Dropping Titles and Raising Standards

After struggling through 21 episodes of the first season of Hayate no Gotoku, I finally convinced myself that it isn't worth wasting all that time just so that I can fairly review a title. It's just one of the habits I've kept in my first years of reviewing anime for Anime-Source.com, where this is actually a rule (and because I wanted to be fair). But there's also one thing for certain: there are more anime titles out there than I have time for, and Japan is certainly producing anime faster than I can watch them. No matter how much I hate to leave things halfway done, I gotta make room for the bigger fishes in the sea; especially now that my free time are getting lesser and lesser.

Usually at the change of seasons that occurs 4 times a year, the blogosphere is filled with large amounts of reviews of ending titles, previews of upcoming ones, first impressions, etc. And I've noticed that shows that receive a negative remark always outnumbers the shows that receive a positive one. Yet if most of the titles released every season are crap, how does the studios still produce so many? I don't doubt that there's definitely a market for the "crap" shows, but I hardly see members of this market appear on the blogosphere to defend the highlights of those "crap". It's not like that particular market consist entirely of old lonely otaku men with a fetish for such stuff, and couldn't be bothered with the normal standards, right?

I remember when I really got into this hobby around 6 years back, every anime I watched seems to be awesome, even stuff like Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and Amaenaideyo!!. Well, I did scour the net for the best stuff to watch first, like Elfen Lied, Suzumiya Haruhi and Shuffle!, but I still have fond memories of the titles that I know now that are obviously bad now. It feels like I've been opened up into a new world of anime, and any title, as long it's anime, would have entertainment value.

Thing are now completely different from back then, and the ending season is the worst so far. I've previewed 11, completed 5 and find myself only really liking 2 of them. I know that the "me" 6 years back would definitely love stuff like Hayate no Gotoku! and Haiyore! Nyaruko-san, no doubts about that. I'm not sure if I'm tired of stuff like this already, or has just been steadily increasing my standards over the years.

If raising standards is the cause, then I think that might be the reason why the blogosphere is so hard on most of the anime titles that are released every season. Commenters are influenced by bloggers; and bloggers, me included, are usually seasoned anime watchers that has at least a hundred titles in their MAL. And I won't be surprised if half of them would be in the ~350 range like me. Except for a few exceptional titles every now and then, the anime industry isn't very good at reinventing themselves. Once they've picked up on traits and tropes like "tsundere", "clothes that accentuate breasts", "cute girls doing cute things", "blushing for god knows why", "huge eyes", "striped panties", "cat ears", they'll keep it running frigging forever until people got sick of it.

But, unfortunately, these are the same traits that got people, -most people-, like you and me into the world of anime in the first place. And we still cling on to some of these traits, as long as it's given in modest servings, because that's what makes it an anime to us. When a particular "crap" title tries to overload itself with a certain trait or trope, they were just trying too hard to sell "anime" to us. Maybe if we could learn to appreciate their less-than-fruitful efforts, we may be able to go back to where we were at the very beginning; where every anime appears to be awesome.

Just some food for thought. I'm not going to give Hayate no Gotoku a second chance.

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