This might seem like an odd topic for a 12 Days of Anime post, but it’s a topic worth discussing given how it continues to grow on me every year and with every new anime. In fact, it’s routine for me now, something constant and universal that occurs every time I watch an anime. And it’s a subject that can be entrusted quite easily by the number 123,714. So, what exactly does 123,714 mean?
Why, quite simply, 123,714 is the number of screenshots of anime I’ve taken since January 1st, 2015. In the 347 since then (as of December 14 when I wrote this post), I have averaged 357 screenshots a day… or a screenshot of anime every 4 minutes… and that even includes all the days I am not watching anime (which, unfortunately, is quite often now). I’ll agree, it’s an astronomical number, especially since the number of screenshots per year has quadrupled since 2013. It’s quite remarkable, really, to think about how much anime I’ve watched and how many times I felt the need to capture the image for use later. And what began as a fun, little way to enhance the visuals and appeal of my blog (including the primary way I obtained viewership), has become the only way I watch anime now.
Again, it’s a weird topic, but it’s something that fascinates me given how this year has gone and how many screenshots I’m taking of anime now. And while this first began as a means of adding screenshots to my posts to break-up the paragraphs, it has become a method for me to archive all the anime I’ve watched that I no longer have easy access to. Remember that Tuba-kun costume scene in Hibike! Euphonium? Or the big reveal in the first episode of Gakkou Gurashi!? Yeah, you’d probably find images or video of that online in a second or two. You don’t need over 120,000 screenshots for that…
But what about a specific cute face, but you can’t remember the time, from Yuru Yuri Nachuyachumi!? Or a cute face in Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen? Or maybe one of the scenic landscapes a cute face in Non Non Biyori Repeat? Or what if you want to relive an episode of Shirobako or Rolling Girls or Anime de Wakaru Shinryounaika but only have 30 seconds? These screenshots have become so much more for me than just images to post on my blog. And as a result, I’m taking more and more screenshots with every new anime I watch. What began as maybe 10-12 back in 2011 (when all but a few would make it in a blog post), quickly became 20-30, and from there to 40-50, and, as it evolved, reached up to 250-300 screenshots per episode. Now, maybe 1-2% of the screenshots I take per anime end up being used on my blog… but that’s not to say I’ve seen my use of these screenshots evolve as I’ve taken more. For example, these screenshots have even percolated into how I communicate with my friends and others online. Almost every conversation, when possible, is aided by one of these screenshots or the thousands (almost 10,000) already on my blog. Want to reference a funny joke? Screenshot. What about questions on the story? Screenshot? What about a cute face? Probably 8 screenshots in a row? It’s quite fascinating, to see just how an afterthought back in 2010 became such a dominant aspect of my life in 2015.
So, yeah, even though this isn’t something that originated this year or even is exclusive to 2015, it is something that needed to be addressed for my 12 Days of Anime for 2015. It really is one of the more remarkable aspects of the year and is ubiquitous throughout all of anime, or at least when I have the chance. It has become an essential part of the anime-watching experience for me, so now seems like an appropriate time to mention my addiction to anime screenshots.