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Everything Else => Writer's Block => Topic started by: KS on January 18, 2014, 10:23:55 PM

Title: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: KS on January 18, 2014, 10:23:55 PM
I figured I might as well talk about it but I'm pretty sure I'm going through it hard this season.  I'd probably have to go back at least 5 years to find the last time I felt this apathetic about anime and I'm starting to wonder if maybe I'm approaching the end of the line on this whole anime interest thing like I thought I was back then in mid 2009.  I just can't seem to bring myself to watch and genuinely enjoy much of anything save a very select handful of shows right now and even the shows I had kind of been enjoying I'm finding myself just not having the will to watch.  I thought I could jolt myself into following them again, but I just keep finding myself falling further and further behind.  I feel like it's going to take something big in Spring to potentially bring me back into the fold or well....I'll get to that scenario if and when the time comes, but for now has anybody gone through or is currently going through a similar situation and if so I was wondering if they could share with me what exactly they did to get out of it, because the usual tricks I had used in the past when I felt the burnout coming on just aren't working right now and I'm sort of starting to feel like it's something I'm just going to have to let work itself out or not.

For the record if it wasn't already obvious by my posting habits I'm mainly into mecha, sci-fi/fantasy, military, psychological, spiritual , space opera and character drama type shows and while that's definitely lacking in a big way in this rom-com and moe driven winter season it still doesn't explain my lack of drive to get into even older and currently running examples of those types of shows.  I really don't think I'm THAT picky a viewer either so I just can't explain the level of apathy I'm feeling even in this winter season.  :-\
Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: Kaikyaku on January 18, 2014, 10:48:10 PM
I think burnout is just a reality, with anything, not just anime. There isn't really anything you can do and sometimes trying to force yourself into enjoying something just makes it worse. Just step away and come back when you are ready or when you feel inspired. I took a mini break this fall because I just wasn't feeling it and now I'm watching again. The anime you are missing won't disappear, and it's better to wait and truly enjoy them later.

You don't lose your status as an anime fan if you take a few months off, or a few years even. Try something else that you like to do or would like to try instead.
Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on January 18, 2014, 11:25:20 PM
We've all gone through this.  It starts happening when you realize that what was originally bright, shiny, and new, is actually just as laden with tropes, stereotypes, and regurgitated crap as any other country's entertainment.  In a nutshell, you've caught up to and caught on to everything, and are now cynically in a mindset that you've "seen it all".

It happens.  I can't help you, and I don't think anybody can.  Fandom is a personal thing, and I can't predict whether you'll get out of your rut or regress further.  A lot of the people whom I have talked with and posted online, from rec.arts.anime on AOL to Anime Academy to here, aren't into anime anymore.  It is just a mechanism of the aforementioned cynicism and your own personal maturity.  Inevitably, you start becoming aware that you're watching children's programming, and you realize that there is more to life than that.  A lot of people just drop anime entirely, maybe catching a show here or there if they hear it is good, but in general don't subject themselves to the seasonal grind of saturation.

When it happened to me, I pared down to only a couple of shows a season.  Not necessarily shows within my preferred range, just a couple of good ones, or hyped ones, or whatever, usually following the recommendations of the Sexy People I trusted.  Then it kinda just "hit me" again.  I'm not sure when.  Probably when I watched Honey & Clover.  Maybe Mai-HiME.  It was the discussions that really did it.  The weekly conversations and speculations, everybody pointing out a new little neat thing that show X was doing that we thought was interesting, and a whole lot of people being funny.  I found an outlet, in particular, with hating crap.  You may have noticed that I still do it.  Passion comes from all places; in my case, it is the joy of ripping a pile of shit to shreds.

So find your niche and rekindle the fire.  If you don't, it doesn't mean you're a bad person.  People change.  Nobody will think badly of you if you end up dropping anime entirely.  Like I said, it happens more often that someone quits watching anime than someone gets back into it with the same vigor we all had as teenagers.  I'm thirty-five years old now, and still enjoying it, and still enjoying hating it.
Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: Marid King on January 18, 2014, 11:43:29 PM
I don't really understand. If you don't want to watch a show, then you don't watch it. If you find a show interesting, then watch it until it no longer interests you, then stop. If nothing interests you, then there's nothing to watch that season.

What is driving you to watch shows that you don't like?
Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: ImperialX on January 19, 2014, 01:17:07 AM
I don't really understand. If you don't want to watch a show, then you don't watch it. If you find a show interesting, then watch it until it no longer interests you, then stop. If nothing interests you, then there's nothing to watch that season.

