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.
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?
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!
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….
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…