Do you suffer from fear of missing out? Silly question, we all do at some point. But what about specifically in anime?

Do you get little pangs in your heart when everyone is talking about an anime you can’t seem to find in your country or avidly debating a series you never got into? Just me? I know it makes no sense. I add new anime to my watch list way faster than I can get through it so missing out is a simple fact of life as long as I obstinately insist on existing in linear space/time.

tuturu steins gate
let’s fix that

I regularly moan about how much anime there is to watch and how little leisure I have to watch it in. Clearly, I have no real problems.

Still, despite those realities, I get wrapped up in the popular waves. I did not watch Made in the Abyss for instance. I didn’t have the platform on which it aired. Everyone was talking about the show and although in theory there’s nothing about it that would personally appeal to me (I’m sure it’s wonderful and I will watch it if I find it) I spent the entire season quietly feeling left out.

If I didn’t read so many blogs I probably wouldn’t have even heard about it. I certainly wouldn’t have heard how amazing and fantastic it is every other day for months. I would have gone on with my life blissfully unaware. As it is, it’s on my shortlist of off-platform titles to watch. I’ve created an off-platform watch list. Titles that will require both effort and money on my part to watch. Even though it may be physically impossible for me to get through my already completely accessible watchlist.

That seems a bit insane, no?

Confused Rini
yes it is

Blogging created this need in me. This thirst that otherwise wouldn’t have existed. And I’m not sure how I feel about it.

Do you know that when I first installed the Crunchyroll app I spent days going through the entire catalogue (available in Quebec at the time) to add to my watchlist anything that seemed interesting? If you know me, you know I’ve very few pet peeves when it comes to anime so that list became instantly unmanageable.

I then spent a bit more time going through my list and eliminating titles by any measure I could find until it was at least possible to scroll through. I need to do this on a regular basis since I have a tendency to add on every new show that comes out. That’s just the sort of person I am. And unfortunately, I have enjoyed way too many shows I didn’t expect to, to not give everything a chance.

Point is, I’m that guy. The one that has trouble dropping an anime once they’re 5 minutes in and thinks removing something from their watch list is an important decision. I understand fear of missing out. Or rather I relate to it. I don’t understand it at all. It makes NO sense!

Anime confused 1
but what else is new

Look I’m not saying that the show everyone is hollering about isn’t great and you shouldn’t try it out. You should. You should try any anime you want to. What’s the harm in it? But I am saying that you will not watch all the anime and feeling in any way bad about that is kinda pointless.

I’m saying that while going over in my head that I didn’t manage to watch Code Geas before it disappeared from Crunchyroll and now my world is incomplete.

This is a recent phenomenon for me. I use to watch whatever I happened to stumble across without caring much about, or even knowing, what else was out there. I was completely satisfied to watch some underrated series from years ago while everyone was going on about some currently airing show that would become the next great classic.

However, for better or for worse, as my awareness of anime grew so did my fear (of missing out). Funny how that happens. I no longer look up pre-season announcements. I did that for a bit and routinely got very disappointed when a show I had been eyeing doesn’t air here. So now, I just read other bloggers’ anticipation posts which really doesn’t help much….

anime depressed
so only 15 shows to watch this season

I have similar mixed feelings with the best of the season recaps. Especially as I’ve noticed that winners are almost always shows I haven’t watched and wasn’t planning to. But now, I obviously have to! I’m joking, of course, I don’t have to watch anything just because it’s popular but why would I want to deprive myself of great anime? And that’s how FOMO works. It just quietly insinuates itself into my brain until the notion that I cannot watch All the Anime, a perfectly mundane reality, becomes a little bit sad.

And the really weird thing, is that for me, this only really happens with anime. I’m ok missing out on movies and shows. It’s fine that all my friends are having fun without me. Obviously, I’m not gonna play every video game, why would I even want to? But with anime, I get all weird and clingy.

This is really starting to sound like a me issue. Maybe I’ve been going about it the wrong way. Maybe instead of being slightly sad that I missed out on a great anime that everyone else enjoyed, I should be happy that there is still so much great anime out there for me t watch! I’m going to work on that!

In the meantime, let me know if you also have anime FOMO. I hope I’m not the only one…

blue exorcis lonely


61 thoughts

  1. That just goes to show how much I miss out on.😩 I didn’t get a smartphone until my senior year of high and I had serious FOMO on things that were relevant.

