Watching horrifying anime in public

Quick show of hands, who watches anime in public in some way? What device do you use to watch it? Where do you usually watch it? I know that this sounds like some sort of survey, but I’m wondering how alone I am on doing this. It’s been a major part of my viewing habits for a while now, so maybe it’s a part of somebody else’s’?  It might not sound like something that matters a lot, but sometimes it does. Viewing habits matter and define who we are. Even simple things like binge watching shows how we consume media as a culture. Whether if it’s watching anime on your cell phone in a public place or using an app on a console or a roku to watch anime on tv, either shows how much time you have to watch anime or what quality you feel like watching it. Weird how that works out, right?

I watch anime in a large variety of ways. It depends on a couple aspects for me. For one, how busy am I? Am I going to just stay at home all day or am I going to hop from one place to another? Even if I am staying at home, what do I have to do today? Do I have to work outside in the backyard with dad? Am I going to watch a football game with the parents, so I watch things on my phone? What does my mom want me to do? (Yes, I am staying at home right now. Whatever). If it that turns out that I have nothing to do, then I will spend the time in my room watching anime and some live action series on my television. If I need to move around a lot, I watch anime whenever I can on my cell phone. Especially at the gym when I am on an exercise bike and finally have time to sit down and catch up on seasonal shows. My watching habits are weird.

The most interesting moments that I have watching anime are watching series that have a lot of horrifying elements to them on an exercise bike or treadmill. Yes, I do that and I don’t care. An example of this was on Wednesday when I watched Zodiac Wars, because I couldn’t find anything else to watch. I wasn’t expecting all the killing, blood, and gore, but you know what? Even if it’s the wrong way to show how adult anime can be, because themes are more important, this is the pubic way to do it. Then there are other times when I was watching Ushio and Tora in public and quite a few episodes focused on people turning into spears or other bloody and scary elements in that show. Then there is Berserk, which needs no introduction at all. It’s Berserk, it kind of has a reputation for being horrifying. I don’t think that a lot of people give more of a passing glance to what other people are watching, but I wonder what some people think when catching glimpses at the right time. I doubt if it gave people more than a passing thought or it ruined their day at all, but sometimes I wonder about all of this.

Watching on a cell phone is far from my favorite way to view this art form though. Since the screen is small, despite how close you hold it to your eyes or placed on something, missing nuances of the animation and even some of the sound through ear buds is still likely to happen. These sound like small things, but these are things that may make or break a viewing experience for some shows. No, the best way to watch a show for me is to watch it on the biggest screen possible with as much sound control as you can or whatever that size of tv to distance from tv ratio is. (I may need to come up with some kind of mathematical formula on this. More experimentation to follow!) In this way, you can perfectly see everything on screen while being close enough to read the subtitles at the same time if you are watching a show subbed. If dubbed, that doesn’t matter as much and you can notice much more of the background elements and stuff. The perfect viewing experience.

So now it’s your turn. What do you consider your best viewing experience? Also, do you watch anime on your phone? I know somebody else out there must do it to, because I’m not alone on that I think. Maybe, maybe not? I guess I will find out in the comments section! Let’s have a discussion.


  1. I’ve heard that the optimum screen size to distance ratio is about 1:3 (you should be 3 times further away from the screen than the size of the screen). This seems to be backed up by my experiences, not that I exactly get out a ruler every time I want to watch TV!

    I’ve watched anime on my phone sometimes (it can be comfy to just sit in bed and watch some shorts), but it’s not always optimal. The sound and image you’ll get out of your phone, plus the need to hold it up aren’t ideal for long periods of time. It’s fine if I want to watch an episode of Teekyuu before I get up for the day though!

