In every Anime Season, for one reason or another, amongst all the instant classics and entertaining shows, there are always some bad apples: shows that disappoint, that derail as they go on, or that, forgive me choice of phrasing but, are just plain terrible and painful to watch.
In this edition of the Listless List, we’re going to be taking a look at 5 shows from the Summer season that just didn’t meet the cut, that I considered to be the “worst”.
5. Tales of Zestiria the X
Let’s cut to the chase here, I am a humongous fan of the Tales RPG series. Tales of Symphonia is probably my favourite video game of all time, and I’ve played and completed most of the main titles in the series, even the ones that were never released outside of Japan. I buy the collectors editions of the games, I own a ridiculous amount of Tales merchandise, and I’ve seen pretty much all of the past Anime adaptations of the previous games that came out. What I’m trying to say is, I am a seasoned veteran when it comes to all things Tales.
So why the heck is Tales of Zestiria the X on this list? As a long-time fan surely this would be right up my alley, right?
Well, unfortunately, my main gripe with Zestiria is because I’m a long-time fan of the series. The Anime adaptation of Zestiria appears to adapt the story of the game entirely faithfully, and while that’s great and all, it gives me very little reason to consider it worth a watch. Because I already played the game. Although, I will admit, I’ve yet to finish it.
As a result I’m struggling to figure out the purpose of this adaptations existence. It’s clearly made for fans of the game, and does very little to make itself appealing to those who haven’t played it, yet, it offers nothing new or exciting beyond adapting a story that its intended audience have already experience through playing the original game.
Add the fact that in general, Zestiria is one of the weaker entries of the Tales series in terms of story and you have something that just doesn’t feel worthwhile.
But hey, to give the show some credit, the art style and animation are spectacular and the fight scenes are glorious. Studio ufotable always do a great job in the visuals department. But they should really move away from these dry and soulless video game and visual novel adaptations and put that talent to better use.
This show isn’t terrible or anything, in fact, had the game not existed at all, it would probably be an average watch that would never have made this list. But unfortunately, the game does exist.
Oh, and the shameless amount of advertising for the latest, upcoming entry in the franchise Tales of Berseria was just way too obvious and soulless.
4. Taboo Tattoo
I’m sure it’s to no ones surprise that Taboo Tattoo made the list. This show has been universally torn to shreds since the day it aired, and was continuously berated each and every week, to the point it couldn’t even be considered a series worth hate-watching.
I’ve yet to even finish Taboo Tattoo, and while I don’t think it’s anywhere near the worst show of the Summer season (as you can no doubt tell from its position on the list), it’s still pretty mediocre.
It’s main character is the most generic shounen protagonist you could possibly conjure up, the story is incomprehensible (and not in a good way) and the whole production just feels robotic and devoid of any creative energy what so ever.
And it’s a damn shame too, because there are some super interesting ideas in here. The whole Power Crest concept was really awesome, and the unique abilities of each character were always incredibly cool and over the top, especially the main characters power to create black holes.
Heck, the fight scenes are also pretty amazing. They aren’t the best directed things ever, but they’re pretty energetic and the animation during these sequences is fantastic.
But aside from that, there’s really nothing else here. The action scenes are cool, sure, but everything else in between just feels empty, pointless and completely forgettable. I couldn’t even get to the end, and I’m not sure if I ever will because there are just better Battle Shounen out there I could spend my time on.
I really wanted to like this one. I really, really tried Taboo Tattoo. But you disappointed me. Horrendously.
3. Love Live! Sunshine!!
Hey look. It’s more Love Live!
Guess what franchise I’ve never remotely cared for or understood the hype for?
You guessed it. Love Live!
I’m honestly just not the target audience for this show. I actively despise cute girls doing cute things type shows, and I’ve never really been on board with the whole idol thing, so Love Live! has just never been something that’s interested me in the slightest.
But I gave this one a go anyway, because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, and why its fanbase are so obsessive and super offensive to outsiders who don’t find it enjoyable. And… I don’t really have all that much to say other than it had some pretty nice visuals and the character design were kinda cute but it was otherwise just kind of boring and I had no real incentive to watch it beyond the first episode.
I get that this is some people’s thing, but it’s not mine. At all. I watched a single episode and dropped it, and I’ll probably never go back to it. Sorry Love Livers!
This is probably going to be one of the more controversial picks on the list, but… I just didn’t really feel this one.
DAYS follows the typical formula you would expect from your average Sport Anime. We’ve got a couple of young guys who want to be the best at whatever sport they play, but they have a long way to go and need to work super hard to get there, starting from the very bottom.
And that’s all fine and dandy, expect that it just doesn’t feel exciting at all. This isn’t like Hajime no Ippo where every moment is a super intense, and motivating experience. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it tries to be. It really, really tries. But it just never quite hit the mark for me.
When compared to other shows from the same vein such as Haikyuu or Baby Steps, I just don’t find anything that makes this worth watching over those two, far superior and far more uplifting and motivating sports shows. Unless you just happen to prefer soccer as your sport of choice.
I guess it doesn’t help that I really don’t like soccer. At all. Because of where I’m from (don’t ask).
And seriously, does every Sports Anime really need to be full of Yaoi undertones? I have absolutely nothing against this sort of stuff (to each their own), but why does every Sports show need to have some kind of Yaoi thing going on in some way? I just want to watch some sports without the two main guys being super into each other for once.
DAYS just doesn’t stand out at all. In a world where this kind of show is commonplace, it falls flat when compared to its brethren.
1. New Game!
Remember above when I said “cute girls doing cute things” shows just didn’t appeal to me. Well New Game! doesn’t appeal to me either.
I really enjoyed Shirobako. It presented a super realistic insight into how the Anime and Manga industry works in the real world all within the container of an entertaining and engaging show with a wonderful cast of characters and an extremely well written narrative.
And I expected New Game! to be the exact same thing, only for the games industry. It wasn’t. Not even close.
Rather, as you would expect from a show like this, the video game development side of New Game! is just a backdrop to have a bunch of cute high school girls get together to do lots of adorable things together, take their clothes off in some super awkward fan-service scenes and maybe, maybe sometimes, upon occasion, make some video games.
As someone who has a degree in Games Design and is striving to make games for a living some day, I was incredibly letdown by New Game! I expected another Shirobako and instead got K-ON! with video games instead of music.
And while I was foolish to expect such a thing, that doesn’t make me any less disappointed. Lucky Star was decent. K-ON! was alright. But we’ve had far too many of these shows for me to find them appealing any more. We need new ideas, not more K-ON!
Now as for that game development Anime. When is someone going to make that? I’d watch that.
Thanks for reading folks, and remember, these are just my impressions. Don’t take them too seriously!
What are your guys biggest disappointments or worst shows from Summer?