So What IS Your Favorite Genre, Voyager?

Now that I think about it… that’s more complicated than I initially believed.

I know I’ve said, before, that my favorite genre was Adventure, but the more I think about it, the more I come to believe that might not be entirely the case. Let me explain. It kind of occurred to me whilst I was skimming through a list of recommended comics and novels on Tapas (thanks to Lynn for reminding me that Tapas exists, honestly) and something kind of just… occurred to me. Pretty much everything I looked at for more than a couple seconds was Romance. Now, I’ve pretty much always said that my second favorite genre was, in fact, Romance. But it’s just weird to me that that was the genre my brain defaulted to when I was browsing. I think I have the answer to this riddle, though. I think my favorite genre may very well depend on the medium.

I’ve noticed that I tend to fall out of reading more action-y series rather easily. This despite the fact that I watch them a lot. By contrast, if one looks at my watched shows, there are surprisingly few Romances in there. Some I’ve been planning to watch. Some I’ve started but not finished. But the number is less overall. In fact, my top-watched based on my (admittedly not fully updated) Anilist is Comedy. But I don’t really count that since most of the things I watch just have that in there as a side genre. Most of the Romances I have seen are rom-coms. Most of the Shounen battle shows have Comedy in there as a significant genre even though that isn’t really why I watch them. Speaking of which, the second most-watched genre on there is… you guessed it. Action. Not Adventure. Action. And it makes since. Anime-wise I did grow up on Shounen battle series. And even in Western media, most of my watching and reading habits revolved (and still revolve) around Superheroes – definitively an action sub-genre. Romance doesn’t appear until spot five on the most-watched genres. So why is this?

I think it simply comes down to the nature of the stories and the nature of the mediums. I like watching things that take full advantage of being in an audiovisual medium. Things that go all out. They’re flashy. They’re colorful. They have killer music, immaculate voice acting, epic sound design. They have a lot of dynamic motion, everything. Action is built for that. It’s part of the reason I’ve always preferred animation to live-action. You can simply do things visually with animation that you simply cannot do in live-action. And my own relationship with reality being what it is, I’m someone for whom there really is nothing you can do in live-action that can’t be done in animation. So action would naturally be where I fall in that mediums.

By contrast, the way in which I tend to read things is… different. When I’m reading something – anything – it’s a quiet moment. It’s time I have to myself to just sit, relax, and take something in, peacefully. Particularly undramatic romances are pretty much perfect for this. Light rom-coms are cute, sometimes funny little stories. There are certainly some that I think are at their peak when watched (Kaguya-sama is one example as its comedy is just as important as its romance, if not more, and I do think certain styles of comedy are better when viewed, rather than read). But things like Kimi ni Todoke, That Girl Is Not Just Cute, or Whispering You A Love Song, or even the often sillier gyaru rom-coms like Dosanko Gyaru Is Mega Cute and Yancha Gal no Anjou-san are just cozy reads I can lie in bed and absorb. More dramatic ones I can take either way, really. Bloom Into You and The Lady And Her Butler come to mind. But that makes sense. I watched the former – a deep exploration of the theme of love – and read the latter (not that I had a choice) – an adult romance (as in, it’s literally a romance about two people around 30. It’s not an “adult” comic. If you wanna talk about those, message me directly or something. This ain’t the place).

“But then why did you say adventure is your favorite?”

Honestly? I can already see the answer to that. Videogames. The games I play the most are adventures. From fantastical epics like the Tales series, to star-hopping sci-fi like Mass Effect, and even my childhood obsession of Pokemon. I grew up playing adventure games, absorbing stories with a spirit of adventure. And I remind you, Pokemon was and is my favorite show, ever since I was a kid. Even if I don’t watch it religiously anymore. It’s likely where this fascination with adventure comes from. I didn’t pick up the straight-action shows until later, when I got on the superhero kick (it didn’t help that I actively avoided Dragon Ball for years because people WOULD NOT shut up about it).

Either way, my reasons remain the same. I enjoy the “spirit” of Adventure series. Exploring a fantastical world I’m not familiar with. I also think Adventure is the genre that’s most primed to having “a little bit of everything.” The world is a dangerous place. So action can come naturally. Especially if we’re talking about a world at war. Romantic subplots can work their way into any kind of story, really. And adventure’s great for it because so many different types of characters can meet one another in this way.

I think that’s where my personal writing tendencies come into play. By far, the genre I enjoy writing the most is adventure. Yet I don’t write a ton of them. Burning Sky is currently the only one. But I’ve got at least two others in the pipeline for years off. Meanwhile, what’s the genre I write for the most? Action. “Wait, but you said-!” Yeah, here’s the thing, though. When I write, I see an animated scene in my head. I don’t see my stories in words, or even still-images. And that’s because of the long-term goal – to eventually see something I made brought to life on a screen. I have zero illusions of that happening with Burning Sky. It’s much too big. “But One Piece-!” Is ultimately still one story, following one relatively small group of people. Even if Burning Sky doesn’t reach One Piece levels of pure length, the breadth of the story is too great. With multiple different groups across multiple different books, all happening concurrently, it’s just not something that could really be done as an animated series. Videogames? Quite possibly. Show? Nah. But I’m fine with that. Because I already know what the project is that I’d love most to see as the first thing I make to get put on a screen somewhere. So you’ll just have to wait for me to be ready to talk about that. But yes, it is an Action/Comedy. How ever did you guess?

Anyway, that’s all my musings for now. Was just bored and decided to write this on a while browsing, like I said. What are your favorite genres? Would love to know if yours is broken up by medium, like me. All right, I’m done. Stay safe, Stay healthy, Stay Awesome.


4 Comments on “So What IS Your Favorite Genre, Voyager?

  1. I do believe I did a whole post on this very topic a while back, based around anime/TV, manga/novels and games. Due to Naja’s influence, I do poke through otome games on occasion and I rate some manga romances quite highly, but swear off a lot of romance in anime. However, you can find action and comedy featuring in everything but the games. Less notably, mystery is in everything (if you factor in those hidden object games – which I didn’t for the post I mentioned – and the Detective Conan game). This is because I like to take my time with games – timed things can be stressful, so the one rhythm gacha game I got into during quarantine is an exception, not a rule.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know that I have a “favorite”, though when it comes to anime I lean strongly towards slice-of-life, found family, and CGDCT… Oddly enough, I read almost no fiction. (I guess anime scratches that itch.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I should be clear… I read _extensively_, but virtually all of it non-fiction. The various twitter feeds and subreddits I hang out in are an inexhaustible tide of book recommendations. Before COVID shut the libraries down… The inter-library loan librarian would get this “I wonder WTF he’s picking up this time?” look on her face when I walked up to the desk.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I do tend to enjoy those genres when I wanna watch something to wind down. I’m usually the opposite as media habits go, though. I don’t read a *ton* but pretty much everything I read is fiction. That or books about the craft of writing.

      Liked by 1 person

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