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First Impressions

I've had that look plenty
Most of the time, we as anime fans fail to follow the adage; "Don't judge a book by its cover." Often, when we walk into a video store, or a best Buy or some popular place that sells anime, we invariably make every assertion of what sort of show or series it is, based exclusively on the cover art alone.

Anime companies have caught onto this nasty habit of ours, and from the beginning of the industry's darkest days of inception, they've fed us illustrations of anime that features busty babes, and muscle ripped dudes, and this has not changed in almost twenty years. What the industry knows, even if we do not, is that eye candy sells shows, scantily clad supple bodies are every fan-boys dream, and against our better judgement, we will fall prey to a show that is a total hunk of garbage, just because we were led by an advertisement, or a bit of box-art, or a cleverly spun trailer in the bonus feature section of another anime DVD.


But that was the anime of several years ago; certainly we aren't so naive as to do that in this modern era of anime are we? Well, yeah... we do it still. It's almost human nature to formulate a notion on something within the first twenty seconds of our initial encounter, and even though we as fans have a huge vast ocean of anime knowledge right at our fingertips(internet you dummy), we are still taking one glance at the concept art, or "up coming" title page and fabricating a huge opinion on it.

In the "Absolutes List" in the anime fandom, the inability to get our facts straight has got to be in the top three. Let's face it, for a group of seemingly know-it-all webbers, we really suck at being able to get real reliable information. And what information we do get, is often third hand by the time we come around to it. Not to mention that when a new piece of information is announced, or a new show is slated for broadcast, we are so heavily bombarded by the drooling idiots that leet their shit all over the threads and comment sections, that it doesn't take much for us more higher functioning and evolved fans to formulate a quick mental jot-down about which shows to watch, and which shows to steer clear of.

Another thing that lends itself to our impressions of anime is the dangerous trap of Otaku Old Age. That point in our fandoms when we think that we've learned all there is to learn about anime, and that our opinions are paramount to all others, and inevitably we get picky and choosey. Many fans have formulated a terrible first impression of a new show or series, just because it didn't measure up to their high standards of anime, which, with each year becomes more impossible to reach.

I'll be the first to admit that I am no exception to the norm. I formulate odd notions on anime, and I allow the ear-raping fans to muddle my take on a show long before it even gets its first episode aired. Sometimes, I see a show that looks good, and because of third-party interference, I get disgusted with it, and then judge it pretty harshly.

A few examples of my allowing myself to fall prey to judging an anime solely on its first impression, and what my impressions were.

Piano
This was one of those shows that had me wondering about the content, because of the box, and the fact that it was about a girl that was blooming into love, and she played the piano, and everything was more or less coming of age. Little did I know that I was going to spend two weeks forcing myself to finish a relatively short series, because it was so butt-clenchingly boring!
 Higurashi
At first, I had only a brief write up on RACS website to go off of, and I was looking for something rated mature. Not because I wanted gore or violence, but because I wasnted obscure and perverted. Later on as the license changed hands, I lost interest when I saw that it was about moe girls butchering each other over and over again. I thought the children were going to be solving crimes, not making them! What the effing hell?
 One Piece
I had never heard of One Piece until FUNimation picked up its license, and even then it looked outdated, old school and reeked of cliche pirate nonsense. I passed it over a long time ago, because I simply hated the look of the characters. Now surprisingly, I hate the fans of the show as much as the show, and it's managed to work itself out relatively nice. I don't have to watch it, and my bias will know no limits.
 Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
Originally, I think the biggest deciding factor for me in buying this anime was the "Magical Girl" attribution in the title, but after the first four episodes, I felt as if I had been hoodwinked, and that my wallet had been nabbed. I hated that show so much, and after all the time I spent thinking it was going to be a great anime, because how could frilly magical girls be wrong?
 Panty & Stocking
I was probably still reeling from Gainax's idiocy when this show premiered, and for days before it began, I was hearing the fans literally cream and spooge all over themselves for a show that featured whorish moe gothic sluts. I was so turned off by the fans, that when I sat down to watch the first couple of episodes, I felt physically nauseated by what I was watching. I not only felt that I judged it by its cover, but I actually feel that I judged it for the best.
So there you have it, a brief look at some of the shows that I've avoided, watched and dropped, suffered through, and generally discovered were nothing like what I imagined them to be once I sat down to give them a good once over.

As educated as the fan-base is these days, what with access to the internet, and write-ups and reviews, you'd think we'd still learn to come away with at least a different over-all impression of a series, rather than a bad first one.

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