How Do You Pick Your Anime?

A few weeks into anime summer season, I’m seeing my to-watch list just grows insanely. It’s a bit scary since I don’t have the luxury of time to be watching everything that’s currently on my list. Of course, I have my strategy. The ones I really like I’ll watch them on weekly basis. The ones I like enough to be following but not crazy enough about them, then maybe I’ll gather a few episodes before watching them. Maybe two, three episodes? Or maybe more. I’m like ten episodes behind Hanasaku Iroha, but fear not for I shall catch up soon. I just need to buy a bag of popcorn and then wait till the weekend arrives. I hope this weekend’s weather is cool. I don’t like to marathon a series under a hot, humid weather. Note to self: buy popcorn.

Usually, I pick my anime based a several reasons/conditions. Number one will always be great content by my standards. Who doesn’t like good, old story? In order to keep me interested, exciting plot is a must or for the case of slice-of-life anime, it has to be humorous, fun and well-paced. That way, I’ll be very dedicated and eagerly awaiting the next episode. For example, Gosick. The episodes were created in a way that it kept the audience guessing, and I daresay most of them will be parked in front of their machines right on time each week just to know what happens next. This goes to say that if any of the three shōnen anime, namely One Piece, Naruto and Fairy Tail (I betcha think I was going to say Bleach), I’m following is airing a so-so arc, I will wait till the arc is complete before picking it up again.

Number two, uniqueness. I suppose this is related to number one but I decided to put this as a different point cuz I’ve ended up following a few anime due to them being different than the usual ones. The one I could think off the top of my head is Durarara!! The concept is not new, but it’s rare. It can easily bring something refreshing to the table. I even like Bartender. It’s slice-of-life (undeniably my favorite genre) but instead of seeing high school girls joining clubs or going about doing their business, we see a bartender providing insights into multiple life situations. That’s my definition of unique, at being different. You can’t easily think of another similar anime.

Number three, the popularity of the anime. It’s the curiosity that bites here. Why is it such a hot sensation? How come I’m seeing its posters everywhere? Why are there so many of their figures? Is it really that good? Something like that. I picked up Lucky Star and K-ON! because their merchandises are all over the Internet. It’s hard to miss. It turns out, Lucky Star remains one of my favorite anime till this day. It’s something I can watch over and over again. On occasions, I’ll select a random episode and watch. Lovely. However, I must say for this point, there will always be exceptions. For example, Madoka in my opinion was the hottest sensation last anime season, but I couldn’t bring myself to watch it. I simply couldn’t get into the mood for magical girls. It’s one genre I find myself avoiding.

Number four, character designs and settings. There are so many examples for this but I’ll just use Ikoku Meiro no Croisée cuz it’s currently airing so it’s easier for you to get hold of an episode just to have a feel of what I’m trying to say. Yune’s designed wonderfully and the setting for the show is gorgeous. My eyes are glued to the monitor, taking in all the splendid artwork for the entire 20 minutes. Again, there are exceptions. A good example of the exception is Kuragehime. I managed to complete the series cuz there is a great story behind those ugly characters. And that’s point number one I’ve mentioned earlier.

Number five, the last reason/condition but not limited just these is good offers. Haha. I hope this doesn’t stunt you or anything. Hyakko, Love Hina and Bamboo Blade were on sales, which is why I picked them off the shelf. At the time, I didn’t know anything about this seasonal anime stuff. All I knew was they’re legally distributed and they’re on sale. Easy. Lucky for me, they turned out to be good. Unlucky for me, School Days gave me nightmares. Not literally though.

So, ladies and gentlemen, my dear readers, how do you pick yours?

32 thoughts on “How Do You Pick Your Anime?

  1. I have almost the same way as you do when it comes to picking anime. Sometimes, when the anime really catch my eyes on my first impression watching the PV, I will give it a try. When some of my friends recommended the specific anime, I give it a try. No good, means a drop for me. Well, maybe I’m being too lenient sometimes likes giving a try on anime in a couple of episode. I had to admit, its a waste of time. >.<

    • Ahh..I know what you mean. Sometimes I’m very hesitant to drop an anime I picked up. It’s like what if I miss something? But I agree, more often than not, it’s a waste time.

  2. Eh, depends for me.

    I usually do my research before watching. If the synopsis sounds interesting and it has elements that I will like then more than likely it will go on my list. If I am really unsure about a series I might wait while and see what you guys have to say, but that is if I do not have the time too. I give everything a fair chance (at least 3-4 episodes), but 85% of the time I know what I want to watch. Know days the process gets slightly harder, since I am also not a fan of bum rushing through a series. I rarely drop series, so most that I plan to watch or on low priority (in favor for BD/DVD if censored) I will wait on.

