7 Anime I Ain't Never Gonna Talk About!

As of me writing this, it’s the one-year anniversary of the most-stressful Summer I’ve had in recent memory. A combination of factors kept me under constant duress, making it difficult for me to write for Infinite Rainy Day outside of my permanently unfinished Digimon retrospective series (so stop asking.) Now that that’s behind me, I’ll hopefully maintain a schedule without suffering burnout. That said, there are shows and movies I’ll never discuss, making my options much more limited. I think I’ll cover several of them now in my "semi-ignorant" manner:

1. Spice & Wolf*

Beginning the list is an entry with an asterisk. Because, honestly, Spice & Wolf is quite good; in fact, it’s kind of brilliant. It takes something I never thought’d interest me, market economics, and revels in it without feeling boring. So much of the show is talking, talking and more talking, to the point where you’d normally want to strangle the players involved so they’d shut up. And yet, via clever writing, it’s consistently entertaining.

It helps that Lawrence and Holo is one of best “conventional, yet non-conventional” pairs I’ve ever seen in anime. It ranks with Sophie and Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle as an example of how a boring relationship on paper works wonders in practice. Holo would be a manic-pixie dream girl in any other story, but somehow the author of this one made her believable. Considering her dependancy on Lawrence, whom she also makes look better, that’s impressive. Especially since that’s how the manic-pixie dream girl usually works.

In addition, I love this world’s politics! I’m not one to care about socio-economic blathering, since it’s so tedious and confusing, but, again, Spice & Wolf makes it work. If you don’t believe me, listen to the exchanges yourself. They’re wordy, perhaps excessively, but I’ll be damned if they’re not fascinating! Honest to God!

So why’d I include the asterisk? Simple: because I’d love to discuss this show in detail…should the universe let me. I’ve seen the entirety of the first season, but Season 2 never seems to work. Not only did the dub beyond Episode 2 not make it to FUNimation’s YouTube channel back when they weren’t picky, but it was quickly pulled altogether and relegated to their website. When I tried re-watching it on Netflix, the show was yanked during the end credits sequence of Episode 1. That leaves FUNimation’s website, but their video player has been so awful lately I doubt I’d have the patience to marathon it again. In short, it’s not worth the effort.

2. Akira/Ghost in the Shell

This one’s tricky, but I clumped the two movies together for a reason. I’m well-aware of their popularity. I’m well-aware of their legacies. I’m even well-aware that I’m supposed to have watched them at least once to be a “true anime fan”. And I have, the former even twice.

That doesn’t mean I want to discuss Ghost in the Shell, however. The movie’s so uninteresting it nearly put me to sleep. It’s slow, un-engaging, laden with tiring exposition dumps and its climax is underwhelming. Also, its dub, particularly the voice of Motoko Kusanagi, is dreadful. As in, the dub sounds like it was recorded in the 90’s. It even makes Kusanagi’s philosophical diatribe about swimming, which was already painful, into unintentional parody.

Akira is a different story. I’ve already reviewed it on ScrewAttack; in fact, I gave it a 3/5. Like Ghost in the Shell, I don’t think it’s all that interesting. It looks nice, especially since it came out in 1988, but its dialogue is so forced and bizarre that I can’t imagine anyone, fictional or not, ever saying it. Movies aren’t real-life, but there’s a limit to suspension of disbelief before you arrive at parody territory. It doesn’t help that the story is ridiculous and excessively violent, leading to an explanation of Akira that insults my intelligence.

I don’t mean to harp on the respective movies’ fan-bases. You’re entitled to like whatever you want without protest from me. But I can’t see myself discussing these two works any time soon. Especially Akira. That’d be me repeating myself, and I don’t like repeating myself unless I have something new to add.

3. The Big Three: One Piece!, Naruto and Bleach

I’ll reiterate a point I made in another Infinite Rainy Day article: I have no patience for long-running Shonen. Like, at all. If you expect me to watch an anime show, it’d better damn well be under 100 episodes. Otherwise, forget it. Do any of these fit into fewer than 100 episodes? The answer is “no”.

