Acquired Tastes in Anime

The human sense of taste is a complex and amazing thing. There’s never a common standard; what’s sweet is just, well, sweet, and if it’s bitter, there’s nothing else you could describe it as. But, what makes the palate so unique is how each of us sometimes go and like the weirdest, or at the least, the more uncommon tastes (you know, stuff like, mint chocolate, Oreo-and-cheese milkshakes, uhh, veggie burgers). We don’t like it right away, but it grows on us – we acquire a taste for them. The same also holds true for a lot of stuff; songs you listen to, books you read, and maybe, in the anime we watch as well.

Having been a fan of anime for some four or five years now, it wouldn’t be too surprising if I grew a sort-of tolerance, maybe even a liking, to some of the stuff we see in there. To name a few:

Shoujo

If four, maybe even three years ago, you asked me to go and watch a shoujo anime, I would’ve said “Uhh, no thanks.” (well, more accurately, I’d probably say something along the lines of “..What’s shoujo?”) but yeah, most likely I’d decline the offer. Why? Because I simply and absolutely thought that those shoujo shows back then really were geared to just the female audience. Kimi ni Todoke showed me the light and error of my ways basically. Now I really don’t mind as much anymore – more so since I end up looking forward to romances with the coming of a new season, and shoujo romances are often times a nice change of pace.

Ecchi (and by extension, fan-service, suggestive and otherwise)

Okay, okay, let me start by saying that ecchi hasn’t become one of my more favored genres. It’s just that, very early in my anime ventures, ecchi had always been lingering around somewhere. The earliest I remember was back when I was watching Zero no Tsukaima, and you have to agree, it does get pretty NSFW at times. Looking back at it now as I’m writing this, ZnT was milder, I guess, compared to the stuff I’ve seen in the following years (never thought I’d be saying that). In all seriousness though, my resolve for ecchi was brought about by Toaru Majutsu no Index – season 2 specifically. It was one of those “I really, really like this series, but..” scenarios. In time I guess it just became something to note, and not really something I’d avoid.

Fan-service is a different story though. At some point in time I just thought “That’s.. wow.”. Not that I’d love every show I watch to have it, but if it happens to be there, well, it’s service, not really polite to turn it down.

Dialogue

From someone who had the chance to watch locally-dubbed episodes of the likes of Flame of Recca, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Slam Dunk during his childhood, I didn’t have the slightest thought back then that dialogue in anime can be awesome. Of course, it depends if the show you’re watching really has good dialogue, but still, to be able to appreciate and enjoy hearing (and reading, for us not versed in the moonrune language) well-written internal monologues or conversations isn’t really a quality of anime that comes with the territory. Kara no Kyoukai and Spice and Wolf were my first tastes of that feeling. Now I’m more than likely to pick up a show or two solely because of it’s dialogue.

– –

So yeah. I’m sure there’s a few more, but these three stand out in my endless, ever-growing and infinitely long list of anime. What are your acquired tastes in anime? A genre maybe? or just something you see in anime in general?

11 thoughts on “Acquired Tastes in Anime

  1. That’s such a heartwarming smile of Sawako…so anyway, acquired taste eh? I have strong dislike for harem series at the beginning of my fandom, but that slowly changed over the years. I’m still selective when it comes to the genre, although I’m more open to watching or at least sampling them these days. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have pick up series like Mayo Chiki or Haganai, both proved to be entertaining.

    • Yes, yes it is :3
      Ah, yeah, I wasn’t a big fan of harems too. Actually, they’re still pretty iffy for me sometimes. Probably the genre I nitpick the most, lol, but harem-tolerance seems like a requirement nowadays – mainly ’cause of improved story lines and such in those kinds of shows.

  2. I think for me, the fastest way to get used to certain elements in shows is to see them in smaller doses in other shows. I might not have gotten started with shojo had I not seen and enjoyed the romance in other series. Of course in the case of elements like moe or ecchi, it’s debatable whether that’s entirely a good thing.

    • Yeah, kinda like dipping your toes in the water before jumping in.

      Probably the #1 reason why I go for shoujo shows as well. As for whether or not getting used to ecchi or moe is a good thing, well, I agree that it becomes debatable since it really depends on who’s watching what.

  3. Pingback: Anime tastes I’ve acquired — 毎日アニメ夢

  4. I’m surprised you didn’t mention any of the monogatari series when you mentioned dialogue. Fate/Zero is also a noteworthy mention in that regard.

    Ecchi, for better or worse, had been one of the most extensive genre ever. Even serious anime likes to toss in a short service or two nowadays D:

    • Yeah, Fate/Zero and the monogatari series are defenitely the more known titles for pretty lengthy dialogue. I decided to put Spice and Wolf in there because it was when I was watching it that I first got to really appreciate dem lines😀

      Haha, so true. A close second would probably be lolis or moe. I mean, every show has at least one of em >.<

  5. Fan service is important sometimes as a way to catch the attention of the viewer (especially if the plot is generic enough), but basing an entire series over it is a bit… (see Seikon no Qwaser…:|)

    • Agreed😀 Fan service shouldn’t really outweigh the other stuff that a show has to offer – like for Index, they had the intricate story line and character development (and it’s usually the full fanservice-y shows that end up being..not so good)

  6. You pointed out some interesting things in this post. Ecchi (or rather leniency toward excessive fan-service) was definitely an acquired taste for me. I still find myself holding out from watching certain ecchi series I want to watch (like Queen’s Blade) because of their excessive use of fan-service. But I am less offended by ecchi than I was a few years ago and can enjoy a series like Strike Witches despite all the ecchiness.

    Other than that I’ve acquired a taste for casual anime. In the past I would have passed on an anime if it didn’t have a deep plot and a huge production budget. Today I find myself enjoying series even if they aren’t the epitome of intellectual thought. Sometimes watching casual series for fun is just…plain fun!

    • Thanks! And yeah, ecchi is really just something we have to have a “stomach” for to really branch out and enjoy some of the well-made shows out there that really does have that fan-service factor, which might be off-putting to some viewers. Case in point for example would be, like, a lot of J.C. Staff shows, lol

      Yeah, casual anime was easier to get into for me I think, as I was actually the inverse of your situation back then. I didn’t care much for overarching twists and heavy plot until I got into shows like Death Note. Casual slice-of-life shows are still a favorite of mine since they really are fun😀

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