View Full Version : What do you look at the most when judging whether to follow a show?
With tons of shows airing in Japan and being released on R1, sometimes you have to cut most of them out, and go after two or three that you really want to see. My tastes seem to be different then others, but I end up going for the slice of life shows, or the shows where you have good music and a good story. But I've talked to friends online, and a few friends in real life about why they go after certain shows. For some it's the hype, for others it's the fan service, while for others it's simply because the animation looks nice. Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to watch a certain show.
For me, it's a combination of story, music, and animation. I mean I'll watch GTO and love it, even though at times it has crude animation. I'm not so one sided that I won't watch a show because the animation isn't "up to par" with CG painting heh. But for me it's really about the story, character interaction, and music. I mean you can have a show with great story and music, but if the characters enter a room and go "Oh, uh, uh, yeh" and leave, then the show is going to get bogged down. So I was curious on how my fellow posters go after certain shows and why heh.
The difference between the two animation choices is that the first one is where you look at the designs or animation in a general way and go "The show is good, and the animation is ok, I'll watch it". The second choice is when you have some people, or people who won't watch a show pre CG painting or they have to have their shows to look as amazing as possible or they won't watch. You can lump character designs and fanservice in with the character choice as well.
06-01-2006, 05:03 PM
For me it comes down to "does this show inspire me to take the effort to <deleted> or buy the DVDs?"
If yes, I follow it, if no, I don't.
So really, it just depends on the series.
06-01-2006, 05:17 PM
Animation in general, Characters, Stories, the Hype, and series length. I can care less for the other choices. Well it's icing on the cake. However out of all of those the story is what matters the most to me, the others I said determines if it's worth a blind buy or not. /images/graemlins/tongue.gif
06-01-2006, 05:51 PM
This really applies to watching unlicensed shows as they air in Japan moreso for me, since by the time they're licensed my decision is long since made.
Saying that, I'm not sure which to choose. I mean, how can I decide to START watching a show based on character interaction? I don't even know who the characters are yet. I suppose you also mean "of the shows you start which do you decide to continue" and... well, there is no specific factor really. I'll follow whatever shows I like, and there could be all sorts of reasons why I like them.
But put in very oversimplified terms... I decide to start watching a show (that I have seen absolutely nothing of) primarily on genre and character designs. I decide to continue a show based on many factors, but character interaction is always primary. It's even more important than character development, although they usually go hand in hand.
06-01-2006, 05:58 PM
Animation in general and characters, then story and animation (though I missed it when I voted), in that order.
For new stuff I look at the pretty pictures on the webpages or ANN or whatever, and usually just by looking at the designs and characters I can instantly tell what kind of show it's going to be and if I'm going to like it. Most of the time I know I won't but sometimes the designs look good, or maybe not completely bad, so I give the show a chance.
Then comes the story part, and after one episode it of course turns out that the show was a piece of generic drivel even if the character designs were not shite. I also take a closer look at the animation, and if the quality is above par that might sway me a bit. Not just because I love great animation, but because if the production values are high for the animation, there's a good chance that might be the case for other parts of the work as well (i.e. the animation will usually not be that fantastic if the idea itself is completely rotten.)
Then sometimes, very rarely, I come across a show like Kamichu! Then I stop and wait for the DVDs, often blind-buying the entire show (singles or collected) before I watch it. So far with this method I've only gotten disappointed once, slightly, with RahXephon.
06-01-2006, 06:06 PM
Characters, then story. I consider characterization the most important element in any story.
While there are certain things in the categories you mention that will get me excited, I can't say I look at any of them as judging critera. It's not that scientific nor does it need to be. If a show captures my interest and I'm looking forward to seeing the next episode that's all there is to it. When I find myself repeatedly passing up a new episode of something to watching other things sooner or later I just dump the show since it's obvious I don't really enjoy watching it. I'm past my days of having to watch almost everything just because it's anime.
06-01-2006, 07:50 PM
For me it is all about the characters and their interactions. That is the only choice that I selected because nothing else even comes close.
The story would be a distant second. Nothing else really matters much to me.
06-01-2006, 08:41 PM
Do I like it or did it bored me to death that's the only thing that helps me decide.
06-01-2006, 09:24 PM
For any show, it's animation, characters and story in that order usually. Animation will help the show catch my eye and I'll read more about it and if the characters and story click with me, I'll watch it.
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Puppet Master said:
Do I like it or did it bored me to death that's the only thing that helps me decide.
