Idiosyncrasies and Eccentricities in Viewing and Reading Habits

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Some people have certain rituals or manipulate their environment to create the best experience watching anime. I’m not talking about this at all. I use the same computer for work, play, reading manga, watching anime, and writing blog posts. So the only thing that’s probably peculiar is how interruptable I am. By this I mean I actually expect to be interrupted while doing anything.

An episode of anime can take 48 hours to finish. Something comes up, usually more important. Then I sometimes forget about what I was doing in the first place. Hell, I started watching Tokyo Godfathers 2 years ago and I still haven’t finished it.

Anyway, this is not the kind of idiosyncrasy or eccentricity I’m interested in. Here’s what:

I was conversing with Jaren Lewis or the very interesting girl cartoons blog over twitter where I was advising him on what Gundam show to watch next after completing the original movie trilogy (0079). I was advising that he chronologically complete the shows set in the Universal Century when he responded with:

image imageimage image

This struck me as very weird. I mean, as a Gundam fan I can’t imagine someone willingly giving up the opportunity to watch the Universal Century continuity in chronological order. But here we have an anime fan interested in different (meta-)narratives.

He can’t be the only one.

Or, there must be other kinds of oddity out there.

In my case, when marathon-reading manga, I can only focus on one at a time. This shouldn’t be so strange, but right now I’m writing this blog post in a mall café pretty much because I don’t want to read the Golden Boy manga in public (has explicit fanservice and near-nudity of impossibly proportioned women).

I have other manga on hand, like The Music of Marie, and Eden. But I’ve started neither series and I can’t read them while still in the thick of Golden Boy. I read ongoing manga that update regularly or sporadically, but during my initial discovery of them, like in the case of Bakuman, or Team Medical Dragon I couldn’t read anything else until I’ve caught up with the available chapters.

In hindsight this seems very weird mostly with respect to how I’m ok with being interrupted all the time. But enough about me. I want to hear more about other quirks and habits with regards to watching shows and reading manga.

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I can’t be the only weirdo out there (besides Jaren).

Right?

Right?

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44 Comments

  1. Kah
    Posted September 23, 2010 at 4:54 am | Permalink

    Give him The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya…. >D

    • Posted September 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Haruhi is a show that is meant to be chronologically disjointed episode-wise.

      Jaren watches entire series in non-chronological sequence,

      There is an important difference here. If the comparison is to make sense, the he would watch Gundam with episodes of Zeta mixed with episodes of 08th MS Team mixed with ZZ Gundam etc etc.

      Would that work? No.

      The non-chronological sequencing of series is a matter of accident. They were not “meant” to be shown that way. Or, sequels and prequels are fortunate accidents resulting from the success of the preceding series.

      Haruhi is a singular show that is presented to have its best effect with its episodes in mixed order. A better comparison perhaps is the film Pulp Fiction.

      • diet otaku
        Posted September 30, 2010 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        i actually had to watch haruhi in chronological order rather than broadcast order. i tried watching it in the order it aired, but after a half-dozen episodes that left me going “WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY TALKING ABOUT?” i had to go back and watch it chronologically simply to be able to follow what had happened and what hadn’t yet.

  2. Posted September 23, 2010 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    My habits are similar, especially with manga. I only read one manga at a time. I did the same as you with Bakuman – I read only Bakuman and I read through all the available chapters in quick succession. I don’t think that’s strange at all…it’s called obsession.

    • Posted September 23, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Obsession is a related behavior I think, but does that necessarily rule out experiencing other things?

  3. Posted September 23, 2010 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    I think wanting to watch things in release order is actually pretty common. Because when things are released in non-chronological order, it creates its own narrative that fits in that order of events shown to the viewer.

    Prime example is, of course, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. It is a poorly paced mess when seen chronologically, but in release order, it is just a flat out masterpiece (ironically, it took me a second watch, in chronological order, to appreciate how ingenious the show was). More mainstream examples are Lost or Star Wars. When you watch the prequel trilogy, knowing that Anakin will become Darth Vader changes the way you understand the story. In that case, you see Anakin fighting his destiny, despite the fact that this “destiny” to become evil is not something within the story itself, but rather an example of dramatic irony, of the viewer knowing more than anyone in the story.

