If you’ve been watching anime for a long time, it’s likely that there have been some choice titles that you look back on and think, “What was I thinking?” The wonderful world of anime has a number of different shows of different genres and quality, but there are some where those who develop a certain palate for anime look back on and realize that they wouldn’t touch it with a seven-foot bamboo stick in their current state. This list is dedicated to my personal journey with this colorful medium, where I look back on titles I watched in my early years and can only question why I even bothered. That said, expect a lot of poor, or at least average, titles to make up a majority of the list, as anything with a positive impression would likely have a valid reason for my taking a chance on it (a la “It looked good.”).
And as always, a disclaimer: how I view these titles and what I say about them are just my opinion. They aren’t bad or average or whatever because I say they are. It’s my opinion.
Oh, and these are for series I have finished. No drops.
#10: Dragon Crisis!/Astarotte no Omocha!
I decided to smash these two titles together because the sole reason I watched both of them is the exact same thing.
So, as some may know, my favorite anime of all time is Toradora!. Said anime stars one of my favorite anime characters ever in Taiga Aisaka, who is voiced by one Rie Kugimiya. Rie Kugimiya is one of the only voice actors I know by name and (occasionally) voice, aside from Kana Hanazawa. Rie Kugimiya is known for voicing many, many tsun-lolis, one being the star of Astarotte no Omocha!. So, due to my love for Taiga Aisaka, I (naively) believed that if she were involved with a project, I may enjoy it.
So while I have a reason for watching these two, I consider it a very stupid reason, and a reason I thought was stupid even at the time of watching these two series! Essentially, I watched these anime because Rie voiced the female leads, even though that plays so little a part in how they could potentially turn out. Aside from that, I have no reason to think these series would be good or at all special. Omocha‘s premise is interesting, but the clichés can be seen from images alone, and Dragon Crisis! has one of the most uninteresting premises I’ve ever laid eyes upon, dragons be damned. Even if I hated neither of these series, they’re series I definitely wouldn’t care to watch now, and I can’t believe I even tried them when I did.
I’m almost ashamed to reveal the only reason I watched this.
Right off the heels of the first Summer of Anime block of mine, I was ready to watch the next great series. I was craving something great, something fantastic. I wanted to have a series make me feel the same way Toradora! did for me. And for me, all that was needed to convince me that it was possible was in the name.
I watched Tonagura! because its name was similar to Toradora!. That’s literally it.
Of course, this is a complete bullshit excuse, because what the hell does Dragon Crisis! have in common with Dragon Ball? Why could I possibly think that Tonagura! would have any sort of magic that Toradora! had for me? The premises are barely relatable and its tone just from images alone have more in common with the standard ecchi harem than otherwise. Once again, I did have a reason for watching this, but it’s so stupid that it may as well have been zero reason.
In case you were curious, this series is pretty bad, and this was back in the days when I was pretty lenient with anime (I gave C³ a fucking B). Didn’t give me quite the same impact as Toradora!.
#8: Lamune/Prism Ark
Okay, I’m going to get this out of the way now and say that it’s a coincidence that I watched these two series for the same reason, and both ended up being among the worst anime I’ve ever seen. Both Lamune and Prism Ark have been graced with a 1/10 from me and both are series I had wanted to watch for years prior to actually watching them.
So why did I want to watch them? Because among my search for anime during my first Summer of Anime block, I came across these two series multiple times, as I don’t always remember what I’ve checked and haven’t checked over the course of two months. These were the days where I wasn’t on MyAnimeList, so I didn’t know anything about how others viewed them or whether they were worth my time. All I got was a premise, a picture, and an episode count. For whatever reason, these two images just stuck out to me (I’m pretty sure the images I used for the above photo were the exact images I saw for them then).
