Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Waiting Game

1:12 AM

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Why waiting for the next season of your favorite show will always be worth it.

You know it’s gotten bad when new merchandise in the forms of hand towels and shaving kits excites you. Leaked official images, no matter how low the resolution, evoke outbursts of emotion. The minutest details instigate a flurry of incomprehensible tweets, and you've grown desensitized to spoilers because nothing fazes you anymore.

Content deprivation is frustrating, and I’ve never been the most patient person. But one thing I seem to have complete acceptance of is waiting for the new season of a show I religiously followed the first time around. This is a collective struggle shared by many, regardless if you're an avid fan of Game of Thrones, or Sherlock, or whatever show that induces pseudo-heart attacks.

In my case, it’s Attack on Titan, the widely popular shounen anime that came out in 2013. See, I know animating, along with the production that comes with it, is a tough job. And that’s not all – the source manga only updates once every month (which is a whole other thing I find myself waiting tirelessly for), and the animation studio wanted to wait for there to be enough content to actually work with. Personally, I think the long wait is justified by all these reasons. The studio can take as long as they want just as long as the second season is worth the wait.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t feel deprived of content. When an Attack on Titan spin-off set in a chibi-fied high school alternate universe was announced, I got way too excited to be considered a ‘casual fan’ (but who was I kidding? I never was).

It’s quite symptomatic, actually — scrolling through Archive of Our Own every night for new fanfiction, and/or feeling the hole in your heart getting filled by just looking at some fan art. Getting any sort of official update almost feels you’ve been blessed by the Pope himself.

An even worse predicament than simply waiting for a new season is waiting for a new season that will never come, like, at all. Even with enough source material, and enough fans begging for one, the chances of it actually happening are next to none.

I’m looking at you, Ouran High School Host Club — the infamous anime about rich, pretty boys that’s got fans hoping and praying for a second season. I’m pretty sure a seven-year break between seasons is pushing it a little too far, but alas, the flame in my heart for this anime still hasn’t died. Many other shows fall victim to this curse (see: Freaks and Geeks, My So-Called-Life). Sometimes re-watching doesn’t even begin to do the trick as a coping mechanism.

The waiting game is hard to play, especially when it comes to your favorite show. But I think the deprivation brings out the best (and worst) in all of us, especially the ones active in fandom. Sanity levels reach an all-time low, and it becomes pretty apparent in all the Tumblr text posts and top tweets. But all of it — the badly written fanfiction read out of desperation and the routine of checking for updates everyday — it makes up for the agonizing wait. Be it a new season that’s scheduled, or a new season that will never see the light of day, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with pining for new content.

When the announcement finally, finally comes, all the blood, sweat, and tears (mostly tears) will all be long forgotten. A new season means a new folder full of screenshots of your favorite character, an actual good reason to get through the week, and most of all, more sleepless nights questioning why you're so invested in the show in the first place.

You know what they say — no regrets.

Article and art by Elle

Elle is a 17-year old aspiring doctor who somehow found herself at art school. She loves rap music and bunnies. She still hasn't grown out of her otaku stage (which started all the way back in elementary school, thank you very much).


  1. i love the thing i love this post aaaaa thank you author for writing things i can actually relate to ;w;