Kai’s Question #5 – Weekly or Marathon?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Kai’s Questions
Kai’s Question #1 – Revealing Figures
Kai’s Question #2 – Android Online Games
Kai’s Question #3 – Storing Anime
Kai’s Question #4 – Light Novels?
Kai’s Question #5 – Weekly or Marathon?
Kai’s Question #6 – Sweaty Hands and It’s Effects on My Gaming Experience
Kai’s Question #7 – Best Girls of Love Live!

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This entry was posted by Kai.

38 thoughts on “Kai’s Question #5 – Weekly or Marathon?

  1. I remember writing about this some time ago, and yeah, both really do have their pros and cons; that are at the same time dependent on the type of anime you’re watching.

    It’s true for myself as well that a huge part of why I watch ongoing shows weekly (rather than stockpiling them until the season ends) is that I get to talk about new developments and stuff with people. It’s also hard not to get spoiled when waiting for an ongoing show to finish, “because” people are talking about it. As it is now though, I find it hard to follow all shows I like for a season, so it becomes a matter of weighing expected enjoyment. Sometimes I get lucky and stick with a show that turns out to be great (like say Zetsuen no Tempest), and sometimes I end up being left out of an otherwise amazing series (like Psycho-Pass last year as well)

    In the end I personally prefer marathoning just a little bit more than weekly, simply because with marathoning you can set up an optimum environment and you get the story (if it’s a narrative type show) at your own pace. Plus marathoning entails that you’re securing for yourself the best quality (or at least a quality that you’re happy with) of a show, so it’s a good experience all in all.

    • Indeed, I still went for a marathon format for some ongoing anime though. To avoid spoilers, I tend to avoid weekly anime blogs (this is the reason why I’m not seen as much in those blogs, lol) and anime forum discussions altogether, though I do check them out once I actually caught up with the newest episode. Hmm, for me, I just pick anime that everyone just seems to be talking about, still a hit-or-miss though, as it’s not like my tastes are aligned exactly the same as everybody else :p

      Optimum environment indeed, you can pick anytime to watch it, you can watch it after you finished a series troublesome tasks, or you can watch it after you settled some problems. Unlike weekly when you just need to keep up regardless of the obligations bugging you in the corner of your mind, lol.

  2. I like being able to watch episodes whenever I feel like it…without marathoning them. I’m probably the laziest anime watcher in existence XD When i’m into a series I might watch one or two episodes a day. At the moment I just watch one every few days.

    • Wow, that’s kind of fascinating to hear, because a lot of fans I know (including myself) just don’t know how to savour shows. If all the episodes are at hand, you end up watching the whole lot really quickly – if it’s good, that is, or forgetting to watch it altogether after a couple of episodes. Do you think the stuff you watch tends to sink in thoroughly, because of your viewing habits?

      • I haven’t really though about it that way. I suppose that with longer exposure to a series I might feel more attached to it overall and my recent experience with marathoning SAO supports that. Watching both seasons in a little over a day, I found that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected to and wasn’t overly attached to the characters. Asuna seems like I character I would like normally but now that i’ve finished the series I don’t have any strong feelings about her, or any of the characters for that matter. It’s entirely possible that watching it over a long period of time would have made me feel differently.
        If that idea is true, then I would also argue that it would have the opposite effect for series i’m not really enjoying (but aren’t drop-worthy). I think i’ve been watching the first season of To Love-Ru for over a month now…and it’s possible I like it less because of how long my viewing of it has dragged on.

  3. Stuff that I’m *really* interested in I will watch on a weekly basis. I did this with Psycho Pass back in the day, and doing it with Kill la Kill right now. Other than that I don’t really watch anime very often so by the time I get to a series it’s already been out for like half a year… :p

    • I prefer to marathon Kill la Kill, which I did until episode 12 I believe, now I’m just waiting for more episodes (most possibly till the end) for me to start another marathon session, lol. Well, you’re a gamer and VN sort of a person xD …me too actually >_> And that’s why marathon’s ideal for me – while waiting for the episodes to air, I can get myself busy with my games/VN/LN… whatever is in my backlog.. xD

  4. To add to that, though, I do prefer being able to experience a story from start to finish if I do sit down to watch it. So yeah. If a series is still airing I mostly likely won’t bother with it until it’s finished, barring a few cases mentioned above.

