Why Are Simulcasting Anime So Popular?

Let’s kick off weekly Wednesday with this post…

It’s a dilemma that pops up in any anime watcher’s life – to watch a simulcasting anime, or to watch something from the backlog, only to neglect that backlog yet again.

Well, there’s the obvious one – simulcasting anime are the newest, hottest thing to come straight from Japan. If you don’t talk about it now, you might not ever talk about it with your friends (or your internet friends)…ever. People’s memories are shorter than that of the standard goldfish – according to Microsoft, the average human in 2012 had a short term memory which lasted about 8 seconds, compared to a goldfish’s memory of 9 seconds. Anime watchers who do the simulcast circuit are the same way.

Shows come and shows go, so people treat shows like a big deal as soon as they come out to live in the moment. In other words, that means it gives simulcasting anime watches the infamous “fear of missing out” when they can’t talk, can’t rate, can’t do anything with their anime-related friends.  A “peer pressure”, if you will. (If there’s anything you’ve ever learnt from anime, it’s that in order to get over peer pressure, it’s either going on a big journey of self-discovery or confronting your demons. Anime watchers on the simulcast circuit can take the same approach to their watching habits if they feel overwhelmed by this season’s offerings.)

As suggested earlier, simulcasting anime gives people an excuse to live in the moment. It’s why people do risky sports like skydiving, or why people like action movies. To get that thrill that makes life worth living (and to be confident that they aren’t behind on that stinkin’ backlog). The idea that an anime that hasn’t aired yet will be the greatest of all time – also known as “hype” – is an infectious, adrenaline-pumping thing, and if you’ve been part of the simulcast circuit, you will know that feeling.

Actually, part of that could be the fault of the nature of the internet, too, and not just in the psychology of a person. The internet has the attention-deficit nature that makes people able to talk about whatever shows they support. That’s why people get assurance that shows they like will get talked about somewhere else in the big internet and they’ll one day discover it. It’s just that modern shows get the bias there, because more talk begets more talk.

So, there you have it. What do you think about our current state of simulcasting anime?

5 thoughts on “Why Are Simulcasting Anime So Popular?

Add yours

  1. I only ever used to watch anime that was finished (more because of lack of access than anything, but also just so I could watch the series in one or two sittings). A couple of years ago I got a Crunchyroll subscription and quite by accident started watching a show that wasn’t finished airing. Well, the rest is history as I now watch more currently streaming anime and fit in older shows when I can. Part of it is the conversation is current and the fun of predicting what might happen and where a show is going, but part of it is just the novelty of something that I’m not really sure about what I’m getting in. Sometimes I get burned and watch shows that are pretty dreadful and other times I come across shows I end up falling in love with.
    Whether people watch simulcasts or older shows, I think it is great there are so many options for enjoying anime now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are some good reasons as well.

      Part of my experience on the simulcast circuit is that no matter how hard I try, I’ll always get at least one stinker. Every. Dang. Season. (I’ve picked Chaos Dragon, Big Order, Hand Shakers and Dynamic Chord as stuff to watch before they began and…they basically reinforce why I choose to not use the 3 episode rule.) Having services that facilitate the dropping of so many shows is a fairly unique aspect of current anime culture as a whole, I think.


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