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Old 2009-09-05, 13:27   Link #1
Anthropic Melon
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Leaving gaps between episodes...

Do you guys think that any anime is best watched when you leave gaps between watching the next episode?

I understand that fans have different preferences of what to do when they have a DVD or several episodes of a downloaded series in front of them and ready to watch -- the tendency of "rushing" through two or more episodes of a particular series in one sitting is something that I've done countless times in the past. But does this necessarily put a damper on the overall experience of a series than if you set aside the next episode for another day or week?

Seeing as how episodes of most TV anime are broadcast in a weekly fashion, it sort of feels like most shows were created with this kind of gap in mind. For instance, one thing I sometimes notice when watching two episodes side-by-side is that the second episode will have a recap or some flashback sequence of what happened in the first episode of the two. This can be somewhat annoying since I usually don't need to know what just happened twenty minutes ago!

The same is true for next episode previews, which are pretty much useless I was going to watch the next episode right away.
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Old 2009-09-05, 14:11   Link #2
Xion Valkyrie
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I tend to rate shows higher when I watch the entire thing through 1-3 sittings, as opposed to a weekly rate.
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Old 2009-09-05, 14:13   Link #3
Slice of Life
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Anine with strong continuity are best watched in blocks of several episodes if possible, I'd say. For episodic anime the opposite is true. But it's not that important in both cases.
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Old 2009-09-05, 16:38   Link #4
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I prefer leaving gaps, as too much of one thing can be exhausting and get boring, even if I like the show.
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Old 2009-09-05, 17:15   Link #5
Dilla
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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
I prefer leaving gaps, as too much of one thing can be exhausting and get boring, even if I like the show.
Yeah, I leave gaps in between as well. I made the mistake of watching about 7-8 Macross Frontier episodes in one sitting a month ago and I haven't touched it since I stopped. It's not that I found it to be a bad show, but I just got bored. When I get back to it, I may just watch about 2-3 episodes a week.
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Old 2009-09-05, 18:25   Link #6
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I think that many shows are easier to digest and understand when viewed in batches as opposed to week-by-week. This is because they usually have subtle connecting hints that contribute to the plot. When you do the week-by-week thing, you might tend to get a bit of a tunnel vision and get too focused on just that one week's episode, missing the broader implications when you consider just that one piece as part of a narrative whole. This is why, at least on these forums, first-airings tend to spark more "dramatic" discussion, while people who come in later tend to have a more balanced view of the story on the whole. You can teach yourself to place things in context even when watching week-to-week, but most people don't seem to want to apply the effort of that much deep thought. So, all that to say that, on the one hand, I think people would be "smarter" about the shows they watched if they watched them in batches or chunks, and in that sense I don't think "gaps" are necessarily a good thing all the time. But you are right that, on the other hand, shows were written with the episodic format in mind, so you wouldn't be wrong to view things in that manner either.

I hate to "go there", but actually one of the most interesting examples of a show that plays with this concept of "gaps" is the latest Haruhi anime. You have one story arc that basically depends completely on the frustration of the one week gap (and wouldn't have nearly the same controversy factor when batched-up), and then a second story arc that completely eschews the episodic format and is basically like one long movie arbitrarily cut into 24 minute chunks. So this idea of "gaps" isn't just on your mind as a viewer, but it's also clearly on the mind of the people who create anime as well. I imagine that one of the great challenges of anime story planning and directing is to create shows that work equally well either way you view them. So I think the "ultimate answer", if there is one, is that you can get different things out of shows following either approach (and some of it will be personal preference), but most shows can be viewed either way and still "work".

(And as a bit of an aside, my main struggle is the backlog. If I fall behind on a show, it gets harder and harder to find the energy to catch up until I finally just give in and watch the entire <x> episodes I need to catch up on, typically in one or two large batches. So the one benefit of having a break pattern, and sticking to it, is that it prevents you from falling behind. So there may be merit in that as well.)
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Old 2009-09-05, 22:57   Link #7
risingstar3110
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I agree with what relentlessflame said. Another point i want to add is: the gap is not only depend on time but sometime on mood as well.