    1. Oh my, I can imagine! But I’m sure you got something in exchange. Appreciating the moment or something like that

  2. But, am I going to seek out more anime to watch in that moment…. probably not🤷‍♂️. I’m very ADHD so its hard for me to find good anime without losing focus or even beginning a new anime.

  3. Wow, I didn’t even know the term FOMO was a thing until I read this post.😅 That just goes to show how much I miss out on.😩 I didn’t get a smartphone until my senior year of high and I had serious FOMO on things that were relevant. I’m definitely not an avid anime watcher, heck I don’t really watch any shows tbh. When I do watch shows, anime is one thing I will watch. I feel like I’ve had FOMO but not from hearing about anime. I’ll watch a good anime and then think “WOW, I BET THERE IS AN ENDLESS SEA OF GOOD ANIME LIKE THIS TO WATCH😭!” But, am I going to seek out more anime to watch in that moment…. probably not🤷‍♂️. I’m very ADHD so its hard for me to find good anime without losing focus or even beginning a new anime.

  4. I really do feel the same way about anime I almost feel as if a hole was put inside me when I miss a great anime. And I feel that I might not ever be in those convos’ about that anime and it creates a sense of being scared or isolated.

  5. I do occasionally get FOMO at times, but then general, omnipresent exhaustion and laziness make me forget about it and instead, I concentrate on the manga I’m currently reading or anime I’m currently watching, because for me, manga and anime are an escape I indulge into on a level where I forget about other stuff. Not always a good thing though…

    1. I’m sort of the same actually. Generally any negative feeling (those take more energy) I tend to give up in about 5 minutes out of laziness

  6. I don’t really have that. I remember when Darling in the Franxx came out, my social media timelines and WP reader were full of DITF related posts, but I was completely unbothered that I wasn’t watching it lol. I did check it out eventually, I had to find out what the hype was all about, but it didn’t hook me so I ended up dropping it.

    Also, you need to watch Code Geass somehow. Email Crunchyroll or find another platform, contact your congressman. It’s a great anime.

  7. Since everything in anime is available for view at a later date, FOMO has very little currency in my viewing. Let everyone else blog and I’ll just read and decide what I want to watch later.

    I’m still looking for good titles from 20 years ago.

      1. The more modern anime I see the more I appreciate older hand-drawn stuff with uniqueness. There are so very many anime where the guys and the gals are all identical except for the hair, the clothing, and modifying dimensions.

        There are many ways to draw a face or a body. I guess it is cheaper and easier for CGI to grab a template and modify it slightly in a way the computer can handle. It’s like most anime are using the same template, the same hairstyles, even the same damned school uniforms.

        1. Well that’s also extremely true of 90s anime. DBZ and Sailor moon, Lone Hinal, Tenchi Muyo, Slayers, TWHE, all of them

        2. Oddly, I have had the opposite impression. Older anime like DBZ, Sailor Moon, TWHE, Lady Oscar, Love Hina, Tenchi Muyo, A My Goddess ect.. all of them reuse the same very few character models with only hair and clothes swaps. The only exceptions I have personally seen were the big budget projects. From what I’ve read that this is normal as maintaining art consistency was harder in cell shaded anime so artists made it a point to keep character models very similar. Of course they started using CG back in Harlock days but it wasn’t quite up to snuff yet.
          Mind you only the BIG names still get watched today so most of the stuff that was airing 20 years ago never gets seen the anymore. The stuff that survives is the big budget stuff that was the highest production quality and so in that sense it does compare better.

  8. Seconding the fact this isn’t just for anime: This is why I have a very full folder of bookmarks (mostly from when I open far too many pages of archived anime reviews and then can’t read them all). Sure, being in the loop is good, but at the expense of time needed for other things? No thanks. Plus books – there’s a Japanese word for that (“tsundoku”, or the act of piling up books and never reading them), which I’ve been putting to good use lately (I sometimes hide unwatched anime DVDs in the tsundoku pile so that I remember to get back to them).

    I accepted many years ago I just couldn’t watch ’em all and it doesn’t help I watch at the speed of a geriatric snail if I’m not put under pressure to do so (but then that makes me stressed instead). The fact I don’t bother to get a paid subscription for anything restricts me from watching some things (*shakes fist at Sentai in particular*), but sometimes something will resurface on a different streaming service instead for free. (As they say, the best things in life are free, right?…Then again, so are the worst…)

    I get the feeling this FOMO is caused by what is known as “sensory overload” (if I remembered it right) – the fact we have so much media it causes us stress that we just “don’t have enough time for it all”.

