My Approach to Seasonal Anime Watching

Before I get into my winter 2018 anime first reaction post, I just want to take a moment of your time to discuss how I usually approach seasonal anime. I think Zel from Archi-Anime asked me question about this on one of my posts at some point. Maybe not though, it’s hard to remember things like this sometimes. Anyways, since I always have a limited amount of time in my life, there is no way I can ever watch every single anime that has airs every season. I know that a few people out in the blog sphere and perhaps even out there in the wilds of the internet untamed by mankind, despite certain attempts *shakes fist at FCC decision* are doing this all the time and mad props goes to those guys for their achievements. Still, that isn’t something any normal human being has the chance to do, which means its less likely for me.

The Approach

My approach is rather simple. I try to build a snap shot of what a season is. To do that, I try to find at least one show to fill out a certain category, genre, or type of show. The slots would go something like this:

-Fantasy
-Science Fiction (Can be split into multiple things)
-Mecha
-Cyberpunk
-Shonen Action
-Cute girls doing cute things
-Romance
-Comedy
-Slice of Life
-Cool Down/Relaxing
-Sports
-Isekai
-Other

When I say at least one, I account for the different types of science fiction shows. Mecha and Cyberpunk are automatically separated because those are types of shows that I automatically watch. I mean, this is Mechanical Anime Reviews. That’s a part of my namesake. Then there is the fact that Cyberpunk Anime is on life support. If this was a long time ago when cyberpunk anime filled the scene, at least one of them would appear on my watch list. So sad about this fact right now. There are other forms of Science fiction, like space exploration which Yamato 2199 easily fills that slot at this moment, and time travel. Fantasy works the same way. For example, something like The Ancient Magus Bride and Grancrest Senki are fantasy series, but they are totally different from each other.  Both of these shows try to accomplish something different. That’s why I consider watching both them. I don’t just watch mecha shows, ok? Jeez.

One other example includes comedy. Of course, comedy is something that is split up to, because there are multiple forms of comedy. Osumatsu-san and Takagi-san are both comedies. Still, Osumatsu-san is sketch comedy and can go completely overboard on its parodies and sketches, which I like. I mean, there is an episode where a character literally trains to be a dolphin. How over the top can you get from that? Then there is Takagi-san which is way more grounded and is about one character tricking another one. These are simple gags, but easily relatable and adorable gags. I like both of these kind of things, so they both tick off the comedy slot for me. The other genres or slots can do the same thing for me.

The way this all helps is it that I can easily compare one season to another based on their content. Is one season as good as another one based on their shows? Does one season have better romance series then another or what about slice of life series? How many mech series are there compared to another? So basically, I put everything in a scientifically controlled method of comparing seasons however way I want to. This proves that I can make a scientifically controlled method for comparing anything, especially anime seasons. Have I told you that I am a genius recently? Go on, you can say it too.

I do have to mention some caveats to this method though. Especially genres and slots revolved around Cute Girls doing Cute Things, Sports, and Isekai. It’s really tough for me to get into CGDCT, because I don’t understand the genre as a whole. Sometimes, something special like Sakura Quest or A Place Further than the Universe show up that are something more special than the usual material and I like that fact. I leave that slot open in hopes that I will find something that I like. The same thing could be said for Isekai. It all seems like the same to me, but there are some series that have different angles to them that makes me interested in them.

Sports anime are slightly different. I am not a huge sports anime fan, so I will only try a series out if it’s the first season. I am not going to go out of my way to watch two seasons of something in order to watch a third season. I’m too lazy for that and I am not good at watching a lot of anime in a short amount of time. Still, I am interested in checking out some shows in order to get an understanding of the sports anime stuff at least. Maybe even find some shows that I like, like Days and Ping Pong: The Animation.

Finding Flaws in the System

I know that this solution is far from perfect. Good shows do fall in the cracks of all of this. Land of the Lustrous is one of those and I am so glad that I eventually caught up with it. All methods come with corrections and bugs though. That happens. I can also be watching the least interesting version or genre of a show airing during that season. It happens. I do admit that I am not a flawless human being and what ever choices of shows that I choose could end up bad or wrong for what I am looking for. I can be incredibly dense from time to time.

Then there is the fact that not all shows can be categorized. Many shows cross over so many genre conventions that they cannot be defined completely. Once again, there is the Ancient Magus Bride. That anime is a shoujo series, a romance story, an action series on occasion, and a fantasy series. There is so much going on in that show, but I talked about that already on a different post this week. Then there is stuff like March Comes in like a Lion. How do you define that show? You can’t, it’s too complex to do that to.  This is why the other option or slot is there. To cover the undefinable.

There may be some other flaws that I haven’t even considered yet. I do admit that I am a little short sited and hard headed, so if you see anymore of them, let me know. I always try to listen to what other people have to say.

In conclusion, look forward to my first impressions post that will appear next week. My thinking processes are completely out in the open now, so you may have an idea of what I look forward to. See you then!



17 Comments Add yours

  1. heyitszel says:

    I believe it was in the podcast chat, that I had asked about your approach. It’s cool because it allows for a variety of shows to be explored. I stick to my shounen, sports & comedy and …yeah..makes my end of the year post a lot more difficult. I may try to adapt something similar to what you’ve described. 🙂 Great post Scott! Can’t wait to see your first impressions!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scott says:

      Oh, that was it! I forget things…

      Good ahead and adapt away!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. heyitszel says:

        It’s okay, we chat in multiple forms, so of course it gets wonky. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ospreyshire says:

    Even though I don’t do seasonal anime reviews, I find your method to be quite intriguing. I think it’s awesome how you tackle one show per genre. That’s a great idea as it diversifies the viewing experience.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scott says:

      This is something that I thought up a little while ago and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.

      Thank you for reading and it does make anime watching more doable when it’s not the same thing the whole time.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ospreyshire says:

        I see. I wondered how you and others are able to pull off reviewing anime in that fashion.

        No problem, Scott. I agree with mixing it up as much as possible with whatever I watch. I also make sure to have some different things going on in Iridium Eye like how no two reviews are from the same creator, distributor, or score each time I post on Saturdays.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. marthaurion says:

    with the amount i watch every season, im convinced that ive just got a filter rather than a system for selecting shows.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      I wonder where you get the time to watch everything (out a lot of things) then.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. marthaurion says:

        it averages out to 3-4 episodes per day

        Liked by 1 person

  4. DerekL says:

    My system is ever so much simpler… I watch what I find interesting and I enjoy. 🙂 I’ll usually at least sample shows with a lot of buzz that look like they’re going to be important, but that’s had mixed results as far as watching to completion. I’m not afraid to go “nope, not for me” and bail.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scott says:

      I like to over think and over complicate everything. It’s what I do best!

      Liked by 2 people

  5. kingdylbag13 says:

    Great post! It was very interesting to read

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Yay, that you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. magicconan14 says:

    Instead of trying to “tick” genre boxes…

    …actually, why not I just do an entire post on this? I have a particular method, although it’s not as detailed as this, of selecting shows and culling the herd of 40-something new anime per season. However, with HiDive coming into the fray recently (and them putting restrictions on backlog shows and second seasons), my system may just change again…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      HiDive seems to throw a lot of people off. Still not sure I want to get a subscription or not.

      Liked by 1 person

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