For the first time ever since 2009, when I got into the anime fandom, I spent the past two months not watching anime. And now I’m back.
I’ve learned a lot about the sometimes scary, hardly understood phenomenon of Fandom Quitting Syndrome, or at least about how it could apply to me. Blogs die, usernames drop out from forums, faces change at conventions, and as long as we are still here, we can only speculate about whether we will eventually also get bored with anime, whether it’s a natural part of growing older, and whether there is an easy trick to trick our brain into avoiding it.
Yet, unlike most others, I got a second chance to come back and describe what happened.
You see, back in January, I skipped an episode of Psycho-Pass. It was exam time at school, and I simply didn’t have the time to watch it for a whole week. But I intended to continue it later, so on that week, I avoided most episodic blogs as protection from spoilers. There was only one little flaw in my plan: As my blog reading material drastically dropped, I had less and less reason to keep checking my RSS feed. And I usually use my RSS feed to reind me when there is a new episode. I think you see where this is going. Like a snowball groving ito an avalanche, or fluctuations in how a few cars are breaking causing a traffic jam, the effects of skipping a few traditions grew day by day.
Another week later, I already skipped most of my anime, even the wonderful Chihayafuru, and I stopped casting my power rankings votes. Due to this, I had less reasons to visit the anime subforums of my usual places, thus I started to skip even the generic discussions about the anime industry and the anime fandom’s usual debates. For this reason, I had no inspiration to write any insightful new blog posts about exactly what are you guys all getting wrong this time. By the past weeks, I was already talking about my anime-viewing times in the past sense.
And then, the tiniest little nudge: A piece of news, that Google Reader is about to shut down.
– “Wait a minute! I have a google reader too, don’t I? Probably I should look though it if there are some bookmarks to be saved.” And so I go to my Reader page, and what I see is, undreds of unread items, with the top ones all saying “Psycho-Pass finale” and “Shin Sekai Yori ending”. In the past days, I binged through both of those. And then Chihayafuru. And Maoyu Maou Yuusha. I’m about to finish Zetsuen no Tempest and Space Brothers.
Quick, delayed ending thoughts:
Shin Sekai Yori – I didn’t see this one coming. At first the queerats just appeared to be a minor part of a whimsical yet dark fantasy setting, apparetly it was their story all along, and especially Squealer’s. Also, I winced when it was revealed that the original Japanese name of the “queerats” is a kanji pun on their scientific name’s “hetero” being changed to “homo”. I mean, seriously?
Psycho Pass – Ok, that was surprisingly… not all that Lovecraftian after all. Serious, yes. Dark, yes. As expected from the cyberpunk genre anyways But. Urobuchi himself might be getting slightly better at telling mature stories that don’t necessarily end in utter despair with death and entropy and the promise of even more inevitable death. (Or he wasn’t all that significant in creating this. I don’t know these things).
Space Brothers – (As of 45) I loved the last, more thrilling arc, especially because otherwise Space Brothers is not good binge material.
Maoyu Maou Yuusha – Liked it, to be honest. First of all, I always greatly enjoy harems with self-conscious characters realizing that they are in a harem. Though as usual, I’m weirded out by the medium’s view on the European High fantasy genre, and on religion.
So, What’s up next?
Wow. That’s a lot of shows. And I almost forgot just how CRAZY this medium can get. Dyson Spheres, man-eating musce titans, corrupt-pure love story, grade school girls, oh my!
Also, a surprisingly large amount of them appear to be serious, either in a dark way, or in a “slice-of-life but not quite gag comedy” way. Which I love more than anything. I won’t preview them because I’m late for that anyways. Maybe I will make up for it with more first impressions and reviews.
Or maybe not. Who knows? With every new anime season, there is also a new exam season coming. At least this time I will try to figure out a better way to remind myself to watching anime, that doesn’t rely on major web services getting discontinued to pick up my interest.