We End Up Watching More Anime, Here’s How

vf-1s salute revoltech

Two weekends ago I noted that I had watched over 100 days worth of anime. Granted that I rewatch shows habitually, this still means that I’ve completed over 150 shows, much of it over a year’s time. I have gone from casually watching anime a few episodes every weekend (and the odd marathon) to a daily viewer of two or more episodes of various shows. While I think many anime fans have similar habits and/or consumption levels, this wasn’t normal for me until the past year. What did I do before I watched this much anime?

I used to play videogames in my solitude. I hardly do so now, especially since my Xbox 360 has all but given up the ghost. When I have free time, I catch up with my anime backlog. How did I end up having such a large backlog? I started reading anime blogs and made friends with many commenters and fellow bloggers who share with me their enthusiasm for all these shows I’ve yet to watch. Here’s the trend of my consumption from the very start (these are approximations, but I suppose they’re fairly accurate):

ghostlightning's anime consumption

In little over a year encompassing the time I’ve started lurking in anime blogs  I’ve realized I’ve started watching over 100 shows, and finshing over 60 of them. This to me is a ridiculous amount. I’m not sure if this data now validates my claim regarding how I let anime into my life (in consideration of influencing factors, arranged in the order, from strongest to weakest in terms of their influence is on me):

  1. Direct recommendation by a trusted source (RL friend: mechafetish) in a vaccuum [{Mai Hime, Full Metal Panic, Last Exile, Victory Gundam, Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory (a current favorite), Reideen (the recent one)} Note that I had dropped all of these at the time (but I had also enjoyed his recommendations of Gunbuster, as well as Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann)]
  2. Blogger direct recommendation over IRC or IM chat (K-ON! c/o otou-san, Nana live action c/o Lbrevis & bluemist)
  3. Blog reviews|fanboying (Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Armored Trooper Votoms, Mobile Fighter G Gundam (spoilers) all c/o The Animanachronism, Nana Manga c/o East Anyhow, Lucky Star c/o Cruel Angel Theses)
  4. Blog preview hype (RideBack, Sengoku Basara both c/o Eastern Standard)
  5. Blogger twitter (Souten Kouro c/o bateszi, Eden of the East c/o too many to mention)
  6. Recommendations from comments in my own blog posts: (Skip Beat c/o usagijen)
  7. Internet review sites — not blogs, since I haven’t discovered the sphere then (Hoshi no Koe, Millennium Actress, Ghibli films; but alas I can no longer identify the particular reviews that got me to watch them)
  8. Forum/imageboard discussions (I can’t say I directly started a show from reading these)

This is explored further in ‘Influenced Path of Experience’ (Ryan A 2009/05/11). However, there’s something beyond this, that could explain the dramatic increase in consumption.

In mall marketing there is a phenomenon called the Gruen transfer, named after the architect of the first self-contained mall, who realized that bunching up similar stores increased, not decreased, consumption. A micro-Gruen transfer is what happens when a shopper goes looking for a particular object and then just drifts into becoming a shopper, a person with a diffuse impulse to buy, to spend. Sociologists quickly noted this and it is one of the raisons d’être of the enclosed mall. Wander all you want, but stay inside. But there is also a macro-Gruen transfer. Put Lowe’s next to Home Depot, and chances are you’ll increase the sales of both.

— James Twitchell, ‘Branded Nation’ (2004)

While the internet isn’t exactly an enclosed mall, it is rather a collection of large ‘shopping’ centers where distance is meaningless. From direct downloads, to streaming sites, to file sharing, to online retail; there’s unprecedented ease in acquiring anime (and manga) content. All I really spend is time, and when a show and I don’t connect in an entertaining way, I drop the show and move on.

Before this, I had thought that an abundance of choice actually works against the chooser and the suppliers:

Most of us believe that all this choice is good. After all, it seems reasonable that we live better lives than we did 20 or 50 years ago, when the American economy was less advanced. Surely the satisfaction we get from all this choice compensates for the time we have to devote to making these decisions.
But psychology experiments prove the opposite. In one experiment, when researchers asked subjects to compare chocolate chip cookies from a jar of 10 cookies and a jar of two cookies, the subjects rated the cookie from the smaller jar better than the one from the larger jar. And the cookie wasn’t just better. It was rated more valuable, more desirable to eat in the future, and more attractive as a consumer item, despite the fact the cookies were identical. More choice made the subjects feel that their sample was less desirable.

