Here’s another prompt from MAL I wanted to take a look at. I guess these are kind of more like discussion prompts than writing prompts, as I’m not writing a story here, but “writing prompt” sounds better and technically I am writing, so I’m sticking with it!
Do you find anime hard to enjoy when it feels predictable?
I thought this was a very good question, because lately, predictability has played a role in how I’ve viewed anime.
My answer is that I don’t find anime hard to enjoy when it feels predictable, but I do think that predictability does affect my enjoyment.
So really, I’d say that it’s harder to enjoy, but honestly, I wouldn’t say it’s always a detriment. It depends on the type of anime.
Is the anime is foreshadowing future events in a way that it’s satisfying to predict what will happen next?
I love this form of “prediction”, as demonstrated by my predictions of the Rascal Does Not Dream of Dreaming Girl movie, before I even knew there was going to BE a movie, based on foreshadowing from the anime. This kind of foreshadowing style of storytelling is also heavily used in the Monogatari Series, and I love it. Even if you miss the foreshadowing the first time through, the rewatch will feel that much more satisfying just knowing what is being referenced with all the foreshadowing.
In other words, when done right, I absolutely love foreshadowing. Also, when done right, it’s not overly predictable, and does require you to connect some dots. The resulting predictions then feel rewarding if correct, because you put two and two together, hoping you were correct, and you were rewarded when the answer of “four” was revealed later on.
This kind of “predictability” is great in my eyes.
Is the anime just following a tried-and-true formula that just makes it very predictable?
This is the form of predictability that I believe the original author of the question was trying to get at. And I definitely think that this kind of predictability does have a negative impact on my enjoyment of an anime. Not enough to make an anime unenjoyable, but enough to make me wish it wasn’t so predictable.
I’ve certainly written about this quite a bit over the last year, how I’d like to see more strange and unexpected outcomes. How many anime felt too stock standard, the outcomes too obvious.
For example, if an intense fight breaks out between the protagonist and antagonist of an anime on episode 4 of 12, there’s less tension than there typically should be, because you KNOW the protagonist can’t die. If he did, what would happen for the next 8 episodes? He’s protected, because we know that the story isn’t over yet.
That’s the kind of predictability that I don’t like. If I see a twist coming a mile away, that’s fine. I just don’t like when certain situations in a story lose impact because I know that they will never kill off anyone, or that the anime is only half done, or that I’ve seen several other anime using the exact same formula. Things like this can definitely take away from the enjoyment of an anime for me.
So just to recap, I don’t explicitly find anime hard to enjoy when it feels predictable, but I do think that certain types of predictability can negatively affect my enjoyment of certain anime.
That’s about all I have to say about this one.
What do you think about predictability in anime?
I know that for a lot of people, it’s no big deal. And for me, it was like that, too, for a long time. But I guess after watching enough anime I’ve come around to the point where the repetitiveness, predictability, et cetera can make an anime less enjoyable than it could have been.
I just want to see more “new” content, and things that really shock me or leave me excited. And unfortunately, a lot of the anime that get churned out feel like the same formulas over and over.
Anyways, it is what it is, there are still amazing anime that are coming out and aren’t predictable, such as Re:Zero’s second season. And others that I haven’t seen yet too, I’m sure. So there is a lot of good to go with the average, which in a way, makes the good feel that much better!
Until next time,
Thanks for reading.