In this world, there is nothing more powerful then first impression. Especially when meeting people for the first time. Some one can tell whether or not they like you or want you for a position in the first few minutes. Yeah, I’m writing this the night before I go to a job fair to keep my nerves in check. First impressions aren’t just attached to people, are they? What about first impressions for movies? Usually, you can tell what kind of movie you are in for and possibly how good it is in the next first few minutes. That’s why action movies have large action set pieces in the beginning. Besides you know, setting up the protagonist’s conflict and doing some world building. Something needs to be a hook to send you into the film on a high level of hype. You can say the same about television shows and anime. I mean, this is an anime blog after all. I better stick to that medium here.
I know that things like the three episode rule is a concept used to help in giving a person a more complete feeling of what a show is about. At least the production studios seem to think that, because those episodes are where each studio puts most of their efforts. At this moment, I don’t believe in that rule anymore. One episode or less of a series is all I need now. Mostly because if I don’t see things I don’t like or no promise in a show’s first episode, I’m cynically convinced the next episode isn’t going to do any better to make me watch it more.
What do you think counts as a proper first impression when it comes to anime?
So this is where I talk about a negative first impressions from my perspective. I’ve gotten pretty picky with my seasonal watching lately. There have been several times in recent months where I dropped a show half way through it’s first episode or even sooner because I hated everything about what was presented. There have been plenty of moments where I just hated the dialogue that was presented in popular shows like Bunny Senpai and Re:Zero because I don’t want to watch a show with people who give monologues about themselves and what they are doing when nobody asked them. Inhuman dialogue with over explanation doesn’t help me to actually know who these characters are. At this moment, I stand by the decisions that I’ve made to drop those shows. Economy of dialogue is an important thing to me because I want to visuals to tell me something as well. Anime isn’t a written medium like a book after all.
After reading people’s view of the shows mentioned in the first paragraph, nothing people have said about them make me want to give them a second chance. I’m not sure of that applies to everyone though, because I can be a very stubborn person. Also, I have some biases because I am willing to give shows that are within my usual interests a larger chance to impress me or hook me. Price of Smiles from this season is an example of this because I hoped it had something more going for it then just basic mech show things.
What are your takes on negative impressions? How long do you give a show before just dropping it and never hearing back from it again?
From a quick perspective, the results of positive impressions are obvious. You like the thing, you watch more of the thing. There, done. Would you be surprised if I said that there were more nuances to a positive first impression then that? Probably not, otherwise I wouldn’t say something like that in the first place. It all involves what happens after the first impression. If a show never reaches the level of quality that the first episode you have seen, your positive impression will keep you going for most of the show’s run. That was my feelings towards Angolmois from last year.
The first episode of Angolmois was so cool and engaging with great animation and story elements, but I spent the rest of the show’s run hoping that it would get to that level of excellence again. Too bad it didn’t. Still, a great first episode got me through the rest of an average cour. Then we can look at shonen series like Black Clover and Twin Stars Exorcists. Their average, but effective opening episodes (despite what some people say about that) kept me going for a while because shonen series need build up to get their peak potential. Unfortunately, those series never got anywhere interesting for me in the two cours I’ve watched, so I dropped them. You know what? That’s my opinion. Positive first impressions can keep people like me watching a show for an extended amount of time, but each of us have our own limits.
What is your limit in watching an average to bad show after a great opening one?
In the end, first impressions are up to our points of views. We all have things that we are looking for in a series and are the ones to judge whether or not a series has those things in the first episode or first five minutes or first free episodes. You know, that undefined length that is also our own opinion. What a person writes for a first impression of certain series lets people know who they are. So have fun out their with your absolutely valid first opinions on anime, tv shows, video games, and other people. Don’t just be a stubborn person like me and maybe let them have a second chance as well. Sometimes, a series just doesn’t have a good episode. Maybe I should go back and check out some shows that I immediately disliked. It’s possible that I will see something different this time.