Watching Anime With Extreme Prejudice Part 1

I've gone from liking stuff with explosions to thinking Sasameki Koto might be the best show of the season. Evidence of change I guess.
I've gone from liking stuff with explosions to thinking Sasameki Koto might be the best show of the season. Evidence of change I guess.

I didn’t always be like this. I would gladly finish whatever series I had decided to watch, then something changed. I bring this up because MAL (or rather should I say whatever I have put in) says I’m on 199 drops or 32.9% of anything I have started watching.

This raises a variety of questions such as:

  • Do I even like anime?
  • Why don’t I just stick to genres that I know I like?
  • Is there a brutality to my style of watching?

To answer those 3 simple questions; I keep watching it don’t I?, it is hard to stick to certain genres when hardly anything of quality gets made in those anymore and sticking to specific genres is a little narrow-minded in my opinion, and it’s not really brutal since I doubt any of the creators care what this blogger with a microscopic readership thinks.

Instead I think it has something to do with the my own perceived cost of media consumption. Not to get sentimental again, but I remember having to download anime over a dial up connection. So at that point it made sense to me continue watching since I had invested more time than anything in getting just 20 minutes of entertainment. That also led me to buy DVDs back in the expensive days since $30 in the place of 4-6 days worth of effort made sense. On reflection a lot of errors were made there (glances at Love Hina boxset on shelf).

Over time, it has become incredibly easy to just grab pretty much anything in a short amount of time. Within a couple of hours I can decided to download the first episode of Tatakau Shisho to deciding that it isn’t worth my time. It was like anime viewership had changed from experimenting with recipes I was trying to cook myself to just trying new items off a fast food menu. The emotional investment in new series was practically gone. In addition, the explosion in new series at about the same time suddenly introduced a fierce urgency to plow through shows I may not necessarily want to continue. So I started dropping a lot.

That was about five years ago now, so here’s how I did from memory:

In a world of anime where this is good enough to watch...
In a world where this is good enough to finish...

Completed: Kakyuusei 2, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (3 years later), ToHeart ~Remember My Memories~, Final Approach, W~Wish, Moon Phase, School Rumble, Futakoi, Zipang (2 years later), Genshiken (6 months later), Rozen Maiden, Grenadier, Air, Legend of Duo (only to write this)

and this doesn't last beyond 1 episode.
and this doesn't last beyond episode 1.

Dropped: Windy Tales, My-HiME, Beet the Vandal Buster, Kannazuki no Miko, Viewtiful Joe, Uta~Kata, Desert Punk, Fantastic Children, Bleach (after about a year), BECK, Gundam Seed Destiny, Yakitate!! Japan, Gakuen Alice, Major

With the emotional investment removed, I was suddenly dropping a Gundam series which would have been unthinkable at the time (though many would argue I dropped the right one) and I was loading up on shows that mostly were not ever going to be classics. Should I try to get the emotional investment back or was I living a lie from the beginning?

5 thoughts on “Watching Anime With Extreme Prejudice Part 1”

  1. I’d say that you’re the sole determinant of how to best use your time. If you really enjoy something, it only makes sense to continue with it, but if time is becoming a bit of a premium, then there’s really no reason to push yourself to watch something that you won’t really enjoy.

    Did find it interesting that you were somehow able to get through Final Approach though :3

    1. It’s probably a fair point to make. The primary reason I watch is for entertainment purposes after all. Perhaps I’m looking for a reason for not liking something beyond just time.
      And I probably wouldn’t have made it through Final Approach if the episodes were normal length.

  2. That sounds more like effort than emotional investment. I don’t grow emotionally attached to shows that are hard to get, I get attached to them because I didn’t want to waste my effort. Something else I found was that as I watched more, I became a lot better at figuring out whether a show is for me pretty quickly.

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