Every week I see a bunch of tweets all with the same general theme. “Why did I watch Milky Holmes this week? This show is so terrible.” Why should I see that so often? I can enjoy things on an MST3K level of bad as my movie collection shows. I am sure that almost everyone who watched the colossal disaster that was Musashi Gundoh did so out of a morbid curiosity to see exactly how bad it could get. But there is a distinctly vocal part of the anime community that seems hellbent on watching things they hate and then complaining about it. That makes no sense to me. Either watch what you like because you enjoy it, watch what you hate because it is fun, but don’t watch what clearly makes you miserable. Unless you are a professional reviewer there is not reason to subject yourself to torture.
There are dozens of excuses as to why people do this. I know that some people want to watch what everyone else is talking about. Other people need to watch things until the end so they can be definitive on why they hate it. Others feel they most know the enemy to understand them. Then there are the schadenfreude fueled nature of people who just want to see crazy rants. Some people watch what they hate just to get rubbernecker hits on their website but that in itself is perpetuating a sickly system. You watch more things you hate to get more hits which forces you to watch more things you hate.
But my response is don’t do these things. They are poison to the soul. It can be tricky to know when to stop watching something because it might get better and you don’t want to write off whole genres casually but a stubborn completionist attitude is only detrimental. I am sure that the inability to just let something drop is a cause of a good deal of anime fandom’s burnout rate and the strange culture of anime fans who hate anime. One of the reasons Narutaki and I have remained pretty optimistic in our anime viewing is the fact that we are more than willing to drop shows that does not work for us and just focus on what we like. Nothing would burn me out quicker than watching every Key anime, followed by some dreadful harem show, and topped with Special A for desert. But I know I would hate those shows. So I simply don’t watch them and I am happier for it. I think some people would be better of doing the same.