  5. Ah…this golden question. Like you said, I think it’s personal preference. For my case, it depends whether I’m addicted to a series. If I know I am, like with the case of Chihayafuru and Bakuman, I’d stopped watching weekly and wait for the series to complete before I continue again, which I did. There’s must be something to draw me back for me to consider marathon a show. There are completed series that I didn’t marathon because they’re simply just not as interesting.

    There are pros and cons in each of the format. At the end of the day, it’s really up to a person to decide.

    • I marathoned Chihayafuru and Bakuman too, lol. Those two anime are great for marathons, they had story continued for several episodes consecutively so I’m not sure if I would watch them weekly myself :p Besides, at some point, the episode just had to cut off at the part when it was getting exciting. So you watch them weekly? I didn’t put this in my blog but I’m actually a sort of a completionist when watching anime, even if I know I’m watching something I don’t really like, I force myself to watch them until I finished it, I don’t like dropping shows – and again, marathon’s ideal for me in this case, I can get it done just that much faster.

  6. The only reasons why I watch anime weekly is that you can’t get the latest shows otherwise XD
    Discussing a new episode with others is also a good reason to watch anime weekly.
    With animes that have next to zero plot a weekly pattern can be a little more rewarding.

    marathoning always improves my opinion as a whole. When there is one bad episode in the weekly pattern, I can be a quite unforgiving viewer who has to wait another week for a hopefully more entertaining episode.

    in my case marathoning doesn’t mean to watch the whole anime in one session, but 4 and more episodes in one night.

    • Indeed, though I would rather just wait for them myself :p
      Yea, anime, especially the episodic types are definitely great for weekly watching, it’s those anime that has plot continued consecutively for several episodes until it ended in an arc – it’s those types that it’s best for marathoning, for me at least.

      I see, “marathoning” to me has a lot of different nuances as well – it can mean marathoning one arc, one full season, or even one whole series consisting of several seasons.

  7. I watch most of my anime weekly. If it’s finished I’ll generally marathon it over a weekend, but it depends on the genre. I always watch finished stuff quickly, but I’ll often watch an episode or two every night until I finish something. Lately if I want a lot of fiction in a big burst I am going to read a visual novel so my anime watching is more of a weekly thing than all at once.

    • True enough, media like VN/LN/games take a long time to complete, and are definitely ideal to get a lot of fiction in one big burst. Speaking of which, what VN you’re playing now?

      • Once I finish writing up Hoshizora no Memoria(hopefully this weekend) I am hoping to move on to Muv Love. The first challenge seems to be getting it installed correctly.

        • VN installation can sometimes get tedious indeed, when I only first started VN, or PC gaming in general, it took me about 8 hours (believe it or not, lol) to figure out how to get F/SN working.

          Anyway, good luck with it. If anything, you can try getting fuwanovel’s version. I got mine from there and got it working, although I still took some portion of my time brainstorming to get it work.

  8. Typically, I don’t like to marathon shows for the fact that some shows are difficult to this for and that I want things to settle in before watching the next episode. However, I did marathoned 5 episodes of Nagi no Asukara for the fact I was 5 weeks behind and in a way, it gives me a better insight of what is going on instead of waiting anxiously to see what happened. However, marathoning some shows like AnoHana, which has heavy drama is probably a bad idea and will probably get you depressed, unless the drama doesn’t make one cry.

    • I actually stopped just right before episode 6, it’s a good place to stop in my opinion, as most of their relationships are settled in a way, especially their relationships with the land people, though I feel the story for the main characters themselves will definitely have more tale to tell. I should probably continue watching it soon, lol. I think there are like 14 episodes now.

      Actually you made a good point, I wonder if it’s because marathoning Welcome to the NHK that made me like….. ah well.

  9. Pingback: Thoughts about Marathoning or watching Weekly and How I Watch Anime - Chikorita157's Anime Blog

  10. I don’t discuss anime much, and when I do it’s usually to talk about a series and how it was. Marathoning anime is the only way for an impatient person like me to watch anime, and I marathon in different ways…

    For One Piece, I marathon an arc and then take a year or so off for a new arc to complete. That’s probably the only reason why I still like the show (not quite true). Bleach….well I’ve given up there. Most other shows 26 episodes or under I need to marathon or I risk losing interest completely and forgetting about it, even if the show rules.

    • Same, I rarely discuss about each episodes seperately, lol. Though for some anime, it just seems like some magic was lost by not doing it, that’s just me though.

