As an anime fan and writer, I’ve had the opportunity to amass an anime collection that would make many folks green with envy. Over the course of my career, I’ve had the opportunity to watch, and write about truly incredible experiences. Be it the charmingly goofy Ghost Sweeper Mikami or the exhiarating Yugo the Negotiator, I’ve been given the privilege of discovering countless hidden gems in the market. Unfortunately, I’ve also had the displeasure of discovering some of the worst titles known to man. These aren’t always “shows”, nor are they always remotely watchable. They’re the embarrassments of the industry, normally relegated to the darkest corners of the bargain bin or the bottom of some unmarked drawer. In recent years, though, I’ve come to embrace the terrible. These abominations of the anime industry have proven to be a source of entertainment,particularly in the company of friends.
Last year, I began a monthly Bad Anime Night (BAN), in which I gather close friends and colleagues to partake of the worst of the worst released by the anime industry. Tonight, I’d like to take a bit of time to dissect
Usually, I begin preparation about three weeks out. I’ll send invites to friends via social media, and ask for an RSVP so I can get a decent head count for the night. Once the RSVPs are in, and the attendee count is tallied, I’ll do a quick search for restauarants in the area, and post up a series of four or five for people to vote on as dinner choices. About three days from the event, I’ll tally votes and send the word of the final location.
The day of the event, I’ll take a run to the grocery store, and grab the essentials: chips, salsa, soft drinks, and the like. Afterwards, it’s cleaning, testing, and simply making sure that everything works. I’ll arrange the titles for the night on the shelf for easy access, and place the remotes in easy reach.
The Evening Itself
At about 5:00, the prep time is over, and the game begins. Guests begin rolling in, and dinner follows shortly afterward. Once we return from dinner, the snacks are lain out and the evening begins.
I’ll sometimes begin each series by explaining some background information. Who made it, why it’s included, and the like. Usually, though, I’ll just hype up the crowd by detailing some of the worst and most sordid aspects of the show.
At this point, the evening begins proper. People goof around, crack jokes, and really just let themselves be as goofy as they want to be. Most of the time, though, people will sit back, watch, and enjoy the show.
I’ll often keep an eye on the crowd, to see when it’s time to switch out, and when to capture those special moments of shock or disgust (some of my favorites are pictured below, click for full size).
While the night’s focus is on terrible anime, I don’t like to show just that. Every few episodes, I’ll mix thing up with a “palette cleanser”: a rare gem or a generally strong show that will energize the crowd. As the night wears on, People slowly begin to filter out, and the crowd gradually shrinks. By about 1AM, I’ll bid farewell to the final guests, and begin cleaning up before retiring myself.
While the night lasts but a few hours, the memories forged are those that will last for some time to come. And, there is some work in getting everything to run right, it’s worth it for the experience.
Thanks to the regular BAN crew for being part of this,,. and double thanks to Zach Coursen for contributing photos! I don’t say this enough, but you all rock!