Being Behind on Anime is Actually Alright

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The winter season is about to leave and in less than a week the spring season will start. For the people who watch anime on a weekly basis this means a whole load of old is about to be replaced with an even bigger batch of new. The previous season will sink into oblivion while the new and hot series will be discussed frantically online.

I have always tried keeping up with ongoing anime as much as possible. There has never been a particular reason for this behavior other than it feeling good to be up to date, most likely a side-effect of being an organized person in general.

Whenever I have failed to keep up with the episodes there has always been a feeling that could almost be described as guilt. To make matters more complicated, this also meant being shut out from episode discussions which in turn forced me to avoid social media in risk of spoilers.

You could almost say that keeping up with anime was an addiction or at least really bad habit. While it never was a problem in itself – after all, I still had fun watching – it does feel quite unpleasant to realize that you were unconsciously forced into a certain pattern. This is not necessarily restricted to anime seeing as there are many patterns to our lives, yet it helped opening my eyes a little.

These past few weeks my focus has been on video games rather than anime, leading me to be behind on many series except for a select few. As of writing I am over ten episodes behind on Space Dandy, or why not my favorite The Pilot’s Love Song which has over half of the episodes left?

Early on it was difficult to break the bad habit, but as the weeks passed and episodes continued to stack it eventually became easy to simply let go of it. At the moment this bad habit of mine is completely broken and it feels perfectly fine to be behind on anime.

Ironically, the risk of falling back into old habits is near-guaranteed if I want to watch the new animated goodies. On the other hand, it does feel uplifting to now at least be aware of a possible relapse and how to cure it.

Discovering how my consumerism and surroundings affect me is nothing but fascinating.

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21 thoughts on “Being Behind on Anime is Actually Alright

  1. Guy says:

    Sometimes pausing shows, that you rally do like can easily become a new bad habit, which you’ll try to break at later.

    Glad you’re having fun, but balance is always the key 🙂

    I often tend to not catch up at all if I fall behind, even if these are shows I care for, while managing to succeed at not falling behind on shows I care less for. Trying to tie up these loose ends.

    • Marow says:

      Having lots of fun and am currently watching older anime I haven’t seen. Feels pretty great in its own way 🙂

      I often tend to not catch up at all if I fall behind, even if these are shows I care for

      This is something I just noticed as well! While Mikakunin and Inari Konkon weren’t my favorites of the last anime season, they were interesting enough. However, I oddly have no energy to pick them back up.

  2. Baka-Raptor says:

    Also, keeping up with anime week to week means you have to wait a week for each episode. It’s often more satisfying to wait and binge.

    • Marow says:

      Hm, for me it’s mixed. Weekly works well with some series, but those having lots of infodumps or action will suffer from it in my opinion at least.

  3. I’ve been experiencing the same thing lately, although in my case it’s because of school. At first I felt pretty bad about it, but once I got roughly three weeks behind, I didn’t really care anymore. Marathoning is awesome.

  4. froggykun says:

    I am forever in a state of behindness. I think it’s pretty awesome, actually.

    I hear you on the compulsion, though. I’m like that for schoolwork and I tend to feel crazily guilty whenever I’m even one day behind my own schedule. I put way too much pressure on myself, and sometimes, not even watching anime relieves me of my stress but instead becomes another part of my routine I feel obligated to deal with. Even when you’re aware of it, it’s very difficult to break the bad habits and ways of thinking. I think having a completely unrelated hobby that you don’t have to keep up with any schedule for (like games for you) is a really great way of dealing with it.

    Hope you can sort through your mental block and enjoy the latest anime without feeling any sense of “going through the motions”!

    • Marow says:

      Schoolwork, you say? I ALWAYS do it ASAP to get it out of my way and feel really bad the few times I end up handing stuff in the last few days (when basically everyone else do). Seems like you’re as bad as I am >_>”

      “Unrelated” hobbies is probably good, yes. Although, with games you have a backlog… ehehe.

      I am forever in a state of behindness. I think it’s pretty awesome, actually.

      Well, you are a frog…

  5. Mental Invalid says:

    I’ve gotten that feeling before. Being on Tumblr a lot, you see a myriad of discussion on anime. In my case, the ending of Kill la Kill (I’m still on the damn second episode). I have a habit of starting the pilot episode of a new series while leaving an old series unfinished, so you can imagine how much anime is waiting to be watched. Like most people, school is a big factor as well, but recently I marathoned Hyouka and it was the best thing to reward myself over a stressful time of schoolwork.

    Very interesting post indeed.

