How to NOT Watch a Series – A Certain Magical Index.

This is going to be a shorter editorial style of entry, about the anime known as “A Certain Magical Index”, or “Toaru Majutsu no Index“. Well, it is more about how I watched it in a manner very much unlike my usual manner, which had resulted in my not finishing it, and enjoying it less. It’s not that this technique is “bad”, it’s just not the one for me.
You can see my progression of watching the show (or lack thereof) in the monthly Media Consumption posts.

Misaka Imouto is shocked that I didn't finish watching the series.

So, before we get to how I’ve watched this series, let’s talk about how I usually like watching series. I like to blast my way through a series as if I were Kamina from Tengen Toppen Gurren Lagann. I sit myself down and watch a show, 8 hours, 12 hours straight. This usually “slays” most series, but sometimes it takes me two days to go through a series. Yes, this does mean that I don’t let my emotions nurture over time, but they do for me spring up quite forcefully, and I can remember and engage with the world the series is in as if I’m living inside it.

This also helps my attitude of “No need to speak and review every single episode with 50 screenshots; I’ll cover an entire season, or even an entire series.” It’s just how I roll. And it also means I can find a weekend every several weeks and go through an anime series. It reduces chances of forgetting an anime series, leaving it halfway through and then never returning to it. It’s a problem with so-called “zany” comedies (Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Kyouran Kazoku Nikki, etc.) as they don’t have enough of a story to keep me going, and there’s only so much you can take at one go. I probably should watch these series as they air, one episode every week….

Aisa Himegami looks tired. This mode of watching made me look like this :-/

So what did I do this time that was different? I began writing my thoughts in Microsoft Word. Not just some thoughts as each episode ended, which also slowed down how I went, but each and every interesting thought I’ve had as the series went by, necessiating breaks. Even worse, much worse, was that from about the 10th episode I’ve began taking screen-shots. We’re talking roughly 150-200 screen-shots per episode, with sometimes rolling back in order to get just the right frame.

This made watching the episodes somewhat of a chore, even if I ended with a lot of cute and neat screenshots, especially of the awesome Misaka Mikoto ;) But I still watched it, I still had fun for the most part, though the series giving me several story-lines (like small 3 episode arcs, rather than one continuous story) also helped in diminishing my excitement.

Did I stop loving Misaka Mikoto? What happened?

So, what really killed things for me? Well, it just goes on to prove my point. A certain episode (21) got a bit messed up and had no sound. And somehow, by the time I got it alright, I was already somewhere else… which just goes to prove the importance of not stopping in the middle. It’s a different deal with on-going series, as watching it the day it comes out works the same. But that’s why fillers also kill a lot of shows – once you stop watching it’s very easy to keep being “stopped”, just like if you take a vacation from a blog it’s really easy to not continue.

PhotoImpact which I used to take the screenshots somehow works again, which is nice, and will help working on figure photoshoots, woot :)
I do plan to finish the series, someday, sometime. But watching a show with taking breaks? It really kills my enjoyment. Watching under 4 episodes in one go, as well.

So, faithful readers, how do YOU like watching your series?

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15 comments on “How to NOT Watch a Series – A Certain Magical Index.

  1. Snark says:

    I generally have to spend two hours or more on the bus to uni every day, so I generally watch most my anime then.

    So how is Index? I’ve heard decent things about it. But then again, I heard decent things about Eureka 7…

    • Guy says:

      I’m liking Eureka 7 thus far, though the “Enter mystery mode!” is weaker than “Create relationship” first half of the show. Still 12 episodes to go.

      Index is… all over the place. The whole series probably has something for every person to like, but unlikely many people will like all of it. It’s like we’ve got an arc from a manga/novel in a chapter, and while the earlier happenings are references, they vary both in tone, quality, and focus, so it all feels quite disjointed.

      Index is very cute, people I’ve known dropped the show for how she treats Touma, and after 8 episodes or something like that, she becomes almost insignificant to the story.

      Some of the sub-stories are neat, some are lame and lack any form of internal consistency OR emotional impact…

      Worth watching? Probably. Great? It could’ve been much better with better editing. I still like how actions truly have consequences though.

