Hello, and a belated Happy New Year to everyone. Hope these first three days have been good ones. Myself, I was feeling pretty good and optimistic… until I found out that the price of Kobato (a series I started collecting this Christmas) volume 5 has shot up to about £80. I swear I checked out the prices of every volume in early December before committing to buy! Oh, and I’ll likely be out of a job come February. But compared to the manga issue, that’s nothing. Even if it means I’ll have less money to spend on manga. Priorities – who needs them?
Well, every year I do set myself some sort of priority, some new rule to try to stick to, a resolution if you will. This started in 2010, when after four years of stubbornly refusing to touch any anime series longer than ~30 episodes, I picked up One Piece. The idea was that I’d pick up more long series as the year went by, but it backfired, as One Piece is so long I spent the best part of the year trying to get up to date with it! However, since 2010 I’ve barely considered series length when deciding what to watch – examples of series I’ve watched since include D. Gray Man, Monster (now one of my all time favorites), and of course I picked up the Hunter x Hunter remake, which is the longest show I’ve followed right from the season it started, and is still going strong!
2011 saw my focus shift to manga – or that was the plan anyway. I’d watched a lot of anime by then, but my knowledge of manga was (and still is to a huge extent) lacking, largely because I didn’t read scanlations. So that year I gave them a go. Unfortunately, when I’m at my computer I find myself easily distracted by the many wonders of the internet, my games collection, and of course all the unwatched anime which is colourful and full of action and music… so I didn’t read much in the end, but there were still a few series that managed to hold my interest: Dragon Half, Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (both VERY different, but I picked them up for the same reason – I watched their short OVA adaptations first, and was left wanting more), and also Doubt (which I plan to buy and re-read, considering it recently got licensed!)
In 2012 I planned to watch more ‘old’ series, which as far as I’m concerned means anything that aired before 1988 (because that’s when I was born, and I’m not old). I got off to a good start with Akage no Anne, Fang of the Sun Dougram and Urusei Yatsura (all ‘long’-ish series too, PROGRESS!)… but after finding a job, I chose to focus what little free time I had on keeping up to date with the new Summer and Autumn anime releases (as much as my unfortunate internet problems at the time would allow, that is). Another failure… or was it, because my manga collection is now looking very impressive indeed, and I’ve read far more than I ever did in 2011. So it seems that whether I have anything to show for my resolutions at the end of the year or not is irrelevant, as I always get there eventually.
So, what’s the plan for 2013 (and beyond)? I’m going to start stalling series I’m not enjoying. This may seem an obvious thing to do for most people, but from the moment I became an anime fan I’ve stubbornly insisted on finishing everything that I’ve started, only stalling shows when real life impacted on my free time (like when I started my MSc, or volunteering at the library). But at the end of the day, I supposedly watch anime for entertainment, and in the past there have been shows that I dragged myself through with little/no enjoyment. That ends this year, I hope, and it should be a much easier resolution to stick to, as all I have to compete with is my own OCD. Of course, bad shows that somehow still manage to be entertaining (i.e. my beloved guilty pleasures) will be safe from this.
The first casualty of this newfangled stalling will be Zettai Karen Children. While there’s nothing specifically wrong with it, I got the feeling early on that it wasn’t my kind of series, and I’ve only managed to watch 12 episodes between August and December (a number I’ve often managed to exceed in one day’s viewing, if I like a series enough). I kept blaming that on things like my new job, but it’s not like I never had days off… it’s just that when I did, watching Zettai Karen Children was about the last thing on my priorities list. And since it’s been on my watching list for half a year, I’ve picked up nothing new to replace it this whole time. The final straw was when I heard there was going to be a spinoff/sequel starting this month, and decided to marathon what was left of the original… and managed another two episodes before losing interest again.
I do stress that these series will be STALLED, not DROPPED indefinitely or anything. Zettai Karen Children isn’t bad in small doses, and I’m sure I’ll come back to it now and again… it just really isn’t marathon material. For now though, stalling it has finally allowed me to start another series, A Little Princess Sara, which I’m also glad to count as a belated step towards my 2012 resolution. Four episodes in, and I’m much more confident about this one.