I plopped onto the couch, remote in one hand, soda in the other. The night was young, and No Game No Life had recently aired its final episode. I could finally start it! I walked out of my dorm the following morning, wild-eyed and hyper from one of my now favorite shows of last season, and immediately ran to some friends to gab about it. Who wouldn’t share my enthusiasm? The show was awesome!
Unfortunately, I was a little late. Sure, No Game No Life was cool, but people were ready for the next season. Some people probably know what I’m talking about. The ones who don’t have the desire to sit through a single episode a week, but instead choose to wait it out until the very end and devour a season all at once. It’s a great feeling to watch a show this way, but it’s not without its pitfalls, either:
1. People who’ve already watched a series become upset with us
Image © J.C.Staff
It’s almost funny how often this happens, especially when a really popular series airs. You’ll be sitting with anyone, a friend, a stranger, and a currently airing anime enters the conversation. The chat quickly goes south, but at least the stranger was polite about it. Some people just don’t have the stomach for binge-watching, I guess.
“What do you think of the new SAO season so far? Isn’t it great?”
“Haven’t watched it yet, but I definitely will once it’s over!”
“Oh yeah? I guess that’s cool…” The stranger promptly left.
For better or worse, friends are rarely so kind:
“Chet, what’d you think of last of episode Nozaki-kun?”
“I’m waiting for it to end before I start.”
“Get out of my house. Watch it now. Noob.” True story.
2. So many spoilers!
Image © Wit Studio
Awhile back I mentioned people not trusting me from time to time with spoilers, since I almost always read manga first. Sadly for us binge-watchers, the reverse is also true. Waiting for a show to end before watching puts us at great risk for spoilers, and sometimes we must avoid the internet like the plague in order to make it through a show safely. Even then, you may still fall to them. Mischievous friends who want to punish you for waiting to watch, overhearing a conversation at a convention… Trust no one.
3. When a series drags… it really drags
Image © Kyoto Animation
One of my biggest complaints with watching a series as it airs stems from the fact that viewers are repeatedly stuck on cliffhangers from episode to episode. When you’re watching a bunch of episodes at once, it’s a non-issue. You roll right through the episodes and the story flows much more naturally.
On the flip side, if you get stuck at a section of episodes that’s slower than what you’ve become accustomed to in a show, it becomes much more painful. Instead of breaking these slow portions into little pieces, you can sometimes find yourself slogging through three or four episodes with little improvement. When it’s a show that you love doing this, it becomes all the harder to bear. You want to keep watching, hoping for what’s to come, but it means a couple of hours in your life that you simply can’t escape without taking all of the anime in at once. Honestly, if you’re not following a weekly schedule, this is one of the most irritating aspects of going through an entire show in a few sittings.
4. Retention drops
Image © Gainax
Memory is a fickle thing. When you’re starting and finishing a show, everything can feel fresh, vibrant, and mesmerizing. Once you actually sit down to think about a series you watched, however, it’s funny how much you forget, especially if you watched an entire anime in a couple sittings. Rather than have the chance to talk about the show from episode to episode, we often remember the series in one large blob, with quite a few events bleeding together. We still love the experience, mind you, it’s just more difficult to distinguish certain events of a series from one another.
5. Finding enough snacks to last you the series is hard
Image © J.C. Staff
And your stomach hates you for it afterward. Every time.
Despite the struggles, we won’t stop. No, some baffled writers may not agree with my thinking, claiming that watching slowly, episode by episode, is the way to go, but I say nay! Watching a series all at once, regardless of the difficulties one may face, is the way to go.
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