Sunday, July 23, 2017

We're Three Episodes into the Summer Season

The 'Three Episode Rule" is a somewhat controversial concept in Anime fandom.  That you should give a show at least three episodes before you drop it.  I decided to anyalize my thoughts on it in the context of the three shows I'd been keeping an eye so far this Summer.  I may watch more Summer shows later on, once the Simuldubs start.

But for context.  Digibro did a trio of videos on the subject (they were the first Digibro videos I watched) expressing his disagreement with it.  While I very much agree with his defense of the first episodes of Steins;Gate and Lucky Star, and continually change my mind what I think of the broadcast order of Haruhi.  (I kinda wish the Haruhi novels had just been done as movies from the start, same with most Light Novels.)  They don't really change the fact that a lot of Anime first episodes are difficult to see what's great about them on their own.

Thing is that I kinda don't even see it as unique to Anime.  The Pilot of Pretty Little Liars has become iconic to us fans who followed the show for seven years of continually calling back to it, but it doesn't on it's own capture what that show is.  I also remember this coming up a lot when The Vampire Diaries started.  But Western shows are often less crafted in advance then Anime, so their early episodes often include elements that the writers chose to drop later.  The first episode I watched of One Tree Hill was it's sixth one.

While there are some Anime that quickly annoyed me in ways I had to drop them off of only 1 or 2 episodes, I generally agree with the three episode rule.  So how good is this season at demonstrating why?

Netsuzou Trap is my first time watching an Anime I already read some of the Manga for.  So I didn't need three episodes to know what I think plot-wise.  I'm just deciding what I think of it as an adaptation and so that makes it a little different.  I brought it up in my recent post on the Animated Year One movie, and indeed I feel kinda like I stuck around for episode three only because I was planning to do this post.  For now I've just put it on hold though, since it's important to the Yuri genre.  If it gets a Dub (which I doubt) I'll give it a second chance then.

Princess Principal is definitely a show that you Get much more once you've seen three episodes.  I did a post on the first episode of itI commented on Tumblr about how the second episode made me think of Pretty Little Liars.  But with the third episode I now know I'm in for the long haul unless they really drop the ball somehow.  I highly recommend everyone check it out.  I currently think it'll be the crown jewel of this season, as Twin Angel was last season.

And then there is Fate/Apocrypha.  (This show I may have seen the fourth episode of by the time I finish writing this).  It's art-style bugs me, and how quickly their introducing the whole cast reminds me of things I've said before about my issues with Gotham, Game of Thrones and True Blood.  I made a Tumblr post on just the first two episodes.  And then a smaller one on the third.

The show definitely should Not be one's introduction to Fate/.  You need to start with the UFOtable shows as I've explained before.

Digibro and Some Guy are doing a podcast on Fate/Apocrypha, I kind of agree with most of their criticisms.  None the less the show hasn't completely lost me yet.

Getting back to the Three Episode Rule.  I think in general Light Novel adaptations are the main exceptions.  And so I'm kind of curious what episode will mark finishing the first Light Novel of this series?

But regardless the show only has a chance of appealing to you if you're already into Fate/.

Update: Now that I've seen Episode 4 of Fate/Apocrypha , it was way better then the first three episodes.  It feels like this probably was the climax of the first novel.

Fat Blond Hitler Stach guy is an amusing caricature.

A key improvement is not forcing every single character into the episode.

So for Fate/Apocrypha I recommend giving it 4 episodes till you make up your mind.

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