Overcoming Guilt About Watching & Reading Less

a photograph of a line-up of six anime character stickers in the rear window of a car
I am proud of myself for being able to recognize 4 of these 6 anime character stickers.

Alternate title: Maintaining Threadbare Connections; I Just Can’t Let This Blog Die

I’ve had a sense for many years of being disconnected from current anime fandom, first as part of growing older and not being interested in much of the new stuff and then as someone who doesn’t interact with most of the people from my college days or with friends I made through connections and conventions. Part of that is everyone having their own lives and being busy but another aspect was me becoming more detached from social interactions while trying to find a job after graduating law school and between bar exam attempts.

I rarely watch new anime series every season (too many isekai!) and I’m only vaguely aware of what is popular through things I glean from Twitter/memes or while browsing YouTube. I barely touch gacha games anymore and I’m even starting to feel disinterested in virtual streamers – I rarely watch VOD stream archives of the ones I follow and occasionally watch clips.

Various manga and light novel volumes sitting in a cardboard box, about to be taken to a used bookstore.
Mostly unread manga sitting in a cardboard box for being taken to a used bookstore.

I sold some volumes of mostly unread print manga to used bookstores in recent months. My thought process in deciding which volumes to part with involved: (1) checking if the manga was available to re-buy digitally in case I felt the need to read it again in the future, and (2) gauging whether I retained any desire to read it at all from when I originally bought it. (I found a Borders receipt inside at least one of the volumes, so that gives you a sense of how old some of the purchases were.)

I don’t feel compulsions to get anything whenever casually browsing the manga shelves at Barnes & Noble. The latest manga I bought physically was Call of the Night when the anime series was premiering last year, because I like Kotoyama’s art style and I *did* watch the first couple episodes of the anime. (I think I have five volumes but I don’t know where some of them are… maybe I’ll come across those while I’m cleaning…) There is also the mental weight of my unfinished anime and manga backlog keeping me from starting something new.

On the Positive Side

I haven’t completely abandoned the scene or lost my interest. There’s a handful of new anime series each season that I bookmark for later and older series that I started, then fell off of, yet I would still like to finish. I would like to attend a convention again for a day or even a weekend, depending on the scheduled events or if friends are going. I’m still participating in the Anime Classics watch group; we recently finished Bodacious Space Pirates and AKB0048‘s first season.

I’ve had the idea for a long while of writing posts about reading Japanese manga volumes as a stagnant language learner (rough title: “slowly reading Japanese manga”). The advances in OCR translation through mobile apps may help me get through what I own as I continue to try to shrink my physical library.

I recently got a Steam Deck so I might play some forgotten games from my Steam library, emulated classics that I didn’t play when I was growing up, and other story-driven or open-world console games that I haven’t finished yet.

(I really need to re-design this blog if I plan to update it more frequently after a 28-month hiatus.)

About Tom

I have been blogging about anime for more than a decade. My other interests include sports, business & legal affairs, and philosophy.
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One Comment

  1. Wow, a Borders receipt. The day they went out of business was a sad day.

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