First Impressions Count In Anime Part 2 (AOT, Death Note and Erased)

First impressions are important to make you continue watching, I’ll now talk about shows that gave me a good impression and turned out bad in the end as well as a show that started bad and finished bad. The point of this is to show a meaningful difference between a good first impression and a bad first impression for a show that will become better.

To start off more positive let’s talk about a show that gave me a good first impression but turned out to be bad. Theirs many shows like this so I’ll only pick the more popular ones to speak about.

The first one that I liked at first was attack on titan which had a good opening episode. I liked the way the town was shown throughout the first episode as well as the way they established the titans, the world was cool and serious especially with their history of fleeing from titans. They build the titans up to be amazingly strong opponents, and then, they attack.

The first appearance of the titans is massively impressive. Completely demolishing the walls instantly and breaking in they appear to be the most vicious opponents in the world and the moment at the end where Eren’s mom gets eaten is shocking. It was very impressive and it looked like the rest of the show would be good.

Unfortunately I was wrong, the training camp and titan fights are completely boring and uninteresting. The depressing death count starts to mean nothing as you don’t see any of the population and the rest of the fights I find uninteresting. I’m not trying to say that this is a bad show but I don’t feel like it lived up to my expectations at the start. The impression that I got from the show was not something that it became so I was let down and ended up not enjoying it.

A more minor example was death note which had a good first half before a massive plot shift. I really liked the start due to the scheming and plotting however I feel like the show lost something after the change. The scheming became more boring and started to annoy me after more impossible things started to happen.

Other people claim that Erased and Zankyou no terror have good intros / give good first impressions but then become worse as the show progress’. Like the rest of these people I had a good first impression of the show however I still enjoyed them up until the end.

So how can you differentiate between these kinds of shows and how do you know which ones will let you down? It’s a difficult one to answer however I believe that the signs are there from the start. For example if I had to explain what I thought the plot of attack on titan would be after episode one I might have realised that what would happen is pretty boring. I’d have predicted that they’d join the scouts, either lose or win, and then fight against them to get back to Erens house to get the titan cure and then use it.

It doesn’t sound that interesting. A stark contrast to this is what I thought could happen in Erased and zankyou no terror. In erased I was fascinated by the idea of an adult in a child’s body and looked forward to see his investigation and then find the killer. In Zankyou No Terror I just wanted to see more explosions and plotting potentially with a dramatic plot to avoid the police.

Some probably disagree with my opinion however too me one is far less interesting than the others. Knowing what you think will happen in the show allow you to think about whether you’ll like it or not. I don’t think you should stop watching a show just because of this but instead use it to be prepared for if it all goes downhill.

So from this part we can conclude that it’s difficult to notice if a good show will turn bad but the signs do show if you know what to look for and what your interests generally are. In the next part I’ll write about a show that started bad but didn’t get better and the differences that I noticed in the two bad first impressions of a show that I ended up liking and a show that never got better. It’s about how to know if a show will get better without watching any more episodes.

If you want more insights on this topic of first impressions I made a ten part series dissecting a very disappointing video game which started with good first impressions. If you want to see part one then click here:


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