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Thats also true heh. I'm someone that will check almost any type of show(not a huge fan of the boys love genre) if the show is good. The thing though is that I usually end up watching something different from what everyone else is watching. I mean with something like Emma, it would be me, Sheena and a couple people, while you get everyone watching the "hit show" of the season. It always made me wonder if people actually watched the seasons hit show beacause they liked it, or they watched it because it was that and they didn't want to be left out.
My order of preference is:
Story,characters,music, animation, then production staff.
06-02-2006, 12:15 AM
It depends on what you mean. If you mean what gets me to check out a show in the first place. There is no clear cut answer for that. Sometimes it's related to something I already like so I'd be curious. Sometimes I like the designs. Sometimes the premise sounds interesting. There is no clear cut answer. Often it's a mixture of things. Heck there are times I probably checked out something under the ideal of "I'm bored so I may as well".
However if you mean what makes me continue to watch a show. It's the show itself and nothing else. A show will either motivate me to continue watching it or it will motivate me to drop it. Of course there is still the bumpy road. A show I thought was amazing at first may eventually fall apart. While a show I thought was lame may eventually become amazing. Of course in the case of the latter, I have to wonder if the lame show was that bad if I kept watching it. While in the case of the former, I'd have to wonder if I was taken in by the wow factor.
06-02-2006, 12:55 AM
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Virginia Knights said:
It depends on what you mean. If you mean what gets me to check out a show in the first place. ...However if you mean what makes me continue to watch a show.
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Ahh... I didn't think of that until just now before replying.
Basically, I'll check out a show on word of mouth and I'll pretty much check anything out (especially with Netflix). For continuing, however, my criteria is that it entertains the shit out of me. /images/graemlins/wink.gif
06-02-2006, 02:13 AM
What usually draws me to watching a new series is usually the studio/Staff involved. If the director is one I'm pretty fond of of course I'll check it out, or for example, if the director is Koichi Mashimo then I know to not even bother watching a single second of the show.
What keeps me watching usually is good writing, aka characterization and plot progression. If those aspects are botched, then there really is no reason for me to keep watching. Of course animation and direction is up there but a show lives on the quality of the narrative.
Of course that's not to say there's no exceptions, maybe a show that I like to watch only for the art style or something like that.
Interesting point Disarm. When I say character interaction, I'm talking about when you're reading a summary of the story(on ANN for example) and you get the general feel of what characters will act off each other.
On the subject of characters, I find myself likeing characters from shows that I hate, or don't watch heh. I mean I like Talho from Eureka Seven, but I'm not a fan of the show at all.
06-02-2006, 04:42 AM
Genre, character designs, story.
06-02-2006, 08:04 AM
Story. That's really all there is to it for me. If the story does not engross or intrigue me, I won't keep up with it. That's not to say I don't appreciate other elements such as art, animation, music, the seiyuu cast, etc. But story is paramount.
Examples to illustrate my point. (I obviously have too much time on my hands today. XD)
Speed Grapher: I like picking up a new series based on its seiyuu cast because I consider myself a seiyuu fan. However, I didn't know the main seiyuu cast in Speed Grapher at all. The artwork and character designs weren't so hot either. But, oh my gawd, it ran with the story from episode one, and I loved every minute of Speed Grapher. (And Speed Grapher fans really should listen to the original Japanese Speed Grapher Drama CD because it's absolutely hilarious. Complete crack. Just Shirogane's (Koyasu Takehito's) impression of Bruce Lee going by in a car at 300kph is enough to stick a semi-permanent grin on your face for the next 24 hours. I swear. XD)
One Piece: A lot of people can't get into One Piece because its art is too cartoonish. It was the same for me at first, but the story kept me going. And now I consider myself a diehard One Piece fan. I have all the manga, the artbooks, the CDs, the posters, the figures, the shitajiki, the notebooks, the keychains, the stickers, the watches, the mugs, the pins and the FREAKING FLAG to prove it. XD Oh, and I need to say this: Oda-sensei is a FREAKING GENIUS. XD
Mushishi: Most of the time, I like my anime with a generous helping of bishies and violence. Mushishi is nothing like that. No explosions, no dark-haired bishie, no guns, no swimsuits, no pirates, no ninja, no shinigami. But every episode is a wonderful story. Mushishi is quite simply, in visual, artistic and story-telling terms, the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. Highly recommended. =3
Monster: Music-wise, the ending theme song kind of freaked me out the first time I heard it. But, story-wise, it mesmerizes. With its multi-layered and complex themes, constant pacing and outstanding voice acting, Monster is undoubtedly one of the best anime series out there. =)
Gankutsuou: I thought, at first, the psychedelic colors and textures were going to make my eyeballs run from their sockets, screaming and wailing. But it had such a good story going, so I stuck with it. The more of Gankutsuou I saw, the more fond I became of its distinctive style of art and animation. And, of course, the story did not let me down. (Even though it did tear my heart out and made me bawl like a baby.)