    This happens in video games as well. Despite their being prequels, I would never recommend one play MGS3 before 1 or DMC3 before 1, and not just for gameplay reasons. In each of these franchises, we are presented with a relatively well formed world or character, and that affects the way we view the creation stories.

    Of course, that’s not to say that viewing things in chronological order is wrong, per se. It’s that when things are produced in non chronological order, the producers are usually very aware of this and use it to tell the story in a way that takes advantage of its not being chronological.

    • Posted September 23, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      You are correct that franchise-type shows are viewed not in chronological order, but this is provided I get to be present during the original series run. As for Haruhi,

      Haruhi is a show that is meant to be chronologically disjointed episode-wise.
      Jaren watches entire series in non-chronological sequence,
      There is an important difference here. If the comparison is to make sense, the he would watch Gundam with episodes of Zeta mixed with episodes of 08th MS Team mixed with ZZ Gundam etc etc.
      Would that work? No.
      The non-chronological sequencing of series is a matter of accident. They were not “meant” to be shown that way. Or, sequels and prequels are fortunate accidents resulting from the success of the preceding series.
      Haruhi is a singular show that is presented to have its best effect with its episodes in mixed order. A better comparison perhaps is the film Pulp Fiction.

      This is from my response to Kah above.

      Your points about movie and game franchises are good ones, but I don’t think the Haruhi comparison applies at all.

      • Posted September 28, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        The comparison makes sense. While the back-and-forth nature of Haruhi is certainly different and more hectic than the singular blocks created by works and their prequels, what it highlights is the fact that directors can choose to have a story told in non-chronological order in a way that makes sense and enhances the experience.

        In other words, there is no reason to say that prequels after sequels were “not meant to be shown that way.” Often, after a series’s success, a prequel is deliberately chosen to be made, because of the storytelling dynamics it allows. It is not a matter of accident. As such, the franchise is purposefully designed to be shown in non-chronological order, just like Haruhi was.

        Of course, in the end, the intentions of the creators don’t matter at all. What matters is, is the storytelling enhanced or differentiated in any way by non-chronological viewing of the works? Quite often, the answer is yes. When a prequel is created afterward, consciously or unconsciously, it carries connections to the original work that make viewing it after the fact very different from viewing it first.

        • Posted September 29, 2010 at 3:43 am | Permalink

          Hmm okay. Perhaps I’m the one who is weird or idiosyncratic after all.

  4. Posted September 23, 2010 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I’m still trying to wrap my head around ‘completionists’.

    My viewing habits are definitely abnormal in my utter lack of these rules. Most people have at least some kind of organization to their watching. They’ll watch a certain amount before dropping, watch shows on certain basis, finish some or everything, only watch or read a certain amount of stuff at a time, or maybe time the rate at which they watch things or try to finish in a certain amount of time.

    I think I’m one of the only weirdos who has no rhyme or reason to the way I watch anime. Even no name watches things on a whim, but he watches them all the way through. I’ll do something like, about 5 days ago, I watched the first episode of Betterman, since I have it on my comp and plan to watch it. I was just bored and didn’t feel like watching other stuff, but I had no real intent to continue Betterman. So I just watched the first ep and left it there. These sorts of things happen a lot, which is part of why my Finish or Fail list is so huge (luckily Betterman was already on it.)

    I can’t keep up with things weekly, I rarely finish things until long after I started them, or else I marathon them all at once, and I’ve got no problem with watching or reading several things at once. Last week, I was reading a bunch of manga, so I would literally have one manga that I read on my own computer, one that I was reading on my dad’s laptop, and several that were in my bathroom which I kept switching between.