Most of us believe that all this choice is good. After all, it seems reasonable that we live better lives than we did 20 or 50 years ago, when the American economy was less advanced. Surely the satisfaction we get from all this choice compensates for the time we have to devote to making these decisions.

But psychology experiments prove the opposite. In one experiment, when researchers asked subjects to compare chocolate chip cookies from a jar of 10 cookies and a jar of two cookies, the subjects rated the cookie from the smaller jar better than the one from the larger jar. And the cookie wasn’t just better. It was rated more valuable, more desirable to eat in the future, and more attractive as a consumer item, despite the fact the cookies were identical. More choice made the subjects feel that their sample was less desirable.

Carl D. Howe, Joseph L. Butt, and Mary C. Timmons, ‘The Tyranny of Too Much’ (2004)

The reason why I don’t think we’re tyrannized by choice when it comes to anime is that many of us have already acquired two important mitigating factors:

  1. preferences (mostly applies to genre; i.e. mecha anime)
  2. external filters (bloggers, friends, reviewers we trust, etc.)

The enumeration of influences indicate the role of such filters. Recently I posted on the upcoming Summer anime season and bemoaned the lack of mecha shows. The commenters showed up and provided many suggestions and recommendations on what shows I can appreciate from the roster. This is ridiculously quick feedback. One does not have to put up a blog to get this. Forums will work just as well. So even if it seems like there’s very little anime that fit my preferences, I won’t be surprised if I end up sampling 4-5 shows, as I’ve ended up doing the past few seasons.

vf-1j max & millya  blue & red

Even when it’s about blogs to subscribe to, there is an abundance. Aggregators like Anime Nano, function like a mall which allows Gruen transfers to happen. When I surf Nano I don’t end up reading just one blog post. Every month my subscribed feeds grows. Every so often I end up adding a new blog to WRL’s roll, and these are the same sources which lead to further anime consumption — up until I reach physical (HDD space, etc.) or temporal (hours in a week) limitations.

The confluence of internet interaction, writing, reacting to others’ writing, and consuming anime-related content online only drives the habit up.  Tell me, how much of your own anime and manga consumption is directly fed by these internet ‘communities’?

Further Reading

Recommendations via blog post comments in action. [->]

More external filters:

When you see an internet ‘person’ who made a good impression, and see that you share some favorite shows, you may be tempted to try out that person’s other favorite shows that you haven’t seen yet. Choosing favorites is serious business lol. [->]

In some cases, real serious! (Kiriska 2009/05/15)

Perhaps equally influential, are ratings in MAL lists. Rating anime is serious business. (Ryan A 2009/05/15)

In some cases, real philosophical! (Kaiserpingvin 2009/04/30)

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
This entry was posted in analysis, meta and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to We End Up Watching More Anime, Here’s How

  1. mangadazed says:

    For me, more than other people recommending me stuff via blogs, technology spurs my viewing. I didn’t watch much until I got my first 22″ monitor something like 5 years ago now. Then it picked up for awhile which made me have to go out and get a server which fed the growth some more. About 3 months ago I basically dropped manga/anime (except for mecha =P)for school and video games. Just this weekend I picked up a HTPC so I could view on my bigscreen tv and I have managed to more or less crushed the backlog from this season, though I still haven’t put a dent in my older series backlog.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Good point! It wouldn’t be too enticing to watch anime if one’s experience of it is impaired by available viewing options. I suppose when I get to acquiring large HD capable monitors not only will I enjoy watching more shows, I’d actually re-watch old shows a whole lot just for the superior experience.

  2. Baka-Raptor says:

    That graph is misleading. Way to change from 5 to 4 to 6 to 7 to 3 to 4 to 2+ year intervals.

