Towards a Sustainable Anime Watching Habit

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It will happen to you: all the apparent free time you get to spend on your hobby disappears – sometimes as if suddenly. All the grand plans you made: “I’ll finally (re)watch Legend of the Galactic Heroes” or “I’ll finally start reading One Piece” seem quite impossible. Why? You get a new job (or three), and it’s not just hard, it’s interesting. You start and maintain non-hobby projects that deserve the best out of you. There’s only so much time left in your life… you need to make good choices. Keeping up with all the anime you’ve been watching may not be the wisest thing.

In this post I will cull anime watching and blog-related projects. I invite you to consider this process – I think that even if you’re in high school right now, you’ll come face to face with a lot of life changes very soon and may have to consider similar scenarios. I’ve seen enough anime blogs die due to related (however tangential) concerns. Lastly, I invite you to share with me, with the readers what your strategies are. I actually need help too.

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Shounen Anime

The main thing about these titles is that they are LONG, and have no end in sight – unless they are completed titles.

Title

Current Episode Count

Remarks

Bakuman 46/- Terrible first season, solid second season. I am an absolute fan of the manga so I will endure all sorts of animated horrors of it.
Beelzebub 56/- Gag anime that has Kuneida. I keep up with this because the wife loves it.
Dragonball Kai 37/97 I started watching DBZ in high school, more than half my lifetime ago. I want to finish this shit.
Shin Prince of Tennis 7/13(?) Fucking dropped. Shitty as ever.
Toriko 45/- I genuinely like this, but it’ll have to go. The Century Soup arc was the best.

Holy crap I have watched a lot of anime episodes, a lot of them incredibly shitty. Shitty episodes are part of the bargain when following long, Shounen anime. Realistically, I don’t think anyone can sustain viewing FIVE long-running shows while keeping up with new ones.

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Rewatching Favorites

This is a fundamental part of my anime hobby. I see a lot of good things in my favorite shows, and part of why I love them is how I keep discovering new stuff to like in subsequent viewings. This next table is a priority ranking of the shows I’m currently rewatching (sometimes stuck/stalled for reasons already stated).

The idea here is that I watch these shows during the week, while the shows I follow and blog during the season air on the weekends.

Rank

Title

Current Episode Count

Remarks

1 Mobile Suit Z Gundam 28/49 After a blistering pace, I stalled after watching so much Gundam AGE and the blogging effort kind of burns me out of watching Gundam.
2 Legend of the Galactic Heroes 10/110 I stalled because I wanted to blog the show in some way. Not going to happen anytime soon. Too much work and this show deserves only the very best effort from me. Will just enjoy watching it again since my first viewing 3 years ago.
3 Berserk 1/26 Just started yesterday. The Blu-Ray treatment shows bright images, but doesn’t save it from its penchant to use stills for battle sequences (annoying).
4 Cowboy Bebop 23/26 Almost done. Stalled because I need to make time to write the post about Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (awesome, awesome film).
5 Mobile Suit Gundam SEED 4/50 Shoot me. I deserve it.

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Backlog Shows

These are shows that I think I will like, or should like, but somehow aren’t doing it for me. I’ve put all these shows on indefinite hold unless I specifically say otherwise.

Title

Current Episode Count

Remarks

Legend of the Black Heaven 3/(I forgot) Will watch from the start someday.
Dai-Guard 13/26 Interesting premise, but I got bored with the actual content. The animation is also shit.
Tetsujin-28 Gou (2004) 8/26 This is great stuff, but each episode feels so heavy despite being kiddy/light hearted. Maybe after I’m done with Gundam AGE I’ll pick this up again.
Souten Kouro 8/26 I’ll have to watch this from the start – I loved it when it was currently airing but subs disappeared until 2012.
9001 robot shows 9/999999 Someday. You know I still love you.

The whole idea is to cull the shows that take up my time and get in the way of doing stuff that gives me the maximum opportunity to discover the new and interesting. It’s very easy for me to cull currently airing anime. This season I’ve dropped the following:

  • Recorder to Randsell (its one joke got very old, very fast)
  • The Daily Lives of High School Boys (nowhere as interesting as my life as a high school boy; also, not funny at all)
  • Senki Zesshou Symphogear (I have better things to do than get off on awesomely stupid)
  • Rinne no Lagrange (terrible and uninteresting)

Now, before you get your pantsu all twisted, I’m not saying you suck if you still like these shows I’ve dropped. What you do with your time is your business. Don’t conflate me with anime bloggers who are reviewers. I don’t review anime. The whole idea in this post is to make this anime hobby sustainable for me. I don’t mind missing out on terribad instant classics such as Guilty Crown because I don’t care much about enjoying terribleness for its own sake. Besides, Aquarion EVOL is superior in every way and requires not bullshit snark or masochism to enjoy.

Anyway, share your own strategies, tactics, and tricks. Mine are pretty crude – and despite all that culling still leaves me with somewhere upwards of 10 hours of anime viewing every week (to include serendipitous viewing choices of films/OVAs).

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.
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88 Responses to Towards a Sustainable Anime Watching Habit

  1. Myssa says:

    Culling eh… Well, I don’t really drop shows (not a sustainable or sane habit for normal folk), but I *do* forget to download shows over the week. Whenever that happens it frees up some time for me to watch the shows that were actually on the queue.

