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Author Topic: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)  (Read 6151 times)

Offline KS

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Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
« 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.  :-\

Offline Kaikyaku

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Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
« Reply #1 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.

Online TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
« Reply #2 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.
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Offline Marid King

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Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
« Reply #3 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?
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Offline ImperialX

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Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
« Reply #4 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.

Offline Thot

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Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
« Reply #5 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.

Offline Pebble

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Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
« Reply #6 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.

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Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
« Reply #7 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.
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Offline AC

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Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
« Reply #8 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.

Offline hyperknees91

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Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
« Reply #9 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.

Offline Fumoffu!!

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Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
« Reply #10 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.

Offline KS

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Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
« Reply #11 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.

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Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
« Reply #12 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.

Offline Marid King

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Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2014, 08:35:17 AM »
Cool. See you in Spring 2014.
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Offline Shadowmage

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Re: Anime Burnout (Symptoms and Solutions)
« Reply #14 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.

I recommend Mobile Suit, RX-0 and Unicorn from the Unicorn OST.
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