Random Ramblings: Losing Interest


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Fried chicken without the seasoning…

Certain things are difficult to get into. Sometimes there’s a lack of satisfaction. Sometimes it’s beyond yourself to provide a sense of curiosity. Sometimes you just don’t give a fuck. A lack of interest has and will plague us anywhere in any activity. Hell, I have trouble going about my day by day routine just because almost nothing interests me anymore. The same goes for anime this season. I’ve personally been lacking any interest in watching anything airing or even dedicating time to clear up my hard drive of older shows. (It’s getting to over 150 unwatched shows collected since 2010) In regard to this summer 2016 line-up, only the D.Gray-man sequel and season two of Shokugeki no Soma have caught my eye, but I’m still busy figuring out when I want to finish the spring season shows I’ve picked up. Which, hilariously, is only four shows. In comparison to what I stacked in previous seasons, that’s a cake walk. The anime industry is big enough to squeeze out at least one title to catch your eye. Although, going about actually watching it? That’s up to your level of interest in doing so.

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I don’t shift the blame to the industry mainly because I know there are people who consistently watch something every season regardless of if a show is bad, good, or in between. Sure, the average viewer may have a break or a burnout phase, but I constantly have to take breaks every other season. These breaks last somewhere between 1-3 months and they usually are related to my well being or other interest invading my time. I know it may be a little ridiculous to over think an activity like watching anime, but I do think it’s important to address the issue. Figuring out what you want to do and when you want to do it can be the difference between you loving or hating a show. Maybe there’s something more important to do. Maybe there are some troubles that take your mind off a dialogue heavy series because you’re just a little foreigner who can’t speak moonrunes. There’s not enough personal interest there for you to be engaged as intended. This past Sunday I had trouble marathoning Studio Trigger’s Kiznaiver, not only because it was a bit convoluted with it’s dialogue, but I was too busy scheduling my upcoming week, thus losing parts of conversation and thinking wrongly of certain relationships as “forced” when in reality there were clear hints in previous episodes. I filled my environment with distractions which parted my focus from the anime I was supposed to be putting all my attention into. Regardless of the planning, my week still didn’t go all that well.

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Ever since I started watching fansubs in 2008 I’ve had a problem with sitting down and grinding out an anime. It was easy the first few times, but as guaranteed “good anime” started waning I found it super hard not to open up a browser and leave it on in the background. I think the problem comes from not feeling comfortable. I never was never that involved with social media, forums, or even media players back then. I was used to more of the couch potato lifestyle. Laying back, eating junk food, and enjoying whatever was on tv or happened to be in my dvd player. I find it easiest eliminating anything that can take me out of the experience or to try and emulate that feeling of being a useless teenager. It’s fair to say that if I’m getting that distracted to just quit the anime on the spot then it’s simply a bad anime. Well, considering I have 69 titles listed as currently watching and 41 as on hold, not all of those can be that bad. Also, even though I have a list of what I’ve watched it’s still hard for me to recall names of anime I’ve seen but haven’t finished because there are so many. I feel like a senile grandfather. It’s terrible. Take a look for yourself: CaptainKefka on Hummingbird

I don’t know whether it’s my juggling of multiple interests, my environment I watch things in, or if I have this false sense of fandom. I know titles, synopsis’, and general consensus, but I fail to even get started on the anime I know of. Once I marathon a season of anime I feel completely sick of the thought of doing it all over again. I don’t really pressure myself to write or speak about them. It’s probably a completionist thing. Which I know isn’t why I enjoy anime. Every year, I go back and rewatch multiple of my favorite anime series. Namely Baccano and FLCL. Things I know I won’t worry about missing, but can still fulfill that classic enjoyment. It’s getting harder and harder with so many anime getting props from so many people. When I started watching anime it was a lot easier to tell if something is going to be not so great going into it. Today, we get people praising things for weeks and weeks before things crash and burn and they finally call the show out on it’s bullshit. Life’s too short for bad anime. Maybe that’s another problem? Fearing that something will end up being bad?

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Like I said earlier, I mainly stick to shows if I can immediately tell if they’re worth my time. Despite this, I still process a show throughout with a number 1-10 as if I’m still rating it from my enjoyment episode to episode. I don’t know if I’m the only one who does this, but it’s a bad habit of setting certain expectations for what you’re watching. Again, people will start watching things with high praise and by the end of the series it may fade away into negativity. The show is mostly at fault, but there is also this underlying expectation set by each viewer from either: excitement, peers, or reputation. Excitement may stem from the show being a sequel, maybe it’s first episode made a memorable impression, or the premise was enough to grab you into expecting a masterpiece. Having peers set an expectation is pretty straightforward. You hear so many good things about this series, but by the end of it all to you yourself it never fully lived up to the hype. Reputation is usually set from the studio or directors track record. Maybe they worked on one of your favorites or maybe they have a consistent track record of producing decent to great shows. The truth is that no show is guaranteed to be amazing. There is always a possibility that things could crash and burn. Which is why I still fear a lot of the time even if things are going the way I want to in a series. If there is anything that writers like Urobuchi and Mari Okada have taught us, it’s that despite how great things can start off, there is almost a certainty that something will go wrong. Now, both of those names should be enough of a red flag to most people, but it’s still a glaring issue. It’s frustrating to watch a series after series, season after season, only to fail expectations and more disappointment. This is where some burnout and lack of interest in anime stems from. Lost potential. Pushing yourself to watch something with that lingering fear that it won’t be worth it. Most of the time it isn’t.

[DeadFish] Kekkai Sensen - 09 [720p][AAC].mp4_snapshot_01.37_[2016.07.27_18.58.34]

I know there is a way to get over a lazy slump out there. Not everyone has the same exact problem as me, but I would bet the farm that someone has experienced something similar. Recalling from what I’ve tried before, I believe the environmental change and a less of me dabbling with others interests will do some good. Letting yourself focus solely on what you’re watching will definitely work. Movie theaters are built in a way where the only thing that should be on your mind is the film playing in front of you. No distractions, no cellphones, no internet. Just you, maybe the audience, and the experience. For those with a good income, a comfy anime setup with a couch is beneficial. It’s easier than ever to watch anime streaming, with Netflix and Crunchyroll bringing western anime viewers off the computer and back into the living room, ironically, where most Japanese viewers watch their anime regularly. If the burnout is solely because there isn’t anything that interests you, then go back and watch your favorites. It won’t hurt and your claim as a fanboy/fangirl will grow exponentially with each time you rewatch them. I know this post wasn’t that insightful as to how to get over a slump. It was more of a rant. Frankly, it’s difficult as hell to get over a slump in any form. Writing this took me three days because I kept bouncing off wordpress to watch sweaty men wrestle or to rage at counter-strike. Oh well, things will get better. After all, everything is just a phase. We all change for the best and fixate our lives on what makes us 100% happy. I don’t think I’ll ever fully stop watching anime. There’s too much out there to quit that easily. Even if the future brings four kids or a disappointed wife it’s an activity that brings me a bit happiness and relaxation when I might need it the most.

Thanks for reading. Here’s a pigeon boarding a train.

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About Kefka
Writer for NeoParadigm City. Aspiring Jpop gravure idol. Look out Shakira.

One Response to Random Ramblings: Losing Interest

  1. Arria Cross says:

    I totally get you. I’m the same. I have to take regular breaks from anime, manga, blogging and all other otaku-related activities. I won’t go as far to say that I’m losing interest, it’s just that I don’t feel like watching anime for a period of time. I just take a break and do somethinf else. And then I return to anime once I begin feeling a strong urge to watch it. I don’t like forcing myself to watch something. Anyway, good post. Totally relateable.

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