    • ghostlightning says:

      It only means that I hardly watched any anime during those years. What it doesn’t say but I want to imply is that there are very limited sources of shows during those times (compared to the easy accessibility today).

      Also I found it very very difficult to pinpoint the exact years I watched each particular show and the years that I completed them. This was probably my primary consideration in factoring the chronology in the graph. How would you suggest I go about it?

  3. Turambar says:

    My own anime consumption actually dropped dramatically this year so far (along with reading blogs and posting something more than a scribbled sentence) was due mainly to the fact that I spent the bulk of this semester writing a thesis. That said, if any one factor was responsible for my increase in consumption at the beginning the century with a pace similar to yours, it would have to be wholly technological. Finally gaining access to broadband and a new PC that could actually do anything at all (the old one would lag horribly even when running .avi files) definitely helped make procurement and viewing much easier.

    • ghostlightning says:

      While I agree with you re technology, how did you choose from what’s available?

      • Turambar says:

        Do you mean my choice of anime? I built up a need to watch list over time via my high school anime club, and started going down that.

        • ghostlightning says:

          I see. So your club was the primary influence regarding your taste. And with regards to new shows, you’re pretty much in a crap shoot (assuming your club doesn’t get to tell you what to watch so much).

          • Turambar says:

            At that point, I didn’t venture much into new shows at all yet actually. While I’d read about them on forums and such, I never actively downloaded them. It’d be a few years before I actively sought out shows that were currently airing instead of sticking to recommendations from friends.

  4. asher says:

    It’s a little different for me since the online communities were more influential back in my non-DSL days when I don’t get to access much anime. Forums were very helpful for me in terms of knowing the details of the plot or characters that I don’t get to watch. Now that I have better online access, I suppose subbing communities/torrents would be the closest O.C that influence my consumption. Aside from the internet though, personal communication with a couple of mecha-inspired people and their friends/mate (must you ask who? ^^) also helped broaden my options.

    Same as some commenters above, technology played its part in watching anime. Example, rewatching Full Metal Panic on my new monitor made me appreciate the animation sequences more. Hehe, ironically, said viewing enhancement also made me take a break from watching Macross Zero due to my inability to divide attention–I end up watching the *__* fight scenes and ignoring the subs, ergo, lost.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Forums eh. I have never been much of a forum denizen save that time the Mechwarrior forums were filled with local players. However I do see the community potential and the concentration of maven-type personalities.

  5. animekritik says:

    i’m still looking for the perfect show. that’s what drives me to watch more shows.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Gotcha, but the idea here is to describe/operationalize one’s selection/acquisition process. How do you end up trying out the shows in your quest of the perfect one?

      • animekritik says:

        there’s so many ways, i couldn’t even begin to categorize them, but i can say to a large extent it’s visual: i’m a sucker for character design so whenever i see a pretty pic i google it or try to ask what show is it from..

        i must say though, that my backlog is always something like 3 or 4 shows. usually when it increases to 5 or 6, something happens that turns me off of watching one of the older backlogged shows so the # goes down to 3 or 4 etc..

        • ghostlightning says:

          That’s quite an interesting backlog habit. Would you say that it also applied to your consumption of Matsumoto works?

          I have a humungous backlog now. So much of it Gundam. I however put shows on hold a lot, even if just to give way to an urge to re-watch something.

          • animekritik says:

            yup, except that i have such a curiosity regarding certain elements of the leijiverse that i do ultimately want to watch every show within it..

  6. lolikitsune says:

    Fuck, you passed me, ghostlightning! I’m still just under 100 days.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Well, you’ve been uh, busy. Kicking ass and all that, while I acted on the multitude of direct and indirect recommendations from the people I met here in the sphere. Just going through Gundam will add up to days and days of viewing.

    • RP says:

      Real good post GL.

      Just commenting having read some of the comments above, I’d argue that technology goes hand in hand with community. You can’t have one with the other, you need the right mix between the two.

      Community without technology would probably lead to a incredibly long list of ‘plan to watch’ shows and a lot of frustration. While technology (most importantly, broadband) without community would leave you with a short list of “anime seen” and no clue where to go next.

