Why I Won’t Admit to Liking Anime
When talking to someone who likes Anime, the first thing to come up is usually a show like Dragonball Z or Baruto. Some fighting is fine if the story requires it, but I don’t want to watch a single fight that lasts most of an episode. I want story to develop in every episode, not just exposition hidden in re-used fight sequences. At worst, I might stick with something that has a long fight in one or two episodes within a ten plus episode season. Fight shows are torture, I hate it, thanks!
What about Mecha stuff! Is there such a thing that started this century? I had my time with the US version of Robotech when I was around in the 80s. I enjoy building Gundam models, but I couldn’t care less about the show … maybe it’s the pacing, but I just couldn’t get through more than a few episodes. I might be willing to try others, but I won’t admit it to someone who recommends it, because chances are good that it’ll just be another form of long fight show.
On the other hand, when talking to someone who doesn’t like Anime, the first thing that comes up is usually a show in the fantasy harem genre, or perverted stuff (or both categories at once) that someone heard about in whispers about why Anime is terrible. I agree, that sort of anime is cringey and I just can’t.
Anime I Like
Okay, I’ve covered what I don’t like, and a LOT of anime fans I’ve met would claim that I just don’t like Anime after hearing what I have to say.
27 year old who had a really bad thing happen in his first job, and then ended up as a shut-in, is given a job by ReLife Labs to look like a high school student and go to high school again for a year. There’s hand holding and mild flirting, but no weird love triangles, no fighting. There are a few places where the show feels like it might hit the edge of creepy, but never crosses the line.
Banished from the Hero’s Party, I Decided to Live a Quiet Life in the Countryside
The title is the plot. There are some fights, but none take an entire episode. Lots of interpersonal friendship issues. Heavy stuff about the expectations of others. Though it has a setup of a typical isekai story, it isn’t. There is a romance that grows through the story, but no harem or love triangles.
How to Keep a Mummy
This is about some high school friends who adopt very small fantasy creatures. Some mild flirting, but no romance, triangles or harems.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
This is a parody that pokes fun at several anime tropes. It centers around a woman who is a programmer, and ends up taking in an injured dragon as a live-in maid (in human form), then other dragons start showing up, too. There’s definitely some points where the parody aspects are so on-point that it’s more cringe than fun, and I’d say that marks 3 episodes out of the 24. Its a mostly women cast.
The Great Jahy Will NOT be Defeated
Women led, mostly women cast. No romance aspect at all. There’s some cartoony violence in places, but no major fighting. Relatively chill.
Shikimori’s Not Just a Cutie
This is a pretty innocent romance between two school kids. The male lead is accident prone, and the female lead is very athletic and often saves him from injury. Shikimori’s … also a bodyguard? No triangles. No harems. Pretty chill, very cute.
Dev team in modern Japan, made up of all women. Overall, quite cute. There is a LOT of male gaze shots and needless “character in underwear” moments.
Ms. Vampire Who Lives In My Neighborhood
Middle School age girl befriends a woman vampire who lives nearby, and ends up moving in with her. No fighting, no horror. Blood is delivered by courier and served in tea cups. Mostly women and girls cast. No romance. Very chill.
My Roommate is a Cat
Introverted writer takes in a cat, which in-turn expands his world, just a little. The second half of most episodes is retelling the first half of the story from the cat’s perspective, which is really unique. There is some violence in flashbacks, and occasional claw scratches, and lots of terrible messes made by a confused cat. Mostly chill. Some dealing with death.
Kiss Him, Not Me
To start, there are definitely some problematic aspects to this show, including horrible treatment of “character is fat”. Centered on a high-school girl who is not into romance at all, and finds herself being pursued by four boys. This IS a “reluctant Harem” story centered around a female character, who really wants these boys to pair up with each-other, and not her, not ever.
Restaurant to Another World
Isekai: a restaurant in Japan in which the front door - only on Saturday - appears in various places in a fantasy world. Clientele eat food they’ve never seen before and mingle with other clientele from different parts of that same other world. Very chill. Some romance between customers.
Young Witch in training moves in with family in a rural Japanese village. Very chill. No fights. No romance at all. Cute, day-in-the-life stories.
Didn’t I Say to Make My Abilities Average In My Next Life?
A talented woman after a long life in service of defending the weak is reincarnated, and asks to be just average in her next life. The problem is that she isn’t average for a human woman, but average between an ant the most powerful elder dragon. She ends up joining an all women adventuring team, and trying her best to get by but not get noticed. She doesn’t want to be dragged into a life of responsibility again. Mild flirting, no long fights, no harems.
Ascendence of a Bookworm
I read the first few Manga volumes, then I read all
of the light novels that have come out in English.
This show is the reason why I first subscribed to CrunchyRoll (Anime Streaming Service). This is an isekai story: a woman who is just about to graduate library school is thrust into a magical, medieval world with very few books, into the body of a sickly five year old girl. She isn’t born into a family that can afford books, so she works hard to try to (re)invent enough things so she can create her own books. There is adjacent character romance, but that is never the central story. Some nobels in this world have multiple wives, but that is never centered.
Things That Just Are
These are things I could do without, but it seems these things are closely tied to the genre, and they are things that seem to appear in most anime…
It seems that every series must have an inexplicable swimsuit episode (a day at the beach/lake/spa/bathhouse). I have no idea why.
It seems that every series at some point, must show a woman lamenting the size of her own breasts, or commenting on the size of someone else’s. This is even true if the show is written by a woman.