    • Marow says:

      Haha, glad you liked the post! Guess short musings work!

      so you can imagine how much anime is waiting to be watched

      Gotta clear that backlog somehow… or else it’ll keep growing and bite you!

      recently I marathoned Hyouka and it was the best thing to reward myself over a stressful time of schoolwork.

      That’s quite the fantastic reward, indeed 🙂
      I am not sure if you enjoy relaxing anime, but watching slice of life can be a perfect way to finish a tough day.

  6. chikorita157 says:

    Probably the only time I have been behind a great deal is the earlier episodes of Nagi no Asukara since I wasn’t blogging the series, but not watching does make me understand what happened. Otherwise, shows that I fall behind eventually ends up in backlog, where it stays there forever, until I have the motivation to finish it.

    • Marow says:

      The dangerous backlog… so much to do, yet so little time!

      Did you ever pick Nagi no Asukara back up, and if so, what did you think? All people I know watched it weekly, so hearing a thought from someone who didn’t would be interesting.

  7. lifesongsoa says:

    I like to keep up, but I do it for fun and don’t feel guilty if I fall behind. I watch enough anime that falling behind is just a natural way of dropping things. Sometimes I go back, sometimes I don’t. When it all becomes stressful for me is when I am keeping up with an anime to talk about it instead of the merits of the show itself. That said, talking about anime is part of the fun for me. It’s all about balance as Guy said.

    Personally I love jumping into a season full force and I know full well that I won’t keep up with half the stuff I start. That is just how it is I guess. The sense of anticipation in waiting from episode to episode is part of the fun. I find that when I’ve lost that I don’t really care to talk about said show anyway.

    • Marow says:

      Personally I love jumping into a season full force and I know full well that I won’t keep up with half the stuff I start. That is just how it is I guess.

      I could never do that myself, sadly. >_<'

  8. Alex says:

    Whenever I have failed to keep up with the episodes there has always been a feeling that could almost be described as guilt. To make matters more complicated, this also meant being shut out from episode discussions which in turn forced me to avoid social media in risk of spoilers.

    THIS IS ME.

    I’m trying to catch up with some older anime at the moment, so I’m only watching two new ongoing shows. And watching people discuss the new anime on Twitter is making me feel insanely jealous. I often think of caving in and watching new shows (okay, I did and started watching JOJOOOOOOOO), but I’d like to think of it as a test of my resolve.

    I’m basically viewing this as an experiment, and will probably pick up some ongoing anime halfway through the season. But I think what I miss most is the chatting and discussing and fanboying with other anime lovers about the latest episodes.

    • Marow says:

      A test of resolve, huh? That’s a nice way of putting it! I’m currently only watching two series from the new anime season, yet I’m starting to feel the urge to pick up some others… it oddly enough makes them look more fun than they probably are. I’m really curious/excited about Nanana, for example.

      (okay, I did and started watching JOJOOOOOOOO)

      I gotta watch the first season of JOJOOOOOOOOO already. >_<

  9. Tony Yao says:

    I’ve been focused on playing video games these days myself. The FFX/FFX-2 HD games have gotten my complete attention over time. I don’t watch every anime out there and I mostly focus on those that are based off of manga.

    I stopped watching Space Dandy after 3 episodes. I don’t know if I want to catch up. 😄

    • Marow says:

      Jeez, I’m jealous! I’d like to try out some more Final Fantasy games myself. Hoping they’ll eventually get ported to PC, seeing as Square Enix has shown an interest in it…

      You watched one more episode of Space Dandy than I did! I will pick it up… one… day… soon… I hope…

  10. Kai says:

    I honestly see no reason why one couldn’t discuss about the anime as a whole, rather than episode per episode basis. Although, you might lose a few passionate discussions here and there (although discussions should still be active right after the show ended), but I feel it’s also quite important to watch anime in the pace you’re most comfortable with.

    To me, marathoning is awesome. And rather than just wait it all out and marathon them like before (which can be pretty hectic actually, knowing you have to marathon like 10 completed shows in a row), nowadays, I developed a habit of marathoning anime arc by arc, stopping just when it was at a good concluding point. Able to catch up with most of my Winter backlog quite comfortably like this.

    • Marow says:

      You’re correct that one can discuss about anime as a whole (which happens), but usually it’s the on-going stuff that’s most popular.

      I recently marathoned “Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere” and I agree that marathoning is awesome! Watching both seasons in two days was pure bliss.

  11. […] all my enthusiasm had been drained. I ended up putting blogging on-hold, procrastinating and even falling behind on watching anime. Instead, my time was spent on video games while distancing myself from the anime […]

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