Slower, But Steadier

A picture of Alpha leaving a grocery store.

[pixiv source]

I turned 24.

I think I’ve slowed down as an anime fan. Back when I was in university, I used to marathon anime on a regular basis. The feeling of having finished multiple series in a week is exhilarating, no matter how you put it. But now, I’ve come to accept that I can’t really do that anymore. Oh, I could, if I forced myself to. But what’s the fun in that?

Instead, I’ve started to think. Instead of immediately going for the next episode, I stop to reflect on what I just watched. Why do I think this is a good thing? Well, it simply makes the time I spent on watching anime more meaningful. If you just saw something really, really good, why would you hurry on to the next thing?

Anime has become less of a compulsion for me, now that I’ve seen most of the things I wanted to watch. It’s kinda funny, mind you. I know what I like. I’ll just go ahead and watch them. I see something that I may like? Fine. Later, then. It’s not going to disappear, and I don’t want to be that guy on his deathbed, gravely regretting that he never gave Angel Beats a chance.

Anime is cartoons. This much is true.

Another thing I’ve steadily picked up interest on is the animation side of anime. I mean, people watch anime because the moving pictures are pretty, or move prettily. I’ve found the content in blogs like Ani no Miyako and The Vanishing Trooper Incident to be very enlightening, and I can see myself reading up on animators as much as I do on seiyuu in the near future.

There’s also this bit of becoming a better human being.

These two years, I’ve talked to people willingly, far more than I’ve had before. This allows me a peek into the minds of people very much different from myself. As I internalize how or why they look at the world in their own way, I’ve learned to become more sensitive and open to fellow fans. After all, everyone has their own story. I’ve learned not to judge people too harshly for their tastes in anything. People aren’t to be segregated into right or wrong–they’re people, period. Years ago I wouldn’t be able to hold a friendly conversation with a Gundam SEED Destiny fanboy, but now I can without batting an eyelash!

I want to become an anime fan who empowers other anime fans, and not shit on them or what they like. I’m no longer a teen, so there’s no need to feel so angry. Or powerless, since that’s where butthurt comes from. Instead of talking down on what I don’t like, I’ve been trying to present what I like to others whom I think would cherish them. Recommending is tricky, and failure is never far away, but I feel best about myself when people come back up to me and say, “Wow! I watched the anime you told me about and it was so awesome!”

I’m a lot less willing to “win” in Internet arguments now. Becoming older gives you less patience for that kind of juvenile shit. The xkcd comic about Wrong Things On the Internet has much less sway on me now. Less patience is actually a good thing. I enjoy my life better when I follow the things that I really like, and discard the things that hold little or no value to me. As I can only spend limited time on my hobbies, I’m more encouraged to maximize them. Arguing on the Internet? Not really maximizing.

Last, I’ve learned to drop anime! (Thanks, Black Rock Shooter.) It feels really good, once you’ve put something out of your mind. If you’re in doubt whether you should continue a show, then just drop it. After all, it’s not really going anywhere. You can pick it up anytime! Just put it off your mind for now.

That’s it for now. See you soon.

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30 Responses to Slower, But Steadier

  1. omo says:

    24 is hardly old. Certainly too early to act like an old person. But the important thing is to keep moving and improving and focus on what is important to you, so cheers to that!

  2. Kraker2k says:

    Hey we’re the same age! I pretty much came upon the same conclusion as yourself – my anime intake has slowed down drastically over the past 2 years. I think I used anime as a way to distract myself from Uni work. Now that’s over I have more free time and not that stressed.
    One thing I’m glad I picked up on was dropping shows as well, more and more I found myself in situations where watching anime was becoming a chore rather than some hobby that I enjoyed for fun. Why should I force myself to watch something If I’m not really enjoying it? Having accepted that, I find I tend to enjoy shows much more nowadays.

    Thanks for the small plug by the way. As an anime fan, one of the first things people tend to appreciate are studio names, then people become aware that directors probably hold more sway. Then people become I aware of the sound aspect, be it the composers or the voice acting. The final area was always the visuals. When a favourite animator appears on a show, I get just as excited if a favoured voice actor or composer works on a show.

    All in all, keep on trucking!

    • schneider says:

      Yessss. I started out with sakuga MADs, and studying directors who are also animators (Obari, Imaishi). If I ever reach a competent understanding of animation, I’ll be sure to write a post about it!

      Biggest pet peeve: Bashing studios, because people who do this generally don’t know what they’re talking about.

  3. Shinmaru says:

    Happy belated birthday, yo!

    I feel like I’ve slowed down a lot with every hobby … partially because I’m busier than I’ve ever been, but also because I don’t want to get into the habit of consumption purely for the sake of consumption. So I’m watching much less now, but I’ve got a pace that works, so that’s cool.

