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.