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!

Yuru Yuri
Kyoko and I have way too much in common

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?

Eureka Seven AO - OVA - Large 04
is this going anywhere? keep reading to find out!

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.

Touken Ranbu Hanamaru - OP - Large 04
this show was NOT what I thought it would be…

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.

dumb
explain again please?

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.

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honestly I just liked this image of Kiznaiver

58 thoughts on “The Upsides of a Lackluster Season”

  1. For me, I think the thing that pushes a season up or down is whether there are those shows that I’m really looking forward to every week. And, again for me, this season just doesn’t have them. There are no shows that are “It’s Thursday! A Place Further than the Universe is on!” And while I used that for an example, they don’t need to be extraordinary shows like that. There are shows I’m enjoying, but none that I’m looking forward to like that. But honestly right now, that doesn’t bother me too much, because there was just a World of Warcraft expansion!

    But there’s also the truth that for a lot of bloggers, unless there’s a show that is their new favorite of all time, every season is “down”, because they’ll look back to some other season that had one or two of their favorite series, ignore the 20+ other series that were closer to average back then, as well as that they’re “n” many seasons farther on where they’ve seen more stories, seen more things, so less is surprising, and declare that “current season sucks.” It’s been that way for, well, ever.

  2. I was thinking about this earlier actually and came to the conclusion that since there are at least four shows that have all but guaranteed a spot in my end of year top ten list, and two that are teetering on consideration, I have to say this isn’t a bad season after all. Granted I’ve dropped more shows this season than I ever have but the positives definitely outweigh the negatives for me.

    Parable – Yay Summer! 😛

  3. It’s…an in-the-middle season, to put it in the least eloquent way possible. While there’s enough stuff around to be entertaining, my quota of 6 seasonal shows means even though I’m able to keep up most weeks, that comes at the expense of having to dodge a lot of “you must watch this!” at the time of airing. The flipside of that is shows put on hold at the time of airing are shows to fall back on if another show leaves – notably, if HiDive didn’t have a paywall, I wouldn’t have finished Idolish7 earlier this year.

    I was ready for a low season but I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the heights these new shows go, although the only one I can really sing praises about lately is Planet With, since the rest do have bigger caveats. That said, I’m planning to have a post for each of my shows done sooner or later, plus I have to squeeze in Golden Kamuy for the sake of next season…

    My favourite season so far was fall 2017 but my worst season so far was summer 2017 (probably not helped by Kado the season beforehand). Paywalls have had a huge hand in determining how great seasons are for me, for better or for worse.

    1. This post somehow became a debate on the current season. Sadly I have nothing to add to this debate as I’m not really a seasonal watcher but I love that everyone has such individual feelings about it.

  4. Cells at Work, Attack on Titan, and Asobi Asobase have made this season MORE than thrilling. I have only ever watched a few great shows per season, USUALLY, so three new ones along with My Hero and then starting Food Wars for off days when nothing new airs has been pretty swell.

    There was that amazing Spring/Summer back in 2011 with Nichijou*, Hanasaku Iroha*, Mayo Chiki, Usagi Drop, Baka to Test, Yuru Yuri*, Blood C*, Kamisama Dolls, Ikoku Meiro and Kamisama no Memocho, as well as Steinsgate and Blue Exorcist which I never got around to finishing…

    There have been some GREAT years/ seasons…

  5. While I am a little sad there wasn’t more choice this season, I was ready for a low season anyway to give myself a bit of a break. I’ve also had time to revisit a few older anime and catch up on other things so it isn’t as though I don’t have plenty to watch and do. Still, there’s something exciting about a season where you are spoiled for choice and this season I was struggling even to pick enough titles to fill a small review schedule.

      1. Some people are having a great time with the Summer line up. I think it really depends how many shows someone follows in a season and what genres people like. Those blogs I follow where they only pick three or four titles a season have usually found three or four titles in a genre they like for the season and feel things are going fine. People who usually watch more are the ones who seem to be struggling to find enough they want to watch.

  6. I have started watching seasonal anime for one reason : to connect with other bloggers so I can speak about the shows that are currently airing. And honestly, I’m still enjoying the five shows that I am currently watching: Hanebado!, Cells at Work, Angels of Death, Phantom in the Twilight (that one is sooooooo good) and of course Attack on Titan. While I agree that it might not offer the best animes that I have ever seen, I have enjoyed talking about it with other people. And that for me is it’s own reward 😊😊
    But the downside is that I have an enormous backlog in animes that I have bought myself. I just have too little time to watch them…and in that way I do think that with next season I’m just going to bring my total number of seasonal animes down to probably two shows so I can start working on that backlog 😊😊

    1. You are not watching My Hero Academia??? I keep hearing you and Karandi say awesome things about Phantom…sigh I guess I should add it…

      1. Nope…running far behind with that one. But…with September coming up, I hopefully can finally catch up with that one too. Haha…sorry…but yeah, you should add it. It’s a lot of fun, and I think it’s one you would really like 😊😊

  7. I’ve had time to watch Mai Otome (not as bad as I remember everyone saying, but also no Mai Hime) and Angelic Layer (which I didn’t expect to be awesome, but it was). I’ve also been rewatching various episodes from various heartwarming shows (because there’s a distinctive lack of those around; the most heartwarming show this season is surprisingly Jasshin chan Dropckick – people will now think I have a strange heart…). I’m currently re-watching Nobunagun (which falls into the oh-so-stylish category, not the heartwarming one), and it held up much better than I expected.

