We live in a truly golden age. The anime flows forth from every crack in the earth — well, we have online portals like Crunchyroll, Netflix, and Hulu where we can access hundreds and hundreds of titles on demand anytime we desire. With the dawn of instant and worldwide internet streaming has also come access to legal simulcasts — you can watch mostly everything at the same time, or just really close to the same time as Japan. Us seasonal anime fiends absolutely love watching all the latest shows and discussing them with our friends both online and off, but the territory comes with its fair share off struggles, because…
1. All too often will an episode end on a gripping cliffhanger
Image © Aniplex
And damn, you just gotta see more! Getting so invested in the story and the characters gracing the screen before you, only to have them torn away after 23 minutes; it can be agonizing. “But Mike, considering that the show airs on TV on a week-by-week basis, that’s how it’s intended to be consumed!” Well, I would agree with you there (try telling that to a certain someone). It can serve as a double-edged sword for the creators of a series; their hope is that you turn into someone like this, but what if we end up with something kind of dull? I would say that if the episode ends are planned well, they will be successful in grabbing your attention and keeping you coming back week after week. However, with some anime there is the definite risk of…
2. The show losing your attention
And perhaps undeservedly! Not all anime is created equal, and some will flow at a slower pace than others, perhaps even intentionally. If not home to high action and drama, hopefully another aspect such as characters and their development is at the forefront to keep your attention. Sometimes, the formula of a slow-burning slice-of-life comedy is best suited for those binge watch sessions to keep the laughs coming. And even if a show is plodding through a slow patch, you will at least in your mind progress through it at a much quicker pace when watching in one sitting. It’s almost as if shows should come with a warning label: “Hey, this anime should be watched in one fell swoop!”
3. If you get even a little bit behind, the internet is here and loves to spoil things for you
I’ll say it right now: if you watch simulcasted anime, you need to go ahead and stay off Twitter, Tumblr, your favorite anime forums — really, just the internet in general. Hey, you could try muting those hashtags, but then there are those people who don’t even have the decency to use them! Goodbye, my surprise factor with Death Note, Dangan Ronpa, Persona 4, Aldnoah.Zero…
Falling behind also leaves you with that dreadful feeling of “What the hell is going on again? To the wiki I go!”
4. People will find things to nitpick and argue about, and it will drive you insane
Image © Xebec
Yeesh, again with the internet here! With simulcasts, everyone has time to scrutinize every little detail about something; a practice not entirely common when you are binge watching. “Oh hey, those frames seem a bit off — meh 2/10.” It’s hard to see something that you genuinely enjoy get trashed for the silliest reasons at times, but when the material is there and you have a community that is really in to discussing said material, you can expect a lot of complaining about character and story developments that will probably be expounded upon as the show goes on. See, when you binge watch, you get that instant gratification. So hang in there! And please dear internet denizens; dang, try to be a bit more respectful with your critique! Man, opinions am I right?
5. Finding that perfect snack and drink combo is tough
Image © Aniplex
Well, for me anyway… I don’t know about you, but I will not be fully content unless I am double fisting some pita chips and tea.
We simulcast fans will persevere through all these struggles, because we wouldn’t have our anime experience any other way. Right, Chet?