What is driving you to watch shows that you don't like?

From the way KS talks and posts, you can tell that he has been an anime watcher for a very long time. When you've had a hobby for such a long time, it's very hard to convince yourself that you don't enjoy doing it anymore. It would feel as if you're essentially denying a part of yourself. I wouldn't go as far as to call it an addiction, but unconsciously, we humans all fear change to a certain degree especially when it comes to something so deeply engrained in our everyday lives. That's the gist of it without being overly psychological.

My advice to KS is as follows. Firstly, you mentioned that you're not that picky of a viewer, yet you even lack motivation to pick up older shows that are not airing right now. This leads me to believe that the current apathy you feel towards the medium isn't actually due to the lackluster lineup in our current season, but it's more that your mental state doesn't allow you to enjoy any anime at all. I do lurk around the forums a lot despite not posting too much, and quite frankly, you're just not in the condition to enjoy any anime. Yet, you don't stop watching. It's because anime has been a part of your life for so long. While I can't say that I've ever been through the same experience with Anime, I can say that I've been in the same spot as you with learning Japanese before.

We both know that deep inside, we want to like anime and learning Japanese respectively. However, there's a burnout and we just can't enjoy it. At times like this, the best thing really is to just take a break. Passion will find its own way to reveal itself to us, like TIF said already. The fact that you're still here despite hating everything that's airing leads me to believe that you have a genuine desire to start enjoying anime again.

You said you like mecha, sci-fi/fantasy, military, psychological, spiritual, space opera and character drama type shows. This season's lack of these genres doesn't help, and when you consistently force yourself to watch things you don't like, you fall deeper and deeper into the pit. I had somewhat the same experience with Japanese during my burnout. Despite me losing most of my interest, I continued to grind through vocabulary flashcards. It just made me hate it more and more. I let it go for a bit, and eventually I wanted to learn Japanese again. It's my hope that you'll want to start watching anime again in the same way.
Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: Thot on January 19, 2014, 01:37:27 AM
If you don't feel like watching anything for a while, then just don't. I know I've gone many months without watching much of any anime (or any at all). And then eventually I do come back and pick up a lot of current and old stuff to burn through.

I mean, really. Would you say "I haven't really felt like getting shit-faced drunk for a while now and I even have to force myself just to down a few drinks. What should I do?"
If you've gotten tired of something you used to really enjoy, the best way to get into it again is to not do it for a while.

Funny enough, this season is quite the reverse for me - been picking up a lot more new anime than I have in the last, like, 2 years.
Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: Pebble on January 19, 2014, 02:04:49 AM
Here's something I'd suggest: write. Fanfiction, or original fiction is, for me, an effective way to get back into consuming fiction, because it opens up new ways of enjoying it. I didn't like Yuushibu, but I'd be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy watching it, because I was mostly busy thinking up a personal fanfic of all the places the show could have gone. That's also the way I'm enjoying Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta this season.

This also gets you to appreciate how hard it is to write a good piece of fiction, but that's a different story altogether.
Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on January 19, 2014, 02:33:56 AM
I'll echo Pebble's idea in part, because one thing I like to do is watch a show and figure out what I would have done different.  I think that shows up in some of my posts, but not all of them.  I'm not one of those types that shoots my mouth off without putting forth alternatives.  It is easy to complain and say that something doesn't work in hindsight, it is another thing entirety to come up with solutions.  "Fix the problem, not the blame", as the saying goes.

But fanfiction?  No.  No, no, no.  No.  Ew.  No.  I mean, unless you can, like, write, and I mean like, really write, but even then... ew.
Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: AC on January 19, 2014, 05:20:32 AM
There's nothing wrong with burnout. It doesn't necessarily mean you're beginning to hate anime per se; it simply means that you're getting too much of what you love that it doesn't energize you anymore. Instead, it ends up being tedious. Why? You still love anime as a whole, but certain aspects of anime begins to tire you i.e. the tropes or stereotypes or even your lack of time to watch makes it tiresome for you to watch.

Maybe you just need a break from it. Some people have taken a long weekend from work; other even take sabbaticals. But what I do believe is, there will be that certain anime that brings you back into anime. For me, it was REDLINE simply because it was very different from what I've tired of in anime. And hopefully, if you're have a burnout, you'll someday find that anime too.
Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: hyperknees91 on January 19, 2014, 06:43:36 AM
I usually go through phases.