    For example, I up and forgot that I had two of the most recent episodes of Shana Final actually sitting in my HD that never finished downloading because my sister paused uTorrent and never restarted it. That meant I wasn’t able to watch them on schedule, which of course freed up the time for me to watch To Aru Hikushi E No Tsuioku/The Princess and the Pilot.

  2. Crusader says:

    Do what you can to maximize your time, old man. Not sure if I can help out much in the military we had plenty of down time just hardly anywhere to spend it. Starting a new union job though is much more difficult since most of the equipment is older than me is constantly breaking down. It’s more difficult when the responsibilities increase and there are still only 24 hours in a day. I’ve tried to manage my time better by focusing on securing long term employment, dialing up exercise time, and keeping out of debt. I had to shelve all my Warhammer/Warhammer 40k projects, cease all model projects, put manga into cold storage, not even look at the backlog, and leave anime DVDs in the basement. In then end I was also finally able to pull away from Skyrim and found a little more time to spend here an there. Chihayafuru should be ending soon so I can net more free time once that is done. I stupidly went back to college and while time consuming I was fortunate enough that I remembered enough from my job and my biology back ground where the tests were so far cake walks. Hopefully I can recapture two full evenings once the semester is done. Not sure if you job schedule is as set in stone as mine but finding a general routine and achievable goals daily helps me plenty even if I feel a sense of underachievement having to put stuff off and have a to do list that will never go away.

    Granted I don’t re-watch stuff as prodigiously as you do but when there is a slower season I find it easier to return to other often neglected projects. It has helped me maintain more hobbies though I fear that if I ever have to start a family I will have to give some of those up for good. Still I don’t think anyone can run on 5-6 hours of sleep for more than a few years. I had more time when unemployed but that brings it’s own set of problems. The way I see it though all the pain I go through now all the money I have to stash in my IRA, pension payments, continued military service, and union dues the more likely I will be able to retire in peace. I might be an old man physically then but I will always be 12 years old. You should be close to retirement anyway, might as well prioritize for your immediate needs now and put off the pipe dream stuff until you retire. Besides once you retire you will have to find a way to spend that time. You can always make more demands of your household servants, you have that luxury while most of us don’t.

    If you are unionized maybe you can have that crappy CBA where you can only work 77 hours max every two weeks. I got that deal when I got my new job, as much as I’d rather have the money at least it reduces the loss of time in service when I go drill, every few months though I get to keep those 3 free hours to myself I just hope I can use them better in the future instead of just studying. I am not sure how you deal with your daily commute but if you still take the bus you may as well use that time to do something as well. If your employer is flexible you can ask for weird hours, I work 0600-1430 at my Union Job and 0700-1500 when I drill. It saves me plenty of time when I don’t have to fight traffic or wait in long lines when I get to and from work. I also made the leap to electronic toll tag so I can just rush through the toll booths. You probably not going to save big chunks of time but you can pile up the small chunks to maybe net you 15-45 minutes a day.

    If anything though I thought you of all people would have had the miracle solution with your impressive blog output, and prolific series count all while juggling family, work, and NBA.

    • I think my time’s pretty maximized.

      Between my day(ish) job in human resources for a transnational corporation, I do social media marketing on the side for a Japanese bar and club, and do consulting work for my business interests. It adds up. I spend less than half my hours at home every day. Less work for the same money? This capitalist can’t operate like that. Maybe when I build up enough capital I can deploy it in some rent-generating project LOL.

  3. Turambar says:

    For the last few seasons, the number of shows I watch a week has always been 5 or under due to a combination of other hobbies (vidja games) and work. Now that I have grad school and all the pre-student teaching practicum sessions that come with trying to become a teacher, that number have dropped to 3 for this season. Luckily, I got you to make my watching decisions for me, and I haven’t been disappointed yet.

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence. I’ve started a bit of gaming again (having inherited my kid brother’s PSP — Final Fantasy Tactics, Tekken, SRW Z) I’m having more difficulty watching backlogged shows for the most part.

      • Turambar says:

        Not to throw more on your plate, but if you have a PSP, might I suggest Zettai Hero Project and Tactics Ogre as two titles you should look into.

        • It’ll take me a long time to finish the games I mentioned (and at least 2 other SRW games in the machine), but I’ll definitely check out Tactics Ogre. It’s been recommended strongly by my gamer oldfag gang.

  4. GoodbyeNavi says:

    First of all, I just want to say how I am impressed with the organization of your post layout. I wouldn’t say I have a format on culling my anime. I simply slow down if I don’t have the time. Then I marathon. When I do have that day where I have absolutely nothing to do (which is very rare), I marathon. If I am watching a currently running anime, that’s pretty easy because they only come out once a week so I have the rest of the week to watch old shows I haven’t seen or rewatch shows that I loved. When I get some spare time at work, I watch an episode. Then I have ways of viewing anime on every mobile electronic device I have so I can sneak it in when I can. I watch anime when I’m on the elliptical at the gym. It helps the time go by quite quickly.

