Writing Prompt: Is there any merit to reviewing anime of a genre that you actively dislike?

This one is actually a question I thought of personally, as opposed to one I got from MAL or somewhere else, based on many reviews that I’ve read online.

Is there any merit to reviewing anime of a genre that you actively dislike?

date a live angry tohka

Let me set the stage for this one.

You come across a review for an anime that you’ve seen, or maybe are interested in (although these days reviews seem to all be chock full of spoilers so hopefully that doesn’t bother you). For example… Arifureta: From Commonplace to World’s Strongest. An isekai anime that is clearly an isekai anime, based on the synopsis, or the first episode if you don’t read those.

You start to read the review when you read something like this:
“Ugh, another isekai”.

From there the author just proceeds to dump on the anime and isekai in general, ending with the anime getting a terrible rating.

I’ve seen this all too much, and every time I do, I have the exact same thoughts:

If you don’t like isekai, why did you watch it in the first place?
Why sit through 12+ episodes of an isekai anime when you clearly don’t like isekai anime?
And then why review it when you’re obviously biased against the genre in general?

Now, the most common example for this isn’t actually isekai anime, but ecchi anime. Which is even crazier to me that someone might sit through an anime like Highschool of the Dead and then trash it in a review for having too much fan service. I’ve seen the isekai example too, though, and a couple other genres.

This is what led me to wonder: Is there any merit to doing this?

I understand that oftentimes we may not know what we’re getting into. My personal example of a genre that I actively dislike is Cute Girls Doing Cute Things (CGDCT). It’s not an explicit tag, so I have to infer based on the characters / synopsis whether its a CGDCT anime or just a slice of life. And I’ve stumbled on a couple unknowingly before as a result.

The thing is, you can generally tell what type of anime it is after the first episode, if not before finishing it. You don’t have to suffer through the entire anime once you find this out!

Recently I was about to watch Yuru Camp for my anime studio posts, in a slip of judgement. But within the first two minutes of the first episode, I realized my mistake, and stopped. Because I know I don’t like CGDCT anime, and I know that in the end I won’t enjoy Yuru Camp.

And because of that, I know that any attempt by me to review Yuru Camp would have likely left it sitting at a 5/10 rating, or thereabouts. As I’ve written about before, I believe that you can’t truly disconnect enjoyment from a review. I believe enjoyment is the most important component of a review. If you didn’t enjoy an anime, how can you really give it a good rating? Any attempt to rate it “objectively” is just guesswork. This type of review is biased in nature.

With that in mind, I wanted to try and think about whether there’s any merit to writing such a review, where you don’t like the genre and as a result didn’t like the anime.

Honestly, it’s tough to think of any.

If someone else also doesn’t like the genre, they can relate to you, but ultimately, they probably didn’t need the review in the first place. Because they could also just read the synopsis or check the tags to see what genre it is. Or watch a little of the first episode, or a trailer, and find out that they won’t like it. The review doesn’t really add anything aside from that mutual feeling of disliking the anime based on the genre.

The only real merit I can think of is just for one’s own personal reasons. Someone who lacks self-awareness (or likes to waste their own time) sits through an entire anime of a genre that they clearly dislike, and to vent, they write a review. The review helps them offload their anger or disappointment, and so it helps them personally.

I mean, I can understand writing a review like that after being disappointed in the anime you just watched. I wrote a review about how I disliked the slime anime, for example. The difference in my case being that I love isekai anime, and just ended up being disappointed in the anime regardless of that. But I can understand being disappointed in an anime and wanting to write about it.

Other than this reason though?
I don’t know.

date a live harem fight

I mean the type of review I’m talking about isn’t one where someone was just disappointed. It’s the type where the author clearly dislikes the genre. Again, think a review of High School DxD that’s dripping with animosity towards ecchi anime in general, and then unsurprisingly gets a poor rating.

It’d be like if I wrote reviews for pizza places – but I don’t like pizza.

Every single negative review I wrote for various pizza places in town would be utterly useless. If someone is looking to evaluate the quality of pizza places in town, my constant 1-star reviews wouldn’t help them at all! And even if I happened to also write a kinder, 2-star review, are my opinions on pizza really worth considering here? When I clearly hate pizza?

Once again, that initial question comes up:
If you don’t like pizza why did you eat their pizza in the first place?

This is essentially how I feel about reviewing an anime of a genre that you actively dislike.

It’s ultimately just done to vent.
That’s all I can think of.

And so, in the end, I’d say that this is the only “merit” to writing a review like this, and the review itself, has no actual merit.

date a live tohka tsundere

I’ve written a few reviews on CGDCT anime and they weren’t exactly positive, like my review of Dragon Maid, but I even acknowledge that I don’t like the genre throughout the review and mention that with my final rating. My motivations for watching it at the time were simply that it’s a very popular anime and I thought it may be a good comedy.

