Many, many schoolgirls are involved.
Unless the two of you happened to meet at an anime screening, there’s a certain amount of risk when you first tell someone what Japanese animated franchise you’re a fan of. Sure there’s a chance that revealing exactly where your passions lie will elicit an excited “Oh my gosh, I love that show too!” But at the same time, your declaration of anime loyalty could end with your conversational counterpart nervously laughing and saying, “Oh, I didn’t know you were into that sort of thing.”
To help pinpoint these potential pitfalls, Japanese website Shirabee polled 1,338 men and women between the ages of 20 and 69, asking them which anime would weird a person out to hear someone else is a fan of it.
Let’s take a look at the top ten responses.
10. Girls und Panzer (34 votes)
Despite Girls und Panzer being first announced with a promise from the director that it would have “no pantie shots,” it still finished high on the list. Professed chastity aside, the fact that there’s pretty much a tank or a schoolgirl on-screen at any given moment has pigeonholed Girls und Panzer as a show that only really speaks to lonely middle-aged men.
9. Bakemonogatari (42 votes)
Off-kilter visual perspectives and a steady stream of surreal dialogue landed this arm of the Monogatari franchise in the number 9 spot.
8. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (43 votes)
Yes, this was one of the most popular anime in its heyday, with a pretty broad fanbase. Still, if the fire of Haruhi fandom is still burning bright inside of you, some people might assume that you also still perform the show’s iconic dance or regularly rewatch its string of eight near-identical episodes.
6 (tie). Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions/Lucky Star (44 votes)
Really identifying with the cast of the first requires viewers to think (or have thought) a huge amount of anime tropes are super-cool. Enjoying the antics of the second requires viewers to think a huge amount of those tropes are hilarious. Either way, saying you’re a big fan is pretty much the same as saying you consume so much anime that some people might wonder if you ever do anything else with your free time.
5. To Love-Ru (48 votes)
They wouldn’t make life-size bridal lingerie statues for this series unless some of the people supporting it did so to an obsessive degree.
4. Cardcaptor Sakura (53 votes)
Cardcaptor Sakura’s presence here is kind of a surprise, since for the most part it’s a pretty wholesome magical girl show. Some respondents, though, said it’d be weird for a full-grown man to be into a story whose star isn’t even in her teens yet.
2 (tie). The Idolmaster/K-On! (57 votes)
Sure, they’re both about up-and-coming musicians. However, the bigger issue, in respondents’ minds, is that they’re also both about cute schoolgirls, and saying you’ve seen every episode may have people imagining you keep coming back for the skirts rather than the sounds.
1. Love Live! (84 votes)
Just as idol mega-hit Love Live! consistently beats out The Idolmaster in sales charts, so too does it surpass its rival in these rankings. In some ways, Love Live! ended up here for reasons similar to Haruhi. It’s the most currently successful series on this list, by far, which means that just about all anime enthusiasts have caught an episode or two. But the Love Livers, as the series’ most hardcore fans call themselves, are often seen as combining all of the obsessiveness of anime otaku with the fanatic fealty of real-life idol otaku. As such, their rather showy displays of devotion don’t sit well at all with some people.
Now before you go pushing your merch from these shows into a dark corner of your closet, it’s important to remember that Japanese is a very vague language. The way the survey’s question was phrased didn’t really specify if it was asking for anime that the respondents themselves would react negatively to, or simply for titles that they thought other people would be weirded out to learn someone is a fan of. Still, if you’re starting a new job, you might want to test the waters a bit before setting up your Love Live! figure collection on your desk.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s still a little sad about the time he told a fellow anime fan one of favorite series is Escaflowne, only to have the person say “Never heard of it.”