What Makes You Instantly Drop an Anime Series?

Yeah, the title says it all. What makes you drop a series after a single episode?

Before I get any further, I must acknowledge that there are ambitious individuals who try to avoid abandoning any series no matter what. Their dedication to such a cause is admirable. But they’re probably in the minority here and hence aren’t the target audience for this post. They can just keep being awesome without even needing to read this ramble of mine!

As for the rest of you, I ask of you again: what makes you drop a series after a single episode?

Well, it varies from person to person and is rather situational, right? I’m asking too many questions here, I know. Sorry!

From my experience, it sometimes has to do with artstyle. In my senior year of high school, Puella Magi Madoka Magica was a simulcast series. Excited that Gen “Urobutcher” was writing the script and behind the series composition (as I had recently played through Saya no Uta), I tried getting a friend to start watching it along with me. I was especially hopeful after episode 3 aired and was looking forward to seeing his reaction. However, he kept putting it off, claiming he was busy, until he finally admitted that he had tried one episode and was put off by how “the characters were too cutesy and the backgrounds were too abstract and weird.” Trying to convince him otherwise changed nothing. And as a result of his preferences, he missed out an excellent anime series.

Sometimes it’s because of voice acting. My brother enjoys reading Nana Maru San Batsu (otherwise known as 7O3X or Fastest Finger First), so he was excited to hear that the manga series was receiving an anime adaption. But he couldn’t handle how Fukami Mari, the most prominent female character within the series, was voiced by a rookie seiyuu (who was an ex-member of the music group, 9nine). I haven’t watched the series so I don’t know how she sounds, but her voice seems to be rather unique (and controversial)! At any rate, my brother lost interest in following the anime after a single episode.

Sometimes it might be due to the premises of the series. I subconsciously dropped Battle Girl High School after the first episode. I was so sure that I would continue reviewing the series on a weekly basis, albeit with a heavy heart, but I found myself unwilling to even watch the second episode the following week. It turns out I simply found the series to be entirely too boring despite my interest in shows that feature an extraordinary amount of cute girls. Cute characters designs can’t redeem an uninspired plot or battles that lack tension, it seems. I’ve tried picking up the series again recently, by the way, but to no avail. I really do like the ED, “Melody Ring,” though!

At any rate, it’s just so interesting to me. Some people will despise a series whereas other people hold the same series close to their heart. This essentially makes top X lists celebrations of free will if written well! Such numerations allow readers / listeners to really know what a blogger / vlogger values in a series.

And knowing why people drop a particular series fulfills the same sort of intimate “sneak peek” into the heart of a content creator (CC). The key difference is that the audience gets to see the qualities of a series or character(s) that a particular blogger / vlogger dislikes, which is equally as important. If handled properly, both types of lists can paint a profile of the content creator so their audience will know whether or not they agree with the CC’s beliefs and ideals.

Of course, it’s not like TOP X LISTS are the only sort of content that fulfills this purpose – many competent editorials or videos that talk about a series at length is bound to outline what the blogger / vlogger behind said content liked and disliked about said series. And remember, disagreeing with what a CC thinks is not mutually exclusive with having a civil conversation!

I guess what I’m trying to say is that different people will drop a series for different reasons. There’s also no surefire way to know whether or not a series will actually get better later on, of course, so I can’t discourage you from “thinning out the herd,” so to speak. And…

This post wasn’t really anything but a messy musing about this topic, frankly. Sorry about that. I guess I just wanted to talk about this as the summer 2017 anime season comes to an end and as the fall 2018 anime season creeps up.

If you want to read a editorial that is actually a complete thought, Karandi wrote her thoughts about this subject over a year ago!

T-t-that’s all, folks!

P.S.: I’d love to hear about some of the reasons that causes you to automatically drop an anime series in the comments section!

39 thoughts on “What Makes You Instantly Drop an Anime Series?

  1. I drop stuff (not just anime, but anything) when I feel it’s too generic, borderline insulting (i.e. Aho Girl), too much of something that doesn’t appeal to me (i.e. extremely crass and scatological comedy – this is a big part of what turns me off watching so much of South Park, even though I still think it’s an otherwise great show) or just isn’t good enough to spend my time on, especially when compared to other, better works out there on my list, as well as rewatches of favourites and other stuff I like a lot (i.e. ‘Why am I watching THIS when I could be watching [X] instead?’).

    And there is of course the ever-present thought of one’s own mortality and how we all value our time, which applies to the conditions I’ve listed above for dropping stuff as a lingering thought in the back of my mind all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can only recall one series that I dropped after one episode. God Eater. Weird art, meh storyline and a main character I could summon zero fucks about. The latter one was the fits nail in the coffin or whatever analogy fits best.

    Get me interested in the characters and I’ll sit through 100+ episodes of lousy art like with Prince of Tennis.

    Give me people I can’t care about or weirdness that tests my patience and then I’m out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, jeez, that one. I got through two episodes and then called it.
      It’s interesting how you couldn’t care about the main character since I considered him to be about the same as Eren, a character you really like. Maybe my memory is failing me, though.

      PoT was sneaky like that, huh?

