You may or may not know this about me, but it used to be my policy to never drop an anime, no matter how much it made me want to put out my own eyes! In fact, I hadn’t dropped a single anime in over 10 years – and I’ve seen some real trash! But this week I made the momentous decision to finally rescind this policy and drop my first ever anime: Black Clover. Join me as I discuss what led me to this decision. Hopefully you’ll gain some insight into why it’s not always a bad thing to drop anime.
But first, a bit of background…
As I alluded to above, I first got into anime approximately 10 years ago. Diving headfirst into this weird and wonderful world alongside me was a close friend of mine. It became not just something that we enjoyed and enjoyed watching together, but something that we, two very competitive people, would compete over. We would compete to see who could watch the most anime in the shortest amount of time as well as who could watch the biggest, most awful, most tragic anime in human history without caving and dropping them. Ridiculous, I know. But somewhere down the line, not dropping anime became, not just something to compete over, but a habit and, later still, a source of pride. And, during the times when I would question this habit, I justified it by telling myself that, if I had allowed myself to drop anime, I’d have missed out on what later went on to become some of my favourite shows. Whilst this is true of some anime, e.g. Naruto, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, and Code Geass (which all took me quite some time to get into), it is not true of the vast majority of shows that I was tempted to drop like hot potatoes. Anyway, that should give you some insight into why I was the way I was until just recently!
OK, moving on…
Two weeks ago I broke down to my husband (which, unfortunately, is not all that rare an occurrence). Sobbing, I told him how, now that I’m working almost full-time I was struggling to fit in all of the things I felt I had to do, like my responsibilities at church, keeping up with my friends and family back in England, and my household chores. I also told him that I don’t feel like I have the time to do the things I want to do, like blogging and watching anime. Following this (snotty) confession, he asked me: “Well, is there anything that you could spend less time doing?” Knowing where he was going with this, I refused to meet his gaze. “Maybe you could drop Black Clover?” (I’d been complaining about still having to watch this show earlier on that day.) “It’s not a massive change, but think about all of the time you’ve already spent watching it.” (20.83 hours, exactly.) “You could save a lot of time by not continuing to watch it, time you could spend doing the things you need or want to do.”
As much as I didn’t want to admit it, my husband was right. I had spent a lot of time watching an anime that I didn’t, even slightly, enjoy. This might seem stupidly obvious to you, but until this conversation I hadn’t really stopped to consider that I have a lot more responsibilities now than I did 10 years ago. I no longer have just school and homework to worry about, but living up to my responsibilities as a wife and as a friend, making time to grow deeper in my faith, maintaining acceptable mental and physical health, managing a full-time job, and paying the bills. I just don’t have the time that I once did to devote to something that doesn’t benefit me in any way.
In addition, as a Christian I believe that time is a finite resource that God has entrusted us with. In fact, the Bible explicitly encourages us to make the best use of our time (e.g. Ephesians 5:15-17). So if something doesn’t serve a higher purpose, isn’t part of God’s will for your life, and isn’t even fun, there’s probably a better way to spend that time!
Furthermore, when you begin to feel like watching a certain anime is something that you have to do, rather than something you want to do, watching anime becomes, not a fun, enjoyable hobby, but yet another chore. And I have way too many of those already!
Finally, for so many years I refused to drop anime out of pride. Having a non-existent drop list on MAL was something that I wanted to show off about. But, thinking about it now, who actually cared that I didn’t have any dropped anime? My friend (who’s still a dear friend of mine) has long since stopped caring about our little competition, so who else cared? Strangers on the Internet? Probably not. And, at any rate, why should I care about impressing strangers on the Internet (no offense!)? Should I really continue to do something that actually has a detrimental effect on my life just on the off-chance that it might impress one or two of them?
These reasons are what finally drove me to drop my first anime, Black Clover. Black Clover is mediocre at best, terrible at worst. It doesn’t bring anything new to the table, deigning to follow your typical shounen anime tropes to a T, features a cast of extremely irritating and unlikable characters, and has some of the ugliest off-model character models that I’ve seen from such a big name studio in a long time. Dropping this trainwreck has been incredibly freeing and, whilst I’m not planning to drop shows left, right, and centre (I may still find a firm favourite by sticking to my guns), I’m not going to inflict similarly terrible anime on myself any longer! Not when there are so many fantastic ones out there left for me to discover!
I think it’s impressive that you’ve never dropped an anime until now! I have a thing about dropping anime so I don’t do it often and only do it if it’s insanely bad and I just don’t care about the show. I’m not surprised that Black Clover was anime to break this long tradition. I started it when it came out and my stubbornness won’t let me finish it until I hit the 50 episode mark and then I’m done with it 😂 so I’ve began using it for background noise whilst I work on other stuff and the episodes just go by! 🤣 I think this is a good move and hopefully you can do some more stuff that you feel passionate about again! 😄
I waited until I hit the 50 episode mark to drop Black Clover too! Ha, ha, ha! How strange!
As I said in my post, part of the reason I wasn’t dropping shows was to impress other people, but you’re probably one of just a few people to have ever said that you’re impressed by that, so it’s probably best that I stop inflicting terrible shows on myself and just watch the ones that I, at the very least, enjoy!
Haha yes how funny!
Yes I am! I do think that’s a pretty impressive thing to be able to do honestly! Yes I think it’s definitely for the best, it’s always better to just enjoy yourself and enjoy what you’re watching! That’s the most important thing really! 😊
FINALLY someone who gets it! I’ve never dropped an anime either, and I didn’t plan to but . . . Texhnolyze is soooo boring. 😉
So Texnolyze was your first? I can appreciate that. It never really gripped me, either! I much preferred its sister show, Lain, even though that was pretty slow-paced and introspective too.
Honestly?? I’m surprised that you held out this long with Black Clover lol 😂😂 I hardly ever drop animes myself either…no matter how bad they become. This was a very rare exception though. Asta’s voice….ugh…it was so annoying 😅😅 Maybe one day I will return to this one, but I very much doubt it. Sometimes I do wonder why I keep watching certain shows when there are so many other good animes out there. But it’s hard to drop things though…😊😊 Great post! And I think you made a very wise decision 😊😊
It’s not just Asta’s voice (though that definitely plays a part)… It’s that, rather than try to push the envelope, it adheres to all of the shounen anime tropes that, personally, I’ve grown tired of over the years… It’s that, rather than try to excel in any way, it is, instead, mediocre in every way… Low quality animation, unlikable, unmemorable characters, and boring, tired storylines…
Anyway, I’m glad that you enjoyed my post! I know that it can be difficult to drop shows, especially if you’re not in the habit of doing so, but, as you said, there are so many awesome shows out there, why waste your time on the time wasters?