    Also, if you’ve had the time to start Shin Sekai Yori that alone makes it all worthwhile.

    1. Right! I’m still at the beginning but so far I’m gripped. I’ve heard nothing but great things about Angelic Layer

  8. You do have a very long backlist of shows to watch. I’m sure you’d like to put some time into bingeing those. I’ve been enjoying some of the shows you dropped, and ignore some of those you love because we have different tastes. Vive la difference, and all that. Still, there’s a few shows this season which are entertaining but not stellar or necessarily ones I’d recommend to an anime newbie in the top 50 list. Yuru Camp is on that list, for example. So is SNAFU and Log Horizon (the superior isekai to SAO and Oregairu). Rune Soldier Louie belongs there as does Rah Xephon, the superior and completed version of Evangelion done right. And there’s Martian Successor Nadesico. These are better things to watch than much of what’s out this season, but I’ve seen those shows many times and there’s value in novelty programming to pass the time. Some of these shows this season, like Island, have little to recommend them. I like the fuzzy cloud haired shrine maiden more than the other characters in the story I’m supposed to care about but can’t be bothered. The two isekai shows this season i’ve been watching but also don’t care much. I think that topic has been ridden into the ground, and like Zombie movies, I am pretty bored with them. Chios School Road is great, however, and very enjoyable and silly, and might make it onto a top 100 list. We’ll see.

      1. But we still respect each other as anime fans. That’s the sort of tolerance the world needs. Now if we could just convince the rest of our two countries this is how a proper Democracy works… Sigh.

  9. “…anime indigestion…” is an apt way of expressing ‘watched too much anime, too fast’ lol

    I’ve felt this way before, and still do to some extent. But I’m no longer interested in keeping up with the current season. Many of my interests reach outside of anime and I find my time spent to be more worthwhile when it is on something of genuine value to me. Watching the latest Isekai, Harem or SoL show does little for me, unless it’s of considerable regard beyond what I’m used to seeing (i.e. Log Horizon, TWGOK, K-On!!).

    Aside from *Steins;Gate Zero* – which I’m waiting to finish so I can watch it all in short order – and potentially *Planet With*, the current season is “bleh” to me (though I have been enjoying AoT S3, to my surprise – luscious production values). But to be honest, I haven’t been looking at much from this season. I just got done rewatching FMAB and Samurai Champloo, and still revisiting the Ghibli films, so I feel my anime needs are being met without having to peruse the aisles of today’s shows.

    That said, I look forward to checking out Hanebado! and a few others shows sometime soon.

    1. I’m also enjoying taking it easy. I have so much to watch that rewatching anything hasn’t even occurred to me yet.

      1. The backlog beast is fierce and formidable. I understand.

        It isn’t necessary to rewatch things. But I do so out of a selfishness to either reaffirm a love for the things I remember loving initially (i.e. FMA Brotherhood), to clear uncertainty over things I feel ambivalent towards (i.e. Howl’s Moving Castle), or to see if I have changed enough that my germinal dislike/hate for something may be overwritten by a newfound love, joy, and/or appreciation (My Neighbour Totoro is a wonderful recent case for the latter).

        It is not always a positive outcome, in the sense that I enjoy everything (more) upon rewatch. But it is at the very least positive, in terms of jogging and/or resolving any (mixed) thoughts and feelings I had/have about them.

        1. I’m also so so on Howl’s. I recently read the book (it’s from a British author) and the book was Fantastic!!!!
          I know that’s not what your comment was about. I’m just so impressed with that book and I try to use any excuse to talk about it.

          1. It’s messy, but I enjoyed it a good deal twice now (both as a young lad and now as a young adult).

            When I watched the movie in my pre-adolescent years, I was without such a reference point, so I didn’t know there was anything to compare it to aside from other Ghibli (and animated) films.

            Now that I’ve been made aware of its book counterpart, I am intrigued, albeit, not so intrigued that I’ll be picking it up any time soon. But interested enough to consider giving it a read, nonetheless.

            Your glowing acclaim is noted.

  10. since i decided to not follow the anime seasons i’ve found i can just relax with whatever i find. like avatar, not Really an anime but i had been meaning to watch it since forever but never got a chance to bc i kept trying to follow the anime seasons xD in fact, i watched and read a lot of things i’d been meaning to but just hadn’t found the time for so i get how a low season would be nice to just relax 🙂

  11. I agree with Cactus Matt on this. It’s not the greatest season of shows I’ve seen, but I’m still enjoying 4-5 series. There are always disappointments. I think even last spring, which was relatively strong overall, still had a couple big ones.

