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.
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.