Today, December 20th, marks the 5 Year Anniversary of Avvesione’s Anime Blog. As I’ve done with every anniversary post, I reflect upon the previous year and provide my input on the most valuable lesson I learned in terms of watching anime and writing for this blog. This year has been quite turbulent and chaotic, with countless new transitions, obstacles, responsibilities, and challenges – easily the busiest year of my entire life to date. As a result, I’ve had very little time to watch anime and even less dedicated to this blog. It pains me that I haven’t had as much time or energy this year to keep up with currently airing anime or write my weekly or seasonal posts, but it has helped me realize a valuable lesson, one that I may have overlooked since I started writing for this blog back in 2010. So, with that in mind, I’d like to share with you the most important lesson I learned in 2015 which is to make sure you’re having fun with anime.
For me, 2015 has been tremendous and rewarding, yet demanding and stressful. Almost every major aspect of my life has changed since the first sunrise on New Year’s Day, and consequently, I’ve had much less time for anime and this blog than in previous years. In order to make everything work, I’ve had to budget my time appropriately which meant sacrificing “anime time” for less fun but more important alternatives. However, anime and this blog have always been a source of enjoyment, entertainment, and intellectual experiments. One of the reasons why I started this blog 60 months ago is that I wanted to challenge myself as a writer, to see if I could defend my thoughts and opinions on anime in a public space. I felt that if I could develop arguments and critiques that I would better understand myself as an anime fan and my love for these shows. And once my blog took off, I began to explore other ways to improve my writing, to inform other fans about particular quirks or oddities in anime, or for me to just post pictures of cute girls a dozen times every week. Whatever the reason, this blog had always been a place for me to better understand myself and the anime I watch. But as I’ve had to scale back this year, I’ve felt that this aspect of me has faded.
However, as I’ve had to adjust, so too have I found a way to compensate for this aspect of me… and that is to enjoy the anime as I am watching it. Now, that’s not to say I wasn’t enjoying anime when I was watching it before, but I’ve lost the freedom to go back and review screenshots or scenes again as I’m writing posts. In a sense, it was like I always had the ability to go back and relive bits and pieces of an episode whenever I was writing about it… able to catch new things that I missed the first time around, or go back and really appreciate the animation or writing in a scene. However, I don’t really have that opportunity now, unless I want to fall even further behind on the anime I’m currently watching each season. To me, I’ve had to adapt and learn to better enjoy the anime in the moment. It isn’t to say that I can’t go back and enjoy these shows over again, but I can’t afford to go back and relive these other anime at the expense of not watching, and not enjoying, new anime. And if the situation is confusing to read about, that’s probably because it’s confusing to me to think about. It isn’t something that’s defined or scientific… rather, it’s quite the opposite, given that I don’t know how much I would enjoy an anime until I watch it versus going back and looking at screenshots and thinking about what I’d write about. In fact, you could say it’s very chaotic and uncertain… much like 2015 has been to me overall.
Nevertheless, I’ve learned a useful lesson in terms of watching anime and my blog in 2015. That is to say, when I have the time, it’s good to go back and enjoy reliving these anime as I look at screenshots and write about my impressions, opinions, and observations… and when I don’t have the time, to enjoy the anime as much as I can in the moment and try to watch as much anime as I can in order to maximize my enjoyment… but even that is hard. And that brings me to one other important lesson that’s always true for everyone no matter whom and no matter the situation… to have fun with anime. Because, after all, isn’t that why we watch and read about anime? So let’s sit back, relax, and enjoy another fulfilling and satisfying year of anime.