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Do You Power Through Bad Anime? - - THE VICE PIT

When you start a series, do you HAVE to finish it? Tom confronts Sam about marathoning anime too much! So... are you about to fall for this trap, as well?

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  • Be sure to submit questions and topics for a future Vice Pit session here. We will answer them!

    Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

    Sam Weller is a writer and actor who's scribed for shows like FIRST EDITION, GEEK THERAPY, and most recently BATGIRL: SPOILED. He also really likes anime. To know what is going to happen next, follow@cravesam

    JiCion Nov. 23, 2012 at 2:57 p.m.

    I think we power ourself through some series in hope that it could get better, whether be if we bought the boxset or watch it on air. We think that the series will become interesting at that point, but ends up being flat...

    Acura_Max moderator on Nov. 23, 2012 at 3:20 p.m.

    That was pretty insightful. I always assumed that people who powered through a movie/series were either masochists or optimists who wanted to see if the series would get better at a later point. It confused me whenever someone would say something like "I know this movie is utter crap, but I just want to see how bad it is."

    GokaiRedon Nov. 23, 2012 at 3:41 p.m.

    @Acura_Max said:

    It confused me whenever someone would say something like "I know this movie is utter crap, but I just want to see how bad it is."

    That's the whole point, it's the only reason I watched Breaking Dawn Pt 2, it's so bad that it's entertaining watching every moment of utter fail. Fills my tummy with giggles.

    However marathons are always better with friendsm, "Misery loves company" n'all :D

    Turambaron Nov. 23, 2012 at 4:48 p.m.
    Tom, the fallacy of your criticisms of those that tell to you watch to X episode in your Watch & Learn series by attributing it to some sort of marathon psychology is that I'll go out on a limb and say 90% of the guilty party did not watch the show as a marathon, but rather through its initial weekly airing.  The time lapse between episodes provides the community discussion that makes even unremarkable episodes suddenly interesting in some fashion.
    I never have, nor ever will complete an anime that has nothing to offer me.  "Quality" is ultimately irrelevant here because what draws a viewer to a medium isn't that it's good, but because it has a unique quality that is interesting.  I loathe ZZ Gundam with a passion, but I will never regret watching it because of its role within the timeline of the Gundam franchise, and the information it provides to to discuss something I am passionate about.
    The above is of course, me personally.  I have plenty of acquaintances that are more than eager to marathon through a terrible show.  But they also never do it as some solo project but as a community event.  Watching it with others, playing drinkings, and jointly critiquing the show is fun.  There is no "powering through" because the experience manages to still be a net positive.
    At this point, you should notice the commonality running through this post.  If there is one thing very narrow minded about this episode of the Vice Pit, it portrays the audience's relationship with the media as one to one.  You mention at the end the idea of peer pressure causing people to marathon shows.  But why do people give in to such pressure?  It is because watching a show in complete solidarity is not fun.  This is applicable to even the good shows.  What is fun is, when you reach a point that fills you with some emotion, thought, or idea, you can discuss it with peers.
    Also on the topic of piracy, an anime is most frequently pirated when it is first televised in a weekly format.  It is an inaccurate notion that piracy causes the marathoning of shows through the structure of its delivery.
    Turambaron Nov. 23, 2012 at 4:52 p.m.
    @Acura_Max said:

    That was pretty insightful. I always assumed that people who powered through a movie/series were either masochists or optimists who wanted to see if the series would get better at a later point. It confused me whenever someone would say something like "I know this movie is utter crap, but I just want to see how bad it is."

    The lack of quality has a quality all unto itself.  Rage and anger is as good a motivator at further watching as adoration. Once again, ZZ Gundam is my favorite personal example.
    Lurkeroon Nov. 23, 2012 at 5 p.m.

