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10 Ways to Spice Up Your Anime-Viewing Experience
If you watch a lot of anime then you've probably experienced at least one slump in interest. Anime is being pumped out at a dazzling pace and sometimes trying to keep yourself up-to-date can cause you to burnout. But don't worry. There are ways to shuffle things up and rekindle your love for anime. Here are 10 ways that will help you spice up your anime-viewing experience:
1. Watch Japanese without subtitles
Do you watch anime exclusively in Japanese? Then how about watching an anime in Japanese but without the subtitles! If you haven't studied the Japanese language most chances are you won't understand a word being said, but you will be much more focused on the art, animation and music. A good choice will be to rewatch an anime you've already seen once and know the content of. This will allow you to squeeze some extra hours out of your beloved series and approach it from an entirely new viewing angle.
Try watching these in English:
2. Watch in a different language
Speaking of "watching only in Japanese", how about a little linguistic change? Trying an anime in English for once might prove to be a good change of pace. Pick up an acclaimed anime that you know has a good English dub and will fit well with English voices. For example, an anime about feudal Japan should be left in Japanese, but a gunslingers anime that takes place in the old west is a perfect fit for English. Trigun and Cowboy Bebop are probably the most famous English oriented shows, but any good show will do.
The opposite can also work of course. If you always watch anime in English you might want to switch to Japanese for those love-comedy or sport anime. Even if you don't know Japanese that well (or at all) the difference in language will strengthen the Asian themes that most anime revolve around.
3. Watch with or without friends
This one is related not to the anime that you watch but to whom you tend to watch it with. Watching anime alone and watching it with friends can produce very different results. If you always watch with friends try to pick a more personal series (such as a drama or love story) and watch it by yourself for a change. If you watch a lot of series alone, try inviting some friends over and have a livelier screening.
4. Drink your anime dry
Speaking of friends how about trying out one of those wacky drinking games, only with anime! There are many variations of anime party games, most of which revolve around drinking. You and your friends can decide that you take a sip every time a specific thing happens on screen. Watching Dragon Ball Z? Have a shot each time Krillin or Bulma are shown. Watching an ecchi show? How about drinking a cup each time a panty shot is taken?
Of course these are pure examples. The best drinking games are the ones you decide on in the heat of the moment. Just stay away from that copy of La Blue Girl you keep deep in your drawer. Some anime should not be played with…
5. Try a different flavor
Do you always watch just this one genre? Maybe you watch every genre out there, except for that one that you dislike? Here's a word of advice: anime should be judged on a subjective basis. There are no bad genres - only bad series. So if you always avoid one specific genre do yourself a favor and chose one or two series from that genre that have garnered good reviews from critics and give them a shot. If you aren't sure which series to pick you can read some reviews on popular anime reviews websites or simply ask a friend for advice. Since each genre tends to have its unique characteristics most chances are watching a new genre will prove to be a refreshing and worthwhile experience for you.
6. Play Secret Santa
This is a variation of number 5. Instead of deciding yourself which new anime to watch team up with a couple of friends and have them decide for you! Here's how this works: have each friend discreetly write one or two anime titles on a blank piece of paper. Then put all the pieces in a hat or a bag and do a draw. Each person will draw one piece of paper and will watch the series he or she drew. After all of you finish watching your designated series meet up again. This time each person will reveal what series they wrote on their paper and you can then talk about the series you watched.
Intellectually challenging anime
7. Intellectually challenge yourself
Sometimes the best things are those that require an extra push or a little investment. Alongside the more casual light anime there exist series that have a deeper, more allusive nature. Most of these feature references to real-world phenomena or ideas but can appear complicated to the average viewer. If you invest the time to understand the terms and story behind these series though you will be greatly rewarded. Intellectual pleasure is not a foul world despite what our modern materialistic culture would have you believe.
8. Broaden you anime world
This is a variation of number 7. Let's say you like a certain anime series. Why not check the manga, game or book written on it? A lot of anime series have those kind of tie-ins and they can broaden the scope of what you see in the anime, making it an even richer experience.
9. Change your watching behavior
Like I wrote a few paragraphs back habits die hard. One way of spicing up your viewing-experience is to change not the subject of your viewing, but the way you view it. Do you usually watch only one or two episodes of a show before you stop? Then you might want to shuffle your experience by doing a marathon over the weekend. If marathons actually are your thing consider doing a "shuffle marathon" – watching anime for a couple of hours, but switching to a new series after an episode or two. This is a pro tip that can benefit even the most serious anime junkies out there.
10. Stop watching anime
Surprise surprise! One of the best ways to get out of an anime burnout if simply to stop watching anime for a week or two. Take a breather, hang out outside and clean your mind. Too much of a good thing isn't always good for you. After taking some time off you can then return to your beloved anime with new powers and a renewed appetite.