“Memories and Dreams” is a new collection of posts I’m beginning as I pick up blogging more – they’ll be a chance for me to reflect on the past (memories) and look ahead to the future (dreams). Although these posts won’t be something I write consistently, they’ll likely be a bit more personal as I think about where I’ve been, and where I’m headed. This first post is a short reflection on my time watching anime in 2016, before looking ahead to anime, writing, and other goals I’m setting for myself in 2017; I hope you all enjoy it!
It’s a bit crazy to look back to the beginning of 2016 a year ago and see how much has changed in my life since then. I had finished up a round of job interviews before Christmas time, but I was still unemployed and out of school so I was basically watching anime all the time (or at least was trying to); now I’ve been working for 8 months and somehow manage living on my own. But it’s not just challenges in real-life stuff like figuring out how to adult properly (spoilers, I still don’t know how to adult properly); it’s honestly hard to believe how much has changed for me in my passion for anime in just a year. Even looking at the differences between what shows I was watching then compared to now is sort of wild: to think it’s only been a year since keeping up with r/anime’s rewatches of Nichijou, Haruhi, and Toradora; burning through Railgun and Oregairu S1 (when it wasn’t completely destroying me emotionally); and finishing up my first seasonal watches (Noragami, Owari as the gems, and Sakurako-san and K: Return of Kings as the, er, not-gems). Things are so different now – I watch a lot more seasonal shows (or, well, I say I’m going to and then on-hold half of them during the season), rush through bundles of 2 or 3 shows, and then drag out another 40ish shows for 6+ months. And going beyond what I watch and how I watch it, I also have such a different perspective while watching shows now – I’m simply not the same anime fan I was 12 months ago.
And I think that’s a good thing! I’ve really seen myself mature as a watcher, and as a person over this past year. Things really changed in life for me, with the whole getting a job and moving out on my own thing. My time is more limited, and therefore every minute I get to watch anime is more precious to me – there are so many shows to get through, and so little time to do so. And on top of that, all of the new shows airing every season, combined with older shows to watch as well, mean it’s an overwhelming task to simply stay afloat in everything I’m watching. I’ve grown more comfortable with this over time, through multiple cycles of strict watching decisions to “well just watch whatever” – and as I usually am with most things in life, my ideal spot is almost certainly somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. Looking back to winter season and the start of spring season, I kept so many post-it notes with how shows were airing on certain days and how I wanted to budget time to different shows – mind you, I had MAL at this point so all of this was SO far beyond simply keeping track of what I was watching or had seen. And all of this was for the insane goal of “well I wanna watch a month’s worth of anime this year so 4 episodes a day it is!” Man, I don’t even think that make it out of January! All of that was thrown out the window when I started working – I certainly kept up on tons of seasonal anime that spring, but it took a lot of effort to do so. It’s a hard task to commit time to something at the expense of something else, and it’s something I still struggle with as I spend many nights looking indecisively at my computer for HOURS.
But even within the past few months things have changed so much – I’ve definitely been affected (in a good way) by all the anitwitter folks I’ve started following in the past month or so (and of course those I had been following before then), and 12 Days of Anime clearly had a massive impact on me expressing my own thoughts on anime, not just through a blog but on twitter and elsewhere as well. Considering that in the past I’d say things like “oh I’m sure I could talk about [x] for ages” and then be unable to convert what I felt into actual words, writing for 12 Days was a massive success for me – I got posts out on every day without fail despite multiple 2am panics of “should I really try to go forward with this post” (and one of those panics turned into my Planetarian writeup, one of my favorite posts from the whole 2 weeks). With these recent things in mind, I’m hoping that I can set goals for myself over this next year and intentionally pursue after them – in the past dreams I created at the new year were more vague and open-ended, but I’d like to set more definitive goals to pursue after in addition to the themes I strive after in my personal life. So with all of that together, let’s get started on the first goal after the jump…