I just realized something. Just now as I am writing this (possibly a month before you are reading it)… I was reading through other people’s posts and it hit me. I haven’t watched anime just for fun in a long long time.
Picture this, I’m reading through my feed and I see a review for extra episodes of Midnight Occultists. Not a new season but after season OVAs that have come out. Review said they were decent. I’m thinking to myself hey, I should watch that. I enjoyed the show. Then immediately I think, yeah but by the time I get to it, no one’s going to want to read a review of that…
Then I catch myself and think: what’s happened to me, I use to post reviews to one wanted to read all the time and it didn’t matter…. It takes me a minute to figure out why I have that funny “something’s off” feeling in the back of my brain. Then I finally haul it out, that big thought that was just out of reach….
*I could just watch the episodes..just for me…not even review them*
This hits me like a ton of bricks. Like an epiphany of epic proportions. As if I just had the craziest thought anyone’s ever had! But then the doubts settle. “I have so little time, can I really spend it on shows I’m not going to review? Isn’t that a waste?” You have to read that last part in an annoying nasally voice. It’s o.k. to make fun of me for this one. I deserve it. It’s a really silly thought. Nevertheless it is a thought I had. And a calculation I occasionally find myself doing. Should I watch a show based on how likely the review is to be successful…
And that’s when I knew something had gone wrong. I had taken a wrong turn at some point. I use to watch anime for the sheer joy of it all the time. It was a string free hobby I thoroughly enjoyed. The idea of not watching something I was interested in was preposterous. An not even realizing that I can still watch anime that way for a minute there was something of a shock. When did this happen?
Please don’t think this blog is a negative, impeding my anime watching experience with imaginary implications and responsibilities. It’s the contrary in fact. It’s that sharing my watching experience with readers is just more fun and rewarding than just watching it by myself. Without that communal experience, it feels like something’s missing. In fact, I do get a little worried I won’t be able to o back to simply enjoying anime without taking notes and a billion screen caps… Wow I am just annoying the heck out of myself in this post.
I sound like a confused ball of the silliest and most inconsequential anxieties ever! Still I went down this little rabbit hole of thoughts and musings because I have an anime blog. These are all concerns I couldn’t even have imagined before I started this journey and I’m sure they don’t occur to the vast majority of anime watchers.
Yet, I know I don’t have it as bad as seasonal episode reviewers. Those poor bloggers have their entire watching experience scheduled to the day. They can’t even skip an episode if they want to stay on schedule, let alone watch a random show just for fun. (I know that watching to review is still fun, that’s not what I mean…)
For me, I can easily write a random essay or top 5 if I haven’t felt like watching anime for a bit. I don’t have a draconian posting schedule that “forces” me to watch shows, for the most part. Which is even more reason why I should watch whatever I feel like whenever I want. I know you guys will tell me as much as well. Cause you’re awesome.
Still, if this weird series of thoughts crossed my mind, maybe someone else has felt that way. And that’s ok, we all have silly thoughts and non-problems we waste intellectual real estate on. There’s nothing wrong with that. We just need to recognize them.
Except of course if it actually does end up cutting into my enjoyment of anime. Now that would be unacceptable. And prevention is always better than the cure. So I’m going to try a little exercise for my own sake. I’m taking the world’s easiest resolution this year!
In the coming months I have resolved to watch an anime. I’m not even going to tell you witch one. Well I honestly haven’t decided yet so I can’t tell you witch one. But I will definitely not be taking any screen caps or notes. I’m not even going to play a drinking game. I’ll just dink if and when I feel like it. Whoa! What crazy lawless world am I stepping into. And I’m not going to review this show at all…but I will let you all know if that affected my viewing experience in any way. Baby steps!
Maybe I’ll described something unexpected. I might end up setting up regular “non review” viewings. Cause I’m the squarest person in the universe….I swear I’m way more fun than I sound!
In the meantime though I am curious if writing or even just regularly reading anime blogs has had any impact on your anime watching? And if so, what type of impact? Have you started paying attention to things you never even noticed before? I know I have. Or maybe you now have other people to do all the analyzing for you? Does it make anime watching more of a chore? Especially if you have a tight episode review schedule?