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A mix of genres is how I describe this, but it does not have to be this way. What ticks for you when watching an anime or reading a manga?
For example in seinen I expect characters I can relate to most of the time, and if I can not find that then I want total absurdity and surrealism so I can at least enjoy the artistic and not so realistic aspect of the manga. I do prefer that it conveys some sort of message but not a moral. Social criticism is always welcomed.
For shounen I want to see the authors creativity, how dedicated to the work he is an how consistent as well, since in shounen consistency can sometimes be the path towards greatness.
So what do you want in a manga or anime? Whats the winning combination of things that need to happen for you to like it?
Neutral main character/Involved main character
big cast/small cast
many genres/ little genres
add ons like mecha, harem, moe or fanservice?
What things from the anime and manga encyclopedia would your ideal anime/manga contain?
Also name example of series that come close to it.^^
I'm open to any genres so my winning combination can apply to any manga/anime series.
- Unique yet still relatable protagonist.
- Well-developed supporting cast and noticeable yet subtle character growth.
- Intriguing plot that hooks me in from the first chapter and continues to do so until the end.
- Main plot threads tied by the last chapter. (It doesn't have to be every single plot threads in order to leave some ambiguity)
- Goldilocks pacing- i.e. not too fast, not too slow
- Top notch artwork for manga with little to no wonky frames in anime.
- Enjoyable; even the most thought provoking, thematically deep manga/anime still needs to be enjoyable.
- Nakama-ness is a huge part, like what we see in OP, FT, and Naruto
- Main character/s being awesome and never giving up
- Comedy and intelligence, at least the latter with some comedy. Early Naruto, Bloody Monday, Detective Conan
- Romantic or cute, like Kimi ni Todoke
- None of the stupidity like I have seen in josei/(forgot the name of the demographic group that consists of young girls, opposite of shounen)
For me I guess characterization is the most important. The protagonist, their friends, the enemies, all of them should have a strong sense of self. I really enjoy anime and manga characters who have and display quirks even when its irrelevant to the plot, or even to the tone (ie it doesn't just appear in comedic moments either). Another thing I would love is a diverse cast! Maybe this manga has to take place outside of Japan, so we can get a lot more ethnicities than just Japanese. Also I'd love for an equalish cast of male and female characters, as well as LGBT characters who aren't comic relief or villains. I like this because then the plot doesn't have to be an overwhelming thing, it should come out of the actions (or reactions) of other people.
I guess the second most important thing I like in an anime/manga is the setting. I really enjoy small-town settings, whether realistic or in a fantasy setting. I enjoy stories that happen on a small scale more than epic ones because I just find personal stories better. Its not like the story can't suddenly explode and involve other towns or cities, but I'd rather it grow naturally out of a small setting. If the story is set in the middle of an epic war and it starts from there I find it very overwhelming. But if it starts about a small town or city amongst this huge war, that's more interesting. Also I get tired of stereotypical worldbuilding involving lots of men making stupid decisions and their tragic backstories which shapes the world. World history is more colorful and weirder than that. If an author can't do believable world building I'd rather the setting remain small.
The last thing I like and would like to have in my "ideal" anime/manga is a degree of "genre savvy". People should be aware of common tropes and cliches, even if that's what they're experiencing. This doesn't have to be a strictly comical thing, it can be a horror story where the protagonist knows they shouldn't do something because they've read it in a book or seen it in a movie. Stuff like that makes the story so much more believable to me. I always get irritated when popular culture isn't reflected in someway in the story itself. It makes the manga/anime feel more relatable to me.