My life has gotten busier and busier these days. I work a lot more than I ever did, and I have to devote chunks of my week to cooking and grocery shopping (something I never actually did in college – I just ordered Chinese food like, every week or ate the Absolutely Awful cafeteria food). As a result, I don’t watch nearly as much anime as I used to.
I still watch a decent amount, for sure, but the way I consume anime media is a lot different. I actually think I read more about anime other people watch more than I actually watch anime these days. I don’t have time to watch every seasonal as they air anymore, so reading what y’all post on here helps me get a feel for which shows I should check out and which ones I should skip. At work, I get a lot of time to myself, just typing and sitting at my desk, so I can listen to podcasts about anime. But I just don’t have time to watch the anime myself.
I started getting into anime around sixth grade, and the amount of anime I would watch was ridiculous. Back then, I was one of those stereotypical Naruto nerds who would, like, get in trouble for drawing anime pictures in class and would “Naruto run at gym. I was a disaster, honestly. I would even try to throw Japanese honorifics into my everyday speech. I ate up every shounen series that was on at the time – so, Naruto, Bleach, and even a bit of Prince of Tennis. I remember reading Shounen Jump at the orthodontist’s office all the time (because, of course, this 12 year old otaku tragedy also had braces). I watched just about any show I could get my hands on, regardless of whether or not it was age-appropriate. Specifically, I remember watching one of those racy incest shows when I was like, 13, and being really shocked…only to find out that there were about a million of those exact stories in anime. I also remember constantly finding highly acclaimed shows like Ergo Proxy and Neon Genesis Evangelion, watching the first two episodes, and then realizing they were waaaaaaaaay more than lil’ ol’ me could handle. I tucked a list of those shows away so that I could watch them later.
By the time I got to high school, I was really insecure about how much of a dork I was in middle school, so I dropped anime almost altogether. I honestly think I only watched one or two series throughout my entire high school career – Eureka Seven, one of my all-time favorites, being one of them. It was the high school way – lying about who you are even though it literally didn’t matter. And, of course, later, it turned out most of the people I became friends with were all secretly big anime fans, so I was truly in the anime closet for nothing.
When I got to college, I remembered, “hey, I used to be really into this shit,” and just dove right back in full-force. I made a bunch of anime friends at school, and we would hang out and just binge-watch series. Me and my friend Connor watched through like, four Gundam series over the course of a year. On top of that, I would use Rabb.it to stream shows with my friends from home (you know, those friends who were also secretly into anime in highschool). And, I found that list of shows I wanted to watch but knew I wouldn’t “get” from middle school and watched a bunch of them! Little me had good taste, even if she couldn’t handle it yet!
But, now, I just don’t have time to watch a million shows at once. I moved, too, so I don’t get to see my anime pals from school as much. Now that I have an ~actual income~, I am more into manga, though. I just read through My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness and I’m starting Yotsubato! in Japanese! It’s easier to be into manga since it’s a little more portable and I can go at it my own pace.
I wonder if I’ll ever end up “growing out” of anime. I don’t think I will, but I do wonder if I’ll end up slowing my intake of it even more. Is this relatable for anyone else? Has the amount of anime you watched changed since you were younger, or is it about the same? Do you find yourself reading/writing about anime more than you actually watch it?