This issue, more of a query really, has been covered numerous times before, but because I just love filler I’d like to give my opinion on the matter and force others to agree with me, here are my thoughts on the best way to watch anime. With actual reasoning!
There are many different ways to watch anime, be it waiting painstakingly for Regional DVD’s, marathoning shows,collecting episodes from currently airing series wand watching them in segments or just watching an episode from among the backlog every now and then. But the two most notable forms of anime watching to me are weekly viewings (most attributed to watching currently airing series) and marathons, which I believe to be watching a large group of episodes of shows in a short amount of time, rather than one epic continuous watch (how the hell Shirukii can watch three shows back to back in one sitting is beyond me). There are both advantages and disadvantages to each type of habit.
With weekly viewings, the creators of the show obviously believed that as each episode of their anime should be watched one at a time over weekly periods, the events in the show should be spaced out or placed together accordingly. That’s the reason we have cliffhangers and plot twists occur near the end of an episode (for any show in existence, really). Anime is first and foremost entertainment, and the creators would want to keep the audience on their toes and coming back for more while still delivering a great story. Even if the show is episodic, characters and events must stil be introduced, a problem presented and the storyline wrapped up within the short space of around 22 minutes, so as to leave the viewer with a satisfying conclusion and ready for the next installment.
Marathoning a show takes away that build-up of suspense and anxiety that’s left in those weekly periods and could create a sense that the plot’s progressing too quickly or awkwardly. It could be said that though the events of the next episode are subsequent to the one preceding, that real life wait of up to a week for the next episode to air plays a large part in the audience’s opinion of each episode. If one of the shows greatest assets is throwing surprsises in your face every now and again, you could easily get bored or disinterested in continuous random plot revelations (I’m looking at you, Code Geass) and notice plot holes and flaws in the storytelling. On the other hand with marathons your pretty much getting what you wish for: quick answers to questions raised in each episode or much more simply, more good anime nao.
But one of the great advantages to watching anime weekly isn’t so much with the anime itself, but the discourse that occurs because of it. Seeing people’s reaction to, well, any episode of Code Geass or from a purely objective standpoint, Gundam 00 (I haven’t seen it, therefore I can be objctive IMO) or recently even Toradora! 13 (three mentions in one week on the blog, a first, I believe) which had almost an entire podcast based around it is always a great experience. Having a platform, as I have done, to express my opinions about such events or episodes makes things even better, and I wouldn’t ever conceive on skipping out on a season of shows since I’d realise what Id be missing out on at least some of the latest blogging dorama. As the ALL-KNOWING SOJOURNER says:
I will keep blogging because watching people blog about anime brings more fun than watching anime.
Though I’d say that watching people blog adds to the experience more than anything else. (Also take note of the fact that this point is in almost complete opposition to my “Lest We Forget” post. Yay for contradictory statements!)
But seeing things this way makes it seem like anime’s something that has to be studied simply for the sake of taking part in discussions, like revising for a test. Only one that no-one cares about. And has no teacher. Or school. Simply the horiibly judgemental tweets and typings of your peers.
This is becoming kind of a ramble, so I’ll try to draw out a concise conclusion from all this. The truth is, the best way to watch anime kind of depends on the type of fan you are, and this is partially in keeping with the theory expressive and amassive that ghostlightning created.) In this case, the expressivists best way to watch anime would be weekly, so as to take part in the discussion that occur all over the blogosphere (incidentally, I love that word, but that’s something for another time) about their favourite shows, whereas the ammasivists best way would be to marathon so that they could watch as much content as possible.
But hey, these are just broad generalisations and my opinion on the subject. I’m a self-proclaimed expressivist (welcome to AA, Animeholics Anonymous) as can be seen both by avid blogging (3 posts in two days, two of which are filler?! What are the odds!?), this comment and the fact I prefer to watch currently airing shows weekly, as morally bankrupt as that may be with all the piracy floating around on my comp. But what’s your “anime eating habits” and how do you best watch anime?