TPAB’s Top Ten: Things I Learned From Six Years of Blogging and Reviewing (Part 6 of 10)


This one is about my experience doing episodic reviews. I have a lot to say, so this one is pretty long.

6. Episodic Review is a Hard yet Interesting Adjustment

So the Winter Games is basically an episodic venture for me, and it was a seriously tough thing to do. I was following four shows last Winter 2018. Three for the Games and one for my collab with Keiko, and the entire thing just overwhelmed me. My problems aren’t about the usual thing like finding it tough to talk about an episode. I can push out 4000 words in just the Games alone, and I nitpick a lot of stuff for the collab with Keiko. I can never run of out things to say in an episode. My problem is the easier stuff, like trying to stay on schedule. Several times, I’d realize the new episode of the anime is already out and I wasn’t able to watch it on time. Keiko would often remind me that it airs on this day, but I just cannot remember it. With four shows airing on a different date, I often have a hard time watching it as it is released. I would pile them up, but that’s also not a smart thing to do.

You have to understand. I marathon my anime, and I finish my engagement with the show in just a week or so. I would even finish one anime in just one day if it’s really good. I never really have to wait for episodes to come out, because I consume them in one go. I also don’t really want to try episodic viewing, because I know I just can’t really stand watching a show for a long time. Three months just to watch a subpar anime about Sanrio mascots? Get the f*ck out of here. It’s kinda why I wanted to collab it. If I know Leap is twisting in agony as well, then it’ll motivate me to continue. But yeah, remembering airing dates is a chore sometimes. It even sucks when you didn’t post about the previous episode and then the new one comes out, and then you just feel overwhelmed.  Speaking of which, Leap and I actually agreed that episodic posting also feels like homework. It’s like we’re back in school, and we need to do this or else we’re in trouble.

Episodic reviews seriously burned me out, because everything kinda piles up. If you have a stressful job and anime is your escape, then episodic reviews kinda sucks the fun out of the hobby. For the Winter Games, we sadly chose two “meh” anime and one show where the appeal is “girl will eat food and make cute faces”. After a hard week of worrying about personal stuff, it seriously sucks to suddenly be forced to write about a show with horrible pacing and one with absolutely zero effort given into it. It came to a point where the four of us didn’t really discuss the episodes that much, because we got sick of thinking about them.

But, despite the unpleasant experience I had with my first episodic viewing, I actually wanted more. While the Winter Games felt like homework, the “In Conversation” I had with Keiko felt awesome. The anime is so good as it follows an age gap romance with a lot of subtle details to it. Every week, Keiko and I would argue that the two will finally kiss and close that gap. Every week, I’d come up with weird conspiracy theories, stupid predictions and explore “what ifs” and Keiko would expand on each stupid thing I mention. We had a running joke about my (age gap romance) train finally leaving the station, and Keiko would shut it down each time. I personally didn’t really want romance in After The Rain, but it just felt like a fun stance to have. And then it finally dawned on me, this is why we do episodic reviews. We share the experience with other people.

That was always the theory I had with episodic viewing, but I never really bought it myself. That’s why, when I wanted to try it, I wanted others to try it as well. The experience is incredible. While marathon viewing is about you and the anime, weekly viewing is about you and other people (preferably a friend) and the anime. As you talk about the episode, you hype each other up and you immediately wanted to know more about the story. I swear to gawd, when After The Rain started to make the two characters find strength in each other, I was like “oh my gawd, our theory was right. I can’t wait to tell Keiko about it.”

Now, don’t get me wrong, the Winter Games had the same effect. Leap and I kinda slowly hated each other for doing the collab but we also never really found a reason to stop. Reading Irina’s post of trying to entertain herself with Sanrio Boys, by not really focusing on the awful show and instead doing a “this guy is a murderer” angle, is pretty hilarious. Reading how much we were concerned that the girls of Yuru Camp are eating too much also felt hilarious, as well reading how much AstralGemini gush about the show itself. He could not find fault in the anime. It’s awesome. Of course, Seeing Leap give Sanrio Boys a chance each week only to give up later on is also fun to read. We were sharing this experience, and that’s why when I proposed a Fall Games 2018, no one declined. Not really sure if it’ll happen but I’ll be watching some Fall anime either way.