I have not mentioned characters because I believe even the most likable characters, by themselves, cannot save a bad story. (Can anyone say Saiyuki Reload? Ack.) Whereas a good story will almost always have good, hard-to-forget characters. And that's why, for me, story is the most important factor. =)
06-02-2006, 08:31 AM
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On the subject of characters, I find myself likeing characters from shows that I hate, or don't watch heh.
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That can be both a blessing and a curse. It makes it harder to drop a series and to well dislike it. However it also gives me motivation to give a series a second chance or stick with it. Sometimes there is pay-off because of it. While other times I regret it. I'm too out of it to give any real examples sorry to say.
06-02-2006, 10:00 AM
For me, it'd be story and characters first along with animation. Animation as second item along possibly with music.
Story and characters usually allow me to rule out a bunch of shows without even taking a look. I know the type of show that will bore/annoy me and usually you can find them out via exerpts of the story and character design/interaction. If I'm not sure, I'll watch 1 or maybe two episodes to figure it out.
I can tolerate poor animation (although not to the point of total crap like the end of Kare Kano) and I can also tolerate mediocre music. It's a whole package and those are definitely bonus aspects.
I don't rely too much on voice actors or studios previous work. The studios can help guessing what the animation is gonna be like and good voice acting can really make a difference but if the story and characters are bad, there isn't much that can be done to make it watchable for me.
06-02-2006, 10:02 AM
Genre, fanservice, story, word of mouth, cast. In that order.
06-02-2006, 11:19 AM
Interesting (though not necessarily high qualilty) character designs and animation get me into a series. The characters and story keep me there.
06-02-2006, 12:02 PM
I'd probably say uniqueness of story is the most important, you never want things to feel like you've been there before.
06-02-2006, 12:10 PM
Five things make or break a show for me: Characters, Story, Music, Word of Mouth, and the Creator/Studio's past works. If all of them are great, then I'll follow the show. Otherwise, I'll pass.
The most recent example I can give is Eureka 7. The first thing that caught my attention was that BONES had a hand in it. Some of my favorite anime ever have been created by BONES so that was a plus there. Then the word of mouth of how good the show was. Finally when I watched the show on Adult Swim, the characters, story, and music finally hooked me in.
So that's how the formula works. /images/graemlins/sdsmiley.gif
06-02-2006, 04:19 PM
For me its the story, first and foremost. I am willing to forgive a lot of other flaws if the story is really great. Beyond that I don't really look down a check list of characters, music, animation, etc. Rather, its more how they all play together and mesh into one show.
06-02-2006, 06:21 PM
The main ones for me are character, story, music and hype. I was thinking of also choosing animation, but since I can rarely tell the difference between good or bad compared to other people, I left that out. And if about the only bad things about the show is the animation, I really could care less as long as everything else is good. Character designs somewhat matter to me though, but I included that as a part of character. As for all the other choices that I didn't vote on, I pretty much don’t pay attention to them.
06-02-2006, 11:58 PM
The promise of expected yuri that will eventually deliver... /images/graemlins/sdsmiley.gif
06-03-2006, 01:44 AM
Umm... if I really enjoy the series? There's not really much else to it that that. /images/graemlins/sweat000.gif Many of the options you mention (in particular things like staff, price, availability, hype, word of mouth, advertisting, etc.) are really only important to me in "trying" the series out. Actually "following" the series is a different matter, making sure I keep up with all of the individual releases and not waiting for a cheaper set, is more of a factor of how I enjoy the series itself after I've already tried it somehow (through Vol. 1, TV, anime club, "sampling" when it's unlicensed). That involves several things, but I think some important ones are:
1) Character/Character Interaction - This one definitely takes the cake here. I've watched many shows with interesting storylines but I really don't care to watch them because I'm not interested enough in the characters. I find engaging characters a chief factor of rewatchability and one thing I like to have with series I put in my collection.
2) Music - I think this one is highly overlooked, but really important for me (and I'm not even the kind of person that's into music appreciation, collecting CD's, and the like...) Music is something that's always leaves a distinct impression in my consciousness as far as my favorite series are concerned (just can't get Princess Tutu and Rozen Maiden music out of my head at times /images/graemlins/happy.gif). It's something that some way or the other draws me back to a series or movie and wants to make me watch again. I've had "Ashita e no Melody" on my mind lately, telling me that I really need to buy CCS Movie 2 again soon (I'm really missing it...)