    • Thank you. I use Windows Live Writer for formatting which makes inserting tables very easy. I used to do it manually using html tags and it took me hours, ugh.

      I can only watch anime at home because I’m fully occupied by work anywhere else.

  5. Joojoobees says:

    I don’t seem to do well with long-running shows, so mate that saves me some trouble. The one “long” series that I regularly rewatch is 12 Kingdoms (and that is only 45 episodes). In fact I just finished a rewatch of it because I picked up the bluerays.

    I tried to watch LoGH a few years ago, and loved the first few episodes, then I lost steam at about episode 50. I keep thinking I will get back to that some day, but never do.

    You should definitely watch Black Heaven — that show was great!

    • The trouble with long shows in the backlog is that it’s hard to sustain interest when the shows inevitably drop in quality or slow down in pace. It took me over 2 years to finish Armored Trooper VOTOMS as well as Mobile Suit Victory Gundam. Those were fucking chores. I’ll definitely go back to Black Heaven… someday.

  6. Baka-Raptor says:

    Give up the ideal of keeping up. It’s inconsistent with the ideal of sustainability. Aren’t you a lucky fella to be deciding between something you like and other things you also like? Admit that you can’t have everything and go back to enjoying stuff that’s different than other stuff you enjoy.

    • Actually, it’s watching supposedly good shows in the backlog is much more difficult.

      Keeping up, in my practice is watching popular shows that are outside my core tastes, so as to keep up with the conversations. I rarely do this. Even Nisemonogatari is there mostly because I enjoyed Bakemonogatari. This season it’s Aquarion EVOL, Mouretsu Pirates (my wife likes this and it’s great), and Gundam AGE. None of these are great stretches for me, after dropping the others.

      So yeah, I don’t think I’ll keep up — in my understanding of the word. I’ll end up watching stuff that mostly fit what I like.

  7. Digibro says:

    Even NEETs deal with this conundrum. I discovered My Little Pony and I haven’t even *wanted* to watch anime in almost a month. Fuuuuuuck! But whatever I’ve long, long, long given up on seeing everything I want to see because my tastes are way way way too broad for that shit.

  8. MarigoldRan says:

    Watch good shows. Avoid bad ones. Do research by reading blogs.

    If 3-4 different blogs recommend watching something, it’s probably worth the time.

    Calculate for the biases of different writers. For example, if Ghostlightning recommends a robot show, it’s not necessarily great. Similarly, if Star-Crossed recommends a show with anything lower than 8/10, it’s probably poopy because he’s on the optimistic scale of things. Don’t know about Baka-Raptor’s good shows, but if he says something is poopy, I believe it.

    Avoid shonen shows due to large amounts of filler. Stick to reading the manga.

    • I’ll watch bad shows that fit what I like (Bakuman, Aquarion EVOL). After all, I don’t present myself as an arbiter of quality, like a reviewer would. My recommendations are really advocacy on my end.

      My wife reads the shounen manga so I don’t have to.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      I’ll help counter Ghost’s infatuation with robot/mecha shows ;). Next season has a number of shows for me that are nowhere near that. Now to just see if he’ll let me post on them…

    • Reed says:

      psgels has the annoying habit of getting the score out of 100 pretty dead-on (within 1 or 2 points) but then saying at least three stupid things in each review. But I’ll take it.

  9. MarigoldRan says:

    For example, in this season, the three-four blogs that I read regularly are all following different shows. This means there’s nothing great this season.

  10. MarigoldRan says:

    Actually, here is a formula:

    Quality of new shows = (1+ R) ^N – f(O), where -1<R<1 and f(O) is a generalized function of the number of reviews of old shows done this season.

    Explanation:

    R is the average rating of the show by the N bloggers that I follow. High R means "really good, you should watch this." Negative R means "it's crappy."

    N stands for the number of bloggers following this show. High N, and High R, means a very high Quality of New Show value. High R and low N means one of the bloggers love the show, but no one else is buzzing about it. High N and low R means lots of people follow it, but it's not that great of a show.

    f(O) is a generalized function for the number of reviews of old shows this season. If f(O) is very high, it means lots of bloggers are reviewing old shows, which generally means that this seasons' quality is poor.

    Hope this helps.

    • Ryan A says:

      f(O) is blowing my mind. Just some concerns: R and N seem fairly limited if we’re talking about new shows. I could see these variable more useful for shows airing 2-6 years from the present. Okay, so f(O). . .

      You’re blowing my mind with this f(O) business. For one, I think this could be completely independent of season quality as favored by bloggers. The general trend has been that people are blogging about a wider time-sensitive variety of series than 4 years ago and hopefully it will continue to increase. If it does, I don’t think we can base season quality on “non-seasonal entries.” If anything, I think f(O) should be a dynamic value based on the variety of “seasonal” coverage. A good season in my mind will have every blogger blogging about “something” and that something might not be what others are blogging about. So in that sense, f(O) would be better as an approximation of “how many different series are being blogged positively.” Variety is key.

      Anyway, yea. f(O) . . .

      • MarigoldRan says:

        Most new shows aren’t worth watching. Only new shows that get lots of buzz and have a high positive R value deserve automatic watching. The formula for low values of N is tilted towards the R value- that is, for low values of N, the R value has a greater significance than the N value. What this means is that if one blogger rates a show very highly, this show will have a higher value than if many bloggers rated a show somewhat well.