Also, I had only watched one or two similar anime prior to that and so Dragon Maid was my final “yep, not watching this genre again” moment. And almost true to that, I’ve only watched one CGDCT anime since, Bofuri, which was because my love for isekai / fantasy made me curious. And unsurprisingly, I didn’t enjoy it, and decided to not review it.


Anyways, what are your thoughts on this?
Is there any merit to reviewing anime of a genre that you actively dislike?

I’m interested in reading some other opinions on this, because I thought about it for a while and this is what I ended up with. Maybe there’s more to it, though, that I haven’t considered.

Until next time,
Thanks for reading.

20 thoughts on “Writing Prompt: Is there any merit to reviewing anime of a genre that you actively dislike?

  1. The pizza analogy is surprisingly accurate. If you don’t like something to begin with your review will be meaningless unless it was something that surprised you and caused you to write a good review. It’s like the opposite of your experience with Slime. It’s important because it’s not the normal for you.

    And, yeah, trying to be unbiased is impossible. Your opinions are based on your experience. There’s no way someone could review anything claiming complete impartiality. They’re your opinions own them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, even if you don’t realize that it’s pizza, you’ll figure it out after the first bite or two. But then when it comes to anime people often seem insistent on finishing the entire anime anyways.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. darkdaemonpk2

    The only merit about reviewing an anime you dislike is to tell the world on how revolting it is. There might be some benefits, but it is a seldom occurrence.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. For me, I think that even though some genres frequently don’t work and some usually appeal I have come across enough exceptions where something eithercreally clicked or didn’t against expectations that I will still give an anime a try even if I usually don’t like the genre. That said, something then needs to really grab me early on or I will drop it knowing I don’t norm aslly enjoy that kind of thing. That said, sometimes even if the anime did hook me, sometimes by the end it has reverted to th e genre standards that I may not like or the novelty has worn off. I do think it is worth trying because occasionally you find a genre defying gem but you d o need to be clear when you review where you started rather than tearing the anime a part just because it ticks boxes you don’t like.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah I know that a lot of people have this very steadfast approach to watching anime, where they refuse to drop anything ever. It just feels like oftentimes that just results in animosity towards the series that they were “held hostage” by, because they HAD to finish it.

      You’re probably right that it’s worth trying, but even then you can probably identify if the anime is a gem or not after the first few episodes.

      And I agree, it’s important to be clear in the review. I have no problem if someone discloses up front that the anime frustrated them, and then gives reasons why.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. To continue the pizza thought: I tend to think of it more as liking food, so I should probably experience pizza even if I dislike it. For better or worse, the human race can often discern the good, or the quality, of something better if they experience something bad, or of low quality, to compare it to. That’s not the only way to determine if something is good or not, but it adds a lot of perspective. That’s primarily the reason I won’t drop a show for simple reasons, or stubbornly avoid a genre.

    Another reason is that you never know what you’ll find simply based on genre. In my case, my least favorite genre is music, and I have several reasons for that. Yet White Album and Zombie Land Saga are two of my favorite anime, for reasons far removed from the music genre tag. So I’ll almost never avoid a show based entirely on genre at that rate. And if I watch it, I’ll review it, whether I enjoyed it or not, regardless of genre. With certain exceptions which I won’t go into while the kids are watching!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I mean there’s definitely nuance as to how much one dislikes something, and there’s good reasons for trying new things. But if you don’t like pizza, and you’ve had enough different kinds to know you don’t like pizza, why would you go out of your way to order it? Does it really broaden your horizons to willingly do something you’ve already determined you dislike?

      Like I mentioned in the post, I’ve read far too many reviews that dump on an ecchi anime because of the fan service, and it often doesn’t really feel like the reviewer was trying to broaden their horizons or anything. In that case, even if there is more to the anime, the ecchi genre itself is the problem. But I agree that sometimes the genre can be a fairly loose definition of what the anime actually is.

      Liked by 1 person

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  6. RisefromAshes

    I mean you pose an important idea. No one should suffer through an anime (or anything) of a genre you actively dislike, because as you said that’s a waste of time. So in that sense, I agree that perhaps there’s not much merit to reviewing an anime of a genre that you actively dislike. I’ll even admit I’ve done one or two vent reviews myself because I was so disappointed. So the glove doesn’t fit exactly, but close enough where I see your point.

    I would then like to pose the opposite question, Is there any merit in reviewing anime of a genre you actively like? If all a review is going to say is ‘Here’s why I think this is good’, with no acknowledgement of any faults or issues, that’s not particularly helpful either. Sure, it’s easier to read, and allegedly the author has seen multiple series in that same genre to compare but that’s not always the case. I’m sure there are reviewers who will defend any title within a given genre since they like the genre, just as much as a hater would.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I’m sure there are people who blindly praise anything by a certain studio or of a certain genre.

