Revisiting series

Revisiting series

Probably my favorite disc of Kodocha, which I've watched 386204 times. Approximately.

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.

I've read this side story from Nana waaay too much

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?


16 thoughts on “Revisiting series

  1. I can’t really say I rewatch series often… because watching even only one anime episode takes most of my time (though I would really love to rewatch certain series). But I guess I do rewatch my ‘all-time-favorite’ series, which is Cardcaptor Sakura (I rewatch it during long vacations). Not as often as you do, though. I’ve watched it for about 5 times, I think. But that’s excluding the random Cardcaptor Sakura episodes I watch when I feel like watching a certain episode.

    Well, I can’t really rewatch anime because I own only very few DVDs. Most series I’ve watched are borrowed only from friends.

    On the other hand, I always read and reread my manga: manga hardcopy. (I read only scanlations online when the English hardcopies are still not out. And I read only a scanlation chapter once. I usually wait for the release of certain series, or if it’s already available, I save up so I can buy my own copy.) Reading manga is also not as time-consuming as anime, so manga really is my thing ^_^.

    But basically, I buy real manga so I can read and reread them without opening my computer (because I love my eyes 🙂 ). I can’t even count how many times I have read my Cardcaptor Sakura Omnibus 1. Same goes with my Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle manga, which I believe I’ve read a lot more times than how I did with CCS because those were the first manga I had.

    (I also understand the manga better when I reread it ^_^)

    Long comment 🙂

    1. Thanks for commenting! I think you’re right that re-reading manga is less time consuming and thus easier to do. And I definitely can see how if you don’t have much time rewatching anime may not be an option, but I’ve noticed that when it comes to myself I often will forgo watching new series I have sitting around in favor of rewatching one of my favorites – because I know I’ll enjoy it.

  2. This is a great discussion! 🙂 I think it’s interesting that some fans don’t feel the need to rewatch their favorite series again and prefer to watch or read a new series. Although I do love watching or reading a new series, I can never not rewatch a fave series or reread a series. I used to do it more often when I was in school. Now, with work and other life commitments I don’t get to do it as much as I used to. If anything I find myself losing track of all the new manga volumes or DVDs I buy or get as gifts but never get around to watching them.

    I’m also like you about anime these days. I’ll only rewatch it when the mood strikes me. Sometimes I pick and choose which episode I absolutely loved watching the first time I saw it and just watch that episode to relive the experience. We also have rereading manga when we’re bored in common. I’ve found myself looking at my collection and deciding I want to revisit this series. I also revisit a series if I don’t have any new manga volumes to read. I find myself appreciating the artwork more on my second or third visit. I also find things I missed the first time around too. It’s amazing how rereading a series can feel as if you are reading it for the first time.

    1. Thanks! I think it’s great to reread a series when it’s been awhile since the first time you read it – it makes the experience fresher because you’re likely to have forgotten some of the plot. And even though I rewatch series alot, I tend to favor watching my favorite episodes rather than doing full marathons, especially for series that have a lot of filler like Kimagure Orange Road. And I’m definitely with you on revisiting series when I don’t have any new manga volumes to read.

  3. I used to re-read my manga a lot when I had a smaller collection. I still do so from time to time, but I find it hard nowadays since I have too many hobbies. For anime, I’ve rewatched a few series 2-3 times if I really really like them and/or want to watch them with my brother. I got him addicted to CCS anime and we ended up watching that twice together.

    1. I think it’s easier for me to rewatch and reread series because I don’t have many major hobbies aside from anime and manga. I also rewatch series with my dad – I’d say about half of the series I own, actually.

      1. I don’t want to go off on a tangent, but I always find it humorous how tv stations say boys won’t watch stuff that has a female heroine or is made for girls, yet my brother loved CCS (he was 10 at the time that we watched it together). He liked Princess Tutu as well and he likes the “boy” shows too. We watched Full Metal Alchemist together when it aired on tv and he liked that too.

      2. I hope a comment which is a bit off-topic is okay ^_^
        I just found it really interesting that soaringwings’ brother is also into CCS. My 10-year old younger brother (then) really liked it too ^_^. I actually had the DVD of CCS and I watched the first five episodes myself because I can’t call him to watch with me since he has an upcoming exam and he has to review. When he saw a part of episode 6 (as far as I remember it’s episode 6) he was like “I want to watch the first episodes of that anime!” and he insisted on borrowing my DVD so he could watch the episodes he missed. Well since then we watched the whole series together.
        There was also a re-run of Cardcaptor Sakura in our local television and he would even be the one to call me from my room once the show starts.
        And he would also suggest some of his favorite random CCS episodes that we could rewatch ^_^ (it’s the episode with the Change Card, where Kero-chan and Syaoran accidentally switched bodies. He found it really funny 🙂 )
        Detective Conan is also one anime we like to rewatch (it’s a shounen and he likes it ^_^)

      3. I haven’t watched Cardcaptor Sakura yet with my dad, but the very first anime I watched was Sailor Moon and we watched it together all the time. I recently rewatched it and he joined me and said he enjoyed it. 🙂 He also got more interested in Boys Over Flowers the more we watched it. So yeah, I’d agree that it’s a myth that boys (or men) won’t watch shows made for women, but of course it heavily depends on both the show and the guy.

