Between Pet and Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!, I think Pet might be my favorite show of the 2020 Winter season. Eizouken might be the better show overall from factors like animation quality, imagination, and excitement. I’ve always been more of a fan of media that makes you better for having experienced it. When you know what’s important to you, you tend to gravitate toward similar media. For me, I’m always hooked in by open-ended thoughts.
“Those who carry fear in their hearts also think up ways to guard against it.”
This is said by a mentor character to a mentee character while they explore thoughts about the narrative and why they need to act in secret. I see parallels to this in my professional life, best said by Hunter S. Thompson: “I have a theory that the truth is never told during the nine-to-five hours.” When I’ve opened up to certain people at my jobs over the years, I’ve gotten in trouble, because they might have been offended or in other ways I damaged their fragile egos. I’ve been there myself, so I’m no saint, and I’m sure you’re the same. It’s just weird when someone turns on you that you thought you could trust.
Exploring these thoughts through media is infinitely rewarding for me.
Eizouken never gets that deep. It’s a fun show about high school girls starting an animation club and making anime. It’s fun because when there are challenges, there are clever retorts and the antagonists never seem that threatening. In Pet, there is clear danger, which is perhaps closer to how we perceive reality, when reality might actually be closer to Eizouken when we really think about it. When we run into difficult situations at work, what is work but just some silly thing we do for money? If we get abused too much, we can quit or get fired, and look for other work. If our livelihoods depended too much on that work, then we lived too far beyond our means, so we should spend that unemployment time to clear out the financial burdens that chain ourselves to terrible jobs in exchange for ones that are less toxic for our health.
In a way, we need a balance of perspective.
We would need to know how work operates from multiple perspectives, and I’m glad that through the past few years especially, I took on many different gigs, worked at many places, and saw many workplaces. It helped me adapt to social norms better than before. Colleagues aren’t friends. You might be able to open up to some colleagues about some things, but the closer you are to introducing them to “the real you,” presenting some vulnerable side of yourself, the more likely that they can hurt you. That’s why I omit certain details from my writing even though I share plenty of personal information.
Any vulnerabilities I share are expired artifacts.
The writing process enables me to explore these feelings that I might have otherwise repressed. I don’t need to escape as often, and when I do, a show like Eizouken can just be fun. I don’t need to rely on it like I might have in previous years. If I’ve scheduled the time to watch it, I can enjoy it for that time, before I return to reality and my next most important task. That’s where I think we tend to get media confused.
It’s fine to consume almost anything; just don’t overindulge.
Years ago, I decided to limit myself to three anime per day. One and a half hours of anime is more than enough for one day, I thought, and I’ve kept to that with few – if any – exceptions. Even for a show where I only have a few episodes remaining, I have to practice self-control and not binge-watch everything. That leads to a balance in my overall lifestyle, and especially after learning to appreciate my health more with these constant headaches, I can’t binge-watch anything for at least the short-term. I tried watching two episodes of something in a row and my eyes started to sting after the 45-minute mark, after a bit too much time at the computer.
Admittedly, I’m still terrible at tearing myself away from computer usage.
I helped that only somewhat by cutting up a FRAGILE sticker, placing its “HANDLE WITH CARE” in the upper-left corner of the bezel of this laptop for an occasional reminder to do that with this computer. I still need to practice balancing media like Eizouken with Pet, media like watching anime on a computer screen with reading a book without a computer screen, and work with rest. If these headaches are a physical manifestation of burn-out, then I’m doing what I can to downshift my pace so I don’t continue at that pace. It’s been difficult since I’ve only, within the past year, learned to refine my thinking and decrease inefficiencies, but I’m embracing certain tricks like closing my eyes more often since I forget to blink, and learning to see that my fatigue manifests itself most as scatterbrained thinking and lacking motivation.
When I don’t feel like writing, that’s when I feel like sleeping.
When my mind is racing with thoughts, that’s when it’s best to capture them into essays or fiction. When my mind is calm, that’s when it’s best to sit down with some show or complete some task. When I read, my mind tends to fill up quickly, which used to annoy me, until I realized that that’s just my way of digesting the information. I might watch a show and be completely bored by it, whereas a book might infinitely distract me. Pet and Eizouken are two shows that have yet to bore me, even if the second and third episode didn’t excite my mind as much as its first or fourth episodes. I’ll see how both shows progress.
For now, though, I’m just happy I can watch both without getting bad eye strain or headaches.
|Quotes: Cited in-line.|
|Sources: My personal and professional experiences.|
|Inspirations: I don’t feel like writing reviews of each episode of Eizouken. No new readers, and the reviews just turned into the same sort of meandry I write normally, so why not have more fun with it again?|
|Related: Other Media Meandry essays.|
|Screenshot: Just one since I’m conserving energy.|
|Written On: 2020 February 02 [From 9:09pm to 9:39pm.]|
|Last Edited: 2020 February 02 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|