People have been in love with anime since Astroboy showed up on television sets in America in 1964, and the advent of technology like Blu-Ray and streaming services means you can feed your inner otaku any time these days. There's no need to watch your faves alone, though. Throwing an anime watch party with other fans is a great way to relive your favorite moments or introduce uninitiated friends to the wonder than is Japanese animation. Here are a few tips for putting together an awesome anime all-nighter.
Choosing What to Watch
The best type of anime to binge watch depends on the audience you're catering to. If you're having people over who've never watched anime before, for example, you may want to go with something that is easy to get into and/or more mainstream, such as Sword Art Online, Full Metal Alchemist, or Attack on Titan. For hipster friends who liked anime before it was cool, you may want to go with something more obscure, such as Katanagatari, The Tatami Galaxy, or Another.
Be certain to take everyone's genre taste into consideration. A horror anime like Paranoia Agent may not go over too well with people who generally prefer romantic comedies.
Set the Mood with Themed Décor and Food
Put your guests in the right frame of mind by decorating your place in a style that matches the show and putting out a few anime-inspired foods. For instance, if you're watching a romantic anime like Fruits Basket or Clannad, you can set out vases of flowers and put up colorful streamers around the perimeter of the room. If you and your friends have seen the anime before and love it, encourage everyone to cosplay as their favorite character.
Anime-inspired foods can also add to the fun. Since most anime comes from Japan, the foods in the shows are typically based on Japanese cuisine. For instance, onigri—a rice dish—is a common food eaten in the country and fairly easy to make. Sushi is another dish that's popular in both Japan and America and found in a lot of anime shows. Even something as simple as a cake decorated with anime characters or Totoro-shaped cookies can up your party's coolness factor.
Don't forget to serve coffee, soda, and other caffeinated beverages to help everyone stay awake as the night goes on.
Plan for Frequent Breaks for Discussion and Exercise
Be sure to plan for breaks between shows. Most anime episodes are about the same length as American sitcoms, which are actually 22-minutes long without commercials, so you can watch two or three per hour. Take a 5-minute break between episodes to discuss the characters and plot, and a 10 to 15 minute break every hour so people can go to the bathroom or refresh their drinks.
It's especially important that everyone move around and exercise their limbs every so often to get the blood flowing. Sitting for long periods of time can encourage blood clots to form in the lower limbs. Getting up and moving around helps force blood that may have pooled in the legs to circulate and minimizes the risk of clots. Hit the pause button on the show and take a walk outside or play a couple of games—like charades—that encourage people to move around.
Binge-watching anime is an excellent way to pass the time while hanging out with your friends. Even people who aren't able to come in person can join in on the fun by connecting via social media sites like Twitter or chat services that let them post their thoughts in real-time.
To find some great animes for your watch party, visit an online or offline retailer that specializes in selling complete series on Blu-Ray, such as Pristine Sales.