I realized something recently about how I view anime. I don’t like giving anime a fixed rating, and in my “review’ posts I like to bring up what I liked, disliked, just like anyone would. But I think the one thing that I like to judge an anime on the most is how memorable it was.
When I look at my list, now at 340 entries (337 completed, 2 ongoing, 1 dropped) there are so many anime that I can read the title, or see the thumbnail for, and remember something about it. This memory is what I like to judge an anime on – when I look back at this anime, what will I remember about it? How much will I forget? What scenes will I remember? I love finishing an anime and reflecting on these questions.
Even a “bad” anime, with a poor rating, can have memorable aspects. Even a bland anime, the classic “7” anime, can do some things right in my books. I think this is why I shy away from ratings, because I don’t think they tell the whole story. A masterpiece may be a masterpiece through and through, but there are “failed” anime out there that may have had some wonderful moments. If I see an anime on my list and have to re-read the synopsis or wrack my brain to remember SOMETHING about the anime, that’s a real failure in my books.
I feel crazy for mentioning this anime for the THIRD time now, but Fukumenkei Noise really is a good example. Pretty much the entire anime is no good, but the music was so great that I can tell you now I won’t ever forget this anime. Star Driver is another example, it’s a pretty average shounen anime, but I loved the fish story enough that I won’t be forgetting the anime anytime soon. Of course I did just recently write about both of these anime, but the point still stands.
The only question I am conflicted on now is how I would view an anime that was memorable BECAUSE it was bad. Like Divine Gate, my only dropped anime, that I will always bring up as a bad anime. The narration and story were so awful that I remember these two aspects of the anime. I think that in this situation, even though I remember something about the anime, the fact that it’s a negative memory sort of speaks for itself. But it is a weird concept for me to think about, because there are anime that I wouldn’t even remember watching and couldn’t put a name to, while I can at least name Divine Gate and remember why I know it’s not a good anime.
I want to give more examples of what stuck with me the most in some anime that I watched a long time ago, with no synopsis or anything. Just by reading the name and looking at the thumbnail picture on my list. I don’t rate anime on MAL, so this will be purely about what I can remember. Just for fun really 🙂
- Blood Lad – I remember the main character was overpowered, my favourite kind of MC. That’s all though.
- Charlotte – I love this anime. My strongest memories would be of the main character’s growth from someone who was arrogant and abused his ability to someone who became very humbled and involved in helping others. The final episode of Charlotte is something that I will never forget, I can still picture many of the scenes from it right now – the cue cards he wore about his neck, that scene when he is in the desert (in America I believe), what happened to him. Thinking about it makes me want to re-watch Charlotte.
- Chaos Head – Only things I remember are that the main character lived in a shipping container on a rooftop, and that the anime got very convoluted and confusing at some point.
- Denetsu no Yuusha no Denetsu – I only remember a scene where the protagonist was in jail reading / writing books. Nothing else haha.
- Golden Time – I know this one is a pretty big name in anime, but I only remember that there was a lot of drama. I don’t even remember the premise. The protagonist was attending a new school. That’s about all I got.
- Guilty Crown – I remember some scenes where the protagonist and others were in some sort of resistance, because they had powers or something. I also remember something sad happened, but it ended on a happy note, with the protagonist having lost / sacrificed something.
- Kakumeiki Valvrave (2 seasons) – I remember this was a mecha that had something to do with Earth fighting people from another planet or something? Sort of like Aldnoah Zero (which I remember much better).
- Princess Lover! – I don’t remember a single thing about this anime.
- Rokka no Yuusha – I remember enjoying this one, thriller mystery. I also remember who the culprit was in the end.
- Spice & Wolf (2 seasons) – I remembered the English name even though it’s in Japanese on my list. Has to be worth some bonus points. I remember that the wolf girl traveled with the merchant protagonist, they had a lot of heartfelt moments. Lot of neat economic stuff happened.
- SKET Dance – I actually remember this one pretty well. I remember the three main characters and their club room. I also remember a monkey, and a martial artist that showed up often. It was a funny anime that I enjoyed because it had a simple format. Maybe it’s because of it’s length and style that I remember it so well.
Anyways, I could keep going on this but I’ll leave it at that. It’s actually pretty fun to glance at old anime I’ve watched and try my hardest to remember something about them. I tried to pick some names that I haven’t watched in the last few years that weren’t immediately recognizable big titles like Fullmetal Alchemist or any of the Monogatari Series. I thought I would remember more than I did to be honest, it’s harder than I figured it would be. Some anime I look at and think “I remember enjoying this”, without remembering exactly why.
I invite anyone reading this to try this as well!
How did the anime on your list stand the test of time?
You might be surprised at how little you can recall for certain anime (either that or my memory really sucks haha).
Thanks for reading 🙂