I’m no stranger to rewatching shows. Even when I was a little kid, I would play VHS’s literally to death. I’d watch my favourite shows and movies time after time, getting to the end of the video and instantly hitting rewind and beginning all over again. Once DVD’s became a thing there were many titles banned from being played in the house usually when I could identify the film from the five seconds of sound. I will admit I’ve watched some films to death to the point where even I won’t watch them anymore and I’ve done the same with more than a handful of books where I start reading them and realise I can literally recall the entire story in vivid detail to the point where I’m not even paying attention to the words anymore.
This is in stark contrast to some other people I know. A certain relative of mine used to be a great source of novels, mostly because he would read science fiction but he only ever read a book once. Then he would give the book away and knowing I loved to read I received quite a number of these books to add to my own collection. When I asked him if he would want the book back he asked me, “Whatever for?” He genuinely could not understand the point of reading something a second time, let alone a third, tenth or fiftieth time. Whereas for me, the point of trying something new is to see whether it belongs in the permanent collection or not and my greatest lament is that I don’t have enough time to bask in the books, movies and anime that comprise my ongoing collection and explore new media, and actually live a life that involves real human interactions and work.
That said, if you were to ask me what I get from a rewatch or reread my answer would vary depending on what I had recently returned to. It seems to come down to a few basic things.
01. The Rewatch To Understand
In the case of something like the original Steins;Gate, Darker than Black, or Evangelion, the rewatch is usually needed to try to get the plot clear in my mind. While I didn’t not get it the first time (way too many negatives there), it is more that a lot of the enjoyment isn’t there the first time because you are spending so much time reasoning and puzzling rather than actually absorbing. It also means you miss substantial amounts of character work, visuals, music, etc because the plot is all encompassing. Repeated rewatches, taking a break and coming back to it, watching in chunks or binge watching, all bring something new out of the experience. Even after the plot is clear, there’s so many other questions and aspects that you can turn your attention to that it never feels like the anime has gotten old.
02. The Rewatch To Relax
There’s a great feeling that comes from crashing into the couch cushions and hitting play on a DVD that I’ve seen a thousand times before. One that I know won’t tax my brain, isn’t going to ask more of me than I can give, and at the time has the exact tone I am looking for. You can’t get this from a series you’ve never seen as you never know what to fully expect and part of your brain stays on alert. Whereas, I know exactly what I’m in for when I press play on Snow White with the Red Hair, Ouran High School Host Club, or even Inu x Boku SS which are all some of my favourite binge and sleep anime that I put on when I just want to crash out.
Play Asia Exclusive
03. The Rewatch To Share
Of course when you come across a great title you want to share. you want someone else to watch it with and to laugh and cry and discuss each moment with it. One of the best things that happened the first time I watched Yuri on Ice was that just after it finished airing I visited a friend and told her she needed to see it. Two days later we’d finished a binge watch of the series and the two of us were happily humming History Maker in her kitchen together. There’s something about watching a show with someone else that really elevates the enjoyment of it, plus you have someone to talk about it with once it is done so this is perhaps the most satisfying of all rewatches.
And then we have the new one.
04. The Rewatch to Analyse
I’ve never really done this before, but recently I started yet another Yuri on Ice rewatch with the express purpose of reviewing each episode in far more detail than I had before. It’s a new style of watching I’ve never tried and I’m loving it. Admittedly, a lot of the enjoyment is coming from the subject matter, but it is making me want to give other much loved shows a similar treatment. What I have noticed is that it is taking a very long time to get through a single episode and it isn’t a single watch of the episode I am doing. The other thing that makes this different from any other rewatch is I am only watching a single episode at a time. This viewing is not being binged. I’ll get back to my Yuri On Ice rewatch later this year once things settle a bit for me.
While I do get that some people are happy enough to watch something once and move on, I am as well for shows that are enjoyable enough but don’t grab me. However, the whole point for me is finding those shows and stories that I will never get tired of and want to watch and read again and again.
What is your stance on rewatching anime?
supporting 100 Word Anime.
Subscribe to the blog:
- Why Do We Criticise Main Characters For Being Overpowered?Why is an overpowered main character considered a bad thing? Admittedly, I do like anime where the underdog comes forward and finally overcomes the seemingly unbeatable peril, but that doesn’t mean every main character has to be a wimp or a developing hero. It’s nice sometimes to have someone competent, in control, and at times even confident to follow along on their quest. In those instances, it isn’t tension that you are wanting to experience but rather the satisfaction of seeing someone overcome a challenge in a fairly capable manner. So, different emotional payoff but still entertaining, right? First published June 2016.
- How Fruits Basket Creates A Growing Attachment To Its CharactersPost Sponsored by Crow. Anyone who has been reading my episode reviews of previous reviews of season 1 and 2 of Fruits Basket will know I am absolutely in love with the series. But more than the story, what I’m in love with are these characters. So now, as we are being drawn into season 3, it seems like a good moment to think about how these characters managed to become so important to me.
- Why Is It So Hard to Find A Good Female Lead In Anime?Post now sponsored by Crow’s World of Anime: I’m hoping this one isn’t coming out like a rant: female lead characters in anime – do we have enough of them? Are the well written? Why don’t they seem to appear in the genres I largely enjoy? Jump in and let me know your opinion of female leads in anime and who your favourite female lead character is.
- How SSSS.Dynazenon Represents Everything Undesirable About Trigger AnimeThis isn’t a rant or a hate post. Studio Trigger has put out some big name anime and even as someone who mostly has not enjoyed their body of work I can see that their work isn’t garbage. From an animation and visual perspective most of their work is actually quite creative and beautiful. Rather, it is a post for me to explain why, despite their being plenty of good things about their anime, the vast majority have never hit their mark with me and why after only watching one episode of SSSS.Dynazenon I decided that there was no point in my even attempting to review it because I would end up saying much the same things I always say when I attempt to review works by Trigger.
- The Reasons Anime Fans Should Be Happy For Dubbed AnimeI’m not cracking open the subbed or dubbed debate once again – let viewers watch what they will. However, there are 3 good reasons why all anime fans should be happy about the amount of dubbed anime available.
- You May Have Seen This Before in Anime, But Is It Entertaining?It is that time of season again where we open so many new shows and look for that magical spark that draws our interest. The problem for anime reviewers in particular though, is that we watch so many anime it is hard to keep from thinking they are all kind of melting together into some kind of indistinguishable mass. Are anime all kind of the same or is it the small details that make or break a title?