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?

Letting Yourself Be Defined By Numbers

That episode total is nearing a high total, perhaps I need to overthink this some more
That episode total is nearing a high total, perhaps I need to overthink this some more

Over the last few weeks, my lovely MAL account has allowed me to that I’ve been closing in on 10,000 episodes watched. This has also allowed me to think about a bunch of other related thoughts like “Could I have solved world hunger if I had focused those 162 days elsewhere?” (Probably not.) or “Is it worth trying to find something perfect to mark the occasion only to make a hash of it like number 9,001?”

It’s also made me realize that perhaps I’m caring a bit too much about something like 10,000. Hell, I didn’t do anything special until I discovered MAL and got near 9,000 episodes. It’s even made me realize the silliness of not giving out 10s (I really wish it was a 5 point scale, or I could resurrect my absurd 10,000 point scale). Since I’m going to go over this mark in the next couple of days (or 5 weeks at the latest), here’s what could potentially happen.

Option 1: Doing Nothing Different

haruhi23Lately I have been catching up on shows alphabetically while maintaining some sort of rotation for Legend of the Galactic Heroes, and more recently Macross Frontier. With that in mind, I’ve projected that episode 10,000 would be the most recent episode of Haruhi. I could probably live with that since the opinions I’ve read have generally been positive, but could I go better?

Option 2: Finding the Perfect Episode

Dump trucks are the kings of the road.
Dump trucks are the kings of the road.

I tried this with episode 9,001, which would have worked if I hadn’t discovered that the bunch of Pokemon dub episodes I watched about 10 years ago weren’t on my list. So it wasn’t the episode of Golgo 13 that I had originally planned, but instead it was probably a middle episode of Nekojiru Gekijou.

With this fear of messing up, I don’t really think of this as an option. Luck would probably say that episode of Princess Lover I described as garbage would have been 10,000.

Option 3: Punishing Myself Severely

I could always mark the occasion by watching my fourth entry in the worst anime I have ever watched series. It even looks like it isn’t post-apocalyptic, but dull school harem crap. Why am I looking forward to this now?

The Bigger Picture

As much fun as it is to think that 10,000 episodes and no 10 ratings means something it really doesn’t. I would be shocked if anyone really came to me for advice on what to watch anyway. I’d be even less surprised if they did and then did the opposite of what I would say. So most likely 10,000 is going to come and go and I should probably rate some stuff as some 10s

Improperly Enjoying Cross Game

Kou throws yet another pitch that will not be hit.
Kou throws yet another pitch that will not be hit.

I’ve hinted at it somewhere before that I haven’t really watched the new Adachi adaptation in what can be perceived as the correct way. While the first episode of the series was probably in the top 2 or 3 episodes of the spring, I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I did the actual baseball. Continue reading Improperly Enjoying Cross Game

Endless Eight in Getting the Format All Wrong

Yes Kyon, you've done this before. It could also be said this would have worked in one episode too.
Yes Kyon, you've done this before. It could also be said this would have worked in one episode too.

Yes, another post devoted to the time loop goodness that is the Endless Eight arc of 2nd series of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi. Amongst the many topics that have been an expression of personal enjoyment going against a perceived notion that the arc could be trolling or just bad in general, or my own momentary decision to call the series itself “Endless Eight” and even a joke that the arc was approaching the running time of Groundhog Day, which has already happened. After commenting that I thought the format of the arc was all wrong, but could be enjoyed anyway, I’ve decided to take a look at how this arc could have been done.

Continue reading Endless Eight in Getting the Format All Wrong

The Overanalysis of Nogizaka Haruka

Dismissing itself as disposable content in the first minutes of the OP, or perhaps a reflection on the subculture it is catering to
Dismissing itself as disposable content in the first minutes of the OP, or perhaps a reflection on the subculture it is catering to

I hinted at it in the weekly recap…which no one reads:*(, but I’ve decided to push on with a little look to see whether anything interesting can be extracted from Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu. It’s been nearly 9 months since the series started airing, so any effects of hype should be out of my system and I can look at this as a neutral.

Continue reading The Overanalysis of Nogizaka Haruka

Celebrating a Milestone Without Revealing What it is

Even Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink is outraged at my decision to write this post.
Even Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink is outraged at my decision to write this post.

I crossed a milestone yesterday on my hit count. You think it is the stale meme of OVER NINE THOUSAND!, but alas I might be finished with my Legend of the Galactic Heroes posts by the time I hit that. Instead, I will look back at the approximately three months I’ve been writing on this blog which yielded a nice round number of 30 posts. Plus, some pathetic attempts at comedy too.

Continue reading Celebrating a Milestone Without Revealing What it is

Profiles in Harem Leads: Mamiya Otaru

mamiya_otaruI’ve disclosed before my crippling addiction to harem shows, admittedly most of them are terrible, but that fact has made it possible for more challenging stuff to be made. In most cases the harem lead is completely useless, it hasn’t always been that way nor is it necessarily a requirement of the genre now either. So to begin this little feature, I’ve gone back 12 years to a time when the harem genre really wasn’t that well defined at all.

Continue reading Profiles in Harem Leads: Mamiya Otaru