still really like it.

      And yes, you are right about the “too old for shounen” thing. Some are so emotionally complex that there is a reason why they are so great. I also need to watch more Josei titles. Nana is the main one I’ve watched and I need to find more. This would be easier if I had more time….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. mrconair says:

        DBZabridged is pretty great. It’s probably actually the superior version, with a plethora of running gags. It just gets better as it goes along.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Scott says:

        Agreed 🙂

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  3. I get the feeling here for sure, I started watching anime 8 years ago and I feel my taste has gotten a bit pickier over the years. I think it’s because I have less time and can only watch so much nowadays. It’s a bit sad, I’ll be reading or watching something I used to like (Katekyo Hitman Reborn’s manga, for instance) and start to get really critical about it. I can ‘turn my brain off’ and attempt to suspend my disbelief for things, but overall I don’t think I’ll be able to ever experience that initial magic with that particular series again.

    Currently, drama/psychological thriller/seinen are my jams. Partially because of an over-exposure to shounen, but also because I naturally prefer darker media. But who knows, maybe I’ll be able to watch/read romance and SoL in a few years without complaint!

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