Expectations and the Enjoyment of AnimePosted: May 17, 2011
Time for the real editorial.
Also, though the title may mention anime, this concept also applies to other forms of media. The reason I used ‘anime’ in the title was because it’s what I’m going to talk about (though my example later in the post isn’t anime).
I’m not sure how many other people go into shows the same way I do (if any at all). For the most part, it seems as though people just look at a show to see if it interests them, then they watch it and enjoy it based on whether it’s actually a good show or not.
I do it a bit differently.
While I also only watch shows that interest me, I’ll watch a show that interests me even in the slightest. I’ve found a few diamonds in the rough this way (Higurashi, Shigofumi, Star Driver, etc.). You never know when show with a mediocre synopsis will actually turn out to be executed extremely well. Of course you can also get Rio: Rainbow Gate!, but it seems as though I find more diamonds than I do mud pies.
This is also partly because I don’t watch and enjoy shows based on whether they’re objectively good or not. I enjoy them based on my own expectations for them. Of course, I’m more likely to enjoy shows that are objectively good and vice versa, but I don’t let objectives critiques be the sole judgement of my enjoyment.
Before I watch a show, I’ll already have certain expectations for it. If it matches or beats those expectations, it’s very likely to get an 8, 9, or 10 and I’ll enjoy it very much. If it fails to meet them, on the other hand, they can get anything from a 7 to a 1. Though, as I mentioned earlier, being objectively good can also raise a score even if it didn’t meet my expectations.
There’s no real doubt that Transformers and its sequel were pretty terrible, objectively-speaking. However, I went into the show expecting some good action: giant robots beating the shit out of each other. I got exactly what I wanted, and I was satisfied (it’s also why the second one is much better in my opinion; there was much more fighting and Optimus Prime being a total badass).
I’ll undoubtedly agree that the movies were bad, but that doesn’t change the fact that they were enjoyable. They were “good” to me because I got exactly what I went for.
The main characters (Megan Fox’s boobs) also helped this judgement. Hey, I’m a guy, sue me.
Basically what I’m saying is that I don’t go into every show expecting a Madoka Magica, or a Death Note, or a Code Geass, or whatever. I decide ahead of time what I want from the show, and if it delivers, then I most likely enjoyed it.
I feel like other people should also watch shows (or any entertainment medium) this way. It allows you to enjoy a lot more shows. Of course you could also run across some pretty dreadful ones, but it’s not like you can go digging for diamonds without getting a few cuts and bruises along the way.