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.

anime scared
the horror…..

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…

anime match
I know the feeling

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…)

this post is getting away from me

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!

I know, I’m amazing!

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?

cleean up Rini

40 thoughts

    1. (Hit the reply button too early.)

      I’m watching Fate/ as more of a catch-up thing to see if I can understand what the fans are all on about, sure, and what I have seen so far is fairly decent (there have been instances of characters just chatting in a dark room, which is the biggest annoyance I have with it), but I’m only watching the spinoffs that I want as a reward…in a sense. (Prisma Ilya is essentially 4 seasons long…)

  1. If I choose to write about an anime, I feel like I receive a greater enjoyment out of it than if I didn’t. When I select a show to create a post for, it forces me to look deeper into the plot, characters, theme, etc, which allows me to see more than if I was merely watching with passivity. The work for writing can be taxing at times, but overall the experience of the anime is much better.

    1. I agree but I also think certain shows profit from either a more superficial or simply a more personal viewing. From my own experience of course.

  2. Talk about an epiphany! It’s a common problem with all social media, seeing all of life through the lens of potential readers and viewers. Like the boy on the biscuit tin looking at the boy on the biscuit tin… Come to think of it, analogies poets and photographers have the same problem. But you just busted out.

  3. I know that feeling. I’ve actually started building in series to just watch and enjoy without reviewing for my own sake. I do my best to review what I can, but I try not to force it. The last forced review from me was the Dumbbell anime post. I finished the series, it left exactly 0 impact, but I did force myself to review it anyway. Since I’m so picky with seasonal stuff, it’s been way easier to enjoy and if I feel like reviewing the series I’m watching… I will. If not, I still watched a cool anime!

    Have fun watching a non-review anime!

  4. I tend to use blog posts to help guide my watching and suggest other animes I may enjoy. These days it seems like it is hard to find a unique storyline. That being said, I’m totally fine with a “been done before” story as long as it is fun. I also tend to wait until the anime is done airing so I can marathon it. Thus, the “who will care by the time I get to writing it” reasoning doesn’t apply to me. It may take me a few weeks or months to remember to check to see if the anime finished. And I may check around for some reviews to see if it is worth marathoning but unless everyone says it is awful it may not deter me. I also use blog posts to see if I understood or even missed something important. And/or to see how many others were just as confused as me. We all pick up on different aspects of the anime and you miss a lot when reading subtitles.

    But blog posts should be mostly for you. If it is therapeutic, write one. If it is stressing you out, skip it.

    1. Happily I have never gotten to the point of stress with my blog…
      Like you I prefer to binge watch anime – or at least watch it at whatever speed I choose rather than weekly increments.

  5. It was my blog that got me into watching seasonal anime in the first place, well, that and the discovery of Crunchyroll. Before that I just watched whatever took my fancy, or what I could get my hands on.

    I suppose the only thing that’s really changed is that I now want to make sure that I have a review ready for each week so my anime consumption has actually gone up. At the moment I’m so far ahead with my reviews that I can actually cut down on seasonal reviews for a bit and watch a few older series I never got around to,

        1. I sort of really loved how Madoka ended. I thought it was really great. ‘m sure the spinoffs and movies are great as well but it’s the sort of story I want to keep intact. Is that weird?

          1. I am looking forward to the Madoka spinoff too! I liked how that series was the same….but not. Similar to The Rising of the Shield Hero.

          2. Not at all. I like the Rebellion film, but it does need another movie set after it to continue the story. Rebellion is not the place where I want the story to end.

            I guess I just want more stories set in that world. I’ve read some of the spin off manga and there’s some really interesting ideas there. A Different Story is my favourite, because it lets me get to know Mami a bit better.

  6. Someday I’ll get around to a concluding post – or two – on Evangelion. I’ve watched the last 10 episodes twice in the last month and still can’t put into words what the hell is going on. Never mind End of Evangelion.

    I am kind of burned out on anime posts right now. Nothing moves me enough to write about it. You may be suffering from a bit of burn out too. All that digging and scratching for plot points and the perfect screen grab to illustrate a point detracts from the enjoyment. It builds tension in me. Anime is written to be enjoyed by people who just watch for the pleasure of watching.

