On Outgrowing Anime

At the start of the Spring season, I tried watching an episode of Daimidaler. I couldn’t finish it.

This used to be the stuff I loved. Campy baddies, a robot powered by an unconventional power source, hot blood, and… sexual molestation. Wait. That’s not cool, man. I can like problematic stuff, but if an entire show is built up on the hero making sexual advances on the heroine and presented as a gag, that’s really fucking crass.

And I used to wonder why a lot of girls don’t watch mecha.

Basically, I outgrew an anime. When I say “outgrow”, I don’t really mean “I’ve become much better than this shit and now it’s beneath me”, although for Daimidaler’s case that’s exactly what had happened. “Outgrowing” an anime simply means I’ve become incompatible with it, due to my tastes and values changing across the years. A show doesn’t really age like we do, and as time passes we tend to see a disconnect with something we used to cherish. (I guess that’s the real test of a “classic”: you can still connect with it no matter how much time has passed.) Once I tried to watch everything considered “good” by a critical standpoint and while I did learn a lot about the industry and the medium, now I’m prioritizing good, clean fun more. That’s why I’m watching kid shows right now!

It can be a frightful feeling, waking up and not feeling it anymore for something you used to love. Or it could be a cute one, laughing at yourself for even liking that thing in the first place. Which happens a lot with Gundam Wing, bless that show. Nostalgia is great, but only in small doses.

As I’ve seen a lot of stuff, I’ve begun to revisit my old favorites, reexamining them if I still love them as much as I did before. Some I’ve realized weren’t as good as I thought, but there’s also a surprising number of shows that I’ve become more interested than before. I’d rewatch them if I had the time! Age has a funny way of altering your perspective.

So, do you have any anime that you shockingly outgrew or came back to? Tell me!

(This entry was sparked by Digibro watching all of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and loving the fuck out of it, which was something I had believed would never happen back then.)

This entry was posted in Anime, MAD ABOUT CARTOONS, Mecha and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to On Outgrowing Anime

  1. jezreeljoy says:

    I recently rediscovered anime and manga again after several years and I am quite surprised at the stuff that I used to like now make me cringe. And I can totally relate with the Gundam Wing predicament, that stuff was capital C cool when I was in high school; I re-watched it this year and it wasn’t the same anymore. (I was a Quattre apologist when I was a teenager lol)

    Also, just the other day, I was reading a couple of shoujo mangas (that ranked well in sales) and I rage-quit because I couldn’t stand it anymore although it could have made me ‘giddy’ if I read those ten years ago. I have the same sentiments for Captain Earth which made me more frustrated because it’s (supposed to be) a mech anime!

    Adulthood is weird.

    Long comment, sorry :p

    • schneider says:

      I am only watching Captain Earth because of my brother and ugh, I feel like dropping it every week.

      Shoujo is a tough one because a lot of it is extremely sexist.

  2. omo says:

    Welcome to the next level.

    Now grow older so you can go back to enjoy things like Dimadalier again. It has a terrific head trick about half way through the series (and admittedly I am stalled right around that point).

  3. Digibro says:

    It was funny for me watching No Game No Life, as I had this sort of progression. Early into the show, I got really upset over the way Steph is treated as this sort of dub-human sex object, and I was supposed to laugh about it. As time went on and I was getting back in the anime mindset and watching more of the show though, I started to feel like maybe the point of this show is to be, yourself, a shitbag. Like, yes it expects you to laugh at Steph, but it also expects you to know that you’re being a bad person by doing it? It’s like, in order to get “in” on the Steph joke, I had to accept that I enjoyed it precisely BECAUSE it was so deliberately cruel and horrible. Maybe this is something like ghostlightning’s concept of what a true “guilty pleasure” is. In any case, I never really felt “good” about the Steph thing, but I sort of “stopped worrying and loved the X.”

    • schneider says:

      I HATED that show. Two of my friends forced me to watch it and I only lasted three episodes. Couldn’t stand the creepiness of the siblings’ relationship, and the NEET escapism (you may be a loser in real life, but in this world you are king!).

