First things first, I lied about the title. It is a problem HOWEVER, it’s one that will go away with time. A lot of time as well as effort too.
This is a follow up post to Otaku Time Management and I’m going to rant about what I think is one of my greatest worries so as too speak. It relates to my posts about our time management in general and I do think it applies. If not, treat this as subjective as this is from my personal experiences mostly. By no means should you take anything you read on the Internet too seriously. Because out there, a Nigerian prince wants funds to help French kids with Polio.
So this “problem” recently came back into the fore with me recently, after I managed to forget about it. Yes, it’s partially due to time (and my management of it) but in itself, it’s also a large-ish head-scratcher. And what I’m talking about is the variety and number of anime and manga out there. Now here comes the part that might draw some of the more passionate of commenters (If you know what I mean).
Well, in my opinion, one of the more daunting problems I had to face with this hobby (or interests, whatever word you wish to refer it by) was the immense amount of choices it afforded me. It wasn’t like Warhammer 40k tabletop where if I wanted a particular unit to use, there was a box set of them that I can buy. Perhaps I’l buy another set for parts that I wanted on that squad as well but that was it. However, for my interests in the whole “Otakue culture” and I think it’s the same as any visual media related interests was the huge amount of choices available for consumption.
Imagine (or think back) to when you first started out on this interests. Maybe like me, you started with a manga then got more interested in other manga, eventually you got to anime. Or perhaps you started with an anime you saw on telly and you went to watch the sequel. Of course, you’ll have to come into contact with the online community for “Otaku-ness” at some point and you decide to get integrated into it. Then suddenly, the flood-gates are blow wide f*****g open. People start recommending you huge amounts of anime/manga and you yourself also stumble across a huge amount of them. And that’s where the problem starts. Of that huge amount of choices, what should you watch/read?
It’s rather daunting and overwhelming, especially if your new to such hobbies and it can deters some from this interest. But really, the choices of anime and manga to read/watch is really immense. Say you like a particular genre. Perhaps you’re into Sci-Fi. You decided to Google for anime that have such a genre and suddenly, you have a huge list in front of you. And you’re always going to find a highly-rated review for all of them (refer to my other post The perceptivity of Life). So now you’re really unsure on what to watch first.
I’m not sure about others, but 8 or so months into this hobby and I’m still amazed by the huge amount of anime and manga there are out there and how many are being churned out daily. Partly, I think it’s due to the ease it is to publish manga. Of course by no means is it that easy but compared to say; writing a novel or drawing a graphic novel, it’s not as time or labour intensive. Carillus wrote a post that relates to this on how manga is “mass-produced” as it’s all for commercial profit gain by utilizing tactics that have been proven to sell well on the market. On the anime side, think about how much easier it is to do an animated show over a real-life action movie. There’s no need for huge amounts of re-takes or actors forgetting their lines (well, seiyuus forgetting their lines is easier to correct since the script is in their hands). There’s no need to get hue piles of supplies to orchestrate huge action scenes. In fact, it’s down to the animators and seiyuus to do what they do best whilst the writers compose the plot. And since it’s anime-styled, the graphics aren’t as detailed as Western animated films (Of course, they are plenty of exceptins). It’s essentially creating a cartoon. (*braces for over-zealous fans of the otaku culture*)
So at the end of the day, why is this huge amount of choices such a problem? Well, of course, you have no idea what you want to watch first. The problem will eventually dissipate with time but it no doubt still be there as there is no bloody way one can watch all the anime on Earth unless you have that much free time and the ability to multi-watch 10+ screens at the same time. Another factor to the whole “what to watch first” problem would be the online community and your friends. One would always want to discuss you hobby with others, especially to those near you. However, not all your friends would really be that interested. That’s why there’s an online community for almost any hobby from the “normal” to the freaking bizarre. So you would be obliged to watch shows that the people in the community that you interact with often have watched. To open a path for discussion and some good old intellectual debate about shipping and stuff.
It’s not a must to watch anime that everyone already has of course but unless you’re an extreme introvert, us as human beings would want to have such interaction. So you have so decide between anime that give you opportunity that give you “fun” in terms of social interaction and you think you might enjoy. Not to mention those recommended to you. Of course, it’s exactly the same for manga.
I’m sorry if the post didn’t really make much sense or that you felt it was subjective and very biased. I’m not sure since I wrote it so I can’t comment on it but this is mostly from my own experiences so of course it’s subjective. But I do think that this is a rather interesting “problem”, a boon and a bane to all us Otaku. Meanwhile, let me drown under my options for anime to watch.