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11 Anime Shows That Start Off BAD But Get Amazing Afterwards

I hate slow anime shows. You’re probably the same.

It’s hard to get through an anime when you feel like cutting your arm off and dropping dead… Because it’s so boring it feels like you’re watching in slow-motion.

Luckily – there is hope, and some anime do get better in the end.

I felt the same way about ALL the anime shows I’ll be mentioning in this post.

Let’s talk about it.


Anime Shows That Start Off Bad But Get Better With Time:


1. Log Horizon

log horizon anime show | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

Log Horizon is an MMORPG type of anime series. Where the characters get stuck inside a game called Elder Tales.

After hearing so many people talk about and compare it to SAO (which makes no sense), I gave it a go.

Apart from the fact it’s nothing like SAO, I almost dropped Log Horizon until maybe episode 8 or so.

That’s when the anime starts to get good, and the action starts to become engaging and worth watching.

log horizon season 2 | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

Before that – you’re stuck watching people talk sh** for most of the first few episodes… To the point of boredom. Like one of those looong speeches you come across that seems to never get to the point.

That’s how I felt about Log Horizon, until the anime drastically improves and dives into the MMORPG style of adventure and action.

So keep that in mind if your experience is the same.


2. Bungou Stray Dogs

bungou stray dogs osamu and atsushi | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

Now – Bungou Stray Dogs is far from being the slowest type of series I’ve watched. What kept me going was the weird, quirky and strange characters.

Mostly Osamu Dazai and his random conversations with Atsushi Nakajima (an orphan with no self-esteem).

Osamu’s constant obsession with “wanting to commit suicide” does feel tedious though.

bungou stray dogs atsushi and osamu episode 1 | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

The first few episodes, especially 1-2 might make you cringe or question what type of nonsense you’re even watching.

And what you’re doing with your life.

But as the anime makes progress, and you start to learn about the secret agency for people with supernatural abilities, all your doubts wash away.

The action scene between Atsushi, Akutagawa and Osamu is the starting point for all the action in Bungou Stray Dogs.

The type that’s hard to dislike. And season 2 only gets better.

Relevant: 20 Of The Most Dark Anime Series


3. Toradora

toradora anime ryuuji and taiga | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

I can’t tell you how close I was to abandoning Toradora ALL together.

In fact the truth is I did drop it. And left it at that.

But out of some weird curiosity, I decided to see if it’s possible if it could “get better”. Since I’ve heard so many good things about it (produced by J.C Staff).

taiga kicks ryuuji takasu | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

In the beginning, it’s mostly about Taiga Aisaka and Ryuuji Takasu.

And Taiga is constantly seen abusing Ryuuji, verbally and physically.

It gets tiring after a while. It almost felt like the abuse seen in The Familiar Of Zero.

taiga aisaka punching ryuuji e1548856513495 | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

It doesn’t help that Taiga’s a complete ***** for no good reason.

Between episode 1 – 5 this is a running joke that starts to get stale, cliché and pointless.

And the anime in general doesn’t seem to “offer” anything interesting enough that I haven’t seen 1000’s of times.

Or so I thought…

taiga and ryuuji anime | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

Around episode 7 and onwards, it starts to get good.

Mostly because:

  • Character development starts to kick in.
  • You start to learn about the characters more (back-stories, etc).
  • The comedy was never bad, but it gets even better (by comedy I don’t mean the MC getting punched).
  • And the chemistry between the characters starts to mesh.
  • Not to mention Taiga Aisaka reveals more about herself and you start to connect with her a lot more (she’s not an asshole for the sake of it).

There’s probably a million reasons, but the anime starts to “feel” more polished, interesting and memorable.

The more Toradora progresses, the crazier and more emotional it gets.

ryuuji and taiga together | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

In the end it’s turned out to be a personal favorite in the romance, slice of life category.

Because for an anime to make you hate then love it, well, there aren’t dozens of anime that can make you feel both simultaneously.

And that’s what makes Toradora great once you get into it.


4. Chrono Crusade

chrono crusade anime show | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

Chrono Crusade is a classic in my eyes, but I wouldn’t have believed it if I quit too soon.

It’s a demon/action series about Rosette Christopher and her relationship with Chrono. Who’s a demon.

There’s tons of religious references, too, with a thought-provoking theme the more you get into it.

So why does it start off bad or slow?

I guess when it all comes down to it – nothing feels special about it in the beginning.

chrono crusade pervert | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

You get your typical “old man who’s a pervert” cliché, a loud, energetic main character, and the nonsense she “seems” to get up to.

But that all changes dramatically as the anime starts to get serious. And the plot starts to darken like a white sheet of paper painted black.

Relevant: 11 Not So Obvious Anime Couples Who Are Some Of The Best


5. Chuunibyou, Love & Other Delusions

chuunibyou love and other dellusions | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

Chuunibyou is another anime I watched (Kyoto Animation) that starts off bad and made me cringe.

“Cringe” is actually a part of the anime’s charm. The main character: Rika Takanashi is a “Chuunibyou” teenager who still believes she has superpowers, after all.

