Recommendations On What to Watch Are Fine, but…

…if you expected me to actually like it without taking into consideration my tastes, you have no one to blame but yourself.

touch

Here’s something you probably don’t know about me: I don’t really like to give out recommendations regarding what anime people should watch. Most of my blog stuff revolves around my own tastes and what I like and dislike rather than what other people should like and dislike. I’ll recommend stuff people can watch if they ask, sure, but I don’t really get into the whole “you guys NEED to watch Yamato 2199 right now because it’s my favorite anime of 2013″ or “Majestic Prince needs more love”. Not that I mind those declarations or anything considering I tend to repeat my criticisms with certain anime I don’t enjoy every week and someone needs to counterbalance the haterade. But when I do give out recommendations, it usually never goes beyond “I think everyone needs to give this a try at least once”. Because let’s be honest, not everyone’s going to enjoy Yami to Boushi to Han to Tababito.

I’m not very fond of recommendations that fall along the line of “you have to watch this! It’s my favorite thing ever!” or whatever those Akira fans from the 90s say or just about every awful post in the Adult Swim boards. There’s a difference between calling something to my attention and being a dick who waves his taste in my face the same way Miley Cyrus waved her new look on MTV (and by the way, if you haven’t seen her latest single…don’t). I think it’s easy for a guy like me to be observant of other people’s tastes and all (well NOW it is, but let’s not go there) because what I want from anime is so different to what other people want from anime. There are people who find fun in only the serious. There are people who find fun in the over-the-top. There are people whose taste are foreign to me because they can’t explain themselves to save their life. There’s people whose tastes are either broad or strict. And then there’s me, who just wants stuff that’s fun based on my own unique criteria.

Lagann

That’s why I’m amused whenever people question why I don’t like stuff like Bakemonogatari and Gurren Lagann, as well as why I HATE the phrase “it’s fun. Isn’t that enough?”, which is about as useless a defense as using the First Amendment in order to justify why racism should still exist. No guys, there’s no way in hell I’d find the repetitive meandering nature of Bakemonogatari or the generic mecha flash of Gurren Lagann entertaining (well okay it’s a little entertaining, but not to raging fanboy levels). I welcome the questions of course, because it leads to all sorts of discussions I find interesting, but I’m sticking to my views and that’s that. At the same time, I’m not going to question why somebody doesn’t like Mushishi or My Neighbor Totoro because it’s easy to see why. They don’t like their presentations. I do. It’s that simple.

Now of course, everyone has their own unique criteria for liking someone, but I think mine is a little more unique than others. So maybe that’s why I don’t mind recommending stuff I don’t dig compared to most people. You want to watch Moribito? Give it a try, you’ll probably like what that series talks about more than I do. Sure there’s stuff I won’t recommend like The Last Airbender or Dragon Crisis because there’s a limit to how much bad taste a person can have, but you don’t see me saying “Stay away from Index, Air, Angel’s Egg, and OreImo“, do you? In fact, I can’t recall a single time I’ve said on this blog “don’t watch this shit”. I really can’t stand people who say stuff like “How can you like that? Shame on you!” I assume most people joke when they say that, as I do myself at times, but in reality it’s some of the worst crap I’ve ever seen people say and anyone who says otherwise needs to get their head examined.

Akira

At the same time though, there are anime that I think are must-watches in the community. Akira is an obvious one. Everyone should watch that at least once considering it was the anime that brought the medium over to the West. Most of the stuff by Bones have become must-watches as well like Eureka Seven and FMA even though they don’t deliver the goods as often as most people say they do. And Spirited Away did win that Oscar for a reason, just so you know. I can’t say you’ll like them of course, but they deserve a crack at the very least.

As for the Showgirls of the anime world, most people (including me) have seen Shuffle, but I’m still hesitant on wasting your life on it due to the length. Garzey’s Wing and Mars of Destruction are classic “bad” stuff though and Mad Bull 34 has a dub you need to listen to at least once. That’s about all I can say in regards to that though.