    I try to watch a show in order if I have to to understand the narrative, but otherwise, I don’t care. What’s more, I’m fully willing to spoil myself and watch later episodes of a show I haven’t seen. I sat in for random-ass eps of Zeta Gundam and my bro told me everything that happened in it. There are some shows I avoid spoilers for because I want to watch them a certain way (or for manga, I’ve still never let anyone spoil me for Narutaru even though I’ve put off reading it for years), but a lot of the time, I know everything that’s going to happen going into the show.

    I think this might all come down to the way that I’m a ‘database animal.’ The experience of watching the series itself is less important than knowing what is in the series. There are shows that I can describe in detail that I haven’t even seen, because I want to know about them, but don’t necessarily want to watch them. It’s all so that I can be the ‘walking anime encyclopedia’ that I’ve started claiming to be.

    • Posted September 23, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Yeah I get you. There are people who care less about the experience of the film or show or manga, compared to knowing what’s in it or seeing the stuff in it that they care about.

      Mechafetish cheats crappy shows like ZZ Gundam by skipping half the show. Some shows he skips eps or arcs, but the point is he ends up liking what he watches because he purposely avoids the stuff he won’t like.

      I hate this so much, but that’s what makes him happy.

      My concern for you is for someone who supposedly wants to be writer, a director, and learn these crafts… I expect these things to matter more to you.

  5. Tenryu
    Posted September 23, 2010 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    i never got on Initial D because i didn’t like how the characters eyes looked

    • Posted September 23, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think this is idiosyncratic at all or eccentric in any way. I wouldn’t want to watch something that visually annoyed me enough, especially if I don’t care so much for the other aspects of the work.

  6. rilalurai
    Posted September 23, 2010 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    I usually do things in order, like I have to read the manga first before watching the anime adaptation, AND I really have to finish the series before touching the anime because I always feel that there are parts that will always be missing when it’s adapted. (Then after watching the anime I’ll go complaining why they didn’t cover the nice parts or why did they end the series when it’s going really good, something like that)

    When watching, I want to finish it in one sitting, even when that means that I have to cram and to cry just to finish real life tasks. When a series is really long (even not that long), I have this tendency of jumping from episode and missing some of them (highly contrasting to my orderliness) and sometimes, ending up watching the last episode first, I don’t know why I do this, maybe because it’s due to my impatience and all. (I watched code geass watching the last episode first, srsly.)

    Also, I don’t drop a series, though I know how much it already suck and how it will suck as the story goes on. I will almost drop them but since I’ve started it, I feel that I have to end it as well, since I feel really empty when things are undone, yea, it’s stupid but I just can’t let something unfinished. For these cases, I usually miss out some episodes then just watch to see how it will end.

    • Posted September 23, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      This is the kind of sharing I was hoping to get.

      You sir, have real odd habits going on there. I tend to avoid spoilers however possible so I can’t imagine watching shows your way.

      As for dropping shows, I try to drop a show I don’t like as early as possible because after a certain point I can’t do it anymore even if it’s a sunk cost. I marathoned reading Battle Royale recently, and I wish I could’ve dropped it earlier but couldn’t.

      http://ghostlightning.tumblr.com/post/1162791157/battle-royale-93-this-is-beyond-lame-kiriyama-is

      • rilalurai
        Posted September 24, 2010 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Yea. I never heard of anyone who’s so fond in spoiling themselves. As for me, I don’t know but I grew liking them, for instance, a certain blogger will make a summary of teh final episode or the others, and it has a warning saying spoiler alert, instead of brushing it off the side, I will read it just to spoil myself I think basically because of reasons that, I just want to know things right away or I’m just not fond of surprises and the likes or I’m just being lazy that I just want to get to the nice part right away or I’m just being eccentric without knowing it, til nao. I think my busy sched also contributed to me liking spoilers, since, I still want to be updated, I’ll go all the way just to find things out, even if spoiling myself is the last resort and that I am lazy. (insert evil laugh here)

        I have to overcome the for-the-sake-of-finishing-it principle, and I hope you should too, since, ranting about how lame a series goes and we’re still watching/reading it, makes us, hypocrites(?) saying how we hate it and yet we’re still watching/reading. Drop Battle Royale if you can’t really take it, since, ranting about it later on will not make any difference out of it, hmm, better to say, grow out of it. :)) Actually I don’t like Battle Royale and I so don’t know why.

