An expanding taste doesn’t mean leaving what you first loved behind

This is something that I thought about when reading Lita’s latest post about her taste changed over time, watching Gigguk’s video of what he thinks is the perfect anime, and watching the latest episode of Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans Sunday morning.  All of these things put together really put some things into perspective for me.  Yes, I can say that I like watching different forms of anime these days.  I know that I am always trying different genres and liking a large amount of the shows from them, but I also know that I will always be a mecha and shonen action junkie at heart.  These two things are something that has always been a part of me and I don’t think it’s something that is changing anytime soon.

Everybody has to start somewhere, right?  I know that I have written posts of where I started my anime watching career and how my taste has changed over time, but after leaving our starter series I think that a lot of us go toward the darker and edgier stuff first.  You know, the shows that have the main character against the world with a lot of death and revenge things going on?  Stuff like Code Geass, Death Note, Future Diary, and Guilty Crown?  Shows that try to be more adult then they actually?  I went through that phase as well, but I’m glad that it wasn’t permanent.  When I went back to watching shonen series again, I found them more adult.  They just went with the flow and just naturally became a darker as each show went on.  Shows like Fullmetal Alchemist, Hunter x Hunter, Noragami, and a lot of others walk a dark path, but feel completely natural to the progression of each of their stories.  This isn’t darkness for darkness’ sake, but darkness for the characters growth and villains that are beyond redemption.

The best part to having an expanding taste, but loving what you originally do is seeing more in the shows that you liked in the first place.  After watching a lot of different sorts of shows, you start noticing what traits you like of each show and start knowing what to look for in a series.  Rewatching shows after years of watching different things can lead to a new sort of appreciation.  This is how I feel after I rewatched Rurouni Kenshin and Yu Yu Hakusho many years after watching them on Toonami.  I don’t just love them for being a part of my childhood, I love them because there are traits in them that I just love.  The world building, the characters, the stories, and action are just fantastic between each of them.  Of course, there can be negative results from this as well.  Now days I can’t look back at DBZ positively because it doesn’t hold up for me anymore.  Since watching other anime, I got used to their pace of story and the endless staring, yelling, and many other fillers just take away from the experience.  The time flow is just plain obnoxious and the action is so boring.  People flying around at super speed, punching each other, and firing energy waves at each other doesn’t do it for me anymore.  There is nothing close up and visceral about it that sucks me in.  So, there are good and bad things to this aspect, but re-watching shows can be completely worth it.

Thinking back to the episode of Iron-Blooded Orphans from Sunday, I found it was great.  Not because my 12-year-old self would love the awesome action scenes, but because I understand more about why it works for me.  The stakes were real, the political intrigue was stopping all of those involved in fighting the huge threat from really working together, the animation was stellar, the characters were good, and some heavy consequences are going to happen because of what is going on.  Not just consequences on a political level, but to individual characters going beyond their physical limitations. Iron-Blooded Orphans is a show that I know that I would like if this aired on Toonami back in the day, but I find myself liking it and shows from back in the day for more reasons than I did back then.  I think that expanding my taste has helped me in knowing what I like and why I like it.  Watching more types and genres of series has really helped me in this regard.  I like what I like and I know why I like it.  Probably the best thing that I can say about any of this.

9 thoughts on “An expanding taste doesn’t mean leaving what you first loved behind

  1. I’ve found a lot of people often lean toward darker shows to sort of prove they are more “mature” as well. But, being able to tolerate more graphic violence or darker themes doesn’t equal maturity. How does one feel more grown-up by watching a man get his head sliced off, or seeing tons of blood spurting about? I’ve just never understood that

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to understand this concept. “Look, this guy just go his blood drained from him” or “Look at the death in this series”. “It’s so completely different and mature from all those shows I watched before”. Now days…yeah. Lost that frame of thinking.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a fantastic post, Scott! I’m definitely one of those folks who grew out of certain anime genres… especially action-y shounen series. I dunno, I guess I kind of grew out of them, since I don’t really find them as appealing as I once did. Now, there are always exceptions to that rule, but I can’t remember the last time I watched something like Naruto or Bleach.

    Then again when I was younger, i was just watching any anime I could get access to, so I was a bit limited in my viewings. Now, I have a bit more viewing options (and a bit more money) so I have been able to expand my horizons…

    Liked by 1 person

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