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Ramblings of a Zen Otaku

HOSTAGE: The Revenge of the Backlog

3/24/2009 12:00:39 PM permalink

Hey everyone,

I've got to be quick because they're looking for me. I managed to hide, but it won't be long until they find me. I hope this message finds you well. I'm being held hostage by my backlog! I don't know how it happened. Just, all of a sudden, it all hit me at once and it took over!

It used to be so simple! I would receive a new DVD and would immediately watch it to much joy. Then my interests would shift a little bit and I would concentrate on something else. Meanwhile, I wasn't going to give up on my anime! So, I would buy some killer sales and discounts while my attention was elsewhere. I would pop back and forth between all of my interests, but before I knew it, it was too late! It had become a monster!

Stacks and stacks of anime now taunted me and the onslaught continued. Finally, it literally was overwhelming. Granted, this occurance did not happen overnight. It had been building for years. Both in the physical form and in the mental. You see, my brain continued to give me warnings that I just chose to ignore.

"Don't buy that! You need to start watching what you have! You never watched anything from that sale years ago!"

"But this show just came out! What if I buy it and it gets me into a groove and I take down everything else. It could be the spark!"

That spark never came. But the sales sure did. The sales! It was those evil sales! 40-50% all anime! Specials, deals, buy 2 get 1 free, extra 20%! It's their fault I'm in this mess! If it wasn't for them helping to make my hobby cheaper, I wouldn't be in this mess! It's a crack dealer with a discount card! The only difference is I just stockpiled my crack while any normal addict would have snorted theirs and died in their bed after evacuating their bowels...

Thinking about it that way, perhaps it's not a bad thing. So if it's not a bad thing, how come I'm paralyzed by my backlog now? It has gone to become quite powerful over the years. It's presence is inescapable. Even after reducing my collection into a series of DVD storage cases (the type you put your CD collection), it's power does not wane. All I did was compress it. It speaks to me if I even look at another anime title.

"You think you're going to watch that if you pick it up? You're scared to. You'll have to face me if you do!"

It was right. It still is. Things finally came to a head last weekend when I went to Best Buy to see if their was any anime I wanted before their 50% clearence sale ended. The voice taunted me yet again until I couldn't stand it anymore. So I gorged. Many shows were bought that day. In an act of defience against the monster, I lashed out. However, reality always does set in and now the monster grows until I find myself in here...writing what seems like a farewell note.

I have no one else to blame but myself in all honesty. This monster was created by a simple man who loves his anime, but one who would not commit to watching everything he bought.  Like a scary credit card debit you find youself in. It's definitely not as detrimental to your livelihood, but it can certainly paralyze your hobby. Trust me, I've climbed out of credit card debt.

While no serious debt, it is a debt nonetheless. It's existance creeps into your mind at almost any moment. You could be watching your favorite show, movie or playing your favorite games. Any time the slightest bit of free time comes up the monster in your mind will exclaim "Why are you wasting time on this?! Do you not know what you should be spending time on?"

How pathetic. I shouldn't be blaming those lovely sales or discounts. Only myself. Through neglect, I've created my own personal Frankenstein's Monster that haunts my collection and my viewing habits. If there was ever a time to take a stand, it should be now. I know I'm not alone in this struggle. Hobbists with backlogs of anime, music or quite possibly worse, games. They all know my pain. The horror of their own personal monsters.

Join me brothers and sisters! No longer should we be haunted by creatures of our own creation. We must take a stand! Sacrifices must be made for the greater good and survival of our collections and our minds. Do not be scared friends! I just need to search around for something to aid in my counterattack.... Ah ha! Okay, here is our plan of attack my comrades.

1) Do not buy more than what you can reasonably watch. Anime shows can be quite long and take up more time than you think. Buy it then get to watching it. Then move on.

2) Resist the lure of the sales. There is a reason Right Stuf's Shawne Klecker is called "The Dark Lord." He will break your will with those deliciious studio sales and delightful weekly specials. If you're getting behind and you can sense a backlog building, you must resist the call of the sale. Maybe pick up one item just to make yourself feel better about taking advantage of the opportunity. Just make sure that one item isn't a complete series box set filled with 52 episodes.

3) Baby Steps. If your backlog is as astronomical as mine is, baby steps is the key. When trying to accomplish darn near anything, baby steps is the key. Go through your collection and pinpoint the one shot OVAs/movies, short series OVAs, 13 episodes shows, and then the 26 episode shows. Then, start small and work your way up.

With this plan of action, we can form a good habit of finally tackling these ferocious monsters and enjoying the shows we paid good money for and never watched! Freeing ourselves up to finally get back to watching newer shows and discussing them with friends. As a bonus, our money would finally be justified as the product we bought will have been viewed!

So, with that, I'm going to confront my backlog. It's going to be one hell of a fight. However, I believe I can prevail. To steal a phrase used by my parents; I brought it into this world, I can take it out of it! To whoever reads this, use my words as fair warning. Don't let this happen to you. Take care of your backlogs early and you will never have to face the horror and brutality of a backlog gone wild.

Signing off....

Tags: Fun, Anime, Backlog, Comedy


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Date Joined: December 7, 2008