So 13 reasons why, is a bit of a glum show! So I decided to make it a bit happier! I will use it’s title in a bit of a different way! Life can be depressing and sad! We do not always get what we want.. but there are always more reasons to be positive than to be sad! That’s why this column is called 14 reasons why! In this first installment we will discuss why Covid preventing you to watch anime with your friends isn’t the end of the world. In fact there are many reasons why to think why watching anime by yourself might even be better.
<Disclaimer> This post is not meant to illustrate why anime by yourself is FACTUALLY better, than watching anime with friends, many of the reasons are done for fun and just meant to spread a lighthearted positivity with a dash of humor to see the best from a certain angle. It is not meant to convince you to stop hanging out with your friends. Nor will all reasons be all that serious! <End of Disclaimer>
First Reason Why: You get all the Snacks!
For those who ever hosted an anime evening for friends , you all know there is always that one guy! The Snacker.. the one who puts the whole bowl of crips on his lap and doesn’t pass it around to anyone unless they ask. Meanwhile you don’t really want to interrupt the anime for something silly as a handful of crips and the way he is shoveling those snacks down.. you might want to think twice before putting your hand in there. But fear not! When your alone.. YOU can put that bowl on your lap! In fact you get all the control! Would you rather have crips or M&M’s , how much do you want! Maybe you want some vegetables or even pig out with a pizza for your own! It is all possible and no one will judge when you watch like that alone.
Second Reason Why: It’s your party and you can cry if you want to!
So watching anime with friends can be great! it’s fun to see them again and socialise. Yet there is one thing that is usually not done among friends! That is crying . Yet it is one of the most powerful emotions we have. I personally like it when an anime makes me cry! It feels good to get those boos and hoos out of my system. However.. when watching with friends , it’s super awkward! You don’t want to be the only one to cry over a death. People tend to really patronise you! Awww Poor Pinkie come here for a hug! It’s okay! .. YUCK! It even gets worse when you are the only person in the room who doesn’t cry over Ushio’s death. People can get mean then! “You are dead inside, why aren’t you crying?” It’s super awkward. But there is a solution! Do you know what it is?! That’s right! By watching alone you don’t get those pity hugs or people telling you you are emotionally out of whack! You can give in to your sincere emotions. You experience a scene the way you want to! That is a very great good!
Third Reason Why: You can Haha Hard
In a similar way, this also applies to comedy. I watched prison school with my friends…or well I tried to.. one of them is immature as heck and with the least bit of innuendo and poop and fart humor he laughs his ass off. Most of my friends really prefer sexual humor and I don’t like that. I laugh at clever puns, cute Dojiko moments or at silly music, face expression situations that convey how awkward a situation is. That means me and my friends do not laugh at the same things or at the same time. During Prison School I barely heard anything of the anime because two guys were rolling around on the floor laughing. It was annoying. I am glad they were enjoying themselves but I felt left out.. and kinda pitied them for liking THAT kind of humor. I mean to each their own and all but in my world they just shown they are more related to apes. I laughed a lot during Konosuba or heck even Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid.. and those same guys shushed me! Excuse me?! You can ruin my anime watch but when I laugh I need to shut up?! If your sense of humor is in the minority, you are better off watching comedy alone! Speaking of Shushing!
Fourth Reason Why: No need to play the Shushing game
When watching anime as a group not everyone is as invested in the same things as others all the time. It results in what I call the shushing game. Some people there wanted to watch anime with friends..because they wanted to watch WITH friends. Meaning there is a social aspect to it. Others want to watch anime with friends.. to not watch anime alone and maybe have a brief recap near the end. So there are people trying to talk, and people trying to watch anime in quite almost always. Sure like in a movie theater you can whisper to the one sitting next to you but if you watch with a bit of a larger group.. like I did.. It’s always a bit of a hassle to make sure you sit next to a person who shares your level of social requirement. If you want some company and sit next to the quiet one..you are gonna get shushed! If you really like the anime you are watching today and watch it in focus and sit down next to a person who keeps asking about your day.. you are going to shush them! By the end of the night you will have picked up more social modifiers than your average TellTale Game! Pinkie will remember that alright! Next time she will bring her axe! Don’t shush or get shushed! Just watch alone! It offers much more stability in your friendships!
Fifth Reason Why: You don’t miss anything
So when you are watching with friends there are two ways a view can happen. First, if you need a drink, a smoke or need to use the toilets your friends keep watching. Depending on when nature calls you might miss important moments, funny jokes or important set up! Asking you what just happened either gets you shushed or people tell you. “You missed something, it was AWESOME’ after which they proceeded to clue you in with the vaguest nonsensical description you ever heard. No one ever tells you… so This person turns out to be a bad guy! They either forget the name and use a vague description, they give you only a half hint like.. someone was revealed to be a bad guy..or they just describe how big cow letters are.. BETRAYER appeared in a purplish hue and that is why the windows are broken.. cause when they slammed down it broke the windows.. not mentioning who the traitor is. If you watch an anime you haven’t seen before you better watch it alone because then you can take breaks whenever you want and won’t miss a thing.
