Should Rewatch Value Matter? – A Discussion

Rewatching Stuff Can be Fun!

I’m sure this has happened to you once or twice before. You sit down to rewatch one of your favorite film, TV show, anime, etc… only to discover that it wasn’t quite as good as you remembered it to be. For reviewers, this is something that is often considered in reviews:  will X thing hold up on a repeat viewing? While there is value in this question, why is there so much weight placed on this question?

The other day I got to thinking about how sometimes rewatching a show can really add more to the experience and other times it can take a bit of the magic away from your first time. Then I noticed something in a lot of the reviews I read and watch, often there is this weird emphasis put on if something is worth rewatching or not. I’m guilty of this too of course, I add that information in where I feel it is necessary, but when is that? Why does that need to be included?

Image result for log horizon gif
He’s watched Log Horizon more times than I can count!

It may seem obvious but there are people who do rewatch stuff a lot so this question is particularly relevant to them. I have a buddy, Mr. K, who is The Rewatch King when it comes to media. He will watch a show upwards of 10+ times over rather than start a new thing because he knows he likes that thing. That said, this isn’t most people. Usually, folks will watch something once or twice, maybe share it with friends, and that’s about it.

As time marches onward the practicality of physical media has decreased. This is an important factor as TV, film, and anime all have become increasingly more available digitally. You can boot up just about anything you want to watch with just a few clicks. Why invest in a media library nowadays?

I bring this up because the question of rewatch value is extra valuable if you are investing in physical media. If I buy this thing, am I going to use it? You guys probably know by now but I have a HUGE collection of board games and anime. My board game collection numbers beyond 200 unique titles and my anime collection is just as impressive with close to 400 titles. So do I use these things? Well yes and no but I’m also a fringe case.

Most folks don’t amass giant collections like this unless that is their de facto hobby. The average person probably still has a small collection of media they really enjoy or they received as a gift but that’s about it. So what’s the point here exactly? In this day and age, does rewatch value really matter when you can just watch things whenever you want, often for little or no cost?

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I’d argue it doesn’t. This qualifier of something holding up on a repeat viewing or not just doesn’t seem relevant unless you are among the small percentage of people who are avid collectors. This brings the question of why does this get brought up so much in review then? Probably because a lot of reviewers are avid collectors because they are (usually) passionate about the topic.

This is different than asking whether rewatching something should take away from a past experience or if it’ll build on it, which is what we probably should be considering. Posing this question and answering it offers far more value when it comes to a review. By doing so, it signal that a work is more dense, offers something unique you can’t get anywhere else, etc… this also forces the reviewer to better explain their thoughts in order to convey why this matters.

There is more I could say on that topic, especially if a rewatch should lessen your original enjoyment, but that’s something for another day as it feels slightly off-topic. Any way, I just thought this idea was kind of interesting so I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

Should rewatch value be considered in reviews? What are your thoughts on rewatches in general? Let me here your thoughts in the comments below. If you’d like to support me and my weird idea factory then hit the button below to donate a few bucks my way. As always, thanks for reading and I hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews again soon!

29 thoughts on “Should Rewatch Value Matter? – A Discussion

  1. As someone who tried to start a physical collection when simulcasts were gaining traction, rewatch value gets a bit troublesome with anime because my love for stuff can die as seasons change and maybe in 10 years’ time I’ll stare at my collection and wonder why I loved X show which I love now. Swearing your love for a show enough to put money to it is a big commitment for an infrequent watch in the days of dying physical media, especially DVDs (my main physical media for anime). Then again, like Krystallina says, some media can only be found on DVD/BD where I am (notably Black Butler: Book of Murder was like that at the time I purchased it). There are also a few shows I don’t get because I don’t have the right knowledge/appreciation as I am now, such as Usagi Drop, and I’ve noted I’ll need to watch those again to understand them better.

    When I did reviews, I was trusting readers to come to their own decisions so I didn’t mention rewatchability…

    Surprisingly though, I’ve read manga volumes and books twice/thrice over without burnout/boredom. If I own them, then I tend to space out the read throughs though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that makes sense. I tend to let the reader decide if they want to rewatch something or not as well. I’ll state if there was a particular reason I rewatched it, granted it is relevant, but that’s about it.

      This would be an interesting thing to talk about for manga. I don’t really read those so I wonder what people’s opinions as to, “re-readability” would be.

      Appreciate you taking the time to read and comment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The best shows, which are worth buying, tend to have high rewatch value. Nothing wrong with something that is fun to watch just once though. Most people cannot keep up with all the new releases, sot it’s not as if shows are expected to hold up for multiple viewings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I only rewatch shows if I saw them upon their Japanese release then get review discs for their UK release, but more often than not, this is of benefit to me, as marathon watching a show allows me to understand and appreciate it more.

    Unlike others i find watching a show piecemeal on a weekly basis along with many others, dilutes my investment and ability to follow it, but forced to sit through it in one go removes that problem. Quite often shows i didn’t rate before reveal themselves to be better this way, whilst those I loved before either reaffirm why I liked them or show me something new.

    I suppose it’s partly because first time round I am watching it for pleasure then I have to watch it with critical intent so rewatching does have its benefits. Rewatching something just for pleasure is almost non-existent for me time wise, making my DVD/Blu-ray collection practically obsolete… :-/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I prefer watching things once everything is all out as well. It usually makes for a better experience. This isn’t to say I won’t ever space a show out and that I don’t enjoy seasonal stuff but generally all in a shorter time span is good.

