The human sense of taste is a complex and amazing thing. There’s never a common standard; what’s sweet is just, well, sweet, and if it’s bitter, there’s nothing else you could describe it as. But, what makes the palate so unique is how each of us sometimes go and like the weirdest, or at the least, the more uncommon tastes (you know, stuff like, mint chocolate, Oreo-and-cheese milkshakes, uhh, veggie burgers). We don’t like it right away, but it grows on us – we acquire a taste for them. The same also holds true for a lot of stuff; songs you listen to, books you read, and maybe, in the anime we watch as well.
Having been a fan of anime for some four or five years now, it wouldn’t be too surprising if I grew a sort-of tolerance, maybe even a liking, to some of the stuff we see in there. To name a few:
If four, maybe even three years ago, you asked me to go and watch a shoujo anime, I would’ve said “Uhh, no thanks.” (well, more accurately, I’d probably say something along the lines of “..What’s shoujo?”) but yeah, most likely I’d decline the offer. Why? Because I simply and absolutely thought that those shoujo shows back then really were geared to just the female audience. Kimi ni Todoke showed me the light and error of my ways basically. Now I really don’t mind as much anymore – more so since I end up looking forward to romances with the coming of a new season, and shoujo romances are often times a nice change of pace.
Ecchi (and by extension, fan-service, suggestive and otherwise)
Okay, okay, let me start by saying that ecchi hasn’t become one of my more favored genres. It’s just that, very early in my anime ventures, ecchi had always been lingering around somewhere. The earliest I remember was back when I was watching Zero no Tsukaima, and you have to agree, it does get pretty NSFW at times. Looking back at it now as I’m writing this, ZnT was milder, I guess, compared to the stuff I’ve seen in the following years (never thought I’d be saying that). In all seriousness though, my resolve for ecchi was brought about by Toaru Majutsu no Index – season 2 specifically. It was one of those “I really, really like this series, but..” scenarios. In time I guess it just became something to note, and not really something I’d avoid.
Fan-service is a different story though. At some point in time I just thought “That’s.. wow.”. Not that I’d love every show I watch to have it, but if it happens to be there, well, it’s service, not really polite to turn it down.
From someone who had the chance to watch locally-dubbed episodes of the likes of Flame of Recca, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Slam Dunk during his childhood, I didn’t have the slightest thought back then that dialogue in anime can be awesome. Of course, it depends if the show you’re watching really has good dialogue, but still, to be able to appreciate and enjoy hearing (and reading, for us not versed in the moonrune language) well-written internal monologues or conversations isn’t really a quality of anime that comes with the territory. Kara no Kyoukai and Spice and Wolf were my first tastes of that feeling. Now I’m more than likely to pick up a show or two solely because of it’s dialogue.
So yeah. I’m sure there’s a few more, but these three stand out in my endless, ever-growing and infinitely long list of anime. What are your acquired tastes in anime? A genre maybe? or just something you see in anime in general?