Anime has been a big medium for storytelling for several decades, and over the years has built up its own set of tropes and misconceptions over. With the variety of each series, and sheer quantity, released every year it is almost impossible not to build pre-conceived notions of the most popular series.
Reddit user Aragoto_ posed a question asking fans about their misconceptions about a series before they viewed it for themselves. Asking, "Did you still enjoy the anime even if it was different and think it was better than what you would have initially thought it would be?"
The results have as much variety in the answers as the misconceptions themselves, and it certainly is eye-opening to see a different perspective on some of the most revered series in the medium.
'Neon Genesis Evangelion' - Shinji Never Gets In The Robot
Reddit user CT_BINO definitely provided a surprising answer to start things off with, "because of the meme I thought it would take a lot of episodes for shinji to get in the robot."
This answer stems from a famous dig at Neon Genesis Evangelion from fans of the series. The series follow Shinji Ikari, who is recruited by his father to pilot the giant mech Evangelion in the fight against giant monsters known as Angels in the futuristic city of Tokyo-3. But Shinji is unwilling to bear this huge responsibility and is often conflicted about taking part in a war he was dragged into.
The now infamous joke of Shinji refusing to fight in the robot stems from this depression fueled refusal, but is a misconception as he gets in the robot by the end of the first episode of the series.prevnext
'K-ON' - A Series About Music
Reddit user StaniX responded with "I thought K-ON was about music," with many other users chiming in on this flip as well.
K-On! is one of the most popular series to come from studio Kyoto Animation, and is often known in promos for the series that focus on a group of school girls forming a band together. While this is the main conceit of the series, it's not always the focus of the episodes. Over its run, the series often became more of a slice of life series where it chose to focus on different aspects of the main characters lives rather than focus on the kind of music they produce.
Music is certainly a factor in the series, but nowhere near as important as the central character work.prevnext
'Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann' - A "Happy Go Lucky" Series
Reddit user stalememeskehan responded to the question with, "[I] thought Gurren was gonna be a happy go lucky anime but then episode 8 happened."
For those unaware, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann was one of Gainax's major mecha anime of the 2000s. But it didn't quite reveal all it had to offer at first. Seemingly taking on a monster of the week like format, with many of the episodes with narratives able to stand on their own, and it did have a happier tone. But, then the other shoe drops.
Spoiler warning for the series, but the named Episode 8 drastically changes the course of the series with a heartbreaking moment. To cement the kind of threat the humans face against the Beastmen, one of the major characters (a character around since the first episode) is killed and sets the rest of the series on a path most fans did not see coming given the tone of the first few episodes.prevnext
'Made in Abyss' - Made For Kids
Reddit user BlackPenguin44 responded with, "I had a misconception with Made in Abyss. Glanced at the cover image on [My Anime List] and though [sic] it was one of those seasonal anime for kids. It was only till a friend that recommended it to me and I realized it was the opposite. Made in Abyss turned out to be amazing."
Made in Abyss has an art style and presentation that belies its incredibly dark depths. A series where two very young kids (drawn in a chibi-like style for maximum effect) plunge into a mysterious crater known as the Abyss. But the kicker here is that the Abyss is a one-way only trip and it's impossible to climb back out with out succumbing to madness, or even worse, death.
Violent, depressing, and utterly heartbreaking, fans soon learned the series was definitely not meant for kids.prevnext
'Puella Magi Madoka Magica' - A Standard Magical Girl Show
Reddit user SBRover responded, "I thought Madoka Magica was going to be a happy show about magical girls, akin to Sailor Moon. Suffice to say, I was wrong."
Puella Magi Madoka Magica, much like Made in Abyss, is a series with a visual presentation that belies the series' darker themes and concepts. That even starts during the first episode of the series. While it begins like a magical girl anime, there's a strange tone throughout the proceedings. The episode's direction hints at something odd with Madoka's contract with a mysterious creature and fans find out why soon after.
The world of demons is fraught with many perils that can even result in death for some of the series' characters. A far cry from a majority of magical girl out there.prevnext
'One Piece' - A Series Made For Kids
Reddit user HussyDude14 responded with, "I thought One Piece was just a kiddy anime that had ended ages ago...I still shrugged it off as one of those episode [sic] anime that maybe have ridiculous adventures and don't go anywhere."
One Piece is not only one of the biggest anime and manga franchises in Japan, it holds the same amount of popularity worldwide. Watching a single random episode of the series could paint it as an episodic show for children given the family friendly designs and its adventurous narrative, but that impression hides why it's so popular.
That adventurous tone allows series creator Eiichiro Oda to play with his world, which is why the series' many detours can be a fun and entertaining as the stuff featured in the manga. That's not even including the darker moments such as character deaths, violence, and often perilous fights Luffy finds himself in. This balance makes it a great series anyone can enjoy.prevnext
'Love Live!' - A Slice of Life Series
Reddit user xEffervescene responded, "Thought Love Live was just another typical slice of life idol anime."
Love Live!, and its sequel Love Live! Sunshine, are both series greatly adored by fans (even including famous fans like William Shatner) for their in-depth looks on the idols themselves. Each series is about these girls trying to save their school with an idol group, and along with the series' fantastic music, fans have been drawn to the way each girl in the group is well characterized.
This means that, of course, fans are eventually drawn to their favorites and that can tell you how much one idol differs from another. It's definitely a huge difference from a show that doesn't treat its idol group with the same amount of care.prevnext
All Anime Has Tons of Filler
Reddit user MrManicMarty responded with, "I thought all anime had twenty million episodes and tons of filler. Turns out lots of shows have a nice, concise set of episodes."
Some anime series have become famous for their filler episode. A filler episode is one with a narrative that was not featured in the author's original manga series that's meant to give the author time to get many chapters ahead of where the anime broadcast is. This is often the case with Shonen anime adaptations like Dragon Ball and Naruto, that need to air a new episode every week. But this isn't true for every anime series.0comments
Much of the seasonal anime offerings, or series based off of other works like light novels, video games, or something other than a manga narrative, often have a concise 12 or 13 episode order and don't have the time for filler episodes.
This proves that digging a bit further into the world of anime can yield all kinds of results.prev