Pointless Debate #15: The Skype Sessions


When the interesting episode is not so interesting.

About 2 weeks ago, a few people on twitter were discussing relationships on the internet versus real life. What happened next was my being sucked into (though obviously voluntarily) a group on Google revolving around group viewing of some shows on Skype. So out came the headset, and into the wilderness I went.

The first official event for the group was a group watch of the first episode of the Tamayura OVA. It probably wasn’t the best material for a session like this as it was probably the least likely thing to offend anyone, the very definition of safety. 2DT was able to provide a tidbit on a dialect spoken by one of the characters. Other than that, the only thing I got out of it was that it was that the 2nd episode was far better. Not the best start, but there was more to come.

In the meantime, ghostlightning was continuing watching Gundam SEED for the first time. Clearly not the biggest fan of it, the fact that there was now a group for him to vent his frustrations and plot inconsistencies of the series (and pointing out how a certain episode also happened somewhere else) seemed to make it a much better experience than it was alone.

Then came the next weekend when Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt episode 9 was on the agenda. With more happening in the episode, there was a bit more discussion happening, though the real discussion seemed well beyond me. Whereas others were discussing the role of guest directors, the ultimate direction the series is heading or the symbolism of the second part of the episode; my mind was off in another direction. Yes, there was a little bit of talk about Gainax revisiting South Park after 10 years, but my attention lied in small and insignificant details like the sad fact that Daten City sold part of its public beach in a desperate bid for revenue.

With that ending, things broke up a little and somehow I was watching infamous yaoi OVA Boku no Pico within an hour. At that point I finally found my footing in the conversation. It was 30 minutes of ice cream, stained upholstery and questionable choices of clothing dominating the conversation among other things. It really served to lighten the mood in much the same way a group viewing of Aki Sora did for another part of the group.

So another day passed, and it was the continuation of Tamayura. Once again, the two episodes eventually got started after a 50 minute delay. They flew by, and I couldn’t really remember much of a plot among the talk of getting lost in the eyes of a bro-con character, a girl with a ponytail and how annoying communicating only in whistles is. Afterward, the revelation that I sound exactly like I write wasn’t exactly surprising, but rather disappointing.

So the lessons learned from this particular experiment are several. First, the level of conversation is at a level that I’m not exactly comfortable with all the time. With people rotating in and out of conversation, it can be hard to find my footing. Second, the conversation in the middle of an episode definitely can make the viewing experience more entertaining. Third, I probably need to take the initiative on something within this group. Finally, working within a viewing schedule without watching something for a second time can be difficult for a lot of people.

As this continues, I’m sure things will change with time. Gathering the will to see if people will watch other things besides anime will probably take a bit longer.

18 thoughts on “Pointless Debate #15: The Skype Sessions”

  1. I think spontaneous viewing is what gets traction re: Gundam SEED. I actually can’t imagine anyone signing up for that… i.e.

    To: Everyone

    Re: Watch Gundam SEED with me

    I’m hating this show but maybe if you share my misery it’ll actually be fun. Hit me up on Skype.


    Nope. I didn’t think so either.

    1. Yeah, I can definitely agree with that. I’m tempted to try something similar with 00 since I can’t get past episode 5, but the lack of outlets to vent makes it hard to go back.

  2. Though I can agree with it being hard to not watch an episode prior to the livewatch for some people, I feel that it may be better to watch an episode beforehand on a more plot-driven show,such as Kuragehime, but, for more simplistic shows, such as Tamayura or Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, hearing everyone’s initial reactions and laugh in the midst of the show really makes it an amazing experience.

  3. That was pretty much my experience with Tamayura. I later went back to re-watch the episodes because I couldn’t remember what happened exactly. The conversation has its kinks with so many people all talking and laughing. The flow is fairly chaotic, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’m definitely looking forward to more sessions.

    1. The 4th episode is going to be a bit interesting as far as whether I can remember what is happening. I really wish I could have crammed in the details of Koe de Oshigoto in here though.

      1. You actually watched Koe De Oshigoto without me. BOO!

        You don’t exactly need to go with the flow of the conversation. Sometimes, you just need to let yourself be heard and dictate the flow of what is being talked about. You don’t need to worry about being obvious, but you also need to think of the things you’re about to say because some people will have a totally different interpretation of the episode compared to your own.

  4. I have to admit that I’ve only joined one of these sessions, the infamous SEED one. But I did find it fun once I relaxed. It was a bit nice to be one of the ppl intimately familiar with the project. I look forward to joining you guys more come the New Year. It appears to be a runaway success given the Twitter commentary.

    I think you’ll benefit greatly from a group viewing of 00, regardless of whether they’re fans or not. Hopefully, I will get to join you.

    1. The 00 viewing seems a logical extension off of the SEED viewing. I can’t get past episode 5, but I think unintentional comedy may be the way forward for me.

  5. We watch things other than anime? Funny man!

    I sort of feel like, being unable to openly be Skyping with this group of internet people, and being unable to speak openly, kind of makes it hard. Also shyness, hehe.

    But it’s a fun experiment in the ability of us silly internet people to get along beyond text. And I enjoy listening.

    1. Well there was that one time a few of us were watching a live event from LA…

      Shyness certainly plays a role, but fear of ending up in the periphery of a conversation is another issue I have. New people means different boundaries basically. It is definitely a fun little idea, though I fear that if you once again went beyond listening then I would end up dead;D

  6. I find the hardest part of doing the Skype group thing is knowing when the peeps are even watching something at all. I’m hardly on Twitter 24/7 and only stumbled into the group when I happened to see someone make the tinychat link public. I’m notoriously unable to “play it by ear”, so I feel I need to post dates and times in the group myself or I’ll miss something.

    Second hardest thing is actually watching the anime. In the one session with PSG, I spent a lot more attention listening to everyone’s comments and thinking up my own than actually watching the show. For something like Boku no Pico that distraction is welcome, but I might end up rewatching everything from those live watch sessions just so I can view them the way I usually do.

  7. I thought I was a shy person until this conversations started, and you can get good points of view from other people which is good too.
    I do a agree about having to watch the episodes again but man sure is fun.
    The more the merrier… until Skype crashes but that’s another story.

    1. I don’t think I’ve had to rewatch the episodes yet, though through Tamayura I can see the devastating impact it has had on my rating of the series.

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