    I refuse to power through anything I am not enjoying. I can find other things to do with my time. In fact, even with series like Naruto that I actually enjoy watching, I have let many episodes go by and then skim through those episodes to get through the fluff and filler that is often present. For the time it takes to watch 1 Naruto episode, I may be able to watch 2-3.

    sickVisionz moderator on Nov. 23, 2012 at 6:40 p.m.

    There was a time where I valiantly tried to finish every series I started watching. That was how I powered through stuff like Full Metal Panic (lying Netflix DVD descriptions and the lying lies they tell), Kasimasi - Girl Meets Girl, Gundam Wing (and that as a blockbuster 52 episode show), Gilgamesh, and many others from my early days of being an anime fan with a Netflix DVD account.

    It was always the case, but like many things it took a while to dawn on me that just because I rented it didn't mean I had to finish it. There was no obligation to forcing myself to finish stuff that I don't like. Now I treat the first two episodes of a show like a bouncer at a club. I'll stand in line for the club but hey, if the bouncer won't let me in then I can't get in. Blame the bouncer, not me. I tried, but he blocked every time. Those first two episodes don't have to be great, but they at least need to show me why I should stick with it. If it's just ass, then no.

    Marshal Victoryon Nov. 23, 2012 at 7:07 p.m.

    Sort answer to the posed question is NO.

    Longer answer is as follows..In genral with a series i try a 3 strikes rule.if the series is not intresting enuff to keep me wanting to watch i dont.A new series i try 3 episodes to give them a chance to capture my atention.Dont care if its completed or not.Yes some anime dont get good till episode 15 or so ( yes that happend with Noir) but it was passable entertainment till then.

    Im a old comic book collector.Not haveng all the story or a entire run is the norm for me.But their are series i watch all the way threw an dont put on my average an above list to.They fall sort so bad at the end or the threat of the show actualy getting good was their an never showed up.

    bowstaff54on Nov. 23, 2012 at 9:08 p.m.

    The best escape is actually video games. You can immerse yourself in video games. You just watch anime as entertainment.

    But regarding anime, I drop series so easily. Nothing good seems to grab my attention anymore. Everything sucks nowadays.

    I was recommended some NHK anime or something. It was boring. I was also recommended One Piece or whatever the name of it was? So long and so boring.

    The only anime I have ever finished was Dragon Ball Z. Watching that as a kid, the action was like drugs to my head.

    Darokion Nov. 23, 2012 at 10:55 p.m.

    Sometimes I'll "power through" a series until I can define precisely why I'm not enjoying it. I tend to do this where my opinion is differing drastically with the general public's on something. Take Space Brothers for instance, a show that a lot of people were enjoying but something about it was bothering me. By episode 6, I figured out what it was about the show that was bothering me so much and ejected, but I think it was important to get to the point where I understood what it was that made me dislike it so much (and it was a combination of about four things which any one alone wouldn't have bothered me, but all of them at once caused me to drop the show).

    I think it's important to know what you're disliking so you can use it as a contrast to the things that you do like. "Powering through" is just creating the contrast to enjoy the things you like more.

    kietsu007on Nov. 23, 2012 at 11:04 p.m.

    The only anime that I've really enjoyed all the way through has been dbz. But I'm not much of an anime fan anyways.

    Donwunon Nov. 24, 2012 at 2:35 a.m.

    Great Topic

    I will agree with the point that alot of good anime titles have slow starting points and because of that they are dropped somewhat prematurely but i think alot of mediums are guilty of the same problem thats why as well as your own judgement it's good to read reviews and check the opinions of trusted ones who have watched the series to get a good idea if it's actually worth the wait. Sometimes it is and sometimes it's not.

    Not making excuses for any titles but this is something i think i could use One Piece as an example of (Not that i found it particularly boring at the beginning, it was a lil slow to start is all)

    Daniel_Newton moderator on Nov. 24, 2012 at 8:02 a.m.

