Anime You Wish You Can Watch For The First Time, Again

‘Cause we do try to be a little introspective in this blog from time to time.

I’ve thought about what we’re gonna be going over today (or tonight..) a lot — much more frequently in recent years, as I find myself growing more mature (/kek) both in my world-view as well as with my overall understanding of certain ideas and concepts (whether relating to anime or some other discipline altogether), and I was wondering if this had also crossed the minds of you guys who’re reading this now.

Humor me this: imagine a scenario where you’re given an opportunity to wipe any and all memory of you having watched a particular anime so you can, in the truest sense of the word, watch it for the first time again — what show do you choose?

Think about it for a second. Actually, take a bit longer than that. Really think about all the anime titles you’ve seen throughout the years — not just what the shows were about, try to recall the moments as you were watching them. Try to remember what you were feeling while watching certain shows; what thoughts went through your head; what memories do they leave you with. What shows stand out?

And what if, with just a snap of a finger, or a flash of some bright white light, all memory of that show gets erased as if you never watched it. Granting you a once in a lifetime opportunity to watch that title again.

It might seem like a trivial and nonsensical proposition at first but I do think there’s some merit to the notion of getting to have a clean slate, so to speak, for an anime show.

Here I’ll posit three situations where I personally would want a memory wipe.

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A show that you wish you hadn’t watched as early as you did

I always think about how much I would’ve enjoyed Bakemonogatari more, if I’d watched it 2-3 years later than when I initially saw it. Bakemonogatari would be within the first 20 or so titles that I started watching anime with, and at the time my barest appreciation for it was its quirky style of animation (which I come to learn later on in life as just Shaft being Shaft) and how magnificently gruesome the “fight” between Koyomi and Kanbaru was.

Hitagi’s sordid tale of abuse didn’t hit me as hard as it would’ve now (I mean, what would a 12 year old know about all that) I didn’t care much for the story behind Mayoi and how she came to be. I couldn’t take Nadeko’s arc seriously because all it seemed to me was just some ecchi eye-catch and nothing more. I was not yet emotionaly mature enough able to become invested in Tsubasa’s character and thus was unable ot grasp the depth of her narrative. Suffice to say, my experience upon seeing Bakemonogatari for the first time felt rather shallow.

I lament that fact every now and again, thinking about how much I would’ve revered Bakemonogatari as a show ahead of it’s time if I’d watched it a bit later in my life. That I was not yet able to understand and subsequently appreciate its more nuanced side when I first saw it always leaves me feeling a bit robbed almost. Like I’d spoiled myself on what could’ve been an amazing viewing experience. Of course, there was no way of knowing what I was in for at the time (as I was just trying to watch anything and everything I could get my hands on), but it still doesn’t stop me from becoming a little jealous of fans just starting to get into Monogatari now.

An anime that was so good, that you’d want to wipe the memory of it just to experience the feeling again

There are certain shows that you can only truly experience once. By that I mean, the value of said experience lies in how irreplicable it was. For some shows, the impact of story development gets dampened once you know how it’s gonna go; the plot-twists lose their shock-value as they only really work when you don’t know what’s coming; the jokes aren’t as funny hearing them the second time; the tears might not come out as easy anymore; the visuals might not be as stunning — all these things, and then some. The genuine-ness of watching something for the first time is hard if not outright impossible to duplicate.

One title that comes to mind right away for me is Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou. I had the good fortune of being able to watch this series as it aired and I absoluted loved every week of it. It was hella funny; equally as cute; and it was all I could ever really ask for in a romance-comedy feature. It’s not a show with a whole lot of plot dynamics that’s for sure, but the real meat of Kawaisou was in its characters. The main cast has an adorable chemistry between them that’s just infectious. I’ve caught myself wearing a stupid grin on my face on multiple occassions watching this show.

I mean, I’d still probably do that if you made me watch any episode of Kawaisou right now xD It was and still is an easy show to pick-up again whenever I need a feel-good anime to watch, but I’m also of the mind that no matter how much time may pass (and so long as I have my memories of the show intact), Kawaisou won’t ever be as sweet than it was the first time.

A show you want to try watching again because your first viewing experience didn’t go as well as you’d hoped

Sometimes we end up watching anime in less than ideal circumstances. You start watching a show that then gets amazingly spoiled by someone, or worse, by yourself (which does happen); you get hyped for something only to slowly be let down with each passing episode; you end up watching a complete series in your friend’s car ’cause you’re stuck in traffic. It can’t be helped. This sort of stuff happens sometimes.

One of the worsts for me was when I just started getting into watching shows seasonally back in 2011, where I very readily hyped myself up for Guilty Crown. I’ve since forgot why I had such high hopes for this show at the time — but my best guess would have to be the production side of it. The idea that a really good arist from deviantArt of all places (I mean, normally it’d be pixiv right?) would have his original character designs be the basis of an original anime just seemed very appealing to me. I come to find out later that it’s a Production I.G project that brought in a LOT of my favorite female seiyuus and supercell’s ryo (later dubbed EGOIST) on the music side. So really, I took all that to mean that it was a guaranteed recipe for success.

Such was my naivete in my youth as an anime fan. I got sucked in by production hype and as a result loathed every second of Guilty Crown with a burning hatred. I continued watching it out of spite, or at the very least in the hopes that it could redeem itself in the later episodes, but by the end of it all I was left with was a bitter taste in my mouth and a new-found yet widely misplaced dislike for Yuki Kaji. I want a do-over to see if I’d still end up despising this show without the hype I’d built up for it. I think I owe Yuki Kaji that.