    • Occasionally, the synopsis doesn’t provide enough information for me to make my choice so it’s either I try the series myself or I read what others have to say. If I made the wrong choice, I notice I’ll be reluctant to drop it anyways. I do drop titles from time to time but that’s for those I really can’t stand watching.

  3. I usually go with how I feel based on the first or so episodes, along, genre and the overall theme. It’s not that I like dropping titles, it’s just, I could be watching something else that I’d like.

  4. The way i pick is simple.
    stick with the studio and the staff behind it,
    then check the anime that they are doing and well stick to it.

    sometimes i check each and every episode but these days i dont have time.

    • Oh yeah, studio and the people behind the anime can be one of the reasons/conditions. That will raise my expectations too, especially if their previous works were good. I do that too on rare occasions. >.<

  5. Well, in my case its easy. If its outside my hate genres (BL and extremely-pointless-drama-driven stories) and there is at least a charming character I’m in for a watch. 😀

    • I tend to choose genres I like of course although I don’t mind trying one of my least favorite genres sometimes. LOL! It definitely helps when we get to see charming characters, isn’t it?

  6. Those are probably my top reasons to pick up a particular series as well, although maybe not necessarily in that order. I also kind of break things down to anime I’m going to focus blogging about and anime I’m just happy to watch. So for certain anime, number 3 would be a lot higher. And I think number 4 (character design and settings) might be my number 1. In the end though, I think there’s just isn’t a hard and fast rule to whether something gets picked up, and it’s an amalgamation of all 5 reasons (and more). The overall vibe and my whims also come into play as well.

    • Oh, the list is not ordered. Ahh..did I give the impression it is? More often than not, the anime I followed have combinations of these elements. Maybe I should have written that. >.<

  7. My reasons can often be the same as yours really. Occasionally I’ll see a figure that I really really like and I’ll watch the anime to see if I can justify buying said figure. Sometimes it helps make the decision at least, and I always like to know the story or background to anything I buy whenever possible. Other times I’ll watch something just because it’s not popular, because there are quite a few underdog series out there that are really spectacular but just don’t get the love they deserve for whatever reason. I also have similar watching habits. I watch the ones I absolutely love weekly, and anything that doesn’t quite make the cut but still holds my interest gets watched in batches when I get around to them. I also find myself rewatching my favorites over and over again. I am quick to drop something if it doesn’t keep me interested, but usually I’ll pick it up again later on and give it another try, sometimes finishing it.

    • Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking about for this upcoming figure Kurisu from Good Smile Company. She looks gorgeous even though she’s not yet painted. I haven’t watch Steins;Gate myself so I don’t know if I’ll like her or hate her so I’m gonna watch it after the series ended to help make the purchase decision.

  8. Art would be my first priority followed by the plot. And like you, i’d see how unique is the plot before choosing. However, there are some cases where i pick up animes I initially chose not to watch like Kamisama Dolls. The art was mediocre but it was by recommendations from others that I decided to give it a try again. So it’s all about motivation I guess. Beautifully drawn female characters, unique plot and ear-pleasing soundtracks can all serve as a motivation for me :p

    • I’ve picked up quite a few anime based on recommendations from others, especially the ones I overlook at first. For instance, Mawaru Penguindrum. I almost miss this great show. Phew.

  9. I usually go by overall entertainment value. While story and character design rank high on my list, if I don’t enjoy the series then there’s no point. Whenever there’s too many series to watch at once, I usually watch the ones I like best first, then save the rest for later. I still have series I have to finish from 3 years ago, so that might not always work.

    • Yeaps, the most important thing when it comes to watching anime is we must enjoy the show. So we can choose an anime based on any selection criteria, but at the end of the day it’s our enjoyment that counts.

  10. With currently airing anime, I usually go by premise, and very rarely by company (which is usually just Production IG, and anything airing in the noitaminA block).

    Otherwise, with anime or manga, there are usually some series that I hear of occasionally and become more and more interested in each time. Then one day, I decide I’m in the mood for a certain type of anime or manga, and pick the closest thing out of those series in my head.

    • Yeah, I remember hearing about The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya a lot before I finally picked up the first season. The interest in any title just grows if I hear of it more and more often.

      I also found out recently that for ongoing series, I’ll pick the week’s episode only if I have the mood for it.

  11. Great idea for a post dood. Why didn’t I think of this before? Silly me. I’ll get started on making my own later.
    Hmm, so uniqueness, plot, character design and setting, word of mouth and legal availability. Very good factors. I’ll keep those in mind.

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