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ahelo 2012-03-27 17:03

"it gets better. I swear!"
One of the common gestures within Anime fans is that they always tell each other that a certain Anime will get better and make them sure that they will like it when they get to that part. It almost never works but everyone always says this line one way or another.

The question is, have you actually watched a series that did get better?

I do have some examples on my part.

Kobato. : What started out as an episodic "I need to collect wishes" thing turned into a really heartfelt drama in the end of its run. It really turned the tables for me, and I really was surprised that IT DID GET BETTER.

To Aru Majutsu no Index II: I might be alone is this sentiment but Index II really pushed through in its last arc. I really hated the whole running around in Dahaisesai or the Queen Fleet arc and it made me feel that Index would never evolve to its usual antics. Lo and behold, we get a pretty awesome (a bit clusterf*ck) big battle within the walls of Academy city, finally starting the whole Magic Vs. Science premise. It was something I had been waiting for a long time. Of course that Mikoto date episode was the best episode I have ever seen and a perfect way to turn around that stupid ship arc. I truly say Index II got BETTER I SWEAR.

Does anyone have other examples?

Random32 2012-03-27 17:14

From the season just finished, I would say Mirai Nikki has jumped out as a series that got much better as it went on.

warita 2012-03-27 17:19


Originally Posted by ahelo (Post 4077156)

The question is, have you actually watched a series that did get better?

I have watched a TON of animes, that get better. I am surprised you havent run into shows with a slow start yet.

I say this a lot to people, when I recommend a show: oh, it has a slow start or the beginnig is totally weird, but once you get past the 5th or 6th episode, it improves majorly. And so it does.

Sometimes it makes me wonder, if I hadtn given up on some series too soon.

The Butcher 2012-03-27 17:27

Yeah, but some got good and fell. Some of then never did get better.

Thing is, I watched Steins;Gate. First few episodes made me think it was god awful. Then I came back to watch it to see all the hype. The plot starting moving a few eps later, and I hit myself for quitting earlier.

Another example for me being YYH. Didn't get interesting until that one arc with Suzaku(The lightning guy).

I could list more, but that'd be too much work. It all just depends on what anime it is mostly.

Triple_R 2012-03-27 17:29

There's actually a lot of anime I can think of that do in fact get better (depending on what you're looking for, of course). Generally speaking, I find that anime shows have better 2nd halves than 1st halves. This is particularly true of action-oriented anime shows.

All of the following shows are one's where the show improved considerably the farther it went along:

1) Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha - First few episodes are a bit slow. It really does get better once a certain former ISML winner shows up.

2) Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS - The first half is almost painfully slow. The second half is simply loaded with great action scenes and good character moments.

3) Shakugan no Shana Season 2 - Precisely the same as Nanoha StrikerS

4) Clannad and Clannad: After Story - Clannad was at least decent even from the very beginning, but it improves at a fairly steady and consistent rate the further you go along, with the key episodes of After Story being some of the best anime episodes I've ever seen.

5) Saki - It was a decently fun show early on, but I can see why some might find it a bit boring there. However, it really hits its groove once a certain lengthy arc begins.

6) Tiger and Bunny - A milder version of Nanoha StrikerS/Shana Season 2. I found the first half a little bit slow, while everything from the climatic arc of the first half through the entire second half is just about complete gold, imo.

7) Kiddy Grade - Similar to what the OP wrote about Kobato. Spends a few episodes being episodic, but really picks up a lot once the overarching narrative comes into focus.

Flower 2012-03-27 17:31

Hmm ... for me Saki was engaging from the very first ep!

Anyhoo - I tend to really enjoy long, many ep'd stories/series, so many possibilities come to mind, but I guess the ones that are really standing out in my mind at the moment are Kemono no Soujo Erin and The Twelve Kingdoms....

Eater of All 2012-03-27 17:32

Lots of shows do this, especially those plot-orientated ones where the beginning is merely a set-up/intro for stuff later on. Of the top of my head, Persona 4 improved significantly once the cast is assembled. Bakuman started out zzz with the romance and etc., but now it rocks every other show in the season. Nichijou also got better near midway... though I'm not sure why.

Of course, there's always just as much, if not more, shows that get worse. :rolleyes:

Eragon 2012-03-27 17:33

The only show I watched which got better later on is Steins;Gate. The first 7 or so episodes were mediocre at best but after that it became quite good. Apart from this I can' t seem to find any anime that I watched which wasn't good from the get go.

Forsaken_Infinity 2012-03-27 17:35

Too many to list.

Triple_R 2012-03-27 17:39


Originally Posted by Flower (Post 4077206)
Hmm ... for me Saki was engaging from the very first ep!

It was for me too. :)

But then, I mainly watched it for the yuri and the moe. :heh:

People who watched it mainly for the mahjong/sports competition had to wait awhile before they started to really like it, is the general reaction I've seen to Saki on anime blogs.

