While they say it’s best for married couples to have at least some interests apart from each other, one of the things I’ve introduced my wife to (after becoming more into it myself) is watching anime. She doesn’t watch all the anime series I do, but there are quite a few we’ve watched together so far, and will plan to watch together in the future.
Welcome to “12 Days of AniTAY 2020”, a writing challenge in which I look to have an article a day for 12 days leading up to Christmas, all centered in some way on anime or anime-related topics. You can find re-posts of my 2018 and 2019 series (posted originally on the late TAY and AniTAY Kinja sites) now here on Medium.
I don’t recall the exact details, but I would say it was within a year of first getting a subscription to Crunchyroll that I convinced my wife to watch some shows with me. (And eventually, our son would join us.) It wasn’t too hard to convince her, but I also started off “easy,” with comedies like Working!! I did show her at some point Kill la Kill, but especially early on, I have not tried to watch too many of the more ecchi shows with her, nor has she asked. We have however, expanded into other, more serious genres, but still, what follows are roughly some of the categories and shows we’ve seen together (although by no means an exhaustive list).
I mean, we all love a good comedy. Probably the most common opinion for “what should we watch” around here is “preferably something light,” which invariably ends in some kind of at least partial comedy. As noted above, one of the first things we watched together was Working!! and its sequels. Aho Girl was a big one we looked forward to while it aired. BOKUBEN (We Can’t Study) and Love, Chunibyo, and Other Delusions were also popular. Gabriel Dropout was another favorite, and the recent Gal & Dino mentioned in a previous article. We’ve also gone back for some other ‘classics’ such as Nichijou (unpopular opinion: for me, this series rated a “meh” on the whole, although some parts were very funny) and Lucky Star, and after watching and enjoying Working!!, we also got into Servant x Service. Kaguya-sama: Love is War, Miss Kobayshi’s Dragon Maid, KonoSuba, and Hinamatsuri also got good reviews in our house.
Shows I should probably have her try still: Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out, Gamers!
Obviously, a heavy crossover here with the comedies. K-On! was a big hit here. More recently watched, Toradora! was also well received. My son’s most favorite show recently was Nisekoi, with my wife watching that with us as well. Invaders of the Rokujouma was also liked, while I think Saekano has graded out as “okay” in the long run. While not my cup of tea, at one point my wife actually started Love Live, although after only a few episodes, Crunchyroll lost the license for the first season, making it harder to complete.
Still to Watch: We’re in the middle of watch through of Oregairu, needing to move on to season 2 so we can get to the recent season 3.
Cute Girls Doing Cute Things
Another early-ish joint watch was New Game!, and then later on its second season (bear sleeping bag!). After watching it through the first time, I had my wife watch Sakura Quest with me. Borderline CGDCT, but Zombieland Saga is another one we’re hoping for a possible second season of as well.
Still to Watch: Girls und Panzer, perhaps? I haven’t gotten very far myself, might be a good time to re-start and watch together.
Wholesome and Comfy Shows
So many good options here: Yuru Camp, Cells at Work, Mitsuboshi Colors all jump out right away. Poco’s Udon World and Sweetness & Lightning have a little more bittersweet (on occasion) aspects to them, but were very feel-good in the end. We’re watching Is The Order a Rabbit? together at the present time, and of course, we just finished Sleepy Princess.
Man, this category could go on forever — well, maybe not quite. But a short list includes Haruhi seasons 1 & 2 and the movie, Gargantia on the Verduous Planet, and we’ve almost completed a watch (re-watch for me) of Saga of Tanya the Evil. I would also put A Place Further than the Universe in this category, which we watched together as it aired. We’ve completed DanMachi seasons 1 & 2 so far, Kill la Kill as mentioned above, and season 1 of Reincarnated as a Slime (I’m completely blanking on the ‘proper’ English title and/or shortened title at the moment). Then there’s the excellent “adult relationships” sub-grouping, including Wotakoi, Confessions of an MMO Junkie, and the more recent Sing ‘Yesterday’ for Me and Wave, Listen to Me!. Re:Creators and Re:Zero season 1 head up “animes with names starting with ‘Re:’”. And of course, as noted in yesterday’s article, Sword Art Online.
Still to Watch: Now, this is a pretty good sized list. We started Cowboy Bebop, and still have Samurai Champloo out there. We were also at one point in the middle of Angel Beats, and Madoka. We’ve gotten a few episodes into Overlord, being the one source show for Isekai Quartet that I haven’t seen yet. We have various new seasons of some of the shows above and/or OVAs and movies to also get through.
Okay, so more of a franchise than a genre unto itself, but she’s now seen a number of Fate shows with me — Unlimited Blade Works, Zero, Prisma Illya, Apocrypha, Extra/Last Encore, Babylonia, Emiya’s Kitchen, Carnival Phantasm.
Still to Watch: The main one would be the original Studio Deen adaptation of Fate/Stay Night, and the Heaven’s Feel movies (which I haven’t seen myself yet). I can’t remember if she watched Lord El-Melloi’s Case Files but I wouldn’t consider that as critical. We also need to finish Prisma Illya as well, since we’re only 2 seasons (or 3 depending on how you want to count 2wei! and 2wei Herz!) into that.
Not Watched Together
Some things just don’t get watched together due to a known lack of interest in them, and/or due to timing. But on the “never” list as noted at the beginning are the overall ecchi shows (e.g., a Monster Musume), some of the more ‘adult’ shows such as Domestic Girlfriend and Rental Girlfriend, etc., and a few of the more violent shows such as Goblin Slayer and Tate no Yuusha.
So, anime is not the only thing we watch in our house. There’s some series we DVR that need catching up on occasionally, there’s a few series or so that we’re borrowing a disc at a time from the library, and then there’s the “animoo”s as they have for some reason become known here. For the last few years, we’ve mostly tried to keep up at least weekly with the “currently airing” shows that we watch, or to try and catch up after a few weeks if circumstances prevent that. Older shows are more “catch as catch can,” and for anything in the more “drama” category, usually tend to be paired as “drama first, then ‘something lighter’” to sort of cleanse the palate, typical prior to bed time. My son now being in school, his earlier bedtime of course means that we can usually only get in one non-anime show, or one to two anime episodes. Weekends we may get a little more in, but even then, he’s only allowed to stay up a little later. Same now with the holiday break from school that we’ve now entered. (Actually, most years, we’re on a long visit with the grandparents for Christmas, and so don’t get the chance to really keep up on our current shows, let alone older series, and we usually have to finish the Fall season shows in January after getting back home. This year, thanks to COVID, we’re stuck at home, so this hasn’t been a problem.)
I hope you’ve found this insight into our watching habits helpful, and maybe found some things or types of things that you might be able to use in watching anime with a significant other (or even some family members, depending). As I’ve said to others when asked about watching anime (not that I’m alone or invented this description), there’s pretty much at least one anime for just about every kind of interest someone has — sports, romance, drama, comedy, action, etc., and knowing your audience is the best way to find a show or shows that may appeal to them.