Sturgeon’s Law states simply, “Ninety percent of everything is crap.” And well, it’s certainly true of anime. We have certainly had shows this year with promise that simply fail to add up to anything meaningful (Kyoukai no Kanata / Beyond the Boundary, see episodic write-ups), shows that just don’t know what to do with all the material they do have (Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta / The Pilot’s Love Song, see episodic notes), or shows that didn’t know what to do with storytelling and contained poisonous subtext (Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei / The Irregular at Magic High School, see episodic notes, see editorial on its subtext).
But if 90% of everything is crap, then not only is the average thing crap, but being crap is being average, and nothing out of the ordinary. But every so often comes along a show that fails on every single account, that you’d be hard pressed to find a single positive thing to say about it. This year, we’ve had such a show, and its name was “Pupa”. Yes, indeed, the sign was on the wall, with a name all too similar to “poop-ah” as some people referred to the show (not really, but they certainly should’ve). This show was terrible on all fronts. How terrible? That I dropped it 12 minutes in.
For those who haven’t heard about Pupa, it’s an adaptation of a manga where a young girl turns into a flesh eating monster, so her brother lets her eat his own flesh so she won’t go and murder people. A big bundle of horror, cannibalism, and incestual overtones all in one package, what could go wrong, right? They even shared a teaser where they discussed how they simulated sounds of eating flesh, with the lead actress chewing and making fleshy sounds for 30 seconds (it was a tomato). We all wondered how it would be.
And then came the delays, as no channel wanted to broadcast it. Anime in general for those who don’t know is either “kids’ shows” airing on family-oriented channels at early hours or late-night, as in, 10 PM to 1 AM late night. And even in this market, Pupa could not find a distributor. So we were all set to watch it, curious to see how bad it could be. Except, it wasn’t bad due to the content, but due to being one of the worst produced steaming pile of garbage this side of the Mississippi.
The big monster? Looked like Barney the Friendly Dinosaur. There’s screen-covering censoring, but having seen the uncesored stuff, it looks even worse. It’s as if no art was done, no animation was done. Terrible lines, half-hearted voice acting. There’s just nothing there. Even M3 which was terrible and phoned-in looked better. We’ve even had a nonsensical imagery-filled “dream sequence”.
And the worst thing? Removing the opening and ending, each episode only had 3 minutes of content. This series is 36 minutes total, and they couldn’t make that even half-decent. Even worse, I dropped it 4 episodes in. It may have been only three minutes a week, but even so, I had better things to do with my time.
Is there anything non-terrible about the show? Well, the opening sequence’s music was an alright light-rock, I guess, so enjoy that.
Also, here’s what my MyAnimeList friend-list thought of Pupa. Names removed to protect the one person who both finished it and gave it 7/10, which is higher than his average rating ;-)
So, dear readers, what was the absolute worst show you’ve watched this year? Not the one you disliked the most, but the so-called “objectively worst” show. If it’s Pupa, give me your second best.
Strangely enough, I’ve never seen a show that gave me difficulties with finding a positive thing to say about. Except, surprise, Pupa, whose first episode I checked out and immediately forgot again. So, actually worst show of the year for me? Mahouka. But even that one seemed to do what it did well enough to garner a sizable, devoted fanbase, so I’m hesitant to call it a “objectively bad” show. Whatever that’s supposed to be anyway :D
Well, I did say “So-called “objectively-worst””.
And people liking something doesn’t make it good, nor them disliking it make it bad. They could also like and dislike different things.
This show had its fair share of “Forgettably bad shows”, such as Mahou Sensou (Magical Warfare), or Wizard Barristers, etc. That’s the downside of watching shows as they air. I suspect Pupa will be mostly forgotten too, both because it was pure ineptitude rather than anything “more”, and because there’s no one to champion it to keep its name around – the so-called “worst shows” are not the worst shows, but ones with both fans and detractors to keep the discussion going, such as most popular shows.
(It’s probably Pupa)
Not counting shows that I dropped out of complete disinterest(Black Bullet and Donten ni Warau didn’t even manage to hold me for a whole episode), the worst show of the year is definitely Mahou Sensou. Glasslip and Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete both get (dis)honourable mentions, but both of those shows at least had some “so bad it’s good” moments. Mahou Sensou had none, at least not in the first and only episode I watched. The only thing I remember is how that one girl’s boobs got bigger when she used her magical powers. Yeah, I think that speaks for itself.