        In other words, 1.9^1 > 1.2^3

        There are some scaling issues when N gets too big, but honestly most people follow one three or four bloggers at most so it shouldn’t be a problem.

        In defense of f(O), it was never meant to be a value that was supposed to be large. If (1+R)^N is large, f(O) will have minimal impact on the equation. However, if the other term is small, f(O) will have a much bigger impact, hence that’s why I included it. Its existence is based on the hypothesis that if bloggers cannot find good shows to blog about, they’ll start writing about older shows that they’ve watched, which I think is reasonable.

    • JoeAnimated says:

      As an engineer, I applaud your effort. But isn’t this more work than giving something a three episode test, and dropping it if it doesn’t fit your interests?

  11. myna says:

    I’m a high schooler who has been plagued with senioritis. Considering the fact that I only have two major academic classes and neither of them are honors or AP, I have plenty of free time. Though I do try to limit myself to no more than about ten currently airing shows per season and one or two non-airing shows. I’ve been trying to watch as much anime as I possibly can before leaving for college this fall. This included tons of shows that I hated, and I’ve been trying to cut back on the masochism.

    On average, I only drop one or two shows per season. For me, all long running shounens inevitably get dropped, the most recent example being Hunter x Hunter. I usually don’t put currently airing shows on hold, and I think Chihayafuru is the first series in which I did.

    I hardly ever rewatch things unless I physically own a copy.

    Obviously, I’ll have to seriously cut back on the amount of anime I watch and the amount of time I devote to anime activities. (Especially since I intend to major in musical theatre.) Hopefully I’ll still be able to keep up with two to three currently airing shows and maybe do some marathoning during breaks and such. But we’ll see. I’d like to watch enough to keep blogging and stay relatively within the blogsphere loop.

  12. Reid says:

    I applaud your efforts to separate the wheat from the chaff, sir. I had to make some decisions of that sort a while back and didn’t even start to watch some of the series that I’ve long wanted to. I’ve been putting off watching the last three episodes of “RahXephon” for a perfect moment to really soak in all that happens, and it’s kind of holding me back from starting any new shows.
    That said, I have eight syllables for you, Ghost.
    AU-RA BAT-TO-RA DUN-BAI-IIIIIIIIIIIIN!
    Of all those 999999 episodes you haven’t watched yet, you REALLY need to watch “Dunbine”. It’s sublime. And the subtitles are pathetic. They seriously screw up even the names from the dub so I have no idea what the real spelling of anyone’s name is. It’s terrific like that.

  13. ZabiLegacy says:

    On rewatch I still have fifty episodes of Eureka Seven to get through before the new season starts. This will be difficult

  14. I find myself on the opposite end of the spectrum. I have plenty of time, but can never sit down long enough to watch anything. I watch less and less every season. The few shows I have tried I have either dropped of put on hold. I think it really just is no show has been interesting enough to me to hold me for 30 whole minutes. I do have a backlog of older shows but most are over 50+ episodes and the investment of time frightens me from ever starting. I too started rewatching LOGH(for the 4th time) but stalled about half way though a few months ago. I would be very interested to see you blog it as you rewatch it and keep up my watching as you go along. Sorry I can’t be of any help culling some shows.

    • I wanted to blog the specific battles, like an after action report. However, there’s a forum where this was done at such a high level that I can’t add any value outside of changing the shitty forum formatting.

      Any other blogging effort seems pretty useless to me.

  15. Ryan A says:

    Hot tables bro, love ’em. Since I quit doping around after uni and got a life-sucking job in reality I’ve had to consider this kind of stuff. Actually, it boiled down to one primary issue: seasonal watching fads. Here’s my personal theory. . .

    Back in university days before I started following ‘current’ series, I was a fairly busy person. I wasn’t swamped for 8-10 hours at a time, but in a day I probably had 2-3 hours to watch TV or play on the computer. In a 2 years I was able to watch about 50 shows I wanted to watch. This organization began to tread the gutter in 2004, when I started following ‘current’ stuff. I never had a backlog when watching stuff like Trigun or Eva. But airing series took on a more terrible demand for quantity and fandom discussion surrounding them. I was caught in a vortex of shit that I probably would not have watched were I coming across it five years later; time as a natural filter. Yes, I was able to watch 30-40 series in a year, but I was expending an disproportional amount of time keeping up with schedules and discussions. Let’s not even mention the issue of building a backlog (which I’d say is a bane of seasonal watching), watching what’s new requires more energy than watching vintage. Toss out this theory if one plans on blogging what they’re watching.

    Essentially, I have been more critical in taking on airing series than something from the past, and I even psyche myself out with watching status. Take this watchlist for instance. It explains my habitual flow: watching can move to hold, hold can return to watching or to backlog, backlog can then return to watching or dropped. It’s a simple cycle, the key for mixing time comes with “watching” and what kind of requirements are needed to keep up.

    Two particular series worth mentioning in my rotation are Nisemonogatari and Gintama. I prefer to keep these hovering in the ‘hold’ arena specifically because they are arc-based. I don’t feel the need to watch them every week (expendable), but will take time every 4-8 weeks to catch up (I can watch 10 episodes of a shounen show in one week, no prob). And I think that works well.

