If you watch a first episode because somebody else told you to, does that then wreck your first impression of a show?
Zeria mentions here “[a]ll too often I hear that anime bloggers say they don’t watch YouTube videos”.
I can’t really speak on anyone else’s behalf, but the reason I don’t watch analysis videos anymore is because of one catalyst – Digibro’s How to Recognise a Terrible Anime in One Episode. I was expecting it to confirm my biases that you don’t even need a 3 episode test to win over a viewer – because, at least, that’s how it goes in my experience. I’ve dropped some anime in under 10 minutes – such as Seisen Cerberus and Lance N’ Masques – because they were clearly trainwrecks, but I also dropped Dance with Devils in its second minute because I knew it was just not my gig.
However, now I feel like I can’t touch High School of the Dead, Gate or Joker Game again without having Digibro’s opinions tainting my own. Granted, I’ve dropped all three at this point, but I feel like aside from Joker Game, which I thought was mildly engaging the first time around and became a chore by episode 3, I gave them the boot because he told me to and not because I tried the shows of my own volition (regardless of whether it was a hatewatch or enjoyment).
Most of the time I would much rather I form my own opinion about a show and have other people’s opinions act as a safety net, rather than taking in the world’s opinions first and then regurgitating them in my notes or in my posts. I know I’m easily influenced and if I were given the opportunity to regurgitate something, I would (whether unconsciously or not – I try to cite people’s ideas if I remember where they came from, but that doesn’t always happen, y’know?).
I suppose first impressions, particularly simulcasts, would be the easiest to “poison” people’s opinions of because of all the people who insist that they get their content out first…well, for the express purpose of influencing others’ opinions. However, you always walk into spoilers of your own volition (or do you…?), so making sure you don’t open any email notifications or posts at the start of a new season is probably for the best, unless you’re the sort who doesn’t know where to begin with a given season or show in the first place.
As for what Zeria is talking about in the post linked up top (which isn’t 100% relevant here, but somehow the post feels incomplete if I don’t address it), there is, quite certainly, a notable gap between anime-oriented YouTubers and anibloggers with not a lot of crossover, but strangely I’ve noted popular YouTubers, such as Gigguk and Digibro, tend to be somewhere in the genesis stories, or even just the stories, of many an aniblogger. So basically YouTubers are kind of like the anime to anibloggers’ manga – because their content requires more commitment in the moment, their fanbases are bigger, but with enough luck, a fan of a YouTuber becomes a blogger.
I feel like I sort of became off-topic at the end of the post once or twice, but that was because this post was languishing in my drafts for a few months before I decided to clean it up and put it out there because it had been almost ready for so long.
So, how about you guys? Do you prefer reading up on other people’s reviews before having a first impression of your own? Or are you the opposite and won’t touch reviews until you’ve made a judgement for yourself?