Anime burnout. It’s something that isn’t discussed nearly as often as it probably should be in our little community, but it is certainly prevalent. What exactly is it and how can an otaku battle against it?
Don’t let the burnout get you down! It is okay to feel this way; anime will still be there when you are ready to dive in again!
You see, we are a unique breed – working adults with active lifestyles who just happen to be otakus. Something that also seems to come with the territory is a dirty little monster known simply as anime burnout. You know what I’m talking about… the list of shows just waiting to be watched or caught up on, but you just don’t have the will or energy to watch them. And don’t even get me started on just forcing yourself to watch; you are only going to end up zoning out and missing the storyline completely. It ends up being better off not attempted. Anime burnout is the event where you have temporarily lost the desire to watch anime. It doesn’t bring you the same joy or satisfaction anymore. Time frames certainly vary as to how long it can last.
Me when I decide to watch Avatar: The Last Airbender AGAIN instead of watching that new anime that I have been referred to dozens of times.
What on earth causes this feeling? After all, we are otakus – we adore anime! We work hard and expect to relax with our favorite fandoms and shows after long days at what are more often than not mediocre jobs. While it might not be surprising to some, anime burnout can happen for many reasons, but primarily it occurs from just your typical life stresses. If your day to day events are causing mounting stress or worry, sometimes it can dull the desire to do the things that you love and bring you joy. This is especially hard when these things are what you did in order to chase away the stress.
Here are a few simple ways to fight back and re-ignite that love once again:
Take a break. This might seem counteractive, but it is actually solid advice. If you aren’t feeling something, why on earth force it? Maybe change it up a bit! Instead of watching anime, why not read the manga it was based from? Look at the difference between the storylines and the art style. I’m not sure about you guys, but I love doing this because it is always surprising to me just how different anime and manga can be.
Give yourself an ultimatum. Something my brother and I implemented was the 3-5 Rule when one of us suggests an anime to the other. It’s pretty simple – at your own pace, watch the first three to five episodes of an anime, depending on how long the anime is. If you ain’t at least interested in going forward by episode three, it isn’t for you. If you are interested, watch until episode 5 if it is a longer series or if the first three episodes are vastly different from the actual storyline and are designed as stand-alones for character introductions (looking at YOU, Soul Eater!) An ultimatum like this sets your expectations and gives you structure, which can make it easier to pursue in the event that you are struggling to watch but still want to give it a shot.
Chop up that Must Watch list. I cannot recommend this enough. Having a hella long list of shows just sitting there can get a bit, well, overwhelming. After all, we have a lot of shit we do on the daily. Seeing a long list can feel like we might never have the time to enjoy all of the great shows as they are intended to be enjoyed, and that just blows. That is why breaking up your watch list into shorter lists can be a better strategy. Create a list for shows you would like to watch within the next several months. Make another for shows you want to check out later on, maybe even make the lists seasonal. I don’t know about you, but I really love watching some older or classic anime in the winter, when I am usually pretty sad and need the hit of nostalgia. Then in spring and summer I tend to check out newer anime that I’ve never seen before. Fall is reserved for my spookies… but let’s be 100%… I’m always down for the spookies regardless of the season!
Tell us how you feel about anime burnout. And keep in mind, it doesn’t just have to be anime, it can be manga and gaming. We want to know how you fight against it and keep doing what you love!
REMEMBER! We here at 101 Militia Gaming care about you and want you to know that if these feelings of losing interest extend to other parts of your life or develop into a serious condition to where you might feel as if you might harm yourself, please reach out and find the best assistance available to you. You are important and badass and while things might feel very dark right now, you deserve to get help and push through to game another day!