The Crazy Stupid Way I Select Anime to Watch (And Why I’m Content with It)

A recent award question got me rethinking about my anime watching patterns. The question in particular was what shows were I looking forward to watching in Spring 2018. I’ve been asked similar questions, which is not surprising because it’s a common question passed around the anime community. However, my response is almost always ‘Well, the way I select things to watch doesn’t lend me to catching the newest anime as they come out, so I don’t really have any lol’

I’ve explained my, for lack of a better term, “method” of selecting anime a couple of times to some people, but I’ve never really gone in-depth about it, mostly because it’s complicated and makes me look insane…..But I decided I’d share with you this tangled web of nonsense, because I think I actually have a point in here…..Probably not, but let’s see!

There is a method to my madness, I promise. I’ve just gone down a rabbit hole that I, myself, have dug and I can’t get out. If, at any time, you find me to be a nerdy psycho for selecting anime this way……Yes.

Let’s start at the nitty-gritty, which is my anime folders in my bookmarks. I have four different anime folders that arrange anime I’ve either stumbled upon, heard about, read about, randomly saw etc. (sometimes I’ll even scour anime sites and select at least one series by title from each letter of the alphabet.) I bookmark either the streaming page for it or an info page about it. The folders go by episode length. 1-13 eps, 14-26 eps, 27-51 eps and 52+ eps. These are categorized as such because these are the typical lengths shows usually extend out to

Next, I go to the first folder and either select the anime at the top of the list or flick the scroll bar up and down and blindly click on an entry. Then I do the same for the other folders. This becomes my ‘lineup’ so to speak. I will then watch the first episode of each show, probably do an Episode One-derland about each, then, if I like the show, I’ll put it in line for completion (which may or may not be a long line due to laziness and backlogs) or I just drop it. If I really like a show, I’ll bump it to the top of the line and complete it quickly.

Particularly long shows, usually ones in the 52+ folder, get more elbow room for watching since they’re usually just so long that I’d be sidelined for a while if I put too much focus on them at once. For these shows, I’ll watch an episode when I’m in the mood or have some extra time.

Now, currently, I’ve made a massive mess of things in my watch schedule. I have a bunch of stuff backlogged and I keep getting distracted by my other projects (SDCs, Shounen/Shoujo Step-by-Step, Dissecting the Disquels etc.).

To keep myself more organized, I have made up a watch schedule that continuously changes as I complete more shows and need material for my series. For instance, my current schedule now is to watch and review at least one episode of Cardfight!! Vanguard per day (if able), while completing my rewatch of Boogiepop Phantom (Almost done). Then I’ll do at least ten episodes of Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch for Shoujo Step-by-Step and then finish Death Parade (Also almost done). And so on and so forth.

All the while, this is peppered with stuff I need to update as I post more blogs. For example, I might throw in some Pokemon, an Episode One-Derland (Cartoons) episode, a western animated movie and some manga.

In essence, the way I watch anime is very sporadic. An organized mess, if you will.

I will admit, this is far from an efficient way to select or complete anime. By all means, I should drop it entirely and adopt something better. I have no clue when I even started doing this, because sometimes I get into weird obsessive modes and make up stuff like this only to forget why I structured it like that in the first place, but, like I said, I’m pretty deep into the rabbit hole I’ve dug for myself. I find the familiarity and wonky structure to work for me on some strange level. Plus, I think this method has more benefits than one might think.

I get to watch and learn about all sorts of anime from the dawn of the medium to today. I get to uncover old lost gems and even old fun garbage that I don’t think I ever would’ve considered otherwise. I also get exposed to a multitude of genres that I might not have ever delved into. I give nearly each and every thing I randomly select a fair shot instead of pigeon-holing myself into a few categories.

I also don’t have to suffer through any drama that might be spawning from a current series, writer, producer, studio etc. Or at least, if I do, I get to avoid the brunt of it.

The biggest sacrifice of this is that, yeah, I typically don’t get caught up on any newer shows unless I really really want to watch them (and even then, I sometimes falter. I’m only now watching Digimon Adventure Tri, for example). So I’ll never be on the front lines of anime news and kick myself in the butt when I finally manage to watch a really great newer show and wish I had watched it sooner.

I also tend to take much longer finishing series than I’d like because so many series so little time.

It’s a trade-off, but I’m oddly content with it.