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Deciding What Anime To Watch

Screenshot: Renai Boukun

In a previous piece, I wrote about my general watching habits, whether to follow or binge or what. Here, I thought I’d share how I decide what to watch in a season by going through my first pass at the Winter 2019 schedule.

(A reminder: This is part of my 12 Days of AniTAY 2018. Big thanks to Zarnyx for suggesting to go ahead and do it in mainline-TAY, and RedStripe118 for putting me on to the 12 Days of Anime idea in the first place.)

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I tend to use a couple different sources to get info on various series for my ‘advance’ decisions. (I may add certain series after a few weeks if the reviews are good, or after reconsidering, or on a rec from a friend.)

First of all, I’ll look at the season listing on myanimelist.net. So, here I’m looking at the Winter 2019 list.

MAL’s Winter 2019 page, sorted by Start Date
Screenshot: MyAnimeList
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I read the description blurbs, and look at the studio, the original source, and the categories, and note the ones that are interesting. Similarly, once available, I’ll also typically use the seasonal preview from RandomC.net (they don’t have Winter ‘19 up as of this writing, but here’s Fall 2018 as an example). I like to see their different take on the description, as well as at least glance over their analysis/expectations based on any PVs, knowledge of the source, discussion of the people involved, etc.

I used to also look for previews/analysis by Richard Eisenbeis, especially when he started Anime-Now.com. However, although he’s got his own personal site going, it doesn’t quite look like he does any previews any more? I also used to use Kotaku’s brief descriptions, but they’ve been coming later and later, so while I still look at them, I’ve usually already made up my mind.

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Not quite my thing on either.
Screenshot: Renai Boukun
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So, let’s take a look at the MAL season page, and see where we get to.

Now, a few general rules of thumb, for what I’m looking for - I’m interested in some of the action-y shows, but not really most shounen. I’ll watch some of the high school shows, but I don’t really care for idol programs. I don’t mind moe, and I might be up for a good isekai.

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Screenshot: Magical Somera-chan

I’m definitely on the lookout for comedies that look interesting, but I definitely don’t do the sports series. Romance could go either way, but I’m not necessarily into the supernatural series either. I’ll definitely look at shows by KyoAni and PA Works and Doga Kobo, and sometimes A-1 Pictures. Shaft and Trigger usually rate at least a look. I’m not averse to shorts, and in fact, enjoy fun ones.

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So, with all that in mind, let’s see...

  • Watashi ni Tenshi ga Maiorita! - Doga Kobo, comedy... a little skeptical based on the subject matter (I’m already watching this season’s UzaMaid, which is problematic), but we’ll put it on the ‘maybe’ list for the first pass.
  • Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari - Looks like a fantasy world isekai. Not sure if I’ll be interested in this one, but the plot has possibilities. Will definitely have to check what other sources say about it.
  • Girly Air Force - Definitely a “see what else is out there about it”.
  • Gotoubun no Hanayome - School harem comedy. I’m probably there.
  • Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai: Tensai-tachi no Renai Zunousen - high school romance comedy from A-1 Pictures. Definite “maybe”.
  • Endro~! - Slice of Life, maybe worth a look

Screenshot: Gabriel Dropout
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Currently, it’s a rather short list. As I noted above, I’ll also look for the RandomC preview, which will hopefully fill in some more of these. As I get more information, I’ll add to this list, and keep note of “definites” (not really seeing any so far for the upcoming season), and “maybes”. And some of those will move from one to the other, or even the occasional “nope, never mind” with the more details I see.

So - what site(s) and criteria do you all use for determining what to watch? I’m always looking for more places with more details to help my choices.

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