I’ve recently slowed down a lot on my anime consumption. It’s gotten to the point for myself where I’ve watched and have caught up with nearly everything that I’ve planned on watching. Most other popular completed series that I have not watched (like Monogatari – sorry just don’t care for waifus), will remain unwatched because I have probably done enough research to know that I won’t like it. I also understand that because of MyAnimeList that I have low key gamified anime for myself. I feel a slight tinge of adrenaline whenever I complete and rate a series. Currently I’ve finished about 320 series, which is a fair amount and have rated each one. I think that perhaps I’m even starting to watch and complete anime just to pump up my numbers. But it also could also be a mix of the two. 1) I have watched everything that I wanted to watch and nothing interests me anymore and 2) that I’m not watching to be entertained anymore, I’m just achievement hunting.
I think that I really just miss that feeling when you find a good series, in any medium of art, and you just binge. You sit/lay there and you just binge the whole thing in like a day because that story took you somewhere that you’ve never been before. I got that feeling when I watched series like Violet Evergarden or Sakamichi No Appolon. I just want to be whisked away somewhere else for a few hours. Recently and even as I’m writing this, my anxiety has been spiking. I would really like to watch something that gave me the feeling of whimsy on the inside to distract from this unsettling wave that crawls under my skin.
But I still love anime. When I start talking about it, even with strangers, I can’t stop. I want to know their favourite series, what series turned them onto it, what the first series was for them that taught them that it’s not just cartoons – it’s art. No other form of fiction can be so beautiful, immersive, and grand at the same time. Animation allows for stories that might be considered too big for live action Hollywood films. You couldn’t do a live action Gundam – your budget would be out of this world. Anime let’s you create worlds of epic proportions like One Piece and the Fate series. On the other end of the spectrum anime can create amazingly simple stories like K-On and Hyouka. It’s really just one of the most versatile art forms out there. And even if I’ve watched everything out there that I like, there is still so much new stuff coming out every year that is ready to give me that feeling of whimsy again and to take me to another world (just like an isekai). Maybe I’ll never get bored of anime.