Usually, when I write editorials, there’s specific periods of time where I have to get a bit more creative about topics. One of those periods of time is when the currently airing season is a few weeks from ending where it’s too early for huge hype trains to have anything to say about them and far too late for the currently airing season to yield anything I want to talk about. Due to my practice of watching one non-airing show alongside the airing shows I’m watching (if any), I can usually come up with something that I don’t hate, but since I’ve been working closer to the amount of time that I imagine proper adults work and have been going to school full time, I have a lot more on my mind and while sometimes I can turn one scene I really liked from a show I watched the week of into an editorial, other times I just get stuck and have no idea what to say.
This was one of those weeks where I just had no idea what to talk about. I had finished up the list of editorial ideas I had saved on my phone, I was having trouble getting ideas I could expand on from watching anime or talking to friends (where 90% of my ideas for posts come from), and I was stuck in this specific period of time that I knew I would get stuck in at least once this year. I had gone through two months without missing a single Friday this year, and while I know I won’t be able to keep it up all year I did want to keep this going a bit longer, or at least try to. So, I got an idea. While thinking more and more about my absence of anything to say , that absence suddenly became my topic. Not only did it become a topic, but it as a topic was one I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish in a single post — at least not the way I’d want to finish it. While this may be incredibly abstract, I want to talk about this period of time I’m going to dub “downtime” in airing anime — the last three weeks before an anime season ends.
Part 1: Community Silence
Of course, the western anime community at large doesn’t ever just stop talking. There’s always at least something on Twitter or on my WordPress feed, but for some reason these last three weeks, from episode nine to twelve, seem quiet in comparison to the other highs and lows as the airing season is passing. The excitement from the beginning of the season has been far put to rest. Declarations of what the new best anime ever is and what shows are worthless garbage piles despite their enormous fan bases have been thrown out and well discarded by now. People have well fallen behind on some shows, if not everything they picked out to watch, and others have picked up what they think are going to be good. With a new season of anime on the horizon but still too far away to truly get excited about, everything just seems quiet.
This isn’t at all a new phenomenon, as it’s responsible for kick starting many editorial hiatuses, and probably not everyone even witnesses this. Regardless, it’s something that makes sense to me, at least where it’s placed. This anime limbo is where I get comfortable with whatever non-airing show I’m watching and start putting shows I couldn’t bother to be asked to keep up with anymore on my on-hold list — I myself have nothing to say about the current season of anime and what is or isn’t happening, and I myself have gotten to the point where I’m only clinging on to shows I actively enjoy or at least want to see through to the end.
So what? So people aren’t constantly excited about anime every single day of the year, what’s so interesting about that? The fact that all other times of the year some group seems excited about something new to discuss, but in this specific time frame everything seems more quiet. What’s interesting to me, is that it’s not even remotely interesting. That everyone in a broad sense are both simultaneously is doing the same thing and having personal motions they go through in this time. Less people livetweet the anime they’re watching, less people start drama about silly things, and less people have something to talk about.
Which, as mentioned previously, doesn’t mean everyone is silent. If everyone was actually quiet and actually talked about nothing in more sections of the community than the section I expose myself to, there would be something astoundingly interesting happening and I’d be incredibly curious as to know what shot down everyone’s voice simultaneously. Instead, this is a perceived idea that from my point of view everyone is more quiet. The more I thought about this the more I wondered a few things: What shows were everyone de facto dropping due to being unable to keep up with them? In the times that this downtime didn’t happen, what made it go away? What are the shows the least number of people are both talking about and watching?
While for two of the questions I have a strong feeling I’ll never get answers for, at the very least for the last question, and the second question I’m almost certain the answer is pure luck, they’re fun to think about. To me, it’s interesting to occasionally go through the airing list on any anime tracker and wonder how many people are still really watching the show; how many people just added a show to their favourites as a bandwagon and how many are genuinely considering the show a new member of their favourites. I wonder what the anime community would be talking about if a Boku no Hero Academia two cour season was airing and a new godlike episode aired — if there is perhaps a part of the community that is excited and talking about something.
My mind fills with ideas that I can’t use for topics, not because they’re bad but because they wouldn’t go beyond the stage of “Hey this is a thought. Neat huh?” and all of the abstract what if’s don’t have enough meat to them to really talk about them at length without spiraling to a point where you have no idea how to continue talking about the things at hand and inevitably get off topic. All because of a short period before every show ends, too late from when every show started, and too soon from when every new show will begin.
The very idea that I don’t know what to talk about out of a literally endless pool of topics, is in and of itself an interesting thought. The community is still busy, things anime related are still happening, there’s still something to talk about, surely, but none of it is right in front of me in a way that draws my attention so instead it gets overlooked. In a time period where nothing is happening, it’s interesting that something is happening — that even though people aren’t talking about it, there are shows we couldn’t keep up with, there are shows we wish more people would be watching, there are shows we’re looking forward to, and we at large are all simultaneously doing the same thing and different things. The idea itself is what’s interesting — nothing more.
I am, admittedly very unsure about this idea. Sure, I could sit down and think about it for hours but there’s that little voice in the back of my head saying none of this makes sense. Oh well, that voice sucks anyways. I hope you liked, or at least were able to take something away from this week’s post! As always, if you have any thought’s you like to add you can leave them in the comments below and if you’d like to see what I’m up to on the other six days of the week you can follow me on Twitter. Here’s hoping by the time I finish all of the parts of this I don’t end up regretting it horribly. Although there’s nothing to lose, I suppose.
The featured image for this post was drawn by 赤身ふみお