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Old 06-12-2002, 09:02 PM   #1   [permalink]
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Post A Troubling Phenomenon - Anime Burnout

I've been into anime for about 6 years now. Ever since DragonBall Z (yes, I used to like that show a lot) came out on broadcast television, I have been quite the anime fan. I never turned into a full-blown otaku, and for that I am grateful. However, I really was into anime and simply couldn't get enough of it. I bought anime DVDs, soundtracks, manga, the works. I have amassed one of the most impressive collections of anime that I know of, and I'm not trying to brag or exaggerate. I just have a whole lot of anime-related stuff. I still buy tons of anime DVDs and the occasional soundtrack, even though I haven't read a new manga since I finished Akira #6 a few months ago. The point of all this is that I have been into anime for a long time. Not as long as the previous generation of anime fans who are now into their late 20s and 30s, but long nonetheless. Yet, despite this, I haven't managed to "burn out" on anime.

However, I am seeing people on various forums who are saying that they've burnt out on anime and can't seem to get excited about it anymore. I haven't seen too many, only a few at most. But the fact that I have been seeing more and more burnt out anime fans is not a good sign. The causes of this phenomenon, I hypothesize, are several in number. For one thing, anime has been airing on US television for a few years now, and in a few years a person's interests and priorities can changed dramatically. They might simply be too busy to be involved with watching anime as much as when they were younger, or they might not make quite a sufficient amount of money at their job to buy enough new anime to keep themselves interested. They might have taken up a new hobby, and being an anime fan is just that: a hobby. When one hobby is gone, another inevitably fills the void. Some people have seen so much anime that they might just be jaded and desensitized toward it, not caring what new anime comes out or what its significance is. Maybe some people are looking for the next Neon Genesis Evangelion or Cowboy Bebop or Spirited Away, and since there hasn't been anything quite as groundbreaking as those titles in a while, they simply give up on anime.

Another reason for some people burning out on anime could be that the DVD format infused anime with a new life, but now that DVDs are the standard, people are finding it harder to get excited about anime on DVD. In the beginning, around 1997, anime fans were drooling over the prospect of the myriad extras that the DVD format could add to their favorite anime titles. Movies and entire television shows could finally be released in their original Japanese language and even include the optional English dub at a reasonably affordable price (a heck of a lot more affordable than VHS or Laserdisc). The movies and shows looked better than they ever had since the time they were first shot in their respective studios. The sound in anime titles was now digital, and worries about the notorious hissing and crackling of VHS tapes disappeared. Anime extras that the Japanese had enjoyed for years on Laserdisc, but which most anime fans had to shell out mucho dinero to import, could finally be incorporated into the title without huge costs being passed to the consumer. It was the golden age of anime, with new titles being brought out on DVD slowly at first, but with ever-quickening speed. Anime popularity snowballed into the juggernaut it is now. Major retail stores that sell DVDs now have whole sections devoted to anime simply because of the sheer popularity that the DVD format brought to anime itself. However, that was the late 90's, when anime was still a relatively new thing to most people and only popular titles were released on DVD for the most part. Fast forward to the 21st century. DVD is here to stay, and a lot of the glitz is gone, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. It just means that companies must meet higher standards for their releases. Anime companies are no exception. So far they have risen to the challenge and delighted consumers with several new features. For reference, I have included a few specific examples of anime DVDs containing these goodies.

1. Interviews with various people related to various parts of the process of creating anime.

2. Production art and line drawings.

3. Interactive storyboards ("Now and Then, Here and There" This comes from the bonus 4th disc in the 1st box set)

4. Insights into the dubbing process for English-speaking audiences, including outtakes. ("You're Under Arrest" This comes from the bonus 4th disc in the 1st box set)

5. A special video clip that self-parodies the process of an American company bringing anime from Japan to American audiences, including numerous parody references to a very popular anime title. ("Patlabor TV" This can be found on the 2nd DVD volume)

6. ADV's risque but amusing Jiggle-Counter(tm). ("Plastic Little," "Burn-Up Excess" This feature can be found on all the discs released for these titles so far)

7. Glossaries of anime-related terminology. ("Akira," "Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death and Rebirth")

8. Original or clean opening and closing credits.

9. Omake (A special type of extra related to an anime series or movie, often involving the cast of the anime title or the people who were involved in making it). ("Blue Seed")

10. DVD easter eggs (Extras placed in the DVD by the mastering team of a licensed production company. These are usually extra production art or video clips, but sometimes it is something totally random).

11. There are more types of extras than the ones I've listed here, but I cannot rack my brain hard enough to jar out a recollection of them.