    I know that blogger The Cart Driver has written about watching anime while on his commute to work, and how that has affected his viewing choices in some of his posts. ( this is one here, but I think there’s a few more)

    I think that it’s possible to forget how weird that anime can be until you’re watching it around people who aren’t used to it. I’m not into incredibly violent shows like you, but I do like some weird things, and trying to explain Heybot to my husband’s parents was a bit of a strange experience (to be fair, Heybot itself is a strange experience). I think in places like the gym though, everyone is busy doing their own thing, and probably wouldn’t give the whole thing too much thought!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Damn it, can’t believe research has been done on that. I thought I was being original for a second or two.

      Yeah, that’s why when I do watch it on my phone, I usually have it resting somewhere where it reverberates sound decently or wear ear buds.

      Interesting, I will look this up later.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I watch fanservice filled harem and loli anime on my phone during break at work. It gets others feeling unease as they think I’m trolling them.

    Okay that sounded dramatic. I just don’t watch the obvious popular shows because it will get people looking at me then distract me from watching it!

    Take Made In Abyss for example. It sure looks popular but absolutely nobody at my workplace watches it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds amazing, I wish I had your guts. I watched a harem series at an airport once, but decided to never do it again after that awkward experience.

      Ah, fair enough.


  3. For some reason I can’t watch anime around other people. Unless I’m purposefully watching it with them, I can’t stand it when people can see what I’m watching. It may be a slice of life and have no jarring moments, but I still can’t bring myself to watch around others. I also watch everything almost exclusively on my laptop. Even when I’m alone I watch on there. I can’t figure out why. I do watch on my phone occasionally but not all that often. It’s interesting how your viewing experiences are so different from mine!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m just a strange individual in a lot of respects, so my viewing habits are probably different from a majority stand point.

      Ah, I used to be pretty shy with my watchings too, now I’m at that point that if I’m around that know me, then I’ll just watch what I want.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I watch anime just about anywhere I can if I have enough time. If I’m out I watch it on my phone, If I’m at home I watch it on my TV since I have my console snd PC hooked up to it. Whwn I watch it or read manga in public I stay far away from anything with major fanservice or anything really goofy, I’ll watch shows like Naruto, Black Lagoon, Ga Rei Zero, etc. The only place I don’t really watch it is the gym.

    Funny thing is when I watch it people get a bit confused (they say I don’t seem like I’m into that stuff), I remember one time some female told me “how can you watch that nerd shit”.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That one female doesn’t know what series missing. She may need to be initiated into the madness and wonder!

      Ah, so similar to me then. I don’t watch fanservice shows that often anyway, so not too concerned about that.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t have anything to watch anime in public on, and I probably wouldn’t just because it’s too easy for me to get distracted, but I’ve seen people watching whatever they like in public, so I know you’re not the only one! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. yeah, i dont really put too much thought into what i watch in public…pretty much anything i would normally watch is fair game. i do watch on my phone, but i tend to do that only when im travelling. probably the only concession i make is that the wallpapers on my work computer are restricted to mechas

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I approve of the mecha wallpapers.

      I don’t usually put that much thought into what I watch in public either, but it’s interesting to think about from time to time.


  7. I watch anime on my desktop if I’m reviewing so that I’m actually sitting up and paying attention and can take notes if I need to. If I’m watching just to zone out I watch on the TV and crash on the couch. When travelling I use a very small and underpowered laptop to stream and sometimes that doesn’t work out so well because it doesn’t like my blog for some reason and formatting posts is a pain in the neck.
    I don’t watch anime in public not so much because I don’t want to but because I don’t really have time. When I am out it is for a reason (work, dinner with people, etc). So anime generally has to wait until I get home.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sounds like a good way to do things. I never usually do things like take notes, so I don’t watch anime on my computer very often. Especially when I have a bigger screen to watch shows just a few feet away from it. Then again, I don’t use that computer too much in general.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My laptop is where I usually watch anime, cozy in my bed. I also watch on my phone if I’m at work during my lunch, I don’t really care about the fact people might see what I’m watching. If they want to judge, they can but I think it’s a waste of time…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, even I haven’t watch anime at work yet. It’s easier with random public people that you probably won’t see again. Watching it around people who are around all the time is a completely different thing. Hard core!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lolol I have a couple of anime fan as co-worker, but I also work with people who mind our business. So far I never felt anyone looking over my shoulder to see what I’m watching. If they ask I will tell them. Anyway it’s not like I was watching any Yaoi series at work.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. There’s an anime club at my institution (they book out a cinema, so the experience is topnotch) and I’m a regular attendee, but I’m normally up the back of the theatre – I’m a horrible person to watch movies with and it’s no different with anime. Aside from that, I don’t watch anime in public, although I’ve been more public about being involved with anime/manga lately – for instance, if you got me to list my hobbies a few years ago, “reading” and “being on the computer” may have shown up, but nowadays it’s “anime and manga”.

