How I Choose Which Seasonal Anime to Watch (and What I Want to Watch this Summer)

It’s that time again! That magical time of wonder and excitement when a young otaku’s fancies turn to love…for a brand new series of anime! It’s new season time!!!! YAY!

I have only been following new seasons of anime for a few years. Before that I just randomly watched whatever I happen to fall on with very little conception of when it actually aired. Not that much has changed but sometimes I know something happens to be airing. However, regardless of how little practical impact it may have on my life and viewing habits, I still get excited about seeing all the new releases come out every season. Maybe my new all time favourite show if just about to air its first episode! Maybe my last all time favourite show got a new season! It’s like Christmas in July…well June… and September… and also at Christmas… I’m going to stop this now.

toradora christmas

how did we even get here

As fun and oddly exhilarating as new seasons of anime have been, I found that for me, they can also be a bit overwhelming. There is so much anime out there and so much of it looks great. I also still have a lot of older titles I want to watch. Like a whole lot! I’ve secretly been hoping that release schedules slow down a bit. We need to give animators some time to breath too.

So with time, I’ve been perfecting a way to quickly figure out which anime I want to watch each new season. Or more accurately, which anime I am ok with skipping.

I’ve started using this site when it comes to upcoming seasonal anime : https://www.livechart.me/summer-2020/tv . I still enjoy AniList for tracking my anime. I like the look of it and love playing with the stat options. I also really like the fact that AniList will bring me directly to the appropriate streaming service for shows that have already aired through the watch tab. But that’s not available for upcoming shows. I really like how livechart tells me at a glimpse all info I need. It has genre tags, studio info, number of episodes and even streaming service right there. And if the service isn’t on the front page, I can simply click on the title and it will clearly show any distributors that have the rights to stream in my region. I also like that I can tag them right then and there with “considering” or “skipping” to help me keep track.

So right off the bat, I can eliminate all titles that Funimation already has the rights to. For the upcoming season that allowed me to quickly strike out Appare-Ranman!, Deca-Dence and Muhyo to Roujii all of which I had my eye on. Now I’m not getting my hopes up! Yay!

I am not a fan of romance, or at least I keep saying despite having just watched a whole slew of decidedly romantic Yuri anime and having enjoyed them quite a bit… In any case, Romance tags usually need something more that catches my eye in order to make it to my list and preferably not too many of them. That basically cut out half the list… My potential romance pics for nest season are Ikebukuro West Gate Park which has the “Mystery” tag drawing me in and Koi to Producer: EVOL×LOVE because Otome based anime have a good potential of being so bad it’s good or at least so bad I can tell from the first 5 minutes.

Anything that’s a second season of something I haven’t seen and isn’t already on my to watch list is out. So no SAO, Fruits Basket, No Guns Life, Bungo to Alchemist or Foodwars for me. Anything I haven’t enjoyed previous seasons of is also out. Sorry Snafu and Cinderella 9. However if I did enjoy the previous seasons that’s an automatic in! That means ReZero and Fire Force for me.

The rest is up to a few factors. Sometimes there are anime I happened to have heard of or be familiar with the source and be excited about. Like the God of High School or the Great Pretender which I hope will be available up here next season but I’m not sure. Other times, it’s the summary or tags that draw me in. Gibiate is an action adventure horror you say… Well I have terrible luck with those yet can’t resist trying them out every time. On the list you go. As for the slew of ecchi, harem or cute girl comedies, I will go with anything that has cover art that grabs my attention. Maybe Dokyuu Hentai HxEros and Chou Futsuu Toshi Kashiwa Densetsu R.

That’s all for me. That means an ultra reasonable 8 series and a short I want to watch next season. And some of them might not get picked up for streaming by any of the services I have. And one is a short! The two romance ones are the ones I foresee as being immediate hit or miss, they might get dropped at episode 1. Although I really love the cover of Ikebukuro West Gate Park and for some reason am very curious about it.

I had a lot of fun picking out my anime. in fact, I went ahead and picked out the ones for fall as well. There’s already 14….. I may be getting a bit ahead of myself. So what are you guys watching this summer? Are you looking forward to anything in particular?

Rini 3 (3)

 

Irina

I'm much nicer than I seem, we should be friends!

