Today, I want to talk about the practice of “dropping” Anime, or more about myself dropping Anime.
When most people are watching a series that they aren’t enjoying, or that they don’t like, they tend to back out and drop it. They take it to side, they tuck it away into the box of dropped shows and they never take it out of that box. It stays there forever, locked away, never to cause them misery again.
And this practice makes perfect sense. If you aren’t enjoy something, why continue with it? Why would you put yourself through the insufferable hell of watching something that you get nothing out of just for the sake of “finishing” it?
Well, this is kind of funny, but if any of you take a look at my MyAnimeList, you’ll no doubt notice something peculiar. No, it isn’t that Sword Art Online has an 8/10. What’ peculiar is that I have no Dropped shows on my list. That’s because I don’t drop shows. Ever. I’ll admit, my MyAnimeList list is horrendously incomplete and there’s over 100 shows missing from there that I can’t be bothered adding due to laziness, but I can guarantee, with certainty that I haven’t dropped a single one of them.
I do “stall” shows, which means I put it to the side for the time being, but when I do so I do it with the intention of returning to it at some point in the future. I normally do this with shows that have over 100 episodes or multiple seasons. That being said, I’ve only stalled around 20 something shows, all of which were fairly recent with the one on there the longest being there for around a year and a half.
Now, I’m not against the practice of dropping shows. In fact, I think it’s the best thing you can possibly do if you aren’t enjoying something. It’s a smart thing to do. It’s something I should probably do as well. So why don’t I?
Well, the answer is simpler than you think.
First of all, I’m a completionist. In every part of my life, I have this obsessive tendency to complete everything I start. If I start hoovering, I can’t stop with half the rooms in the house done. If I’m playing a video game, I have to collect everything or get every achievement or trophy or whatever “100%” is. And if I watch an Anime, I absolutely have to get to the end. I have to see every episode, every special, every OVA, every movie and whatever else watchable the series has to offer.
It’s a little sad, maybe even a little depressing, but it’s just how I am. Even if I absolutely despise a show, I need to see it through, because there will always be that nagging feeling of “what happens at the end?” or “how did they resolve that story?”
But beyond my weird, obsessive, completionist deficiency, I also believe that every show has some redeeming quality that’s worth experiencing. No matter how much I dislike a show or aren’t having a good time, I believe there’s some good in there, if even a little. And I want to see that good. I want to experience it and maybe even have the chance to occasionally look back on that horrible show and think about that one good thing that happened and that made me feel something, even if it was for the briefest of moments and amongst a load of unenjoyable rubbish.
I also believe that there’s a chance for every show to “get better” down the line. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer that a show should be entertaining or “good” from the very first episode, and if I were any normal person, I’d most definitely drop a show for not being so after 1 or 2 episodes.
But we’ve already established I’m a bit odd. I want to see if a show gets better, even if I know that’s not an excuse any show should have. What’s interesting about this though, is that 9 out of 10 times, this never works in my favour. Most shows I hope will get “better” either don’t get better at all or do the unthinkable and get worse. Shows like Divine Gate remained mediocre the whole way through and Free! Iwatobi Swim Club wound up earning the dishonour of becoming my least favourite and lowest rated Anime series of all time.
That being said, there have been times this mindset has worked in my favour as well. Some of my favourite shows of all time wouldn’t be my favourite shows if I’d given up early by dropping them and not continuing to see them through to the end. Katekyo Hitman Reborn! is one of my favourite shows of all time. It’s in my Top 9, it’s been rated a 10 on my MyAnimeList and it’s a show that I think about almost every day. The funniest thing is, I wasn’t very keen on the first few episodes. In fact, I strongly disliked the majority of the first story arc. It was 19 episodes long, it was slow and it was fairly boring and uninteresting. But I persevered and I kept watching, and once I got to the second story arc, I fell in love with the show and by around episode 30 it quickly soared from a 3/10 to a 10/10 and became my 7th favourite Anime series.
Of course, not every show is going to end up sharing a similar fate, but every time I’m watching a show I don’t enjoy, I can’t help but give in to the nagging feeling that maybe this “bad” show will become the next Hitman Reborn! and turn out to be something amazing by the end.
Finally, I guess it’s also because I’m an incredibly tolerable person. I can tolerate just about anything. In a weird way, I also just kind of love testing my sanity by watching some really awful stuff. I’m sure I’ll find the Anime that will completely break me one day. I don’t look forward to that day.
Now, I’m not telling you to not drop shows. By all means, keep dropping shows. It’s a healthy thing to do and it’s something I really should do. I wish I could. But I can’t, for the silliest reasons ever. Help.
So yeah, that’s why I don’t drop shows. I doubt none of you even noticed and I know this isn’t the most interesting topic, but I thought this would be fun to share with you all.
Now, if you’d like to test my sanity, feel free to recommend the most droppable shows possible and we’ll see if you can break my “no drop” attitude. I’d be up for that challenge.
Thanks for reading folks.