        • Posted September 24, 2010 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

          I don’t know about candor being hypocrisy, especially in a non-journalistic side-blog. The reasons for finishing things, as you may know by now isn’t necessarily mutually exclusive with the pure enjoyment of the series.

          Some bloggers, especially here on THAT who are committed to write about a show episodically, feel responsible for the show they said they’ll cover. Of course if they don’t like what they’re watching they shouldn’t pretend that they do.

          Although there will be some who watch a show just to rant about it thinking that makes them cool.

          Not cool.

  7. Dan
    Posted September 23, 2010 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    I suppose in comparison, I’m the utter opposite. I tend to start multiple series, be it manga, anime, or a mixture of the two, and slowly meander my way through them. Sometimes, I’ll marathon one of them and finish it, and other times it’ll sit waiting for months to be finished, and even other times it just… doesn’t get finished. haha It makes my mal account look a bit shifty. haha And like Digital Boy said up above, I’ll start a series out of boredom, with no intention of finishing it, just like I’d pick up a magazine or a spare book, just to pass the time.

    Similarly, I watch things chronologically. Using the lnllv’s example given above of Haruhi Suzumiya, I tried watching it in broadcast order, but couldn’t get past the second episode. (Though at the same time, series that jump around in time periods like Baccano! don’t particularly bother me).

    • Posted September 23, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      I’ve mentioned how the Haruhi example doesn’t quite compare to Jaren’s habits.

      As for your examples, yeah it’s quite difficult for me to watch things that way. I place shows on hold if I can’t progress much with. If it’s too much of a chore, I drop it.

      It’s because there’s just so much stuff out there that I think I’ll like that I can’t really waste time on stuff I don’t.

  8. KayDAt
    Posted September 23, 2010 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I’d like to say I have had a similar experience…but Macross is mostly Chronologically released anyway, barring Zero. But yes, Haruhi. I believe I watched that in release order first too. It sure did make a hell of a lot more sense in chronological order though.

  9. Posted September 23, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Mmm, I feel bad that you expect to be interrupted during a given experience… ;;

    This isn’t necessarily related to my experience preferences, but I did see that conversation on twitter and thought it was very interesting. What set me off was seeing that article otou-san shared, and this line:

    The “original”, however, is not necessarily Akutagawa’s story, but the film that followed it.

    This logic setup an interesting concept in my mind; that maybe a franchise is composed along a timeline that doesn’t coincide with the natural order… and there is a reason for it. Undoubtedly watching a franchise in natural order will alter the effect of the experience when it is not the order of airing, and I feel that the fullest experience will occur when the natural order is followed; the most juicing of information will occur, but I do not find it completely necessary.

    I believe the human mind is able to make massive realizations in retrospect, especially with regards to canon attribution. When we are dealing with creators who are well aware of what has aired and what information the viewer may be aware of, and given a viewer who has experienced previously aired components, I strongly believe creators key in and purposely place details which allow such realizations to occur. Think of it as an exploit.

    Final thought: While a viewer may receive a more flush knowledge of a franchise when viewing in natural order, I believe they may be kept from experiencing perhaps brilliant bits of attribution left by creators which may only be realized when experiencing a universe in produced order.

    [end stub thought] ^__^

    • Posted September 23, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Chronological continuity order, I realize, isn’t the enemy of of broadcast order.

      I agree there’s merit in watching a franchise in production order for all the reasons people mentioned. Also from omo (in the google reader shared items discussion for this post):

      [...] i would not tell people to watch star wars beginning from episode 1, for example.

      The way I see it, as far as someone who is watching gundam with more than casual curiosity, is that there is another sort of meta-narrative in Tomino’s works that you can thread out if you saw all his stuff released back to back. I see that’s how 8c looks at it.

