Having been part of the anime fandom since 2009 now, I’ve seen some massive controversies take the fandom by storm. The Neon Genesis Evangelion finale fiasco, in which the incredibly entertaining, provocative, and thoughtful show suddenly and spectacularly sh*t the bed during its last two episodes, was before my time, as was the “nice boat” incident, when School Days’ final episode was replaced by live action footage of a boat following a gruesome crime in Japan. #boatgate. But, fortunately or unfortunately (I’m not quite sure which), I’ve had front row seats for the Aya Hirano sex scandal, the Endless Eight debacle, and the mess that is the Darling in the FranXX fandom right now. And if all of this has taught me one thing, it’s that anime fans are, generally speaking, very angry people.
Naturally, as you, over time, watch more and more shows, the whole anime experience starts to gradually become less thrilling. It becomes increasingly difficult to find stellar shows to watch, and growing familiar to the trends in regards to new releases often breeds contempt for the medium which seems to, the large majority of the time, opt for playing it safe instead of exploring different avenues of shows. Therefore, stumbling across a ‘baby anime fan’, one who has yet to become as grizzled as we old timers, is wonderfully refreshing! To them everything is so new, and shiny, and exciting, every single show dripping in promise…
So it should go without saying just how hyped I was to find out the guy I’d just befriended in the anime society I joined at the beginning of my first term at university had only seen ONE anime!
We’ve all been there- we’ve seen so many different shows over the years, so many of what would be dubbed ‘classics’ by the anime fandom, that we think: ‘There can’t possibly be any more gems out there for me to watch!’ I’ve been watching anime for almost four years now, and this is something I remember thinking barely into my second year!! Granted, it may have been a bit early for me to have thought such a thing back then (blimey, I hadn’t even seen Berserk or Ghost in the Shell at that point), but these days thing are certainly a little… thin on the ground in terms of shows…
This year’s been very difficult in terms of deciding what to watch. I’ve mainly stuck to watching fairly new releases, and shows I wouldn’t even have dreamed of bringing myself to watch but a year or two ago. Understandably, given I felt forced into watching some of these shows, my thoughts on them, pre-viewing experience, were, for the most part, negative. However, on more than one occasion, with more than one show, I’ve been blown away this year. Below are three examples of shows that have done this.