This week, I went undercover into the home of my neighborhood’s most devout anime fan who locked himself away to fully consume all of the new anime from the first week of the spring 2016 season. This fan who, for the sake of the article, insisted I refer to him as “Mugi, no wait! Yui, no wait. Uhh… Okabe! Yeah, Okabe”, has decided to take on the challenge of watching each and every newly airing series this season, whilst also following a strict set of guidelines to justify dropping certain series.
Okabe led me into his home, and showed me the calendar he carefully detailed his watch schedule upon. “You see, I have every day marked with the show that comes out, and the time of day it’ll be out in North America. All the anime stuff is written in blue, everything else is in red.” As I looked at his calendar, I saw only blue.
He led me to his computer, a device he had managed to enshrine in the middle of a vast collection of anime figures and dishes with varying amounts of food upon them. His hair was a disheveled mess, and the scraggly array that was his facial hair reflected that of a man who had found no reason to leave his home in at least a week. “I have it all planned out,” he told me.
“Look, I have a foolproof plan for how to know when I can drop a show. I have different tiers and rules for each genre, and then, and then I’ll know! I will be on the cusp, the sort of person who can talk freely on message boards about which anime is good and which should be dropped.” His fingers trembled as he pointed up at a cork board above his wall, which seemed to possess a rudimentary list of rules. “There they are, the seven tenants of Spring 2016!”
- Thou shalt make Best Girl be Tsundere
- Thou shalt justify your science within the series
- Thou shalt be faithful to the source material
I asked him about the third commandment and whether he had read the source material for any of the series this season. He scoffed and said “obviously”, though when I asked which, he returned to reading out his commandments instead.
- Thou shalt not settle for yuri or BL undertones
After reading this point, he felt the need to specify that “any show that does not show clear developments in this regard by episode seven, I will drop without hesitation.”
- Thou shalt glorify the NEET lifestyle
This point seemed to be one that made him quite irate, “I think we’re in this great age right now where anime has become self-aware enough to know that the NEET lifestyle is the objectively superior lifestyle – just look at Konosuba! The main character in that was a NEET and he got be with so many girls!”
- Thine Mecha anime must be psychological and deep.
- Thou must make your Slice of Life’s aimless and heartwarming.
“So now, with my seven tenants there is no way I won’t know what anime this season is good. I figured it out this time, and from what I’ve seen this week I should only have to watch 3 or 4 series.”
Okabe has made it clear that he is excited for the time when he has only one or two of this seasons series to continue watching, and will have time to fit in his seventh Evangelion rewatch, his third including End of Evangelion. This was something he was very excited to share with me.
As I left Okabe’s house, I could faintly hear “Cruel Angel’s Thesis” playing through the walls of his house and the even fainter sound of weeping.