The ultimate snag

I started watching anime when I was still a child. However, it was only seven years ago when I truly became addicted to anime, and despite that addiction thinning time and time again, my love and appreciation towards it remain the same. Still the fact remains that in 1998 I was not yet enough of a fan of anime to watch current series at that time. But in time I watched classic series of that year which were basic to anyone who dubbed himself an anime fan: I watched Cowboy Bebop and Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou (Kare Kano). I was not able to watch lesser-known series like Gasaraki, however, until recently.

gasaraki
Miharu and Yuushirou


I was introduced to Gasaraki while visiting AnimeNFO about two years ago. In its ranking of the top 200 anime, it was the 200th. I was fonder of searching for anime in the nether regions because in these parts were anime that were esoteric, anime that were under-the-radar, or anime both esoteric and under-the-radar. These regions contained anime one either hated or loved, which proffered such diverse and disparate opinions, or simply anime that most anime addicts barely have knowledge of.

As of now, it was already booted from the top 200 anime. It remained imprinted on my mind, however, even until now. I could not procure the series back then because my Internet connection in my hometown was slow compared to the Internet speed I am now utilizing in a LAN café where I am friends with the owner. Perks include allowing me to download at breakneck speeds (at least for our country), and of course a milieu that is comfortable for me. Also, back then I did not know where to find a torrent of Gasaraki because I only used ‘popular’ torrent indexers like Torrent Reactor. IsoHunt was unfamiliar to me back then, and TT did not have the batch of the series. Of course, since Gasaraki is licensed, it was not listed in AnimeSuki.

In time, I have obtained the series, and the comments regarding the series were quite cogent and comparable to my initial comments as well. It is a series that is heavy on dialogue. Frankly, sometimes there’s too much that the viewer will be bored. TheBigN told me that he only watched the first two episodes of the series and the latter half of the final episode because the only thing he found positive from the series was its political intrigue which sadly did not overcome his boredom of the series.

miharu
I would say Miharu is also a good reason to watch Gasaraki

I share his view of the first two episodes: they are heavy, and they are bogged down by dialectics. I must say that I applaud the realism of international politics featured in the series, but the dialogue dampens enjoyment of the series. However, I feel that there is something fundamentally different between me and him: I am quite a romantic with the series I watch. I sped through RahXephon because it had a romance that transcended space and time: Haruka’s love for Ayato was so harrowingly beautiful. It tore at my heartstrings.

Even just simple and subtle implications of a romance within a series, whether intended by the creators or not, is enough for me to persist in a series even if its focal point is not the romance itself. With episode five, and with the beautiful ED of Gasaraki, I feel that something more will arise between Miharu and Yuushirou. That is enough, at least for me, to finish the series.

I know I am a hopeless romantic, but it helps with persistence in watching series. How about you? What are things that snag you into sticking through a series despite thick or thin, bad animation or not?

14 Responses to “The ultimate snag”

  1. totali Says:

    I watch a lot of really bad anime all the way through, but there are a few things that will keep me watching even if I’m not super interested. I’m with you on romance, since I’m a total sucker for love power vibes, but funnies also help. This includes laughing at how bad an anime is. I also marathon a lot of anime while doing other things on the side, but that’s just me. I’ll kind of let it play in “the background” unless something interesting pops up. Everyone has their own ways of keeping on….some people don’t even bother to try!

  2. IKnight Says:

    By complete coincidence, I’ve recently chanced upon Gasaraki myself. I’ve only seen the first episode, but I’m glad to hear you think it’s worth persisting with, especially since (to my shame) I’m a sucker for a bit of romance too. Romance would be one snag for me; the other would be preposterous but beautiful mecha action (hellooooo, Eureka Seven).

  3. meganeshounen Says:

    So you’re allies with that cafe, huh. Lucky you. :3

    Hmm… politics and anime, huh. The only other shows I’ve seen like that (and I can recall from the top of my head) would be the current Gundam offering, and a small bit of Heroic Age.

    A pattern of politics being intertwined with mecha plots? Unlikely…

  4. Atticus Says:

    A few things hook me in anime series, but the number one thing would be character growth. There are very few static characters that I like, but the ones who grow and teach me new things are my favorite characters of all time. There is something incredibly motivating and personal about seeing a person change from who they used to be to who they want to become. I love seeing characters get knocked down and then get back up. I also love characters who don’t change that much but periodically reveal things about themselves that you wouldn’t have guessed.

    I also love unusual sounds in anime like the weird tech mix soundeffect in Boogiepop Phantom and the Bleach anime.

    The last thing would incredible mind blowing action scenes that leave you with an earth shattering dry orgasm. Scenes that are so intense that you shake and stand up without realizing it because the excitement is too much for you to handle sitting down.

  5. Cameron Probert Says:

    It’s funny that you mention RahXephon, since if my memory serves me they were directed by the same person. Honestly I’m a sucker for politics, so that’s what really drew me into this series. And I really wasn’t disappointed.

  6. Ryan A Says:

    I don’t often find myself in that situation, at least that I can remember, but I’d have to say characterization is something that will keep me going (like Atticus said). If a character is shaped well, then it will still be interesting to see what he/she/it does. Also the romance factor. I can enjoy comedy, but romance wins me over. They often go hand-in-hand, yet one is usually more dominant.

    I wish I could reach out into the anime netherworlds. If I had started watching anime during high school I probably would have, but alas I’ve stuck to the more popular titles along the way. Also since starting the seasonal thing last year, I’ve not delved into the abyss of backlogs and wishlists.

  7. TheBigN Says:

    Oh. I didn’t find Gasaraki boring. The time I watched it was only for an anime class, but I was interested in watching it. However, it’s very far back in terms of my need to watch it. 😛

  8. Michael Says:

    @totali

    Again, LOVE POWER WILL SAVE THE UNIVERSE.

    @IKnight

    Or Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, WHO BELIEVES IN HIMSELF!

    @meganeshounen

    The series is unique that way. Still, it has the implicit romance, and I feel that romance coming up to the surface. Awesome.

    @Atticus

    1] character growth

    I think we share this: I love Honey and Clover, after all.

    2] unusual sounds

    This has been for me at least a weaker one: I stuck with GitS: SAC because it had Inner Universe as an OP. 0___0

    3] orgasmic mecha action

    YES. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is one of them.

    @Cameron Probert

    Really? I am going to check later. I hope I will not be, too

    @RyanA

    We share the same snags. Maybe that is also the reason why we appreciate similar anime. 😀

    @TheBigN

    I see… :p

  9. usagijen Says:

    I’m a sucker for romance as well, I actually think that’s what hooked me to shows like Yuyu Hakusho, Gundam Wing (yes, I didn’t care about the politics and action back then), Gundam Seed, and of course, Kaze no Stigma LOOL. Despite a sucky storyline, LOVE still rules LOL (just don’t make it tragic =__=).

    an air of mystery and intrigue also make me persist on finishing the entirety of a show, no matter how bad it might seem.

    though of course, in the end, character development is still one of the greatest factors that will allow you to judge the overall value of the series 🙂

  10. Michael Says:

    @usagijen

    Haha, me too. I loved the romance of Gundam Wing and all … and Kaze no Stigma! LOVE POWER WILL SAVE THE UNIVERSE. 😀

    Character development still remains to be our best bet, though. 🙂

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