The Eternal Otaku problem

Too funny to not use

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.

Inu X Boku SS is surprisingly enjoyable. Just a random thought

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*)

I brought a mecha to be safe

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 need more Luka pics!!! Because all I've been finding is Miku!!! Not that I dislike her though ~

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.

Here's a reward for reading to the end. Pantsu

About Manfred Tham

Manfred can typically be found hiding from people behind his computer screen or a tall pint. However you can easily contact him in any given video game where he will either insult you or be really nice to you. In addition his nerdiness transcends the digital plane when he partakes in the arcane rituals of rolling dice in both table-top and board games. Disregarding the countless hours he has logged into games, Manfred loves nothing more than cooking food to satisfy his craving for Northern European cuisine or to sip away from the many bottles of whiskies he fondly defaults to. Manfred is also what is commonly known as a “metalhead” with a penchant for both symphonic and power metal. Manfred summarises his life philosophy with a quote by Samuel L.Jackson, but it has been redacted for being far too vulgar.
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17 Responses to The Eternal Otaku problem

  1. Kyle M. says:

    I have bumped into this problem a few times myself honestly. Trying to keep up with all the new series really got me burned out. Especially when I would read a bloggers post on an older series that was “legendary” “you can’t call yourself a fan if you haven’t watched ******” I am sure you have heard that line as well.

    I went back trying to watch the old stuff but then I ended up losing track of all the new stuff. Anime and Manga are a very unique medium of entertainment. There is just TOO much to watch. Within the culture there are even sub-cultures of Mecha-Otaku, Seiyuu-Otaku, Manga-Otaku, Anime-Otaku, even light novels have their own culture. Even with that your not scratching the service of hentai and eroge games. This point has a definite application to otaku time management because it is simply too much to keep up with at times.

  2. GoodbyeNavi says:

    I have had this hobby for about 10 years but it didn’t become serious until the last four to five years when I finally dated someone who watched anime so I got introduced to more. I tend to not worry too much about watching new anime series because I know there is only a couple I can watch at one time, then I try to watch older series that I haven’t seen before and have heard or read good things about. I started with anime and only recently start reading some manga because I enjoyed the shows. And I laughed out loud at your pictures.

    I do not consider myself an otaku because although that label doesn’t have a derogatory meaning in America, in Japan it is. Not to mention my anime hobby is not all-encompassing and does not stop me from being able to function in my daily life.

    • Thank you, I put effort into trying to make my posts more entertaining ^.^

      Of course, if one’s hobby of “otaku-ness” becomes all encompassing, it will no doubt have it’s dire consequences but even for the casual enthusiasts, this is a rather interesting situation to face. But maybe you’re just more selective than some like me. I always get stumped on choices ~.~

  3. rockmanshii says:

    Actually I think you shouldn’t worry too much about it as as you said yourself this feeling will fade over with time. I am bad at time management, but how should I say… I started very early. I can get around with both watching anime weekly these days (Danshi Koukousei no nichijaw, Moreso Pirates and Lagrange, among others things not weekly), reading manga and my Uni studies just fine. (Well maybe not about my studies).
    Ironically, I think you should take your time, and do things at your pace. It’s a given to be submerged with recommendations and whatnot in this age of MAL and anime blogs everywhere. Maybe you’ll miss up on some discussions about “current” shows but that’s not so bad either.
    That’s what I think anyway.

    I don’t even remember how I ended up here , but I stayed. Nice to meet you guys I guess.

    • Yay, it’s always nice to meet new readers. Not that I know many since I’ve been here maybe 4 months.

      And as you said, take things in your own time. Which I do but the main idea of the post was about the confusion when it comes to choosing what to watch in the first place. But it is a good point you bring up, especially for those not coping so well with this “problem”

  4. Azure says:

    Recently I’ve been contemplating whether I’m taking this far too seriously… Why am I fussing over Japanese cartoons again? Does there really need to be some deep meaning behind every work? what have I wasted my life on?

    I think I might be growing out of this hobby a little… *brb slapping some sense into myself*

  5. Yerocha says:

    I have this problem all the time. I don’t know how long I’ve been holding off shows like Initial D or Penguindrum, because while I do want to watch them, there’s never a good time when there’s so much else to see.

  6. Pingback: The Eternal Otaku problem – Reblogged from AOIA « Interests of a Psychopath

  7. Nopy says:

    I’ve actually had the opposite problem for most of my anime-watching life: too little to watch. When I started watching anime, there were only really a handful of series that I could actually obtain each season. This was when everyone was still on dial-up and my only choices were to hope that the library got some anime in their foreign films section or wait an entire day to download an episode of To Heart.

    Things are looking great now though, I have access to all of the good shows that air each season and just need to pick out ones that are interesting. While there are some that you feel like you would be missing out on, chances are that no one will remember them in 10 years.

  8. Yi says:

    Yea, this is definitely an issue. Nearly every anime fan I know has a backlog of shows she wants to watch, and as far as I know, that backlog only increases with time. No one has ever caught up.

    And that, of course, includes me. There are sooo many titles on m planned to watch this. Well, at least I don’t have the other problem–not knowing what to watch.

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