Back in Fall of 2013, people became increasingly disappointed to Kyoukai no Kanata as it didn’t live up to expectations. This made me wonder about if hype and having high expectation is a bad thing or not. (Image Source)
Why do people hype shows?
I think one of the main reasons we tend to hype a certain piece of media is because nobody has experienced it yet. Therefore, we have to base our expectations on the description, genre, studio/maker, character designs, etc. to get excited about it. This is noticeable in the anime blogosphere from the lists of shows he/she looks forward to for an upcoming season. Hype is meant to generate buzz so that more people will watch a certain show and generate popularity. However, it has a dark side, which can affect the overall view for a show if it doesn’t live up to it.
High Expectations and Hype
Since we tend to hype things when we check what is airing for each season, certain aspects can cause us to have high expectations for a show, especially for people who haven’t experienced the source material. To me and everyone else, I usually choose shows based on animation studios such Kyoto Animation, PA Works, Shaft, etc. as they usually make enjoyable shows. Of course, there are other aspects people tend to have high expectations on such as the premise of the show, characters, music, etc.
While these aspects can cause us to have high expectations for a certain show and even cause us to become hyped up, what if it doesn’t live up to these expectations or there is something that disappoints you? I think this is bound to happen as the hype fades away over time when people start sharing their impressions and opinions. This is where having high expectations can be a bad thing as it can cause people to become overly critical and even hate a show even though it might not deserve it otherwise. Besides the popularity factor, the hype backlash can drive people away from watching it even if it can still be enjoyable despite having some flaws. One of the most known examples of this is of course Sword Art Online when it aired back in 2012. While I haven’t watched it, it was one of the most polarizing shows of the year that generated a lot of hate because it didn’t live up to high expectations. Does it deserve all the hate? Probably not, but it would probably be better received if it wasn’t hyped, but instead had moderate popularity with humble expectations.
Is it better to have natural expectations and/or experience the source material?
To me, while there is some shows that I have some high expectations for, I usually view new shows in a neutral manner. Besides looking up the basic stuff such as the staff, genre and the synopsis, I don’t do any research on it what so ever and just watch the show as it comes. To me, I think this is a better approach as one can enjoy the show and not become massively disappointed if a flaw is discovered since one won’t have many expectations.
On the other hand, source material can also affect expectations for people who have experienced it. I think it can be double edge sword since there might be some things that are not close or faithful to the source material. On the other hand, the viewer who experienced it will have a better understanding of the story, especially for some parts of the story where a person who only watch the anime might feel confused. Likewise with sequels, since people already know what the story is about along with the characters, it can be enjoyable based on past experiences.
As a whole, hype is of course a big double-edged sword that can lead to a very enjoyable experience or a very disappointing one. We tend to feel this way because most people haven’t experienced the source material. To me, it’s always best to avoid the hype and view the show in a neutral manner so it doesn’t impact the enjoyment. If it exceeds expectations, then good! If not, you can accept it as it is and move on.
On the other hand, high expectations is a bit harder to handle since there are always some aspects that people look forward to, especially when it comes to sequels. As mentioned, I think it’s better not to set the bar too high so that you won’t become massively disappointed at the end. Sure, not all shows are going to masterpieces, but if one sets the expectations too high for each show, it will only lead to endless disappointment and he/she will enjoy hardly anything. Balance is key.
With that, do you get hyped for new shows before it even airs or you play it safe? Do you think hype is a bad or a good thing? Also, how high do you set your expectations?