After a discussion of a recent thread I have decided to make this one, bascially it's to state how you go about watching an anime, from the factors that attract you to it to what prompts you to decide to purchase it whether it's a blind buy or a well though out plan.
So for me, stage one is choosing an anime to watch, with the resources we have available in the form of free streaming links here on Funimation and Crunchyroll it's quite easy to check animes out completely risk free, but the factors in question that determine which anime I will take the time to sample is as follows:
1. Funimation adverts on this site and forum, I can see which animes Funimation is plugging at a given time and since they have a Youtube channel, I can go there to check out some of the episodes of said series. This is how I watched and bought shows like Princess Jellyfish, Cat Planet Cuties, Fractale, and Freezing.
2. Fan enthusiasum, so aside from series like Bleah, Dragonballz and One Piece (which get so much publicity anyways) I keep my eyes open for shows people are talking about, or at least keep bringing up. I also look at people's favorites lists and empathize with how much they may like an anime, so I look into some of that stuff. This is how I got into Tatami Galaxy, Queen's Blade (which I eventually purchased on BD), Black Lagoon, Hellsing Ultimate, Moribito and even Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
3. Conscious choice and blind buying, these are series for whatever reason I went ahead and watched them online or blind bought the series(or part of it) sometimes with great or undesirable results. Usually I some artwork for a series on another site, then read about it a little and then give it a try. I got into FMA, Ikkitousen, Tenjho Tenge, Texhnolyze, Samurai Champloo and Chobits this way.
4. People's recommendations, this when a person I know says directly to me to try out a certain anime, so out of consideration for that person and their tastes, I give it a fair try. I came across some great animes this way, some being Berserk, Deathnote and GunGrave.
Generally what I do when sampling an anime is I give it at least three to four episodes, I feel this is a fair chance to see if I like it or not, because there are some animes that have a slow first episode and don't really get the ball rolling until the third episode. After that, if I am liking it, I buy it if it's available (for a reasonable price) if it's not for sale, I just continue to stream it and cross my fingers in hopes it will get a bluray release.
There have been animes I have completed, but didn't like enough to buy, one was Deadman Wonderland, it was entertaining, but it didn't live up to my expectations, another was Puella Magi Madoka Magica which I would buy if I liked the series enough to pay $120 total, however, I'd be willing to pay about, $60 considering how much I have paid for my favorite animes.
What turns me off of an anime or "drop," an anime (simular to worse anime thread, sort of):
1. Boring, if the story and characters don't reel me in, they lose me. This is what happened with level E, it just didn't grab me, along with Ai Yori Oshi, which I managed to mostly get through, Green Green, Burn up Scramble, Burst Angel, Eiken (aside from being deranged, and only two episodes too) and a few others. Understand, some of these animes suffer from other issues aside from bordom, like Eikan and Green Green.
2. Cheap imitations, for me, Master of Martial Hearts was like a B - Grade Ikkitousen. this is a situation where an anime takes a concept already doing well and makes another version of it to capitalize on the success. Sometimes it can work, there have been some good shows, but they make the effort to change things up a little to keep the concept fresh. There's Heaven's Lost Property, which I almost avoided because I felt it looked too much like DearS, which was simular to Chobits, which was simular to Mahoromatic yet all these animes are deep, entertaining and innovative by constantly refreshing an otherwise tired old trope. then there's the fanservice fighting girl animes which have some great shows IMO, such as Ikkitousen, Tenjho Tenge (sort of a fighting girl anime), Sekirei, Queen's Blade, Samurai Girls and Freezing which all add new concepts, characters (or at least interpretations of such) and ideas to own their mythology.
3. Then there are old reused jokes - which is not a big issue when they take the joke and do it differently or the character has a new reaction, but, all too often some jokes get done, and redone, and there is no change. Take the token bath scene, it's a staple in not only the fan service anime, but anime in general. It seems, girl walks in on guy or vice versa, something happens, or, another girl walks in and sees, misinterprets, assumes the worst, all hell breaks lose. It has happened so often, it actually blurs together, I remember the one on Cat Planet Cuties was hilarious and well executed because they took it a notch further, and the fact that Aris was able to lift Kio like a ragdoll made it that much more funny. Some other ones that did something crafty was Sekirei and Queen's Blade when pompus cow Elina kicked Tomoe out of the hot spring because she apparently owned it, actually that wasn't funny, that was mean.
4. Self indulgent animes, I ragged on Neon Genesis for this, but after watching it again, I feel different, while it was still pretty self indulgent, it made up for that with amazing character development, cutting edge action scenes and witty comedy. However, some other animes weren't too lucky, with the first season of Jubei chan I stopped watching and I almost quit the second season - at least that one had some Monty Python style humor to save it from the anime guillotine.
5.When I hate the characters, so when I start watching an anime, and if I dislike most of the main cast, no matter how well developed, if they strike as people I wouldn't want to spead time with in real life, why would I want to watch a show about them. One example is Love Hina, I didn't mind the guy in it, but the female characters are beyond mean spirited and the way they treated him actually made me angry to watch it. The series would've been better had the male protagonist grew a spine and some balls to go with it and stood up for himself rather than putting up with their garbage considering that he actually owned the place. After watching the first half of this showI couldn't deal with it anymore.