Have you ever experienced anime burnout? If not, the best way that I can describe it is: the lack of desire to watch a particular anime or even anime as a whole. While I’ve never really been “burned out” on anime as a whole, I have certainly lost interest in individual shows.
The biggest case of anime burnout that I’ve ever had happened a couple of years ago. I had decided to start watching Naruto again. I had started watching it several years ago when it was airing on Cartoon Network’s Toonami, but, like many other long running anime on that network, at some point they just stopped airing episodes. And I hadn’t watched an episode since then. Anyway, I was over two hundred episodes into Naruto Shippuden, and was getting excited about what was to come. Everything was coming together nicely, and I just when I thought I was going to see the beginnings of a plot line that I’ve been excited about for a long time, I ran into the Paradise Life on a Boat arc.
I will never forget the feeling of disappointment that I had when I started episode 223. You could say that I was expecting…something else. But, “Hey,” I thought to myself, “I can deal with a few episodes of filler. It’s not like I haven’t dealt with something like this before.” Boy, was I wrong. Every episode of that filler arc just dragged on, and on. It just became a chore to watch. A few episodes into the arc, I got curious and decided to look up how many episodes I had left. You should’ve seen the look on my face when I saw that I still had over a dozen episodes left before it was over.
I briefly considered dropping Naruto Shippuden right then and there. But this particular series presented me with an interesting problem. I was well over 200 episodes into this series, even though I have hundreds of episodes to go, do I really want to just give up on a series that I’ve invested so much time into? After a bit of thought, I decided that I wouldn’t totally drop the series. But, I was certainly taking a break.
I would go weeks at a time without watching an episode of the series, deciding to watch other anime instead. I did eventually finish that filler arc, and got back to watching Naruto on a weekly basis, but I will never forgot how one filler arc almost made me stop watching the show entirely.