Is it possible to make anime that is so bad it actually turns out good? Yes, but only to a certain degree. At least that is the premise of a recent post that appeared on the CBR.com website. The post discussed 10 Shonen anime series that are truly bad in one way or another. They are so bad that they warrant taking a look at just to see how serious the train wreck is.
This post will not mention any of the series by name. If you want to know what they are, take a look at the original post which is linked above. For our purposes, it is more important to talk about how bad can be good. It is a strange concept, yet one that aligns nicely with so many other parts of modern culture.
Adapting Manga to Anime
The very first title in the CBR post is that of a new anime series that started its life as a manga classic. It is not necessarily difficult to adapt manga to anime. After all, you are taking an illustrated work and animating it. However, the creators of this particular series apparently dropped the ball – and dropped it hard.
One of the main beefs is that too much was rewritten in terms of characters, storyline, etc. That's a no-no for any adaptation. If fans are loyal to the original, they will not take kindly to drastic changes. This particular title also apparently offers subpar animation.
The result is a series that is so bad as to encourage people to watch it. It is almost like people who run out of their houses to watch police and firefighters clean up after a terrible car accident. We humans have a morbid fascination with the macabre. Is that fascination any different than tuning into an anime series just to see how bad it really is?
Having Fun Making Fun
This whole premise reminds me of an old TV show my son used to watch back in the 1990s. Known as Mystery Science Theater 3000, the show's creator and main character took delight in poking fun at really bad movies. It was actually kind of funny. Perhaps the same thing is happening now with the anime series discussed in the CBR post.
Maybe people are tuning in just to poke fun at the flaws. Perhaps legions of anime fans are sitting around on sofas from coast-to-coast, picking apart the worst of the worst for their own entertainment. The actual series may not be entertaining at all. But poking fun at them is.
Trying to Do Their Best
In a way, it is easy to feel sorry for content creators whose material ends up being trashed by fans. You have to give them the benefit of the doubt that they are trying to do their best. We do this here at Umai. We do not set out to produce artwork that fans will view as truly awful. We work hard to produce art we know they will love.
Is it possible that some content creators purposely produce bad material just to get people talking about it? Anything is possible. However, it is not likely. Just like we want to sell anime sweatshirts, t-shirts, and phone cases, anime creators want to sell their content. There isn't enough value in fans tuning in just to see how bad a series is.
It is apparently possible to create anime content that is so bad that it is actually good. But that's only if you define 'good' as drawing in viewers who want nothing more than to trash your content. Otherwise, bad is bad.