Random Thoughts

Commentary: A Love Affair With Bad Anime

Call me strange, but I’m one of those people that absolutely loves bad anime. I’ve admitted it in the past, and I’ll continue to say it going forward. Yes, I’m the weirdo that actually bought a copy of Rescue Me, Mave-chan, and I personally insisted on slogging through the entirety of the horror that is Geneshaft.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj2fOcyXIIs’]

I’m not going to make up some cheesy “There’s a redeeming factor in everything!” comment here because, frankly, there usually isn’t. Some of these shows are so unapologetically bad, so god-awful that they are a blight to the anime industry as a whole. However, I still lap them up.

There are a few reasons for my love of the absolute crap of the anime industry, both from a writing perspective and a fan’s perspective. As a writer, I’ll be blunt and say that, frankly, it’s easier to review a show that I absolutely hate, than one than I love. With shows I hate, I can really get creative, and find new ways to shred a terrible title. There’s no need to nitpick, since the “nits” are really gaping issues, and any good the show has tends to stand out among the crap, making it easier to highlight.

As a fan, things get a bit more complicated. I’m not the type of person that does the whole “ironic watching” gig. I’m more of a person that just enjoys, well, “dumpster diving”, if I can call it that. As most know, I like mucking through absolute crap to find those diamonds in the rough. And, if it means that I have to sit through dozens of volumes of Real Bout High School or Magical Meow Meow Taruto to find one Nerima Daikon Brothers, Don’t Leave Me Alone Daisy, or Jewel BEM Hunter Lime, so be it. At the same time, there’s something fun about the more terrible titles. I don’t know why, but just knowing a show is bad opens the door to that “bad horror movie” experience. It’s hard to explain this feeling, but everyone knows what it’s like to watch a movie where the serial killer is clearly behind the closet door.

Getting friends involved only makes the experience more fun. When three or four people get in on the action, a “good” bad show becomes the perfect icebreaker, as jokes begin flying, and the snickers begin rolling in. Shows like Junk Boy, Mad Bull, and Final Fantasy Unlimited take on a completely different feel, and double as educational tools. After all, how many people would be proud to own a copy of Angel Cop, Galaxy Fraulein Yuna, or Cosplay Complex? Aside from yours truly, of course.

While I’m not advising any of you to go out and buy the worst anime title you can think of, I do recommend that everyone check out some of the “bad” anime titles out there. You’ll be amazed at how much fun the experience can be.

About the author

Samantha Ferreira

Samantha Ferreira is Anime Herald’s founder and editor-in-chief. A Rhode Island native, Samantha has been an anime fan since 1992, and an active member of the anime press since 2002, when she began working as a reviewer for Anime Dream. She launched Anime Herald in 2010, and continues to oversee its operations to this day. Outside of journalism, Samantha actively studies the history of the North American anime fandom and industry, with a particular focus on the 2000s anime boom and bust. She’s a huge fan of all things Sakura Wars, and maintains series fansite Combat Revue Review when she has free time available. When not in the Anime Herald Discord, Samantha can typically be found on Bluesky.

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