Sixth Reason Why : No Lengthy Breaks
The second way a view can happen is that you watch with a group of three or so people! Each time one of you goes away the series is paused. While this seems more sociable and you won’t actually miss any sweet sweet anime content.. it actually is horrible! Like watching an American Football match. Between each episode a peabreak is scheduled and if you have a smoker in your group or warm snacks to be served the time between each episode can be more than the actual time an episode lasts. Yes it’s nice to socialise in these breaks..but if you really just wanted to sit down on the couch and relax with an anime.. this is like the Freemium version of that! That’s right, having friends can make watching Anime feel Freemium! Pay all friends to remove all ads and gameplay interruptions and go home! Now you can watch at your leisure and you control the pace.. as a true VIP. How awesome is that! And you know what.. if you want to socialise with your friends between episodes.. you can call them on the phone or reach them on discord and actually tell them about something they HAVEN’T just seen! Awesome! Which leads us to the next reason!
Seventh Reason Why: It’s hard to talk about anime you just saw together.
‘Dude… have you seen Kabaneri and the Iron Fortress?’ is a question you might love to ask your friends ‘Yeah Gal we are watching it together right now’ is the response you get if you watch anime with friends. It’s fun to talk about anime.. but if you are constantly watching with others.. what is there to talk about. You can speculate what happens next or what that power means… you can talk about the colours used but there is always a guy who doesn’t want to know your thoughts in what happens next.. because if it turns out you are right.. it’s spoilers.
So if that one is available to you or not as a topic is a bit of a gamble. Yet it is incredibly hard to talk about something you both just saw.. you already need to ANALYSE it to make it a topic. Did you see Naruto’s new technique? Well yeah are watching with you.. so you need to add.. that was pretty cool right? ..Risking your friend disagreeing.. or just saying Yeah..and you do the Bill and Ted Air Guitar together..Or you analyse where the power may come from or what it might mean..but sometimes you just want to turn your brain of and watch an anime. If your friend suddenly drops an analogy on you.. you have to play that game..just to talk!
Eight Reason Why: You can Enrich your friends
Now.. imagine you watching Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress by yourself.. and for some reason you think it’s pretty sweet. Now you phone up a friend and say.. “Dude…have you seen Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress?” it goes silent a bit on the other side of the phone and then ‘No I haven’t Sis.. tell me all about it’ so you can rave about what you saw for the next couple of minutes your friend genuinely being interested in what you have to say as it seems quite cool to him. The next day you meet for lunch and he says. “Oh I watched that show you watched as well sweet” You fistbump and do the Bill and Ted air guitar thing again..but now you had an actual interesting conversation about it. With all those philosophical debates available to you AS WELL cause you made your friend watch it! And even better YOU made your friend watch something awesome! YOU made THEIR lives better by the power of your words! Now who would not like to enrich their friends by informing them of something you saw first!….Also you can be like the trendsetter of the group and become a Guru! Upgrade!
So conversation wise.. it’s MUCH better to watch it alone!
Ninth Reason Why: You can call it quits whenever you want
I only ever watched the first episode of Megalo Box, my friends would rather watch something like Goblin Slayer or Darling in the Franxx ,however I really wanted to watch Megalo Box some more! Yet the group decided.. this is not for us let’s move on and fawn over a 2d girl instead. I never got back to Megalo Box after that as one other guy wanted to see more and we promised to host an anime night for that one.. but since so many people did not like it .. it just never happened. Each time we would host .. others tacked in and pulled the plug on Megalo again.We ended up watching the Tengen Toppa movies which is sweet…but I saw that like three times now?! Sometimes people really want to keep watching something you really dislike as well. For example Goblin Slayer for me! I asked politely if we could not watch something else as I really hated it..but my plees were ignored. At home however I can decide myself when I call it quits! If I want to drop something after an episode I can.. If I want to binge an entire season in one night I can! I do not have to worry about other people’s bedtimes.. I do not have to wonder if they are still enjoying themselves! I am in control!
Tenth Reason Why: No Dubbers versus Subbers
So me and my friend Jay-Ron went to see the Dragon Ball Super Broly movie in 4d. A friend really wanted to come along , but he had one stipulation. I want to see the movie in English. Meanwhile I watched the entirety of Super in Japanese so I did not really want to back up from the voices I knew. Just as much as he did not want to move from the ones he did. My friend Jay-Ron was with me.. we both prefer the sub. I prefer the Japanese Goku interpretation compared to Sean Schemmel’s one and I really prefer Japanese Broly. (For non voice actor related reasons). The other friend got super salty at us for wanting to go see the sub version..while we ALSO grew up with the english version.He avoided us for about two weeks feeling left out. There is always a guy who wants to watch a Dub in Sub group or a girl who might be a sub purist in a group of dub loving people. This debate has been done to death.. and can be avoided by watching alone!