      Ahh, pretty same for me, in fact, I did that for Naruto and Bleach too, but then, the arcs themselves are already lengthy, and even when I did that, I find that I was still forced to put the show on hiatus even when the arc wasn’t finished, lol. Also. if there are filler arcs, I just skipped the whole arc. I’ll try to get back to Bleach one of these days, I might be more motivated for it since it’s completed and all. For 26 episodes, I like to marathon half of them because in most cases, the first half of the show is usually the first cour, or one major arc, then wait until the second half is completed before I finish the whole show. Not all are in this format though, and like I said, it depends on the genre for me too. But I generally like to marathon shows by an arc-by-arc basis.

  11. I don’t get into nearly as much new anime as a lot of other people so more often than not I end up marathoning the series I watch. Well, marathon isn’t really the right term since my watching pace is slowed heavily by schoolwork and the like, if anything it’s more like a few episodes a day (sometimes just one) but if I’m lucky I’ll manage to get a good chunk in. It’s definitely nice in that I don’t have to worry about cliffhangers (unless I’m really busy with h/w and I idiotically leave off on a really painful episode to wait on) and I can watch at my own pace instead of waiting in agony week after week, though it’s definitely true that it’s a lot harder to have discussions on specific parts as everything’s seen in one block rather than one episode at a time.

    When it comes to newer anime that really catch my eye though, I’ll keep up with them from the start and try as best as I can to watch them weekly. For example, if there’s a season 2 for an anime I enjoyed (as was the case with Chuunibyou, Kuroko no Basket, and Little Busters), then there’s no hesitation to pick up the new season. However, there are those special cases that I’m really curious about and want to watch even if there’s nothing prior with their series. Big examples being Kill la Kill and Golden Time from last season. Kill la Kill is one I had my eye on for a while because the director and writer of Gurren Lagann (my favorite anime) were behind it, so there was absolutely no way I’d be willing to miss out on it. I wasn’t quite as hyped for Golden Time, but after enjoying Toradora so much, another work by the same author definitely got me interested too. To no surprise, I’m thoroughly enjoying both week after week, and while it is painful to wait on the new developments, it really is exciting seeing everything slowly unfold and discussing my opinions on them with other people keeping up as well.

    • That’s what I do too with completed relaxing type series xD Even if I have time to spare, I wouldn’t marathon them outright, and would rather watch them episode by episode, or perhaps two or three on some days. For serious types story that goes on for more than an episode, if I don’t plan to finish the whole series in one marathon, I watch them until one of the arc finished if possible, and stop right there until more episodes are aired, so I don’t need to worry about any cliffhangers, as any of those will probably be solved already in the previous arc I just finished.

      Ahh, Chuunibyou and Kuroko. Chuunibyou is fine for me, but Kuroko is too exciting to watch episodes by episodes for me :p I would prefer to marathon them, though from what I heard, S2 seems to be less exciting, not sure until I watch them though. That are indeed likely scenarios, lol. Especially if the part of the staffs of the show is by someone you recognized well, an author of another series, or perhaps a studio who had worked on another popular show, or perhaps the show is from a popular VN, LN or game, I think most people would check them out. Glad to see you’re enjoying Golden Time, which I certainly am too^^ I stopped at around episode 12 or 13, I think, waiting for new episodes to unfold for another marathoning session.

  12. I’ll watch a show weekly but if I like it, or am watching a show from a previous season, I’ll marathon it. After bad experiences with marathoning shows like Seitokai Yakuindomo and Haruhi, I tend to do a couple episodes in one go, then wait a day or two to see how I feel and if it should continue to be marathoned or taken more slowly.

    • Seitokai Yakuindomo definitely isn’t a show meant to be marathoned, it’s too sporadic. Marathoning in one go can be stressful when you just know nothing major much would be happening and the current event would be done in just minutes. Well, to me, at least, lol.

      • I know now about Seitokai Yakuindomo. the marathon almost made me give up on it. Like you said in your article, there are certain shows thst lend themselves to marathoning and others are more the weekly variety. Susei no Gargantia actually springs to mind because of its pacing. The show is quite good when watched weekly but when marathoned you can see certain aspects that you tend to miss. All in all, I agree with your viewpoints.

  13. Pingback: Kai’s Takes on AniManga Controversies | deluscar

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