Besides, I’ve never been that fond of the premises anyway. Particularly Bleach, which comes off as Soul Eater mixed with those generic martial arts movies that put more effort into their stunts than their stories. Yeah, you know the ones. As for Naruto? Tried it, but didn’t get too far before I became bored. Plus, the shows are well-over 100 episodes long, most being pointless filler. Again, not interested in that.

One Piece! is a tad different. I’ve liked what I’ve seen, mostly, but it wasn’t enough to hook me. The show spends so much time on hijinks that its main focus, finding the legendary treasure, often gets buried and/or neglected. Speaking of which, when IS this show ending? I know the episode count is well-over 600 by now, but there isn’t a foreseeable finishing point.

Overall, these shows don’t interest me. They’re popular, true, but that doesn’t mean I have to care. Besides, even if they did fit my criteria of “less than 100 episodes”, they still wouldn’t interest me. So yeah, not talking about them. Sorry!

4. Dragon Ball/Z/GT

This is a similar situation to #3, except with an additional component. On one hand, the three shows combined make up 508 episodes. That alone is too much for me. But outside that, the Dragon Ball universe is kinda…dumb? Like, not even in a fun way. I know so many of you are likely to criticize me, but it’s true: this franchise is unbelievably stupid.

Let’s start with Dragon Ball. It’s easily the most fun, but it drags a lot during its tournaments. And a lot of its filler episodes are inconsequential. It takes forever to get anywhere, and when it does…not much seems to have been accomplished. Like, what was the point of Goku becoming a gorilla other than to become tailless? Or Bulma having her panties snatched by Goku so she can unintentionally flash Master Roshi? These are moments the show tries to make interesting, but they’re not. Also, the recurring villain, whose name I keep forgetting, and his lackeys are lame.

Dragon Ball Z is next. This one is irritating in hindsight, even though I liked it as a kid. The fights drag on forever, it uses a lot of repeated stills and it has so much filler that it’s boring (I know that Dragon Ball Z Kai fixes that, but I’m not biting.) I get that the Manga was unfinished during its initial run, but Toei could’ve found other ways of filling in the gaps without 12 shots of the same character charging up, right? Also, death has no long-term consequences. Sorry to say, but when you can wish a dead friend back to life in the blink of an eye, what’s the point of mourning his or her death?

I’d talk about Dragon Ball GT, but you all hate it. I don’t get why, it’s no more awful than its predecessors, but I’ll admit that it futzes around with continuity so frequently I stopped caring once Goku became a Super Saiyan 4. It’s the shortest entry, at 64 episodes, but it still drags far too often. So yeah, that’s my take on the most-popular Shonen franchise ever.

5. Sailor Moon

Of all the entries on this list, this is the one I’m most disappointed that I won’t ever discuss (okay, maybe not THE most disappointed. That belongs to another entry.) I remember Sailor Moon quite fondly as a child, so much so that I was willing to tolerate its uninspired dub. As I got older, however, I realized it wasn’t feasible to watch the series in its entirety. There was simply too much in the way.

For one, the original dub cut a lot of episodes and content, making it difficult to sit down and marathon. Too much was absent, particularly the final season for…reasons, I guess? And let’s not forget that the finer details were cut, namely the whole “lesbian romance”. Because of this, as well as the forced morals, it was impossible to take the show seriously. So, naturally, I avoided it.

Even now, as the new dub's in the works, Sailor Moon is way too long. Like the big three and the Dragon Ball franchise, the show is well-over 100 episodes. And it has a lot of unnecessary filler, including the infamous “Usagi tries to take care of sick people and screws up” episode that I’ve seen most of, yet can’t stomach watching again. It’s too goofy for its own good, and when it becomes serious, well…death doesn’t have long-term consequences either. (What is it about Toei and their aversion to death? Digimon did it too, and I loved that show!)