Eleventh Reason Why: You can be Silly
So whenever I see the Kobayshi intro..or was it the end credit scene.. I think it was the intro!? I get the feeling I should T-Pose and Spin around. When I see the Assassination Classroom opening I want to put up my first in the air and jump around..then put on a better anime. At a friend’s place however, I can’t just do that! Their downstairs neighbours light might come off the wall, and he’d have to take responsibility or my female friend’s cat sees me spasming there and decides to attack me. People might think I am insane for holding up my hands to lend Goku power for the Genkidama and if I want to hide under a Blanket from a scary scene.. I should be able too. Sure with the right group of friends you still can do that..but there are so many modifiers. You have to have been friends for so and so long, you have to make sure it’s not that one night someone brings his new girlfriend or boyfriend or it’s a viewing at their parents house! So many rules.. you know where they are not! in your room when you are alone!
Twelfth Reason Why: You can pause to make screencaps for your blog
The vast majority of people reading my blog are actually bloggers themselves. I have zero friends I have met in real life who read this one.. well maybe one on occasion but most of them laugh at me having a blog! Which means if I have an anime viewing party I can’t really be engaged with using the anime that I am watching now for my blog! If I make notes people will poke me and ask me what I am doing. If I think a scene is amazing and I wiggle the mouse to see a timestamp so I can screencap it later I get booed. Yet we never know when we strike upon gold! I can’t make a screencap and my blog might suffer for it because I can’t recreate it myself.. or worse..because we are doing it with a group we are watching a Netflix anime. So while it’s easy to combine our passion with our hobby it is hard to combine you friends with that hobby! If you watch anime by yourself though.. you can repeat a scene over and over again until you have that perfect screenshot! Your online friends will surely like it! And there’s like 100’s of those compared to your handful of real life friends! …So you are better off watching by yourself! Unlike your friends we have never seen it before so that screenshot might mean a lot!
Thirteenth Reason Why: You can make yourself comfy
When you are with friends one general expects a group of people huddled together on a small couch looking at a screen. Perhaps one guys Mullet is in your way, perhaps he put his smelly feet on the table. Then there’s this one guy who stole the crips bowl.. you are trapped in between and there is no way out, you lean a bit forward to see a bit more but it is no use. The scene gets more tense and Mr Mullet leans forward as well..at least his feet are of the table for now! When you watch anime with friends.. generally you can’t take up a really comfy position on the couch. I love to wrap myself in a pink blanket with a laptop on my leg and a bowl of treats besides me and dream of the wonderful worlds. I can lay down on the couch, or take the laptop to my bed, I can build a pillow and plush pile and watch from that. When I am with friends I have to share my couch.. or due to my cramped living space.. usually their couch and I just can’t reach the same level of comfort! If you are like me and you want your comfy Cocoon! It is better to watch alone! Crying in a cocoon is also much nicer!
Fourteenth Reason Why: You can pick the anime yourself
If you EVER watched anime with friends ..without determining what anime to watch beforehand you know my pain. We are a fairly large group consisting of about seven people.
One guy always and exclusively wants to watch shows about big burly knights that fight for loyalty and honour. The type of shows I already hate. Another guy constantly wants to watch fanservice shows that preferably are explicitly sexual because that is funny. One of my best friends can’t even stomach those. I prefer weird and colourful shows like Kyousougiga, Flip Flappers or more game based anime like Saki, Beyblade or whatever. No one hates those in particular.. but it’s something you need to be in a mood for.. and with seven people there always is someone not in the mood for it. So we debate hours on what we watch. Vetoes flying left and right, people leaving saltily because their anime did not get picked. I never had a fun time selecting anime with friends. I am always the one who has to settle as two people just refuse to not have their pick be the one to go for.
One time we got to a point where we all put seven anine names in a box and we ‘d just raffle one. My pickiest friend wanted to veto a few picks or he would not come..so facilitated him they installed veto rounds. We’d have to vote and downvote and whatever.. so I bailed. It took them three weeks to set up a single anime night. I stayed home.. not the way I want to watch anime. They raffled something from what was left from the box and had a horrible night.. they all said so! I had my own anime night.. I saw exactly what I wanted to see and had a blast! So.. proof right there! Of the people that watched alone 100% had fun.. the other group of 5 all rated their experience at 60% or below. So .. watching alone is at least 40% more fun! Hard science there. Also it’s so much more stress free! Live long and watch anime alone! Since there are more than 150 anime’s out there! I listen to the advice of a wise immortal boy! ‘Anime……
So you see! If you ever feel alone and nobody wants to watch anime with you, think of these fourteen reasons why watching alone is awesome! I could do this type of list for watching anime together as well, so again I am not opposed to it at ALL. I am just showing some positives of being by yourself! In times like this and of social seclusion let’s look at the positives! Now I am gonna go snack and roll up in a blanket! Cause I am all by myself! Screengrab gallore!