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My Anime Watching Habits: To Follow, Binge, or What?

About 4 years ago or so, I got a subscription to Crunchyroll. Since then, I’ve been plagued by the question: follow along as shows are broadcast, or binge?

(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.)

When I first started watching anime, my college roommate was renting some movies from Blockbuster - Akira, Princess Mononoke, some other stuff. When I decided to watch my first series, Cowboy Bebop, I was watching with a friend who owned it, and we’d watch a few episodes at a time, like once a week or so. I got Netflix, and used that to watch some more movies, as well as Samurai Champloo. For the latter, I’d watch the episodes a disk at a time, over a day or two.

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After college and grad school, I made a friend at my current job who got me into watching anime a little more ‘seriously’/consistently. At first, we’d watch shows he had, either on disk, or obtained via... other means.

When I first got Crunchyroll, I watched a couple series a bit at a time. Gradually, however, I got into watching the series I was interested in as they came out. Most commonly, my friend would come over (still does!) on Fridays after work, and we’d go through the shows for that week that we’re both interested in. For other shows that we don’t share a common interest, when possible (family permitting), I may watch them on the day they come out, or later that week when there’s time.

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In addition to current series, though, we often are working on one or more older series. For those shows, we might watch anywhere from 1-3 or even 4 shows in a night. Most commonly, it’s 1 or 2, but in some cases, when the show was getting into a really good spot, or really near the end, we’d just keep going. (And we did similar for a few shows the other month in advance of the Crunchyroll/Funimation split.)

Although I’ll do these mini-binges, I don’t think I’ve ever done a true “binge” of a whole series, however. I just don’t have the time or the attention span any more. (When I broke my ankle back in March, I thought maybe I’d finally have time to do some binging while stuck on the couch, I actually found that between the drugs and the pain, the last thing I actually wanted to do was deal with paying attention to subtitles and everything else. On the other hand, shows I’d seen a bunch before, like Top Gear, that didn’t require real attention, were useful for background noise on the TV.) My son, on the other hand, can just stream episodes of Pokemon or Yokai Watch on Netflix end to end. (Or, he’ll flip back and forth between episodes. Just depends on his mood and current attention span, I guess.)

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Never! (Well, maybe sometimes.)
Screenshot: Gakuen Babysitters

My biggest problem with following weekly series, however, is sometimes I’ll get behind - either we had less time that week to watch with my friend, or I’ll get tired of a plotline... and then I stop watching. I’ve still got several series half finished that I need to get back to. And often it may take a concerted effort of mini-binges to either catch up or finish. But the worst for it is times like right now, when I’m away at relatives’ for an extended period for Christmas, my watching schedule goes right out the window - right at the end of various series ;p

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And sometimes, it’s like that.
Screenshot: Yuru Yuri

Anyway, what’s your watch schedule like? Do you binge, mini-binge, or keep up?

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