Watching anime year after year.

image drawn by kanikama

The title sounds like I’ve been watching for a long time. But it wasn’t until 2002 that my anime watching habits would snowball into what it is today. That would mark me as a new fag by those who’ve watched and been in the anime scene for much longer. I’m not one that can manage to watch every anime series, or at least 85 percent, per season. (I did challenge myself to try this a couple times last year, but was unsuccessful.) I’ve decided to think about how long I’ve been watching anime, what I have watched, and which ones have become my favorites. When I went back to analyze my favorites for any patterns, there was no clear difference of taste back then and now.

Starting from the anime I am currently watching, and the ones that had become my favorites in the last couple of years, I went backwards. I tried to find at least a single element (story, theme, atmosphere, art style, character types, photography) that would be retained the further I went backwards. Shows like Working!! brought me back to Patlabor and Muyo Tenchi. Mawaru Penguindrum brought me back to Ghost in the Shell and Ranma 1/2. These were from simplified parsing, with the criteria of a single element shared. It was a nice practice. It made me remember anime I’ve watched I couldn’t have recalled if you asked me at a random point in time.

Then I realized my taste in anime hasn’t changed. It’s merely expanded to its neighbors. There’s a lot of anime I still can’t stand. Sometimes I’ll drop a show past the half-way point when it was supposedly doing good. I would wonder why I’d turn down watching a series even if it had the same basic plot construction as others. It does end up simplifying itself down to “like it, or don’t like it” very often. But it’s the same as deciding what you want to eat. Sometimes you’ll just pick your safe choice, knowing you’ll like it; sometimes you’ll decide to experiment and see if an unknown food won’t make your taste buds meltdown.

It’s really interesting to look back at what you’ve watched, and what you’re currently watching. I’ll understand if you stop reading here, because now it really will be a simple list of things I’ve watched – in no particular order.

What is this year — 2012 — to me?

Hyouka, Kokoro Connect, Moyashimon Returns, Sword Art Online, YuruYuri S2, Kono Naka ni Hitori Imouto ga Iru, Binbougami Ga!, Tari Tari, Campione!, Jinrui wa Suitaishimashita, Dakara Boku wa H ga dekinai, Jormungand, Haiyore! Nyaruko-san, Highschool DxD, Natsume Yuujinchou, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, Oda Nobuna no Yabou, Black Rock Shooter, Bodacious Space Pirates, Brave 10, Eureka Seven: AO, Tasogare Frontier Otome x Amnesia, Rinne no Lagrange, Kill Me Baby, Saki Achiga-hen, Sankarea, Sengoku Collection, Polar Bear Cafe, Zetman, Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, Upotte!!, and Thermae Romae.

What was the year 2003 to me?

Dokkoida?!, Scrapped Princess, Ninja Scroll, Last Exile, Kino’s Journey, Detective Loki, Kaleido Star, Someday’s Dreamers, .Hack//Twilight, Air Master, Full Metal Panic Fumoffu, Read or Die, Godannar, Gunparade March, Mouse, Wolf’s Rain, Texhnolyze, Ikki Tousen, Onegai Twins!, Popotan, D.C. Da Capo, Narutaru, Requiem from the Darkness, Bottle Fairies, Battle Programmer Shirase, Gungrave, Fullmetal Alchemist, Planetes, Mermaid Forest, Galaxy Railways, Rumbling Hearts, Gunslinger Girl, Tsukihime, Maburaho, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, Peacemaker Kurogane, and Chrono Crusade.

How about you? What are you watching this year, and what did you watch in the year 2003? Why am I asking about that year specifically? You might be surprised if you do what I just did; you’ll probably figure out why I’m asking about 2003. Or you won’t, and you don’t care. Take a good look at the list you make. Did nothing change? Or did your tastes shift? I’d like for other anime bloggers to give this a try, but that would mean I was friends/acquaintances with them or associate with some shared interest community.

Watching anime year after year.