    Ultimately, I think if I had no interest in following anything current, the concerns for pressed time would not exist. There is no reason for me to rush through Hanasaku Iroha at this point, so I can take my time an savor it when I feel it fits my mood best. If I want to fest it up, I’ll fest it up. Not only am I finding “my pace” way more enjoyable, it’s also much more efficient and fitting of working-class life.

    • Thing is, watching vintage actually requires more effort for me. Strange? True!

      A currently airing show I can watch an episode every week. The vintage stuff gives you an illusion of ease as you blitz through the first four or five episodes… but after the initial rush is gone, when the show slows down or takes a boring or outright bad turn… I’m sort of dead in the water. It’s very hard to get into it again.

      Airing shows? You have a community to discuss it with. There’s almost always someone out there to chat up and get you back into it. But older and potentially more obscure shows… tough.

      • Ryan A says:

        More effort, but would you say it’s still vying for your time the same way? The real-time community and discussion is what tends to be a time sink for me, which isn’t to say it’s void of meaning, but I think there is more coherence and refinement in thoughts time-distanced from the communal experience.

        Though, I can understand the extra effort required to continue rewatching shows; I have gone weeks between episodes sometimes during this recent Frontier rewatch. But I don’t find the act of not watching a show I’ve already seen vaporizes my time the way new series do. If I were intent on blogging a rewatch, that would be different.

        I suppose there is some stress in falling behind, or alternately trying to keep up, and I think it varies for each series taken on. People, individuals and the community, can help us along the way, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re saving time. There are a few series I’d love to follow with SCCSAV, but I haven’t tandem watched anything in months and likely have not been free/organized enough to do so. Meanwhile, alone on my own time-managed schedule, I’m able to digest 20 episodes a week on clean entry and exit at an average of 80-90 minutes each day. I’m actively following 4 episodes a week. If that number were 8 or 12 as it had been in the past, I’d be at my limit and only manage current shows. I did that for 3-4 years, and the community extra-curricular activities were excessive. So naturally I find greater efficiency in being more restrictive with new shows.

        • It’s only a time sink if you feel compelled to contribute. I look at it more as a support system to take advantage of than to support in turn. I “passively” support it by tweeting what I watch which continues the conversations started by others. Otherwise I don’t have to do anything but look at what other people are saying about show X if I’m still interested in show X.

          For example, Symphogear. I can look up blogs and tweets since I missed the last 2 episodes. But since I’m not interested, I’ll just shut up about it and drop the show.

  16. Karry says:

    “I started watching DBZ in high school, more than half my lifetime ago. I want to finish this shit.”

    Just read the freaking manga and be done with it. I’ve read entire Dragonball & Dragonball Z over two weekends. It was good.

    • I like manga, but I like it when the illustrations move. I like performances and music. I like the whole production of an anime show; especially titles with action in it. Granted, the production is often crappy, but I have a bias for “moving” vs. still illustrations.

  17. You have one of these posts (seems like) every three to six months. Just face it, the battle between real-life, your other hobbies and anime will never end, nor be fully manageable. That’s what makes you an interesting person. I’m slowly accepting it, too. The job, the kids, my other hobby (video games & being a bit of a beer snob), it keeps you from being burned out by one thing in particular over an elongated stretch.

    All that said, this is a great idea. Seeing you rewatch SEED for ANY reason boggles me. And to think in this very same post you mention not watching things just for the enjoyment you get out of their failure. The shounen material, that can be easy to manage with the right rules.

    Never be afraid to put a shounen on hold if you think it will pay bigger dividends later. Those dividends are normally for me getting to watch an arc all the way through in marathon fashion. Also, if you’re familiar with the manga, don’t be afraid to say you’re not putting up with filler if you find it the least bit tedious. Good filler is rare and a godsend (Fairy Tail); bad filler will suck the very life essence from your soul (D. Gray-man, Bleach). Follow those tips and even while watching several shounen simultaneously, you can still juggle them competently.

    I could probably make a blog post about my own problems. My obsession with viewing diversity has left me with a lot of stuff on the queue, on hold or in viewing purgatory (VOTOMS, I’m coming for you, one day). Hell, some very good stuff has been lost in the shuffle. I don’t know why I stopped watching Black Lagoon. I think everyone I talk to on Twitter just forgot I was watching it, so I haven’t gotten the tongue-lashing I so richly deserve. I stopped LOTGH because it stopped at such a perfect spot for me and I was so drained from all the high drama that I told myself I needed a vacation. And that vacation has lasted for two years. One day we’ll get it together. That day will be the first one of our retirement.

  18. thoughtcannon says:

    Currently taking 14 credit hours. Nothing amazing but still considered full time.

    I am watching 7 long running shonens: Gintama’, Sket Dance, Beelzebub, Bakuman, Fairy Tail, Hunter x Hunter, and Toriko (kingofallfoodanimes)
    I am watching 4 carry over series from last season: Mirai Nikki, Shana Final, Chihayafuru, GC
    I am watching 16 new series.

