So Anime-Planet now has a badge system, where you unlock badges by achieving different milestones (rating 100 anime, marking 10 characters as loved or watching all of Nuku Nuku are just some examples). But the badges that most caught my attention were the studio badges. Stuff like ‘watched 15 series produced by GAINAX’. I got some automatically when the system was introduced; I’ve seen enough to get the MADHOUSE badge twice over, and have watched my fair share of GONZO and Ghibli too. However, there were plenty of studio badges that I didn’t get. As a guy who’s been referred to as the ‘Encyclopaedia of Anime’, ‘Otaking’ and ‘Freak of Nature’ on more than one occasion, I could not allow such gaps in my knowledge to remain unfilled. So that’s what I’ve been doing for the past month instead of blogging – badge collecting!
Some badges required very little effort; one OVA got me Production I.G. (it was Girl from Phantasia, in case anyone was curious). SHAFT and KyoAni came purely by watching DVD specials and OVAs for series I’d already seen (seriously, you can’t watch 15 KyoAni titles without doing that). I had to start almost from scratch with Studio 4°C, but marathoning the many shorts and music videos they’re famous for didn’t take long. But then the difficulty level increased.
The badges for Toei and Studio DEEN each require having watched 50 series. While I’m over half way there with DEEN, I’m not their biggest fan, and marathoning ~20 series by them doesn’t appeal to me much. Toei seem fine, except that I’ve got nowhere near as big a head start on this badge. And finding 25 subbed series from Nippon Animation would take up more time than actually watching them. The studio I’m focusing on right now is Pierrot, which isn’t known for its short series and oneshot OVAs (though I’ve now watched the few they have produced :p:). Somehow I can’t see myself picking up Bleach or Naruto, even if their various movies and specials would contribute a lot. Urusei Yatsura I’d consider, but only if someone actually gave it to me, way too big for me to download it!
And so A-P badges have become one of the many factors now influencing my anime viewing. And I can see them remaining a major factor for a while, because they give me set goals to work towards. They make watching cartoons in a dark room seem productive. Last but not least, I’ve seen a lot of interesting series and OVAs over the course of the last month, stuff that I might not have found if I hadn’t started searching by studio.
Of course, everything comes at a price. Thanks to my badge quest taking priority, I’m way behind on my weekly series…