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20 Responses

  1. Wow. I’m glad you mentioned Live Chart. I love how it has the start times and who’s carrying what.

  2. foovay says:

    Interesting looking little site. I don’t know if I’m really that organized. Obviously, Fruits Basket for me. Otherwise I’ll browse around, decide what looks interesting and watch an episode or two. At most I’ll pick 3 or 4 to simulcast. And even then I may watch about half and put the rest aside to binge later. I’m just a binger…

  3. I usually base my viewing on continuing what I’ve seen already and liked. Then I add new shows based on other people’s blogs. And the occasional selection that has an interesting title but nobody talks about.

    Usually not more than 6 current anime and maybe a couple of oldies. There is so much anime out there I could keep myself quite busy just watching old stuff.

    I have bookmarked the site. It looks interesting.

    • Irina says:

      I tend to binge watch 2 or 3 finished anime at the time and just sprinkle in seasonal watches through the week. Even those I do want to watch, I won’t necessarily watch as they air.

  4. it’s simple for me. pick out a few i’m interested in, watch the first few episodes as they come, follow 2 or 3 really interesting ones, watch the other interesting ones at the end of the season. It’s also a lot easier when it’s seasons like this summer, since a lot of anime in the summer season are gonna be adaptations of manga i’ve read, so i already know if i want to watch them or not.

    • Irina says:

      I don’t read that much manga – or not much that seems to get adapted at least. That would be a great way to narrow down the old To Watch list

  5. Dawnstorm says:

    Honestly, I never actively make a list. I just got live chart whenever I’m bored and can’t find anything better to do, and then I go through the titles, and how much information I access depends on how bored I am. I’d say I do that around once or twice a week once I become aware that the current season is ending. I’ve default-sorted the list by countdown, so usually the ones who air next are on top of the list, which means the first thing I usually see is two-cours (e.g. Fruitsbasket), because the next episode will air before the season actually starts. Usually I have to scroll to get to the new shows.

    Once I’ve done this a few times, I’ll start remembering titles. And those often end up the ones I’m interested in (or explicitely will not watch). I tend to try most things anyway, even if after multiple scroll throughs they didn’t stick. This season, for example, I’m greatly enjoying Princess Connect, even though I don’t even remember ever seeing it on the chart (obviously, I have – mutlitple times; it just never caught my eye). Meanwhile, Kakushigoto and Yesterday were instant I-want-to-watch-this-shows, and Villainess was an adaption I’ve been looking forward to since before the actual season it aired in was announced (word of mouth).

    This season, the only show that’s caught my interest in a way that I can mention even without looking at the chart is Great Pretender (again, a show was looking forward to ever since it was announced, on account of its director, Kaburagi Hiro, who has never let me down: Kimi ni Todoke, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun, Hoozuki, 91 Days). It’s a Netflix show (and all of it is already available on Netflix Japan), so I have no idea when it will come to the west, but come it will.

    Going through the list once again right now, I notice that Lapis Re:LIGHTs looks pretty if unexceptional on its promo picture. It’s not a show I recognise, so if I hadn’t written this paragraph right here, I’d probably have forgotten about it again, but now – having written about it – I’m more likely to remember.

    Oddly enough, I tend to ignore second seasons in the process, so neither Snafu nor Fire Force interest me particularly, while talking about the new season, but at the same time I’m absolutely going to watch those shows (and Re:Zero, too, which I forgot again even after you just mentioned it). It would have to be a very exciting announcement to stick around in my mind (e.g. the third season of The Eccentric Family is something I’d never forget!). On the other hand, I’m sort of annoyed at Monster Musume no Oisha-san for not being Monster Musume 2, so there’s that, too. (I remember the show as the show that isn’t Monster Musume and doesn’t particularly catch my interest. It would have been better for the show if I’d never made the connection.)

    I’m also mildly curious about Uzaki-chan, which could be fun (people say it reminds them of a more ecchi Takagi-san, but the vibes I’m getting are more Aho Girl), but I tend to forget it’s airing next season (I’ve been aware of the manga – word of mouth – for a while now).

    I’m going to try nearly everything, and since a lot of shows have been pushed back, there aren’t going to be as many premiers as usual, so I’m probably going to be even less picky when trying the first episode than usual.

    Is there something I’m excited about? Great Pretender
    Is there something I’m actively curious about? No
    Is there something I think could be fun? A few shows, but I keep forgetting what they are, which is not a good sign.

    Season prospects? Most of the stuff I’m going to like is probably going to be familiar.

