Is There Any Room for Average Anime Series Anymore?

The amount of anime out there steadily increases every season along with the length of to-be-watched lists. We’re only getting older and more busy.

And in such a climate where we have access to limited amounts of freetime and have to be mindful of opportunity costs, anime series which are considered to be average at best are actually the worst off.

Think about it. If a show is widely and critically acclaimed then most viewers will probably pick it up to stay in the loop and to see what’s all the fuss about. At the very least, some viewers will loosely follow the series and attempt to learn the characters’ names so they can chime in with a snappy comment or two whenever a meme or thought-provoking tweet inevitably pops up in anitwitter.

On the other hand, some viewers will pick up series that are considered to be, well, less than spectacular just to see if it is as dreadful as people claim. And even if that does turn out to be case, some amount of pleasure can be had via mockery to an extent.

But what about average shows? The ones that aren’t too offensive yet are deemed to be forgettable and run-of-the-mill?

Unlike “good” shows, which can attract audiences on account of being considered to be of quality, and “bad” shows, which can draw in viewers for the opposite reasons, “average” shows seem to toe the line with weaker incentives overall. There’s probably less to be made fun of, for starters, which is what I primarily consider to be the main draw of “bad” shows. And why should you take a risk and watch a series that’s only considered to be average when you could watch a show with a more positive reception?

Well, the thing is all of these categories are very subjective. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, as they say. And a series that someone else thought as mediocre could be your next masterpiece (please don’t overuse the word, by the way. You don’t have to call a series a masterpiece to generate interest).

So I guess this more of a public service announcement in which I’m telling you to not blindly follow people’s opinions on shows. We all have different tastes, after all. But blocking other people’s takes on shows isn’t really the answer, either. Maybe you dismissed a show as being subpar but popular opinion convinced you to check it out and it turns out you love it now.

Ah, this post is all over the place in regards to listening or ignoring other people’s thoughts on anime. I’m undermining myself and anibloggers and anime critics and anitubers by saying this, but the bottom line is you really have to toe the line between considering other individual’s thoughts and forming your own opinion. Who knows? Maybe that show everyone writes off as being only average will turn out better than you had originally thought.

20 thoughts on “Is There Any Room for Average Anime Series Anymore?

  1. I think this is one of the reasons I avoid writing the bread and butter posts of the typical anime blogger (series and episode reviews) these days – I only pick the things I can argue clearly about for a post’s length, and dithering makes those posts less interesting and less clear. After all, if you don’t know what’s good about a show, there’s no point talking about it!

    I’d also agree with Tetrax about how average shows create a buffer for appreciation for the better shows.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is why most of the time whenever I review a show I thought was decent or not good but others loved such as Rolling Girls and Mitsuboshi Colors, I make sure to point out that just because I thought it wasn’t great doesn’t mean there aren’t others out there who consider the show “awesomesauce”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. While average shows may be given the meh-treatment in reviews and commentary, I think for each individual watching them they can serve as a show-buffer in between good series. It could allow us to better appreciate the latter based on how we felt about the what-we-think-are-average shows.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ll watch an “average” series, or at least give it a try if
    1) It’s a genre I really like
    2) There’s someone I really like producing/directing
    3) The reviews suggest that it’s similar to something I liked a lot.
    Not every show has to be a hit. A small, cheap one can be aimed at a narrow audience. The only question for us is whether we belong in that audience 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Average reviews are the hardest to write for me. Whenever I give an average review it’s because it wasn’t too crazy or offensive. There are also times where there are series or movies that had good things, but it squandered so much potential. I won’t name names for anime or live-action things that did that for me. My writing gets stronger if it’s something I like or dislike.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The occasional average show will catch my eye because I find it relaxing or mildly amusing, but generally I don’t follow them because to be honest I find them much harder to write about weekly when they are, average. If they aren’t doing anything particularly write or wrong, episode coverage is much more difficult. You end up just recounting what happened and that doesn’t make for a particularly interesting or useful review.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, that makes sense. A boring show is harder to talk about than bad shows or good shows. It’s kind of like we look for distinguishing traits (for better or for worse) when we discuss series and when nothing in particular stands out we’re put in a tough spot.

      Like

  7. You nailed it on the head – people can and should make their own decisions about what shows are worth their while. It seems that this generation of anime blogging is excellent about this, and this is why anime blogs of the current age are enjoyable to read. I’ve been around the block a while, and I recall the era when having a blog meant being one of the few people with broadband internet who could watch shows so you could decide whether or not it was worth your while. Most bloggers then summarised the shows and allowed you to decide, but a few also felt that they were the guardians of culture and would tell people what shows to watch. The K-On! hate of nearly a decade ago was a disease on anime blogging, for instance!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s a good point. Generally I don’t have the problem of missing out on “average” shows because once I start a show I continue it ’til the end no matter how bad or even average (the only exception is to shows I find genuinely offensive to my sensibilities).

    But yes, absolutely agree on the not listening to popular opinion message, just watch what you think you’ll like based on a plot synopsis or a poster or a trailer, not on what people tell you is “the best” or “the worst”.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh, yikes, you hated Darling that much, huh? I definitely see where you’re going from, though.

      Mmm it’s something I struggle with considering how often I throw in other people’s opinions in my content, but I try to tell myself that, too.

      Liked by 2 people

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