Anime: To Binge or not To Binge? That is the Question!

In general, I’ve always had the opinion that binge watching anime series is a wonderful advancement of the modern streaming world. If you could have all the enjoyment of a whole series in a matter of a few viewings or even one long day, rather than taking weeks (of mostly waiting) to watch the same content, why wouldn’t you want to watch it all faster? Faster equals better, right? Well, I recently found a little problem with my logic. Depending on how fast you watch an anime, it’s not always the same experience. And this isn’t a new concept. Many Netflix viewers have commented online, that weekly anime just isn’t the same when viewed in one or two multi hour viewings. Likewise, many longtime anime fans have bemoaned the loss of the weekly anime schedule that naturally came with TV broadcasts. But are these opinions just nostalgia and a shying away from modern technological conveniences? Maybe not! Let’s take a look at a few anime that might not be the same while binge watching.

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

It’s no secret that many anime fans were less than happy about Netflix releasing all of the anime series Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Ocean of Stone at once. There are many Many comments online grumbling about the series release in North America. But why would the passionate Jojo fans not want all that weird goodness all at once? Though I’ve personally only watched a few episodes of the series, so I’m certainly not an expert, what I’ve gathered from reading lots of comments referring to the Netflix fumble is that the problem is the Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure franchise was never designed to be binge watched, and when it is watched all at once, the experience tends to be much less suspenseful. Not to mention that the series has a thriving community that was build around the suspense between each episode release. Having time between each episode meant there was time for fans to chat about what happened and come up with theories about what might happen next. When the series is released all at once there is no time for the development of conversations or theories, taking a lot of the fun out the whole experience.

Netflix did what to JBA?!

Rising of the Shield Hero

2 viewings, 2 very different experiences!

I recently had the experience while re-watching the first season of Rising of the Shield Hero (in preparation for watching the second season) that things weren’t quite the same as the first time I watched the series.

The first time I watched the series, I was excited every week for the most recent release of an episode. I was deeply invested in the story, and I was rightly unhappy about how badly poor Naofumi was being treated by the nasty king and the manipulative princess, Myne. Naofumi’s reactions to this unreasonable treatment seemed understandable and justified. When Raphtalia nearly got separated from Naofumi, because of the trickery of the nasty royals, and he collapsed to the ground in grief. I honestly started tearing up! It was so sad!

myne the evil princess
A bad person that did very bad things!

The second time watching the first season, I decided to watch it as fast as possible so I was ready and waiting for the second season. And things were not quite the same. . . The first thing I noticed was that the story seemed to be moving along in the first few episodes very quickly. I didn’t remember the plot developing that fast last time I watched the anime. I also noticed that since so little time was being spent going in depth with the characters I didn’t feel nearly as invested in what happened to them. Raphtalia seem to grow up in a flash! Which really made me notice a lot more that, on the inside, Raphtalia is really still just a kid. Something I only vaguely noticed the first time around.

I think the most unpleasant thing I noticed with my second viewing, was that I felt much less sympathetic to Naofumi. On several occasions I felt like he was being the unreasonable one. Yes, of course he was treated badly by some very bad people, but there was also a lot of people that were perfectly nice to him. Though there were some who were agreeable, he viewed everyone with suspicion, even Raphtalia who had never treated him unkindly. Likewise, even though his trouble in the capital was rather short lived compared to the whole series length, he remained cold towards other people (particularly strangers) for the entire series. It really didn’t make any sense to me the second time watching the series, why his entire character would permanently change do to one short-term negative experience.

rising of the shield hero cast
Naofumi also met some very nice people, why did he need to be so cold?

Detective Conan

conan with safety tape
It’s a crime! A whole week without Detective Conan!

Detective Conan is a long running and time honored anime about a high school boy detective being forced to drink poison invented by a secret organization and instead of dying, he shrinks! Still wanting to solve crimes and track down the secret organization that shrunk him, he becomes a grade school detective!

Though this anime came out much before my time, so the only platform I’ve seen this anime on is streaming services, I did kind of get a little taste of what it might have been like to watch the series in it’s intended weekly broadcast format. Last month a relative was taking vacation nearby and wanted to spend more time with me. Of course I freed up my schedule as much as possible. Unfortunately, that meant that most of my anime watching time was cancelled for the week. So I ended up having over a week long gap between my Detective Conan episodes, and I found that the first episode I watched after my return to anime was a lot more suspenseful than the series usually was. I was actually really surprised at how good the episode was! Maybe I just was lucky and happened to watch a particularly good episode, or maybe distance really does make the heart grow fonder?

conan
It was much more suspenseful!

