I find it rather intriguing when you are watching an anime and all of a sudden you say, “WTF am I watching?” Then your next initial thought is, “Why am I watching this again?” That is when you know an anime has turned from good to terribly bad. But what really makes an anime shitty?
Lack of story-line?
Underdeveloped characters/no character growth at all?
A crappy main character?
Not enough progression in the way of viewer sustenance/keeping the view intrigued?
Just random things happening all at once (i.e. things that have no business being in that particular anime)?
It is a combination of all the things I have listed above, but why are we (as viewers), still inclined/intrigued to watch these so called “shitty” anime?
Can these “shitty” anime have redeeming qualities or factors that still make them “some what” good? My opinion is yes and no. It really boils down to if the “good qualities” can outweigh the “bad qualities.” An anime may be able to get away with it if the MC is portrayed well or if they story line can support an insufficient MC and progress from there.
Let’s take a look at a few anime that had A LOT of potential but eventually fell flat when they were released.
First we have Taboo Tattoo.
“Seigi, a martial arts trained middle schooler, often feels driven to protect the weaker people around him. One day, he defends a homeless man against some punks, and the man gives him a strange tattoo on his palm in return. The tattoo is a secret weapon produced in the arms race between America and the Serinistan Kingdom.
Seigi finds himself in over his head when a powerful girl, using the same secret weapon, violently pursues him in order to retrieve it. His skill at martial arts may not be enough to keep him alive, but will he be able to learn how to trigger the power of his tattoo in time?”
From the anime synopsis I was really intrigued. I also thought the art style of this anime was spot on! I enjoyed the character’s and their designs, as well as the action scenes. Visually this anime kicked ass! Literally, (since it was an anime about fighting), but the story drove it off the deep end. It was rushed and didn’t explain things very well. Plus Seigi was your typical MC who couldn’t do anything until the very end and even then did he still suck ass. I think it would have been WAAAYYY better if the story was about Brad and Bluesy “Izzie.” They were the best character’s in my opinion! Also, maybe if Seigi was a bit more grown up, (he was in middle school for crying out loud!), he could have been a better MC. He would have been fleshed out and developed more as a MC with a little bit of experience under his belt.
Next we have Mayoiga (The Lost Village).
“A bus full of eccentric individuals is headed towards the urban legend known as Nanaki Village, a place where one can supposedly start over and live a perfect life. While many have different ideas of why the village cannot be found on any map, or why even the police cannot pinpoint its location, they each look forward to their new lives and just what awaits them once they reach their destination.
After a few mishaps, they successfully arrive at Nanaki Village only to find it completely abandoned. Judging from the state of disrepair, it has been vacant for at least a year. However, secrets are soon revealed as some of the group begin to go missing while exploring the village and amidst the confusion, they find bloody claw marks in a forest. As mistrust and in-fighting break out, will they ever be able to figure out the truth behind this lost village?”
I am a sucker for any anime that is horror, mystery, or psychological. So you can assume that I was excited to watch Mayoiga (The Lost Village) when it came out. The anime had the right premises, characters and ambiance, but what it lacked was the scary story-line factor. The story just took the weirdest turn and really didn’t make up for it AT ALL. It was supposed to be about fighting your inner fears/thoughts/dreams, but the way they went about doing so was kind of dumb. If you want to bring someone’s fears to life at least do it in the similar context of the anime film Perfect Blue. I will give this anime credit for dragging out what exactly these characters were afraid of though. They gave us some pretty good cliffhangers so you had to come back to see what happened on the next episode.
Last we have Big Order.
“Ten years ago, a fairy by the name of Daisy appeared and asked the child Eiji Hoshimiya what his one and only wish was. Although his wish remains a mystery, the consequences were catastrophic. In an event called the “Great Destruction,” the world started to fall apart as everything collapsed and countless people died.
Now, Eiji is a high school student whose only concern is his sick sister. He does not remember what he wished for; all that he remembers is that his wish caused the Great Destruction. In the years since that event, thousands of other people have also received abilities to make their heart’s desire come true. These people called “Orders” are believed to be evil and are hated by the general public. However, some of these Orders are after Eiji’s life in vengeance for those that he killed. Will Eiji be able to survive the numerous assassination attempts? And the biggest mystery of all: what did he wish for, and what were his intentions in wishing for something that caused so much desolation?”
If you think these characters look eerily familiar, then you my friend, are correct. Big Order is from the same creator as Mirai Nikki (The Future Diary). Mirai Nikki was such a huge success that you would also think Big Order was one too right? WRONG! Big Order was another anime that started off really strong but eventually took a wrong turn at the end of the series. Why!? I am a HUGE fan of Mirai Nikki and I so wanted to love Big Order, but I couldn’t. I mean, I love Daisy and Rin, (they make up for a lot) but what the hell happened to the story? Eiji was too much like Yuuki in Mirai Nikki, pathetic and annoying and only in the end did he find the balls to step up and save the world. Why not play off of other characteristics? Eiji could have been a TOTAL bad ass but he didn’t know what the fuck he was doing. Also, it probably didn’t help that he had a sister complex throughout the whole anime. His sister was a FAAARRR more interesting character than he was. Maybe the roles should have been reversed? Might have worked out better in the long run.
These three anime had some promising components to their shows. I felt like these anime’s were trying too hard in the end. They wanted to appeal to fans of all types of genres, but that notion got lost in a bunch of jumbled up bullshit.
I hate when anime’s throw in specific scenes (i.e. comedy were it doesn’t need to be placed or maybe the wrong type of reaction a character has) in order to move the anime along in a different direction. If something needs to be serious then let it be serious! Don’t just randomly throw in some sketch comedy because you think it will work in the long run. Give me raw emotions! Make me sit on the edge of my seat because I don’t know what is going to happen next. GIVE ME SOMETHING WORTH WHILE DAMMIT!
I won’t sit here and say these anime’s are complete shit, because they aren’t. They do have some redeeming factors that kept me watching until the very end. But these are shows I won’t be watching again. You can consider them “one time offers.” Haha.
I think WTF anime appeals to us because we just want to see how shitty they turn out, and or if they will redeem themselves in some way, shape or form. It is the whole concept of “what if it gets better?” or “will it get better in the end?” It is that curiosity that drives the viewer to continue watching. Maybe that is why they have the saying “curiosity killed the cat.” It seems us wanting to know what happens next gets the better of us sometimes. I know I am guilty of this!
Disclaimer: All imagery and photos come from searching for them on the internet. I have no claim or right to them. If I find any links I will always post them (this usually entails fan art or any other work affiliated with an artist).