– –

So I pose the question again:

If you were given an opportunity to be able to watch a specific anime title (or titles) again for the first time, in the truest sense of the word, what show do you choose?

23 thoughts on “Anime You Wish You Can Watch For The First Time, Again

  1. For me it’d probably be Detective Conan. Long it may be but holy crap the ride was worth it. If shounen without muscle fights can be done right, this is one.

    • Nice choice, and a sweet deal too for a one-time wish. I mean, imagine all the fresh mysteries and mind trickery you get out of it.

      • To be honest I went in for the romance and it didn’t disappoint. Lives up to your true shounen standard of ‘making your girl wait for life while MC messes around with every other females until the series end’.

        • That says a lot considering how shounen romances usually end up. Really one of the better ones out there.

  2. Karandi – Anime reviewer covering seasonal anime. Also writes features and top 5 lists. Loves discussing anime so drop me a comment over on
    Karandi on said:

    Probably something like Death Note. I’d love to watch it again without knowing where it was going to go.

    • Nice 😀 And I agree. Light’s decent into madness is just something to behold the first time you see it. Like ‘how far is this guy willing to go’ — yeah, I’d like to go back to that too.

  3. uy, active xa.
    also, i like this post, i’m stealing it and i’ll be making my own!!!!! hahaha
    and i’m pretty sure you’d hate Guilty Crown in a do-over. it’s a really bad show, but I like the show for its impressive OP, where Inori was lip synching the song. that’s about it.

    I’ve never understood the monogatari hype, but i think its the same thing w/ you. i saw it at a time i can’t appreciate it properly.
    and gosh, boku minna kawaisou is just amazing. the details is insane, and the characters are so loveable. I also love the deep presentation of the OP as it explores the characters and their relationships.

    • pagbigyan minsan lang xD
      lol by all means, haha, curious to see what show/s you’d want for this

      I’ve been giving Guilty Crown the benefit of the doubt as the years go by, attributing it’s “failure” in my eyes as just a result of it not meeting my expectations. At least if I watch it again and I think it’s still bad even without the hype then that just means I was justified all these years xD

      If I were to summarize Monogatari hype now in one word itd be “holistic”. But that’s me /now/. There was no way of me knowing that Bakemonogatari was just one piece of a bigger picture at the time, so yeah, we’re really just a victim of the times here.

      Yey more Kawaisou love~

  4. AstralGemini – Hi, guys! I'm a part-time blogger, gamer, and Anime buff. In between the jobs I work, I like to dig down into what makes Anime such a polarizing medium, and write about it when I have time. I started watching Anime around age 8, and have kept going strong since then. My goal is to provide high-quality content that's enjoyable to read, and suitable for all ages :)
    AstralGemini on said:

    I like both choices of Bakemonogatari and Guilty Crown here, as I had similar experiences with them. revisiting them later, after a few years had passed, helped me really understand and appreciate what was there, and both now occupy high spots on my general anime ranking lists.

    • Always glad to see another fan of the Monogatari series :3 Though I have to say I’m a bit surprised (in a good way) to hear that you enjoyed Guilty Crown the second time around.

      • AstralGemini – Hi, guys! I'm a part-time blogger, gamer, and Anime buff. In between the jobs I work, I like to dig down into what makes Anime such a polarizing medium, and write about it when I have time. I started watching Anime around age 8, and have kept going strong since then. My goal is to provide high-quality content that's enjoyable to read, and suitable for all ages :)
        AstralGemini on said:

        There’s a lot to the show that can be missed on a first watch, i think. little details tossed in there that make the story more interesting.

  5. Irina – North – Hi! My name is Irina and I think we should be friends. So come on in, make yourself comfortable, grab a drink, there's juice also, and let's chat about anime!
    Irina on said:

    Hunter x Hunter! Although I honestly have so much anime to watch that I don’t really have time to consider rewatching anything.

    • ^ Yeah, and HxH is so long already! But, well, in this case it wouldn’t be rewatch technically, so it would be fine. 😀

  6. Youjo Senki. The difference between expectations and what was actually delivered was huge and just made the anime all the more enjoyable.

    • Yeah, definitely. That’s how everyone should go into Youjo Senki. Thought you were in for some fantasy/military loli anime? Think again. lol. Nice pick.

  7. That’s such a tough question!! I have really bad memory so I feel like regardless of what I choose it technically will be my “first time” with them again. Like I “remember” watching paranoia agent. It was one of the first few anime I watched once I figured out what anime was but I feel like I would be able to better appreciate it if I watch it now (esp the end, i remember being confused abt that lol). I might rewatch it one day

    Aside from that one I can’t really remember others I’d rewatch at a later time. And for other series where I just really liked it and wish to experience that again, I dont have any xD

    • Oh wow, haha, “Paranoia Agent” as one of your first anime :))) But yeah, I get what you mean about having a bad memory when it comes to shows you know you watched but it wasn’t memorable enough to warrant being.. remembered (lol)

      Not even Daiya so you can experience that whole rollercoaster ride once more? xD

      • well i haven’t really finished daiya but also i rewatched part of the end of s1 and i still felt all the feels x”D actually, it was really hard to watch certain parts *clenches fist* and i only like to suffer so much xD

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