So, yeah, I’m not really a fan of episodic viewing but I am now a convert. I love watching weekly while I marathon my reviews. It was a hard adjustment for me, but I’m glad I tried it six years into TPAB’s existence.

Full List

1. The Diversity of the Anime Tag
2. The Blogger Dilemma
3. Collabs are fun
4. Friendly yet Reclusive
5. MAL Synopsis
6. Episodic Review is a Hard yet Interesting Adjustment
7. Dramatical Murder and Yosuga no Sora
8. The Special Secret Relationship of the Fans of the Original Source and the Anime Staff
9. The Faithful Adaptation of a Bad Anime Paradox
10. Hurdles and Setbacks Makes Life More Interesting

20 thoughts on “TPAB’s Top Ten: Things I Learned From Six Years of Blogging and Reviewing (Part 6 of 10)

  1. Watching anime episode weekly is definitely a chore. Even though i am quite tempted to do an episode review like you and the others…my lazy self continues to throw that thought away…lol. Binging Animu is the best. XD

  2. Yeah I only marathon anime, but I see what you mean. I look at all of these episodic review posts that I can’t read and engage with because they would spoil an anime for me – it definitely seems like a great way to interact with people and give / receive opinions on a weekly basis. And it definitely takes a lot of work, I got serious respect for the people that put up consistent episodic reviews, even if I can’t actually read them.

  3. I enjoy watching anime weekly, if it’s something that doesn’t have me too invested. If I’m hella invested, then I much prefer marathoning it. But writing episodic reviews were never really my cup o’chai. I’ve tried it, and as you mentioned, it can definitely burn you out. So, I stick to mid-season prattling and then full serial reviews for any titles that I wanna talk about with more depth.

  4. This is why you should’ve taken Idolish7 like Irina wanted. Sure, it’s on hiatus now but at least it wasn’t “meh”.

    It’s because Astral always gives stuff such glowing reviews that it became all the more shocking to see him share my stance on the filler Mahou Shoujo Ore ep (ep 5)…I think I ended up taking a particularly grumpy stance near the end of the post to see how he’d react.

    • I think it was already airing when we started the Games, and lol, it being on hiatus can also pose a problem for our predictions

      lol, taking a different stance is pretty fun. I do it all the time xD

      • If you’re talking about Idolish7’s first two episodes, those were a special advance screening from an event. Outside that, it had a normal run for all of winter so you could have still done it and dropped it like Grancrest once the hiatus rolled around…although it’s one of those shows where cliffhangers show up in the last minutes before the ED, which is another can of worms entirely…

  5. Episodic reviews also age more badly than regular reviews because someone can’t just jump in the middle after the show has started (because spoilers) and after the show has ended it all becomes a lot of speculation which is irrelevant to someone who wants to marathon the show.

    Personally I like the comments of a certain anime streaming website that shall not be named – even after the anime has finished airing it is fun and convenient to read the reactions that previous viewers left.

    • yeah, they do age badly but a lot of successful blogs does episodic though, and they have a massive following with each post getting 50 to 100 comments. depending on the audience. It’s really all about the interaction.

  6. I find conversational osts much easier to do whether they are episodic or otherwise. It’ just that much easier to bounce ideas off someone else than to structure a blank page

  7. Right, right?! Episodic viewing is as you said, about sharing the experience with others which is why I really like it. Writing the reviews, not going to lie, can be a bit of a headache especially if I’m super stressed out or busy but normally I want to write about somwthing immediately after I’ve watched so I tend to enjoy writing them :’)

  8. I’m doing an episodic review collab and it is only affirming my distaste for them. I have a lot of fun watching the show and working with everybody but I very quickly run out of stuff to say episode-to-episode. I started off with pages worth of thoughts and now at the halfway mark I write a small paragraph at most.

    • hahahaha, is it really that bad? well, i guess the bad can outweigh the good.
      and I am talkative af so I just think of random things to write while I do episodic. I’m glad you’re giving them a try, lol. discussing them is the fun part, honest. 🙂

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