How to Watch Anime: The Rule of Mami
Mami is hot. Also, your teacher on how to watch anime.
I’m sick of people dropping shows in the first episode. There is no other show more misrepresented this season than Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, a witty social commentary on society and environmentalism. People call this show “horrible” or whatever; they only watched the first episode. What rights do they have to call a show bad from the first episode?
I’ve been going to MyAnimeList too much recently.
Just watching the first episode is not enough to warrant two things: giving the show a 10/10 or dropping it.
To me, first episodes are often misleading. Most studios put the cash into the first episode because they act like a hook, luring the audience in. They also showcase their best artwork there. This is problematic for anyone trying to forecast the future; first impressions are always shaky and maleable.
My 200th anime, Macross Frontier, had a rockin’ first episode. But it disappointed the hell out of me. While the visuals are great, the characters are downright unbearable. And the last episode, while a marvel to look at, ends at a cheap place. Expectations are not the best way to judge something.
So there is a rule that I follow. Most people know it as the “three-episode rule”.
I call it the “Rule of Mami”.
Tomoe Mami is from the most badass magical girl show (besides Nanoha), Puella Magi Madoka Magica. She’s an important character in the show at the first half, especially in episode 3. The third episode involves the clever twists and turns later found in other episodes. By this time, Madoka Magica has developed a clear tone and direction. This spot is a good place to gauge your preference for the show.
And this applies to all shows (except movies, of course).
Now, I’m going to apply the Rule of Mami towards shows I’ve already watched and given my verdict. Some of them are obscure; some of them are well-known. I will write down the show name, whether I like the direction of the show at episode 3, and the final score in my MAL page.
By the way, a 6 is a good score in my rating; my average rating in MAL is 6.9.
Let’s see how it works:
The first episode is a strong yet quirky opening. I had my doubts while watching it. Could it just be one of those shows with a great opener but sucks overall? I went on and when the third episode finished, I was hooked. After finishing Kamichu!, I gave this show a 10/10.
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
A powerful first episode as well. It looked like a show I might watch more, I thought to myself. It probably deserved the hype. Yet, as I went on watching, I got sick of the darn little brats who call themselves the “protagonists” of this josei show. Episode 3 bored me to tears. I gave this show a 5/10.
Shirnyaku!? Ika Musume!
This started off with a slow first episode. I thought it paled in comparison with its hilarious first season. Yet, the third episode gave me some laughs. According to the Rule’s prediction, this show will have its non-funny moments and hilariously funny moments. So I stuck with it and gave this show a 6/10.
Worst first episode ever. The third episode has some genuinely funny moments, but I’m annoyed by their weird usage of characters. Their side-characters are the funniest in the series and yet, they are thrown into the bin. Which is what the Rule of Mami predicted. I’m not sure how I finished the show, but I do know I gave this show a 3/10.
With a silly premise like “LESBIAN MAHJONG”, I gave this show a shot. Its first episode was terrifyingly boring. But when they start shuffling the tiles on episode 3, I got hooked. And I became a Saki fan. I still have fond memories of this show and I can’t wait for Saki 2. 8/10
This show started off great. In fact, it passed the Rule of Mami easily with Minorin and Ami. Yet, this is the one of the few times the rule failed on me. The show is separated into two halves: comedy and drama. Because the first three episodes are in the “comedy” half, I thought this show was going to be great.
When it came to the drama half, ughhhhhh…
I will talk about why I hate this show (except Minorin, Ami, and astronaut girl) in the near future. I gave this show a 2/10 because I like the side-characters a lot.
This post is totally not an excuse to post hot Mami pictures.
Like most rules, the Rule of Mami is fallible. But its success rate is huge.
I’ve found a ton of shows that I would have dismissed if I was an idiot and only watched the first episode. Shows like Aria, Last Exile, Neon Genesis Evangelion, ef, Nanoha, and more.
It’s a rule that forces people to be more open-minded. It gives you time to get the “feel” of a show without wasting too much time. If you still dislike the show in the third episode, then drop it. But if you find out that all of a sudden you like it, keep watching it.
It’s a simple rule. Everyone should use it because everyone will stop being bigoted and start sounding reasonable.