Everyone has that show that their friends talk about nonstop, but they’ve never watched it. Then eventually your friends break you down and you finally watch the show and give it its chance. You still go in mostly blind, but with high expectations. You hold no bias against the show, but yet you expect to be blown away by it.
So you finally watch it, the entire way through. You go back to your friend and you say either two things: “Oh my stars, I loved it!” Or the less popular answer: “Man, I hated that s***”
Either way, you are in the right, but your friend might think you’re insane.
I’ve had many of these conversations after watching Evangelion, Madoka and Sword Art Online. A ton of people love these three shows, and Evangelion is one of the best in a lot of people’s minds.
Evangelion is indeed weird and unique, but it didn’t click with me. Same thing for Madoka. I saw what they were going for, but it just bored the crap out of me personally. I’m not saying either shows are bad, but those two specifically, are shows I will never watch a second time.
Quick spoilers for Madoka by the way, but the moment I saw Kyubey, the white cat thing, I knew where the show was going. I literally said, “That cat is the villain,” the moment I saw him running away from Homura. So when they revealed the fact that Kyubey was indeed the villain, I just sat there and said “yup.” The entire time I was just bored of everything. Like Eva, Madoka impressed me with its more serious tones, but it didn’t click with me the same way something like Stein’s Gate did.
However, the boredom I felt while watching Evangelion and Madoka certainly wasn’t present in the opening episodes of Sword Art Online. I was into that show the same way I’m into Attack on Titan. I was ready to recommend SAO to everyone I knew, but everyone already knew about it. The main characters were badass and the story clicked with me since I am a gamer myself.
Somewhere along the lines however, the show started to feel like it was going to be another Guilty Crown level of disappointment. For those who don’t know, I loved Guilty Crown when it first started, but a drastic change in the plot made me sour on everything I previously felt about anime. Sword Art Online made that notorious feeling come back. The previous badass characters were now lesser versions of themselves, the story took a backseat to the romance and the action was dull.
But I stuck with it. I watched the entire first season and regret it to this day. It got more convoluted and more love-centric. I’m all for romance in shows, but not when it starts to hurt the overall story. That’s why I despise SAO, it became a soap opera in a virtual world, and I never forgave it for that.
Those three shows are the ones that everyone seems to adore, and I just don’t. I guess I get why people like them, but for me, I hate when they are brought up in conversations that are discussing the greatest anime shows around.