Series with the steepest/largest drop in quality


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    I'm curious as to what series people started reading/watching that they at first thought were really good, but as time went on started disliking, or at least didn't like nearly as much as they used to. It doesn't necessarily have to be LN, could just be a regular series, TV shows, anime, or whatever. For me with Light Novels it would be:

    Largest drop in quality: Rising of the Shield Hero. The early volumes are easily 8 or 9's out of ten. Everything the author tries is masterfully done, and she creates believable tension, likable/dislikeable characters, an interesting world, and subversive fight scenes that don't go quite as expected. As the series goes on, though, the characters get replaced by 2d harem members that do nothing but bicker and instantly fall in love for no real reason. The author just doesn't seem capable of ending fights without relying on Deus ex machina. The world-building is still pretty interesting, though. And by the end of where I read (volume 17) most of the volumes ended up being more like 4 out of tens.

    Quickest Drop in quality: Goblin Slayer. The first two volumes were really interesting dungeon-crawling fair that I'd rate pretty solid 7/10. However, by the third volume, it's just side stories and harem antics which was way different from how the first two started. At the lowest, I'd say it was a 3/10 and I just stopped the series after volume 4.

    I was thinking of writing the opposite too, the series that ended up climbing in quality the most, but If it started off that bad I wouldn't have kept going. So, I can't really think of anything that jumps in quality nearly as much as those series fell.


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    Any series in the "author has great idea for 1-2 books, publisher wants them to write more" vein would probably appear in a topic like this. The picks for me would be Bakarina and 86.

    Bakarina I haven't read past volume 4, but the story was clearly conceived only as far as volume 2, so it didn't really have a strong focus in 3 and 4. I've heard it gets much better later on, but takes a number of volumes to get there.

    86 was definitely a one-shot. I enjoyed volumes 2-3 as well, since they were more directly expanding on the story presented in the first volume, but after that it's been really hard for me to keep up or finish reading volumes. I just feel like the author is having trouble keeping up with the tough social questions she posed in volume 1 and ends up retreading the same ground, while the sci-fi plot in itself isn't amazing enough to drive the series.


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    Me a Genius

    I consider volume 1 to be one of the best first volume series that I've ever read.

    Volume 2 and 3 dropped like a brick once it got rid of the slice-of-life series and put Kouki's friends on a bus.


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    Large quality drops seem to be the bane of serialised fiction, and that seems to be entirely down to the fact that once something sells, the author and/or the publisher kind of don't want to stop producing more even when it would make sense (from a narrative point of view) to bring a story to its conclusion. Thus, once the original premise has run its course or the author has run out of story, you often end up with an endless rehashing of the same overused tropes until the sales drop below sustainable levels, at which point it all ends like a wet rag falling to the floor.

    Edit: alternatively, the author starts padding the story they've already got planned in order to make it last as long as possible.


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    I really most undeline myskaros comment with Bakarina. I did not finish Volume 4 till now. And seriously. A teddybear as a character? I must thing back about such mascots like Kon in Bleach.

    A pity but I must also count Smartphone into it. I really liked every volume till he got his Kingdom. From this point on it got boring or too generic. And really. Mechas? Or an isekai in an isekai? I think I am still somewhere at Volume 17.

    But in my opinion even worse than such examples are books who decline over the course of a Volume. An example of this is in my eyes "The GM logged into another world". I found the first Volumes nicely done but then it seemd as the author wanted to cram too much into it. What sealed the deal that I nearly did not finish it is and Spoiler warning

    But rant over.


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    Magic in this world: it's personal taste of course, but around volume 5? it started to lean heavily into stock anime/manga comedy and silliness. Loli form for the warrior spirit girl, chunni spirit possession of the summoned girl, accidental peeping, on and on.

    Little Apocalypse: it had a good run of 8-10 volumes, at which point to me it read like the author started doggedly working their way through any genre they hadn't used yet just to get another book out the door. I stopped caring and skipped 1-2 volumes before coming back for the final arc.

    Smartphone got less interesting to me with the NEET god / mirror world arc, but it never got terrible. The honeymoon volume felt like a bit of a cop-out though, done to keep things G-rated.

    A few that haven't dropped off (for me):

    • Realist Hero
    • Lazy Dungeon Master
    • Der Werwolf
    • Master of Ragnarok (a total surprise to me, and as of volume 11. I just started reading it this month)
    • Death March (the MC becomes level 310 in the first chapter, when heroes of the world are level 50. There never was supposed to be real tension. It's a tourist's travelogue.)

