Which Anime/Manga Have I Watched/Read?
Seeing that I dislike updating MAL (which has a lot of issues), AniList and AniDB, I'd rather just make my own list and update that. Here's some idea of what you'll be seeing:
- As you'll be able to tell, I despise SoL. I have a real life, don't need to spend time waiting 7 episodes for the dude to... go to the DMV! How fucking exciting! and am mostly a shounen fan (though I am tired of repetitive shounen).
- As an extension of the last point, I despise pointless seasonals and feel that they take away much fo the reputation anime would have as they cheapen the landscape with their cash cow nature. There is no point to just 12 episodes, it is not enough to really established much. Most of these seasonals are garbage SoLs or, even worse, isekais which have no business continuing to exist in 2020. For the love of God, come up with something original.
- I haven't watched many series recently, I mostly read manga and even then its become a rarity.
- Also, I do have a lot of... unpopular opinions (hating SoL in the no-life world is already one). I don't care that you hate me for it. Please continue to waste the remains of your pathetic life on mUh YoOnIx PhIlOsOpHy that you barely even follow and endless binging of anime for the sake of anime. Get off of an imageboard and get a life you pathetic neckbeard.
- Finally, THERE ARE SPOILERS. BE CAREFUL.
- Hunter X Hunter (read & watched both 1999 and 2011 in mid 2019) - Overrated but masterful in both shounen and anime, it's masterful in how it manages to be basically perfect for shounen. Many comment that it feels like a deconstruction of shounen but IMO that's more of Togashi mastering the art of it. It does have many moments where it falls to just regular shounen (Greed Island arc most notably) and its fanbase will refuse to admit it but for the most part it's great. The Chimera Ant arc in particular has earned its reputation as the best arc in all of anime. It's worth a watch even if you aren't an anime fan in general.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable (read & watched both in late 2019) - My personal favourite JoJo part and admittedly the one I started with (yes I was a part skipper, die mad). It has horrible pacing issues early on but once the good part comes in, it quickly becomes peak JoJo. The final bits in particular are incredibly tense and creative, with an atmosphere no other part matches. The final fight imo is incredibly underrated and is easily a top 5 fight in all of anime. It also has the best cast of any JoJo part that I've read/watched imo - Josuke feels like your friend, Okuyasu is one of the few characters in all of fiction that is convincingly stupid, Koichi has good development for JoJo and Jotaro feels cool and mature as hell. Some of the characters were expendable though - Yukako and Rohan really should have been doing a lot more than they did and Kobayashi just... why does he exist at all? The art style is really nice, I think the bright and colourful work is the best in the series. It's worth the watch, though I don't recommend starting with it as I did. I honestly do recommend it for non-shounen fans, though not non-anime fans.
- Berserk (started in summer 2021) - First manga I have read since Rurouni Kenshin last year, and damn is it good! I will be upfront and say that I was spoiled on it pretty early on, but that acutally made it better because each detail (of which there are many), each little part of the plot only adds to the themes. I've never read a story - anime/manga or not - that has rivaled the moral ambiguity of this. A heads up if you want to read it however - the story is dark, gory, disturbing and frankly just have a ton of rape etc. so if you're not one to take that darkness then skip out. Other than that, this is one of the few series I recommend anyone read - manga fan or not. Easily the best thing I've seen since HxH, and honestly looking ot only get better as I read more. Shame Kentaro Miura died...