I feel bad because I’ve heard good stuff about the un-cut version. And it’s not like Sailor Moon is bad! On the contrary, most of it is quite good! But it’s too long and filler-heavy. So while I’d recommend checking it out, I can’t see myself marathoning it in the near-future.

6. Neon Genesis Evangelion

Every entry on this list so far has had a practical reason for why I won’t discuss it. For some, the reason was technical. Others, it was based on personal experience. Neon Genesis Evangelion is the only one I won’t write about on principle because the show doesn’t interest me. And yet, the irony is that I’m writing about it right now. Yay!

There’s something about the premise that I can’t stand. It’s about a post-apocalyptic world in which teenagers fight giant monsters in EVAs. They also discuss their issues in fourth-wall breaking therapy sessions. This is supposed to be riveting, apparently. Except that I have no intention of listening to it. I already see a psychiatrist to discuss my own baggage, I don’t need to hear someone else do the same.

I know what the bigger conflict is, but I can’t digest that either. What happened to make the world this way? Better yet, why am I supposed to care? I know fans have made videos about this, but the latter question is still there. And I don’t want to have to read or watch ancillary material in order to understand the story, because that’s bad writing.

There are those who’d trash me for saying this about a show I’ve never sat down to see, but I can’t muster any give a damn. Better yet, I don’t want to have to say that in a rant that’d only anger people. (Again, irony much?) Ergo, I’ve opted out. Sorry GRArkada, but this is one entry on your list of “must watch anime” that I’m gonna have to pass on.

7. Revolutionary Girl Utena/Mawaru Penguindrum

Finally, there are these two shows. You’d figure with my appreciation of Yuri Bear Storm that I’d give these a go, right? Especially since they’re both regarded as superior by Ikuhara fans, correct? Well, that’s not the case. I’d love to talk about them, but there’s something getting in the way: bad dubbing.

For Revolutionary Girl Utena, it’s a little more forgivable: the show was dubbed by Central Park Media back when dubbing was still relatively misunderstood. Most of the talent involved had no clue what they were doing, so even the good performances feel a little bit lifeless. Additionally, a lot of the nuance from the original script is lost, which means that I wouldn’t be getting the full picture. It’s unfortunate, because I’ve heard nothing but praise from fans. I’d love to get in on the action, but that dub is holding me back. And since Nozomi Entertainment refuses to let the license go, I doubt it’d be fixed in the near future.

Mawaru Penguindrum too has a bad dub. Except that, this time, it’s deliberate. It’s a Stephen Foster effort, so any attempt at nuance, or respect for the material, is absent in favour of bad jokes and poor casting decisions. I don’t know much per se, but what little I’ve heard hasn’t impressed me. And, like Nozomi Entertainment, Sentai Filmworks refuses to let this license go, meaning that a quality re-dub is nigh-impossible right now.

Would I be up for talking about these two shows if a solid re-dub were attempted? Absolutely. But that’s not a foreseeable possibility, so it’s not happening. It’s a shame because, like I said, I’d love to talk about them! C'est la vie!

And there you have it, 7 anime that I won’t dare write articles about! Except that I did by writing this one. You happy now?


  1. I'll speak for "Neon Genesis Evangelion". I've seen the entire show now and I've no compunction about being very honest regarding my thoughts on it. Its utter garbage, badly and pretentiously written, a pile of pseudo-philosophical drivel pretending to be something meaningful. I obtained ironic enjoyment from the penguin, the giant diamond monster, and the final two episodes, but that's it.

    I get the impression that Evangelion's fans recommend it in good faith, which I why I refuse to speak harshly regarding them personally. But as regards the show itself, I refuse to hold back. There's simply no way around the fact that its trash. No degree of cultural impact, no amount of influence it may have exerted, can ever alter that.

    1. I've heard that Anno was in therapy for depression at the time of writing it, and that the show helped him snap out of the depression. Still, I'll agree that that doesn't necessarily make it worthwhile...


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