I wanted to watch these two because I was curious about them from back when I was an anime novice. No other reason. I ignored their horrid average ratings on MAL and went through with them anyway, just because. I never really had any indication they were good or bad, so it was almost like seeing them out of pride, which is also tremendously stupid. I had no genuine reason to watch these two series. I just got… nostalgic, I guess? It’s hard to explain, but rest assured it is very stupid.
I started this series way, way back in late 2012, but never got farther than the first or second episode. Fast forward to nearly four years later and I decide to finish the series during my 2016 Summer of Anime event. That ended up being a horrible decision. The question arises: Why did I even decide to pick it back up?
Sheer curiosity, maybe? By this point, I was well aware of the warning signs that anime have with their genres, their source material (adapted from a light novel), and premises. Despite knowing that Campione! would likely be mediocre at best, I went with it anyway. Why? Good question; I can’t really answer that with good faith.
Perhaps it is, again, out of pride that I had something on-hold for many years and I refused to just drop it and move on. Perhaps nostalgia for the time I watched this before and wanted to give it its due credit. When I started it the first time, it was fairly new and new anime looked nicer, so I was almost naturally drawn to its sleek design of
showing off cute girls fantasy curmudgeon. Whatever the case, it ended up being a pretty bad time. I should’ve dropped it when I had the chance.
#6: UN-GO: Inga-ron
One of those choices where it doesn’t really make sense to me because I was so wishy-washy on the parent story. Planning out this list, I had a few OVAs lined up to make it on, but those ended up having pretty valid reasons as to why I would watch them (regardless of if I regretted it). This is the only spin-off of a conventional anime series to make this list. While technically a movie, it feels a lot more like an OVA-type filler thing.
UN-GO was kind of… eh. It was a semi-intriguing mystery anime that tried to develop the emotional/psychological conundrums of humans in a kind of dystopian world (I think), but a lot of it lingered on this supernatural being solving all the mysteries just by turning into this hot demonic babe or whatever. It’s a really odd thing. I’d recommend watching it just to witness some bizarre shit. So the decision to watch its sequel-prequel film spin-off is kind of strange to me now, considering I didn’t really care all that much about the series.
Even trying to remember my motivation to watch it then, I draw blanks. What was I trying to achieve by watching a prequel-sequel spin-off for a series I barely had any emotional attachment for? What would it all even amount to? I can see how the main dude came across the strange supernatural being? I didn’t care how it came about, because all it leads to are mysteries solved with 300-IQ, God-like perceptive abilities that’s all reveal and little suspense. Maybe, deep-down, I was actually interested to see some deeper connection between the two, but again, the parent series showed very little chemistry between the two, so why would it be any different here? And the movie’s not all that bad, either! All I can do is shrug.
#5: Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai
This choice is interesting because it was actually fairly recent, within the last two years. When I think about why I decided to watch this series, all I can really come to is that I felt “compelled” to. I felt “compelled” to watch this series.
Whatever it may have been, whether the admittedly cute cover image or the strange premise, something inside me told me to watch this, without any damn good reason to. In a strange twist of fate, despite what my score for this series is, I ended up not hating it. There’s this strange magic to how eccentric the series is and a few of the characters are genuinely nice to follow and get to know. This is based on a visual novel, so I guess they would know a little about how that works. Even so, the potential was completely shot and the plot didn’t make any fucking sense. It’s definitely a bad series, but it could’ve been more.
Back to its placement on this list, sometimes I get these urges to watch series, but usually I don’t follow through with them. This ended up being one of those rare cases where I said “Fuck it” and went with my gut. That being said, one could make the argument that I did have a reason to watch this and I could’ve done this with any horrible series. With horrible series, I watch it because it seems terribad. With Daitoshokan, I had no idea how it would turn out, only influenced by its average rating. I didn’t think it would be good, but I somehow felt it wouldn’t be bad. It was as genuine a “leap of faith” when it comes to picking out anime as I’ve had since starting my anime addiction back up in 2012. I was “compelled to,” after all.
