This may be something that you already do regularly, and if that’s the case – well done!
However, I am usually one of the people that fall under the category of those that don’t re-watch shows. Once a show is listed as ‘completed’ on my MyAnimeList, I very rarely sit back down and watch it again. After all, I’m usually able to list the reasons as to why I liked or disliked it, my favourite parts of the show, my favourite character etc. Dialogue about the shows I’ve seen usually comes quite natural to me, so I normally don’t see any reason to sit down and re-watch a show I’ve already spent time watching when I could use that time to watch a different show.
There have been a couple of exceptions to this, however. For example, those who know me in real life should know that I’ve seen Ouran High School Host Club enough times to sing along to the OP in both English and Japanese, as well as quote the show line-for-line in some instances. I’ve certainly seen the show nearing 10 times by this point, and although I will have had different reasons as to why I’ve sat down and watched it again and again, ultimately it just comes down to the fact that I love it.
Of course, there are other shows that I love – Fullmetal Alchemist, Gakuen Alice just to name a few. Fullmetal would arguably fall under the same category as Ouran. This is a show I’ve seen more than once, but this is mostly due to it having the Brotherhood reboot as well. Gakuen Alice on the other hand? I’ve seen just the once. Arguably this is due to the fact it is almost impossible to get hold of, but I still find it a shame that I haven’t had the chance to go and revisit such a wholesome show. It’s been almost a decade since I first sat down and watched it after an online friend recommended it to me and I’m itching to give it another watch after so long.
It’s come to the point in my anime-watching life where I’m really wanting to just sit down and watch some shows from previous years. I want to revisit Danganronpa, a show I first watched in 2015. I want to revisit Say, I Love You, another show I watched almost a decade ago. These are just two examples, and there are a lot more, but I rated these quite highly (a 9/10 and a 8/10 respectively) and I can’t help but feel that if I watched them again, that this rating may change.
This was the case with Attack on Titan. Over the past five weeks, I’ve been taking part in a group-watch of the fan favourite series, in celebration of the final season airing. Everyone in the group has managed to notice how much the fans of the show have been praising the latest seasons of Attack on Titan (not that it’s hard to miss these days!), but there were a huge group who hadn’t seen a single episode of it. Not to mention, we’ve all been stuck in lock down again since Christmas and it gave us something to look forward on a Thursday afternoon.
Personally, I had seen the first season of Attack on Titan back in 2013. I was still quite new to anime at the time and had been enjoying a lot of typical shoujo series from the time – Vampire Knight, Fruits Basket, Hetalia and the aforementioned Ouran were just a few of my favourites back then. I was very much into my romance dramas… the complete opposite to Attack on Titan. Alas, the show that everyone had been raving about was giving a measly 6/10 – a rating which it would have on my list for the next 8 years.
Watching five episodes a week meant that the group of re-watchers (or first time watchers) were able to consume it in a manageable way – not too many episodes per week and not too few. But the re-watch in general made me think about how my tastes in anime has changed over the years. Looking back, it’s looked as if I managed to ease my way into anime with those shoujo romance dramas, before transitioning into (somewhat mediocre) comedies and then going into more action-lead series. Of course, I love a shoujo romance drama still, but it perhaps wouldn’t be my first choice nowadays. And would the Mia in 2012, brand new to anime, want to watch action shows or the crime and mystery shows that I’ve been enjoying recently? Despite her being a fan of live action drama mysteries such as BBC’s Sherlock, I have a feeling she wouldn’t.
Needless to say, Attack on Titan no longer stands at a 6/10 on my list. Re-watching it has made me reconsider the score somewhat, and it now stands at a more respectable 8/10. Why? A lot of it was due to me simply enjoying it more than I did eight years ago, but some of it was also me finding new joy and appreciation at different aspects of the show – particularly the soundtrack, which has since become an overall favourite of mine.
Our tastes do change over time, and that’s why it’s a good idea to re-visit some shows that you feel a little unsure about from time to time. Right now, aside from Danganronpa and Say, I Love You, I’m also feeling a re-watch of Free! and Neon Genesis Evangelion just to name a couple more. In my time blogging, I’ve managed to pick up shows which I never would have even touched had I not just tried them, due to the influence the community has had on me. I feel a lot more confident in what I like and don’t like in a show, and these perspectives, I feel, will do the series I wish to visit again justice when I begin evaluating them once more.
As I was once someone who actively didn’t re-watch shows, let me tell you this – re-watching shows is a good thing, and it’s certainly not a waste of time to do so. You might pick up on something that you missed last time you watched it, and that might just change your opinion of the show.
What’s a show that you’ve re-watched? Let me know in the comments!