  2. Reltair says:

    I watch new anime episodes week by week as they air. As for older series that are already complete, I marathon it all at once.

    I agree with you about the “zany” comedies; I get sick of them when I try to marathon while other series like Monster which was epic when marathoned.

    Fillers do kill my drive for anime when overdone. That’s why I dropped Naruto and Bleach years ago.

  3. Yi says:

    I refrain from stopping in the middle of a series as well. I like to watch enough so I am completely immersed in the world, and once I am, I try not to break out of it. So yea, I don’t do episodics or screenshots either.

    It’s unfortunate that you tried doing something else with magical index and it didn’t work. :(
    I think the moment it feels like a chore is the moment you stop enjoying it. Maybe that might explain why so many episodic blogs seem so bitter about most series.

  4. lovelyduckie says:

    “I sit myself down and watch a show, 8 hours, 12 hours straight.”

    Yup I do the same if given the chance, although if a series is 300+ epsiodes it will take a few months to get through it all. I’m still at under 200 episodes watched on Detective Conan though because I needed a break from the mysteries for a little while. Although I have EVERY intention of returning to my little detective soon!

    Also it’s VERY hard for me to watch certain “zany comedies” marathon style too. I enjoy Zetsubou Sensei a lot, but I’m done for the day after 2-3 episodes.

    • Guy says:

      You know, I was going to say you’re one crazy Duckling with regards to Detective Conan, but when I’ve began watching Bleach and Naruto I already had some 200 episodes or so to catch up on between the two of them. It happened /really really/ quickly, as fast as I could get new episodes, heh. Usually in chunks of 24 or so episodes.

      And you know, I almost think it’s impossible to marathon zany comedies. Yet, they keep making more and more of them instead of more fulfilling dishesshows.

  5. buncythefrog says:

    I usually watch four or five series at once, and use a random number generator to pick the next episode, though occasionally I’ll just throw that technique away and continue watching a particular series if it’s really interesting me.

    Quite honestly though, watching Index all the way through might not have helped too much. It’s a -decent- series, but even marathoner it didn’t make it awesome in my eyes.

    • Guy says:

      I assume you pick the series via a random number generator, and not watching the episodes of a series in a random order? I mean, it’s not like this world was designed by Haruhi Suzumiya or anything! :P

  6. G.K. Sil Kamina says:

    I’m the type that only watches three or four episodes in a sitting…unless the show has REALLY drawn me in, in which case I end up doing a full-series marathon. But I don’t watch anime as much as I used to…if I was marathoning shows all the time I’m sure I’d burn out.

    • Guy says:

      Well, when all you do is marathon, it often goes along with only doing it once every 2-3 weeks or so..
      Also, due to school, I’m much more likely to only watch 3-6 episodes in a sitting, and then I procrastinate and get drawn in and watch too many till too late ;)

  7. buncythefrog says:

    Guy :
    I assume you pick the series via a random number generator, and not watching the episodes of a series in a random order? I mean, it’s not like this world was designed by Haruhi Suzumiya or anything!

    Yeah, I pick the series, not the episode number. It would be interesting to see what series you could garner interesting orders from by doing it randomly

    • Guy says:

      You sound like you’re volunteering to make the experiment! I wish you luck and await your findings with bated breath :D

  8. Persocom says:

    I love marathoning shows, but sometimes I’ll break them into 2 – 5 days and watch 3 or 4 episodes at a time. I do still love to sit through an entire 26 episode series in one shot once in a while though. It all depends on the show, but watching them week-by-week does seem to work fine too.

    • Guy says:

      I usually plan to watch 3-4 episodes at a time, but due to procrastination on what I should be doing, and being unable to stop, just keep on watching… most series are still usually watched over 48 hours and not in one sitting, to allow for sleep and fresh air ;)

  9. […] the above probably didn’t make a lot of sense, did it? I’ve discussed my meta-experience of watching Toaru Majutsu no Index (A Certain Magical Index) on this blog […]

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