Anime fans and the three month cycle

The anime viewing cycle is very different and a lot more consistent then what we can expect from our western shows.  The exact number of episodes that each series Is known along with the exact time they air.  Western shows are nowhere near as consistent.  Each show needs to gather a certain amount of an audience following to even be considered for a full season.  Also, the day an episode airs may change due to ratings also.  If a show isn’t popular enough, like Hannibal, then it will be moved to a time where nobody but the dedicated will watch it so another show will get its prime time slot.  Also, western shows, whether live action or not, can go on hiatus for a week for some reason they never told us about.  The Flash, for example, after being back for only two weeks is taking another week of hiatus.

This is not to say that the anime schedule is perfect.  Sometimes the best thing happens and you wait less than a year for the second season to appear.  Other times, the season might end on an unresolved note and force people to read the source material for more.  Neither sides are perfect, but on a seasonal stand point, anime has everything else beat.

I think anime fans are the only people on the planet who consistently have to check for new material to watch every three months.  We have to say goodbye to what we thought were good and what thought were bad, then get ready to enjoy new stuff of a quality that we can only guess at.  Production studios and teams may give an impression of the level of quality the show may be, but there is no guarantee that everything will sync together and work.  Did anybody else expect something like Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju to be, in my opinion, the best show this season because it was produced by Studio Deen?  No, because not as many people are watching it because of its premise and its studio.

Along with the uncertainty of each show, in sports terms, every preseason warm up is like a necessary research project that you don’t get graded on.  The fun starts a few weeks before the season starts when you look at sites like to see what shows are airing next season.  After looking at what shows are going to air for the next season, the next steps are to look at the production staff and to see what streaming service is going to air what show.  The final step may take a while because there is a lot of competition over who gets what show.  To be current, this is the kind of stuff that anime fans have to deal with.

Watching current anime may be a bit more convoluted then just watching shows from the past, but even if the shows are bad it’s definitely worth it.  Where else will you get shows that such unique scopes, characters and scales.  Even if live action shows from the west are getting close to what anime can do, they still have a large number of budget constraints that keep thing from this grand scale unless they are on HBO or AMC.  If anything, the bad shows serve as a palette clearer and let you know what kind of shows you are interested in.

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