A lot of people have suddenly found themselves with a lot more free time on their hands, and for anime fans that can often mean – time for binging! I was hoping to be in that situation as well but sadly my workload has only increased. This said, I have taken staycations so I know what it means to suddenly have a whole 24 or even 48 hours in from of you where you can just watch anime if you want. 48 hours!!! That’s like 8 seasons of anime! WHOA!!! But do I want to do that?For the record, I’m not necessarily talking about binging a show here. You can watch you can watch a single episode of 96 different shows if you want in those 48 hours. I’m really stuck on that 48 hour trend aren’t I?
I’m obviously exaggerating to prove a point. Only I don’t have anything to prove at the moment so I guess I’m just exaggerating. That’s not great… Point is, a lot of anime fans have probably thought to themselves (or even said out loud) I can never get enough anime. If I could, I would just watch it all the time. And then they start an anime blog and find that they actually want to play video games or watch a live action show or even *gasp* hang out with friends… instead of watching another series to review. And that’s normal, people need variety. I’m definitely like that as well.
This said, I’m the type of person who can do repetitive stuff for longer than average. Surprisingly, I have patience for repetitive stuff, probably the only thing I have patience for. I even find it comforting. I have been watching anime for a long time and I watch quite a bit. Or at least I sue to, I haven’t been able to turn on my tv (well I watch on the computer but just humour me) in days!
But even I have my limits. And setting aside the need to do other things from time to time, like read manga or sleep or something, I find that there’s only so much time I can consecutively devote to anime before I get saturated no matter how interesting a show may be. And that limit is 4 hours. Honestly, more that 8 episodes in a row, is a bit of a task for me. I can watch an entire series in a setting but I pretty much never enjoy the experience. 8 episodes, whether it’s different shows or the same, and I need to do something else.
I can however have more than a single anime sitting in a day. For instance, watch two or three episode in the morning. Maybe a couple more over lunch, then a whole 8 in the evening and bam, I’ve just marathoned through an entire season in one day. Unfortunately I just don’t have time to do that at all these days but I have done it and I loved it.
I have wondered about this phenomenon. It’s not physical, like my stomach being full so I need to stop eating. I can switch to video games which have a similar physical impact. It’s not purely my mind getting fed up with the material either, since different shows offer very different experiences and yet I still have the same cutoff when I switch from series to series. It’s something different and to me, it’s kind of fascinating.
You see I can switch to playing games, or even reading manga but I can’t switch to watching anything else. I can’t put on a marvel movie or watch some reality tv or something to act as a brain cleanser. It’s not the medium of the activity that has to be modified, but the way I engage with it. Apparently, just sitting there and watching something puts a specific strain on my brain that is different from reading on a screen or mashing buttons. And it’s a strain I can only put up with for so long.
And now the even weirder thing. I can watch live action longer… I really enjoyed Love Exposure and that movie is 4 hours. I have put on Netflix and just let it play for like the entire day. But it doesn’t hit me the same way. Certainly having to read subtitles forces me to pay way more attention to anime, I should try watching a dub and see if I can just do 10 hours in a row or something (it will inevitably become background noise at some point mind you). But I think there’s more to it than that.
Cartoons may have been relegated as children’s entertainment but they are more demanding on our brains in some ways. Processing the sensory information for instance. Those colours and angles and movements need just a bit more translating since they are, impossible. There’s less shortcuts also. You know how your brain auto-fills information about the world around you all the time just to cut down on processing power and time, well that’s not as easy to do when you’re dealing with an animated universe that has less analogous points with your first hand experience of the world. All of this is on a very base level that you don’t notice at all, but it is there.
I’m sorry, I really should have said this right from the start. I don,t have a point here, or even a question. I like brains and I’m interested in how they work. I also like animation. Putting the two together is doubly interesting to me so when I noticed that I have some personal experience in that field I got all excited and wanted to ramble on about it in a post. I just found it fascinating that the mere fact that something is a drawing instead of a photograph has a real and physical impact on what’s inside my skull, and that impact is even in some way measurable.
So just to satisfy my own curiosity, I have a series of questions for you guys. Do you have an anime watching limit? Do you have a live action watching limit? Can you still do something that involves a screen once you’ve reached that limit or do you need to go out or something? Do I just sound a bit crazy?