NEETaku Asks: What Makes A Good Anime?

So, while planning out the list of my Top 5 anime of all time, I had an epiphany: How can I give my 5 faves if you don’t even know the type of anime I enjoy?Even more than that, how does one speak objectively about a completely subjective topic such as what makes for a good anime?

Yeah..Let that one sink in.
Yeah..Let that one sink in.

I could simply give you a random list of genres and call it a day. But that wouldn’t make for an interesting read, now would it? When I actually sit down and think about it, a good anime should possess the following qualities: Great characters, a good/original story and it must be re-watchable.

Characters

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No matter how interesting, awe inspiring and out right gorgeous the world created in an anime series is, at the end of the day it means bupkiss if the people who inhabit it are a bunch of Mary Sues and Gary Stus. Settings and environments change but the cast of the show will always remain constant, especially as it applies to the main character of said series. If the main dude/dudette is a gray blob with no distinguishing, likable attributes, most people won’t give a crap about them. Likewise, if the antagonist, when applicable, is not menacing or rage inducing, then moment when our hero over comes them isn’t as enjoyable as it should be.

The same holds true for the supporting cast as well. A good mixture of personalities that highlight and mix well with our main character can help to make them shine all the more. Sometimes these people actually overshadow the main char altogether depending on how likable they are. This also helps if one of these supporting chars gets killed at some point because no one mourns a block of wood.

Story/Originality

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This is probably the most debated aspect of any anime regardless of genre, and the biggest risk any company can take when making a series. Do you play it safe and do what every one is doing? Or, do you take a risk and try something innovative and different? Honestly, you really don’t have to choose between the two of them. You can use an idea/premise that has already been done and, by putting a little spin on it, create something quite different from the norm.

A perfect example would be the series Log Horizon, a trapped in a MMO anime along the lines of Sword Art Online and various others that came out around the same time. Given the over arching premise, one could easily have just dismissed it as .hack//SIGN clone. But what makes Log Horizon so much more than a clone is that unlike SAO or Btoom is that it FEELS like a MMO and not a fantasy anime that is based in a MMO. The players aren’t looking for a way out; instead they actually try to a way to coexist with the new world they are trapped inside. That is how it should be done in my honest opinion.

Be Re-Watchable

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Would a LAY’s chips reference be too outdated? Regardless, like eating your favorite food, a good anime series should be something you’d want to experience again and again. We all have that go to show that you watch whenever nothing else interests you, no matter how old it is. Being a one off type of thing is one of the biggest sins I think an anime can commit. What’s the purpose of going through all that effort into making something great when people just toss it to the wayside after one go round? Making a lasting impression on the viewer is something anime companies should always aspire to do.

Welp, that’s enough rambling from me. I’m sure you all have your own opinions on the subject so feel free to let me know down below. Because after all, this is Just…My 2 Cents.

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8 thoughts on “NEETaku Asks: What Makes A Good Anime?

  1. I think very few people makes ‘rewatch-ability” a criteria when judging an anime. For example, I haven’t rewatched Death Note for a long time now but I think it’s one of the good seinen anime out there. I have to agree however that there are just those anime that grow fondly with you when you watch — that you won’t mind seeing it over and over. That will only happen if it’s good anyway!

    But I guess there are those factors as well as to why rewatching something just will never be the same again. I treat Code Geass as one of these because the “weekly” mixture suspense and non-sense cannot be recreated again once you’ve decided to marathon it as opposed to the weekly release back when it was still airing. I guess I’m talking about the spirit of time. Sometimes, watching an anime along with the community (during the season it was airing) makes it more enjoyable to watch! There are times I’ve regretted missing shows from a previous season because of this. You know, that feeling when you’re late at the party?

    Like

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