If we make it more interesting and disqualify shows that I didn’t finish(or will not finish), the only two contenders this year are Aldnoah.Zero and Selector Spread WIXOSS(Season 2). For A.Z, my main reason for disliking it was Inaho, but I also disliked the “monster of the week” enemies, the boring enemy mech designs, the CG(just make it full CG like Sidonia, if you absolutely must have it) and the overall story progression(the world didn’t give me enough reason to care about it). The saddest thing about A.Z, however, was that the character designs were created by Takako Shimura, whose other works(Hourou Musuko and Aoi Hana) I absolutely love. But man, I don’t think the character designs fit this show very well. Sure, these were no Key characters, but they were still too cutesy for my liking, considering the genre.
As for Season 2 of WIXOSS, you kind of have to see it to understand what I mean when I say that it completely shat on Season 1. Season 1 was no AOTY contender, but I liked it. Season 2, on the other hand, is both so convoluted that I don’t really understand it, and so boring that I can’t bother trying to understand it. It’s just awful.
In my opinion, the best way to go at wixoss is to not even try understanding it and to just go with how silly it is. I found the first season pretty boring at times, and everything but memorable. The second season, though, is actually enjoyable in a “what the hell were they thinking” kind of way, at least for me.
I don’t think character designs will save a show that I think is trash. I think bad character designs will have more of an effect on me than good ones.
Yeah, I watched Mahou Sensou’s first episode and was like “Nope!” – The LN author said they subverted their ideas, but their original ideas were just the bad vibe I got from the show proper. It was literally, “So LN it hurts”.
Aldnoah.Zero wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t good, but it was good enough for us to finish, I guess. I only made it to third episode of WIXOSS’s first season, it just didn’t have anything that sparked my interest much. It seemed “competent”, and no more.
I didn’t manage to finish Pupa either, though I did give it my best shot – halfway, I think, and I ended up giving it a 3 (which is maybe a little generous, but whatever). I don’t know that I watched any anime this year all the way through that I gave anything lower than a 5 to, but as far as “one episode made my eyes bleed” goes, I’d probably have to give the award to Ai Tenchi Muyo.
Yup, you’re that “Dropped 6/12, 3/10 score” in the picture above. I do sometimes think I’ll watch the full thing in one go, in the uncensored version, but after how bored I was with Inferno Cop, why bother? Sure, it’s “just” 30 mins, but I could use them elsewhere.
I’ve seen Ai Tenchi Muyo mentioned several times over the past couple of weeks as having been terrible. I’ve never seen anything from the franchise, or know anything of it, which is interesting in and of itself.
I got exactly 1 episode in to Ai Tenchi Muyo. It’s probably no worse than Pupa, but whereas my morbid curiosity kept me going for I guess 6 episodes with the latter, I didn’t even have that going for Tenchi. Which is a shame, really – the original Tenchi OVA series, which was released back in the early 90s, was one of the first anime I ever saw (and subsequently bought for myself). It’s by no means a perfect show – some might argue it’s not even a good show at all – but it still has a special place in my heart.
I watched both Mars of Destruction and Skelter Heaven this year, so …
Are you a M?
So, which was worse? ;-)
I can’t really think of anything for my “objectively worst” show this year. I found absolutely nothing to enjoy in both No game no life and Kyoukai no kanata, but I guess people enjoyed them? (For the record, I gave both shows a 1/10)
Wizard Barristers was a huge letdown. It wasted its pretty neat concept of law and justice in a society with magic users, and instead devolved into a Mary Sudou awakening to power after power and being pursued by a cult that wants to use her as a host to summon Lucifer. The production values plunged further and further as the series went on. They managed to make a role voiced by Norio Wakamoto dull! The OP looked awesome though.
My most disliked show that I completed would be ImoCho though. UGGGGHHHHH. This coming from a major siscon fan.
It even had a slideshow episode! What they keep making fun of in Shirobako.
You know what made me know it’d be bad? I’ve seen the trailer and went, “Holy shit, this looks exactly like Galilei Donna’s trailer!” then went and saw they had the same director, and went “Nope!” – And it turns out I was right.
Also, premises don’t mean much, many shows have near identical premises, with one being crap, and one being great. It’s all execution. Try to avoid any series directed by Umetsu Yasuomi.