      But I think that there’s a bit of a difference. For example, someone who hates wine will always rate it poorly, but a wine connoisseur, someone that loves wine, still can give detailed reviews and break down nuances between different wines. I think that with liking something also comes a better ability to pick it apart and understand what makes it tick, which is also good for reviews.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I would say the only merit would be if an anime made you rethink something about the genre or if it did something that changed your opinion in any way. Apart from that, a review would likely just consist of someone complaining about a series simply because of its genre rather than what it’s about. You won’t really be able to do something justice (or injustice) if you can’t look past that.

    As far as watching things you don’t like, I can see some merit to it. I don’t really like slice of life. I feel like you can probably understand a little since CGDCT tends to fall in line with that. I find them very boring, and if something is boring, I find it hard to stay invested. I still watch slice of life from time to time. I do this mainly because I’m hoping that one time I’ll watch a series that changes my mind. A true slice of life that I genuinely find interesting. And if I don’t, it just reinforces that I don’t like it, and nothing really changes. Just because I dislike the particular genre, though, it doesn’t mean I don’t understand why people like it. So I keep trying to find a series that can make me relate to that. Still, I wouldn’t review one unless I felt I could do it justice either way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can certainly do that, and it’s a good idea especially over time as your tastes may have changed as you say. But at the same time, I don’t think it’s something that I would do very often, because there are hundreds of other anime out there that are not CGDCT, so I’d rather give them a spin first anyways.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. “This is what led me to wonder: Is there any merit to doing this?”

    Not really, no. But crapping on anime is widespread because there’s an audience for it, and certain kind of cretin who revels in joining in. It’s a dark side of the hobby and it costs us as a community.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it doesn’t seem very

      constructive to me. But as for community, well I don’t really see it that way. Liking anime or writing about it doesnt automatically enroll you in some community. To me it’s more about who you interact with that constitutes that, and I don’t really interact with those types, even if Ive seen those kind of posts before.

      Like

  9. An interesting topic, I didn’t even think about that haha. For most, even for the genres I dislike (ecchi, for ex), I feel there is always a reason for that genre to exist and I learn to appreciate that fact through times.

    My first reply is probably to vent, lmao. There are times you just wanna watch something so trashy to you so that you can talk about how terrible it is.

    I did reviews on ecchi anime about three or four times, because I got an order for these animes to be reviewed since they are popular (it was an online article writing jobs). Pretty much of the times, I don’t mind sitting through 3-4 episodes because in this case, the reviews only need to contain such amount of context. I may not be completely unbias, but probably know how to hide my disliking in those reviews (lol) by joking about the terrible fanservices in these.

    Most time I write about something I dislike is just because I dislike half of it, but like half of it or just like a character in the whole trashy series. Then the reviews always focus on what I like first and the later half is about thing I dislike. The two extreme polar appear in the same review does cause some troubles, lol. Because people go to read reviews and expect it to be either positive or negative, so reading half and half may feel very disturbing to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think half and half is probably fine. I understand the desire to vent also, although I think that it’s possible to write a review that heavily criticizes something but also uses proper examples and whatnot from the anime to do so, so it feels more fair and isn’t just “this sucked”. I think that kind of review is totally fine.

      And I guess many people seem to like watching genres they dislike from of a fear of missing out, based on what others have commented.

      Liked by 1 person

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  11. Adam

    So accurate. I’m not a big reviewer of anime overall (I think I have like, 5 on MAL), but at least two of them were literally in response to reviews just like this–one for Arifureta and the other on the 8th Son. Both Isekai, both trashed in so many reviews simply for being that genre. It makes me want to shake the reviewers and scream.

    Tbh, I don’t understand why people get sooo caught up in hating isekai (or ecchi/fan service in general). I’m gay. Melon breasts do nothing for me. But I’ve watched, and enjoyed, several ecchi animes. They’re usually stupid, but in a fun way, and they don’t require much brain power. Which is just fine.

    As for Isekai, these reviewers always seem to be super cranky that they aren’t “doing something different” even when they are. Arifureta starts and ends much differently from most isekai. And if you can’t handle overpowered characters, what are you DOING watching anime at all? Being OP is one of the most common tropes.

    Your pizza analogy is perfect. All these reviews do is drive down a rating and viewership for shows that the authors knew they wouldn’t like even before they started. It’s pointless, and I really find it hard to believe that anyone would watch 12+ episodes of a show that they gave a 3/10 rating to. Why would you do that???

    So frustrating. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be fair, OP protagonist isn’t a tag so it can be difficult to figure out if it’ll be in an anime or not until someone watches it. But then like most other things it doesn’t take long to figure out, and drop the series.

      Considering how many people “suffer” through entire series, I think they are too set on never dropping anything. But then, I bet outside of anime they have no problem dropping things, be it goals, commitments, shows, games, et cetera.

      Like

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