      In my case, technology got me started, community got me going. I found MAL, got a little deeper by watching the top ranked shows that piqued my interest (pretty good way to start, because everything’s great!), saw some of the shows that others recommended, then started checking out the forums, then checking out blogs, and then BAM. Now I’ve watched more than I ever imagined I would (who knew there were regular seasons of new shows!), and queued up a bunch more that I wonder if I’ll ever get to.

      • ghostlightning says:

        Great stuff.

        Community without technology would probably lead to a incredibly long list of ‘plan to watch’ shows and a lot of frustration. While technology (most importantly, broadband) without community would leave you with a short list of “anime seen” and no clue where to go next.

        In my case, technology got me started, community got me going.

        THIS. I think you articulated the idea quite well. And your anecdote re your experience finding MAL is a great example of how the Gruen transfer works (as I imagine it).

  7. TheBigN says:

    Forums, blogs, MAL, and a variety of other sources cause me to have what I call an “ever-increasing backlog” of shows to watch and shows that I’ve yet to finish and are on unnecessarily long hiatuses just because. While I think my watching might have plateaued two years ago, I do notice that my growth in what I watch and what I plan to watch mimics yours in regards to starting on MTF (2003), and going from there, with an increase in both (but a more logarithmic one in the shows I’ve yet to watch) with each additional new “major” source of knowledge, be it anime blogs, or recommendations from others I know.

  8. I watch things after two main criteria, recommendations from friends and pure chance, chance being the ever-increasingly weighty factor. I generally just click on whatever link catches my interest – read: whatever is first in the center of my field of vision – and sometimes even log onto MALs anime show subfora and begin watching whatever show is highest there (which skews the process decidedly towards popular, recent and therefore more talked-about shows). This is a good, working method primarily because a) I adore eclecticism, and b) there’s hardly anything I do not enjoy, and enjoy greatly. Ther’s only three shows I do/have not enjoy/ed at all: Ergo Proxy, Minami-ke Okaeri, and Apocalypse Zero.

    If all I’ve watched would be combined into one single, giant work, it’d begin aleatoric (as I watched whatever I could steal from my friends, my modem did not afford me any downloading backthen), wax systematic and then tumble down aleatory again.

    I believe that acquisition and consumption is not rising at an equal rate when it comes to downloading:bandwidth, rather it’s exponential. Haruhi knows how much I’ll end up watching if I ever get something faster than 40KB/s.

    • ghostlightning says:

      If all I’ve watched would be combined into one single, giant work, it’d begin aleatoric (as I watched whatever I could steal from my friends, my modem did not afford me any downloading backthen), wax systematic and then tumble down aleatory again.

      I had to look up ‘aleatoric.’ For shame I should’ve figured it out from ‘alea’ — as in alea iacta est alea.

      For reasons I fail to explain, this is my favorite quote all month. In it’s spirit, you get to recommend a show to me (check MAL for what I’ve already seen) and I promise to watch at least the first episode with an authentic purpose of completing it if I made any connection with it whatsoever, and whether I like it or not, I shall write a post on it.

      Do you really think it’s pure chance? A higher degree of randomness compared to the average perhaps, but surely there are controlling factors? (beyond the obvious e.g. you’ve seen the show already, there aren’t any subs, etc.)

      • Ahah, thanks bro, one tries.

        I recommend you Legend of th — sorry about that, recommendation reflex. Paranoia Agent, a thirteen-episode Satoshi Kon mindscrew. Not very obscure, but I got it without knowing much anything except that it had a great OP. [->]

        “Pure chance” may be stretching it, yes. A few controlling factors off the top of my head would be: What shows are available (DDL/seeded, fansub/”professional” sub), if I’ve heard anything about it before (if nothing, then more likely to watch it), if I at all stumble across it, if it has an intriguing name (I’d never have watched Ichigeki Sacchuu!! Hoihoi-san if not for the stupid name), and so on and so forth. It’d be nice with a giant randomized list of shows to watch, but alas, there is no such thing.

