In general, I greatly prefer to binge anime then to watch as it airs. That actually goes for all types of media not just anime. So when Karandi published this great post: Top 5 Reasons To Watch Seasonal Anime, I was all ready to jump in and annoyingly contradict all her points in the comments. Except I couldn’t…. Those were all great points. Almost convinced me to start watching more seasonal anime.
I left that post no longer quite sure of who I was. I mean if I’m not a steadfast binger anymore, whatever even is reality now???
Then I realized I could just make a response post and the fabric of reality doesn’t have to unravel. So that’s what I’m doing now. Thank you so much for the inspiration Karandi! Here we go My Top 5 reasons for binging anime:
5. Waiting sucks
Also know as not having to put up with cliffhangers. I understand why anime writers would put cliffhangers in, you gotta give those eyeballs a reason to come back. But man, a good 70% of the time they’re just annoying and leave you feeling like something’s been left unfinished for an entire week. What’s the fun in that??
When you’re binge watching you have full control of where you want to stop a story. If you want the cliffhanger, no problem, stop watching or switch shows. It’s all up to you. But if you don’t, you can move right onto the next episode and get you some of that sweet sweet closure.
4. No unexpected hiatuses… hiatusi ????
Sure you can go from week to week getting through your story line and that’s fine but what happens when your show needs to take a week off? How about 2 weeks off!!! It’s been nearly a month since you watched that last singular episode. Obviously you’ve watched other stuff in that time. Your attention has been divided, you are more excited about the new thing now. You also forgot a lot of what happened.
I am a person who often has 8 tabs open and 3 separate screens going. By now, I’ve widdled down my attention span to that of the average fruit fly. It’s terribly unfair, unreadable and just plain unrealistic to ask me to hold my focus on a show I haven’t seen in 14 days.
3. No spoilers
Being part of the conversation is great but if you miss an episode, or just watch it a day late, you better be careful. Cause that conversation is going to tell you every single thing that happened. Not to mention all the manga readers that know everything that’s about to happen for the rest of the season!
Even when you don’t actively seek it out it just sort of seeps in through some type of information osmosis. But when a series aired 3 years ago, you’re pretty safe. The likelyhood that someone’s gonna mention it in the middle of an unrelated conversation (or post) is super small. I don’t really mind spoilers myself but sometimes they can tarnish the experience and some people absolutely hate them!
2. Your own schedule
When we talk about binging we often think about watching tons of episodes non stop and finishing series in very small amounts of days (it always takes the same time cause the series have a set run time…). But binging also means that you can take your time and watch at your own pace. Want to take a month long break. Sure no problem. You’re suddenly in the mood to watch 6 episodes in a row? That’s fine too.
When not watching seasonal anime, series bend and work with your schedule and not the other way around. That’s just plain convenient.
1. Narrative Flow
Creating a connection with a story and its characters is tricky. That’s why authors will use a varieties of techniques to make sure their audience can achieve it. They’ll follow and emotional arch for a specific character with a cool down period. They’ll stack up a few light comedic episodes in a row to get the viewer in a certain head space so that a sudden tragic event is felt that much more viscerally.
It’s really an art. But that art becomes even more difficult if you’re actively breaking up the narrative flow by watching a whole bunch of different series you’re giving equal attention to that have competing tones and emotional impacts. Basically, you can emotionally exhaust yourself before you get to the climax a series was reaching for.
Personally, I watch a few seasonal episode between my binge watching and I like it that way. Of course there are a lot of pros and cons to both. In the end, it really just comes down to personal preference. So which do you like more?