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Episode Previews in Anime: Encouragement or Distraction?

In my attempts of binge watching anime series of new and old, I’ve learned a better way to get through a show without procrastinating on whether I should watch just one more episode to make it my fifth episode of the day. That is: omitting episode previews of the next episode.

The cast of My Hero Academia from the Season 3 ED.

In the age of online streaming, it’s a little faster to watch through a show than it being on DVD. You can get straight to the episode with the Chapter button to skip the Opening and Ending theme songs, although you will have to stop at some point to change out the disc. With Netflix as the reigning streaming service for binge watchers, there is a feature for that where you can skip to the next episode at the end credits, as well as skip the intro. Whether physical or digital media is desired, these are very useful features to utilize.

An issue I have with binge watching anime–or anything in the case of the person reading this–is whether I want to watch the preview for the next episode. It gives you an idea on what will happen in the next episode the next week (or if we’re lucky, the next day). As I get older, I find that episode previews are both a waste of time and spoils the anticipation of the series as a whole.

Encouragement or Distraction of Watching Episode Previews?

For those who grew up watching Toonami, we can’t help but remember the “next time on Dragon Ball Z” segments at the end of every episode. In my head, it was serious business to watch these, especially during the Freeza Saga. Life after—and “re-after”—Toonami, I find it an obstacle to watch episode previews.

Of course, the next episode preview spoils it for everyone. But not all the time, If it’s a series I’ve watched in the past, maybe I’d want to watch it again, of course. But it also depends on the series. Several years back, I marathoned Gundam Wing and G Gundam for the first time in nearly a decade. When I watched them on Toonami, I’d say “bring it” on, because I wouldn’t remember what to expect when the next day arrived—and the fact I used my VCR religiously at the time, so I wouldn’t watch the episodes until the week is over.

In later years, I’ve found some episode previews done with a lot of, or no effort. There were episode previews that spoiled the outcome of the episode after the next; Dragon Ball Z comes to mind for a few episodes. Not in actuality, but the mood of the episode–which I won’t say specifically which one as to not spoil the reader. Case in point.

For next episode presentations; having rewatched Gundam Wing, the episode previews are presented with an “episode preview” title card before the scenes are shown. In G Gundam, the preview dives right into it without a title card. I couldn’t help but look away as I pressed the next chapter button, because one little screenshot could make or break my enthusiasm.

In the 2010s, I’ve found a lot of anime series that have a way of “fooling” the viewer on whether next episode previews are even possible, based on the events of the current episode. My Hero Academia comes to mind, as there is usually a preview following the Ending credits, but before an extra scene that builds up the hype for the upcoming episode–then going into the previews of the next episode. At that point, the viewer is satisfied with what to expect; watching the episode preview would ruin the hype that was just presented to the viewer.

Of course, this varies to person to person. A lot of people will watch an anime, even with both Opening and Ending themes from beginning to end–especially if it’s a really good song, or a few. Especially back in the days of the first Fullmetal Alchemist anime.

What do you think of watching the episode previews of an anime series? Decide in the poll below, as well as in the comments!

Do you watch the episode previews while watching anime?

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Sanjo (She/Her) is the founder of Centaku Media. Of course, Sanjo enjoys anime, as well as gaming. She also enjoys K-Pop and a little J-Pop here and there. In her spare time, she infiltrates the whereabouts of a huge flat-bed truck housing a Gundam.

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