        • ghostlightning says:

          I started downloading Paranoia Agent. I’ve liked almost every Kon work I’ve seen (Perfect Blue, Millenium Actress, Paprika while I’ve started Tokyo Godfathers a number of times and was not able to watch beyond the first 5 minutes for lack of compulsion) so I’m quite interested in watching this.

          How about coming up with a system? Let’s say it’s “new anime Wednesday” for Kaiser which means he tries to watch a new show. Compile a list of controlling factors (e.g. the show’s title must end in a question mark, must be notable for its downer ending as said by the tv tropes wiki, etc.).

          Now every “NAW” you will pick an anime based on one or two random controlling factors out of your long list. Use Dungeons & Dragons alea for great randomness.

  9. vendredi says:

    Recommendation by others strikes me as the more “traditional” method; before the internet it just happened by word of mouth, but now the internet accelerates that.

    On the other hand, the net now also allows for a lot more direct participation in making choices too. The internet, especially now with sites like Youtube and Crunchyroll, allow one to directly and quickly sample any offerings, so you can find anime even in the absence of recommendation by others.

    Generally I don’t take things on recommendation – my tastes tend to be a little oddball (I found Ergo Proxy perfectly pleasant while I could not for the life of me get into Death Note) – and prefer to watch trailers or maybe single one-off episodes to get a feel for a show: with the advent of sites like Youtube, company website video streams (perhaps even company video streams ON Youtube, it’s very easy and accessible to preview a number of shows very quickly – whereas pre-internet you might have to find a magazine, rent a video/DVD, etc.)

    • ghostlightning says:

      I find previews and trailers to be very misleading, as sometimes it takes a few episodes for me to figure out whether I want to watch a show or drop it. It won’t stop me from consuming trailers. After all I make it a point to get to the movies early just to watch them. However, I really like direct recommendations because I get to ask questions and get feedback fairly quickly (quicker than say, blog-posts).

  10. If Anime Nano is like a shopping mall centre, is the shift analogous to the Gruen shift a shift from a desire to read a particular (type of) entry to a desire to read, in general? So someone might visit AN thinking ‘I’ll check to see if there are any more posts about the latest episode of Eden of the East‘, but they wind up shifting into an undirected desire to read whatever (including the flotsam and jetsam of ‘weird Japan’ news articles, figure reviews, and me wittering on about irrelevancies)? I wonder how things like Google Reader change this.

    I rely on genre taste, chance, and Owen telling me what to watch to select what to watch. Of these the strongest may still be chance (and yes, I have just stored ‘aleatory’ in my word-hoard) since I encountered anime by chance and proceeded without the guidance of any other fans for some years.

    • ghostlightning says:

      It wouldn’t be a fixed dichotomy imo, since both alternatives have happened to me. Like when you referred me to AN when I was looking for 5cm per Second posts (thank you btw) I had read posts all the way back to previews of the show (I hadn’t intended to). Often in other cases, like when I’m looking for Eureka SeveN posts I sometimes find myself half an hour later reading completely unrelated posts on Legend of the Galactic Heroes.

      Google Reader changed my consumption of blogs in general. I had been using it since 2006 or so and it has curbed much of my surfing activities. Way before I discovered anime blogs I had been a lurker in many, many, many basketball blogs. Before I went on an ‘information diet’ I didn’t have to do much surfing because I collected far more posts than I could possibly read in a day. I had culled the feeds I subscribed to by 80% (approx.).

      I had been very slow to add anime blogs to GR (I have just under 60 feeds) which on average gives me around 15 posts to read every day (I get around 10 more from shared items).

      Since maybe <50% of the anime blog posts are relevant to my interests, I end up lurking on AN at least once every other day. I like this rhythm and I’m not ever going to be in a hurry to add feeds to GR because I like the serendipity of an aleatoric romp (which is peculiar to me since I happen to greatly dislike going shopping centres IRL).

      Hehe, Owen has had significant influence in my consumption outside my genere taste, as much as you have had I suppose within my preferred genre.