      And I think that makes sense too. You can talk to Tomino about this and he would understands you, because it is also what he tries to do (kind of like use the same idea and spin it differently from work to work).

      These are good points. What I like best about it is his distinction for people who watch a franchise with more than a passing curiosity. This is important.

      In my case, I didn’t get to watch the franchise in any proper order. I got to watch it as shows became more available (friends’ copies, downloads), and what I ended up liking first as a Gateway Gundam (Gundam 00) after dropping my first 9 shows,

      If I were to make a do over, I would watch the shows in UC chronological order because I care about complete narratives more. I would read about the production history and other meta elsewhere.

      But yes, your point about the exploit is a good one and definitely interesting. Another exploit is retroactively revising the continuity.

      • Posted September 23, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I was going to mention Star Wars in editing my comment, but I kinda was afraid it might get damaged… baka wordpress~ etc :)

        I would read about the production history and other meta elsewhere.

        I was going to mention this as well, but totally got caught up in the moment. Blog/forums serve a great resource for filling gaps and pointing out little eccentricities to notice. And I think it benefits both ways, though as you mention, chronological and broadcast orders are not opposing forces.

        8C’s goal is very reasonable to me, although personally, I would just watch what I find most appealing and try to keep in chronological order as best possible… in it for the entertainment w00t~

        • Posted September 23, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

          Agreed, only that Jaren’s method I’m sure, is very entertaining for him. He’s not that weird that he’ll voluntarily choose not to entertain himself. The value of discovering these meta insights organically as opposed to the purposeful, disjointed, however useful talking to friends and mavens, is obviously high for him.

  10. Windaerie
    Posted September 23, 2010 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Very cool editorial, ghostlightning!

    I would have to say I’m the type of person who will watch as many series as I find interesting all at the same time. The shows that get dropped are the ones that fail to compel me to watch them week by week.. A natural weeding out process, I guess you could say. :P I really hate dropping shows (I hate incomplete things, like reading books halfway, etc) and most of the time, I will attempt to grit my teeth and get through it. But sometimes, the inevitable happens (most recent drops include 07 Ghost, Senkou no Night Raid, K-On season 2).

    Sometimes though, I will skip around in the episodes (like someone mentioned above) because I find some subject matter more interesting than others (also if there are fillers…I HATE fillers), but I usually like to know what’s going on logically so I try to limit that. I find that the only time I ever spoil for myself the ending by watching the last episode first is with romance stuff. As in, I like to know who gets paired up with who ultimately, so that I am satisfied I like the ending before committing myself. >< Dunno why I don't feel compelled to do this with other genres…but yeah, I'm weird like that. :)

    • Posted September 23, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Thank you :3

      I think you like plot movement more than anything because of your avowed hatred for filler. This will prevent you from appreciating K-ON!! which is superlative in many ways.

      My good friend and the co-founder of We Remember Love mechafetish is a lot like you when it comes to shipping. He gets emotionally worked up and is willing to raegquit shows if his ships get sunk. (you’re going to love the linked post I think).

  11. Zi Densetsu
    Posted September 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Quirk-wise, I read several manga at once (if possible).

    I’ve always had trouble “sticking” to a manga after starting it. Half my manga list was always on hold. As the piles of volumes rose, I noticed more and more how very frustrating some segments of story were.

    After noticing that I had a waiting list running miles long, I decided to FFFF it and read a handful at once. The results were surprising. Every time I began to rage at one storyline, I could put out the fumes by changing to another, and after going through the same process again, I would return to the original and get a fresh look at it. I can’t say that this was always the case, but I eventually breezed through the mountain.

    Later on, certain combinations began to pop out from my randomized “jumping”. It seems that certain balances kept me from raging oh so often. From comedy to action to romance and other, I eventually began going through a rough pattern.

    Some of us enjoy focusing on one story at a time, but I guess that my attention span does not allow me to do the same. I’m not sure if you would call this a habit or an oddity, but I’m content as long as I manage to finish what I start.

