How Lockdown Messed with My Watching Habits

I was discussing with Scott what a normal week in anime looks like for me and…it might actually be more than I thought…

I haven’t talked about it much because it doesn’t always have a place here, but now that we’re slowly getting out of lockdown, let’s compare experiences.

COVID-19 has massively ratcheted up my watching, the the point where it’s gone from about one or two anime completed a month to one or two anime completed per week(!) However, the anime club had a marathon last week, meaning 8 hours of anime, give or take episodes I’d already seen. Several 1st episodes I’d already seen of my own accord, but it was a pretty long list with all the shows I’d finished at the end. Due to that, I thought my watching was pretty small this week as I recovered from marathon burnout.

A normal, non-COVID-19 week is 2 episodes at the anime club and 6 simulcasts plus whatever else I can manage, so there is an expected baseline of 8 episodes or 6 when the club doesn’t get together (and 52 weeks x 8 episodes is 416 episodes in total, or roughly 35 x 12 episode anime, which sounds about right, if you compare that to what I report at the end of the year with my lists). During COVID-19, I got lazy and abandoned my simulcasts for my backlog, so it was #AniTwitWatches and, erratically, whatever else I could manage, normally seriously stepping the watching up a few days before Chibi Tamago or AniList Watching Club challenge deadlines. COVID-19 means the anime club sessions moved online and could go for longer as well, so that went from 2 episodes to at least 4 episodes – 1 of one anime and 3 of the other, if the votes went that way.

This week that I’m writing my post in (not counting whatever I finish after this post), I watched 1 episode of Arte, rewatched 2 episodes of Tsuritama and had 2 episodes of The Perfect Insider for #AniTwitWatches, plus 1 episode of Shin Getter Robo vs. Neo Getter Robo + 3 episodes of Mouretsu Pirates, which is 9 episodes, so it narrowly passed the baseline. If you count the rewatches and continue in this fashion, counting from one Saturday to the next Saturday (as in, Sunday to the Saturday after it, with today being a Saturday) up to 3 weeks ago, I watched 25 eps last week (no usual anime club due to the marathon), 22 the week before and 19 before that, which would explain why it suddenly seemed so low. (Just for comparison, a week before the lockdown started seriously affecting my life had 11 eps and the week before that one had 8.)

I’ve been feeling slightly burnt out on anime more than usual, especially on days when the club meets…I am completely incapable of watching any anime after meet-ups, but I’m still capable of reading manga, browsing anime-related sites and chipping away at anime-related games during burnout, so that’s what I do if I don’t have something else instead. (I seem to have – rather unconsciously – gotten into the habit of setting time aside for reality TV and a quiz show about current news events – the same “hilarious show” mentioned in this post – as of late, because they continued with COVID restrictions included.)

This begs the question of whether this is sustainable (mentally) or not and the answer is “no”, but because of all the lost commute time and need to be in less places due to lockdown, I can do it and I’ve basically done it for almost 12 weeks straight (but I probably shouldn’t have). The reason I restrict myself to 6 shows seasonally is because of the erratic ability to watch nothing one day and then an entire anime season the next, so it was really a safeguard for such things. My ability to watch things is mood-dependent, so pacing myself only really happens if I have something else, or alternatively self-restraint, to stop myself…The increased free time means I have less self-restraint, which doesn’t help matters any.

Now that I’ve fallen behind on 8 shows and have to catch up with 5 that have almost finished without me, it’s going to be a long road before I get caught up…

So how has your watching changed while under lockdown? Did remote work/learning cause you to lose more time on your hobbies, or have you gotten into different things that take away from your pre-lockdown hobbies?

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