      Good rules to live by!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Eren grew on me after a while but AoT had me at Carla’s death and Mikasa held my interest until Eren grew to take it away. God Eater guy was a bland shiny blob surrounded by other bland shiny blobs

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well….I am one of those indivuals that never drops a series (no matter how bad it gets lol 😂😂), but of course I sometimes really regret that (when I think that I have wasted a lot of time I might have really spent better). But this was ofcourse an interesting post, and really well written as always. Cool to see what makes people drop series after only 1 episode 😊).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Most of the shows I’ve dropped after one episode are shows I thought I’d come back to for at least one more and then just never did. But there are some that I’ve dropped with prejudice, and they usually fall into one of these categories:

    The Irritating Main Character (or his second cousin the Odious Comic Relief character) – I’m in total agreement with Karandi on that one.My most recent drop that fell into this category was DxD. I found Issei so obnoxious that the thought of watching 12 more episodes centered around him was intolerable.

    Shows where it quickly becomes apparent that their themes and/or storylines are Not For Me. Please Tell Me Galko-chan is a good example, as teenage girls having very teenage girl discussions about teenage girl issues was about as far out of my wheelhouse (being an older adult man with no daughters) as a show can get.

    An abundance of toilet/scat humor, which I almost never actually find funny. See: Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt.

    All of that is personal taste, of course. I know plenty of people like those three shows, and none of them came across as poorly made or anything, they just absolutely do not appeal to me in the slightest.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Mmm subconsciously dropping a show is always interesting.

      The Irritating Main Character / Odious Comic Relief Character is indeed off-putting. I can see why you couldn’t get through DxD. Frankly, it’s alarming that it’s getting yet another season.

      Yeah, Galko-chan could be considered alienating in its premises as with PSG.

      Fair enough. That’s why conversations regarding preferences and values are so interesting since they are so different across the board. Thanks for swinging by.


  5. You have some interesting examples here. Madoka is one of the most telling examples of an anime that is vastly different after the first couple of episodes, but not everything can be Madoka and not every director can turn a series on a time like the Butcher.

    I picked up more series than normal this past summer, so I did end up dropping a few – some after just one episode. There is a bit of a trend though:

    Tsurezure Children – Meh art. Low character investment.
    Netsuzou TRap – Bad art. No character investment.
    Jikan no Shihaisha – Generic designs. Low character investment.
    18if – Bad art. Low character investment.
    The Reflection – BAD ART. No character investment.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mmm I’ve always wondered if he ever gave Madoka another shot later on.

      You did do quite a sampling, I noticed. And there is quite a trend there. Lacking quality art and character investment really does hurt a series, doesn’t it?


  6. It’s a simple process for me. If there’s a single thing, regardless of how small, that doesn’t catch my attention in the first 3 episodes, I doubt I will continue the series. Likewise, if there’s something that just bugs me the wrong way, then I drop it as well.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hmm… There were some that I covered in Crunchyroll of the Dice that I never picked up again after they were eliminated, though most of those just fell into ‘not being my type of thing’. Mostly, if I’m trying to give a series a proper try, I’ll give it 5-8 episodes before giving in. I think that the last one I outright gave up on was Gurren Lagann, which took 6 episodes.
    1 episode though … if I were going to watch a series outside CotD I would think that the things that would make me instantly drop it would be if it was glorifying something I found deplorable or maybe if it was clear that I was not going to get on with the show because the humour or style didn’t click with me.


  8. I don’t really drop any anime, I’ll finish most anything off. However, there are times where I will sample something and decide it isn’t for me pretty quickly. Always interesting to hear why people drop stuff though. Thanks for the thoughts 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I’m a notorious dropper of anime during the first episode – not after, but during, and sometimes only five minutes in. I’m only committed to watching two or three series a season, so if I’m not engaged right away (story, character, animation) and/or I dislike elements of the series (poor writing, bad direction, excessive fanservice), down the dump chute it goes.

    Unfortunately, this sometimes leads me to drop solid series with mediocre first episodes, though I sometimes catch up with those later in the season when I hear the buzz about them from anibloggers – see Puella Magi Madoka Magica, which I returned to about four or five episodes in when the Internet was afire about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for sharing the link. I’ve probably since come up with another reason for an instant drop and that is it is a comedy anime and the first episode makes me want to bang my head into the desk with how stupid some of the jokes are. Again, subjective because other people really enjoy that style of humour, but when the characters and the set ups are mind-numbingly stupid I know I am going to run from watching the series through.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re welcome and thank you for writing such a though-provoking article. I’ve been thinking about it for a while now.

      Oh, yes, lame comedy is quite the deterrent. Some may enjoy it but I have to agree with you there.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh gods, the failed humour makes me CRINGE!
      For me, other than comedy, I guess portrayal of female characters is important, perhaps even more so than the art.
      Art, I try not to let it decide the viewing time, but it does end up becoming a factor for me.

      Mostly, I’d drop a series (manga/ anime/ k drama) when I can feel that I’m not able to click with the emotion they’re trying to express.
      Like, if I don’t feel anything for the manga, it’s gone. (Attacker No.1)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, that’s a big no-no!
        Mmmm the portrayal of female characters within the narrative really is important.
        Oh, I see. Viewing time is also something to consider, huh?

        Makes sense. If it doesn’t click, then you gotta quit.

        Liked by 1 person

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