A good example is: Sometime i only watch few series weekly, and spend almost the whole week do not follow any movies or animes (due to works perhaps) OR in AS discussing the previous episode.... Even when it's 7 days gap, i still feel no gap at all between each episodes.....
However try to follow 6-8 ongoing series, then try to catch up another few from previous season or year during the weekday... You will feels most of the series are terrible butchered(except your favourite), and the gap between them is measured by miles
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Old 2009-09-06, 04:22   Link #8
klare
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it depends on the show itself, some i will have the urge to keep on continue, such as:
- Higurashi (everytime i will at least complete 1 full chapter)
- Ga Rei Zero (finished 12 eps in 2 days)

and some i prefer once a week for series that may be boring if watching 2 or more eps in a row, such as:
- Umimonogatari
- Senjou no Valkyria

and yes i agree some series do need gaps in between
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Old 2009-09-07, 00:53   Link #9
npcomplete
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The only reason why I leave gaps for airing shows is so I can watch a bunch at a time

Most anime that are not slice of life or comedies will have arcs covering several episodes, or run through the entire season. I get the most impact and have an easier time remembering and connecting the details when I watch in large batches.

Unfortunately for most anime, 20 mins a week is just way too short. Meanwhile live action drama with 1/10th the plot gets 50 mins.
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Old 2009-09-07, 01:03   Link #10
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I prefer watching most continuous, non-episodic series in batches, one series at a time, so I can immerse myself in that particular story and world. When watching multiple ongoing series I feel as if the experience is diluted by constantly going back between different stories, characters, universes, etc. Dramatic tension and storytelling also suffers a bit when every episode comes a week after the next, and if you're addicted to Animesuki, this usually means a lot of people discussing and picking apart each episode.

That community aspect is actually an important factor. That can be fun in its own way, sure, but I think to truly get the most of a story it should be watched without distraction or input from others towards your opinion. Although I usually watch completed series, there are some series that I've hopped on the "ongoing" bandwagon for.

One example is True Tears. Watching it as a completed series, you'll just see the story unfold. But following it on a weekly basis on Animesuki, you just get all the arguments and nitpicking and opinionated debates and it just makes you sick of it after a while and adds an unwanted new perspective with which to view the next episode.
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Old 2009-09-07, 04:35   Link #11
Irenicus
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Originally Posted by Theowne View Post
That community aspect is actually an important factor. That can be fun in its own way, sure, but I think to truly get the most of a story it should be watched without distraction or input from others towards your opinion.
I have to agree. Hence my prolonged absence from the fansub forums except for the occasional visit to give an overall impressions of a series.

Speculations can be fun, and it's nice to have people to talk about a show with. But in the end I find the tradeoff not worth it. I believe I have a more "objective" view of a show -- that is, my feelings are actually about the show and not the show + whatever headbanging discussion I got myself into -- if I watch it by myself.


Now of course, though I prefer "by myself" over "weeklies with the asuki guys," whether I want to watch something in batches or with gaps between episodes depends very much on the series themselves. Code Geass is better marathon'd. I loved the first season; in retrospect there were many, many flaws and plot holes, but I didn't notice nor care as the grand drama surged forward and I wasn't allowed a breathing room to analyze and reflect. On the other hand, I made the mistake of following R2 weekly and still could not to finish it to this day (or maybe R2 was just worse? Oh well). Sugar Sugar Rune is best taken in small, gentle doses, as are other children's shows with repetitive formats that can be grating to adults. Toradora! is in-between, I'm fine either way.

Moreover, while I recognize that the TV format means that writers often write with gaps between episodes in mind even in continuous, plot-driven shows, I personally find that the excitement of a cliffhanger is rather overrated. It's a compelling feeling...for the total of one, two, or if it's really well done ten minutes that I spent agonizing for it, something which could be felt just as well while I watched the opening and ending credits during a marathon, and with quicker gratification.
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Old 2009-09-07, 07:13   Link #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post
Anine with strong continuity are best watched in blocks of several episodes if possible, I'd say. For episodic anime the opposite is true. But it's not that important in both cases.
Agreed.

I made the mistake of watching the largely episodic Cowboy Bebop in large several episode clunks... and I had the sense afterwards that it would have been more enjoyable if I had watched it on a week by week basis.


What I generally find is true of an anime with strong continuity is that it's best to watch it one arc at a time (if this is possible, of course - some arcs are enormous, such as the Soul Society arc in Bleach).

One anime that I definitely think works better this way is K-On. When you watch the first six episodes in one sitting (which really felt like a stand-alone arc to me), you get a better sense of the plot, and it doesn't seem overly slow to you (as it probably seemed to people watching it week by week).
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Old 2009-09-07, 15:57   Link #13
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Hah, I can't watch 6 episodes of anything in succession. There's like 2-3 animes that I could do that with, ever. I find that it's harder to remember stuff when I watch them in batches. I also like to rewind for no real reason, if I like a scene, just because I like the details.

