Watching Anime: Weekly Watching VS Marathons

My face after having a marathon one too many

Most of my RL friends who are into anime don’t like watching running shows. Their reason: running shows are a hassle to keep up, and they prefer to download batch torrents and marathon the shows instead. I could relate, since I started out like that; however, I got burned out from the sheer volume of shows I had marathoned. Watching episodes in bulk is a double-edged sword–you can finish a show in record time, but it taxes a lot from you.

I didn’t want that. I prefer to enjoy anime at my own leisure. Instead of having a marathon, I’d stretch my consumption of a finished show in more than a couple of days–even weeks. Maybe because I’m having my brother watch anime with me more frequently (he sleeps early and doesn’t share my fortitude). Or maybe it’s the type of shows I’m watching (*cough Might Gaine and its crazy episodics cough*).

I started watching weekly shows seriously during 2007. I had dug into MTF and /m/ at that time, and found lots of ongoing anime that were relevant to my interests. Soon my compulsive seeding stopped, and I started to torrent many different shows every day. And I loved the experience. Here I was, talking to other people on the intarwebs, about the latest anime TV shows fron Japan. It’s not that special of a thing, but weekly watching introduced me to a world of intrigue and excitement: Where are my subs, Lunar? Is it time for the next Gurren Lagann size upgrade? Is Kasahara going to cry again this episode? What would be the next inane twist in Code Geass R2? Will Endless Eight finally end this week?

Sure, my anime consumption has slowed down, but masticating slowly is preferable to the indigestion I incur from watching too fast. When a show comes out that which I am genuinely interested in, I’d follow it faithfully, every week. Others, I wait for a batch, and watch at my own pace. Due to the nature of my work, I am unable to marathon anything anymore.

So, how about you? Do you wait for an ongoing show to finish, then marathon it? Or do you prefer to ride the moment?

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21 Responses to Watching Anime: Weekly Watching VS Marathons

  1. Panther says:

    I always keep up with them. There are some shows that are best marathoned and there are those that are best watched weekly. But keeping up with them once a week means you only spend like 20 minutes (per show) per week catching it, as opposed to 3-4 hours in one shot or more. Really taxing.

  2. ToastCrust says:

    I’m constantly downloading airing shows and I can hardly build up the motivation to even batch watch shows that I’ve *bought* on DVD (Niea_7 is still mocking me on the shelf back home).

    Usually I’ll watch them week by week, but sometimes I just push it back a bit. Since each show’s only a small 23~ minute slice, it’s easy for me to just fit in the odd one whenever I have time, and I just leave it like that.

    When I have a lot of time, though, I usually end up marathoning several series I’ve meant to for a long time (this summer I managed Turn A, Big O, Kaiba, Dennou Coil, and various others towards the end when I started running out of things to do).

    I usually watch my weekly shows with a sort of gut feeling of prioritization. More than that though, if I fall behind (I often do), I’ll watch a few consecutively if the time appears.

    Anime’s a hobby I have to balance with my video gaming (not so much now that I dorm at my university), and video games just always has the priority so far as block times available for doing things in one sitting. I can watch anime in bits and be happy, but if I have to put down an RPG regularly… well, god stop me.

  3. Shinmaru says:

    I used to be a marathon watcher, but I really love keeping up with shows episodically now. It’s easier to take everything in week-by-week, which helps me appreciate each series much more.

    When I watch series that are already completed, I usually don’t watch much more than 5-7 an evening (usually much closer to 5). For me, stretching things out gives me more time to enjoy a series, especially if it is one that is more dependent on character development than crazy plot twists. Code Geass R2 is something I would marathon, while Natsume Yuujinchou is something I would watch just a few episodes at a time.

    Not that I want to make too much of a value judgment on that, because blazing through Code Geass is a hell of a lot of fun, too, haha.

  4. General goal is to watch it weekly since that way, I don’t have to spend blocks of time trying to catch up. But given my schedule lately, I’ve been kind of forced to run through 3+ episodes of a show in a setting because I keep skipping weeks due to real life issues.

  5. I can’t even be sure, I have hundreds of shows I’ve marathoned and at least a hundred that I’ve been watching over a year.

    To date, I have never kept up with a series as it was airing to completion.

