The start of my anime addiction is as interesting as any other. I watched an anime, got hooked, and wanted to explore further into the medium. With as little as I knew then, every title looked intriguing and wonderful, no matter how cliche or colorful. Looking back, my taste was questionable, but certainly not as bad as others. Speaking of looking back, there were a lot of titles that I had passed over, only to find out later that I should have never passed them up. This is a list of anime titles I wish I would’ve watched during the first Summer of Anime, for better or for worse.
To those unaware, the Summer of Anime is a traditional anime-marathoning spree that I partake in from the beginning of June to mid-August (A typical stopping point is my birthday, August 20th). The end point varies, as I have a predetermined number of anime I watch (25 titles) during any given Summer, and I usually complete them all before August 20th. I push aside most of my other hobbies in order to maximize the amount of anime viewing in any given day. With the backstory complete, here is the list of anime I watched during the first Summer of Anime:
- Deadman Wonderland
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
- Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu
- Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai
- Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu
- Ookami no Koushinryou
- Zero no Tsukaima
- Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai
- Hayore! Nyaruko-san
- Hidan no Aria
- Hanasaku Iroha
- Kamisama no Memochou
- Infinite Stratos
- Kurokami: The Animation
- Seitokai Yakuindomo
- Acchi Kocchi
Now, onto the list!
10. High School of the Dead (Viewed: 12/19/12)
Don’t get me wrong here; I’m not a huge fan of this title, but it’s something I wished I would’ve watched earlier on to have more of a variety. It’s a series that perfectly exemplifies how much anime studios today are willing to go to amuse every possible demographic of people. Zombies, which has become a staple of horror now a days, and tits, the gold standard for baiting kids into spending. I only wonder, if I had watched this series earlier on, would I be sucked into its ploy? Or would I see it for what it is: fan service? I will never know, and thinking about it is intriguing, to say the least.
9. Joshiraku (Viewed: 3/17/13)
This is an interesting title. Its comedy is hit and miss, but I believe the character ensemble is enough to make this title a very enjoyable watch. I remember gazing upon the synopsis for this anime and thinking it was the dumbest thing I’d ever seen in my life. How could this possibly be taken seriously? It’s just a bunch of girls telling jokes. It’s not like there’s a whole genre dedicated to that kind of behavior! Another reason for skipping the series was because it was still currently ongoing when I discovered it. Watching it later on, I wish I would’ve given it a chance.
8. Mayo Chiki! (Viewed: 8/??/12)
Mayo Chiki! was one of the first titles I watched immediately following the Summer of Anime. Mayo Chiki! itself is a guilty pleasure of mine. Its plot is the result of a growing fad and the characters are all archetypes to the extreme, but something about the series just speaks with me. Mayo Chiki! was one of the first titles I felt emotionally attached to for no good reason, as I never found it funny, sad, or overly romantic. Thinking about all of the duds I watched during the Summer of Anime, Mayo Chiki! would’ve made the experience a lot more worthwhile, especially when I watched Kurokami: The Animation and Infinite Stratos back to back. Ick.
7. Hyouka (Viewed: 8/3/13)
Another victim of the “it was currently on-going” excuse, Hyouka actually had me under a lot of temptation. I was intrigued with the high school detective plotline and the nonchalant main character. I ultimately decided against it simply because it was still on-going, and that has been a staple of the Summers ever since. But with the quality of anime I was watching towards the later portions of the original SoA, Hyouka would’ve probably been a really good idea.
6. Bakemonogatari (Viewed: 12/23/12)
The first of two Monogatari’s to appear on this list (Oops, spoiler), Bakemonogatari was my second experience with the “dialogue-first” anime that Isin Nisio is famous for. I instantly fell in love. I adored the different styles of the anime’s cinematography and the grandeur style of the overall story as a whole. Back in 2012, I was intrigued by the anime art, but the synopsis put me off. It gave me the impression that it was just a bunch of short stories about a variety of different people (which it actually is, but I didn’t expect the characters to be recurring). At the time, I just wanted to watch something that was blunt and to the point. Perhaps that’s why I watched such titles as Zero no Tsukaima and Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu, right?
5. Kimi ni Todoke (Viewed: 6/3/14)
Have I ever mentioned that I don’t care for shoujo? I typically don’t like the female perspective in anime, as they’re stereotyped into overthinking everything and worrying too much about what a stupid boy thinks of them. Kimi ni Todoke doesn’t stray far from this, but has enough charm and likable characters to make this not only tolerable, but entertaining. I was turned off from this series in the beginning because I couldn’t help but feel shoujo wasn’t really for me. I was a man’s man, a man who watched fan service and action. I didn’t have time for feelings or flowers. However, I certainly could’ve made time.
4. Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu (Viewed: 10/30/12)
Perhaps one of the most popular supernatural, slice of life, whatever you can say to describe it, series in anime history, Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu lived up to its hype when I watched it a couple months after the first SoA. But why didn’t I watch it outright? I did so with Gurren Lagann, why not this? Honestly, I didn’t think I was ready for it. I didn’t think I would be able to understand the humor and symbolism it provides. Yeah, I was wrong. It’s not really that complicated, and I regret not watching it earlier. It would have really brightened up my first Summer, despite how confusing it might’ve been to me back then with its anime tropes.
3. B Gata H Kei (Viewed: 10/9/12)
The burning question with this series is, do I love this series because I love the manga? Or do I love the manga because of this series? I read the manga after I watched the series, and has become one of (if not the) my favorite manga ever. Upon first watching this series, I thought it was funny, but really stupid. It was enjoyable nonetheless. I remember reading the synopsis for this anime over and over again, not really believing what I was gazing at. For whatever reason, I never thought anime would be so blatant with its sex appeal, but lo and behold, B Gata H Kei exists. I just think that the first SoA could have really been something with it.
2. Kuuchuu Buranko (Viewed: 2/11/14)
This is probably the most superficial reason to not watch anime. I was turned off by the animation. As asinine as that sounds, it was true with me and Kuuchuu Buranko. I just couldn’t get over the realistic floating heads in cartoon animation. And the series didn’t look as pretty as Sword Art Online! Knowing now the amazing quality of this series, it’s a shame I didn’t look at the series with an open mind. I guess losers can’t accept anything different, huh?
1. Katanagatari (Viewed: 12/12/12)
One of my favorite anime of all-time, and I skip over it for the likes of CubexCursedxCurious. The love I hold for this title is insurmountable, being eclipsed only by Toradora. I think I might have been less than thrilled about the art style, and the cliche sounding plot. Surprisingly, the episode length didn’t have anything to do with my passing of it. In fact, I didn’t even know the episodes were fifty minutes until I looked it up later on in the year. I can’t really place a concrete reason as to why I felt Katanagatari would be a title not worth watching, but I regret it horribly. Toradora was the first, Ookami no Koushinryou was the second. Katanagatari could’ve been the third and final charm to cap off a nearly perfect Summer of Anime. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be, and I’m forced to wonder what I would’ve thought of the series if I had watched it earlier. I’m just really glad I picked up the series later on.