I'm also the type to sit through the OP/ED and the next episode previews; I often like a lot of those in anime. I end up getting yelled at for doing this, if I'm watching it with someone. No real idea why, but at least it keeps me speculating on what will happen next. For me, there's no greater fun than to keep up with a live series and follow it week by week so I try to keep that approach to all the series I watch. It also helps me from being spoilered.
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Old 2009-09-07, 16:28   Link #14
Kristen
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I think it depends a lot on the show and your knowledge of it. If you're already played the game/read the manga, it is probably always better to watch it in succession so that you're not stuck waiting 26 weeks to see how faithful it was.

For shows that you don't know the storyline of, I find that episodic shows and cliffhanger shows are best to be seen in one watching. These are shows like Minami-ke, where the individual episodes can really be watched in any episode without confusion, or Code Geass, where nearly ever week was a cliffhanger. When this happens, you can more easily piece together what happens.

For shows that tell a story, like Clannad, Kanon, Valkyria Chronicles, or those types of continuous shows, I find weekly to be much more memorable to the viewer, and the experience becomes much more fun. Heck, even Hayate S2 could fit into this category.

I guess it could all come from what it's adapted from.

VN Adaptations: Weekly is better

Light Novel Adaptation: Weekly is better

Manga Adaptation -
Serious: Weekly is better
Comedy: All at once is better

Original Series: Depends on the show. Things like Dennou Coil I'd rather watch weekly, but Gundam I'd rather watch all at once.
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Old 2009-09-07, 16:46   Link #15
Theowne
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Quote:
Serious: Weekly is better
Comedy: All at once is better
Hmm, I find the opposite better, particularly when it comes to "sickly sweet" comedies which I would place shows like AzuDiaouh or Ouran High under. Too much constant comedy tends to get tiresome/repetitive for me.

Quote:
I personally find that the excitement of a cliffhanger is rather overrated.
I like the tension of a cliffhanger as much as anyone, but sort of like with studying, the effect of a cliffhanger drops off after time. Right when you finish an episode, the longing for the next episode will be strong, and it will either stay constant or perhaps even rise for the next short while, but after that short while the tension tends to drop. After a full week most of that tension is almost certainly gone. That doesn't mean it isn't satisfying to get the next episode and watch it, but overall, cliffhangers aren't as effective with one week breaks with ongoing anime, in my opinion.

If there was ever a perfect example of a show that should not be marathoned, it's Mushishi. A slow pace combined with entirely episodic stories is definitely not meant for marathons.
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Last edited by Theowne; 2009-09-07 at 20:35.
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Old 2009-09-07, 21:35   Link #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
I also like to rewind for no real reason, if I like a scene, just because I like the details.
I usually only rewind in cases where I didn't read all the subtitle text before it went off the screen, at least during my first go-through. If I really, truly love an episode, though, I'll usually rewatch my favorite scenes from it, if not the entire episode.

The most recent example being the huge Kyon/Haruhi fight in Episode 13 of this year's Haruhi. I probably watched that scene 4 or 5 times.


Quote:

I'm also the type to sit through the OP/ED and the next episode previews; I often like a lot of those in anime.
I'll rarely skip the OP. I'll skip the ED about half the time. I hate the next episode previews because it spoils things for me, and I like to be kept in suspense.
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Old 2009-09-10, 09:49   Link #17
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I prefer to judge an anime all at once.Meaning the entire series.
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Old 2009-09-10, 10:23   Link #18
MeoTwister5
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The more I like the show the more I tend to watch it on a per episode basis, or at least per chunk or per story arc. Shows of episodic in nature I can watch in succession.

At the end of the day it leans more on actual content. Episodes heavy on content and/or themese I usually take at a slower pace so as not to be overwhelmed by it. Shows on a lighter side I can watch more of in one sitting.
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Old 2009-09-20, 11:53   Link #19
revy07
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If you like the show but it a little over the top and repetitive then then ya ill watching it in blocks but if really good and cant wait ill watch like a marathon .
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Old 2009-09-20, 12:22   Link #20
Wixel
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I also agree that while some shows are better watched weekly, others should be watched in batches. And personally I'd say the shows with a well thought-up story are better watched in one go. I started watching Tokyo Magnitude weekly, but got horribly fed up with it after a while, so I let 2 or 3 episodes pile up and felt generally better about it.

I'd also tend to say that I remember shows better when I watch them episodically than when I watch them all at once; I watched Eden of the East in one go, found it really good, but hardly remember what actually happened; most of the shows I watch weekly stay in my head a little bit longer... Not always the case though (I started Nabari no Ou weekly, dropped it, and couldn't remember a thing when I came back to it), and it isn't necessarily negative (you can watch the show again without being bored!).
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