    1. It’s a popular theory. Might be true. From personal anecdotal evidence it was worse for me when I had zero access to anime. Like you watched pokemon or nothing at all! Whenever I would hear about a cool sounding show that wasn’t law 101 friendly I would get so envious

  9. I think FOMO might be responsible for me not dropping shows I don’t like soon enough. “But it’s not all bad, and what if it gets better, or there’s this really awesome scene that makes it all worthwhile…”

    Other than that… well, there are anime I’ve had on DVD for over five years now and I’ve still not seen them (Planetes, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Pandora Hearts, Gunslinger Girl…) And then I go watching something like Koihime Musou instead of what I actually want to see (that’s mean to Koihime Musou; it was actually fun – I mean one of the girls had a tiger hair ornament that always matched her facial expression – it just wasn’t on my backlog at all; I just spotted it on Crunchy and thought “Why not?”). FOMO doesn’t seem strong with me. My anime watching habits are a mystery even to me. Maybe I have fear of watching great stuff in the wrong mood? Or maybe I’m really lazy and clicking a link is easier than putting on a DVD? [I’m not doing myself a favour here.]

  10. I feel this with anime a lot, I can’t possibly keep up with every new release while also getting through all the classics I missed when i was a child. Still I think I feel it even more with books. I have a 45 book high stack of books to read and new books keep coming out and old ones keep getting hyped. I follow so many book blogs that I’m already positive I’ll die before reading every story I want to.

  11. FOMO? Not at all. I’m lucky enough to have a predominately favorite genre, helping limit the number of shows I actively seek in any given season. And since I also have extremely limited [viewing] time, what I don’t get around to is simply something to look forward to later (assuming I remember to go back to it). Add in those wonderful, accidental discoveries that everyone occasionally makes, and I feel lucky and happily fulfilled just to watch what I do.

  12. This isn’t specific to anime, but I frequently feel like I’m missing out on shows because I don’t have an Amazon Prime account… but I don’t want to pay for one… so I guess I’ll just have to keep missing out, or wait for the popular series to get a DVD release or something.

  13. I would see series currently airing being discussed and sometimes I do have that urge to check it out just to join in on the discussion. More often than not I tend to forget about it afterwards and just end up watching whatever I like.
    So yes I do have FOMO too but I usually go against the pressure that I must watch that show because everyone is watching it. But if it catches my eye enough because of the reviews then it’s added to my must watch too. And I can totally relate to THE LIST – that’s some major life decisions indeed..

  14. As far as anime blogging is concerned, I think it’s a fear of being irrelevant. Though, I decided a long time ago that I’m never going to keep up with all the anime. There’s just too much stuff that I want to watch or rewatch, and I never have enough time for all of my hobbies. 🙂

  15. All. The. Time. Like you, I tend to really only get this kind of FOMO with anime. Well, anime and Star Wars. And also like you, this was never an issue before I started blogging about anime. I also did exactly the same thing when I first signed up for Crunchyroll, scrolling through everything and adding great swathes of shows to my watchlist.

  16. Nar, Fomo to me is just insecure people wanting to fit in.
    Watch what you want to watch, never feel that you have to watch or do something just because others are doing it.
    That my friend is called peer pressure.

    1. I see where you’re coming from. Then again I love watching good anime and if my friends think I’m gonna like it makes me want to watch it, you know?

      1. Wanting to watch a show because it’s being recommended by a friend isn’t really fomo.
        If they were watching it and you felt you had to watch it, that would be closer to fomo.

  17. Funny you should talk about this exact topic. Just the other day, I definitely was reflecting on the strange phenomenon that is obsession over current seasons of shows, or that strange pang you get when no one’s talking about something you picked up on a whim…because it’s from 1998.

    I think this feeling comes from wanting to be part of the discussion, but it’s my firm belief that just because something isn’t “current” does not mean that it’s irrelevant. From my end, I watch what catches my interest, mixed with some requests, and I enjoy what I see, knowing like everyone else, “no one has seen ’em all.” Great piece!

    1. I actually have more fomo about older shows I can’t seem to find. Pinguindrum being a huge one. Code Geass as well.

Leave me a comment and make my day!