The Philosophy of 1
One of the more loathsome things I’ve ever seen . . .
I was watching California Crisis with some fine folks who enjoy anime of the terribad variety (by the way, California Crisis is an awesome terribad show; highly recommended by me!). Afterward, we started talking a bit about our general experiences watching the various terribad anime we/they have watched during these weekly meetings, and it was brought up that even though I’ve watched everything they have watched (whether in the group or on my own), I have not given a single anime I’ve seen a score of “1” despite viewing some truly awful, putrid shit. It got me thinking a bit about how I approach anime.
I like to be negative in a joking way on occasion, but I think I’m generally positive when viewing anything. I go into things expecting them to be good, unless I’m given reason to not make that assumption (either by other people or by the show itself). And extending that further, I will search high and low for a positive experience, even in the worst shit through which I suffer. In basically every anime I’ve seen, there’s been some sort of positive experience (intentional or not) somewhere in there. Maybe really deep down, but it’s been there. And that’s why I haven’t given a 1 to anything I’ve seen.
Even though scores are generally silly things that matter only to the people giving them (unless you have a bug up your ass or something), 10s and 1s are pretty special to me. The former should signify something that could not possibly entertain you more; the latter, something that could not possibly entertain you less. A 1, to me, is a black hole of entertainment, an empty void into which, if I believed in the existence of the human soul, that spirit would surely be sucked, never to be seen again. If I get some sort of entertainment from something, no matter how rare and precious that nugget of entertainment is, then that show could not possibly be a 1 to me. (It’s the same reason why I could never think of Plan 9 from Outer Space or Manos: The Hands of Fate as the worst movie ever: How could something that entertaining be the worst movie ever??)
If I ever give a 1, it would probably be a gut call (and I might quit anime forever afterward), but perhaps the requirements would be like this: Obscenely boring (the biggest sin of entertainment); utter shit in both writing and animation; unbelievably irritating and/or fucking disgusting as fuck; and, really, I can feel it taking years off my life, leaving me a hollow shell of a human being, bitter toward all positive experience for the rest of time. I don’t take entertainment that seriously, so this is a truly rare event for me. If it gets me to ignore all common sense and dive headlong into vomit-inducing rage . . . well, that’s a pretty god damn terrible show.
But just to show how quickly a show can slide on the continuum: Of everything I have seen, Shuffle! has been the closest to 1 territory. (I’m 14 episodes into it, for the record, and stalling as much as possible.) Everything about it pushes every button within me, and I find the whole show just loathsome. It makes me feel genuinely horrible afterward. That said, after a certain point, the show becomes fucking hilarious because it launches into absurd melodrama rather than focusing on soulless harem shit with a braindead cast of utter pissfucks. And boom! Right there, graduated from 1 territory to 2. Shit, man, all the drama with Primula? I was laughing my ass off the whole time.
But that’s just how I view it. I certainly can’t begrudge folks who give out plenty of ones, or those who have vastly different reasons for their low scores than me. I find it kind of interesting, in fact; I like hearing about what people look for in their entertainment, and what makes them tick (in good and bad ways).
Just for a fun, a quickie view of the terribad stuff we’ve watched . . .
– Garzey’s Wing: Gave it a 2. Poorly made and truly terrible, but fuck, that English dub is fucking hysterical. The first episode is a classic of awfulness. So awesome.
– Prince of Tennis: The Two Samurai — The First Game: Gave it a 5. Not good at all, but hilariously over the top enough to make it a fun time. Tennis killed the dinosaurs, etc.
– Roots Search: Gave it a 3. I could actually make a 1 case for this, because it’s so horrifically boring, but there’s just enough goofy stuff in there to keep it afloat. (Vagina-mouthed aliens, sudden nakedness, etc.)
– MD Geist: Gave the first a 3, and the second a 2. The first is hilarious because it’s so dumb and macho in the tradition of the ’80s. The second is another that comes close to 1 territory by virtue of being dull as fucking fuck, but it doesn’t really rise above its dullness to become a special sort of awful, and thus does not deserve to be highlighted.
– Hanappe Bazooka: I gave it a 4. This might get me flogged, but while I think it’s bad, I don’t believe it’s that bad. It’s just Go Nagai being dumb, goofy and gross; at least it’s not dull.
– Legend of Duo: Gave it a 2. The score is for the sheer ineptitude of its creation, but seriously, this shit is great. The only thing it’s missing is a properly terrible English dub. That would put it over the top for me. I think Legend of Duo deserves it, too. If I ever win the lottery, I am licensing this shitpile, hiring awful actors and dubbing this garbage.
– Apocalypse Zero: Gave it a 2. Disgusting, horrible, and made my eyes bleed, and I would surely never see it again, but I’ll give it this: Not boring.
– Itsudatte My Santa!: Gave it a 2. Probably the closest to a 1 from the terribad viewing sessions. Perhaps the most irritating thing I have ever viewed in my 25 years of existence. A small child could punch me repeatedly in the nutsack and scream in my ear for whatever new god damn toy kids are into these days, and I would be less irritated than I was watching this shameful chapter in anime history. Truly loathsome . . . and, yet, I couldn’t give it a 1. Lord knows why. Perhaps the pain just did not consume me properly, even though I wanted to hang myself by the conclusion. A gut call.
– Project ICE: Gave it a 2. Truly awful, but I was occasionally entertained by how seriously it takes itself despite having a ridiculously stupid story. Also, I damn near died with laughter every time that one girl spoke. Holy shit, it sounds like it’s allergy season and someone replaced her lungs with helium canisters.
– The Rebirth of Buddha: Gave it a 5. This actually is quite boring in many places (the pacing is truly horrid), but my god there is so much goofy shit in this, and for that I love it.
– Blue Flames: Gave it a 3. I thought it was really boring, but it’s not terribly made on a level that requires more recognition than this.
– California Crisis: Gave it a 6, mostly for sheer, dumb entertainment. A stupid OVA, but the entertaining kind of stupid. Also, I am a sucker for America as seen through the eyes of outsiders. (Just one of many reasons why I love Mad Bull 34.)
This entry was posted on 05/21/2011 at 6:53 pm and is filed under Meta Sucks and Yet I Am Doing This, Random Shit with tags terribad. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.