High Expectations – Are They Wrecking Anime?

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The thought of high expectations having negative effects on an anime series is something that hit me in full only recently. Though I’ve experienced this many times throughout my anime-watching life, it is only now that I’ve finally decided to question whether or not fans of anime SHOULD have any expectations for a series at all. Anticipation is an incredibly powerful feeling for people and with anticipation comes excitement, with excitement comes expectation, and with expectation comes a level of comparison so powerful it is almost enough to break a series for some viewers.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann” was and still is an absolutely brilliant anime series that will go down in history as one of the greats, which is a fantastic feat for those who put so much time and effort into the development of the series, unfortunately for those people when they come together again to create another series, fans have already decided in their minds that it MUST be better than that of their previous one.

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This seems to be the case with series’ like “Kill la Kill” and “Space Dandy”, two new animes that are still airing and have somewhat been victims of the affects of high expectations, it is just lucky for those two shows that they have now proven themselves as “legendary” works. At least, for most people watching.

Though the popularity level for animes like the two just mentioned is quite high at this present moment, there was a time (before they were even released) where fans were already comparing them to other works; “Kill La Kill” to “Tengen Toppa Gurren Laggan” and “Space Dandy” to “Cowboy Bebop”. That comparison which lead to a high expectation of the two could have potentially meant failure for the new animes and I’d go as far to say that, at the start of their run, they were affected by these expectations.

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I noticed it on a small scale with friends mentioning how they hope “a” is as good as “b”, and “a” worked on “b” so “c” better be great, comments of that kind flew around social circles of mine quite frequently and they have been for a very long time, it is only once I caught myself doing it that I realised maybe it has to stop. I’m sure fans of “Baccano!” had high expectations for “Durarara!!” and I’m sure fans of “Fullmetal Alchemist” had somewhat high expectations for “Silver Spoon” despite the fact that they are two totally different series’ only connected by the “mangaka” that created them.

Once again, they were lucky enough to live up to the hype but what about those who don’t? What about the fantastic pieces of work that get pushed to the wayside simply because they didn’t live up to what becomes unreachable expectations? A lot of people choose to follow a series based on the the creator of that series and their past works.

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On a past CC Anime podcast, us Capsule Computers anime fans spoke about Goro Miyazaki and his past “failures”, for lack of a better word. We ended up agreeing on the fact that it was high expectations that “ruined” projects like “Tales From Earthsea”. Had his last name not been “Miyazaki” maybe people would not has asked so much of him and maybe those same people would have greatly enjoyed his film, but that doesn’t seem to have been the case. If you’re interested, you can listen to that episode of the CC Anime Podcast by Clicking Here. Maybe I’m looking too much into this, even I can see why people would think that because, for every series affected by high expectations, there are a great deal that don’t.

It is obvious that my knowledge on anime throughout the years is not infinite so I’d like to ask this question to all of you out there: High Expectations – Are They Wrecking Anime? Please use the comments section below or our official Twitter @CCAnimeOfficial to voice your opinions on this topic. I and the entire team at Capsule Computers would love to hear your thoughts.

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  • Sergei Lazarev

    Great article. It’s interesting how one side of anime fans always expect something more, something to compare to their favourite old shows. But on the other hand many fans are happy to watch the same thing every season, me being guilty of both.

    I think anime shouldn’t be judged because of one creator or studio, there’s a lot more staff that goes into it. When we think of it that way, we’ll probably enjoy everything more.

  • Kamille

    “What about the fantastic pieces of work that get pushed to the wayside simply because they didn’t live up to what becomes unreachable expectations?”

    Then they aren’t as “fantastic” after all. And honestly, in the last 5 years the quality of anime has gone to crap. Like right now anime’s at bottom.

  • Jonathan

    I think the more animes you guys watch the higher the expectations, unlike me I recently started watching anime 2 years ago so I don’t go around judging animes or comparing since I don’t have much knowledge to compare with, so basically any new anime that comes out I end up watching and enjoying so much and Kill la Kill was awesome! I never heard anyone complain about but maybe it’s has something to do with the age of a person

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