Similar to Toradora, I quit Chuunibyou and never came back…. Until I thought about the “few” things I liked about it, so I gave it another go.

chuunibyou gif cute | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

After episode 5-ish, just like Toradora, Chuunibyou starts to get a little more serious. With the introduction of romance and a little character development.

Keep in mind – this a rom-com series, and even though I don’t mention it much, it’s one of the funniest I’ve enjoyed seeing.


6. D. Gray Man

allen walker d gray man anime | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

D. Gray Man doesn’t start off “bad” in so many words… It’s just so effin slow and uncertain in the early stages.

But if you can get through the seemingly slow and uncertain first episodes, D. Gray Man is one of the most rewarding Shounen I’ve come across.

  • D. Gray Man has its own identity (like My Hero Academia).
  • It doesn’t feel like any Shounen I’ve watched.
  • The main character has an interesting design, and quirks to his abilities (and curses).
  • Female characters in D. Gray Man aren’t “damsels in distress” and instead – they play a strong role in the story.
  • And the colors and animation gives off a feeling of “edgy, dark” which I love about it.

Relevant: 38 Of The Greatest D. Gray Man Quotes From The Best Characters


7. Fate Apocrypha

fate apocrypha jeanne d arc and saber of black | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

Fate Apocrypha, according to the anime community, isn’t the best we’ve seen in the fate genre.

I might have agreed in the first 5 episodes of watching. After all – the sound effects in battle scenes aren’t the most mind-blowing I’ve heard.

Plus it feels a little on the slow, uncertain side and doesn’t hit you with a “bang”.

But that changes.

saber of red fate apocrypha angry | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

It’s not as perfect as Fate Zero, but it’s much better than Fate Stay Night. And I feel Fate Apocrypha improves the further you get into it.

Action, characters, depth, plot – Fate Apocrypha is a solid 9/10 once everything starts to roll into place.

Related: 11 Surprisingly Good Rider Quotes From Fate Zero Anime


8. Full Metal Panic

FMP season 1 kaname and sousuke | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

Full Metal Panic is one of the only few shows that starts off slow, but not necessarily bad or terrible.

I had no problem getting through the first season of FMP. But the thing is – I felt almost dissatisfied.

I thought there was more to it than that.

full metal panic invisible victory kaname and sousuke | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

But then season 2 (and 3) comes around. And sh** gets so crazy and involving I can’t believe I ever doubted FMP.

Even the ratings (though I hate to use ratings) shows how FMP’s first season is lower than the second season.

It’s the type of anime that gets better, but the journey to seeing it all come to fruition is a little slower and less compelling.


9. Asterisk War

asterisk war julis and ayato | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

You know what I hate about shows like this? They have potential underneath the surface. But because it’s full of cliches and stupid “fan-service” – it ruins any chances of being enjoyed by most fans.

Take the first episode as an example, where the main character falls into a girls boobs.

asterisk war cliche | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

It’s not the best impression, hence why Asterisk War starts off so terrible.

But somehow I got past it and kept going.

I’m glad I did.

ayato amagiri fight asterisk war | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

Asterisk War as an action/fantasy series has some interesting concepts. Like how abilities work. And the character outfits feel futuristic (in a cool kind of way).

But the best part about Asterisk War’s growth – is watching the 2 main characters: Julis and Ayato’s relationship blossom.

Not every anime can get that right, but Asterisk War does a good job of male and female protagonists, and the dark-ish story that follows them both.


10. Inuyasha

inuuyasha gif funny | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

Inuyasha is a long series, 150+ episodes at the least. And like most shows of its kind – there’s nothing exciting that “grabs” you in the beginning.

It just feels like a random historical series with a dog-demon for a main character, and a girl who falls into a “well” and ends up in another world.

It has “cliché” written all over it by today’s standards.


bankotsu inuyasha | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

Once the action-scenes start picking g up, and the romance and jealousy gets thrown into the mix between characters, things pick up the pace.

There’s a lot of dynamics that makes Inuyasha a whole different anime all together.

And somehow it’s able to do a lot without losing focus or being “just another anime” that doesn’t deserve to be remembered.

Related: 39 Classic Inuyasha Quotes


11. Kino’s Travels

kinos travels anime screencap e1548858305702 | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

Kino’s Travels is an anime I discovered based on a conversation I seen online.

If it weren’t for that conversation, I wouldn’t have known about it. After alll – I’ve never seen any websites recommend it.

kino eating food scene kinos travels e1548858285379 | https://animemotivation.com/anime-that-starts-off-bad/

It’s about a traveller called Kino, her talking motorbike, and how she travels the world. Staying in each country or town for no more than 3 days.

Learning as much as she can during her stay.

Unlike Shounen or horror shows (like Attack On Titan) which start the first episode with a BANG, Kino’s Travels is an adventure/slice of life so it takes time to impress.

But when it does? There’s no show on earth that compares for Kino’s depth, changing-scenes, psychological elements and philosophical moments its known for.

It’s an absolute masterpiece in my eyes.


Honorable Mentions:

  • Monster.
  • Konosuba.
  • Gunslinger Girl.
  • Best Student Council.

Recommended: Don’t Miss Out On These 15 Isekai Anime Shows!

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