Bottom-line, I’m not saying you shouldn’t recommend I watch something. I dig recommendations fine and I’m open to trying out new things regardless of my previous history with various genres (unless you’re just recommending me something that’s the exact same as an anime I’ve already seen and disliked, like every 4-koma/LN adaptation ever). I understand you want to spread the love and all. But try not to be so obsessive about it. And especially don’t repeat your obsession either. Because nothing kills hype, excitement, and a woman’s hormones the way repetition does.

PS: I WILL watch Touch someday. I swear!

13 responses to “Recommendations On What to Watch Are Fine, but…

  1. Oh good, I thought I was the only one who doesn’t like recommending things! I definitely can’t assume that others will like what I like. In fact, I am pretty sure most people don’t like High School DxD / Infinite Stratos / OreImo and all the other light novel trash that I wholeheartedly enjoy. At the same time, I do know what shows are “good” and everyone should at least try to watch at some point, but I can’t guarantee everyone will like those shows either. So when people ask me, “Hey, what do you recommend?” I just go uhhhhhhhh.

    I understand you want to spread the love and all. But try not to be so obsessive about it. And especially don’t repeat your obsession either. Because nothing kills hype, excitement, and a woman’s hormones the way repetition does.

    Exactly!

    • Further stuff I’d recommend besides Akira and Miyazaki movies no matter what are: Cowboy Bebop, Haibane Renmei, Perfect Blue, 5 Centimeters Per Second, and The Tatami Galaxy. The first two are classics that everyone has as their starting anime and the other three showcase what animation can accomplish really well.

      • 5 Centimeters Per Second? So you really do recommend things you don’t like 🙂

        Elaborating further on the ideas of your post, I think recommendations should always be made while taking into account the other person’s taste. In 5cm’s case, I’d only recommend it strongly to people who consider themselves artists or who enjoy poetry and literature and that kind of thing. Tatami Galaxy you probably need to have watched a couple of other anime titles previously to realise just how much it differs from the norm. The others I would agree are “safe” recommendations.

    • GAH! Forgot about FLCL and Planetes. Yeah, those are must-watches too.

      Tatami is weird sure, but it’s more accessible than most people give it credit for (at least more than Lain, which is also an anime most people have as their initiation). Yeah I didn’t have a great first time with it, but that was mostly due to a bunch of arrogant chucklefucks hyping it up like they did Akira and poor streaming issues.

      • Don’t forget Evangelion.

        Well, I like to hear the different opinions about the Anime I watch.
        If you can give pretty clear reasons about why you like it or not, it’s fine with me.

  2. I would argue that Kaiba is more of a must-watch than Tatami Galaxy. They’re both weird, certainly, but I think Kaiba might be more accessible because it tells a more “normal” story. That would make it a better starting point to gauge whether someone likes Yuasa before watching Tatami Galaxy.

  3. Never though you would recommend Eureka Seven has a must watch. The only thing about the show I’ve saw are the doujins though ahah. I herd it was mehh.

    Anyways you do a lot of recommendations on a post againsts them which is good cause I needed new stuff to watch.

    And whats the anime on the second image? looks fun.

    Personally I don’t mind recommending shows to friends I just warn them before hand. They are usually the ones asking to see weird stuff.

  4. Sup- gonna be a bit annoyinng here, but have you seen Monster by Naoki Urasawa at some point?

    M’not an avid reader by any means Flawfinder, and I hope I’m not a kicking a dead horse, but it’d be coolio imo to see your response to it.
    It’s actually kinda dated, but when it’s good, it’s charming with it’s slice of life moment’s, while weaving together both small and big character driven arcs.
    I guess the substance of the show can be heavy in its moral probing and villian-psycho-analytical-studies.
    It’s still one of those stories you can get really wrapped into, and it defintly picks up the pace halfway in.