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:Rini 2020 (9)

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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?

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25 thoughts

  1. Not at all surprisingly, we watch anime about the same way. Bingeing with some seasonal in between. I’d like to offer one more reason: Life. Life can be frustrating when you are watching a seasonal show for a couple of reasons. Life does not always let you be free and at home to watch your favorite show at a particular time. Sure, you TRY to set that time aside – but sometimes there is something you actually want to do MORE (gasp) or someone ends up in the hospital, or some other situation comes up that has to be handled during that time and you miss and episode and then you’re lost when the next one comes out. I’m old – I remember when you had NO control over when you watched something on network TV. LOL. With episodic series not that big, but something with a real storyline over a season or over several seasons – ugh. The second part of this is due to being in the U.S.A. and watching a lot of imports. I love British comedy. Watched it for years on PBS but we were definately the red-headed stepchild. Now that I can subscribe to BritBox I’m watching some real oldies over again – and discovering that there are episodes I missed entirely that aired in 1972 originally. Even entire seasons of some series that simply never made it to the U.S. at all. Bless the Internet and these providers because I’m quite enjoying them now! The same is true of anime – our access here was pretty limited for a long time.

    I’m afraid to read Karandi’s post now 😛 I’ll come back and reread this one if I have to! LOL

  2. I’m more of a weekly guy if I’m able to keep up, but most of the shows I end up watching are in the binge format. There’s usually just too many to keep up with seasonally so I watch like 3-4 on a weekly basis and binge older shows the rest of the time. I do like the fact that you don’t have to wait when a show’s already over. If the cliffhanger is really good then I can jump into the next episode right away.

  3. I agree but I have to say, the months or years of gap between seasons of anime sometimes throw me off too. Whenever a sequel comes out, depending on the series, I might have to rewatch all the seasons that came before ^^”

    As for spoilers, I particularly dislike those and don’t even read the synopsis of anime. I just look at the cover art, the genres and just go straight into it. After all, there are few anime I don’t like. Since I binge anime, I’ll be done with it in about 5 hours for 12 episode series and 10 hours for 24 episodes anyways. XD

  4. I have no preference whatsoever. It depends entirely on availability of (a) time and (b) anime. I binge old stuff, and I watch new stuff weekly. I binge stuff on weekends or during vacations. I watch stuff weekly… always.

    Sometimes I think that an anime would be better watched weekly/binged, but it’s academic, because I’m really only watching according to availability. Hm, I could try going through this season’s shows and see which anime would be better for binging and which shows would be better for watching weekly. (Not that it’ll change anything, though.)

    In rough order of affection:

    Hanako-kun: Binge. Waiting is hard for this one. Not even my top-tier distraction powers can withstand the pull. Magpie mind – fail.

    Eizouken: Weekly is fine, though there’s a definite possibility that I’d start to notice more throughlines were I to binge it. The meta-level is strong in this one, and there might be a pattern I’m missing.

    In/Spectre: Undecided. On the one hand the show is very talky, and that might become tedious after a while. On the other hand it might be easier to fllow if you binge arcs. Hm…

    Haikyuu: Binge. There’s so much to see here it never gets old.

    Chihayafuru: Binge. They always break during games, but I’m not interested in the outcomes enough, so rather than suspense that’s there in the moment, I get re-orientation (oh, right, that’s what happened).

    Somali: Weekly is fine, though short arc-bursts might work, too. Unsure. Too much all at once might cause metaphorical diabetes.

    Natsunagu: Undecided. It’s a short, and it works fine weekly, but the show’s grown on me, and the effect might be stronger during a binge.

    Dorohedoro: Binge. This show is weird. Not surface-level weird, so you can get used to it. It’s weird to the core. You never know what’ll happen. Literally. I mean, in the show’s opening shot, we’re inside the main characters mouth where a person talks to the main character’s victim… And yet all the weirdness makes sense enough so you don’t lose yourself in confusion. Steady forward pull.

    Phantasy Star Online 2: Binge. Very involved story.

    Show By Rock – Mashumaireshi: Either. Works as cute fluff, but there’s enough narrative to string you along, if you care.

    Bofuri: Weekly. Cute fluff is perfect in small doses.

    Room Camp: Weekly. If you stitch together the short episodes, I imagine you get too much whiplash. It’s really just preparing you for season 2 of Yuru Camp anyway. Franchise connective tissue that doesn’t stand on its own.

    Magia Record: Weekly. It’s disjointed anyway. At least one new magical girl pro week – gaccha game adaption. Better to just enjoy it as it comes.

    Blade of the Immortal: Weekly is fine, but a short-burst binge might be okay, too. One thing, though: There are many recurring characters, and a binge would make remembering who is who easier.

    Uchi-tama: Weekly. Cute fluff.

    Isekai Quartet 2: Weekly. Short humorous episodes are a perfect fit for small doses.

    Iruma-kun: Weekly, or arc-binging. Too much at once risks diminishing returns.

    Muranase! Seton Gakuen: Either. It works well in small doses as your weekly comedy fix, but there’s also the animal-of-the-week collector obsession that’d just keep me going.