Take a long break from anime. Then I might read some manga. Take a long break from manga. Then I might read some VN's. Take a long break from that, then I'm usually ready for some anime again.

But yeah burnout will probably occur with anything if you get over-exposed to it too much. I can no longer play turn based rpg's anymore because I played them for a good half of my life and now prefer action games for example.
Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: Fumoffu!! on January 19, 2014, 07:34:21 AM
I've never suffered from severe anime burnout, maybe even at all. I cannot remember a time when I slowed down my anime watching because I couldn't be bothered. I guess I haven't been watching a lot of non-airing shows recently, but it's because I don't have the time anymore. I should get around to some though.
Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: KS on January 19, 2014, 08:01:46 AM
There's nothing wrong with burnout. It doesn't necessarily mean you're beginning to hate anime per se; it simply means that you're getting too much of what you love that it doesn't energize you anymore. Instead, it ends up being tedious. Why? You still love anime as a whole, but certain aspects of anime begins to tire you i.e. the tropes or stereotypes or even your lack of time to watch makes it tiresome for you to watch.

Maybe you just need a break from it. Some people have taken a long weekend from work; other even take sabbaticals. But what I do believe is, there will be that certain anime that brings you back into anime. For me, it was REDLINE simply because it was very different from what I've tired of in anime. And hopefully, if you're have a burnout, you'll someday find that anime too.

Watching Redline and a few favorite classic anime movies was actually one thing I had considered, but I think the better option for now might be the one that most people suggested for now which is to just take the cold turkey breather for a few months instead of trying to force it and making things worse since I definitely do feel it's a mental thing as much as any reason.  After a while I think I'll take the classic anime film approach and then ease back into whatever is airing in the season if it looks good. 

Alright thanks for the suggestions everyone.
Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: AC on January 19, 2014, 08:14:07 AM
Watching Redline and a few favorite classic anime movies was actually one thing I had considered, but I think the better option for now might be the one that most people suggested for now which is to just take the cold turkey breather for a few months instead of trying to force it and making things worse since I definitely do feel it's a mental thing as much as any reason.  After a while I think I'll take the classic anime film approach and then ease back into whatever is airing in the season if it looks good. 

Actually, it's not about watching classic anime movies. It's about giving anime a chance after having a breather: I stumbled upon REDLINE, and significantly, the movie reminded me that anime is not all about moe, cheap fanservice, tropes and clichés. In a swarm of all that, there's always that one outlier anime that breaks away from the norm or tries to be different. That unintended moment is what can spark your love for anime once more; the important thing is to give benefit of doubt.
Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: Marid King on January 19, 2014, 08:35:17 AM
Cool. See you in Spring 2014.
Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: Shadowmage on January 19, 2014, 09:43:40 AM
Personally, I don't force myself to watch anime. I see anime kind of like I see television in general. I watch my guilty pleasures and the cherries at the top and basically nothing else. Now, I do have a tradition with anime that I don't with any other medium: I watch the first episode of most new shows. However, if something really doesn't suit my tastes, I'm very quick to stop watching it.
Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: KS on January 19, 2014, 01:39:51 PM
Personally, I don't force myself to watch anime. I see anime kind of like I see television in general. I watch my guilty pleasures and the cherries at the top and basically nothing else. Now, I do have a tradition with anime that I don't with any other medium: I watch the first episode of most new shows. However, if something really doesn't suit my tastes, I'm very quick to stop watching it.

Well that had been my method for a while but it kind of backfired on me this season when I just sort of ended up having a gag reflex activate around this time last week.

Watching Redline and a few favorite classic anime movies was actually one thing I had considered, but I think the better option for now might be the one that most people suggested for now which is to just take the cold turkey breather for a few months instead of trying to force it and making things worse since I definitely do feel it's a mental thing as much as any reason.  After a while I think I'll take the classic anime film approach and then ease back into whatever is airing in the season if it looks good. 

Actually, it's not about watching classic anime movies. It's about giving anime a chance after having a breather: I stumbled upon REDLINE, and significantly, the movie reminded me that anime is not all about moe, cheap fanservice, tropes and clichés. In a swarm of all that, there's always that one outlier anime that breaks away from the norm or tries to be different. That unintended moment is what can spark your love for anime once more; the important thing is to give benefit of doubt.

Well the one release that just happened this month that I've been anticipating for a while is Short Peace but I have a feeling subs on that are going to be a while.  My hope is that it'll be one of those things that's ready by Spring.

Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: Zeitgeist on January 19, 2014, 02:52:45 PM
Good ole burnout. It comes with the territory. Burnout and an overwhelming sense of depression (at least in me) when a great anime concludes. I've been running on fumes for the past year or two. I abruptly dropped Psycho Pass and Zetsuen at the mid way mark when they were airing and still haven't gotten around to finishing them. The last time I was burnt I think '09ish Eden of the East revitalized me.

Contrary to everyone else, I think the easiest solution, maybe not the best, is to just force yourself to watch an anime. Just pick one that is established as good that is inline with your tastes and just start it. As an inherently apathetic individual myself, I find the initial motivation the biggest hurdle. But once I've started the show I generally find myself immersed...unless I'm being a contrarian dbag and just finding faults in a renowned show. Sadly, this method doesn't really address my main grievance.

I hate the vast majority of shows that air. This mentality isn't a result of burnout or apathy, it is just a simple fact. I've been actively seeking out and watching anime in Japanese since '04. As such, my tolerance/patience for mediocrity/shit has plummeted. This inevitably leads to a cynical perception of anime as a whole which intern saps my desire to pursue older gems which intern causes burnout.

In the end, I find myself in the same shoes. I often wonder if my interest in anime is waning. I also sort of fear the possibility that one day I could lose all interest completely. But that is dumb. I'm not losing interest in anime. I dont hate anime. I hate bad anime. It is no different from anything else. I don;t books. I just hate shit books. But with books I don't drudge through title after title of generic overly moe, overly sexual, and overly shit shit.

Regardless of everything, at least we have Hunter x Hunter...for now.



 
Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: DrIdiot on January 19, 2014, 05:56:03 PM
I think I went through this and never really "recovered."  The problem for me is that the subject matter of anime never really matures.  While of course there are many exceptions I think it's still pretty much true that most anime feature characters who are high schoolers or younger.  Occasionally you have something great which depicts young people in a way that older people can appreciate, but most of the time the standard fare is just not interesting to a certain demographic.  I just couldn't get into Flower of Evil because I wasn't at all interested in their presentation of high school problems.  But my favorite thing about Evangelion is how well it depicts adults and children alike.

I still keep an eye out for things I might be interested in.  I also have directors I like who I keep tabs on, Masaaki Yuasa being a notable one.  But otherwise, I mean, maybe you like anime because you like "art," and in that case there's a lot more out there in general film and animation and television, and then you can go into books or visual things or anything else.  If you like Japanese things, there are Japanese directors doing interesting things, like Hirokazu Kore'eda.  I dunno man, there's a whole world out there for your exploration, why limit yourself?
Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: Funky Dealer on January 19, 2014, 06:56:13 PM
I think everyone's summed up most of what I could say on the matter, though I think one personal thing for me that's helped maintain my interest in anime is just taking it slow. Maybe it's bad that I've made an impressively large backlog of stuff that I'm always having trouble getting through, but it's always something to look forward to and has a good chance of having something you really like hidden amongst the rest. It's kinda like video games for me in that regard, where you're always anticipating old and new releases.

Here's something I'd suggest: write. Fanfiction, or original fiction is, for me, an effective way to get back into consuming fiction, because it opens up new ways of enjoying it. I didn't like Yuushibu, but I'd be lying if I said that I didn't enjoy watching it, because I was mostly busy thinking up a personal fanfic of all the places the show could have gone. That's also the way I'm enjoying Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta this season.

This also gets you to appreciate how hard it is to write a good piece of fiction, but that's a different story altogether.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who does this. Well, I don't actually write anything since I'd likely be lousy at it, but I have shows that are otherwise mediocre or ho-hum that I enjoy merely for speculation's sake. It's a bit of imagining things differently and thinking about interesting what-ifs that make me appreciate things more, especially when the end product is disappointing.
Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: P_Spiegel on January 19, 2014, 08:33:36 PM

