How are you doing my dear readers? A humid summer is approaching where I live and I’m not exactly excited about the thought of being basted like a turkey in my own house, but by the grace of the gods and the aircon, I’ll survive and be lively enough to be excited about the upcoming season of anime, Summer 2020!
I unfortunately did not make such a post for Spring 2020, because I haven’t exactly been actively watching that much anime in the past few months. I only followed Tower Of God, Yesterday Wa Uttate, Woodpecker’s Detective and Princess Connect, but I still have a bunch of episodes I need to watch. Since the current season is coming to an end, and I’m going to go into binge-watch mode, I just thought I’d share my process of dealing with seasonals, because the quantity of watchable shows is pretty overwhelming.
The first thing anyone does, is obviously scout out what anime are coming this season. The best place for that is livechart.me, which is like a proper listing of anime based on release date, which does go extend out a few seasons. It has a lot of adaptability for different time zones, regions, even some languages, and is very comprehensive.
Next is actually choosing the anime you’re gonna give a chance to. I choose anime based on three metrics, which are generally helpful. I’m a person who reads a lot of manga and light novels, so the first thing I look out for are the adaptations, and if I’m interested them at all. Generally I only watch anime adaptations if they have some sort of animation/art overhaul, for example Demon Slayer and the Fruits Basket reboot, or if they’re adaptations of episodic manga, or more casual manga which aren’t heavy, like Tejina-senpai of previous seasons and Uzaki-chan Wa Asobitai from the upcoming summer season. Same metric by which I decided to watch the Seitokai Yakuindomo anime after having read the manga to it’s latest update at the time.
So that was the first metric, and it’s subclasses(almost starting to sound like a fantasy anime). Second, I look for anime which have been hyped, and whose source material I might know off. This season’s Yesterday Wa Uttate, Bakarina and Gleipnir were such examples for me. I knew about the source material, but hadn’t actually read it. They also fall into a kind of third category, the obvious one, which I shall talk about next.
The final metric is if the anime has some standout feature, whether it be an interesting story/premise, or it be something like exceptional animation(remember Miru tights?) or just certain qualities like amazing comedy. This is generally the one most people can relate to, because most seasonal anime are based off of things that people don’t really know about and have to gauge for themselves, and which can turn out really good, like this season’s Princess Connect, and from what I hear, Appare-ranman and Listeners.
Now we’re almost at the end. It’s time to wait and see the first three episodes of the anime we’ve chosen. Why three episodes? It’s a common standard, watch three episodes and you’ll find out if you like the show or not, but why is that, you might ask me my dear readers. The answer is pretty simple. For most seasonal, three episodes the quarter-way mark, but what’s more important than that is the fact that within the three episodes, the overall feel of the anime becomes clear. If it’s something jolly like Princess Connect: Redive or Uzaki-chan Wa Asobitai, it’ll become pretty clear that they’re fun, casual anime without any heavy plot. With something like Kaguya-sama, it’ll become clear that it’s a new take on the rom-com genre. By the third episode, the repeating plot device(in case of non plot-heavy anime) or the first major plot point(in case of more story- based anime), become clear. It allows one to grasp what kind of series it’ll be, and then it’s up to the individual if they like it or not.
Finally, we have three options. One is to follow the series the entire way through, going through each of the weekly updates religiously. I usually do this with series which I know, or find out, are very interesting, like Tower Of God and Yesterday Wa Uttate, which tend to grab the entirety of my attention.
The second option is reserved for series which go through individual plot points in multiple episodes rather than having a major overarching plot-point. That’s the reason you should give if someone asks you why you’re doing this and you want to seem smart. For me, the real reason is that I get too lazy and just forget to watch the anime as it wasn’t as captivating as the anime mentioned in the first category. This option is when you randomly recall an anime exists when there’s a stockpile of three or four or more episodes, and you semi-binge them.
The third and final option is generally a mixture of a few different types of anime, ranging from the ‘I wanted to watch this in one go because I know it’s singularly plot heavy’ to ‘I didn’t find the time to watch this before’ and ‘Fuck, I completely forgot this existed’ to ‘Man, I should check out the hype behind this baby!’. This is the binge-watch option, and one which should be executed strategically.
Many times it happens that a person gets into a cycle of watching a certain set of anime in the week and does not wish to disturb or dilute that cycle, even though they might want to start watching another show along with the ones they’re watching. This is doubly problematic for those people that generally can’t bear to watch singular episodes of multiple different anime one after the other. What’s the cure? End of season binges.
There is a period of time, between the final releases of most of the anime you’ll be following and the beginning of the next season’s worth of anime you’ll be following. It can vary from two to three weeks, a golden period in between seasons where each week, there are hardly two or three releases, and not even that if you’re not following the more mainstream anime spanning across multiple seasons. This is the time where one can catch up to whatever one wants to see.
In a regular working day, one generally has eight hours in between work and sleep. There are about 23 minutes per episode of anime, but if you skip the opening and ending songs, there’s less than 20, and let’s face it, most people don’t listen to the OP or ED more than a few times. That means three episodes in an hour and an entire season in four. So even if we take out four hours for eating, resting, exercise, miscellaneous activities, a professional binger can still watch an entire regular anime season in just one day. Extrapolate that to a day off and you can binge three anime seasons per day off in twelve hours, four, if you’re willing to sacrifice some sleep and doing anything else.
The above mentioned technique can be harmful to your health if done in excess. Sacrificing too much sleep and exercise and social interaction for anime is not a good thing at all. There’s no need to go to such extreme lengths of sixteen hours(4 regular seasons) of anime on a day off, especially when there are three weeks in between seasons as I mentioned before. If you do the three episode scouting strategy, you also have three extra weeks if you choose to wait and watch the three episodes together(which I tend to do).
Binging is nice in small doses, not so much if you do it every week. Keep the binge saved for non-seasonal anime and the the series you really intend to check out at the end of a season. Trust me, I’ve spent more than my fair share of time building up an immunity to paracetamol by abusing it to deal with headaches. Binging is like drinking, it’s very fun in the moment, but if you go over your limit, you’re gonna have to face the consequences(Know Your Limit, Binge Within It).
Anyways, I hope this might be able to help some of my dear readers who might be worried about how to watch all the anime they want to watch but simply can’t seem to fit it in their schedule.
Farewell for now my dear readers, we shall be meeting again soon enough. Next time, I’ll tell you guys my summer anime recommendations. Until then, have a good day.