Starting and Maintaining an anime watching experience (Beware Subjective Opinions)

This is a post that I wanted to write for a while, but I never got my thoughts completely together to write this until now.  The back story for this one is after talking to a friend of mine who traveled a long way to get to Seattle, I live in Western Washington State by the way, and somehow we talked about anime.  This is a guy who has a specific set of tastes that leads to a very short sighted point of view of what he likes along with a unique attitude toward everything.  He’s very complicated and hasn’t found anything that he likes for a while now.  This is a kind of person that would drop a show just because they don’t like a certain character.   Believe me, you must know this person to understand this fully.   He asked me to suggest some things for him to watch, but because of these factors, I couldn’t think of anything at that time.   So, a few months later I finally have some sort of answer.

I am going this one of with how I think people should get others into anime.  Many people would throw out the usual starter series like HunterxHunter, Attack on Titan, Sword Art Online, Cowboy Bebop, Death Note, Full Metal Alchemist, any long running shonen series, and a lot of other things, but I think that approach is wrong.  I don’t think there should be any set list of series that anybody considering to watch anime should start with.  Personally, I would go with the “what kind of movies and tv shows do you like to watch” approach and suggest from there.  This feels like something that would have a higher chance of success, because this would be a genre that a newbie already is attached to.  I don’t think people should be forced to have the same anime starting experience and this would help with that.  Of course, once a person starts watching anime, things get complicated.

Now this is where I start answering my friend’s question.  I don’t think that watching the same kind of series all the time is healthy to maintain a healthy anime watching experience.  After a while, the same character tropes, themes, and a lot of other details become incredibly noticeable.  I don’t remember where I heard this, but the average amount of time an anime fan watches anime is usually two years and I think watching the same things has something to do with that.  This might go for me also.  If I didn’t have another friend show me series like Haibane Renmei and Mushishi a while back, I probably wouldn’t be into anime as much I am now.  What helps also helps with this is watching different genres of shows from seasonal anime interspersed with some older series.  Anime never feels stale for me anymore and I love that.

I can’t and won’t stop anybody.  Starting an anime watching experience is simple enough, but maintaining it can be difficult.   It’s like buying a new car.  It’s good when you buy it, but you need to refuel every two weeks or so, get an oil change every so often, and send it to a mechanic, unless you are one, when your car is having some serious issues.

Disclaimer:
Like my usual rambling posts, this is all completely subjective and my own opinion.  I will never at any point in my life say that my opinions are the way that everything should be.  That would be completely wrong and a fallacy.  If you have a different opinion and want to share it, please do.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Karandi says:

    I agree that when recommending an anime you really need to know what other sorts of stories the person likes to find one that suits them. A lot of people don’t get into anime because they start with the big names but that isn’t the type of story they are looking for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Yes, if anything it makes a decent starting place.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One of my sisters is very much like that; she never got into the typical ‘entry-level’ shounen stuff which is what makes up a lot of people’s early anime viewing (myself included), but she loves romantic comedies and so really enjoyed Ouran Host Club when I showed it to her a few years ago. She’s never become a huge anime convert, but I definitely thoughtfully recommend her shows from time to time, and she normally likes what I suggest.

    I watch anime because I enjoy the kinds of stories which are told, and I think that when suggesting things to people you know that’s what matters. Although some shows have general appeal, it doesn’t mean that they will specifically appeal to a particular person, and it’s worth thinking of the kind of stories that they like when it comes to media in general and applying that to anime recommendations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Yes, this exactly. If anything, it gives different kinds of people a glimpse into the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. LitaKino says:

    I agree sticking with one genre all the time and not expanding to watch other things will leave you in the whole of boredom.

    Liked by 1 person

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