Anyone who has been following my blog for a while will know I count Sailor Moon as one of my favorite animes (and manga) of all time. It set me off on a path to becoming a major anime fan. I just about consumed everything I could get my hands on. Usually if a series had an anime, it most likely was based off of a manga. Animes that were twenty-four episodes or longer, I managed to finish within a week or two weeks. The Japanese animation style and the stories kept me eager to watch a marathon of episodes after homework and studying was done, or when the weekend rolled around. These days, I can barely finish two episodes in a week.
Why do I call myself a “casual anime fan,” as I have entitled this post? Over the years, I have devolved from an anime super fan to the casual or occasional anime fan. It’s not because I have lost all interest in watching anime, it’s just I’m not up to speed with all the newer series everyone else is watching. Time and a pesky thing I like to call “adulthood” has factored into my change in status as an anime fan. When I do find time to watch anime, I’m mainly watching the older series I have bought a long time ago but never got around to watching. Among the older series in my anime collection are ones I have enjoyed during my high school days and series I rewatch to remember why I loved them to begin with.
Considering I’m not up-to-date with what’s good in the world of anime, even if I wish to get into a new series, I don’t even know where to start. I’m more overwhelmed with what to watch, though I am grateful for the existence of Netflix. I think if I were to try a completely brand new series, I would go off of recommendation. It also helps when a cousin or friend comes over my place and shows me a few episodes of the anime they are currently into. This helps me find the time to watch anime and it’s the best way to gauge my level of interest in deciding to continue a series on my own when they aren’t around. A good example of an anime I got introduced to by a friend and found myself completely hooked on the series would be Clannad.
Clannad was an anime I wasn’t familiar with. When a friend decided to show it to me one day, I wasn’t sure if it would be the kind of anime I would be interested in. I’m not a huge fan of slice-of-life animes. After watching two episodes of the anime, I found myself immersed in the story and characters. This same friend let me borrow his first season DVD and I managed to watch all the episodes within a week. It was the first anime in a long time where I went out of my way to finish it. When I found out there was a second season to the series, I went to Netflix to watch the final season.
With my time being so limited and having other leisure hobbies I like to indulge in during my downtime, like video games or reading, I’m not as open to watching every single popular anime I hear about as I used to. Most animes have to come highly recommended from a trusted source, or if I do find one afternoon where I feel like trying a new anime on my own, the story and characters have to capture my attention within at least two or three episodes. Apparently, I have developed a short attention span in my old age and it’s harder for me to stick with a series, compared to when I was an anime super fan in high school.
Another reason my anime viewing habit has changed over time is I don’t watch as much TV as I used to. Most of the time I’m not in the mood to watch a particularly long anime series. Watching these series is a huge time investment and if it doesn’t have something that should keep me watching, I most likely won’t bother. This is why animes I have grown to love during high school and part of college are easier for me to watch when I’m in an anime viewing mood. Maybe it’s because I already know I’ll enjoy it and I don’t have to take the time to decide if I will.
Anime along with manga used to be my main source of entertainment. When I added video games into the mix a few years ago, it has put anime on the wayside for me. Video games reduced my anime viewing by a lot. When I had a particularly stressful week or when I’m not in the mood to watch TV of any kind, I tend to pick up my controller and fire up the console. There’s something really satisfying about shooting things and blowing stuff up. It’s the best way to wash away all the stress and bad vibes from a taxing week. I also like pretending to be someone else for a while and get caught up in the world a video game presents to me.
There have been a number of factors as to why I can’t consider myself a super fan of anime anymore. This doesn’t mean I have given up on anime. I’ve just become more selective and picky about what I’ll spend the time watching. As long as there are good stories, fascinating characters, and beautiful animation I’ll find time to watch those animes.