On Dropping Anime

Yes, I dropped this. Problem?

We are all well aware (we are, right?) that not all anime are sent from heaven to save us from dying of boredom. Some anime are, whether we like it or not, horrible. Now what would count as horrible anime is different from person to person, and how we deal with them can be different as well. There are those who will finish every anime that they started, regardless of whether they liked it or not. While others, like me, just don’t bother watching anymore.

Now this is the important question: when do you stop watching that horrible show, and on what grounds?

But before I answer this question, what does it mean when one drops an anime? I find this to be a bit debatable. The answer is simple, yet it’s not. Technically, an anime is dropped if one has no more intention of finishing the said show. But as some people say, no anime is dropped forever. If a show one dropped managed to pique the person’s interest again, that “dropped” anime may very well move on to his/her list of completed ones. For example, I dropped Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann when its first few episodes failed to entertain me. About two years later, I gave it another try, and now it is one of my all-time favorites.

So far, my Dropped list in MAL says that I dropped a total of 68 anime all in all, but like I said, it does not really mean that I won’t be touching any of these anymore. Hey, maybe in the future I might find it in me to finish Haruhi (heh, in your dreams) or something.

Okay, back in topic. I think the most popular method of deciding whether to drop an anime or not is the three-episode test. Like the name suggests, you watch the anime in question for three episodes and decide whether you want to continue or not. I have nothing against those who adhere to this practice, but personally, I think that this system is stupid. Sticking to this rule (or any other x-episode test rules) can do one of two things – none of which are guaranteed to be beneficial. One, you don’t drop the show and it gets worse, hence, wasting your time, and two, you drop the show and you miss out on something that you might have enjoyed. Of course, the latter can be justified by saying that the first three episodes failed to keep you watching, and that’s just logical.

However, the problem lies with the former. People who stick to the three-episode test that force themselves to watch anime that they end up disliking usually end up raging on 4chan or other similar sites making those who liked the anime in question upset, and this usually leads to a huge waste of time called a flame war. These people have managed to chip away a lot of time by doing something they don’t want to do, and then making other people hate them for it. It is the paramount of stupidity.

@fkeroge, you’re not answering the question… stop rambling.

Okay, fine. I think the best way to answer this question is a humble advice from yours truly, taken from at least two years of experience as an anime fan. The best time to drop an anime does not exist – watching anime is not a statistics course in university. Anime is a hobby that should be enjoyed, and not used as a means to torture yourself.

Simple, if you don’t feel like watching it anymore, just stop. No need for a concrete reason like you don’t like the story, you hate fanservice, or anything pretentious like that. As they say, reasons are always simple. Same goes for anime. I think that there is only one reason that you should drop an anime, or any other form of leisure, and that is when it stops being fun. After all, watching anime is just a big waste of time; but as long as we enjoy it, we, or I, at least, won’t really mind it that much.

About Lucas Magnus

Trying to change for the better.
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17 Responses to On Dropping Anime

  1. Carillus says:

    Good job.
    Personally, my drop list functions entirely on how much I feel like downloading a particular series and watching it. If I can’t be bothered to go and get the next episode, then it’s dropped.
    Of course, this is a very illegal way of doing things and all, what with all the downloading, but whatever.

    • @fkeroge says:

      In a way, I guess motivation is another important factor, but I would argue that motivation stems from enjoyment. If you download the next episode, you are still interested in knowing what happens next.

  2. I stopped watching Kannazuki No Miko and Persona 4 exactly because I couldn’t continue watching without it feeling like chore šŸ˜›

  3. Azure says:

    I go all the way with things I start watching, until I start forgetting their existence. And then it gets dropped after I forget to watch it for over 3 episodes.

    *fact: why I still haven’t finished watching nichijou and ika musume*

    • @fkeroge says:

      Hmmm… I think this has happened to me a couple times too. Example would be Hanasaku Iroha (though I’m planning on finishing that soon) and Shiki. I eventually forgot that I had to get the newest episodes from these series.

  4. if i drop something after a few episodes, i’m gonna pretend not to have watched it.

    if i watch a significant amount, then i’ll put it in the dropped list.
    i really should have dropped bleach but i’m interested in how it’ll finish.

    • @fkeroge says:

      I think that if I at least touched a show, I should put it in my list, as it kind of serves as my “watched anime” list that I use to show off to people for reference when people ask me what anime they should watch.

      I tried to watch Bleach way back when it started airing locally. Even as a non-anime fan back then, I thought it was horrible, no offense to the fans.

  5. Cholisose says:

    I’m fine with dropping shows whenever I feel like it. It may be after one episode; it may be after twenty. And I’m fine with dropping popular shows, too. I also didn’t care for Evangelion, for example. Just not my thing–but hey, I’m glad lots of people enjoy it.
    I have a bunch of anime “on-hold” that I’m hoping to get around to this year… I should probably knock off a few before moving on to more new shows. But that all depends on what I feel like watching, I suppose. =P

    • @fkeroge says:

      Maybe I could have enjoyed Evangelion more if it was one of my first anime, but yeah, I didn’t care about it because I already watched tons of better stuff.

  6. Taka says:

    A lot of people do the 3 episode taste test (myself included though it’s usually 3 and some change) in order to watch 1/4th of a 12 ep show. Also if you drop it and rate it for your vote to count after it has finished airing you must have watched 25% of a given show you drop.

    That being said I usually have a gut feeling just by the end of the first ep whether I will want to continue. Often I do continue. I don’t hate dropping stuff but I have a high threshold for less than enjoyable programming and the time to watch them.

    • @fkeroge says:

      I give scores to dropped anime strictly for personal reference. If I rated Evangelion a 2 in MAL, it simply means that it is one of the worst anime I have seen.

      It’s good that you have a high tolerance for shows as it makes you more easily entertained than others, but unfortunately, not all of us have that luxury.

  7. Pingback: On Dropping Anime | Ambivalence , or is it ambiguity? | Japan Wham

  8. Nopy says:

    The best time to drop an anime is when the measure of potential drops below the threshold of entertainment šŸ™‚

  9. delapoer says:

    My dropped list functions like this; I start watching an Anime and if I like it no worries. If I don’t and see some redeeming qualities I try find an AMV that can pique my interest to keep at it, I have personally found if you can find a good AMV for a show there is at least some potential šŸ˜› dont’ know why but it has served me well. Also if I am reading the manga and know that it gets better. If I don’t like it at all I will probably still watch if I am bored out of my mind.

    I’m easy to entertain though.

    Anyway I find your drop list interesting, because it raises the question of whether or not its worth getting the synopsis of something like One Piece and skipping past the first 60+ episodes. Obviously the 3 episode rule becomes a joke in the face of a series that has been running 10+ years as a manga/anime will most definitely change in style and tone as it progresses.

    P.S. this is the only post of yours I have read. not sure how I got here. so if any of this is addressed in a previous post. oh well.

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