Minor spoilers for Sarazanmai and Hinamatsuri.
Supposedly, there’s this thing called a “three-episode rule” that says you should watch three episodes of an anime before deciding to drop it. But, if you’re like me and you’re checking out every season’s new anime, three episodes is TOO MUCH time to waste. No, I’ve honed my critical senses to the point where I can usually get a sense of whether or not a show is trash within the first twenty minutes. Bad writing will usually rear its ugly head right from the beginning – sometimes as soon as the very first scene.
If an anime series starts with a map and a five minute narration of the world’s history, I’m immediately going to drop it. Nothing annoys me more than when a character drones on about its setting instead of just SHOWING it to me. Forced exposition like this is exhausting, and it’s almost impossible to actually retain these information dumps once they’re over. A setting needs to grow and expand along with the characters. A fictional world needs to be explored naturally, not explained away immediately. Keeping a little mystery to a series’ setting and characters is what makes viewers want to keep watching. If everything gets given away in the trailer or the opening sequence, what’s the point of sticking around?