    16 and a half hours of anime a week. I watch most of it on the weekend. Generally I put off the stuff that airs during the week cause it’s usually not as good as weekend shows. Watch weekend shows as soon as they air and watch monday shows as soon as they air. I’m only a week behind atm. Orz

    I figure I might drop 1 or 2 new shows before the season is up and possibly drop other shows as they run into their 2nd cour, but the only 2 cour shows are Mouretsu Pirates and Aquarion Evol and there’s no way in hell I am dropping the latter…unless it stops being balls to the wall hilarious. The former is starting to get good.

    • My weekends are packed.

      I do the grocery shopping Saturday morning, go out on a date with my wife the rest of the day; maybe meet with friends late at night. Blog Nisemonogatari at dawn.

      Sundays I try to squeeze in some anime viewing (I get to catch up with Beelzebub and Mouretsu Pirates with the wife, also Aquarion EVOL). I watch and blog the Gundam AGE live stream in the evening. In between I squeeze in a working meeting with my business partner and co-founder of the blog Mechafetish.

      The rest of the week is a crapshoot.

  19. WhatSht says:

    My target for this year, is to find time to watch Eureka 7 and also watch Neon Genesis Evangelion after my exams(Don’t wanna mess up my mind till after the exams). I’m trying to get myself to drop Kill me Baby.
    I have no idea why I’m watching the remastered Gundam Seed.

  20. megaroad1 says:

    Between job, family and chores, my time to see anime has been somewhat reduced. What I do try to do is not to watch more than 2,3 shows at a time in order to go through stuff quicker and not lose interest. So at the moment I’m watching Fruits Basket (can’t believe I’m watching something so shoujo!) as well as Nisemonogatari and Mouretsu Space Pirates.

    There’s a couple of shows that I’ve had sitting on my HD for months and just haven’t come around to doing the effort, namely TurnAGundam (it would be my first non UC Gundam), Tatami Galaxy and Heroic Age. Length will always be an issue. I catch really long shows (over 40 episodes) when I know I’ll have a light workload for a couple of weeks in advance.

    As to what I choose to watch, I generally look at a couple of websites that I trust with their ratings (ThemAnime for instance) and then try to read a bit more about the show in question in forums (which is a bit dangerous due to spoilers). I’m wary of stuff that gets a high score in by popular vote since that means that just reflects a certain demographic (yes I’m looking at you Clannad) And I’ve actually picked up several shows that otherwise wouldn’t have caught my attention due to your fine blog. An example of this would be Revolutionary Girl Utena and sometime in the future I’ll have a look at Aria

    • I’m glad you enjoyed Utena!

      Man, Turn A Gundam is going to be one different kind of trip. I struggled with it at first (as I did with a lot of Gundam before I “got it” while watching Gundam 00 of all things), and dropped it at about episode 09 (Corin Nander, you will not forget this guy). When I returned to it I was already a Gundam fan and this show delivered such a deep level of satisfaction that is very difficult to explain — though easy enough to compare — that is, to a Ghibli film (I told you it would be difficult to explain). But yes, there it is.

  21. Earvs Arabia says:

    Like I always say, “a true anime fan will ALWAYS have a backlog of shows to watch”. The only possible way I can think of for catching up is abandon everything else IRL, which is *I’ve realized* nigh impossible.

  22. ces06 says:

    “9001 robot shows 9/999999 Someday. You know I still love you.”

    LOL, SO TRUE 😄

    Any sort of organizing I try to do almost always ends up in vain, but one thing I do is just stick with the manga, if a manga adaptation is available and pretty much tells the same story. This goes for stuff like One Piece, Bleach, Bakuman, etc.

    Another is watching filler stuff/light stuff/stuff that don’t really need much of your attention in watching alongside doing assigments and other productive stuff. This way, I at least get the gist of while still having time to do something else. This is for stuff like Yu-Gi-Oh! ZeXal, Cardfight!! Vangaurd, Smile PreCure, and those kinds of “merchandising” shows.

    Not re-watching most of the stuff I’ve watched saves a lot of time as well. Also, it’s a bit too late for a lot guys right now, but starting early works too, I guess? I’m glad I watched Voltes and Combattler, and some of those 50-ish episode giants back in my Elementary School-Junior High days, because I don’t really have both the time and energy to watch each freaking mostly filler episode now in college.

  23. Matt Wells says:

    I have nowhere near the problems you do simply because I watch next to no ongoing shows. Very few curent shows appeal to my taste you see. My problem is instead all backlog of classic shows I’ve yet to watch, most of them purely mecha. If I have the DVDs at hand, I usually marathon the show, though lulls and stoppages can happen. It took me two months to power on through the last quarter of Zeta Gundam, but I was (and still am) dealing with depression at the time, so 11 episodes of bullshit filler and two episodes of actual plot development was rough going.

    My biggest problem is the mental pressure an unwatched show exerts. A 50 episode juggernaut of a show usually intimidates the crap out of me; for some reason owning the DVDs makes it easier for me to watch. My backlog is huge, but I lack any real immediate incentive or drive to work my way through the series in question. All the classic Sunrise shows, the last few GOOD Gundam series I haven’t seen, a couple of 80’s cult classics, numerous sequels, the occasional OVA, and the odd out of print DVD title I’ve yet to collect. Mostly I just watch as the mood strikes me, which is entirely subjective. My nig problem is balancing my anime habotu with my other hobbies; videogames and classic films have taken a real hit in my schedule.