  4. Cardcaptor Sakura, Honey and Clover and NANA are all very, very different breeds but are all pretty interesting for different reasons, which make them quite appealing to both genders.

    For Cardcaptor sakura, it seems to appeal to younger boys, because it was pretty awesome to be fair. Though, I’m saying that through nostalgia goggles as someone who watched it very young. If you asked me if I would rewatch it now, I would say no. Just because, its a show stuck in my past along with other dub ships like DBZ.

    Honey and Clover and NANA though appeal in a completely different way. The thing about anime labels is that outside of a strict locus, the definitions and targets start to unravel. Shoujo doesn’t actually mean intended for girls or just for girls, rather it tends to focus on more reflective and flowering issues which typically tend to coalesce under the female gender (in traditional media anyway).

    I’ve never really found myself shying away from a series because it has been labelled shoujo. Surely anime as a medium should be extremely broad by definition? Whilst yes, particular groups will identify with particular genres more, there are always a hundred shades of grey in between each group. Shoujo, just like any other anime, has nuances of real life and is just as infectious, if not more so, than many other popular anime genres, regardless of gender target.

    So I guess that is why I unashamedly loved Honey and Clover and NANA. Or perhaps that is just my excuse for liking them 😛

    1. Thanks for commenting! Yup, I know many guys who have enjoyed shojo series because, as you mentioned, shojo series tend to be about human emotions and relationships, which appeal to everyone. Although technically Honey and Clover is a josei series, but this means it gives a more uniquely mature perspective on life that I really appreciate.

      1. No problem. I happened to stumble (pleasantly) into your blog and couldn’t resist commenting on quite an interesting post.

        Well, even NANA is considered Josei – it shifts depending on where you are in the story really. But yes, Fruits Basket is another one I keep meaning to watch but never get round to.

        I’ll probably get round to it when NANA resumes, if ever >_<

  5. I used to re-read manga series over and over and over again, and I’ve been getting back into the habit recently. I read the first hundred or so volumes of manga I bought to pieces. When I really, really like a manga series, and discover it after several volumes have come out, I tend to read the whole thing through 3-4 times before moving on to something else. I buy a lot of manga, so I don’t re-read absolutely everything, but more and more I’m going back and reading series I really liked from a few years ago. It’s fun reading all the volumes at once!

    With anime, I usually won’t buy something on DVD unless I think I’ll watch it several times. I have a hard time justifying the cost of a DVD I’m only going to watch once. That usually means I only buy a few anime DVDs/sets a year, but I’ve got a collection I really, really like.

    I actually started keeping a manga blog for the same reason. When I started buying more manga, and it became clear that I was buying some stuff I wasn’t going to enjoy re-reading, I felt bad for spending the money and thought writing it up was a good way to squeeze more value out of the book.

    1. Thanks so much for commenting!

      I’ll reread a series a few times once I first get it too, especially if I’m buying the series volume by volume rather than in bulk. But I actually think I reread more now than I did back when I first started reading manga!

      As for buying anime, I definitely agree: I tend to research my anime more before I decide to purchase them because of the financial investment, but when it comes to anime I love I think I’m even more extreme with rewatching than I am with rereading manga.

      And I think it’s interesting you say that’s one of the reasons you started blogging, because I recently I’ve been debating about whether I should invest in series I’m not personally interested in but feel may be interesting to review. As of now, I can’t say it’s something I’m leaning toward, but I may change my mind in the future.

  6. I rewatch my favorite anime every now and then, especially when I have long holidays. Admittedly, I feel a little guilty revisiting those anime because there are a lot of other titles I have not seen and I’m not exactly fitting them into my schedule. Still, I often find myself picking favorite anime to rewatch. It’s always fun! In the case of slice of life anime, I might randomly pick a few episodes any other day.

    Just recently I started to reread is Kimi ni Todoke and Skip Beat! as well. Lovely series.

    1. Thank you for commenting! I love taking advantage of holidays to catch up on series. I sometimes feel guilty (though that may be a strong word) rewatching series for the millionth time when I have stuff I haven’t seen yet, but I’m not gonna force myself to watch a show when there’s something else I’d rather be watching – otherwise I won’t enjoy it.

      I actually reread Skip Beat! recently as well, and it was after reading again that I realized how much I enjoy the scenes between Sho and Kyoko.

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