  11. ETERNAL says:

    Recommendations are incredibly helpful when it comes to finding good shows – and in my case, old shows that I would have never forced myself to watch otherwise, despite the fact that they’re great – but I’ve been watching considerably less anime since I started blogging. I think it’s because I’ve been watching anime since late elementary school, and in early high school I decided that I wanted to watch as much as I could to expand my horizons. Aniblogging was naturally the next step, and I’ve learned a lot from it, but as a result of the time spent reading and writing in the community, I don’t watch nearly as much now as I used to in terms of quantity. Not that I regret it: it would have taken me years to look outside of the modern shoujo and otaku-targeted romance if it weren’t for the blogosphere.

    • ghostlightning says:

      The sphere has been very good for me in finding shows outside my preferred genre, so I get what you mean. I will end up watching less shows sooner or later, as being still quite new to the community I’ve been trying to act on every possible recommendation even if just to relate with the person who recommended it more.

  12. Ryan A says:

    It’s interesting. I believe there are two sets of anime, which we all may agree on: Seasonal and Non-Seasonal.

    Seasonal – the titles currently or very recently airing, within 12-16 months of today.
    Non-seasonal – the titles which completed airing over some amount of time ago (ie. 12 months).

    These sets intersect on some titles, but the way we go about watching new series in these sets is something of interest.

    Before 2006 I did not watch seasonal series*, and solely had a nice wishlist (I think it was on AniDB, or my own media list type thing I wrote back in 2004) of some of the well-known, and widely appreciated titles (ie, NGE-level popularity).

    These are the long-term backlogs and are available to watch whenever, so long as mood permits (mood is important in the experience, because we may not be ready). The main method I went about these was ratings/hype/popularity/etc first, then reading about it, possibly noting the manga source and production house. (this was before I read blogs or forums)

    I can understand how doing such a thing would make for a huge, unmanageable list; self-filtering isn’t a very good option unless being rather reserved and strict about it.

    Seasonal stuff is very different, in that we can watch the premiers without obligation to continue, or reason to watch anything more than the first episode or two, since they aren’t available. It’s easy to lose interest with weekly viewing, as compared to having a series fully available for marathon or batching.

    Something one of my physics professors told us:

    Don’t trust what I say. Take by your own hand and do.

    If not taking a chance to watch premiers, there is usually an abundance of current blog posts on seasonal series to gauge what one might enjoy. If I’m not sitting down with the experience myself, I definitely turn to episodic impressions… actually, I read them anyway since it mimics the “watching with others” experience.

    Macroblogs or microblogs** make seasonal a more enjoyable experience, but I’m not sure they beat live discussions like IRC or IM, which tend to have unlimited flow of conversation among multiple parties.

    Communities are an interesting part, but there are possibly too many misconceptions from user to user based on quantized experiences and ratings for a single user (aggregate stuff is good when it can be trusted, by aggregate, I also enjoy the sub-aggregate on a group such as friends***). Blogging, or just words, allows expression and an opening of the individual which yields insight. As we grow familiar with individuals, we are better prepared to accept their recommendations, but that isn’t necessary to accept a recommendation.

    One may take a rec on a whim, or even formulate a recommendation to take, based on something that wasn’t a recommendation/review to begin with, such as intelligent fanboying which may inspiring watching a series.

    My current dilemma is being engrossed in seasonal watches, which for the most part, are 90% on my own accord. Most every series I wishlist from an external influence comes from bloggers or IRC. I rarely find time to work on the long-term, non-seasonal backlog, but I do keep an organized record/reflection/impression on stuff I do watch, so it mean good things when I do find time to dig into these older series.

    Now about those Gruen transfers… between media-types…


    *This is actually a lie, because I did watch KGNE, Last Exile, and some others “in-season” though I did not actually realized what I was doing.