    I’ve tried watching on my phone and it’s too unwieldy for me, so it’s just me and my laptop. I don’t watch with the sound on in a lot of cases, just in case someone tries a jumpscare in real life or the anime (exception being something like Classicaloid, which involves music).

    As for the TV to distance ratio, isn’t that what the old “Please watch this anime in a properly-lit room, away from the TV” message is for? They’ve faded away since a lot of people have moved to watching things on the go, but I get the feeling people need that message more than ever these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Man, I miss being apart of an anime club. We didn’t book one of our movie theater areas, but we had a large enough screen to enjoy multiple aspects of the show. We also made fun of different elements of shows if they were bad. That’s the kind of group watch experience I like.

      Ah, i


    2. Damn, didn’t finish that last one. This is why cell phones suck. I’ve had times when I couldn’t see anything on my phone screen because the scenery was too dark, so I understand the unweldy thing. It takes some practice.

      I think you are right about that old statement, it does need to come back.


  10. I think I’ve only watched anime in public once. And it’s a funny story… Had to go up to the laundromat to wash a couple of things that wouldn’t fit in the washer where we lived then. Took my tablet because according to the ‘net they had wi-fi. Not only did they have wi-fi, it was a decently fast too! But they blocked Netflix, Hulu, and Youtube – but not Crunchyroll. 🙂 So I watched some favorite eps of SAO because I was in a really bad mood and just wanted some mindless fun. But I was over in a corner and there weren’t many people there, so nobody noticed.

    Other than that, I’m a househusband, so I’m rarely in a place with time on my hands. The vast majority of my watching is on the TV, and very occasionally on my computer. Once in a blue moon I’ll watch some on my tablet in bed before going to sleep. (Usually when I’m sick or go to bed early for some reason. My wife goes to bed two-three hours before I do, so it’s straight into bed most nights so I don’t wake her.)

    I’ve never even tried to watch on my phone, too small for these old, bad eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds reasonable. Glad you found something to relax to at that time.

      Fair enough, if you don’t have to go anywhere, why watch something on your phone or tablet device when better options are available.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. My preference is definitely TV through my PS4 or Laptop. Anything else and there just isn’t any point in me watching it. As for watching in public, I have a few times back in Uni and I definitely got a few weird looks but some random passerby’s did join in on occasion so that was cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I consider you brave for watching anime in public without hiding your phone and face in shame everytime someone might be watching. Of course, you don’t really have anything to be ashamed of, but my projections of what other people might think of me are currently holding me back from watching anime in public.

    It’s sort of like what you said in one of your other posts about how a few rotten eggs can ruin others’ perceptions of anime. In my head, passersby are thinking that I’m some degenerate for watching anime, or that I must be watching that show about young girls with little clothing, because isn’t that what all anime is?

    These are outliers of course, but you never know what people are thinking. This is a problem with me though. I shouldn’t care what other people think, but that’s a skill I’m still working on developing.

    Thought-provoking article!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I am a hermit, so I watch most of my stuff on my home TV. On the rare occasions that I travel I do watch anime on my tablet. No idea if I get odd looks from strangers, as I just focus on the screen.

    Liked by 1 person

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