Why I Don’t Really Watch/Read Anything New

Every new season there are plenty of new shows that people get excited about. I generally brush these new offerings aside and wait. I wait for two very distinct reasons:

  1. I don’t like to wait for a new episode every week. I watch anime and read manga in marathon sessions. I can easily polish off a standard 26 episode series in the course of a day or two. I’ve read through about 300 chapters of Bleach in less than a week. I’m not usually one for watching the first few episodes of each new show and then either watch them all or follow the ones that I like. I think Claymore is one of the best examples of this phenomenon for me. It started out as a recommendation from a friend and I had also heard a bit about it so I read all the manga out in a few days (at this point it was at around chapter 90). For anyone else that follows the series, you will know that the release schedule for it is once a month. That makes it really hard to follow the show when I can’t remember what happened 50 chapters ago. For people who actually followed it since the beginning that’s something from a few years ago. Parallel that to if Kishimoto were to reference something that happened during the Orochimaru/Attack on Konoha arc in next week’s chapter.
  2. I only have so much time. And I would rather not waste it watching sub-par shows. As I have previously stated I normally will only watch shows that get high ratings. I frequent top 50 anime lists through a variety of sites and cross reference them to get some ideas of shows that I should watch next. Occasionally I will get a strong recommendation from a friend in which case I will try out that show.

The first point is probably something that people are more likely to sympathize with while the second is probably more contentious. Even with sites like AnimeNewsNetwork and MyAnimeList aggregating hundreds if not thousands of votes and using a Bayesian system, a ranking list cannot really be universalized. While not everyone likes every show in those lists, some shows are undeniably game-changing and have shaped the development of the industry in recent times. Studio Ghibli movies have helped bring anime into the mainstream of American culture and made it a lot more acceptable. It’s hard to not like the universal appeal of those movies, but not everything is met with such acclaim. Everyone has some genres they love and some they don’t like so much. Additionally, I might be in an action/adventure mood one week while the next week I might want to watch something more comedic. The power of having a ranking list along with a tool like MyAnimeList is that I can put shows that I would have an interest in on a list of shows I need to eventually watch. That list is one that is continually growing because of more shows that catch my eye as well as the lack of as much time as I had a few years ago to watch anime. Freshman year of college I could spend about 6-8 hours a day watching anime but those days are no more.

I do still follow a few manga that are ongoing just because of their popularity – notably Bleach, Naruto, Claymore, and D. Grayman. I’ll have to admit that I will often have to look up information on Google because Naruto and Bleach have been running for so long that references to things even a year ago I might not remember. Regardless of these things, I am excited about the future of anime and manga and will be anxiously waiting for new things to add to my to watch list.

Feel free to suggest shows for us to watch and discuss!

Posted on April 2, 2010, in Anime, Manga. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I can definitely see where you are coming from pandamajik and I think it makes sense. It really highlights how even amongst “anime fans” or even self-proclaimed “otakus” there is a huge variation in how anime and manga are part of their lives.

    I feel very much the way you do, especially when it comes to manga. In all honestly the amount of text and story in any decent length manga is about the same as a medium sized novel and thus given how much I enjoy reading to begin with I just want the chance to sit down, blaze through it all and digest what I’ve read. Keeping up with multiple long running stories often gets difficult when you keep having references from 3 years ago cropping up every now and again. I guess it is more tolerable with some of the Shonen-style action series cause they often lack some of the in-depth characterization or emotional aspects that would prove extremely frustrating to wait weeks for with bi-monthly publications.

    Now I’ll be honest the fact that Bleach and Naruto are kinda fun to keep up with in an episodic sense got me thinking and cause me to relax my standards a bit, hoping to find some other progressed series that I could read up on and then follow from week to week, one such manga was Ga-Rei which while be a bit shallow as a supernatural/action thriller is still pretty fun and VERY fast paced. It comes in long monthly installments and is now very close to finishing, a fun read that I will probably recommend on here later.

    Anime, now that I have become a more devoted fan I don’t mind as much. In some ways its less hands on and browsing shows for something to watch is the same a doing some channel surfing on TV, stories develop slower in manga format and it is harder to follow a series from the beginning of its serialization. Each season comes with some exciting hype (unless its more useless Bleach filler) and some kickass previews, during the winter and now the upcoming spring season I usually get a sense of excitement from watching 1st eps or previews eps like I am shopping for something new to follow. Anime comes in 23-25 minute blocks and basically if after watching the first one A)I find myself intrigued with the premise and B)I want to know what happens next, I’m sold and will try to keep up with it.

    Following ongoing serializations and current series fills the role of stress-relieving breaks for me on their different release dates during the week or month, something to look forward. Marathoning completed series and whole mangas represents my more serious, intellectual (lulz) anime hobby: my appreciation for the artistic medium and a desire to experience more stories and visions expressed within that format.

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