Last summer, I started watching an increasing amount of anime, and because I quickly forget the contents of the shows I watch, I started taking notes about each episode. For a while, I did this consistently for every single anime episode I watched, while I was watching it. However, at some point I noticed that I was less attentive due to the fact that I was thinking about what is worth writing down in the middle of the episode. A change was needed.
Currently, this is my strategy: For every anime, I have one Markdown file where I write down the notes. It has the anime’s name as a heading, then some interesting links or general notes about the anime, followed by a structured list of seasons and episodes. Among the links at the top is one that leads to Reddit’s search and shows me the episode discussion threads for a particular anime.
What has changed now is that I do not take any notes during the episode. Rather, I try to find time shortly after watching it to take notes from memory. This allows me to focus better on the episode while watching it, and also forces me to remember the content of the episode afterwards (which taking notes during the episodes does not). After writing my notes, I go to the respective episode discussion thread and read through that. This further strengthens my memory since I get other people’s perspective on that episode, including little things that I might have missed. I also copy some of the things people write there into my notes as quotes.
Let’s look at an example. Just a few days ago, my roommate and I started watching Mushoku Tensei which was highly rated in this year’s winter anime season and which my friend also recommended to me. This is how my document looks like (omitting the actual notes):
# Mushoku Tensei https://www.reddit.com/r/anime/search?q=flair%3Aepisode+mushoku+tensei&restrict_sr=on&sort=new&t=all ## Season 1 ### Episode 1 - My - notes - about - the - epsiode... > The Production values in this episodes is insane and it is not just the animation that is strong, character design, background, compositing...etc, are all great > Cult of Roxy-sensei rise up!! Good summary of episode 1 including screenshots: https://www.reddit.com/r/anime/comments/kuj1bm/mushoku_tensei_isekai_ittara_honki_dasu_episode_1/gis4z3u ### Episode 2 - [...] > That house needs urgent soundproofing. > Roxy disagrees. [...]
What do you think? Is this completely overkill? I personally think it allows me to get more long-term value and entertainment out of this hobby. At least that’s what I’m hoping for. I do enjoy rewatching shows that I REALLY liked, but for some shows, I would like to be able to watch season 2 without having to rewatch season 1 just because my memory is so bad. 😅