    1. I guess the title was wrong. Like I said in my post I don’t actually watch seasonal shows so I follow a couple of hundred blogs and they are very cal this season compared to past ones which I am enjoying. I’m sure the shows ae great

  12. i think you’re getting at some good questions. i consider the idea that a “season is lackluster” is a bit of a shallow excuse to avoid the real question. what exactly makes it lackluster? lack of shows that appeal to you? lack of shows with huge audiences coming from broad appeal? lack of shows with big hype engines built around them?

    i suppose i approach it with a different mentality because i shy away from the shows that seem to have a wide range of fans (mostly because i dont think i can add anything). i think im generally of the opinion that most seasons are at least fine, because there’s always something for me to watch and at least have fun

    1. like I mention I’m not a seasonal watcher so I was approaching it from season when I’m constantly told i MUST watch a show which makes me think I MUST watch a show. I really have no opinion on this season personally.

  13. I don’t mind the lower number of titles that appeal to me either this (or any) season. Not just because of the whole quality over quantity argument, true as it probably is, but because I’m busy enough at the best of times. With fewer titles released, I actually have the chance to watch exactly what I want to without feeling like I’m missing out on any ‘must-sees’.

  14. I really don’t get all the people saying this is a lacklustre season, I think it’s been amazing! How Not To Summon A Demon Lord, Happy Sugar Life and Asobi Asobase are all going to end up in my Top 20 Anime OF ALL TIME, barring something catastrophic. And Island, Chio’s School Road and Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs are easily Top 50 material. I think Summer 2018 has been better than the previous two seasons this year by far.

    1. I have read some less enthusiastic reaction. I haven’t seen much but from a distance a lot of the sows seem o offer very similar types of viewing

      1. And is that a bad thing? I feel like you made a post some weeks/months ago about how things being similar to other anime isn’t a bad thing (or maybe it was someone else I don’t know). Maybe I’m just too easy on anime but there’s so many good and interesting characters out there, even in anime that “offer very similar types of viewing”. I don’t know why everyone’s suddenly so jaded but I’m having the time of my life this anime season.

        1. I don’t know that it’s a bad thing. I’m thinking if a person isn’t usually that interested in those types of demographics, they might consider the season less overall appealing? I figure a season with all boy centric sports anime might be considered less interesting by some no matter how great the shows are because the genre doesn’t interest them?

          1. Yeah but even then I feel like there’s a good range of shows out there this season, even shows that aren’t my “demographic” like Banana Fish, Grand Blue Dreaming, Phantom in the Twilight and Kakuriyo (yes that’s a last season holdover but it still kinda counts) are ones I’m still watching and enjoying a lot more than some of the stuff I watched last season.

            1. I may have gotten the wrong impression. I do think a couple of bloggers mentioned the season was a bit slow for them. But I’m happy if that’s wrong!

            2. I don’t think you’ve got the wrong impression I think you’ve just put a lot of stock in a few people who are very fussy. (not that there’s anything wrong with being fussy of course). People seem to be more vocal about negativity rather than the rest of us who are content in being silent about how good this season is. As much as I’d like to combat every tweet or comment saying “boo this season is disappointing” with a “yay, this season is awesome” it just gets exhausting and sometimes you just gotta let people be negative to themselves and go on with your day!

            3. Like I said I have no opinion on this season myself. I find that less people are urging me to drop everything to watch a show right now and I find that relaxing which makes me happy?

            4. Lol I’ve been suppressing the urge to do that literally all season for both Asobi Asobase and Happy Sugar Life (two shows I think you’ll love btw) I’ve just kept biting my tongue because I’ve felt bad for making you watch Harukana Receive…

            5. I can’t find Happy sugar life legally here. Asobi is in my binging queue already as are a few other things this season. I just don’t feel as rushed to see them. In the long run that probably means I’ll enjoy them more

            6. Well that’s good at least! Does Amazon Prime Video not operate in Canada? I thought they’d be world wide.

            7. Their anime are not licensed for Canada. We get the other shows but no anime so far at all

  15. My reading habits and my anime-watching habits tend to reflect each other in this sense: I often return to something I previously enjoyed. In fact, I’ve posted before about my tendency to rewatch certain episodes of a show or often even entire series–this season I’ve already rewatched Kemono Friends, Yuru Yuri (loved the Kyoko reference, btw!), and Flying Witch. I’ll probably finish both seasons of Non Non Biyori again, too. Slow seasons are disappointing in that I’m always looking for fun new shows, but they do offer me the chance to indulge this little repeat habit of mine. (Btw, can you get Cartoon Network where you’re at, online or otherwise? Summer Camp Island is an incredibly entertaining little show!)

    1. I just started Shin Sekai Yori and wow…..I’m glad I had time to pick it up.
      I mas (still am) thinking of using Kyoko whenever I want a character to represent me in my posts…

  16. The more I think about it, the more I like having less seasonal things to watch. I’ve started rewatching Outlaw Star and watching some older series I’ve been wanting to see for a while. I’m thinking about watching less seasonal things next season because of it, eventhough I’m pretty excited about Jojo and other anime.

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