    Some entertainment (anime or otherwise) is potentially more entertaining in marathon mode. Take season 2 of The Walking Dead for example. When it was airing most of us were growing increasingly impatient with it because half of the episodes had the characters hanging out on a farm on focused on character drama over zombie action. Since season 2 ended though, lots of people have said how it would probably be much more enjoyable to watch those episodes one after another to increase the pace.

    When I watch anime I typically follow a handful of simulcasts (that obviously make me wait a week for each episode) while I also watch a couple of older shows in 2 to 3 episode chunks. It's a balance that seems to work out pretty well. I only "marathon" through shows when I feel like I have to see what happens next as soon as possible.

    Oh, as for powering through "bad" anime for completion's sake, just drop it and find another show you actually enjoy. There is SO MUCH anime out there that you should never feel like you HAVE TO finish a series just because you decided to check it out. Though I admit I often put a less-than-stellar anime on the back burner rather than drop it completely, but if a show is total ass just do yourself a favour and drop it.

    samweller999 staff on Nov. 24, 2012 at 2:07 p.m.

    I'll say this... out of the two times I WANTED to watch all of Wolf Rain, and REALLY WANTED to... I never finished it. Even four episodes from the conclusion and I couldn't do it.

    Guess that show was for the dogs *rimshot*

    Kino88on Nov. 24, 2012 at 8:11 p.m.

    ugh... I still regret powering through Eureka Seven,

    Aleashaon Nov. 25, 2012 at 5:16 a.m.

    I agree with @JiCi the only time I power through is when I am hoping that the anime gets better but I have a 5 or 6 episode cut off point where if I just can not get into and it doesn't seem to be getting better I will walk away from it.

    @sickVisionz: I was the same way with Netflix at first until I had an idea about what I liked and didn't like of course some of these where on Sunday game night with the boys so it can't really be counted as marathon watching but I did pretty much watch everything on Netflix a good chunk just by myself. Now I feel I have a better understanding of what I do and don't like in anime due to my marathon days, will I sit entirely through a bad show now? No but my time doing so wasn't pointless as it helped define my preferred style of anime.

    Donwunon Nov. 25, 2012 at 2:39 p.m.

    I regret powering thru D.Gray Man.....terrible...shoulda just stopped myself

    takashichea moderator on Nov. 27, 2012 at 12:10 p.m.

    There was two summer anime series that I was watching in hopes of it getting some action.

    • La storia della Arcana Famiglia - Wait for the damn tournament only to get some action. Instead, it was more of a Slice of Life when it covers characters' back stories mostly Liberta and Nova. The trailer caused a lot of confusion to folks who haven't play the game when they (including me) thought this reverse harem show had action. The last episode had a tournament, but the action was rush and poor.
    • Campione! - The prospect of the story was interesting, but it didn't do well with little character development. Plus, its harem cliches was too much.

    The only reason I kept watching it was the wiki projects. I had to finish the summaries.


    D. Gray Man was terrible. I used to like it. The anime just beat around the bush too much.

    @kietsu007: @bowstaff54:

    If you two like Dragon Ball Z, you can check out Aleasha's Genre Master List. There are better shonen series out there like Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and Deathnote.


    I forgot about Guilty Crown, another wiki project. I kept watching it to see how it end and hoped it had a good ending. It should stopped at season 1. The religion references and Social Darwinism never mixed well. Plus, the characters are hard to like.

    Count_Zeroon Dec. 18, 2012 at 2:31 p.m.

    I generally watch through what would be the first disk - usually episode 4 or 5, before deciding to drop a show or not, unless for some reason I'm kind of obligated to watch the show (for example, if I'm doing a write-up of a series of video games for Hardcore Gaming 101, and there's an anime for the series, then I'll watch all of the show, because that's what I'm getting paid to do).

    As most anime tends to be serialized (as opposed to episodic), I've found that giving the show that 3-4 episodes gives the narrative time to get up to speed, especially if a show is meant to be longer than just 12 episodes (like Bodacious Space Pirates was).

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