    • Irina says:

      Seems like a chill season for you as well. That’s good. Once in a while it’s nice. I’m still catching up on older shows as I have nearly 100 on my list.

  6. Mari says:

    To be honest, the only anime I *really* want to watch this season are Re: Zero and Fruits Basket. They’re both second seasons of anime I’ve been anticipating for a while now. And with Re: Zero I’ve read all the light novels that are currently out in English, and I can’t wait to see my witch wife Echidna in action 😀

    • Irina says:

      I’m looking forward to it as well. I didn’t like the end of season 1. Nothing big, I just didn’t like it, but the rest of the season was great!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Second attempt now to see if my comment does go through.
    So The World Ends With You is finally getting an anime adaptation and more info about is going to be coming out at anime expo lite on july 3rd so its also an early bday present to me as well.
    With the amount of revivals like a new inyuasha and shaman king and whenever they do come out either this season or a next i’ll definitely give it a chance to watch its going to be the first time in a long time since i’ve been overwhelelemd with watching that much anime.
    -K (rogueotakugamer.)

  8. Anonymous says:

    The World Ends With You is finally getting an anime adaptation and its going to be announced on anime expo on july 3rd so its going to be early bday present to me and whenever it does come out like for this season i’ll definitely watch it. And also with the amount of revivals as well coming out too like Shaman king and a new Inyuasha i think this is going to be the first time in a long time that i actually get overwhelmed by what seasonal anime is going to be coming out.
    -K (Rogueotakugamer)

    • Irina says:

      I think Shaman King wont be before 2021 and I haven’t seen official announcements for the rest. They might all come out different seasons so it won’t be too bad.

  9. Is it weird that I get kinda stressed at the beginning of a new anime season? It’s something I look forward to at the end of every season, and I enjoy the anticipation of knowing that there will be new episodes waiting for me at the end of each week… but at the same time, it’s not always easy to keep up with all the shows I want to keep up with. I’m normally immune to the FOMO effect, but with anime… for some reason. It doesn’t feel right unless I’m up-to-date, lol.

    • Irina says:

      It’s not weird! I’m the exact same! It’s a tiny bit of a releif when seasons don’t have much I’m interested in or like this time, are a bit lighter due to delays.

  10. I’ve already done not one, but two lists on shows I’m hyped for this summer (one had fall anime as well).

    Ikebukuro West Gate Park got pushed back to fall. Not sure if you knew that at the time of writing this post, though. I only have 9 possible simulcasts in summer since IWGP got kicked down the road and that includes if I catch up to Muhyo and Roji’s BSI…Since delays meant I left my spring simulcasts behind though, I’m not complaining about that.

    Normally I’ll pick seasonals based on if I was familiar with the source at the time of the season’s start (Fruits Basket…I actually dropped Rent-a-Girlfriend’s manga because I knew the anime was coming soon though, and since it’s of a genre I’m neutral on, I thought reading it raw wasn’t worth the effort), if the premise excites me (Gibiate, Deca-Dence), key staff/voice actors (Gibiate, Deca-Dence, Get Up! Get Live!) or a sequel to something I finished previously and liked (No Guns Life…come to think of it, the only anime where I watched s1 and not s2 so far are Aegis of Uruk and Osomatsu-san, so that’s a very high retention rate). I do pick up things based on reviews people do, even though that ruins some comedies for me in the process.

    I’ll give an anime an automatic pass if it’s ecchi or hentai, unless it’s got 1) legal accessible streaming and 2) a different factor to appeal to me. I’ll pass on anything else if I can’t access it legally and for free (so no Great Pretender).

  11. Djm says:

    I try to never go more than ten series, because I simply just have stuff to do. When I look at anichart’s list, I look for anything that has the categories sci-fi and mecha. Those are my go-to genres. You don’t see a lot of quality sci-fi anime these days, and mecha shows that aren’t Gundam Build shows are few and far between. Maybe I’m just getting old…

    After that, it really comes down to action shows and what looks cool. I have a pretty good personal success rate when it comes to anime adaptations from games. From manga? Not so much.

    Over 2019, I had as many as 6 shows in a season, which was plenty. And I give every show I pick from four episodes. I’ve used the four-ep metric forever. If you don’t have something to really pull me in by episode 4, I drop it. I’ve never been an all-consuming anime fan, but I’m not a COMPLETE snob, either (no jokes, please).

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