#4: Fortune Arterial
A little bit like the last spot, I felt somewhat “compelled” to watch this. Though whereas Daitoshokan was a complete spell, this is more of a vague magic. Maybe I was entranced by the cute cover image (because it is cute), but I don’t think that’d be enough knowing the series wouldn’t look even remotely as good as the cover. Still, this was an old pick (watched in 2013), so I wouldn’t put it completely past old me.
It was a weird time then. I was watching all sorts of different genres and such just to compile my list of anime and make myself seem knowledgeable (and, y’know, I like anime). When I think about why I would want to watch this series, I can’t think of anything. It doesn’t look interesting aside from the vampire aspect, its rating is pretty low, and the cover, while cute, screams “Watch for the girls, ya horny kids!” I mean, maybe I was weaker then, but I still don’t think twenty-year-old me would be so foolish to fall for such a cheap tactic.
It’s almost perfect that my biggest complaint for this series was that it was pretty bland and boring. Everything about it screams that very thing! Maybe it was so boring that it knocked out my reason for watching it! Whatever it may be, Fortune Arterial is a really bizarre choice to watch, even for my younger self. Maybe the visual novel is better? Probably, as they always seem to be better when they have the time for it.
A club full of cute girls and an oblivious guy “helping” people with their “problems.” Smells like a trend to me.
I actually remember picking this series out when looking for currently-airing anime. I remember looking at the screen, seeing this, and choosing it. What I don’t remember is why. This has all the makings of a painfully average series, and yet I went with it anyway. Turns out, it was painful in every regard, as I consider it among the worst anime ever. I’d put it down there with Green Green; it pissed me off that much. Even worse, the last episode wasn’t translated for months, so I had to let it sit in my watching list for all that time until someone eventually released the translation. By that point, I had gotten way out of the groove of watching it and was almost like watching some alien series.
Yet the placement on this list isn’t because it’s bad, it’s because I have no real reason for choosing to watch it. Was I that dissatisfied with the seasonal choices? Was I so hungry for cute girls doing cute things that I had to watch this and not the thousands of other series that do just that? I can’t say. I can’t think of what made me watch this. It was a random, stupid choice. That’s it. Let’s be done with this series forever.
#2: Yumekui Merry
Thinking of this list, Yumekui Merry didn’t immediately come to mind. Part of this may be because I was so unimpressed by the anime that I forgot it even existed, as I remember next to nothing about this series save a few vague still shots. When I looked to my list to find contenders, I saw this at the very end (because it’s alphabetical order) and remembered it again. I remembered how little I remembered. And then I remembered not remembering why I even chose to watch it. Perfect choice for the top-three.
This and the number-one spot are anime where I am honestly completely clueless as to why I decided to pick them up, much less finish them. There is nothing then or now that would make me even slightly interested in trying them and yet I tried them anyway. I must’ve been REALLY bored that day, because Yumekui Merry, aside from having a whatever premise and mediocre scores, just looks ugly. I do not like the look of this series at all. So gray and smug-looking. This is the kind of cover image I would see on some Y.A. filth in an abandoned corner of a library. God.
If nothing else, I guess the only thing I could come up with is that I felt like I had nothing else to watch at that point? The notion is ridiculous considering at that point I had only seen maybe two-hundred anime titles, but I’ve felt that way during various points in my “career” of indulging in the medium. Mid-2013 really was a strange time for me and anime.
#1: Girlfriend (Kari)
This. This is the series I thought of immediately when thinking of titles for this list. This is the series that undoubtedly deserves to be at the top of this list.
I really can’t elaborate past pure confusion. Even at the time of watching this while it was airing, I admitted to anyone who would listen that it was such a random choice to watch. I kind of literally watched it “just because.” No reason, no motivation, no expectations. It was a time-killer (and time-waster). Akin to staring at a wall, bouncing a ball off the ground, or listening to the same song three-hundred times a day. It was something to watch, in my zombified state of mind.
The icing on the cake is that it’s better than five other titles on this list. But FUCK was it boring.