There are a lot of manga and anime out there. A while back, I asked what makes a series popular and got some interesting answers on that, the question also made me curious as to what people look for when they read manga/watch anime.
Personally when it comes to manga/anime I prefer those aimed at a shonen or seinen demographic mostly because that’s really what I read/watch. They tend to have great action as well which is something I can always appreciate, especially if I feel that there’s nothing else going for the series. The most important thing for me when it comes to manga/anime is the story! (If it’s a comedy then this doesn’t apply) for me to rate the series highly, there has to be a good story damn it. DBZ and Pokémon get a pass on this because of nostalgic value (and action of course). From the minute that the story is interesting and easy to follow, whilst keeping me on my toes (e.g. through the use of a plot twist) the chances are that I will follow it until the end.
I feel that characters (especially the main character) have to be smart or at the very least, not dim-witted (battle smart doesn’t count in this case) and the only two characters that get a pass from me in this case are Goku, because Goku is Goku and Tsuna Sawada since he’s a very likeable character. Usually I get annoyed at characters that don’t come across as smart, characters like Natsu from Fairy Tail annoy the shit out of me and usually make the reading/viewing experience worse. When I look at silly characters it seems like they’re there for the comedy element but not to make the story progress and when a main character is silly I feel like they take away from the story, I also feel like the character development won’t be as good. I can accept a silly character in a series but I prefer when they make occasional appearances.
Continuity is important to me as well, I get very confused when a series skips parts and expects you to still follow (Kurozuka is very guilty of this) and I always feel that it’s a bonus whenever characters age and you can see the difference (hats off to Naruto and Dragon Ball but not Fairy Tail). When things link in a series that tie up questions from an earlier point, it makes me go back to read/watch in order to fully understand which makes me more interested. I can never be completely angry with a series when it shows great continuity. One thing in regards to continuity is that at all costs the series must never end in such a way that leaves me asking questions (unless there’s going to be a continuation).
I’ve never really been bothered by dialogue heavy series, or the genre either. Personally I feel that if everything works to enhance the story then that’s what’s most important. There are a lot things that don’t bother me, such as, social commentary, character chemistry, setting, character appearances as I feel that these things don’t have a big enough impact to influence my feelings on a series.
On a side note, I’ve always been curious about OEL manga and series from other countries in general. I haven’t read any but I’d definitely give it a try if I got the chance. Foreign manga doesn’t do as well as Japanese which makes me wonder why it isn’t appealing to fans?
What do you look for in a manga/anime series? Is it the story, exposition, setting or something completely different? What would attract you to series that you didn’t know anything about? Would you read an OEL manga or any foreign manga?
I’d love to see some paragraphs on what you look for in a series if you were to reply.