      For you though the rewatch is serving a professional purpose. I’m more approaching this from a consumer perspective. Just been seeing a trend in pushing rewatch value in reviews and if that speaks to the quality of the program or not for initial enjoyment. You know what I mean? That’s the kind of thing I think is silly.


      1. Rewatch value is a subjective thing. Sometimes we watch things out of fondness for it, sometimes it is out of comfort the familiarity of it brings, sometimes we just plain fancy it. It doesn’t matter if it is a film, TV show, anime or even sports event (certain wrestling matches have a great a rewatch value), it is what it means to you and how it makes you feel that is important.

        So I agree that adding a rewatch suggestion as part of one’s summing up in a review is rather spurious – if something is that good you will want to watch it again anyway! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Rewatch value from my perspective matters, but it depends mostly on the show/film in question. For instance, a film such as Perfect Blue rewards viewers on a second viewing, as they’re more susceptible to its clues. So watchers that didn’t understand or weren’t able to piece together the narrative the first time around can definitely do so after a rewatch. I remember when me and a friend first viewed it and we were left scratching our heads by the end. A rewatch really helped me to appreciate and understand the overall story the writers wanted to tell. Plus, its effective in the sense that it allows the viewer to further appreciate the themes, messages and level of craftmanship the staff members harnessed to create such a production.

    I would also like to mention that anything with a disjointed narrative in general is worth rewatching. I mean, initial viewings can definitely leave people confused.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “This brings the question of why does this get brought up so much in review then?”

    Precisely because I’m *not* a physical collector and can (within license limits) watch whatever I want whenever I want. Rewatches loom large for physical collectors because (consciously or no), they have to justify the money they’ve spent… and as one who almost exclusively watches via stream I’m free of that constraint. That means I can ask myself, and answer for the benefit of my readers, “is this show worth the investment of *time* to re-watch?”

    Time is the most valuable commodity we have.

    A show that’s worth the time to watch again, or has individual eps worth rewatching, serves as a kind of distinction. An indicator that there’s something special about the show that others lack. That something can be depth, or emotion, or laughs, or any number of things – but it’s always there.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I think it’s somewhat important, particularly with series or movies that you can’t just stream for free (or manga/games you need to buy). Even if you can rent it, depending on prices, it might be worth it to actually buy something you can enjoy more than once.
    Plus, some things may be better on the second go-through, as puzzle pieces, hints, and even character motivation will be more obvious.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Well, given some of my posts on the issue, it is pretty clear I highly value the rewatch value of something. Of course, I’m also a physical media person when it comes to collecting and when I finish watching something my first thought is whether or not I’m adding that to my eventual buy on disc list or not. I think for me, it isn’t the fact that I think something has rewatch value that is important, but rather the qualities that make something rewatchable are what make something recommendable to others. If I don’t feel it has enough merit to buy it and sit through it again, then there is little reason for me to recommend it. There are exceptions. Certain mystery shows or comedies work great as a once watch but by their very nature rewatching doesn’t have the same punch.
    Still it is an interesting question and I guess it all comes down to individuals and what they are looking for in a story.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I usually mention it in final episode reviews whether I intend to rewatch something or not and that has a lot of impact on my overall series review because if I don’t feel like rewatching something I start wondering why.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Hmm … I don’t really mention re-watchability in my own reviews, so it’s not something I’ve considered in depth. I do think it’s important though, at least to the point that really, there are three types of anime series in my mind:

    1) A Show that I didn’t enjoy and won’t re-watch
    2) A show that I enjoyed but wouldn’t re-watch
    3) A show that I enjoyed and would re-watch if the mood took me

    To that point, if a show has a rewatchability factor, it puts it above the shows that I wouldn’t really watch again in terms of personal enjoyment. There are a few shows I’ve re-watched, but I do tend to find more shows fall into 2) above that either of the otehrs.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ah got ya. That makes sense to me. Still I’d be more interested in the qualities that made X show better as opposed to it has rewatch value to me so it’s a better show. Make sense? This is the kind of thing I’m trekking about here. Probably unclear.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Rewatch value is important because that means a series has left a distinct impression on the viewer in question, which is a good thing, but I don’t rewatch a lot of things unless they are short enough for me to fit in with everything else I’m doing. Maybe if it’s a couple years down the road to see if I still feel about the show as much as I did, but doing so immediately is kind of boring when there is something else out there to watch and explore.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I rewatch movies more than I watch tv shows/anime series. Pretty much the only reason for that is that it’s more time consuming. That said, I have a mum who loves anime almost as much as I do, so I sometimes watch shows with her that I have seen already.
    That said though, rewatching can definitely be worth it. In fact it can even change your entire perspective on a show. I am currently rewatching Stein’s Gate, and the first time I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as I seem to be doing it now. Probably because I’m prepared now for it.
    I have an enormous dvd collection myself. Including movies/tvshows/anime, I think it now comes to around 2500-3000, so yeah that is a lot. But do I rewatch all of these? No…pretty sure that most of these I will never see again.
    Coming back to your question, I don’t know really. I have on occasion mentioned something about the rewatchability of something. But not often I think. Not everyone loves to rewatch stuff. I know for a fact that there are even people who look at you if you are from another planet when you that you have watched something more than once 😂😂
    Still, I don’t think it could hurt to add it to a review. Especially if it’s for something that you have really enjoyed very much and that you are very passionate about 😊 Great post, about a great topic!

    Liked by 1 person

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