Unfortunately, even with all of these offerings, some anime fans are finding it too tough to get excited about anime extras that were inconceivable just a few years ago when VHS still ruled the market. Even though the extras are not simply restricted to DVDs, and have spilled over into the manga scene with offerings such as manga printed in the original right-to-left format and extra illustrations, concept drawings, etc., some fans still can't find that spark that caused them to like anime when they were younger. This is surely a sign that these people are burnt out on anime as well. Most people love free stuff, and when people get extras with something that they had originally bought because of the content, they are quite glad.

I don't like to make generalizations, because there are always exceptions to any broad statement. But any one of the reasons I listed could factor into why there is an extremely small -but growing- minority of people who just aren't excited about anime anymore. I for one have experienced a few of the above symptoms, but have never fallen into a state of total anime burnout.

I hate to see people burn out on anime when it has so much to offer. New material is being released all the time, and although some of it will inevitably be mediocre, there is an equal or greater amount of material that simply shines. I haven't read manga in a while, but I mean to start up again by getting the AD Police TPB (Trade Paperback) and The remastered editions of Oh My Goddess! TPBs. I haven't had the ability to purchase as much new anime as I would like, but I still get enough new material to keep myself interested. I am taking the proactive approach to fighting anime burnout, because I don't want to see myself turning away from something I've loved for so many years because once you turn away and head down the road of apathy it's a long-ass trek back.

Just had to get that off my chest. If you read through all this, then I thank you, because I rant a lot. If you skipped here to the end to avoid my article then you are a bad person and deserve to be mauled by irate wolverines.

As for the rest of you: fight the power! Wait, I mean fight anime burnout. I don't know why the hell I just typed "fight the power." Anyways, you know what to do.

"It's like a koala bear crapped a rainbow in my brain!"

- Captain Murphy, "Sealab 2021"

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Old 06-12-2002, 11:04 PM   #2   [permalink]
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There is more to life than anime. Anyone who is excessively into it should back off a bit

I think the primary reason for burn-out is the desire for something new. It's good to replace old hobbies with new ones. And most of the recent titles aren't that original, and there are very many of them available now. There is no way one can see them all.

My solution is to see the "best of the year" series and the classics and then maybe some others. Seeing a bunch of junk will likely burn me out.

Good luck to you!
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Old 07-12-2002, 02:05 AM   #3   [permalink]
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Ask John? just read about this but 10 seconds ago.

I myself am burnt out on Anime. Nothing seems to interest me anymore. I find it hard to want to finish any series that im currently collecting. which by the way are GTO and Real bout High School. But I still like to look into new anime and see if there is something that I like. I dont even like to watch any of the anime that i currently have except for Initial d and that is just so I can look at the cars which i will never own. Hopefully I'll get over this spell soon but if not, oh well. Maybe if i stop spending money on anime Ill own one of those cars. By the way Ive been into anime for about 10 years now.
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Old 07-12-2002, 08:07 AM   #4   [permalink]
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i was goign to get the cowboy bebop DVDs, but i am just waiting for abit till i get the robotech DVDs.

currently its mnot becoue i am burning out on anime, its more that i am busy with other projects, but anime tends to help me out in other ways ^^
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Old 07-12-2002, 04:45 PM   #5   [permalink]
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I try to make anime a bit more interesting by trying to pick up some of the langauge in the series I'm watching. I was surprised at how good CHobits was for this.
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Old 07-12-2002, 07:05 PM   #6   [permalink]
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Originally posted by iwakura
I try to make anime a bit more interesting by trying to pick up some of the langauge in the series I'm watching. I was surprised at how good CHobits was for this.
Same here. Also, now that I'm taking a bunch of Japanese culture courses, I try to pick up on the cultural references, too. It really makes it a lot more interesting, and I've learned a handful of phrases, but I'd be afraid to actually use them around a Japanese person, because you never know if the translators were smoking something while they were writing up the translations...

I was actually just burnt out a while ago. I didn't feel like watching any of my anime, and I didn't feel like buying any more. What got me out of it was studying the Meiji Restoration in class. As I was learning about it, for some reason I felt a desire to see Rurouni Kenshin, so I almost emptied my bank account buying enough of the series to get me over the "Wandering Samurai" hurdle and well into the Kyoto arc. It's a lot of fun watching RK and seeing their take on what happened in the Meiji Restoration... and hearing them name some of the big players in the restoration was a kick, because I actually knew who they were and what they'd done.

Since then, I've been buying up anime left and right again... and now I'm broke. It would have been better for my bank account if I'd just stayed burnt out, I guess.


