Seasonal Struggle – That Show Ruined Me For That Show

When a new season begins with a whole wave of new shows, a few of them are bound to be similar in some way, even if it’s only surface deep. You might get two of the weirder Shinbo-esque (or outright Shinbo) shows, one or two action or drama series (usually one of which is great and the other is terribad), a ‘slice-of-moe’ show or two, and then, of course, your fanservice shows, be they harem comedies or more dramatic romance.

Ordinarily, there isn’t much that I see myself as unable to watch. If a show really doesn’t work for me, I drop it, but I have a pretty good ability nowadays to find something to like in most shows. However, when there are two shows on TV that have similar reasons to like it, they sort of become in contest. I feel that if one of the shows is significantly better, it ruins me for the other show.

This no longer interests me.

The first time that I remember this happening was in the Fall 07/Winter 08 season. The two shows in question were Kimikiss Pure Rouge and ef ~a tale of memories~, which were only really similar in being pretty serious romance shows with love triangle setups in them. Even though Kimikiss seemed to be pretty good at the start (reviews seem to confirm), I couldn’t bring myself to watch more than a couple of eps after having marathoned ef. Because ef had presented the love triangle setup in a way that won me over so hard, I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy what I saw as a lesser presentation of the setup.

This seems to happen pretty often, especially with fanservice shows that have a lower threshold for enjoyment to begin with. For instance, last season I mildly enjoyed Omamori Himari and even more enjoyed Chu-Bra, which left me with little patience for the less enjoyable Ladies vs. Butlers. Bringing up LvB though, the fact that it didn’t even remotely live up to the excellent and incredibly similar Kanokon hurt it even further – however, that would have made me unable to watch LvB regardless of when it aired, while the phenomenon I’m talking about is more of a time and place thing. After all, I probably would have been able to watch Kimikiss if it hadn’t aired at the same time as ef.

This season, I started off watching just SD Gundam Sangokuden, Mayoi Neko Overrun, and Working!! However, I dropped Working!! after episode 2 and decided to pick up B Gata H Kei in it’s place. I quickly discovered that B.H. is totally damn awesome, too, but it created a quandry, because it served a similar purpose in my watching list to Mayoi Neko Overrun: fanservice comedy. And what’s more, Mayoi Neko Overrun is really generic and has little to offer whereas B.H. is excellent. If I hadn’t picked up B.H. then I might have been able to keep watching Mayoi Neko, even if I wouldn’t really enjoy it all that much, but now that I’ve seen such a higher-level fanservice comedy on the air, I find myself less patient with Mayoi Neko. I was tempted to drop the show after episode 2, but the awesome loli side character wouldn’t let me. I don’t think I’ll last beyond episode three, though.

25 thoughts on “Seasonal Struggle – That Show Ruined Me For That Show

  1. Eh, if an anime’s not awesome enough to stick with you beyond other shows, does it even deserve to? I don’t really think so. With anything, there is competition, and your product has to be good enough to beat the others!

    Hmm, I have the same experience with ecchi shows in general…I try to watch one per season just because I don’t want to scare myself away from possible good shows JUST because they’re ecchi (building resistance?!). But I have a hard time picking up more than one. It’s like, why bother if they all follow a similar theme? And they often do.

    • Please don’t call them ecchi shows – just ‘fanservice’ is fine. It gets confusing if you say ecchi because it gets hard to tell if you mean in the US fandom sense (fanservice) or the actual Japanese word sense (sex). Though in this case I can tell what you mean. Just a note.

      Yeah. MYO and B.H. actually have totally different themes, it’s just that MYO pretty has nothing going for it except fanservice, and B.H. has a lot more, but still does that element so much better that it calls the former’s purpose into question.

      • I will use the terminology I am familiar with when I think that the person I am talking to will understand what I mean regardless…you are not the commander of my language. Feh.

        I guess it also kind of matters why you’re watching the show. Since I think if you’re watching it more for the “fanservice” than any sort of plot, you might pick the one that handles the story poorly. Or just the one that suits your fetishes better. \o/

          • I never said you demanded anything. o/
            However, it did sound, to me, like you were suggesting that what I was saying was essentially incorrect, but that is not necessarily true. I don’t remember “fanservice” becoming such a widely used term all of a sudden, but my definition of “fanservice” and “ecchi” are not the same.

            • It’s not widely used at all. This is a personal thing. I know that the word ‘ecchi’ means ‘sex’ in Japanese. ‘ecchi’ is represented by the letter ‘H’ and is used to describe porn (ex. ‘H anime.’) I imagine that because of this H and the fact that ‘hentai’ (meaning ‘perverted’ or strange’) being one of the first Japanese words that Americans caught onto, we confused ‘hentai’ for meaning ‘pornography.’ I don’t know why ‘ecchi’ got turned into a word for fanservice shows.

              i understand language evolution and the ubiquity of the presence of those words in the US fanbase. I think that’s why even H manga translators refer to it as ‘hentai’ – they know that it’s what everyone is used to, and that’s cool. However, I personally come into contact with both sides of the coin often. On the one hand, I know many Western fans who use the words that way, but I also know people that know Japanese or are at least really anal about using proper words that will particularly not call a fanservice show ‘ecchi’ and not call a porn ‘hentai’. One of these jackasses called me out on my use of the word ‘hentai’ to describe porn early last year and pissed me off so much that I haven’t used the term on my blog since, hehe.