- Rurouni Kenshin (read in summer 2020) - It's honestly pretty standard shounen but it actually intertwines romance and emotion within it very well. It's one of the few shounens that genuinely feels mature and serious for the most part. It does have its inconsistency between the style of the earlier small stories, the Shishio arc and the Enishi arc but overall unlike Yu Yu Hakusho it handled it well enough (though the two are similar in this) and each arc felt like it flowed into each other well and were masterful in their own respects. It's not gonna wow you past shounen though so don't read/watch if you don't like shounen. Of all of the shounen that stick to the shounen formula, Rurouni Kenshin is arguably the best of them alongside Yu Yu Hakusho.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind (watched in mid 2019) - Unpopular opinion but this was not that good of a show. Golden Wind has interesting stands and great side characters, but most of the good ones die early on and the ones that make it have less development and uniqueness (disliking 4 is not a personality trait). The main protagonist and villain seem mature and cool but really they end up just being bad versions of Part 4's protagonist and villain. In particular, Diavolo sucks and he doesn't pull the mysterious figure bit nearly as well as Yoshikage Kira does. The structure itself felt all too similar to Part 3 for me to really find this unique. This easily was worse than Diamond is Unbreakable and a decline in quality for the series.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders (watched in mid 2019) - Arguably the best and the worst JoJo part outside of Part 6. It has an incredibly repetitive formula, zero character development outside of Polnareff (Kakyoin is mishandled as a foe-turned-ally, Avdol... has very little, Joseph just feels like he's there because he's still alive, Iggy was rushed, Jotaro was actually decent though even if he arguably is just a side character), a lot of generic and predictable battles, and stands that imo are not as interesting or creative as later ones. It is super fun though - it feels campy at times and has its good fights. The battle vs Dio in particular is easily a top 5 fight in all of anime, if not the very best fight. It is something that you could watch over and over again and love every time as though it was your first time watching it. It really is polarized but I thought it was pretty good.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood & Battle Tendency (watched in mid 2019) - There's no sugarcoating it, Part 1 is just not that good. At that moment Araki really was a standard shounen writer and it showed. It felt like the boring and generic 80s anime it basically was. Part 2 was somewhat of a satire almost of this, but also pretty interesting in its own right. Joseph was an engaging and fun JoJo and he fought in an incredibly unique way. Otherwise though Part 2 is just sorta... not that good. It really doesn't diverge all that much from generic shounen in itself. I feel it's about the same level as Part 3, though slightly worse because it doesn't have quite the high moments as Part 3.
- Dragon Ball Z pre-Buu saga (watched in summer 2018) - Even though I liked it, let's be honest here - it's pretty bad. It has little value outside of fights that are generically animated and have no value on their own outside of that. It has no real (good) narrative to drive it at all. Power level has got to be one of the worst power systems and is a perfect showcase of the shows serious lack of depth. Z... well Z's not as bad, there are genuinely decent moments but for the most part it has the same issues as the rest of the series. Z also suffers from inconsistency in its direction - each saga genuinely feels almost like a brand new show, with Frieza saga being a continuation of the original DB, Cell saga being the darker one that amps the power scaling issues to the extreme. I haven't liked DB for over a year now but I was a huge fan before so I feel it belongs in this section.
- Yu Yu Hakusho! (read in summer 2019) - Yu Yu Hakusho is similar to Rurouni Kenshin in that its fundamentally shounen at its core. Granted, it innovated a lot of that core for its time but it's still shounen. The 3 Kings Arc and the conclusion were also clearly asspulls designed to end Togashi's misery instead of giving it a meaningful end. They ruin what the Sensui arc had going. Also, it suffers from similar power creep as Dragon Ball does, though it only gets really bad during the Sensui arc. It also in general... just feels a bit rushed. There weren't enough small missions before the change in direction in the Tournament before the change in direction in Sensui before the change in direction in the 3 Kings. It's just all too much. That being said, this isn't necessarily negative - while its not on the tier of my favourites, it's perhaps the best of the generic shounens alongside Rurouni Kenshin.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean (read in early 2020) - Just like there's not that much that went on with this, there's not much to say. It honestly felt like a bad Part 3 & 5, in particular 5 which imo was already the sign of decline within the franchise. There is very little about it taht felt original at all, but the parts that were original were really bad. The Bohemian Rhapsody for instance was a huge mess that was not a great thing to try and execute. Enrico Pucci had a ton fo potential to be the best JoJo villain with serious moral ambiguity but was written all too generically as a linear villain. In general, I don't recommend part skipping and you shouldn't stick only with the acclaimed parts of the series - you may like it! I, however, cannot recommend reading this personally.
- Bleach (read part of it in summer 2019) - Wow, talk about generic shounen. What here is original? Oh right, nothing. There is nothing remotely unique or interesting and honestly Rurouni Kenshin far outdid this. I quit after a while cause I just got bored.