    Runway de Waratte: Binge. The show would profit a lot from getting through unpleasant parts quickly (they sort of linger week-to-week, but are just interpspersed elements in a binge). Meanwhile, you don’t have to wait for the good parts as much.

    Budokan: Weekly. It’s entertaining enough, but it’s fairly open about the idol industry, and the idol industry is creepy. Small doses work best.

    Orphen: Binge in short bursts, probably. It’s one of the shows where narrative flow (your point 1) really helps keep interest, I suspect.

    22/7: Weekly. Very episodic anyway.

    Yatogame-chan Kansatsu Nikki: Weekly fluff.

    Jeweller Richard: We’ve just had a “suspense ending”, and I realised I don’t really care.Weekly is fine.

    Rikei ga Koi…: Undecided. I usually have enough after one episode, but it’s possible that – if you push past some threshold – the show starts growing on you more. I like all the characters, but not enough to serve as a bridge week to week. The effect might accumulate during a binge.

    Nekopara: Weekly. Cute fluff again, though of the lesser variety.

    Infinite Dendrogram: Weekly. It passes the time, but I’m sure if I watched more than one episode in a go, I’d start wondering why I’m not watching something else.

    Plunderer: Weekly. I’d probably accumulate too much irritation too fast for a binge watch to last beyond a few episodes.

    What doing this taught me is that there are shows that I’d probably watch differently, depending on the mode. That’s not what I expected, but there’s a clear difference between “undecided” (I’d have to try to know), and “either” (if I watch weekly I focus on this, if I binge I focus on that). Thought experiments can actually teach you something. Who knew?

  5. I strongly agree with you on this. There are very few exceptions, such as a series being within the Shonen Jump universe (so it never ends) or a show like Attack on Titan. The latter of which as you know I keep up on, religiously for lack of a better term. Other series I can’t help but exist on the fringes of like Made in Abyss or Konosuba, both anime and manga. That said, I’ve very few shows that I am constantly keeping up with because it does get overwhelming and – all of your points listed above.
    I was never good at minesweeper, so avoiding the inevitable spoiler for a show that I plan to watch someday is near impossible. Stumbling across character deaths is by far the worst but if a series has been out for a while, I’ve only myself to blame. Manga on the other hand, you do have those few crackpots that feel the need to inform the world of everything in the latest volume, however the vast majority of manga readers keep to themselves and are very considerate about their information.
    Great entry, keep it up! 🙂

    1. There’s not so few of them… I ended up know everything that was going to happen on AoT despite all my protests…

  6. I prefer to binge, and you mostly nail my reasons.

    I have a draw to particular types of shows , which can feel a bit samesy if watched trough each other. What happend in which Isekai, did the thing happend in. I do have pretty good memory but I am also an active dreamer. Sometimes I dream episodes based on other things I saw. I once dropped Fate Zero because I was watching something smiliar (can’t remember what) that i disliked and I was vividly convinced the good show did stuff from the bad … Like Gilles de Rey having a complete change of heart.. which made me so angry I dropped the show!

    When binging I also feel less compelled to watch all the “last time on ” stuff, so I can move a bit quicker. One Piece for example has episodes where the recapp spans over 25% of the entire episode. I dropped One Piece, from my weekly schedule just because it was all recpas.

    I also forgot a lot of japanese seasonal things. Like if an anime did not air because of a holiday, or the olympics or other sporting events or special news stuff. If it moves timeslots , is on a small break or just postponed I tend to lose track of it. To lesser extend it also allows you to Filler skip. Not usefull in most cases but I did like Dragonball Kai more than Dragon Ball Z (I watched both episodically).

    I think the most important reason to binge is basicly content selection. There are so many anime I havent seen yet. I’d usually give anime about three to five episodes to finish or drop. If I binge I can pick from a infinte well of shows wiith a length that I feel like. If I watch seasonal I lose a lot of time on series I end up dropping. My droprate for seasonals are waaaay higher than binging. There is still so much good stuff I need to see (like Natusme) that I feel much better watching someone’s favorite rather than picking something people generally .. like.

      1. I skip a lot as well, but a few anime only start like at the 6 or sometimes even 9 minute mark with new stuff! That’s still a lot to sit trough. When binging skipping 1/3 isnt such an issue but if your episode of that week is just a few minutes of new footage I’d feel ccheated out of an episode!

  7. I’m weird in that I don’t exactly binge anime, but I don’t really watch many seasonals either. I just will watch 1-3 episodes of a series at a time usually, then either put on something else or go do some other stuff. I usually have a few different shows I’m watching at the same time and jump around between them. I find it just works for me, the only drawback is when I get too ADHD and I have like 6-7 series I’m watching and never finish anything 😛

  8. I prefer binge watching shows for all of the reasons that you’ve listed above. Sometimes it can be nice to watch a series an episode at a time along with a group of people so you can all discuss it as it comes out, but generally I find that I enjoy stories more when I can consume them in larger chunks.

  9. Point 1 is without a doubt the most important one. It’s so easy to slip out of it when watching a week apart, but with back to back to back, you don’t miss a beat and get to truly appreciate the story as a whole.

    I tend to have a bunch of seasonal shows on the go and I’ll binge another show here and there. I do like to keep up with the new shows, but there’s nothing quite like fully immersing yourself in another world.

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