  6. KYPMbangi says:

    I’ve been missing every show since the last 2 season and its piling up!
    Surely I’m gonna have to do a marathon, if I got time for it..

  7. BOTH. Whatever works. Time is scarce enough. Enjoy teh animu!

  8. RP says:

    The ones I love I keep up with weekly. The ones I’m a little more meh about, I’ll batch into 3-4 episode mini-marathons.

    If I had a preference, I think it’d be to marathon though… I feel like I’ve actually accomplished something.

  9. glothelegend says:

    I wait for them to finish, and then watch them as fast as possible. I actually think I did a post about this not to long ago.

  10. animekritik says:

    I think the weekly episode is the way the show was intended to be seen. I think the cooler the show is the better it is to see it slowly. If it’s not as good, marathon the thing..

  11. Snark says:

    I generally watching stuff weekly, the wait can almost kill you (God knows Mazinger ep 26 is doing this to me right now…), but I find that the experience is ultimately more enjoyable.

    Besides, nothings more depressing then marathoning something you really like, only to realize that you’re done with a series 3 days after first watching it.

    As an aside, I seriously need to watch Might Gaine >_<

  12. schneider says:

    @ Panther

    Sometimes a show inexplicably drops from my attention and turns up in backlog limbo. Which reminds me… I haven’t finished a few Winter/Spring shows yet FFFFFFFF–

    I’ll need to marathon the later half of CANAAN too with my bro.

    @ Toastcrust

    We have contrasting priorities (I’m more of an anime > games guy nowadays), but you managed to describe my watching quirks in near-perfect detail!

    @ Shinmaru

    I’d argue that a weekly watching of Geass R2 (with friends) would make for some great discussions during the wait for the next episode, but yes–Geass is the type of show that builds up unstoppable momentum during a marathon.

    @ zzeroparticle

    The nature of my work sometimes compels me to abstain for a few days, too. But whenever possible I try my best to squeeze some episodes in, since anime is a way of relaxation for me!

    @ D-boy

    >>To date, I have never kept up with a series as it was airing to completion.

    What? Oh God…

    @ KYPMbangi

    Ah, the dreaded backlog. Hope you catch up!

    @ ghostlightning

    Whatever works!

    @ RP

    The feeling of accomplishment after a marathon is definitely there, but sometimes I need a chaser afterwards. I remember marathoning the good latter part of GitS:SAC 1 and needed to watch an episode of Dai-Guard after all that weight.

    @ glo

    And so I’m told by some of the veterans in GRSI…

    @ animekritik

    And then again, sometimes a show is too cool that I have to check out the next episode… and the next…

    @ Snark

    Hope you can take the HK subs! May the Yuusha be with you.

  13. blkmage says:

    Something I enjoy about watching shows as they air is going on the Internet and seeing what other people are saying about it. It makes some shows a lot more entertaining and watchable than they otherwise would be.

  14. Yi says:

    I definitely marathon for the same reason your friends marathon. If I can’t marathon a series, I don’t tend to watch it. That usually means no 50+ anime. The exception to that is for shows I don’t care too much about.
    Manga though I follow weekly.

  15. sadakups says:

    I’m usually behind most anime titles, so I tend to do marathons. But it’s rare that I follow currently running titles unless I think it’s really good.

    And there are titles that I enjoyed the experience of waiting each week for every episode more than watching it in a marathon.

  16. schneider says:

    @ blkmage

    Yeah, I can name a few shows that are much better with weekly discussions factored in.

    @ Yi

    I like 50-episodes series, but can’t juggle more than one at a time.

    @ sadakups

    I think there’s a perverted joy in knocking on fansub release blogs to demand when said subs are coming out…

  17. Baka-Raptor says:

    I prefer marathons, but I watch stuff week to week for the sole purpose of being up to date on all the trendy new shows. Waiting for the marathon also runs you the risk of being exposed to spoilers.

  18. Shance says:

    Actually I do running shows, especially since I don’t have the patience to wait for a title of interest to finish. I think I’m just afraid that I would lose said interest in time, so I watch them while I think it’s interesting.

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  20. hazy says:

    Both. I watch the ongoing ones that I find interesting, though some get dropped or go into my on-hold list. I usually marathon those that I think would be best watched in one go. ^^

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