Lethargic Ramble: Why I Don’t Watch Seasonal Anime

We Anime fans are pretty lucky, aren’t we?

Every three months, we’re blessed with a massive stream of brand new shows from every single possible genre that we can dive into and lose ourselves in. It’s a great phenomenon and the number of shows coming out every Season continues to grow in size with every passing year. It’s insanity!

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MADNESS

And as a result of this cycle, this constant stream of new content, many Anime fans have taken up the practice of watching these new shows while they’re still being released, on a weekly basis.

Watching Anime as it comes out has become somewhat commonplace these days. People value the weekly watch quite highly, particularly for those who enjoy engaging in discussions about what’s currently “hot” while it’s still at the height of its popularity.

However, as I’ve stated several times in the past, I don’t watch Seasonal Anime as it comes out. If I’m being completely honest, I can’t stand the practice at all. I don’t like doing it. It doesn’t work for me.

But why?

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Well, I guess most of it has to do with investment. Personally, I find it extremely difficult to get invested in a shows narrative or care about its characters if I’m watching it on and off every week. I’m a lot more at ease when I’m able to just sit down and watch the entire journey from start to finish in one sitting.

But where does that lack of investment come from? Does watching an episode once a week as opposed to 12+ episodes in a day really make that much of a difference?

I’m honestly not sure if this is the case with anyone else, but for me it makes a whole world of difference.

When I watch a show, it takes me a while to get settled and embrace the shows overall tone and atmosphere. If I’m watching something for the first time, it’ll take a good 10-15 minutes for me to really start “feeling” the show, to immerse myself in it, to “get in the groove” as one would say. And if I’m watching a large chunk, or the entirety, of a series at once, that’s not a problem. I fire up Episode 1, I get comfortable, and I steamroll through the thing in one sitting, constantly immersed and invested once I overcome that initial hurdle. But if I watch one episode a week, I always find myself stopping just as I start “feeling” the show, and the process repeats itself every week and I never truly feel as connected to the series as I’d like to be.

This is further worsened by the fact that I have a terrible memory. In my life, I have this awful tendency of forgetting extremely important things on a daily basis, such as turning off the heating when I leave the house to go to work in the morning, or picking up a parcel from my girlfriends parents house after work. I can hardly remember crucial details like the first 5 years of my life never mind what happened in last weeks episode of whatever show I decided to watch weekly. And that’s a big issue for me because remembering things from previous episodes is a necessity. This need to remember something that happened a week ago, or maybe a month ago, makes getting invested in a shows narrative extremely challenging for me. If I were to watch a show over the course of a couple of days, I’d be more likely to remember exactly what was going on 4 episodes ago because I just saw it a couple of hours ago as opposed to several weeks ago.

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Blame the lethargy

I’m also not a fan of watching multiple shows at once. When I watch Anime, I tend to watch one show at a time because I want to direct all of my attention towards one specific narrative. But watching Seasonal Anime, on a weekly basis, goes completely against that. To me, watching an episode of 10+ shows every single week is complete chaos. Keeping track of so many different and conflicting narratives, characters and ideas on a weekly basis is absolutely mental to me. The whole practice just feels nauseating. Then, to further add to the chaos, there’s the fact that I also like to play catch up with previous seasons or shows that I missed out on years ago. If I’m watching Seasonal Anime as it comes out, how the heck am I supposed to find time to watch all these other great shows that came out years ago? I’d never find the time.

And to top it all off I just dislike this whole idea of scheduling. I despise routines. I’m a very spontaneous person, and watching Seasonal Anime feels like a schedule to me. The idea of dedicating each day of the week for a couple of shows just isn’t my thing. I’ve tried it in the past, several times, and it’s just never appealed to me.

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That’s not to say I don’t want to get into watching Seasonal Anime. I’d love to. There are certainly benefits to doing so, especially if you’re a content creator or like to engage in discussion with other Anime fans. Talking about what’s currently coming out and what’s “hot” is most certainly beneficial and is really enjoyable.

However, for me personally, I don’t think its worth the hassle.

While I most definitely appreciate and would absolutely love to get more involved in the water cooler discussions about what’s currently “relevant”, I don’t necessarily feel that it’s ever irrelevant to talk about any show. If there’s something I have to say about a show, I’ll say it, whether it came out 5 days ago or 5 years ago.

Sure, a lot of people will lose interest in a show once it’s over. I mean look how many people are talking about Re:Zero now that it’s finished airing, but that doesn’t make discussion about Re:Zero any less relevant than it was while it was still coming out. Just because a show is no longer at the height of its popularity, that doesn’t mean that anything I, or anyone else has to say about it is irrelevant. Will my words have less reach? Maybe. It’s very likely. But that doesn’t mean I’ve missed out on making an interesting point about the series.

I also don’t approach my viewing of this medium as “urgent”. As someone who wants to consume as much of this medium as possible, I’m in no real rush to do so. There’s so much Anime out there for me to watch as it is, and these new shows that are coming out every Season are just more shows for me to watch. I don’t feel the need to watch them right away. I don’t need to watch them “right now”. I have all the time in the world to get around to a series and I’ll get around to it when I get around to it.

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I should probably make it clear that I’m not criticising those that enjoy watching their shows weekly. Keep doing it. I love seeing everyone’s weekly posts on the new episodes as it keeps me in the loop without me needing to go and watch them myself.

