Weekly Anime Viewing vs Marathoning

It used to be easy for English-speaking anime fans to decide on whether to watch one episode of a series per week or burn through the whole thing at once. Limited sources of anime usually meant that you had to wait for a series to air on a local channel or get the entire series on DVD. Now that times have changed, you can opt to stream episodes online the moment they air in Japan, and some Japanese anime companies are even releasing series with English subtitles. With more options available, fans can actually decide to follow a series as it is airing or wait until it’s over to watch it all at once. Here we’ll consider the pros and cons of both methods.

Watching anime as it’s released has the obvious advantage of keeping you up to date with the series. For people who can’t wait to see what happens, this is the preferred viewing method. Another advantage to following a series is that you can join in discussions with people about what will happen next or other aspects of the series. This becomes difficult after completing an anime because most of the questions brought up would likely have been answered.

The main disadvantage to following an anime week-by-week is that sometimes it feels like torture waiting for the next episode. Ending episodes on a cliffhanger is a long-used technique to get audiences to continue watching a series. If you’re impatient and get angry easily then you probably don’t want to watch anime weekly. Following a longer series also means that you’re likely to forget some important plot points. Just think about what can you remember from 20 weeks ago; your ability to remember details could affect your enjoyment of a series.

Watching an anime series all in one go or over a short period negates the problem of forgetting what happened before because it would still be fresh on your mind. You can get the full enjoyment out of a series and not get angry at having to wait to see what happens. Marathoning a series also has the advantage of allowing the viewer to decide when they want to watch a series.

The obvious disadvantage to marathoning a series is that you’ll be out of the loop while it’s airing and usually by the time you finish watching it, everyone else would have moved on. Discussing anime can be just as fun as watching it and going through a series after it’s complete can really take away from that. Another problem that has become more prevalent is trying to avoid spoilers. With social media platforms like Twitter and the sheer number of anime blogs out there, it’s hard to avoid reading something you shouldn’t have. Take for example, Puella Magi Madoka Magica; about a week after episode 3 aired, practically everyone that read about anime online knew about what happened to Mami, even those that didn’t watch the series. Of course, this isn’t a problem if you don’t like talking or reading about anime.

Personally, I prefer following a series as it airs. Being one of those fans that like to keep up with what’s happening in the anime world, I find that following the latest series is necessary to stay in the loop. This isn’t for everyone though, so I’d like to hear your thoughts on the matter. Do you prefer to watch anime as it airs or watch it all in one go after it’s complete?


  1. says

    I do enjoy talking about the series as it airs but as you’ve mentioned some of those those cliffhangers can be brutal! Plus, even the anime simulcast can get ruined by those who’ve read the manga. But, marathons are fun and have their place too. Usually in wintertime when I go into hibernation mode I’m more inclined to have a few marathons.

  2. says

    i think anime is like comics, you don’t have comics all days, you need to wait and that is good because when you wait a week or in some animes months (hellsing ultimate ovas), it almost all cases reward you ,make you love more your anime, and when you wait it ,you read in blogs, discuss your own theory’s in forums with other people about the next episodes, you enjoy it, you read more about the characters. some people like to see all anime in one weekend, we all do sometimes in our live, is good but is not the same, is like when you see lord of the rings in theaters for first time it was amazing and you wait one year to see the next movie and it was special, like a ritual, you go with the same friends, same seats and enjoy like nothing more, in a marathon week of a full anime you don’t have that feeling but i tell you when you wait for a year for the last episodes and like other anime, years to end (just look evangelion my favorite anime, im waiting the anime end for almost 12 years, yes the new movies is a sequel, liked or not) you see the last episode , you hate it or love it. is a great feeling and webpages like crunchyroll give us the opportunity to enjoy that feeling, all weekend, i don’t know what other people think but sometimes wait and see a episode the same that time it come out look really is a feeling that you cant never have marathoning a anime.

  3. Rob says

    I like to wait for a dvd release and then watch maybe 2 episodes a day. That way I can ramp it up if it gets interesting, which I usually do near the end of a series. I just like being able to watch something whenever I want without having to sit at my computer (my computer chair is not conducive for extended periods of use) and then slowly take it in over a couple of weeks or so. It’s very nice and I get to stretch out the series, I feel like it sinks in better that way too.

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