Tokyo Mew Mew © Reiko Yoshida / Mia Ikumi / Kodansha Ltd. / Pierrot Co., Ltd.
Look at that crazy mix of colors of the girls from Tokyo Mew Mew, ranged mixture. Mixing it up in life and in watching anime is important, which is how I’ve lead writing this discussion. I was inspired by blogger Mage In A Barrel, whom you may recognize as the writer for ‘Aniwords’ for Crunchyroll. Recently they wrote their last piece about expanding their anime horizons and mixing it up. Make sure to go check out their post, but this sparked to spread the message he was trying to convey to his fellow readers.
It’s only recently that I decided to get back into the seasonal game due to powerful influences of fellow bloggers and surrounding hype of certain shows during the seasonal time. Keeping up with the seasonal stuff got a bit much about a year and a bit ago, that’s why I went on hiatus from it, I can’t handle watching too many shows at once. My limit is about four, with how mainstream the seasonal game has become in the last few years, thirty or more shows are flooding out every new season.
It’s great to see how the anime industry has evolved, reeling in more viewers, but what Issac from Mage in Barrel was pleading is for people to broaden what anime they watch. There is a vast majority who solely watch seasonal shows, with the up and down excitement of a new season ending, then a new one beginning. I only know so many who actually watch other anime between seasons, just shows to me of how big simulcast has become.
Fushigi Yugi © Yuu Watase / Shogakukan Inc. / Pierrot Co., Ltd.
It’s no secret that I bet we have so much back log anime that’s been put on the back burner for so long, it keeps piling up. This is the first great benefit of watching other series in between, it’s killing two birds with one stone if you get my drift. This is something I’ve personally built up over time, getting into the habit of and have whittled my backlog down below 30, which use to be over 50 haha. MyAnimeList is my best friend of keeping a record of all the backlog anime I have put on hold when the time comes to wanting to pick something back up. I recommend using a site like MyAnimeList or Anime-Planet for keeping on top of your backlog.
Another benefit of watching series in between seasonals is breaking up the aspects. Mixing the old with the new, watching series that aren’t current, is really important. I know if I was just a sole watcher of seasonal series, I’d get bored pretty fast from the newest available. Your mindset would become picky, seeing the same common plots, you’ll become tired of seasonal anime. That is how I would end up, a fact for anyone, which is why stressing to others that expanding your tastes towards different genres and years lets you build up a wider perspective on what anime has to offer.
I remember back in March last year, watching Shangri-la from 2008, but was becoming tired of the show, feeling in need of a break. I’ve been craving to watch a 90’s series, one of my favorite periods of anime, and immediately remembered I had gotten the rest of Fushigi Yugi from fellow YouTuber Anime Palooza. Binge watching this series felt so refreshing, and soon after, I was able to continue Shangri-la, because simply at that time I was not in the mood to watch a sci-fi. There is no rule in having to watch something you don’t feel in the mood for, simply change it up, and like me, you’ll find wanting to continue what was not gripping you in the first place. If you’re wondering, Shangri-la turned out to be a breath of fresh air.
Escaflowne © Sunrise Inc. / Bandai Visual Co., Ltd.
So maybe for this year, make the effort to dwindle down your backlog or revisit some old favorites from your early anime days. I revisited Escaflowne, a dear series to me, at least three times last year. I still feel that same happiness and excitement from the first time watching it. Issac again makes an excellent point that with only keeping up with the present you are denying yourself the opportunity to discover something that has already passed you by. Revisiting old favorites can build up a new love and appreciation for series from your early anime days. Happened too many times to me, I find myself loving the show now more than I did years ago.
So find your own rhythm that works for you of revisiting past favorites, discovering something from another era of anime, and tie it in with the present. But don’t overload yourselves by watching too much. I myself returning to the seasonal scene will be watching one older series at the same time. So I hope some of you feel refreshed in a way of reading my words on this discussion.
Please comment below any thoughts you have on this topic 🙂