(This is a part of the series of posts, 12 Days of Christmas, done in my own way.)
What if you had low, zero or vague expectations on an upcoming series, but you decided to try watching it, delighting you in the process? This list of anime is basically those which I didn’t initially expect to entertain me, as I initially chose them randomly and not necessarily out of pure desire to watch them and whatnot, but managed to grab my attention for the most of their run.
Without further ado:
Kamigami no Asobi
Weak, indecisive, clumsy, and annoying female protagonists are common in the reverse harem department. My horrible watching experience with Diabolik Lovers, which was so terrible it scared the hell out of me, I was doubtful to watch KamiAso. But I set a rule upon myself that I should watch at least one shoujo series, whether it was reverse harem or not, during each season. It turned out really enjoyable for the most part, and the protagonist wasn’t the typical damsel in distress that I’m already fed up with. It’s really rare to find a level-headed reverse harem lead like Kusanagi Yui (CV: Hayami Saori ❤ ). Plus, the harem isn’t too bad, either.
Sidonia no Kishi
Another full CGI anime?! Polygon Pictures?! Yes, and yes. Having watched Ars Nova, which I admit to have fairly enjoyed despite having forgotten what it really was all about, wasn’t enough for me to know what to expect with Knights of Sidonia. More precisely, I didn’t want to expect anything so I could watch it with an open mind.
The characters looked mainly static, which kind of worked well to build the setting of a rather militaristic space community. It was odd at first that the camera positioning didn’t feel stable when it focuses on characters, especially during encounters with Gauna (the space monsters). But that added a “floating” effect to where the characters stand, since they really are in space regardless of the gravity in Sidonia.
A lot of weird things (humans genetically engineered to photosynthesize? no need to eat daily?) were thrown at my face while watching the show, but these created a unique feel for the setting, which was the most striking aspect. Character interactions were not that exceptional, but the space battles were really enjoyable for me, especially in those last two episodes which was an important battle for the survival of humanity in Sidonia.
I might have already poured enough love for this last month. Okay, I admit that I sort of expected this to be another cookie-cutter “cute girls doing cute things” anime, which I don’t mind watching anyway. It’s a good thing that it blew away my expectations from the get go.
Studio Pierrot?! Yes. Did not expect this to be anything visually spectacular, but…
Baby Steps is an ordinary sports story. You don’t get ridiculously overpowered characters here. They’re ordinary people, just living their own lives which are nothing flashy. No colorful special tennis moves. No teenage angst. No forced drama. Just a peaceful ordinary life you can watch. You get an average-looking protagonist, only academically excellent and note-loving straight A that he is. He decides to do some exercise… long story short, he ends up joining the neighborhood tennis club, where his love interest is a member of. Of course, the romance is not the main focus–that’s why it’s also a good romance sports anime. It’s also very educational, which is a plus for me.
It’s so ordinary–that is done exceptionally well–I really love it.