For the past few years, I’ve bought things faster than I can enjoy them. Now I’m in the thick of the looming backlog all anime fans experience at some time. BDs sit in the shrink wrap, books pile up, and games stay uninstalled. The deluge of currently airing shows doesn’t help. Consuming entertainment can even feel like a chore. I’ve actually seen people talk seriously about “anime time management,” as if it were some second job.
So I’m trying a little experiment: For the next 6 months, I won’t buy any new entertainment. This includes all books, manga, BD, DVD, music, games, figures, dakimakura, etc. Of course, I don’t watch fansubs either; I’m not just forgoing the legal option to pirate everything. I do have some existing preorders, which is kind of cheating, but it doesn’t add up to much.
What will I do for the next six months instead? Well, plenty! I’ll have all the more time to:
1. Catch up on my backlog. That’s hours and hours right there. I’ve been anticipating the original Higurashi sound novels forever, but could never find the time to actually play them. Heck, I haven’t even played Katawa Shoujo yet.
2. Rewatch old favorites. When you focus on quality over novelty, less can actually be more. I’d probably get more enjoyment out of rewatching Diebuster than any other new (likely quite forgettable) anime.
3. Enjoy free entertainment. God bless you, internet, for unleashing your endless parade of free culture. I’ve got Pixiv to browse, webcomics to read, indie music to hear…well, it just goes on and on. I can’t forget the good old local library, too.
4. Do things that are actually productive. Bonus points if its something that’s pleasurable at the same time. Drawing with a tablet, for example, can feel incredibly relaxing.
5. Research how to invest all the money I’m saving. I’ve always used the “patronage of the arts!” argument to justify my otaku-ish expenditures, but my investment portfolio will appreciate the cash just as much. And since I’m still young, this is the best time to ramp up savings for maximum compound interest. I just hope I haven’t missed the party on REITs…
It might sound like a self-denial, but I’m actually looking forward to it. The scariest possibility is that, after 6 months, I won’t feel like I’m missing anything…and be ready to go for 12.