    **minus twitter for media posts which is un-filterable by title, does not guard against spoilers, and mixes the context with the message (“#[seriesorabbreviationwithoutspaces] [episode]: [message]” is just a plain ugly format) … as opposed to the contextual stream on melative. The issue is how can we go back and view all our friends updates on a given topic, and avoid reading them when we haven’t see a given episode… EotE updates are garbage for me on twitter, since I’m not up to speed and I can likely not get back and find these updates I missed later on without searching or manual paging D:

    ***Being able to see things in the overall perspective of a group of friends is advantageous. Friends are an important subset of all users in a community, I expect every aggregate function performed on the entire to be available for the friends subset.

    • ghostlightning says:

      THIS IS LIKE, THE EPICEST COMMENT I’VE EVER READ. It’s a freaking blog-post.

      With that out of the way:

      I’m kind of embarrassed that I didn’t make a distinction between seasonal and non-seasonal shows. It inflates consumption in a significant way, at least for starting shows that we may drop later on and replace with a show from our non-seasonal backlog if we’re ready for it.

      One may take a rec on a whim, or even formulate a recommendation to take, based on something that wasn’t a recommendation/review to begin with, such as intelligent fanboying which may inspiring watching a series.

      THIS. This is how I ended up starting VOTOMS, and G-Gundam. The Animanachronism did’t really straight-up say ‘watch this’ in the posts, and for G-Gundam I didn’t even read the post because of spoilers. I trusted him due to the intelligence by which he fanboys about things. I suppose this is the other distinction to the kind of fanboying ideology that I try to do here in WRL: that some readers who may not be that interested in Macross may try it on a whim because they trust my fanboying (hence too the branching out to other shows).

  13. sadakups says:

    You’re also a salaryman, right? I really can’t imagine how you can watch a lot of titles in such a short span. Heck, in the last two months, I’ve been watching four titles (Soul Eater, Blood+, Gundam ZZ and Macross Frontier) and I’ve only finished one (which is Soul Eater).

    As far as my viewing preferences are concerned, I usually watch anime out of curiosity. I’d be a liar if I say that a blog or a post in an anime forum did not make me watch a certain title. With the advent of trolling and RAEG HAET, it is really hard to believe what anime bloggers and forum posters say nowadays as they try to bend your belief on what they think rocks hard or sucks balls.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Considering that I hardly ever watch television, which is easily 2.5 hours per day, plus I hardly play video games, which averages another 2.5 hours a day, that’s a lot of time spent watching anime (76 days worth in a year).

      It takes me 30 mins to get home from work (and I no longer am up for all-nighters and post-workday partying) and anime has replaced Xbox360 time.

      Also, my wife watches and marathons many shows with me so anime doesn’t compete with many activities (she prefers watching with me than by herself while I play video games).

      On weekends my tennis mates are otaku as well (they write here on occasion), so we do marathons from time to time as well and at least watch a few episodes together every weekend (though lately we’ve been transfixed by Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 on the PS3).

      As with most things, rhythm and routine leads to frequency and output. I didn’t spend all 76 available days watching anime, which just tells me that there’s so much available time for the efficient hobbyist.

      • sadakups says:

        Proper time management, huh? That’s something that I don’t have. Not to mention that I tend to watch more on DVDs more than in front of my PC (back pains + evil imouto spending hours on the net).

        Well, if it does take me 30 minutes from office to home, then probably I can watch more.

        • ghostlightning says:

          Yes, the travel time makes a big difference. Getting home early allows me to write as much as I do as well. Just consider that time isn’t what you’re managing, but rather your own activities. Note that I did end up not going out much on weeknights, as going to trendy places to be seen and/or getting smashed drunk is a very rare itch for me to scratch these days.

          • sadakups says:

            The same reason why I don’t have a blog, as much as I wanted to create one in years. I have poor management skills, really.

          • ghostlightning says:

            You want to blog but feel like you can’t? I was a lurker for months before Lbrevis told me to write the post (I was asking her to write) myself. [] So just put it up on WP and let it rip. Leave a comment here to let me know that it’s up or follow me on twitter. I’ll assist you in any way I can.

