Things that bother one while watching anime

This may have been a rare while, but for about two hours I studied (rote-memorized) selected muscles in the anatomy of a cat and read about thirty pages of history. I will definitely study more tomorrow, just because I don’t want to fail the incoming exam; I read history just because I wanted to. What I discovered about some of ancient Chinese history was that they condoned premarital sex. That was cool to know.

Anyway, for a short time Hige and I talked privately over at the #animenano channel about what was the single most bothering thing in anime. I told him it was not from the anime itself that I watched but from the fact that I had more pathos towards anime characters than I did towards real life characters. I could cry for five straight episodes in anime I deem excellent (Honey and Clover II), but I’ve yet to see a movie that made me cry like I did compared to the anime I just mentioned. Sure, Last Life in the Universe was droll, quaint, melancholic and reticent, but I just didn’t feel as much for the characters in that film (although the movie was really excellent). I tried thinking about reasons why I’ve been more sympathetic towards anime than LA series, dramas or movies, but I thought of only one: it’s because I view the people as only actors; thus, they do not seem in any way genuine, but only acting parts. In anime, I don’t see this because these characters exist in a universe different from our own and you don’t see real people pretending to be somebody else: they are, in a sense of the world, real to their own universe and their own existence because being in an anime itself disjoints them already from the real world. It is this reason why I find more contentment with watching anime.

Hige mentioned that there were a lot of things that bothered him with anime such as predictable characters and storylines, dry plots, etc. These things, however, all are banes of different media, books included. I could tell the ending of a story with a generic Harlequin romance novel from the very start of the book itself, just as I could predict what happens in stuff like Dragon Ball Z, even though I haven’t seen that show completely just yet (and I have no plan to complete it whatsoever).

What’s the thing that bothers you most while watching anime?

28 Responses to “Things that bother one while watching anime”

  1. Hige Says:

    I think you need to watch the right kind of movies. I felt the same way – that nothing really moved me anymore – but then I discovered Asian cinema (Chan-wook Park!) and choice indie films and realised I wasn’t actually dead inside; I was just watching a load of shit. :3

    As for what bothers me the most about anime, it is the inherent predictability of most of it and you’re right in saying that happens in most forms of fictional media. But, it seems to me that anime cliche is particularly rife (and equally stagnant). I like my shows to have an edge of mystery and intrigue, and if affable hero and his overzealous sidekick etc. etc. show up I can pretty much specify every minor detail of what’s about to happen. Ruins the entertainment of a show entirely. There are exceptions, especially when the characterisation is ZOMG WIN such as Honey & Clover, but I watch anime to be challenged and have completely different televisual experiences.

  2. crayotic rockwell Says:

    Also a movie only has 2 hours (sans exposition and shit) to allow you time to connect with it’s characters, whereas a 26 episode series of anime averages out to 8-9 hours.

    The personalities are usually larger in anime as well (altho perhaps not so for H&C) which makes it easier to connect to them.

  3. Karura Says:

    Predictability is a problem, but there are ways to salvage enjoyment from a series; to use a live-action example, Stargate Atlantis uses stories that have been all been done before in earlier sci-fi series, but saves itself with some sharp dialogue and likable characters. Sometimes something even more superficial will do- I couldn’t really care less what happened in Nanoha since it was plain the bad guys would see the error of their ways, but I watched it because I like the character designs and animation. If the worst comes to the worst, you can have a good laugh at the awfulness of it all, although I admit this can get old in itself.

    One thing that particularly bothers me (and is the source of many rants) are series that don’t live up to their potential- Good Witch, Noein, Haruhi, Otome and Fate all promised much in their opening episodes, but for various reasons they didn’t deliver on that.

  4. cebukitty Says:

    The one thing that bothers me most while watching an anime is…. *drumroll please*… my 17 inch computer monitor is too small! T_T

    … and another thing that bothers me is that sometimes the subtitle fonts are too small and dubs are totally out of the question! Despite decades of fervid anme watching, I can only comprehend oft repeated japanese nouns and common phrases. *hikbi*

    and the number one thing that bothers me when watching anime is when an anime i truly like ends too soon, whilst other crappy animes (i’m not naming names) reach until episode 300 upwards.

  5. Michael Says:

    Oh, I understand that feeling … Honey and Clover … well … 🙁

  6. wintermoon Says:

    Uh…actually what bothers me about anime is how it gets people to thinking the way you do about live action.

    Honestly, I love anime but I also love live action movies/dramas/what have you. They all have the power to bring out emotions in people and communicate a message or lesson. Last Life also happens to be one of my favorite foreign films btw, and it had a great impact on me. I love its atmosphere and strangeness and even the characters. I guess it helped that I also lived in a foreign country where it’s difficult to understand others/be understood.

    Just try to be open to more non-anime stuff. ;p Watch more live action movies or TV shows with quality writing and production. Watch some plays, and allow yourself to be transported to another place the way anime does. Anime is great medium but it’s not the only thing out there. While you do have a point re. anime and how it’s a different medium (and therefore a diffferent universe and more “real”), I personally think live action can also achieve this, which is why I wouldn’t want to dismiss it as just people acting a part in some temporarily transformed setting—that would render all kinds of performance art useless and unwatchable. Technically, it is just acting a part, but it’s really about bringing something to life and making an impact on its audience. Just like anime.

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