Anime Backlogs and My Experience With It

Good morning/evening/afternoon! Ayappi here (^O^☆♪

3rd time post today, I know. I don’t know what else to do right now so I just started writing teehee. Anyway…

When you’re a university student, you might be similar to me in a sense that you often go into this phase where you think to yourself, “I miss the good old days.” No professors yelling at you, no daily panic attacks from that one class you forgot existed (for good reasons). Back to a time when all I did after school was sleep in the car ride home instead of panicking and writing a 50 page minimum “thesis” while trying to contact my groupmates that suddenly disappeared on me.

With that, I suddenly remembered my early days in the anime community. Back when I started to watch anime outside of the stuff they aired on Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. When I started to use Facebook to connect with fellow fans of anime rather than to exclusively play Pet Society, Farmville, Nightclub City. I could write many blog entries on my early days (and cringeworthy moments and mistakes), but today I want to tackle something that might have happened to anyone who is an anime fan and is busy.

My backlog was so bad, I basically looked like this looking at it

I’m talking about the dreaded “anime backlog.” What is this specifically? We all know the drill, every new season we head over to livechart.me or Haruhichan (though they’re not doing this anymore since 2016, and we pick what we want to watch from the many titles on our screens. Then after we select about 5 or 6 or sometimes 10, we desperately try to map out the schedule at which these series come out. Lately we’ve been able to do this better, but before I had to rely on the date stamps of the first three episodes before I could make my schedule, or I was just dumb.

Anyway, as time passes, by the fourth episode or so, we drop a few series, which lessens the number, but other factors come in to play. Peer pressure from friends to watch a certain show that isn’t in your list suddenly rushes in. A sudden change of heart to watch a series because of reasons such as, suddenly finding the characters cute. Professors suddenly giving mountains of homework that’s easier said than done. Delays in fansubs if you require subtitiles, or if you’re one of the brave souls that prefer raw: lack of signal. A lot can happen, especially since most anime air on a weekly basis. Eventually, not only do you have a mountain of responsibilities on your hands, but you also have a huge backlog of anime on your plate.

Many times this has happened to me. Believe me when I say that I have dropped really good series not because I eventually found them boring, but because I got lazy and overwhelmed by my huge backlog of unwatched, unfinished anime. Even if let’s say, I had 6 months of no school (yes I had this). How many anime was I able to finish? One, out of 20+ unfinished series, out of the sheer number and laziness. Also partly to blame is my bad habit of rewatching CLIPS of series I already watched amounting to 4 episodes of something I haven’t watched.

I blame these things. I got this one from Animo.

When I think about how did this even happen, I guess I was pressured. I knew deep inside me that I wanted to watch all of these, not only because I wanted to watch all of these from the beginning, but also so I could increase my “anime list.” I blame my innocence and those posts that say “If you are an otaku, name 50 anime,” back when I only have, 17 clocked in. I guess the idea of being a “true otaku” got the better of me and caused me to drop great series such as Charlotte, Anohana (bad timing on this one because I had to carry my group for a project) and Denpa Onna To Seisyun Otoko. I also guess, that if I didn’t watch these anime the same time everyone else is watching, I would be forgotten and be irrelevant.

I guess I was also pressured at the fact that at my first blog, the reception was horrible due to my reviews of old anime. I got so angry when I received my first and only comment, saying something along the lines of “stop reviewing old anime you weeb.” I deleted the thing and went on to add more anime to my list, mostly new ones. I ended up dropping most of them except for one (Nagi no Asu Kara). Whoever that person was, I don’t know who you are, but I could care less if you found my new blog and started commenting again.

Youth sure is a dangerous thing let me tell you haha. I’m still young though, I’m not even in my twenties yet.

Nowadays, as I matured and learned that this “true otaku” nonsense won’t make me any better, or any more prominent as I originally imagined in the end, or trying to satisfy the expectations of people whose only instance of communication was from a comment I went bonkers about, I tend to have less of a backlog than I used to have. I generally stick to one or two or three per season now, and the only time I make changes is if any of these happen:

1. I find the character cute and I have time to add in another one

2. I’m just bored in general

3. It really got me interested in it.

I’m not even going to watch anime just to fuel my blog to satisfy anonymous commenters like I used to. Honestly I also thought about it, and because of that, my review of Nagi no Asukara turned out really horrible. Though, as if the rest of the content I wrote wasn’t horribly written to begin with _| ̄|○

I did this show injustice. Got this from Deviantart

So, if you made it this far, I kind of want to leave a little message to those who are experiencing something similar, or has an anime backlog themselves. What’s the takeaway in all this Ayappi-nee? Think about why do you want to watch this series. There’s no shame in not being able to watch a series everyone else is watching. There’s no shame in not being able to watch as much anime as you want. “True otaku” is just a title given by a picture on the internet asking you to name 50 animes you watched. We’re all living busy lives, and it’s understandable.

Don’t let these things give you an anime backlog, because honestly, it ruins your experience in this community.

Have you ever had an anime backlog? How did you cope up with it? Did you have to drop series too, or you miraculously found a way to bounce back? Please let me know your thoughts!