    I should go back to the idea of watching anime once for fun and then again as a reviewer.only if it moves me. Watching it with intent to blog from the very beginning ruins much of the fun. It adds stress.

    I don’t think the immediacy of a review is that important. Let it settle and digest for a bit. Cranking out a review too quickly leads to anime indigestion.

    You have to imagine why people are reading your review. The people who are really “in” to watching an anime will have seen your review after they’ve watched it themselves. Why are they then reading a review of what they’ve just watched? Then there are people who have watched the season so far but haven’t seen the episode in question yet. Why are they reading a review of something they will soon be seeing regardless? And there are people who have not watched the anime yet. What are their motives for reading one’s blog? Is it possible for one blog to serve all?

    And there are those who have no intention of watching said anime and just read your blog for the joy of reading your blog. Those are your best and most loyal followers.

    I think posts on classic anime that are years old are very worthy entries in one’s blog. Not everyone has seen them. In fact I guarantee the newcomers to anime haven’t seen them. But you have had the proper time to digest them

  7. I started enjoying anime more again, after I deleted my MAlist, but I’ve said that often enough. In my what-if-I-had-a-blog moments, I always know I wouldn’t do episodic reviews, and I was fairly sure I wouldn’t do series reviews.

    As for reading blogs, that’s just like talking about anime. It’s fun. Episodic reviews help me drop anime, as I can satiate my curiosity via words, screen-shots, and imagination. I have to stop reading reviews of shows I dropped, if they annoyed me, because it’s irritating to see them praised. And the feelings that arise inside make me feel petty. I mean, it’s good if other people have something they enjoy.

    And I like image posts: they actually help me appreciate episodes more (even future episodes, as is the case with your Fire Force galleries, for example).

    Lately, I’ve become more ruthless with dropping shows: if I notice watching them isn’t fun, they have to go.

    1. I have to say, putting together image posts also help me enjoy episodes more. It’s a sort of appreciation ritual for me…

  8. Hard as it is, I guess the trick is to try and not treat blogging like job as it becomes a chore. Fun gets sapped out of it.

    Enjoy the exp, shayk or rather irina.

  9. Yep — same here.

    And just as you described, it snuck up on me.

    This sounds counter intuitive (or maybe it’s just how I think, which others have also described as counter intuitive — well, the nice ones anyway…), but I’ve had to force myself to watch 2 or 3 shows a season just for the fun of it. In fact, the more “fun” and less intellectually stressful, the better. This season was Val x Love, Assassin’s Pride, and Cautious Hero.

    Of course, Cautious Hero decided to go all dark in ep 11, but it still fit the bill.

    It’s hard to move something like watching anime from relaxing, leisure time pastime to a professional activity — while retaining some of the tone of the former. But it’s worthwhile, because it’s what gives your voice part of its distinctive quality.

    So, very glad to see you’re going to watch something just for fun. It’s really helped me!

      1. A lot of bloggers have pointed out its plot challenges, and I don’t dispute their points. In spite of that, I enjoyed it. The world was really interesting. So much so that I’d love to know more! The kids looked and acted like kids, which was refreshing. I also liked the relationship between Melida and Elise.

        I would liked to have learned more about two of the other main characters, Rosetti and Kufa.

        I guess I’d invoke Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and classify it “Mostly Harmless!”

      2. Dropped it after a few episodes, had too much stuff going on and other good shows. I’ve seen a few people not expecting to like it, dig it though.

  10. “yeah but by the time I get to it, no one’s going to want to read a review of that…”

    This is basically my entire blog for the last month or so, lmao. Reviewing anime whose parties I am arriving far too late for.

    But I understand the notion. Often have I had the thought of “Any anime I watch I should review, because it could make for material and I don’t want to build giant gaps between content!” It does occasionally drag the brain into an “All work and no play” mindset that makes things more strict. I empathize with this resolution, and I wish you the best of luck with it!

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