I’ve been thinking a lot lately about rewatching anime and rereading manga. I see people write on anime forums all of the time that they don’t rewatch anime, even their favorite series, because they’d rather watch new ones. Even people who say they rewatch series ‘all of the time’ say they’ve only watched their favorite series two or three times. Then recently I read an article about the failing anime industry in America, and the author cites more than just piracy for the drop in DVD sales: he also believes that for some, anime may not be worth owning because most series don’t deserve to be watched more than once. I began to wonder if that makes me really weird because I love to rewatch and reread series. I watched my favorite anime, Kodocha, every weekend for two years and never got tired of it. I did the same with Boys Over Flowers and I still marathon the anime about once every three months. Even series I don’t love (like Fruits Basket and D.N.Angel) I’ve seen in their entirety at least four times, and there are probably a handful of anime in my collection I’ve watched three times or less.
Now, when it comes to manga, I’m admittedly less familiar with how often most people reread series. I’ve rarely seen people bring up this topic in manga circles, and truthfully I think I have a harder time of keeping track of how often I’ve reread certain series. When I watch anime, I have to get in the mood for it, but reading manga is something I do when I’m bored, when I wake up in the morning, when I really should be studying – it doesn’t matter. And when I watch anime, I like to watch large chunks at a time, but with manga I’ll read it regardless of whether I have time to marathon a series or not. I also have a habit of rereading the most recent volume of a series right when the latest volume is supposed to be released. There are, however, certain volumes or chapters I know I’ve reread a million times, such as the sidestory on Takumi in volume 18 of Nana or the wedding in Itazura na Kiss.
I think my affinity for rewatching and rereading series may be why I enjoy longer series so much. The reason I revisit series is because I love getting engrossed in the plot of a series once more, and all of the emotions and drama. Many times, I find new elements in a series (pieces of foreshadowing I missed, or I may look at a character I didn’t particularly care for in a new way). And while the element of surprise may be taken away, there have been some series I didn’t love much the first time around that I grew to appreciate upon revisiting them, such as Honey and Clover, Cardcaptor Sakura, and High School Debut. With Honey and Clover in particular I originally thought was overrated because I was expecting it to be a wonderful romantic comedy, but when I reread it, I paid more attention to the cast’s touching friendships and enjoyed the series much more. And when I rewatched Cardcaptor Sakura I came to love Tomoyo’s character. I think my habit of revisiting series is also because my favorite aspect of watching anime and reading manga is getting attached to the characters and their relationships, which happens the more you watch or read a series. So I’d like to hear your thoughts: do you guys reread or rewatch series often?