    For Shonen, stick entirely to the manga. No shitty animation, no patience draining filler, and you can read this week’s chapter in 5 mintues. Its the only way to go, and pretty much the only sane way to catch up with beheomoth franchises like Dragonball and One Piece. Speaking of One Piece, I’d suggest substituting Toriko for that in your viewing schedule for the first 200 episodes or so if you’re serious about it. The manga scans of those story arcs suck hard anyway, and its far more deserving of your time than the anime version of Bakuman.

    Regarding old favourites, I’d say you’re doing fine. Your schedule allows you to work through them quickly and efficiently, not to mention providing far more entertainment than a classic you don’t enoy but feel obligated to watch.

    • Manga images don’t move.

      Nothing can pry me away from my Bakuman, probably the shittiest show I’ve ever loved this much.

      Yeah, I’ve put away classics that feel like work to watch.

  24. The shows you truly enjoy are going to get watched, without question. The shows you truly dislike are going to get ignored, without question. The question only arises concerning shows that are hard to pin down: there’s an interest, but you’re hardly hooked.

    Multitask.

    For me, if I want to finish a series I’m on the edge about, I finish that series while riding a recumbent bike that I own. I wouldn’t want to exercise and take myself out of a really good series. I wouldn’t want to exercise and just do that alone, carving time out of my day for a single boring task. So I clump two boring tasks together! And get shit out of the way in a timely manner.

    That’s all I got.

  25. JoeAnimated says:

    I’m using my kids as an excuse to watch stuff. I’ll pair things down to 6 or less current shows, And I’ll end up watching those with them, and I get to cover two bases at once. This season has been hilarious because my older always wants to watch Aquarion. It’s one that I spend more time covering her eyes than she gets to watch it, but oh well.

    I’ll occasionally go through in a random, previously aired show when I’m fighting a bout of insomnia. That’s how I zipped through Durarara recently; I was up at 5 am on the weekends, and I watched it to kill time. Well worth it in the end.

    And SCCSAV has helped to. Its time to BS with friends, and watch some anime at the same time. When my free time matches up, its a lot of fun.

  26. Hana says:

    Right luv, my two pence’ worth:

    I’d say that you (and any other full-time working peeps) should pick 2 or 3 shows MAX. from current seasons (if you can be arsed to follow these), based on your gut feelings/ general preferences/ 1-3 epi. tests/ advice from people who you think have good taste and/ or know you well enough to recommend stuff. The classics can go on a no doubt ever-increasing list that you can work through at any pace you wish, again based on some of the above bases. In fact, I like the idea of trying out classics that you don’t actually know too much about in terms of the plot, as that can be just as exciting if not more so than seasonal stuff, which can fast become a chore at times to keep up with/ avoid spoilers about. I know I’m primarilly an epi-reviewer and you’re not, but that’s the only way I’ve been coping with all this lately, so I hope that helps.

    If not, you could always try that bloody formula above. -_-

    • I’ve mentioned it in another post how I invariably end up trying 8 or more shows and dropping most of them within the first month of broadcast. This isn’t so much a problem I realize, than the difficulty of slotting in backlogged shows, which for me take more effort to sustain. These shows are easy to start, but once they dip in pace or quality (this is almost inevitable), I have a hard time finishing it off and before I know it I have a dozen backlogged shows on hold.

  27. Tzu says:

    I’m actually re watching Gundam SEED since it’s actually reairing in crappy HD.

    I work most of my time, and worst of all I’m a truly devote gamer, so my time for watching anime is quite limited, I find it easier to watch current shows on weekly basis than to consume older and large series, but every once in a while I too like to remember love and dedicate a full weekend to watch something really epic.

  28. squaresphere says:

    Dai Guard is alright for a drop. Even though it’s one of my favorite animes, if i’m not watching the english dub it puts me right to sleep. It’s one of the few shows that’s really dialogue heavy but subs can’t capture the dead pan/dry office humor. Basically it can be summed up as, “Office drones saving the world, while not getting paid over time, find out that that the best of humanity is how we help each other regardless of how “big” the job is.”

  29. kadian1364 says:

    I’ve developed a strategy for anime viewing, dividing anime series into Weekly, Backlog, and Rewatch categories. I’ll use these categories to tackle the anime as you’ve grouped them.

    Section 1 (Long Shounen/Shoujo):
    Long running shounen and shoujo series represent the biggest potential time sink and greatest percentage risk of being a waste of time, relative to my interests. I stay away from shounen/shoujo series unless one has tremendous renoun within the circles I run in and it’s finished. I include these as part of the Backlog. Even then, I’ll be more than willing to put one aside indefinitely if I’m just not in the mood or I have other things I want to do instead (i.e. One Piece, Srg. Frog, DBKai). But they’re so easy to marathon due to their episodic nature that should I discover lots of free time, I can blow through a lot of episodes quickly. Also, I remember the ones I became so enthralled with that I basically temporarily dropped everything else to finish; Hikaru no Go, Heartcatch Precure, Kaleido Star, anime that I feel were so tremendously rewarding that I can’t ignore all shounen/shoujo series in case I miss one I might really love. If you must follow them weekly, group them with the Weekly series you follow as they air.

