Up until the last week or so I had never re-watched an anime during the in which I would call myself an anime fan. As I’ve become more critical about the anime I’ve watched I’ve had a growing desire to talk about some of my favorite shows, but many of those I watched a year and a half or more ago. Since I felt like writing about them, I finally decided to begin re-watching Aria and K-On!, so that I could further flesh out my opinions on them and ensure they’re still my favorites. From the first episodes of each I’ve learned a lot about re-watching shows and why it’s important.
My taste certainly has changed a great amount since the summer of 2013, when I first watched K-On! Fortunately this change in taste was mainly in a broadening of my genre preferences and not a shift, so shows like K-On! which are slow and calming are still my favorite genre. K-On! isn’t my favorite show anymore like it was after first watching it (that honor now goes to Aria), but I feel incredibly at home watching it, and it reminds me of what it was like to initially get heavily into anime and the culture surrounding it. Reliving past experiences isn’t something I get to experience often and re-watching these shows gives me the opportunity to do so. Additionally, with the gained perspective of being a part of the anime community for more than two years now, I can look at K-On! from a further distance, and see influence it has had far better, which helps to color my opinions on other shows and on the medium as a whole.
Another major benefit of re-watching that I’ve found was the benefit I hoped to find, which is the ability to easier discern what is good and bad about a series. My love for Aria and view of it as perfect has existed since my initial watch of the series in the Spring of 2014, but I’ve never been capable of expressing my love for it in the way I wanted, especially when it came to expressing the reasons for that love. With the foreknowledge of what happens combined with my now greater focus on identifying what I like about a show, I’ve figured out a lot about why I like Aria and why it succeeds at the things it does. This is important as so many people, including myself, have a hard time saying what they mean to say when being critical or analytical even if they have put thought into the subject.
The most important reason, however, is that re-watching shows is simply enjoyable. Up until now I’ve been too focused on watching lots of new anime in order to increase my knowledge of the medium, and while I still feel a need to do so to some extent I’ve realized just how fun it is to watch a show you love another time. It may be due to the kinds of shows I’m re-watching right now, but I’m enjoying both K-On! and Aria more than the first time I watched them the first time while also appreciating their artistic merit to a greater extent. Had I not begun re-watching them, I wouldn’t be enjoying them this much again, and that alone is enough to prove to me that re-watching is worth it.