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    Potion Loli is the worst offender for me here. I thoroughly enjoyed the story at the start, but it quickly became to feel the events were constantly repeating themselves, which became rather tiresome. I did enjoy it when Kaoru settled down for a bit to one country, but when she again went to another journey to find a husband, I ended up losing all of my interest, I didn't want to read the repeat of previous events all over again. I did still glance at new parts occasionally, but nothing I've seen has made me want to stick to it again.

    Goblin Slayer definitely felt like it should have been finished at volume 2. After that, it felt like any story was replaced by filler.

    I always viewed Smartphone as a very flawed series that still managed to stay entertaining, but overtime, it became less and less enjoyable, to a point I haven't continued reading it anymore. I did reach all the way up to around volume 17 however.

    Some series that haven't dropped at all for me even after 5 volumes:
    Death March
    Der Werwolf
    Saga of Tanya the Evil
    Realist Hero
    Mixed Bathing
    Record of the Wortenia War
    Lazy Dungeon Master (God, I hate Haku though. Ever since I graduated from being a yuri fanboy some 10 years ago, I haven't been able to stand the yandere lesbian character archetype. Any volume with an emphasis on Haku has been an absolute pain to get through)


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    @Amakaze Agree with Potion Loli; I was reading it for a couple of volumes but it reminded me a lot of Abilities Average, which I dropped after like 5 or 6 volumes out of boredom. Turns out they're by the same author, which explains why I got such similar storytelling vibes from it haha.

    I wouldn't label them with "steepest" or "largest" drop in quality, though maybe "most repetitive" of what I've sampled. My sample size is also pretty small for what it's worth, and as I broaden my horizons I'm increasing my tendency to drop something when I'm not feeling it instead of pushing through (as evidenced by ~6 volumes of Abilities Average but ~2 of Potions Loli).


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    @MasterLillyclaw - for me, Abilities Average started strong for a few volumes, got a little boring for the next few, then the writer seemed to catch a second wind. It's still my favorite of the 3 FUNA series.

    If you haven't read the Slow Press 80,000 Gold volumes 1-2 they're pretty good and not just more of the same, especially volume 2. Since it is Slow Press we might never find out whether or not the quality plummets in later volumes .

    Also, if you enjoyed the first few Abilities Average, I recommend two others:

    • Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear, a series that inspired FUNA.
    • Woof Woof Story, the tale of a guy who is reincarnated as an ordinary, average, normal pet dog (chorus: "no he's not!")

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    I came across this interview of FUNA, and he spent long time thinking about 80K Gold, and after long incubation, he posted the first chapter. He was so nervous of acceptance he was checking the Page View count every 10 minutes. He thought it was kind of wast of time so decided to whip out another story. About 24 hours later, he posted the first episode of Potion Lori. So, it is not a well thought out series for sure.


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    The Simpsons. The Simpsons began by pioneering an entire genre of western adult animated comedy and was hands down one of the best things on TV at the time. I don't think I need to tell anyone how they've ended up.

    When it comes to LN, I have dropped quite a large number of series, more than I have finished, but in all honesty most of those where borderline readable to begin with. As odd as it may seem since I am a long term supporter of this site, I'm actually not a fan of like 90% of the LN I come across. Still, the rare jewels I find are well worth it.

    I will agree that Potion Loli and Bakarina weren't bad to begin with but ended up pretty lacking once they made it beyond their initial story and character arcs.


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    @Melting-Sky said in Series with the steepest/largest drop in quality:

    The Simpsons. The Simpsons began by pioneering an entire genre of western adult animated comedy and was hands down one of the best things on TV at the time. I don't think I need to tell anyone how they've ended up.

    I mean, the show's not at its Golden Age heights, but given the choice between a modern Simpsons episode and a modern South Park episode, I'd pick the Simpsons pretty much every time.

    On the subject of LNs, I don't think I've actually dropped any series yet. I'm delaying purchasing a few next volumes to make sure my finances aren't brutally murdered (Shield Hero, Tanya the Evil, Haruhi Suzumiya), but I haven't found one that I've actively lost interest in keeping up with. I also have a bit of a backlog I need to catch up on, though, so those purchases keep getting pushed further & further back.


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    I'll add to the Potions loli pile on. And, sadly, Bakarina as well, where I've fallen behind and didn't even really notice it until well after.

    Can't think of any other LNs off the top of my head, but that's largely because the kinds of series that seem most likely to have this kind of drop seem to be ones I didn't like in the first place.