- My Hero Academia (watched seasons 1 & 2 in summer 2019) - My Hero Academia is not just shounen at its core but in almost everything it does. There is nothing original and unique about the series. It is just the exact same thing - a shounen twist on superhero ideas. And the superheroes of the West are terribly plotted with zero consistency at all and mostly just making legacy shit work. IT's literally to Windows what anime is to Linux in my view. And then you try and make Windows fundamentals work on Linux... it doesn't end well. MHA is probably one of the worst things I'm criticizing here and is all around a terrible series. Just like One Piece, hard avoid.
- One Piece (read up until they got the reindeer in spring 2020) - Oh my fucking god this was horrendous. There is genuinely no redeeming qualities. All of the "world building" is ust an excuse for Sanji not getting a fucking backstory past the chef part until 20 years after he debuted. 20. YEARS. AFTER. HE. DEBUTED. There is no excuse for that. It's slow, it's generic, it's probably the template of what *bad* shounen tends to be and it's gonna have a ton of plot holes that are never resolved because it stretched out basic stuff for far too long and its apparetly going to end soon (apparently at 700 or 800 episodes it was 70% done, its near 1k atm so uh 85%? And some advertisement claimed that it was about to hit the climax of the series). I'm pretty sure One Piece is what got me to quit anime for the most part because holy fuck it's bad. Easily the worst thing I'm criticizing here that is a thing at all. Hard avoid.
- Dragon Ball Super/GT (watched both in mid 2018) - OK I'm just gonna lump these two together because htey're both ass. Dragon Ball as it is really is the bottom of the barrel in terms of shounen and has literally no redeeming value outside of some generic fights I didn't like. Super just amps that ot hte extreme and is a disorganized and incoherent mess most of hte time. The 2 movie arcs are terrible, and in particular Golden Frieza is considered one of the worst arcs in the whole franchise for a reason. Outside of an admittedly really cool fight between UI Goku and Jiren, there is literally no aspect of Super I like. GT on the other hand is a bad nostalgia cash cow that, while emotional at times, really just feels empty a lot. It cannot solve the question of why it was ever made. It serves literally no point and just throws away what made the original and Z "special". SSJ4 was cheap, the general journey was boring and Super 17 is arguably the worst saga in the series. It does have some good and genuinely emotional moments though, most notably the ending.
- Dragon Ball (watched in late 2018) - Yeah people argue that this is better than Z and really I can't disagree for the most part, it's a lot more consistent in quality. That being said, it never reaches the heights of Z and it overall straddles but just falls below the line of liked/disliked. IT just feels like generic Toriyama shounen and that's... not very good shounen. It feels fundamentally similar to Z at its core in that it falls a lot towards mindless power creep fights. Some people think Goku vs Piccolo was good but imo it was the example of this type of fight.
- Dragon Ball Z Buu Saga (watched) - Jesus Christ talk about throwing everything away that made Z good. Yes, it had some of the best fights in the series (Goku, Vegeta & Good Buu vs Kid Buu was fantastic) but really it just got rid of any development that Z had. Gohan was handled terribly (it should have ended after Gohan defeated Super Buu), Goku was handled terribly, Gotenks was handled terribly (and tbh Goten had no reason to exist), it was all handled terribly. Toriyama could and thus should have just retired at this point.
- Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid (watched in summer 2017) - Easily the worst anime I have ever watched, its not even a thing like One Piece it's just garbage. Even most of the SoL fans that I know admit that it was just not very good (nor was anything from 2017 let's be real). It is just a generic seasonal pandering heavily to usual fans htat makes itself unwatchable for anyone who isn't braindead from watching endless SoL. It's the biggest reason for my poor view of SoL, though I admit that it's not really fair to judge it off of this alone. Jesus Christ the memes and community are even fucking worse - Kanna is not even cute much less worth fetishizing, none of the memes are remotely funny and are honestly the stereotype of r/animemes bs (which is a bottom 5 subreddit imo and a huge reason I dislike Reddit), there's just nothing here to see. Please, do yourself a favour and skip this.
- Lucky Star (watched in summer 2017) - How the fuck do peopple think this is a "classic"? It is the rawest form of the garbage SoL genre. It is literally just everyday life for a few teenage girls. It has... unique but not great imo art but it's just so fucking boring. Seriously, get a life and stop drooling over 2D teen girls you fucking pedo.
Plan on Watching/Reading
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Steel Ball Run
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: JoJolion
- I want to watch a romance series, perhaps Oh My Goddess?