I think it will come as no surprise to any of you when I say that the summer 2018 anime season isn’t exactly the most exciting thing ever. Even shows that were met with fan enthusiasm on their airing either complete fell from grace earning scorn instead or quietly faded being calmly discussed in episode reviews but otherwise ignored.
I still fully intend to watch Cells at Work but Island, Hanebad and…. I can’t name a 3rd one… have dropped off my list. I don’t know about you but as far as I’m concerned, this rocks!
I love watching a handful of episodes in an evening and knowing my to watch list didn’t get longer. I am enjoying the shows I’m watching without the slightest **fear of missing out**. My attention is focused and my enjoyment in turn heightened. But that doesn’t make any sense.
Everything I’m experiencing would be logical if I were a seasonal watcher routinely making my way through all the latest offerings. I would probably enjoy a chance to relax a little and do something else. Leave shows on in the background. I would naturally look forward to that one good one all week…. But I’m not.
I’m a hopelessly backlogged binge watched. My standard routine is to pick a show from the hundred or so on my list and just watch one episode after another in the evenings. Occasionally I’ll fall on a show that simply doesn’t lend itself well to that type of condensed experience so I’ll add in a second show to watch after one episode of the first one. I’ll pepper in whatever seasonal content I’m following. However those few episodes a week don’t factor in much in the overall experience. Basically, I should be completely indifferent to the current season.
So why am I so delighted?
I can’t say for sure. I’ve tried to study the question but it’s still pretty nebulous. One thing I’ve noticed is that one of the very few downsides of following so many anime blogs is a dissemination of my interest. What I mean is that when I read about how much you are all enjoying a particular show, part of my brain thinks «I can’t wait to finish what I’m watching so I can start THAT show” and the more shows I feel like I should be watching, the less I enjoy the one I am watching now. It’s not overwhelming. For instance when I was watching Natsume, it didn’t matter how much you guys were loving the current season, that show completely possessed my heart and captured my imagination. It’s more the average shows that suffer. The ones that are good but not my favorites that now only get my divided attention.
Well this season, it has not been the case at all. I enjoyed Touken Ranbu for instance, which is an ok show that I had a lot of fun with and might have been otherwise impatient to finish.
Another advantage in my case, is that I can avoid another completely artificial made up problem with great anime seasons… Is it just me or is this post starting to sound really stupid. What do you mean “what else is new”???
Ok so the fake problem I was talking bout is this. See, when I have 15 new shows I absolutely must watch this season, I get a fake sense of urgency. Which means that I feel compelled to finish anime as fast as I can simply because I have to get through a lot. Not only do I risk getting anime indigestion (and not enjoying shows as much, as I discussed above), but it also means that I don’t take the time to properly frame my watching experience. I don’t go through my list and really choose something I feel like watching, I don’t take the time to clean up my queue. I end up with a jumbled mess.
This may seem like a non-problem. Of course, that’s just because it’s really not a problem at all. But the minute you start feeling like you HAVE to do something rather than you want to do something, the experience changes on a fundamental level. I’m watching whatever’s on my list because it’s next on my list because I need to check stuff off, then it’s no fun at all.
I understand that a lot of you probably have a headache from rolling your eyes right now. I get it. This isn’t in fact an issue and as an anime fan I should want all anime seasons to be great. Part of me does. But it’s nice to have an excuse to go check out some classics you may have missed. Or even a chance to play video games and take yoga classes for a few months instead and come back to anime all eager and ready for some awesome shows.
We are lucky enough to have a huge amount of fantastic shows readily available to suit all tastes so one low season is hardly something to fret about. Now if the trend continues it might be a different story but seeing as so many great series and movies have come out in the past year alone, I’m really not too worried.
How about you. Do *low* seasons depress you? Are you exclusively a current season watcher? Maybe you think this season is amazing and I have no clue what I’m talking about. Let me know. And just for fun, let me know if you have a favorite anime season.