  4. jstorming says:

    You get the same feeling with books as well. Some books you just outgrow but the really good ones stick with you forever. But you never read books the same way as you did when you were a kid. For example, I can’t read Narnia without seeing those darned Christian allegories dancing on every single page. Which kind of blows because I liked it more when I thought Aslan was just a magical lion.

    • schneider says:

      Ouch!

      For me it’s Lord of the Rings. I’ve gone from loving it to hating it, back to loving it again.

      • jstorming says:

        Haha, I still love Narnia–but my appreciation of it as an adult is way different from when I was a kid. And that’s okay.
        I enjoyed LOTR before watching the movies, but watching the movies made me realize how different the pacing was in the books, which can be pretty slow. Still enjoy both though!

  5. For a moment when I saw that title, I thought that you were going to write about how you’re tired of anime and want to quit ani-blogging.🙂

    I’m trying to think of an anime series I’ve outgrown, but nothing is coming to mind. You know, Daimidaler sounds similar to Linebarrels of Iron. Have you watched that anime?

    • schneider says:

      No, I’ve never seen Linebarrels. And I guess I can’t “enjoy” that as well.

      • Basically, the hero of Linebarrels summons a mecha by grabbing a woman’s breast, but he only needs to do that the first time. Following that, it contains a large dose of fanservice with the main character being beaten up for his accidental transgressions upon feminine modesty.

        To tell you the truth, I can hardly recall much more than that about the show! Though, I’m sure that it must have had thrilling fights as well, else I doubt that I could have watched through it.

  6. Pingback: Let’s Look At Some Movies, Shall We? | Standing On My Neck

  7. Ryan A says:

    For whatever reason, perhaps you’ve tightened your critical lens. I cannot say I’ve outgrown any specific anime, but more than two years have passed since I last watched a single episode. I haven’t given up. However, I feel a distinct fatigue grown from the industry norms and rarity of innovation within the genre. And the comfortable plateau which anime now exists has led to an honest lack of patience for standard affairs.

    • schneider says:

      I’ve tightened my critical lens, and while I may be a tad more selective in what I watch (and drop judiciously), I think I like anime more intensely than I have before. Focus does wonders!

  8. Kiri says:

    Ah. I’ve been avoiding revisiting Gravitation for a couple of years because I think a lot of things about it would actively bother me now. It’ll always have been a big part of my high school days, but it’s always a little sad to not have the same love for a thing you once did.

    I rewatched most of Gundam Wing a few years ago and still really enjoyed it, though it can be hard to tell sometimes the line between genuine enjoyment and enjoyment based largely on nostalgia — though it can also probably be argued that nostalgia-based enjoyment is genuine all the same. We think too hard about why we like things sometimes; we think too hard about how things we enjoy define us.

    I revisit old things I like fairly frequently and for the most part, I think that things I liked hold up well, anime or otherwise. (My love for Animorphs is eternal, for one.) Though I think there’s always that weird fear the first time you revisit something, before that first test. Interestingly, I really loved the original Sailor Moon but never had a chance to ever rewatch it. I haven’t seen the first episode of Sailor Moon Crystal yet, but that should be an interesting experience….

    • schneider says:

      I know, right! It feels so scary to revisit a sacred cow of yours. I’ve told myself several times that “if somehow I don’t like this thing anymore, then I’ve lost my way!” But it just happens. Accepting that is the hard part.

      I’m starting to let go of the notion that the things we love define us, and while it makes me feel lost at times, it’s also very liberating.

  9. otsumi says:

    Hmm, I don’t think I really have an anime that I’ve outgrown.

    Sure, I used to watch random harem anime way back years ago, but I already thought they were “meh” even back then.

    And they’re still preferable to the new trend of light novel adaptations we’re getting now.

    • otsumi says:

      Oh wait, I remember what anime I’ve outgrown.

      Madoka.

      When it first aired, I thought “Whoa, this is awesome! 10/10! Urobutchi is a master writer!”

      Now, thanks to the fandom, the Rebellion movie, and me discovering other anime with better writing, I just thought “yeah, it was good. Overhyped though.”

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