Have a great day or evening, and happy watching ❤

If you’re curious, and this is inconsistent with my MAL account, here’s my watchlist so far. Trust me, this is less than what I had 5 years ago:

1. Mahou Shoujo Site

2. Better Sword Art Online: Gun Gale Online

3. Hinamatsuri

4. Comic Girls (binge watching this within this week to catch up)

Reading list:

1. Mahou Shoujo Site

2. Magical Girl of the End

3. Bloom into You

4. A couple of BL one-shots

5. My Wife is a Man

My Honest Opinion on Dubbed Anime

Greetings anime community! This time I would like to talk about a somewhat sensitive topic regarding this community. From the title itself, you guessed it, I’m here to give my opinions on the never ending debate that is dubbed or subbed anime.

But first, a quick backstory! (3 paragraphs long if you want to skip it teehee)

I was scrolling through my feed on Facebook when a post from Netflix (or some Facebook page, I forgot) advertised its exclusive ONA with Sanrio, Aggretsuko (アグレッシブ烈子). After being hooked because Retsuko is just, really cute, plus I like the whole death metal thing going on, I finally had a reason to subscribe to Netflix. Luckily my aunt let me use her Netflix account and I have since been watching Aggretsuko and other anime (Tip: You can actually watch more anime if you use a VPN to Japan).

Now for all of you who are subscribed to Netflix, I think you know that you could change the subtitles and audio tracks in their TV shows and movies. For those that aren’t, there’s an option to change the audio tracks and subtitles through a little menu on the upper right if you’re using iOS. I’m not sure how it works for Android and PC, but anyway. By default, the show was set to English with no subtitles as far as I can remember. Being the person I am, I set the audio to Japanese and the subtitles to Japanese.

However, while it’s convenient that the show is just on Netflix and I could access it whenever I wanted to hear “SHITTY BOSS,” I get lazy and choose to just look it up on YouTube. Truth be told, I was kind of disappointed that the Japanese versions of the “SHITTY BOSS” songs are nowhere to be found, and only the English ones have been uploaded for my listening. However, what surprised me was that the English dub of Aggretsuko was actually really good. It was so good that I actually wanted to rewatch it in the English voices, while still retaining the Japanese subtitles because reasons.

STORY TIME OVER,

Dubs vs. Subs, it’s been a long running debate in the anime community. Many of the common arguments I hear about this issue is that, watching dubbed anime is tantamount to ruining the anime, watching dubbed anime does not give the same experience as that of the original, etc. In short, dubs ruin anime.

To an extent, I kind of agree with these arguments. In a way, a dubbed series kind of ruins the experience that the original aims to deliver to its audience. After all, there are some words and expressions that simply sound weird when translated into another language. The director or writer may have specifically chosen words, in the original language, as well as certain ways or accents of saying these words, that could simply not be captured as well if it was translated and adopted into a different language. You could say, some words get lost in the translation, and it really depends on how the translator interpreted these words, which could possibly cause lost meanings.

Let me give a little scenario on how I think this could happen:

Original Japanese: 「参ります」

Natural Translation: Going

While yes, the translation is correct, by translating to somewhat natural English the word has already lost its politeness level the original Japanese possesses. 参ります is the super polite form of the word 行く. Going could mean anything in terms of politeness in English. Furthermore, if we consider the fact that 参ります is also the super polite form of another verb 来る (come), we’re in trouble should the interpreter interpret it as such when it should be the other verb.

If you want evidence of this in Western animation being dubbed to Japanese, I suggest you listen to Japanese Spongebob. It simply, doesn’t work in my opinion. Patrick’s dopey English voice suited him better than the pathetic voice he has in the Japanese dub. Spongebob’s voice is kind of acceptable, for me at least.

However, I also kind of disagree with this statement simply because of the fact that there are some dubs that do a good job at it, an example being (if you read story time) Aggretsuko. Another example of dubs being good is the Dragon Ball dub. These are in my opinion, examples of dubs that actually match, if not make better the experience being set by the original. If we consider the fact many people simply watch anime to enjoy the experience of anime, and if a dub could deliver a similarly good if not better experience, then why not. In my opinion, anime’s purpose, other than being art waiting to be appreciated (and critically torn apart by critics), is to be enjoyed by the people who love it after all.

In the Japanese dub of Western animation side of things, if you ever get a chance to watch Japanese Gumball (TAWOG), I think that show’s Japanese dub is good. Gumball’s voice actually matches his character, and same goes for the rest of the characters, mostly.

With those out of the way, my take on the matter is that in the end, it’s really up to you, the watcher, to decide. Anime is subjective and we’re all into different things. Some of us could care less about a little loss in translation and prefer dubs. Some of us are simply purists and would rather appreciate the art in its purest form. (To be fair though, by reading subtitles there’s still some loss in translation from the smallest nuance to a complete butcher).

Me, I personally would rather watch my anime in its original Japanese audio, simply because I can practice my listening skills, and because of the argument I just said earlier about how there are terms that simply could not be captured well if translated into another language. However, I’d still watch a dub if I wanted to. Other than to aid my Japanese studies, I mainly use anime to relax and unwind so if a dub could serve that purpose, why not. Just make sure it’s like Aggretsuko level good and not that HORRIBLE niconiconii in that Tagalog Love Live dub I stumbled across.

How about you? What’s your take on the matter? Do you agree or disagree?

I think that’s all I have to say on the matter, for now at least. Bye and have a beautiful day!