    • Posted September 23, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      I realize I’m very much like you when it came to books: fiction or non-fiction. I often encounter difficult chapters to slog through so I switch to other books as much as 7 at once.

      Consequently it can sometimes take me a year or more to finish some books.

      Do you end up reading lots of manga you don’t like? Overall I enjoy the books I read. I drop those I don’t.

      • Zi Densetsu
        Posted September 24, 2010 at 5:33 am | Permalink

        I never begin a manga that I dislike, and only rarely grow to hate it afterwards.

        There are a few reads that I come back to and go -Why did I read this again?- or -How in hell did I manage to slosh through this garbage-. Most of those are made up of whatnots that randomly turn into harems in the middle of the story, so I probably finished them out of duty. I don’t think I’ve ever finished anything I hated, but reading through snippets of the story might have been enough to persevere through some of the more heinous segments.

        For me, manga is very straightforward compared to books. I often zip through a chapter if I dislike it. This skim read gives me enough info to understand how the story is going.

        Books are actually the opposite. Once I begin a book, it tends to submerge me more than most manga. I can’t bring myself to lose focus on it. Unless it is rather long, I’ll usually finish them in days.

        This is actually the first time that I’ve realized how different my manga reading and novel reading are.

        • Posted September 24, 2010 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for sharing all that. I suppose reading from a monitor could be a factor in some way.

          Another thing I noticed with myself after all these years is how I almost never use bookmarks when reading books. Rather, I use them when they’re there, but most of the time I don’t. I just somehow remember where I left off.

          I think that by not having a bookmark I’m forced to re-read sections that I’d have otherwise forgotten, therefore I always read what’s necessary to get back into the groove of the books.

          I agree with you with the skimming parts about manga-reading.

  12. Posted September 23, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    I have three different speed of watching. Shows I have to finish RIGHT NOw, which I watched in one, or two, or three days of intensive and obsessive watching.

    And shows that I prefer to watch verrrrrry slowly, one episode at a time, in order to pause and ponder about them and just bask in their atmosphere. Those are usually episodic kind of series :)

    And there are shows somewhere in the middle, which I prefer to watch several episodes at a time, but can pause – sometimes for a very long time – in between sequence of watching.

    I almost always make a pot of tea while I watch. Mmmm tea.

    • Posted September 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Cool. Can you give examples for each category?

      • Posted October 4, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        Show I have to finish right now: Gankutsuou, Princess Tutu, Cross Game, Toward the Terra, Baccano!, RideBack, Utena, Shion no Ou

        Show I watch slowly: Mushishi, Bartender, Natsume Yuujinchou

        In between shows: Toradora!, Ghost Hunt, Ghost Hound, Darker than Black, Planetes, Scrapped Princess, Welcome to the NHK

  13. Posted September 23, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    I value too much the “big picture” perspective, of seeing how every part fits into the whole, to stray from the intended watching order if I can help it. Even when picking up anime I dropped before I’ll start from the beginning again. Almost like the opposite of digitalboy, I need to organize and structure the viewing queue or I’d be totally lost in the sheer volume of titles I want to watch.

    However, there are some exceptions to my routine I can share.

    When I watched Aria the first time, I got some cruddy torrent of the Animation and only the first 4 episodes were watchable. No longer caring about order, I went thusly: Animation 1-4 > Origination > Natural > Animation 5-13.

    I rewatched Last Exile with a friend this summer whenever we could fit on our non-cooperating schedules. It took us 3 months, intermittently watching a handful of episodes each time, to finish all 26. We started rewatching Trigun last month; we’re through 8 episodes.

    I think I mentioned before I watched the Hataraki Man live action and anime versions concurrently. 2 eps of this one night, two eps of the other the next night. This way I formed a very clear idea of which one I favor and why.

    Would I recommend these atypical viewing routines? No. Maybe it’s because I don’t make a habit of it, but the first two examples were detrimental to the experience. I got a lot more out of the shows when I watched them regularly, at my own pace.