              IMO it’s too confusing and bothersome to use these incorrect Japanese terms when we have perfectly good english words to describe them. Such as ‘porn’ or ‘fanservice’ – hell, fanservice even works to be somewhat weeaboo since anime characters (most famously Misato from evangelion) like to refer to ‘saabisu’ a lot in regards to fanservice.

              You aren’t incorrect at all, but if I can get less people to say ‘ecchi’ and ‘hentai’, I can feel better about myself.

              • I see…good luck with that? It comes off more as elitist than anything else, it seems to me. Fighting the evolution of language in your way is not going to work, my friend, I am sorry to say. There is a force behind language’s evolution that is much larger than what a niche group of English speakers can effect. The proper wording may be kept up on the Japanese end of things, but when has English ever been known to keep the original meaning of words?

                And actually, I just had a seminar about this sort of topic, regarding the unstoppable change of the Chinese language due to the internet. It is changing so much that even previously obsolete characters are being brought back into use and remade into words or symbols that have no relation to their past use. I find it to be fascinating.

                On a semi-related note, I feel like most of things things we say to each other lately have been argumentative. Sorry! >.<

                • sengoku rance refers to having sex with someone as “H”ing them

                  food for thought. even if you don’t like rape, hyper weapons, and imperial juices, it is the only h-game with solid gameplay that I know of

                • You are confusing my desires. I actually support the evolution of language, and I have no problem with people using those words, however, it is confusing because I am also friends with J-speakers and, well, elitists. If nothing else, I guess I really just don’t want people to use those phrases around me.

                    • Unfortunately, my memory’s not quite good enough to remember if I’ve had this conflict in previous seasons… But I will tell you that I’ve only watched half of the first episode of Mayoi Neko Overrun, and I’m really dragging my feet on the rest. I believe it’s because I have two other comedies of that type to look forward to every week (Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaoh and B Gata H Kei), and I must say that they’re a lot snappier and more delightful. Sexier, even, though I won’t deny that whoever draws for MNO is well-practiced in the art of meaty girlthighs pinching around tight elastic.

                    • … My comment went totally in the wrong place. I’m so sorry!

                      Uh, so, language. Ecchi and all that.

                  • @2DT: It’s a setup for disappointment, though, because they apparently blew all the budget on the first ep and the thighs go to normal by ep 2.

  2. This has always been a pain for me too. Not to mention that at times you feel like you’ve watched a show before when it’s by the same director/production studio. Usually it’s just art styles or references, but in some cases (ie Shinbo) they start to feel like different chapters of the same anime.

  3. I’ve never really had this problem, which is probably evident from my drop list which can be counted on just two hands. I do pick out some shows as being horribly derivative and avoid even starting them, but I’ve never been in the process of watching a series and said, “Screw this, series X did it way better.”

    Give me a few years, I’m sure I’ll have seen enough anime by then. @_@;

  4. B Gata H Kei is one of the best shows this season….I’ve been saying it for months. Working is bad. I’m sticking with it just to see what the deal is with that girl’s katana.

    • The katana is an heirloom because her family is full of blacksmiths and she’s been carrying it since she was a kid. You can thank me for saving you another 22 mins now :D

  5. For the most part I can pretty easily separate one anime, or anything really, from another, unless it’s like an homage or something, so this isn’t a problem for me. Thank God for that too, cause it would make my almost complete inability to drop shows, I see it as losing to the show and I ani’t gonna lose to no Japanamations, all the more painful.

  6. For me, I noted that I am far less interested in generic shows when there is a gem that season. It happened for Natsumi Yuujin (Chou), Hidamari Sketch, Hanamaru Kindergarden, and Manabi Straight to name a few. Back in the days of Manabi, it is most likely due to my slow internet connection and the long time it takes to download an episode of anime — Watching a subpar show is somehow not worth it. Now that streaming is more common, I still can’t get as excited about the release of subs for… let’s say Vampire Bund versus Hanamaru or BakaTest. It seems this influence is not bound by the restriction of genre for me — a commedy like BakaTest can ruin my interest in an action? WTF? lolicon? anime (Vampire Bund).

    Interestingly enough, there isn’t really much show that fits into the “symbolism/mildly/moderately intellectual” theme this season besides Arawki Under the Bridge (with its highly symbolic and well done OP). Nothing to ruin that show this season.

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