Oh yeah we’re continuing this line of discussion from my fairly controversial post Don’t watch bad anime! These followups need to continue because there have been points that I’ve taken for granted that people would get when in retrospect that wasn’t really clear at all.
So what even is a bad or boring anime? If you came to this post expecting a real answer like “a show rated 4 or less on MyAnimeList” then it’s my opinion that you’ve missed the point because nobody can say what is a good, bad or boring show because it’s all opinion. And our opinions are almost never the exact same.
There are two major ways a show could be considered bad. The first is by consensus. It’s fairly easy to prove that a show is well liked or considered bad by a lot of people. You’ve got a vast amount of ratings sites such as MyAnimeList, Anilist, IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes just to name a few. Then you can also look at sales statistics, view counts, and video ratings to get an even better picture. Looking at all this information you can build a consensus of what shows are considered by the majority.
But that is only consensus, which at the end of the day is just a large collection of opinions. There are of course going to be extremities, outliers and anomalies as well as many differences in that group. Many people will enjoy that same show for very different reasons. Some may enjoy it for the story, others characters, others animation, others music, others everything or a mixture of some. You never know, people might also like it because they enjoy dissecting how bad the show is and thinking about how to improve it.
The point is when I say “don’t watch boring anime” I’m not talking about things considered to be bad by a large amount of people. You are not the consensus, even if you tend to agree with the majority of people most of the time there will be times when you disagree, enjoying things as “guilty pleasures” or “enjoying ironically” or just having genuine feelings of enjoyment, confident with your stance that other people are missing the main appeal.
This is fine, our differences should be celebrated. This also means that I don’t think it’s a good idea to label shows as “boring” and eternally forget about them despite never having watched them. You could be missing out on a hugely great show that is so specific to your tastes that very few others will like it.
So this brings me to the other way to judge anime as bad or boring: do it yourself! Maybe the majority is incorrect, maybe the anime is a conspiracy where it tells other people to call it bad even if it’s not! Your tastes are purely your own so the only way to find out if you will like a show is to watch it.
So where does this fit in with “don’t watch boring anime”? After all isn’t checking yourself contradictory to the original statement?
Not at all, and in fact I never intended to come across as saying not to watch anime based on consensus, I always intended the “don’t watch boring anime” statement to talk about what YOU think is boring, not what everyone else thinks.
So simply watch, and drop the show if you find it boring!
To cover my tracks again here I want to talk about anime considered to be good by a large amount of people. Using consensus is a great way of finding great shows, especially if it’s liked by people you trust or know. Watching other things by a lot of people is great for being involved in discussion – if I see a blog post about a show that I’ve not seen then unless it’s a review I feel left out, unable to connect with that blogger through that anime that they’ve seen and I haven’t – so watching by consensus is fair enough if you want to.
Though I would also encourage you to try a lot of different anime’s even if the consensus is that they aren’t good. Experimenting with what you watch is good for finding your tastes, other brilliant shows and it’s great for recommending things.
So I’d say let whatever you want dictate your viewing habits, I just want to encourage you not to watch boring anime because I believe your time is better spent watching something good or something that just interests you in general whether that show is good or bad in your opinion.