  14. For me, one of the strongest factors — that I don’t think has been mentioned yet — in determining what to watch next is the common threads between shows. For instance, I have just finished watching anime X. The direction in the series is amazing. Going online, I see that person Y directed the series. Now I want to watch other anime directed by him. For me, it could be a certain director, music composer, production company, or even genre (if that genre is new to me) that can spur me on to watch more.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Right, right! People may want to watch by categories: by studio (I knew I wanted to watch as many GAINAX shows then), by creator/director (Miyazaki, Kon), by genre preference (mecha, real robot).

  15. gloval says:

    I agree with your observations and that Gruen effect.

    Technology does play a role in my anime consumption. With the Internet and particularly YouTube, I got to finish shows that were interrupted when I was younger. As my general knowledge widened so is my anime knowledge. Still, you could consider me a casual fan; I usually follow one series at a time. It’s just that last year my participation in anime circles got boosted because of Macross. Its reappearance had made me sign up in a forum and read more anime blogs. In effect, I’m more immersed in the community. Also, even if it’s still one series at a time for me, “downtime” has been eliminated such that a new series immediately replaces the one that I finished. This illustrates that it takes one show, or an old favorite to bring one to a new level of immersion or participation in the anime hobby, in particular.

    By the way, did you know that ToraDora is now showing in TV5? The first episode showed last night and I knew of the news a few hours late so I didn’t catch it although there’s another viewing on Sunday. This is remarkably fast for a series to arrive in Philippine shores. It concerns me in particular because I’ve almost finished a sing-able Tagalog translation of Vanilla Salt (the full song), and I’m considering the possibility of selling it to them. (Although I think they might need to acquire first the rights to song before I hear the Tagalog version in the radio.)

    • ghostlightning says:

      Thanks for providing a casual fan’s perspective, and I’m pleased to see how the Gruen transfer works at different consumption levels. After all, this is merely a theory that I’m exploring to make sense of our behaviors.

      Re Toradora!, that’s great news. I think you should just ‘fish’ in their forums re the possibility of selling them your translation.

  16. X10A_Freedom says:

    Interesting post. Really shows that I’m in the “deep end” relative to mainstream people, but am actually only scratching the surface compared with other people of the same hobby. Ironically, my life and my other hobbies work in the same way.

    I like doing lots of things so spend relatively little time in the blogosphere and rely on the age-old method of recommendations from people in RL. It is actually thanks to anime/manga that I became best friends with a high schoolmate after we left! Out of the approx 1187 episodes I’ve watched from 2004, around 50 of them were online recommendations, and 30 were due to me following the late Kawai Eri (singer, lyric writer).

    I started actively watching anime in 2006 (144 ep), and this peaked in 2007 (448 ep) as I caught up with more stuff and started trying out new shows weekly. I’ve been placing anime on the backburner again though (276 ep in 2008), and is back to recommendations from RL people again. Nothing interested me in the spring season title list until my friend dropped me a line about K-ON. I’m liking it. Again, nothing interests me so far in the summer season!

    • ghostlightning says:

      I’m always pleased to hear/read about RL anime social interactions. Great that you found such a good friend to watch and talk anime and manga with. I have many so I really appreciate your experience.

      The more people you talk to and get to know, the more interested you get about what they like. In my case twitter, Gtalk, and IRC let me get to know a whole bunch of people who I only got to know and got interested about what they enjoy (I had a fuller experience of Aria this way too); and also they got to know me too and became more competent in recommending me shows that I’ll like.

  17. Doctor says:

    Most of the time, I just take shots in the dark. I somehow find very good shows that way. Everything else comes from hype/hate of shows and recommendations from friends. The problem with me is that I can like almost anything I watch. Even though people hate on a show, I take it upon myself to find some good in it. I think that is how I am able to watch so many shows.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Interesting how you filters work. It’s as if you ‘salvage’ the experience of watching the subject show so as there would be little ‘sunk cost’ and you get whatever value you can.

  18. Omisyth says:

    I actually experienced this up until a couple of months ago, but these days my anime consumption/recommendations are decreasing drastically. That’s mostly due to the hubbub of exams though, so in a couple of months I think I’ll probably be back to “normal” 🙂

  19. Pingback: The Recency Bias and How it Affects Anime Appreciation « We Remember Love

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