    As a noted slinger of hatred, I will say that any haterade I dole out is purely in the name of dumb fun. When it creeps into genuine hate, that’s when I pull myself back and get some perspective. Ribbing your friends about anime is one thing, but attacking of horde of strangers isn’t worthwhile, even if the object of affection is inexplicable to me. It’s not as if I don’t love equally dumb stuff.

  4. rockmanshii says:

    Woah man, I think exactly the same as you, about marathoning, about arguing on the net, about opinions. I’m sure we can become great frien- “Years ago I wouldn’t be able to hold a friendly conversation with a Gundam SEED Destiny fanboy, but now I can without batting an eyelash!”
    Nevermind, you’re light years ahead of me in terms of understanding.
    Just kidding.
    I’m serious about thinking the same as you though. Happy birthday.

    Oh yeah and that girl is from Yokohama something something right?? Thanks for reminding me of it.

    • schneider says:

      Looool thanks! The secret is to hide/downplay your Gundam-fu and engage them on their level of understanding. I know this, because I’ve been on the hate train and back.

      Yes, the girl is Alpha from Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou. One of the best slice-of-life manga I’ve read.

  5. Many happy returns!

    Marathoning’s an odd activity. I think I largely stopped doing it after the first three years or so of seriously pursuing anime. But in January I burned through all of Shiki in a weekend, and it felt surprisingly good. Can’t say I do much stopping-and-thinking, though, whichever approach I’m taking.

  6. Jay says:

    Happy Birthday.

  7. DoctorBaronvonEvilSatan says:

    One more year before expiration date.

  8. I’m pretty much the same way. I don’t know when it happened(maybe it was after I watched the Macross Frontier films), but for some reason I just can’t bring myself to watch as many cartoons as I used to. It sort of lost its magic, I guess. It just doesn’t feel the same as it used to. (Maybe I just realized that nothing will top the itano circus sequences in the VF-29 v. VF-27 fight.) I can’t tolerate other ‘anime fans’ as well as you though. I try, but it’s really hard when someone tells you that Akagi is a ripoff of Yugioh or that Avatar is anime and then that same person tells you that anime isn’t cartoons. I guess that’s what I get for joining my school’s anime club. Also, congratulations on learning how to drop anime. I just learned to do that recently myself. You should give BRS TV a second chance though. It actually explains why the girls are so fucking autistic, other than the fact that they’re going through puberty. Also, happy birthday.

    • schneider says:

      Thank you!

      Anime clubs, huh? I’ve never been in one, but they seem to attract all sorts of different people? Anime is diverse, the people who like them moreso. Just get friends who understand anime on the level that you do, that way you have someone you can really fall back on. Preferably IRL.

      My beef with BRS TV is that I’ve become allergic to teenage melodrama, and I don’t even like the fight scenes at all.

    • r042 says:

      After playing D&D with the president of my uni’s anime club for the best part of 2 years I got to know that I was not going to fit in there. Anyone who thinks airing Nanoha TV is the best way of initiating new members who aren’t that into anime and who thinks Full Metal Panic is better than “any Gundam or Macross show” was not going to get along with me at an anime club.

      Then he admitted Giant Robo was his favourite anime of all time and I was very confused.

      Instead I convinced a friend who’d never watched anime before to try some stuff and ended up watching most of LOGH, Macross Plus, DYRL and the Harlock movie with him.

      • schneider says:

        Sounds like you and your non-anime fan friend had a good time! Shame about the club though.

        • r042 says:

          Watching those shows with a military nut and historian was ace – despite its epic length I’d say LOGH really is the anime for people who don’t watch it simply because it’s rather well written, realistically animated and doesn’t presuppose much genre knowledge outside of “good space opera”.

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  10. sadakups says:

    I’m late for the party, but happy birthday, man.

    24 is far from old. You’re far from old farts like myself and ghosty. 🙂

  11. Happy belated birthday!

  12. Canne says:

    Dropping anime is a big step forward for a fan, I think. Because first, one must realize that anime is not an obligatory task. I have only learned that quite recently myself. And now it’s even worse for me; I start watching anime backward, diving deeper into the past.

    Ps. Happy birthday

  13. R says:

    “These two years, I’ve talked to people willingly, far more than I’ve had before. This allows me a peek into the minds of people very much different from myself. As I internalize how or why they look at the world in their own way, I’ve learned to become more sensitive and open to fellow fans. After all, everyone has their own story. I’ve learned not to judge people too harshly for their tastes in anything. People aren’t to be segregated into right or wrong–they’re people, period.”

    It’s good to know you’ve changed. (And may I just say, this is a good change.) I’m glad. Take care always. 🙂

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