The Yuletide season is upon us — and what better time to mull over the choices we’ve made, and will continue to make in our respective anime-viewing lives, as the year winds down to a close.
A lot of us, I’m sure, are in eager anticipation of the coming holiday breaks which are fast-approaching. Rather, they can’t come any sooner really. A period of joyful celebration with the family, followed (ideally) by some well-deserved downtime. Some may argue that weekends alone are already a nice reprieve from the mundaneity of everyday life (be it from school or work) and while that may be true, it still doesn’t beat not waking up at some ungodly hour on a Monday — though I say that, I really do wake up that early anyways; time is precious dear reader :p
Precious indeed, especially for us anime fans but, I digress. Another year is about to end (at the time that I’m writing this at least), and I simply can’t help but think about all the anime that I ended up watching in these past twelve months. Ever since I started watching anime seasonally (which would be Fall 2010/Winter 2011, specifically with Index S2 *coughcough
IndexS3 in 2018 get hyped cough*) I don’t think I’ve ever really “ran out” of things to watch.
I almost always try to follow at least three shows per season at the minimum. If I end up not picking “the” show of the season I’ll go back to it in the interim between seasons if I can. If not, I’ll mark it down on my un-ending backlog of stuff to watch. It can’t be helped. Some of us just don’t have the time to watch as many anime as we may have had in the past (one of the more grim-er realities I’ve come to realize as an adult). I’ve come to terms with the fact that I won’t get to watch every “good anime” that comes out every three-four months anymore, and at the very least I can pick them up down the road whenever I do have the time (I even very stiffly talk about this back as early as 2012 xD)
The list of titles that I want to finish continue to rack up, leaving me to wonder whether I’ll ever cross everything out in my anime-viewing lifetime, and as I think about this predicament I came across this quandary — at the rate that I watch anime as it is, would there really be a time to rewatch anime?
There’s this mentality that I’ve adopted for quite some time now for reading (books) in that there will always be something new out there to read. Not “new” in the sense that they’re books published recently, but new to me. I’m not the biggest reader (in so far as being appreciative of “classic literature” is concerned) and I’m surely not the fastest either (I must’ve finished only close to twenty titles this year, counting light novels which are generally short to begin with, so I don’t think that’s a lot at all), but I do love it. Reading, that is. In fact, ever since I got done with my undergrad thesis the number one thing I was most excited about was that I’d be able to read for leisure again, when at the time I read only things relating to my research.
A reality of sorts befell on me while I scoured through dozens of scholarly articles and journal publications at the behest of my adviser, and that is: while I’m reading something, I’m not reading something else — so why read something I’ve read before, if I can read something new. Of course, this was in the context of me having to build a proper review of related literature for my paper, but as the practice had become part of my life for about half a year, I couldn’t help but take on this perspective and apply it to my consumption of media in general; anime included.
That is to say; while I’m watching something, I’m not watching something else — so why watch something I’ve seen before, if I can watch something new.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve rewatched anime before so I understand quite well that there’s merit to it (more so if it’s a show that you really like and can’t get enough of). Some viewers even approach the practice more seriously than others. I know of a few people who have annual traditions for revisiting a certain anime during the holidays for example. That said I also can’t help but get this nagging feeling sometimes whenever I do end up rewatching something. Like a voice eking out from the back of my head that’s telling me “you already know how this story is gonna go so why bother“.
There’s also the idea that just because something is new, doesn’t mean it’s good, so you might end up wasting your time on a show when you could’ve just as easily enjoyed an anime that you know is good. Then again the argument comes back around when you realize you won’t really know whether something is good or not if you don’t sit down and watch it.
There isn’t really a right or wrong answer here because at the end of the day how you choose to spend your free time is entirely up to you. I am however curious about how you personally, who’s reading this now, value the idea of rewatching with regard to the time you spend watching anime as a whole. I may sound like I’m against the idea of rewatching but I’m really not (I must’ve seen Kara no Kyoukai close to a dozen times already). What I am, however, is aware (painfully so) that there’s so so much anime to be watched still, and so little time to watch ’em all.
What are your thoughts on rewatching anime?