As of late, I’ve been watching anime at a reduced frequency. I used to be able to follow 3-5 series per season, but now, I’m seriously lagging behind. Sometimes I don’t follow anything for the season and opt to watch only 1 series from previous seasons. Sometimes I watch older anime, such as the Ghost in the Shell series which I am enjoying right now. As a result, I seldom write reviews anymore, mostly because I want the most out of my anime viewing experience. So, how do you increase your anime viewing pleasure?
I have three ways that I usually do.
1. Don’t hop on the bandwagon
In the age of social media, we have this constant fear, known as FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out. In the otaku sense, FOMO occurs when some asshole on the internet spoils the most recent episode of Aldnoah Zero just to show who has the faster internet. Or, an otaku might also develop FOMO when they don’t understand who the fuck Megumin (KonoSuba) is and why she’s the best grill. Thus, we watch the anime that everyone’s watching, just so we don’t get left out. But, sometimes we don’t have time. Some of us have responsibilities, and we can’t be constantly viewing anime and updating dank animemes on the net.
It’s natural to feel left out, but don’t let this hinder you from experiencing a pleasant anime viewing experience.
I keep a small circle of friends that recommend anime to watch. You won’t feel the pressure to always be updated and you can take the time to actually enjoy the anime you watch. I seek out recommendations only from good friends, preferably those who have similar taste, so I can balance between my responsibilities and binge-watching Mongolian cartoons.
2. Enrich yourself
Often times, we watch anime just for leisure or as a means to escape this fucking hard reality into the world of virtual titties and little girls with cat-ears. That’s okay, and you totally do that. Just remember to come back to earth. This point is meant for the more serious type: viewers who actually want to make the best out of the anime they watch. Or write 2deep4u and edgy reviews (ahem, totally not me).
If you’re like me, then it would benefit to enrich yourself with subjects such as philosophy, literature, culture, and social issues. I find philosophy quite interesting. Usually, I apply the things I learned from reading philosophy books into anime, though this can’t be done all the time. For example, I can relate several aspects of Shimoneta to Plato’s Republic, especially regarding censorship and “The Cave”. I also derive pleasure from knowing why a lot of anime, especially Ghibli movies, uses “aspect-to-aspect transition” to establish the plot and accelerate viewer immersion. I understood the application of the “Pleasure Machine” thought experiment in Rakuen Tsuiho. And I also like thinking why the sexualization of anime girls is more acceptable in Japan than in SJW-infested USA.
Explore a lot of stuff; don’t just limit yourself to anime. For starters, I’d recommend watching videos (because who has time to read, amirite?) from the TED-Ed channel and the School of Life on YouTube. You can learn about creativity and a bit of philosophy from these channels, which may help in understanding hidden messages in anime. I also recommend keeping up with news from Japan. Don’t just read the weeb stuff; read the politics and culture section to gain a better cultural understanding of Japan and how anime portrays Japanese culture and sometimes, politics. This is so I can understand the possible social commentary hidden in anime, and also inside jokes that may have eluded others! And last but not least, it’s wise to have an understanding of the history of otaku culture in Japan and its development. You know, just so you don’t fall into the same trap they did.
This will immensely help in writing reviews, so that the writer can have a multitude of perspectives to work on and not just write about plot, visuals, music, etc. There’s a lot of elements in anime that can be reviewed and discussed, so why limit reviews to only technical details?
3. There is no such thing as “shit taste”
And finally, get the fuck off social media, especially condescending elitist groups that constantly parade their “elite” taste in anime and degrade others. Fuck them. There is one thing that erodes quality viewing, and that’s useless debates on who’s the best waifu or which anime is the best based on arbitrary standards.
Each anime viewing experience is unique and very subjective. If you felt that Sword Art Online was a good anime, then good for you. I think it’s shit, but I won’t force you to accept my views.
So do yourself a favor and get the fuck out of these groups.
So, those are my three ways to get maximum pleasure from your daily dose of Mongolian cartoon viewing. I don’t intend this to be definitive manual, but consider as some advice from a random stranger on the internet. Also, if you just watch anime for fun, then by all means, continue. Don’t feel that you have to follow this.
See you next time in another post!