Kai’s Question #5 – Weekly or Marathon?
This question had been asked a multitude of times, and is definitely of incredible interest. Do you watch anime weekly or do you marathon them?
A standard anime takes about 20 minutes to finish each episode, and each episode is aired weekly. Especially for new anime, waiting for a whole week to watch a single episode of a certain anime may sound a bit troublesome, but it creates a good experience for certain type of anime, and in contrast, a degradation of experience for other particular types of anime. Likewise can be said for marathons, certain type of anime are good for marathoning while some aren’t.
Watching anime on a marathoning or a weekly basis both have their advantages and disadvantages. When one watches anime weekly, it allows him to slowly absorb the settings and plot of the anime, especially so if it’s an extensive and enthralling setting.
I find simple slice of life anime (K-ON, Tamayura, Aria, etc..) is best when watched weekly, as it heighten the relaxing atmosphere, where as in comparison, one may get exhausted from marathoning, thus losing that soothing and relaxing magic. When I was clearing my backlog, I marathoned all four seasons of Hidamari Sketch, and the result was that it wasn’t as enjoyable as I had hoped for – a prime example of what one shouldn’t do when choosing which anime to marathon.
When watching new weekly anime, there’s a one week break in between, and what better way to use that break then to discuss the latest episode with your friends! With internet, you can even interact with your online friends and discuss the latest episode of your favorite anime in your favorite anime blog or forums. This is what I like best about weekly anime watching as it promotes interaction within the anime community, and as a result, strengthen the unity and bond for the community.
Weekly anime viewing isn’t without it’s flaws however. For people with lot going on with their life, it’s easy to forget trivial details. For some mystery, psychological and horror anime, one subtle movement or speech will be able to turn the plot into a shocking twist, and how would one immerse into the twist when he couldn’t even remember the details? This is what I myself experienced when watching Another on a weekly basis: I felt the great suspenseful atmosphere of the first episode but after the next week, I found myself constantly looking up what happened in previous episodes to again catch up on things.
Marathon, the act of watching an anime or any other TV series in one consecutive row, until one reach a conclusive point; an end of a season, or perhaps even an end of a franchise. For people with a busy lifestyle, watching weekly may be a good idea, but it can also not be due to reasons aforementioned above. In that case, one should consider the other alternative – marathons.
Watching anime in marathon format leads to an exclusive benefit – avoiding cliffhangers and prolonging excitement. Cliffhangers are great for heightening suspense and excitement, but once some time had passed, that excitement can be quickly lost. One week may not be a long time, but the stronger the cliffhanger, the longer that one week would be felt – the excitement from last week’s episode would be quickly subdued, and whose to say he will be free for the following week’s airing? If he is not, then this leads to more stalling in keeping up with the anime, and in turn, more excitement level is jeopardized.
Another interesting benefit, at least for me, is getting through the slower parts of the show. Using a more recent example – Shingeki no Kyojin. A lot of complains seem to be regarded to it’s pacing, although oddly, I don’t feel that they are as bad as what others think – the issue is present, no doubt, but definitely not as bad. The only reason I could think of is that I watch Shingeki no Kyojin in a marathon format. Marathoning really helps getting one through slower-paced segments of the shows – before you know it, you will already be done with it.
Likewise, marathoning also has their bad sides, the worst of all – the lack of discussions and debates. When watching the latest episodes every week, one is able to talk and discuss about their new favorite characters or the current situational standing. As opposed to that, when watching anime in marathon format, such magic is lost. Due to the fact that you will be watching the anime at completely different times then most people, it’s harder to discuss it with other people, since such hot-headed discussions were already initiated when the episodes were out.
In order to attain the most pleasurable experience while watching anime, a lot has to be consider: time and place, the viewer’s current mood, quality of the video, medium of device and so on. Knowing what anime to marathon and what anime to watch weekly is certainly one of them as well.
This is very individualistic too since I feel everyone will have a different preference. For me, I prefer anime with softer atmospheres, most notably slice of life ones to be watched weekly while the more bold and exciting anime – suspenseful mystery or hot blooded actions and the likes, to be marathoned to empathize the excitement to the maximum.
So do you watch anime weekly or do you marathon them? The question’s been asked quite a while but I feel it’s a question worth to be spread more. After all, it is one of the most important factor that is relevant to our enjoyment of our favorite medium – anime.
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