How Do You Watch Anime?

Is there a specific way you prefer for your anime watching? To give you an example of what I mean, let me describe two very different experiences I had of watching anime.

Not too long ago, I watched Clannad and Clannad After Story in the space of a week. Both shows combined with their respective extras added up to over fifty episodes. That is a lot to watch, and even more so in the relatively short span of time. I very much enjoyed watching Clannad and was extremely engrossed in it while watching, but I noticed something interesting about my experience marathoning the show after I had completed it. I watched Clannad faster than almost any other show I have seen, but what I realized after was that I forgot about it almost as quick. Which is not to belittle the show in any way. I enjoyed Clannad a great deal, but after it was over, it wasn’t long before I started watching something else.

Now, let me compare this to my experience with Aria: The Animation and its sequels. Aria as a whole is among my all time favorite anime and I think a part of that had to do with how I went about watching it. Unlike Clannad, which I marathoned in the short span of a week, I watched Aria over the course of nearly two months. To be precise, I took fifty-three days to complete Aria at a pace of one episode per day. It wasn’t a schedule that I planned for, it just sort of happened. Fortunately, it was an unintentional occurrence with a great payoff. That length of time gave me the chance to savor each episode and enjoy what they had to offer individually. And unlike currently airing shows where I would have to wait a week for the next episode, watching an episode of Aria each day only enhanced the experience. While it may have taken a while to complete it, my experience with Aria could only be described as a journey.

I won’t compare Clannad and Aria in terms of which one was better, but in terms of long lasting impression, Aria wins, and part of that is due to the leisurely pace which I watched it. Watching episodes on a daily basis gave me time after each episode for musings on each episode, which doesn’t really happen when you are watching episode after episode without breaks. Additionally, not having to wait a week between each episode prevented any loss in interest or forgetting. It took longer, but it was an extremely rewarding experience that stayed with me a long time after I completed the show.

Does this mean that one way of watching anime is better than another? Not necessarily, but I do think that personal preferences has an influence in our watching experience.

So is there a way you prefer to watch anime? Do you like watching at night? With company? Do you prefer marathoning a series or watching it slowly? Do you prefer different watching styles for different shows? Or, does it not matter to you when and how you watch your anime?

Share your thoughts in the comment section down below.

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9 thoughts on “How Do You Watch Anime?

  1. Sometimes I have a ”marathon” and sometimes I will watch something only to quit and watch it again months later. But I usually still remember where I left off and what happened. I guess it depends on how interesting a series is and how many episodes are available for streaming.
    And sometimes a show is very interesting but it just becomes too much so I need a little break.

    • I can relate to that because I also find myself taking a break in the middle of a show for reasons I’m not really sure. This happens with currently airing shows where I may stop for a few weeks before watching a couple of episodes in a row to catch up. It isn’t always the case, but like you mention, sometimes I just need to take a break from a specific show for a little while.

      • Next week I will finally watch a bit of anime because I still need to finish K-on2 and Hajime no Ippo. But HnP is really long and mostly the episodes are very alike…But I still like it because it’s a bit different than what I usually watch.

  2. I believe it also depends on what the show is. There are some series that just seem “meant” to be watched quickly. There was one show in particular I’m thinking of, but I forgot its name. 😦 That aside, though, it’s interesting that you point out it may change how much we like a show, though. I watched both of what are now my two favorite series (Kino no Tabi and Mushishi) over the course of half a year to a year. Of course, I believe that the actual quality of the shows had something to do with it, and that the shows themselves helped determine the pace at which I watched them, but I had never thought about whether or not that processing time I spent helped make those shows feel better to me.

    As for your questions (just going through the list), I’ve gotten into a habit of watching anime in the late afternoon/nighttime. Not so much because that’s when I *want* to, mind you, but just because other commitments keep me busy throughout the rest of the day.
    No, I definitely don’t prefer watching it with company. Nobody around me is an anime person.
    As I mentioned above, yes. I firmly believe that different series warrant different watching styles.

    Anyways, nice post. Whenever I actually find the time to read posts, I remember your site and I usually find something that interests me. So keep up the good work!

    • You bring up some very good points. The type of show and its quality are definitely important factors. The two examples I used are both relatively similar types of shows, but I can think of a few faster paced shows that would probably benefit from a faster viewing schedule. I think the two shows you mentioned, Kino’s Journey and Mushishi, are great examples of shows that would fit better with a relaxed viewing pace due to their slow peaceful natures.

      “I firmly believe that different series warrant different watching styles”
      I have definitely found this to be true in my experiences with watching anime. How we watch our shows does seem to factor into the enjoyment and that doesn’t stay the same for everything.

      Thank you for the kind words and support! ^_^

  3. Each season, I like to pick a handful of series I’d be interested in watching each week. I do that, but I’m almost always ‘marathon-ing’ a series on the side. Just when the new eps come out for the seasonal shows, I’ll give those a watch before I start back on my marathon viewing. 3;

    Some shows just beg to be marathon’d, though — stuff with great cliffhangers like Death Note or Geass, or most well-done dramas (True Tears, Clannad After Story). Typical slice of life comedy stuff I usually will space out, since there often isn’t a broad storyline that drives the narrative.

    • Hey! That’s like what I’m doing right now, though I am probably watching at a slower pace simply due to time constraints.

      I agree with Code Geass and Death Note (having completed both of them in a very quick pace), but After Story? I see what you mean about certain cliffhangers, and I don’t think I could bear having to wait to see certain episodes. But, that is only for a few. Overall, After Story felt like a show that was much slower (especially in the beginning). But, it is not like there is any “correct” way of watching a show. Thanks for sharing your input on that one particular! 🙂

  4. Different shows yield different watching styles. For shows like comedies which can tire themselves out quickly, it’s better to watch spread out so the material doesn’t grow stale or you out-laugh yourself. Shows that are more story-driven are better to be watched sooner rather than later so the details are easier to recall and the flow is uninterrupted. All the other shows fall somewhere between the two with about a week between episodes being acceptable for pretty much every genre.

    For how I watch, I usually end up watching anime at night though that only happens because it’s the only time I can watch it. I’ve begun to watch anime with a friend over the internet though our methods are primitive and we just try to start around the same time and gear our conversations toward it rather than not (especially funny when one gets further ahead of the other and starts spoiling it for the other). I personally have always enjoyed anime alone since I can watch at my own pace but talking with someone else has been really enjoyable since I gain his perspective and am able to share mine throughout the episode. And we actually argue all the time.

    • I know what you mean about the comedies because I definitely tired myself out of one in the past due to watching too much in one setting. It is interesting you bring up the flow of a show because that is one of the biggest issues I have with currently airing shows. I’ve toyed with the idea of waiting till the show finishes and then watching it in an expedited fashion, but I’ve never been willing to wait that long.

      Simultaneous anime viewing with a friend sounds like a whole new experience! Even if you do argue about it all the time, it still does seem like it would be a lot of fun.

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