Kameruka 2012-03-27 17:46

Guilty Crown. It actually a false hope to begin with.

kakakka 2012-03-27 17:48

From recent animes I watched, FMA:Brotherhood, Baccano and ZZ Gundam.

I'm not into FMA, and the beginning 10 episodes of Brotherhood are not that good, it was like labour making it as weekly watching. But after around that mark, I kinda started to like it and I watched 3~5 episodes a day.

Baccano was confusing from the beginning. When it got better, I have to rewatch from the start (and get the Dub) so I can fully enjoy it.

ZZ Gundam is kinda like Baccano, but instead of getting confused, I was kinda not into mood at my first viewing. The second time, I marathoned the series from start to end.

Goshin 2012-03-27 18:58

I'd say had my friend not have told me that, Hitman reborn gets better i would have dropped it shortly after starting it. thankfully i didn't and it payed off.

RegalStar 2012-03-27 19:00

Most good stories have setup where things feel slower, mainly so they can really hit hard when they start properly.

GreatTeacherKen 2012-03-27 19:09

I'm a person who tends to watch/read series whether I like it or not until the end once I start so I don't need people to convince me, "it gets better!" in order for me to finish it.

I think Gungrave could have skipped over most of its first episode since a later episode recycles most of the same material anyway but places it in context. But Gungrave got much more interesting as the characters are fleshed out after making a weak first impression.

I have a similar reaction to the Berserk anime, though it's like the original manga in that sense. In this case, the first episode feels more disconnected from the rest of the story since the anime never properly explains how things get to the point that it does. People who haven't read what happens in the manga, which does clearly explain what happened, will probably be completely confused.

For manga, Rosario + Vampire is the work that I think improved the most radically. The earlier chapters have rather bland artwork and the characters seemed like standard harem archetypes, but somehow around halfway into the first manga, Ikeda Akihisa's artwork improves radically to the point that it seems like the earlier chapters were drawn by someone else. The protagonist Tsukune seems to benefit the most from the art evolution; he looks dorky in the early chapters, but after the art evolution it's easy to see why he attracts so many women. Ikeda's artwork after the improvement is one of my favorites in terms of manga. The characters also get better development, particularly Moka who I thought was kind of bland at first, but I like her much more now as I think her personality is a lot more fleshed out.

bhl88 2012-03-27 19:14

Madoka Magica: people thought it was your average mahou shoujo.

Echoes 2012-03-27 19:16

I think a great deal of anime do "get better." If a plot-based series peaks during its first few episodes, that's usually not a good thing. They need time to get started, and they usually need an exciting, or at least gratifying, climax or resolution.


Originally Posted by Flower (Post 4077206)
Hmm ... for me Saki was engaging from the very first ep!

Not me. I think Saki is a good example of a series that got significantly better as it went on. The first few episodes weren't bad, but they were unremarkable. This is easily remedied by the fabulous later episodes, though.


Originally Posted by Kameruka (Post 4077236)
Guilty Crown. It actually a false hope to begin with.

I think Guilty Crown's best episodes were its first 2-3. Those were enjoyable. The series never reached that level again for me, so in my case this is an example of the complete reverse.

A recent example that comes to mind is Persona 4. The first few episodes were a complete mess to me, someone who has not played the game. The pacing was awful; if they were going to do things this quickly anyway, they should have just opted for something like in medias res. However, the series gets a lot better, I'm very glad I chose to stick with it.

Another, albeit less severe case, is one of my favorite little underrated series, "Wagaya no Oinari-sama." The first episode would leave you with an absolute misapprehension about the rest of series, which is pretty much a full-on comedy charm-fest.

totoum 2012-03-27 19:39


Originally Posted by ahelo (Post 4077156)
Kobato. : What started out as an episodic "I need to collect wishes" thing turned into a really heartfelt drama in the end of its run. It really turned the tables for me, and I really was surprised that IT DID GET BETTER.

Yeah I almost dropped it but at episode 13

Spoiler for kobato:

UN-GO was written off early by a lot of people but it really kept getting better as the show kept going and added characters such as Kazamori.It really does a great job of world building.

Kamisama Dolls,nothing had me ready for the wham episode that was episode 7.

Ore no Imouto,once it gets past the Kirino antics in the early episodes I enjoyed it a lot more,especialy the true end OVAs.

synaesthetic 2012-03-27 19:43


Originally Posted by bhl88 (Post 4077371)
Madoka Magica: people thought it was your average mahou shoujo.

I actually did this with Madoka for the opposite reason. I thought it was going to be some weird psychobabbly navel-gazing hipster pretentious-fest, but after watching past episode one, I was hooked. :)

Archon_Wing 2012-03-27 20:32

Pretty much all of my favorite anime didn't start out impressive.

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