Last edited by dheu; 07-12-2002 at 07:07 PM.
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Old 07-12-2002, 07:39 PM   #7   [permalink]
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hey..( yes i did read it all was should go into publishing or something )

anyway...personaly im not burnt out on anime. I like to draw anime characters and think up ideas for new series.

but anime does have a down side...broke otaku's ....lets take me for example...

i havent finished the nadescio series because my money was going toward my other interests. But lets not forget that we are all growing up, and as that happens our priorites will change as well as where we tend to spend our assets.

but i cant stress this enough ..even though i might be floged afterwards. Dont let anime keep you from doing other activites. Outdoor sports perferably. theres a big world out there, if your at home watching anime most of the time, how can you take advantage of it ?

ok done ranting ....peace ^.^ (\/)
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Old 08-12-2002, 07:11 PM   #8   [permalink]
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I don't suffer from any sort of burnout, but I've only been into anime since late 2000. Of course, modding AB tends to accelerate any possible burnout process.

I don't pursue new animes now because I don't have the time to watch them and generally don't have the extra money to buy them. There are other, older series I want to get first.

I don't think it's a good idea to "specialize" in only one hobby during your life. Branch out and don't let the problems you encounter with one ruin your outlook on the future. Burnout is a sign you've put in too much effort.
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Old 19-01-2004, 01:58 AM   #9   [permalink]
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I have been into anime since around 2000 maybe a bit before. I have yet to experince burnout. However, from time to time I do take a break. As mentioned before it is a good thing to get out and do more. I have a host of other activites besides anime. For me anime is what made me jump onto looking into other forms of entertanment and recration. For example I am trying to learn Japanese. For those looking for a good book on the culture aspects I highly recomend "Japanese Beyound Words". It is very detailed and a wonderfull read. I also take martial arts. Also, If you find yourself intrigued by an anime there is allways a bunch on resources to help you get the answers you seek. If you don't know were to start look no further then these boards. All im trying to re-impisize here is that burnout is bad. Don't be affraid to try something new. As for me I have a bad tendency to buy all the limited editon boxes and what not. If nothing else let anime help you to try new things. After all its a hobby and as the old addage goes"everything in moderation"

P.S. I read it all and yes you really should look into puplishing!
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Old 19-01-2004, 09:02 AM   #10   [permalink]
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I've been an anime fan since 1999, but I only started collecting DVDs since 2001. Manga does not interest me at all and I've never bought any other anime-related merchandise. I have a small collection of pictures and screen-caps on my hard drive and about three anime mp3s that I never listen to. I am definately not an otaku and I can't imagine myself joining the uni anime club or going to a convention. My tastes in amime are very limited and I'm very picky about what I watch. I don't think I'll 'burn out' on anime anytime soon because I'm not a hardcore fan. Don't take your interest in anime too seriously and you'll enjoy it a lot more.
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Old 19-01-2004, 10:57 AM   #11   [permalink]
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I've been into anime seriously (I watched some beforehand of course) since 1995 or so. I've yet to experience burn out and I've seen a lot. In fact, over the years I've just begun to appreciate it all the more. If you can find shows in a variety of different genres you won't be so limited. I don't like everything... I still dislike anything Gundam and Evangelion. But I've given shows I thought I would dislike, such as Outlaw Star, another chance and found I really enjoyed it. Also watching lesser known titles and sleeper hits helps too. I've enjoyed some of those even more than the infamous titles. There's also the fact that if you get into the Japanese culture it helps your appreciate for anime quite a lot. Not only do you start to understand what they're saying, without the subtitles, but you can understand why they are doing a particular thing or what some odd remark means.
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Old 19-01-2004, 05:29 PM   #12   [permalink]
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From conventions to... uh... just about anything to do with anime, I've loved anime for many years and see no sign of it stopping soon. However, I once got one person hooked on it who "burnt out". Usually I'd be dissapointed but I got to buy their DVDs and models for real cheap prices so it didn't bother me much.
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Old 19-01-2004, 05:56 PM   #13   [permalink]
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My interest for anime goes through phases.., there are times when it is really strong, & I watch something everyday.., other times where I don't watch any anime at all for months on end.., but my love is always there in the background.., I've yet to feel completely 'burnt out'..,
I have been watching anime since 1979.., so whilst my interest in anime may wax & wane over time.., it'll always be there..,
And yet more bollocks..,

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Old 20-01-2004, 01:04 AM   #14   [permalink]
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1979!!! That's a long time EVA fiend. I haven't quite made it to the point where I am burned out on Anime. Being in Japan has made my bond for anime grow stronger. It's as if there isn't enough anime for me. I've been watching anime for close to about 10 years, I plan on watching it for a long time or untill I get a girlfriend!!
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Old 20-01-2004, 11:55 PM   #15   [permalink]
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i think the main reason why there are anime burn outs are because they liked anime a little too much, they don't have to be otakus but still. i have been into anime for about 4 years now, and i was more into anime a few years ago than i am now. i'm glad that i'm still into anime and not obssessed because i don't find it that healthy, because anime can get addictive. anyway, i think the main reason why there are burn outs is because they're into a little too much, and get bored a lot quicker.
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