    • Posted September 24, 2010 at 12:52 am | Permalink

      I can’t imagine watching different versions concurrently. That is indeed new to me!

      I wonder if anyone actually recommends these habits, but I think it’d be interesting if someone actually did advocate them. Most of the time they occur to us rather organically, no matter how contrived they seem.

      It took me 2 years to finish Monster because we started out watching as a group, similar to your Trigun experience. At some point I said fuck it, and finished the show by myself.

      I used to be able to watch anime with my wife a lot. Now, hardly ever :c

      • Posted September 25, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        It depends who I watch shows with. When my sis was home for the summer it was very easy to watch a little bit of Utena every day. When I’m with friends I don’t just want to watch anime the whole time so it goes slowly. I figured out to only pick movies or series I’d already seen anyway.

  14. Crusader
    Posted September 24, 2010 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I prefer to watch things chronologically as presented in the canon where possible however in cases such as Macross I did not watch them in order since I saw bits of Robotech, Macross II, DYRL, SDFM, some of Macross 7, Macross Zero, and then Frontier. As a kid with no internet I got as much Macross as I could where ever I found it. I also have at the problem of watching long series in the same way I play long video games, usually I will do a marathon and then stop and not go back to it for months or sometimes years. The only games and series I can finish are the short ones that don’t exceed the 26 ep cap that I can do weekly. When I stop for a while it’ hard to regain momentum since coming back home I have had my attention diverted in many directions and wasn’t able to watch anything consistently. Sometimes I drop things and lose interest but other times I just return to wrap up after a long recharge time.

    I also have a huge backlog that needs to be watching and I have some promises to keep, but in good time I guess as real life has to come first until things settle down for me. Quite how you do as much as you do still baffles me since you have a kid, a job, and family. Still Military duty will soon be over and at least I have a weekend to look forward to.

    • Posted September 24, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Heh, the work will change soon, which leads to less time. However, anime and manga consumption is high for me because I’ve practically stopped playing video games which easily used to take up 3-4 hours of my day. That’s a lot of anime, manga, and blogging in a year.

      Also, as I’ve said I’m used to being interrupted, so I don’t “lose” the thread of whatever I’m doing. Posts can take weeks to get done (which is why I stockpile them when I have the opportunity and the mood), shows can take the whole day to watch, etc.

      This is why I really can’t blog weekly shows the way you guys do here on THAT. I can’t keep up. When I do episodics/retroblogging, I watch and write in bulk. I just schedule the posts in weekly intervals. Before I was able to do this, blogging Macross Frontier took me a whole year. Otherwise I write about OVAs and monthlies such as Katanagatari, and LOL Gundam Unicorn.

      This wasn’t something I could do with video games because I’d have to turn the TV and console off if I had to do something else. Also, I’d have to be in the living room instead of where my wife and kid would be. Now I just bring the laptop along, or am where it’s convenient for all of us to hang out.

      All in all I don’t think there’s anything eccentric or weird about how you do things.

  15. Posted September 26, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Hey Ghosty, to throw in my two pence’ worth:

    Books – specifically novels, and even more specifically ‘literary fiction’ for want of a better category – I believe life’s too short for bad books (as in badly written), so I no longer have any guilt over not finishing a novel I may have only read 2-3 chapters of. I also now tend to avoid reading these during term time and instead overdose during the holidays. I dunno, after a long day at work, the last thing I want to do is read any kind of prose where I have to pay attention for long periods of time, so I’d rather watch one or two epis of anime, or read a manga chap, or just randomly surf the internet…