16 thoughts on “Anime: To Binge or not To Binge? That is the Question!

  1. Don’t get me started on Stone Ocean! 😑 I am so angry! And it’s not just because of Netflix. For example: Part 2 of Stone Ocean wasn’t even out yet and the official Jojo twitter account decided to post a screen shot with a HUGE spoiler, as promo! And they didn’t even bother to delete it. 😑 I’m watching now (instead of waiting) because of online spoilers. And I’m not really blaming the people who post them. Someone needs to promote Stone Ocean after all. Netflix is doing absolutely nothing. Believe it or not, a lot of people still don’t have a clue that Part 2 is out! What a mess! 😫

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I find I enjoy shows more when I watch them in a quicker timeframe. Often I’ll do one to four episode a day and breeze through a season. I find the story lines up better and I notice things that I wouldn’t have when waiting a week between episodes.

    The only thing I miss from the weekly schedule is watching them with others. It’s fun seeing everyone commenting on episodes shortly after they’ve aired. That said, I’d rather enjoy the story more. Binge all the way!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lol! Yeah, a lot of anime are perfectly fine to binge. Really fans should just enjoy anime how ever works best for them. It’s just good to keep in mind that your experience may vary based on how fast you watch an anime series.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really have grown to loathe binge watching since it takes a lot out of a series. A lot of media especially from Japan is built to be watched on a weekly schedule verses a binge, so it all be released at once takes a lot of impact out of it.

    That being said. I think binge watching can have it’s benefits depending on the series. For a longer series binge watching can help catch you up to recent events and join the fun of the most recent stuff. If the series is light enough content wise, like a Flying Witch or something, it’s easy to just sit back and watch the whole thing at once without much thought.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Guilty Crown and Vatican Kiseki Chousakan are two shows that I have clear recollection of having binged, and truth be told I find it helps that way because it keeps the story fresher in your mind as opposed to forgetting bits and pieces over time.

    Oh, some shows that I recommend are worth the binge: Madoka Magica, Angel Beats, Umaru-chan and the first Love Live.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Shows definitely pace differently from one another, and I feel like it would take a pretty dedicated and influential group of people to ensure whether or not a show is released weekly or all at once. Ultimately, I think it falls to the individual viewers themselves to gauge as quickly as they can whether or not they’ll enjoy holding back on a show or not, which can be difficult. Sometimes if I feel a show is particularly heavy or rife with cliffhangers, I’ll attempt to only watch one a day or week, depending on my own self-control.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, that’s a good way of looking at it! Like watching the first few episodes of a series and trying to decide if you want to watch it, and also deciding how fast you want to watch it! Hmm, now I kind of want someone to make a guide with recommendations of how fast to watch different anime series!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Everybody changes depending on the situation and in Naofumi’s case, well I guess you already know why. Will he change back to the way he was? I can’t tell. Hmm… reading this blog just gave me an idea for my next post about people who changed in anime. Thanks for sharing. Commence writing!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I favor doing feature articles since I find that easier and my least favorite is doing anime reviews which I think always taxes my brain, but I still need to master it to make my blog site better, I think.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. While I have not watched any of the series in this post, I must say I prefer to have all my episodes lined up and ready to go rather than wait for a week. That way, if I do want to take a break I can at my own initiative rather than be forced to wait by some broadcasting schedule. Call me impatient, but there it is. My enjoyment of series has even been ruined by having to wait between seasons (yes, I’m looking at you Attack on Titan).

    Maybe that explains my current ennui where anime is concerned: I have to wait too long between eps and series, and the series I can binge are just all too familiar from, and similar to, what I’ve already watched. Maybe I need to take a break for a while…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, the best part about modern streaming services is that you can go at whatever pace works best for you! Yes, I totally agree about the long wait in between seasons! sometimes the wait is so long I have to re-watch the first season so I remember what happened! But I appreciate all the hard work the creators of anime put into their series, so I try to be patient.

      Liked by 1 person

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