Friday’s Feature: The Value Of Rewatches

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.

Twilight7b

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

Darker Than Black

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

Akagami no Shirayuki

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.

03. The Rewatch To Share

Yuri on Ice Episode 4

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

Yuri on Ice Episode 6

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?

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30 Day Anime Challenge: Day 2

30-day-anime-challenge

Day 2 and they are already hitting the hard to answer questions. An anime I’m ashamed I enjoyed? Generally speaking I don’t feel ashamed about anything I watch but I guess there are probably two anime that I’ve kind of flinched when someone has come in and I’ve been watching them. This is different from the anime just happening to be on the one bathroom sequence in the whole series and someone walks in because that’s just to be expected at this point.

The first would be Junjou Romantica. I actually really love that anime and it is probably the reason I originally looked into AnimeLab because Crunchyroll doesn’t play this in Australia but AnimeLab had the third season. Really glad about that anyway because AnimeLab has since aired lots of shows that either weren’t on Crunchyroll in Australia, Crunchyroll didn’t get them, or they are on Crunchyroll but it turns out AnimeLab streams better for me. That doesn’t change the fact that the first episode of Junjou Romantica really should have been enough for me to hit the stop button and walk away. It is confronting and if someone told me that the two characters met this way and then ended up in a relationship as the salepitch for a show I’d probably not even consider watching. Why I watched beyond episode 1 I don’t remember but I do know I’m kind of hooked on the show now but it is one I’ve never even tried to suggest to someone in real life that they should watch.

Romantica.jpg

The other anime that I’ve probably hidden away in my collection and don’t really mention is Tenchi Muyo: War On Geminar. I actually had no idea what I was getting into when I started this but given the first episode doesn’t really hide its obsession with putting girls in ridiculous outfits and over-sexualising everything I can’t say I didn’t know what I was getting into. Despite that, and the really boring protagonist, and the story that kind of doesn’t make sense, and everything else that is wrong with the show, I still really enjoyed watching it. There are so many moments where you just want to cover your face and ask why and yet the show is fun.

Geminar.jpg

At some point I’ll have to review both of these series but so far I’ve kind of avoided that. I get the feeling when I review them the negative points will seem to outweigh the positive (and that’s probably very true from any objective point of view). However, I really did enjoy both series even if I still won’t watch them with anyone. And just so we’re clear, it isn’t that both of these anime have sex as a focus. It is more the way the relationships are portrayed and some really uncomfortable, line crossing moments that both series have that make them ones that are a bit harder to talk about.

Over to you and which anime are you ashamed you enjoyed?


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Karandi James.

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