    Anime – mainly shoujo, mystery and comedy shows, otherwise anything well written with very good characters. Only been watching anime for about 3 and a half years now, so I used to marathon a lot of shows in my first year of watching (and what a dizzyingly glorious year that was! :D ), sometimes literally staying up all night during hols/ weekends and pressing the ‘next episode’ link over and over (for completed shows that I’d watch online, that is). Now, I tend to watch more of the currently airing shows within the first day or two that they come out (er, clearly blogging them may take a wee bit longer, lol, I’m still really slow at writing and screencapping etc.), while the ‘classics’ that I haven’t seen yet I tend to watch 2-3 epis a week of at most, or sometimes more during a freer weekend. Generally with anime, I’ll tend to watch in the order in which they’re broadcast. Oh, and speaking of finished series Vs currently airing series, or finished series that I may be taking ages to watch for whatever reason, I do like taking my time to watch and think about and (where possible) exchange views/ theories with other bloggers, as opposed to marathoning stuff ‘alone’. Dunno which one is more enjoyable, as it probably depends on what I’m watching and how ‘into it’ I may be at the time…

    Manga – If it’s a completed series, or a series that’s already got loooads of chapters already out, then – like you – If I’m really into it then it’ll be the only series I’ll want to read at a time (barring, at the moment, Skip Beat! updates, as these are gobbled up as soon as the scanlations come out, then I usually go and read fanfics in the meantime, lol – as you and your wife know that series is clearly that awesome! :D ) My tastes in manga however, as opposed to my taste in novels and anime, are more varied, I’ll probably give anything a try as long as it has a nice art style and decent characters and writing. But I’ll be even quicker to drop ‘em if they don’t lol, so I guess it’s a speed thing, as I find it much quicker to whizz through manga than reading prose or watching shows. Which is why I tend to be quite cautious in trying new (completed) series, as I hate the idea of wasting time if it’s crap…

    Okay I’d better stop there as this is already too long, but thanks for the post – as always you’ve given me plenty of food for editorial thought, even if these may be slow in coming in my case, lol! :)

    • Posted September 27, 2010 at 2:33 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the generous share.

      I think your way of consuming anime and manga is quite reasonable :3

      I don’t read as many books as you these days, but I read (and drop) manga with the same impunity as you do. I too think that there’s so much quality stuff out there, proven and consensus quality, that I can’t be bothered to stick it out with something that doesn’t engage me — even popular works like Negima,

      I suppose I’m the same with anime as well. I try out about 3-6 shows every season and I drop shows if the first episode annoys me enough. I used to have this reputation of liking everything (because I don’t do negative reviews as a whole), but thanks to twitter people see me RAEGQUIT shows pretty fast.

      I may miss out on a potential classic, but I’m fine with that provided what I watch in its place is a proven show I’ll like from my big backlog.

  16. Posted September 27, 2010 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    There’s always a few series I try to watch collectively – Fungafufu originally started as a way to channel some of the discussions my groups have dynamically over the course of watching a series – but alas, watching a series in a group simultaneously is difficult to always set aside a time (even with voice communication software and mikes), and coordinating a teampost blog even more so.

    • Posted September 27, 2010 at 2:26 am | Permalink

      I concur. These days watching anime with my wife is already a matter of serendipity rather than planning — and we live together!

      As someone who’s probably done more collaboration than any anime blogger of our vintage (Fall ’08), the best practice is to keep the post unambiguous and the inputs modular. See the alcohol x anime post you delightfully contributed to. That’s the kind of post that lends best to “getting stuff done.”

      Otherwise things are mostly subject to serendipity. I feel you man. I started WRL with Mechafetish and I can’t even get him to collaborate regularly. We even live in the same metropolis.

  17. Schmidty
    Posted October 5, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    I’m rather the opposite of most people I think. I started reading even before going to kindergarten (pestered my family until they taught me), and I’ve been an avid reader ever since. I don’t have to finish one book/series before starting another, I read what is available to me at the present time. I think at one point in high school I was concurrently reading 4 or 5 fantasy novels plus the required in-class reading, and outside of class reading (2 “literary” books) for my English class. I’m the same way with anime – I’ve even been known to be having an anime episode playing on one of my dual monitors while I play a video game on the other. I haven’t yet found a reliable way to play two anime episodes at once, but if I ever did, I am sure I would try it at least once, as my leisure time has been rapidly decreasing since graduating from college.

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