I liked Kiddy Grade. It had nice character designs, an intriguing plot, and even though it fell apart by the end (something that would become a signature-of-sorts for its studio GONZO), I came away from it satisfied overall.
So when the sequel came out, I was quick to get the first episode of Kiddy Girl-and, and I found it okay but not great or memorable, kind of like the original series’ first episode. But then for some reason I didn’t watch the next episode, or the one after that. After a while, rather than continuing off from episode 1, I looked around for others’ opinions on the show, and nearly unanimously the response I got was “it’s terrible, even for Kiddy Grade.” Oddly, this did not cement my decision to ignore the show entirely, but rather actually prompted me to get another episode with the intent of continuing just a little further.
Why did their negative reviews make me want to watch it more? It felt like a combination of wanting to make a judgment on a work more directly, making sure I wasn’t writing a show off entirely based on the opinions of others, and maybe a twinge of morbid curiosity. As Daryl Surat will tell you, every time he tells someone not to watch Odin they almost inevitably disobey. I’m not sure if it’s that simple, but I think it plays a role in how I’ve approached Kiddy Girl-and, but it’s a mindset that has perhaps transformed into a form of “reverse” peer pressure.
Let’s say everyone you know hypes up a show to be the greatest anime ever. When almost everyone is touting this new show to be the best thing since Instant Sliced Brownies there’s a chance you might get this little voice in your head saying, “If it’s THIS popular, something’s gotta be up.” You start to wonder if it the work is “overrated.” Ask any person who dislikes Haruhi more because of the fanbase and less because of the content of the anime itself.
I think that’s how I feel about Kiddy Girl-and but in the opposite direction. With so many people telling me how not-good a show it is, it intrigues me further into watching, especially because its perceived awfulness wasn’t entirely apparent from episode 1 (as opposed to say, Akikan, where its level of quality was immediately recognized).