    Moving outside of LNs, the list would be far larger. I don't know if it qualifies as a drop in quality or simply a drop in ability to catch my attention but most TV shows would qualify... very few do I ever finish, or did back when I watched more TV.


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    @TheGrimLich said in Series with the steepest/largest drop in quality:

    @Melting-Sky said in Series with the steepest/largest drop in quality:

    The Simpsons. The Simpsons began by pioneering an entire genre of western adult animated comedy and was hands down one of the best things on TV at the time. I don't think I need to tell anyone how they've ended up.

    I mean, the show's not at its Golden Age heights, but given the choice between a modern Simpsons episode and a modern South Park episode, I'd pick the Simpsons pretty much every time.

    On the subject of LNs, I don't think I've actually dropped any series yet. I'm delaying purchasing a few next volumes to make sure my finances aren't brutally murdered (Shield Hero, Tanya the Evil, Haruhi Suzumiya), but I haven't found one that I've actively lost interest in keeping up with. I also have a bit of a backlog I need to catch up on, though, so those purchases keep getting pushed further & further back.

    It's not that the modern Simpsons are awful. It's that they were so much more back when they had the original writers. The Simpsons have become the generic, canned, top down, corporate product they once subverted and made fun of. South Park is another one of those shows that is really showing its age. How many original stories can you come up with? It's no wonder after literally hundreds of episodes they've gone from pioneers to following the ruts they themselves cut over the decades. Nothing lasts for ever.

    The one thing I begrudge the entertainment industry for, and this includes the Japanese scene, is they won't put a good cash cow out to pasture even when the creators themselves know it's time. Instead they milk the once glorious beast down to emaciated skin and bones rather than allowing it a dignified death.


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    If we are counting shows that haven't dropped in quality over long runs, then I'd add Bookworm, Lazy Dungeon Master, and Archdemon's Dilemma as series with 10+ volumes that are still running strong (I think bookworm has over 10, they have a strange numbering system so it isn't obvious how many are out).

    I think I'm going to break with the potion loli hate and just say that I think it was consistently alright. I've found it an enjoyable read throughout its run, but I don't really have high expectations for the series either. Not every series is going to be that paradigm shifting amazing experience.


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    "As The Villainess, I Reject These Happy-Bad Endings", which I read just yesterday, somehow went from an enjoyable though cliche story with some minor problems to a complete trainwreck in just a single volume.

    @HarmlessDave said in Series with the steepest/largest drop in quality:

    for me, Abilities Average started strong for a few volumes, got a little boring for the next few, then the writer seemed to catch a second wind.

    For me it went from good to inconsistent. Some recent volumes are very average and just repeat jokes from earlier volumes or other works from the same authors, while the others are actually funny and even add something to the overarching story. I'd say, overall the series gives me just enough entertainment to make me continue reading it, though I'd personally prefer if it was finished in less than 10 volumes.

    As for the Potion Loli, the thing that broke it for me was actually the plot development in volume 6. I don't know, it felt extremely forced, and, personally, that's not the type of development I prefer lighthearted comedy stories to have.


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    I have to hop onto the anti FUNA train for drop offs. Average abilities became repetitive and Potion Loli became forced.
    White cat is currently suffering from my intense hatred of yanderes, male or female-quality is also a litle shaky but it shows that the publishing team knew to keep it short and cohesive. I think this would have collapsed if they had kept drawing it out.
    Der Werewolf is something I set aside as I did not want to deal with the Empire storyline, as it seemed trite and cliche, as far as political stuff goes. This is almost in direct contrast to the very well thought out plans that Veight both built and enforced in the earlier storylines. I may return to it.
    Last Boss lost me in the third volume. I don't even know if it's quality or just the really cliche "misunderstandings".
    Greatest Magicmaster had a good premise but nowhere enough depth to keep me past the first volume.
    Magic in another world- same boredom with the low quality meme content.

    I know that there are a bunch more, mostly in low quality Harem land with great character concepts that never gain anything to them past the original description.


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    Add on-Neechu. Started 5.5 raised to 6.5 in vol1 and dove into 3.5 in vol 2.


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    @jampodevral I recommend returning to Der Werwolf at some point, I haven't seen a single person say they ended up disliking the Empire arc or anything past it either, I love it myself as well. I can see why you'd think the beginning of the empire storyline would feel cliche though, but by the end of it, it is anything but it.


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    @db0ssman In English Translation, they're just starting the prepub of the 12th volume overall (and still keeping up that breakneck pace, which is hella impressive and both Quof and kier deserve medals). In Japan, the 26th overall volume comes out on April 10. So yeah, well over 10.


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