I’m aware that a lot of people enjoy doing it and that’s cool. I’ve even done it myself a few times, like with Scum’s Wish and elDLIVE, although towards the end I wound up waiting until they were over because of these reasons I’ve talked about, and I ended up having a better time as a result.

I just wanted to get my thoughts about this out there, since a lot of people have asked me why. Hopefully this was interesting.

Perhaps one day I’ll embrace the idea of weekly watching, but until then, I’ll continue doing what I do. You do the same!

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19 thoughts on “Lethargic Ramble: Why I Don’t Watch Seasonal Anime

  1. Interesting post. Even I’m not particularly fond of the week long gap between episodes, and I also prefer to watch such shows after they’ve ended. However, in the case of new seasons of anime (like Attack On Titan) I just can’t help but watch them weekly. Nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was an interesting post Leth, with a lot of good reasons why seasonal viewing may not be for everyone.

    You followed some of my Viewing Party this past winter season, so you know that I gave Seasonal Viewing/Reviewing a go. I followed a few shows during Fall 2016, but Winter 2017 was the most I had ever tried at once. There was definitely a lot of fun in the experience, but there were clear downsides too.

    Your memory issues sound pretty bad. Kimmie shares a similar tendency. Starting with 10 shows at the beginning, she would often tell me she needed some time to skim the episode again before we reviewed. I like to think I have pretty good memory myself, but I also had to do a little re-watching now and then to remember what I planned to discuss in a review. Then again, my memory isn’t near what it used to be.

    I don’t think many would disagree that talking about older shows is worthwhile. I did that pretty much all last year with my reviews if you don’t count Orange. People who did manage to catch the show will often come back for some discussion and watching the series all in one go gives you a perspective that they may not have had watching week to week.

    Even so, a lot of these 12/24 episode shows are designed with weekly viewing in mind. Erased had a semi-cliffhanger almost every episode which was almost certainly meant to tease week to week (even so, I binged it). For a good example from this past season, ACCA was a slow enough burn that taking the week to absorb the episode wasn’t a bad way to watch it at all, and I feel like some of the charm would be lost with a straight binge. Onihei was entirely episodic making it great for a week to week, but then again how many people talked about it aside from me and Scott?

    Just my thoughts on the matter. I didn’t add anything beyond what you mentioned, but it was nice to think about some of this. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well…I have to agree with you 😀 For the first time in my life I have broken my own rule, and started watching two shows at once. One because I simply could not wait for it : Attack on Titan season 2. And two a show I seriously stumbled across by pure accident because I pressed the wrong button: Kado. Honestly this is my first time watching Anime on a weekly basis,and I really don’t like it either. I have always watched series when they were completely finished, and pretty much for the same reasons you have already adressed in your post. So…if anything this post only reminds me more that I should repeat what I am doing now, and just go back that what I have always done so far 😊 Great and enjoyable read! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be honest, seeing as it’s Attack on Titan, I don’t blame you. It’s been 4 years as it is! The wait has been agonising!

      Kado is pretty good so far too, I hope it picks itself up soon!

      Interesting that you haven’t tried watching weekly before, but even more interesting that you feel similar to me.

      Keep doing that makes you happy!

      Thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I must admit, I’m similar. Outside certain features on my own blog, I tend to only watch a small number of series at a time, and it’s rarely one that’s airing one episode a week at the time. I do make exceptions at times if i’m already invested in a franchise, but it really is rare. Much like you, I have no issue with people watching seasonal shows, it just doesn’t really suit me personally.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m the same really. If it’s a franchise I’m already into of I’ve read the Manga, I’m more likely to watch it weekly, but aside from those, I rarely do it.

      Glad to see there are likeminded people out there.

      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. i can understand this point of view. ive felt the hindrance of stretching out a series when it comes to keeping track of the story across multiple weeks, which is why ive started taking notes. plus, i usually blog about story-heavy series, so i can reference my own stuff. at this point, i see the weekly viewing as a way to see more shows, so im fine with doing extra work to keep my place.

    a question ive been asking myself lately, though, is what the true ratio is for the people who watch weekly vs. the people who marathon. im sure the real answer is “it’s a mix”, but i know im on one of the extreme ends of the spectrum, where almost everything i watch is done so weekly. but i imagine most people only have a couple of shows that excite them enough to watch weekly.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “And to top it all off I just dislike this whole idea of scheduling. I despise routines. I’m a very spontaneous person”

    While I personally enjoy watching along seasonally, I get where you’re coming from. You raise some good points here

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You know, lately these days I’ve been really questioning myself too. I prefer to see the series as a whole versus waiting week to week. As you know when I tried to attempt the weekly episodic reviews I struggled because one episode doesn’t contain enough context for me to really review. So props to those that can! 😀

    Great post yet again Leth!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m the same and I think my attempt at doing episode reviews, much like yours, really highlighted just how much of a struggle this really is for me haha.

      Thank you for reading and the praise! As always it means a lot to me. Glad you enjoyed the post!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great points. I try not to watch seasonal anime unless I am super interested in the storyline. Otherwise, I like to wait until all the episodes are out because I dislike waiting… Maybe I’m just impatient, but I want to watch everything in a day!

    Like

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