I’ve spoken to many bloggers who go through phases of just not wanting to watch any anime at all. This is not something I struggle with myself.
Generally, I don’t get bored or fed up of anime as a whole. Occasionally, certain shows can be a chore to slog through and I’ll see my anime watching go down but as soon as I pick up something I enjoy, my enthusiasm tends to go right back up. This is probably a symptom of my binge-watching habit. If I watched a variety of shows all at once, I wouldn’t get brought down by any single one of them.
This said anime exhaustion seems to be a real phenomenon. From very preliminary and superficial observation, I think it tends to affect niche or specialty fans more often. What I mean is that bloggers that tend to concentrate on a few (or one) specific genres seem to go through this more often than people who watch pretty much everything and anything. Of course, this is just from people I’ve spoken to, but it makes sense.
If you only watch anime that falls within specific criteria, you have much fewer options to chose from. If only two shows match what you’re looking for in a season and they’re both not that great, it can turn you off very easily. And with so much entertainment to chose from, there’s no reason to stick to anime after all.
For me, the problem is a little different. I go through anime withdrawal. I’m a creature of habit, I enjoy a schedule. Shocker I know. And I love watching anime when I get home from work. Unfortunately, my work can be rather demanding on my time and I sometimes get home only a handful of hours before I have to get up and back to work again.
This is what happened yesterday (as of writing) and since I had a post to put together, I did that instead of watching anything at all. I am going to an event tonight and I’ll probably get home late and exhausted again, in all likelihood I’m not going to skip another day of anime. And now I’m a little off. It’s probably going to take a couple of days of watching only an episode or two before I get my momentum back. Like going to the gym or something.
But that’s ridiculous. I love anime and thoroughly enjoy watching it. Unless a show is particularly challenging, I don’t find the activity taxing in any way. But my strange little brain goes into this withdrawal bubble and I need to re-establish my routine before I can get back in my grove. Man, this makes me sound like a finicky little weirdo. It’s not completely inaccurate but I don’t like to advertise it quite this much.
Ordinarily, this wouldn’t matter in the least. I wouldn’t even notice this quirk of mine if it wasn’t for this blog. Since starting I Drink and Watch Anime, my daily routine of binging through a random series has become a communal experience. One that I hold dear. And this experience is only possible if I indeed watch anime.
That means there’s a little competing voice in my head that tells me I must make time for it. I do these little calculations where I figure if I just watch another episode today, I can finish the series a whole day earlier which means I can write the review before the end of the week and have material for… Are you tired yet? I am.
It’s not a big deal. It doesn’t tarnish my watching experience in any way or make me enjoy shows less, but it does affect my approach towards watching anime. Or to be more precise, it affects my approach towards not watching anime. It makes me feel like I’m failing in some way.
Have you guys ever played World of Warcraft? I have. A whole lot. There’s an audio cue you get whenever you abandon a quest. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s this. I use to joke around and sing faaaillure over it whenever I heard it. To this day, I hear that sound in my head when I mess up something. I also hear it when I decide I will not watch anime one evening.
It sounds like this would be bad. Like I’m putting this weird pressure on myself which is largely useless. But it’s not. First of all, pressure isn’t always bad. I get a weird and completely unearned but enjoyable sense of accomplishment when I finish an anime because of it. Obviously, I’m someone who works well with goals and deadlines that’s why I set them for myself.
At this point, if you’re still with me dear reader (I really appreciate it), you may be asking yourself what the point of all this is. In fact, I just wanted to see if anyone else has seen this weird change in the way they take in anime since they started blogging about it. Am I the only retentive weirdo? If I am can you pretend you do it too? It will make me feel better…