Posted by: AceRailgun | March 24, 2013

If I wanted to I could run a marathon

Fairy Tail 1 MarathonWhat I’m actually talking about is an anime marathon or if you aren’t a nerd like me maybe just marathon of a western television show or a series of movies. I had an anime binge last week when I didn’t have access to an internet connection and boy did I get through a lot of anime…. Well if I’m being honest I didn’t get through a single anime. I just got through 40 episodes of Fairy Tail and I’d say it was worth it. Don’t worry this isn’t about Fairy Tail so if you don’t like it stick around anyway. It’s not about running marathons either.


Is watching an entire anime series in one sitting or a few close together over a day or two a good idea or does it ruin the story in question simply because you rushed through it? I know for a fact that I enjoyed anime like Another, Shiki, Steins;Gate or Shin Sekai Yori because I watched them one episode at a time over three to six months. I don’t think I’d have enjoyed them as much if i’d watched them all in one sitting simply because it doesn’t give me a chance to get as attached to the characters or digest information and think critically about the cliff hangers presented at the end of episodes. The tension of a cliff hanger is lost when you can just load up the next episode and see what happens.


At the same time I think the exact opposite and believe that an anime marathon can be a good thing. Pacing plays a bigger role and the cliff hangers act as a device to get you to continue watching instead of going and having a bath or walking the dog. Anime like Angel Beats, Samurai Champloo and Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 were all incredibly enjoyable for me because I watched them all in one hit without sleeping on it. I know for a fact that because I watched them all in one hit my tiny human brain couldn’t absorb all the information given to me in such a short time. Now that sounds like a bad thing and for the most part it is since I didn’t experience the story 100% but that’s what I believe makes it even better. It makes the second watch worthwhile and that’s always a good thing.


I’ve got conflicting feelings regarding anime marathons and even now I’m not sure if they are worthwhile or not. Opinions?


I almost forgot to say but have you (Yes you) ever watch finished an anime and wished it you’d slowed down and watched it slower? Because if you have chances are you would have had the opposite opinion if you’d watched it slowly. Have you (Yes I’m still talking to you) watched an slowly and thought it would benefit from a marathon session? I finished Robotic;Notes today and I’m fairly certain I would have enjoyed it more if I’d watched it faster then one episode per week, it wasn’t engaging enough to keep me interested so I know I forgot crucial story elements as the weeks went by?  Was Subaru permanently disabled by the accident and what the hell happened with Frau’s mothers story? They got over that fairly quickly….


  1. every anime has its own pace that needs to be honoured to some extent atleast. some anime are better at marathons while others need to be taken slow. I for instance tried watching aria in a marathon (talk about grave mistakes) and i rated it so bad because nothing ever happened in that show and i realised i should have watched it like one episode in a day or two. while there are other anime which are so much better in a marathon like one outs or death note (for me atleast) where you just stick to the story and can forget everything till you reach the end.

    • Totally agree with you on that. Each anime has it’s own pace but the probably is almost every anime airs at one episode per week. So for the anime which work well with that pacing it’s great but for anime like One Piece or Fairy Tail you really need to watch them in marathons otherwise nothing seems to happen as the pacing in those anime is terrible and it takes forever for anything to actually happen.

  2. I don’t think it really matters as long as you aren’t burning yourself out. Marathoning a show can definitely do that to you regardless of how much you’re enjoying it. One problem I have with watching a show on a week-by-week basis is that I know I miss out on important connections between episodes. It does make me more engaged with the episode I’m currently watching though. In the end, there’s no simple answer, and I think a lot depends on the type of anime you’re watching too. As Parth demonstrated above, under no circumstances should a slice-of-life anime ever be marathoned.

  3. That reminds me I got more then 80+ episodes of Fairy Tail to keep up with, since it’s completed (or on a temporary break), might be a good time to get to it soon.

    • I’m still working on that. I’ve only got about 15 to go until the break. It will be nice to take a break from it and I’m glad they are giving it a break instead of creating filler arcs. One of my most despised things in all of anime is the dreaded filler arc.

  4. For me it depends. I enjoy watching comedies, romance and stuffs like that week after week or one episode at a time. They don’t require my full attention that’s why. Thought provoking anime are the ones I love to marathon because I want to focus on it in one sitting. Just like what I did with Steins;Gate hoho 🙂

    • That’s probably the best approach and for sure that is the perfect way to watch Steins;Gate, I wish I’d watched it all in one sitting instead of over a few months because I know I forgot key plot points along the way.

  5. I’m definitely a one or two episodes a night person. I’m not entirely sure why, but I have trouble just sitting down and watching a series for hours on end. I agree with what you say about the longer anime progressing incredibly slowly that way though – and I may need to think about marathoning those ones.
    Conversely, my flatmate is constantly watching something. He has two TVs set up and games on one while watching anime or live action series on the other. I for one prefer to focus on one or the other, but he seems to enjoy it >.<

    • Dual monitor is a good way to get through some things but it’s usually only good for things in English since I don’t need to read subtitles. If i am reading the subtitles then I need full attention otherwise I miss too much.

      I’d strongly suggest sitting down for longer session on long anime as it really makes them feel more complete if you get through a bunch of episodes in one go. Although one or two episodes sessions generally work well for the shorter stuff. Maybe you’ve just too active and sitting too long isn’t good for you. Either that or you have an attention problem 😛

      • It’s certainly a possibility XD

  6. Hmm, I have yet to come across a show that I would have enjoyed more if I watched it at a slow pace, but I get the meaning of your post. Actually, I have this kind of post several times and all of them ask the same question: To marathon, or not to marathon.
    As for a show I’ve marathoned…when was the last one…I think it was Tokyo Mew Mew or Magic Knight Rayearth. Anyway, marathon or not, I know exactly how to react when I see an impact making episode…but I will not tell you.

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