    Section 2 (Rewatch):
    I need to be disciplined about rewatching series since I have so many titles in the Rewatch queue. If I started every show willy nilly it’ll load down my schedule and I’ll basically never finish any of them. Even though I don’t blog, I still limit Rewatch series to 1 or 2 at a time so they have the attention they deserve and I can finish them in a timely manner.

    Section 3 (Backlog):
    The same principles apply to the Backlog as do the Rewatch category. I can’t handle more than 1, possibly 2 shows from my Backlog that I would regularly watch. At least with the Rewatch group, I’ve seen them before, so I can go longer bouts between episodes. For series from the Backlog, I feel I need to see consecutive episodes regularly, a few a day if I can. Otherwise I’ll be taken out of the mood of the series, which can be hard to get back into.

    Here’s how it breaks down on my MAL list. Currently Watching has one title from the Backlog, 2 series on Rewatch, and 10 Weekly series from the current season. I actually feel 10 Weekly shows is too much to sustain, so next season I’ll pare it down to 6 or 7, which averages to one new episode a day. On-Hold is the long serial Sgt. Frog, which I have DVDs of, so I’m planning to see them between titles from my Backlog and Rewatch groups.

    Is this outline applicable to you? Only you can truly decide the numbers for yourself, but an organized approach is I find the most satisfying method of high-volume anime consumption people like us participate in. Based on the information you’ve provided here and severe time limitations you have to watch anime, I think you’re trying to watch too many shows. You can include Bakuman and Beelzebub into your currently airing anime pile, but of all the others you have to cut them down to 1 or 2. You’re nearly done with Bebop, so that has to be priority #1, and then I recommend picking one of Zeta, DBKai, or some other backlogged robot show, and putting the others away until you’ve finished something else first.

    • This comment is pretty bro. The most bro comment in the whole thread.

      Pretty much I’ll adopt this strategy wholesale, with the minor adjustment of adding the category “episodes I watch with my wife” — Beelzebub, Pirates, & Aquarion… the distinction is that this means I watch Aquarion episodes twice.

      • kadian1364 says:

        I went back and read a lot of the comments for earlier, and I saw you say several times that you sputter out in the middle of the lengthier shows from your backlog when quality drops and the story drags. At these moments it’s important to make a clear decision: recommit yourself to finishing the series or cut your losses and drop the show. Those anime you put on indefinite hiatus because you didn’t want to continue but didn’t want to drop bloats your current list and weighs you down mentally. Either convince yourself the series in question is important enough to you to see to the end, or cut the dead weight and move on.

  30. Vendredi says:

    I cut “long shounen” from the viewing cycle a long time ago; but I’d hardly call it a genre that I enjoy so it’s never been really an option on the menu.

    But I tend to steer away from long shows in general. Watching TV competes with a lot of other things for hobby time (I read at a pretty blistering pace, so that’s the main competition right there), and if it’s more than 24 episodes, the show had better be very, very good. Since the main competition tends to be with books, I’m also big on the visual animation aspect.

    Often (projected) length is a big factor in whether I will watch a show in the first place. The shorter, the better – if it’s a good show, that means it will pack in a lot in a short time. If it’s a bad show, it’ll probably be fairly evident in the pacing from the beginning, and if not then at least it will be over quick. There are certainly things you can accomplish in 50+ episodes – I hear a lot of praise for LoGH – but something that long I’d rather enjoy in novel format.

    • Since I like anime for the moving illustrations, I’m far more willing to risk on shows. I don’t think there’s any reason for Legend of the Galactic Heroes to be anime in particular, only that I’m very glad that it is.

  31. PP says:

    Oh man, dont drop toriko yet! The Ozone layer herb arc is going to be more interesting

  32. SignOfZeta says:

    I guess I’m lucky here since I hate almost all new anime. I’m lucky to enjoy one new show per year these days.

    Even at the peak of my anime consumption (maybe 1996 or so) I still wouldn’t watch shounen crap that sucked. In 1996 that would have been…what, Zenki? DBGT? In retrospect I’m so glad I didn’t spend hundreds of hours trying to stay awake for that stuff. I would rather just re-watch the great stuff like Robot Carnival and Char’s Counterattack and Patlabor 2 and DYRL over and over again until I knew every frame. I did Fist of the North Star and Dragon Ball. I can’t sit through that much stuff again even if it is good. No show is actually good for 200 eps. Even the best of these shows would be so so much better of they just cut it down to 26 eps.

    My advice is “make it count”. Quality over quantity.

    • I wouldn’t call that luck, but that’s your business.

      Thing is, I’m not in it for the quality alone. I watch to become a fan. I watch to appreciate, not merely entertain myself. Thus, it takes more risks to find stuff I get fired-up about.

      If I’m just going to watch based on quality alone I’ll end up watching very little, and not having much to say about them save they were okay/good/whatever.

  33. Pingback: The Seven Tyrannies that Crush Anime Fandom | Canne's anime review blog

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