3) Series length - This one is predominant out of the economic factors when it comes to "following" a series. If I really, really like a series, I will follow it no matter it's length. I stuck with Cardcaptor Sakura even though it took 20 DVD's and over $400 spent in the long run. It definitely factors in when it comes to prioritizing my current series to collect, though. I really liked Kodocha but had to put it on hold (especially after being discouraged after a theft late last year) to stay up with my other stuff. I will still get Kodocha, but it will inevitably be the box set and I'm not "following" it.
4) Voice cast - This isn't one I voted on in the poll, but now that I think about it, it does matter quite a bit. There are two different factors here, one I will call "name value". This name value is important as far as "trying" a series goes. I see VA names that I've seen before and enjoyed in several roles, so that provides me an impetus to check the series out provided the series otherwise looks good to me. The other part of voice cast is the "character value". This I can only judge after I've actually seen the show itself, do it does relate with my decisions to "follow" a series. It regards the ability of the voice actors to make their character come alive and the show enjoyable. In this case, it doesn't matter whether I've known the VA's before from other shows or not. It definitely means a lot to me (and for polling purposes, I guess I will count it as part of "Characters").
And of course, some other things are important to me too in differing regards. I would like it if a show is pretty (and have appeasing character designs, like Ikuko Itoh's and Hajime Watanabe's), but I'm not a stickler about animation (if other, more important factors balance it out...).
For me, it's really coming down to the clarity of storytelling (if we're talking about the actual show), but I also like a lot of emotional resonance.
Also, I can live without overly sophisticated concepts or visual expression or whatever; the above is what’s most important.
Masayuki Kojima's adaptation of MONSTER
(Which actually isn’t a good example of unsophisticated storytelling)
I'm like 28 episodes in and the storytelling is incredibly competent; quite possibly one of the best examples of complex plot weaving I've ever seen in an anime; it’s multi-layered, but it’s clear as crystal. I mean, it’s ridiculously clear; I can’t believe how easy it is to follow the plot even though they’re opening a bunch of new paths in the story. I’d go on to say that the plot (especially at where I’m at) is actually more complex than the Ghost in the Shell TV series, but the difference here is that I found the plot in Monster a lot easier to grasp, and this is from ONE viewing, whereas GITS:SAC took me several viewings.
Oh yeah, GITS:SAC is actually another good example of clear story-telling (just because it’s dense doesn’t mean it’s muddled).
Kenji Kamiyama is also good at taking a clear approach.
But I have to say that Monster is by far superior in the aspect of "emotional resonance" in comparison to GITS:SAC
Anyway, on the other end of the spectrum… uh… I’ll take a recent show I saw:
Licensed By Royalty
Should be considerably simpler than above shows, right? Here’s the thing: I was confused as hell.
This is the perfect example of what I consider incoherent storytelling; it’s a goddamn mess. Everything from the jarring transition of scenes to the disjointed feel of the chemistry between people; L/R has this weird air of incoherence about it.
I also thought that Full Metal Panic! was somewhat the same (albeit not as bad).
On the other hand, when the FMP anime franchise changed directorial hands, the issues I had with its muddled storytelling disappeared.
So yes, for me, clear storytelling = better. Toss in a magical touch of emotional resonance, and I consider it a winner (like most of Junichi Satou’s new stuff, for starters… I can actually point out all the motivation in Princess Tutu, and I have to say: it’s a satisfying feeling)
my god someone needs to license Monster.
Oh well, Naoki Urusawa’s manga is still pretty cool, of course.
06-05-2006, 01:31 AM
It has to be for me story, characters, and a good intro sequence cause thats what I watch first. I'm not a really picky person.
06-05-2006, 02:15 PM
There needs to be a None of the Above option for those of us who just watch anime without caring much. /images/graemlins/sdsmiley.gif
Story and Character Development/Interaction are the most important in determining whether or not I'll really like a series. But in the end I'll get it regardless since there will always be something in it I like. But who directed it, wrote it, animated it, voiced it, etc all have little meaning to me. Everyone can have bad days or series and almost everyone can have at least one good day. I judge a series on its on for its own merits, not because of who was involved with it. That just tends to be a bonus and an indication early on if I'll like it or not. But it wont get me to follow or not follow it. I'll watch it regardless.
06-05-2006, 03:10 PM
Biggest thing would proably be general story and character designs. I want a story that is interesting to me and if the character designs aren't attractive to me I usally skip the series. Sometime the length of a show can be a factor. Right now I am following 4 series with 10 volumes or more. I don't want to start any more longer series until one of those shows drops to under 10 vol left to collect.
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