For the record if it wasn't already obvious by my posting habits I'm mainly into mecha, sci-fi/fantasy, military, psychological, spiritual , space opera and character drama type shows and while that's definitely lacking in a big way in this rom-com and moe driven winter season it still doesn't explain my lack of drive to get into even older and currently running examples of those types of shows.  I really don't think I'm THAT picky a viewer either so I just can't explain the level of apathy I'm feeling even in this winter season.  :-\
Have you watched Space Battleship Yamato 2199 ? It's a really well made space opera. Or watch something more accessible and good, like Hunter x Hunter.
Also, this burnout thing is not uncommon and something to worry about. It happens a lot for me actually. You probably will pick up interest in anime again, but in some cases it lasts forever! Like, I haven't touched my PS3 and X360 since 2 years ago. 
Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: RyuKyotei on January 22, 2014, 03:43:30 PM
I don't actually know if I've ever suffered from true burnout when it comes to anime as a whole.  I'm inherently a cynical person that enjoys analyzing and understanding the tropes behind the shows.  When I came around to starting to understand anime the same way I understood written fiction and it's tropes, it just fit naturally.  For me, tropes can be good tools for a writer, no matter the medium, or they can be a horribly overused tool that let's the writer just be lazy. 

Nearly every other season or so, I have shows like magi or psycho pass that I enjoy for the understanding I have with tropes and how the show utilizes them in a good way.  I enjoy that show for the characters, the story, and how the manga/anime uses shounen tropes with a darker current underneath it all.  Then, with nearly every season, I have shows that I love just tearing to pieces for how badly written the show is.  Sure, they were trying to write something good, but that effort was misdirected and it just ended up badly.  In that same vein, the shows that are so bad, they're good for how the writer knows how bad it is are amazing fun.  You tear them to pieces, but you enjoy watching it all the same. 

For me, those categories naturally came about and I never suffered horrible burn-out.  I only ever suffer apathy when the season is truly devoid of truly bad or truly good shows.  In the mean time, I tear shows to pieces or I dote upon them like delicious pieces of candy.

My advice? KS, just don't force yourself and learn to accept the natural cynical side or learn to repress it for a simpler view on shows.  In the mean time, watch only what you know you'll like, since you don't seem the type to really get joy out of tearing a show to small pieces. 
Title: Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
Post by: HirakuNoShadow on January 23, 2014, 09:45:24 AM
Like what a lot of others have said, burnouts are something that everyone experiences at some point and not just limited to anime - this is particularly true if you have watched anime over a long period of time, as things that you may have once excited you will eventually feel like nothing more than a tedious chore. Back then when I first saw Bakemonogatari my first impression was, "wow an anime adapted from a LN? That seems pretty interesting". Nowadays my first impression of a LN-based anime would be more on the lines of, "oh boy this is probably yet another shitty anime adapted from a LN". Similar case with noitaminA, what I had originally viewed as a consistent source of quality anime eventually became closer to a pile of meh as crap like Gulity Crown and Black Rock Shooter started filling in. Your expectations based on past experiences are pretty much your poison here.

Personally, I've taken my first major break from anime (among a lot of other things) last year. With the majority of my time being spent at the dental school and having other commitments over the weekend, I slowly found myself falling behind on anime, and soon reached a point where I could no longer keep up with it. Admittedly I had somewhat grown wary of anime for a while at the time, although what had really forced me to stop was simply a matter of priorities. Even then, I don't think I've ever invested myself into anime to the extent where I would experience any major burnouts anytime soon. Generally I limit myself to a couple of new shows per season, usually the most hyped or good ones and a few guilty pleasures based on my initial impressions from anime charts or recommendations from others. I also tend to drop or put on hold to shows very quickly, which also helps me avoid experiencing burnouts.

Now that I'm back after an year of a break with a newfound wealth of free time, I am currently finding myself enjoying anime again, if not more so than before. Recently I've been following a lot more variety of shows this season (not exactly the best timing given the quality of anime atm, but c'est la vie) than before as well as revisiting some of my all-time favourites such as Mushishi and Honey & Clover. A lot of the current shows may vary from mediocre to godawful (*cough* Pupa *cough*), but much like TIF I still find plenty of amusement from simply reading discussions of  the said shows more like when everyone unites together ripping on shit - Infinite Stratos, Amagami SS... those were some good times. Only problem now is that I may have to start taking a hiatus again once uni break is over since my workload is getting more hectic by the year, but that's a completely different matter.

Basically, if you aren't enjoying what you're watching right now, taking a break may just be the best thing to do. Take your mind off anime for a while, and in the meantime search for something else to fill in your time. Eventually (and hopefully), you should be able to find yourself enjoying anime again, whether it be naturally or by finding the certain anime that rekindles your passion. What I personally did to keep myself from completely disconnecting from anime is very similar to DrIdiot's - even though I may end up not watching anything in the season, I still regularly keep track on the anime charts in hopes of finding something that may interest me.