Not So Fast, My Friends: Fasting from Anime and Other Concerns

One of bloggers here, Zeroe4, recently completed a “media fast” in which he abstained from the Internet and other carriers of media for a week.  It’s an interesting concept.  After doing some research, I found others who’ve fasted from media and more specifically, anime.

Art by poo

Fasting is especially topical in light of Easter, when many Catholics and others broke their Lenten fast.  The idea of the fast is obviously not limited to Christianity and is practiced to some extent by all major religions.  There are also a variety of reasons for fasting, though a main spiritual one is this: to purify oneself, possibly from a distraction or something otherwise harmful for an individual, so as to better focus on some other goal.

I don’t feel the need to have an anime fast at this point in my life, but I do understand addiction.  As of the time of this writing, I’m fasting in part to focus on trying to rid myself of an addiction of sorts, though the fast (which I’m using to launch a 40 day period of commitment) is really more focused on the overall idea of self-control, which I previously mentioned is a “Spirit fruit” that is not at all demonstrated in my life.

But a fast in and of itself is a useless if practiced without purpose.  I hope that during this time, I’ll be meditative and prayerful, reminded of why I’m doing this and submitting myself to God’s authority.

In the meantime, I think I’ll go say a prayer – I need to get my mind off this grumbling stomach.

Have you ever fasted from anime or media?  Have you fasted in any other manner?  What was the fast for?  Was it ultimately helpful?

Note: At the time of this posting, I’m not longer fasting.

23 thoughts on “Not So Fast, My Friends: Fasting from Anime and Other Concerns

  1. I’ve not fasted before, and if I was to give up anime for an extended period of time, I’m not actually sure what else I’d do with that time. 😮 Maybe that’s a sign of how bad my ‘anime addiction’ is these days…

    I do have a Catholic friend who gives up anime every year for lent, though, and he recommends it – to me he always seems refreshed and more enthusiastic about anime each time after taking a break, even if it means I have to wait until then to discuss the last few weeks’ episodes with him. 😛

    1. That’s an interesting concept. I rarely (ever?) give up something for lent. If I chose to do so, I’d want to give up something very difficult for me to do – anime might fit that for me, because while I could go a week without it fairly easily, 40 days would be a different matter entirely!

  2. I’ve media fasted before :D, only mine was only for 3 days. also since i think i didn’t have the right intentions in mind, i ended up just being irritated for the most part since I can’t watch, listen, read anything (I did a total media fast, no media, even music, whatsoever). When someone does try to media fast, they have to ask help from God (because we can’t do without him anyway) or from people to help deal 🙂

    1. It’s interesting in how one can approach fasting. You suggest accountability, which can be great. It certainly helps one to avoid temptation. It would be great to have a good friend who, for instance, switched off televisions near you or otherwise was proactive in helping you with such a fast.

      On the other hand, I find fasting to be something very intimate. I felt a little weird, for instance, talking about it on my blog and waited until it was over to do so.

  3. This year for Lent, I decided to give up being so critical. Strangely, opportunities for me to criticize people seemed to decrease, which was a little disappointing. I also think I failed several times at it. I then tried to apologize, but they didn’t understand because they’re used to me v.v

    1. LOL.

      Being critical or judgmental is a hard thing to give up for many of us, myself included. C.S. Lewis commented on how pride is a basis for sin, and certainly our pride has everything to do with how we criticize others. I may take a cue from you and really try to focus on this sin in my life as well!

  4. I haven’t fasted (yet), but there have been several times when I haven’t felt hungry. Other times, mostly during exam study breaks, I used to take an episode a day…you could call that an Anime Diet. Although now it’s the hols, so it’s Anime in Bed and during Breakfast!


  5. Two months ago I finished a year-long anime fast. Started it due to eye issues. Unfortunately the issues haven’t gone away, so to some extent it feels like a waste. Still, there’s always a sense of accomplishment when you overcome a a mind-over-matter challenge. Also, had I decided not to fast, I’d be beating myself up for being too mentally weak to take steps to help myself.

    1. Sorry to hear about your eyes…do you mind sharing what the issue is? My family has a lot of eye issues – my mother has cataracts and after years and years of surgeries, her eyesight has gotten worse.

      And man…that’s quite an accomplishment. I find that as I get older, my willpower gets weaker and weaker. Unfortunately, I think a kick in the butt might not even get me to fast of quit certain vices.

  6. I did a media fast as part of my TV Culture class back in 2004.

    I never returned to my previous levels of TV watching after that. If I undertook something like that now, I will doubtless vanish from the internet as books once more become my dominant form of entertainment.

    1. Nice. At my house, we got rid of cable a couple of years ago, and except for a very few occasions, I don’t miss it. And we watch much less television. Last season, with the dirth of good anime, I hardly watched anything at all.

      And please, don’t fast again – we’d miss you, bud!

  7. I am kind of fasting anime. I am in Japan and have no TV in the house here, and all my streaming sites don’t work in Japan. However, I get to live here for 5 months!!! Which is so awesome.

    The media fast was really nice but as soon as it was over everyone ran to there devises. It was so cool.

    This is a great post.

    1. Like the other Charles mentioned above, sometimes a forced fast can be a good thing. I wonder if you’ll come back to states with a different type of want/desire/habit toward media, because of this fast and because of the spiritual growth I’m sure you’ll be experiencing.

  8. I know I’ve fasted from anime before- I got burnout after a slew of bad shows one year, and took a break for 6 months! I figured something good would have to come from it. Thankfully, I took it before I got burnout, and came out of it with a better idea of what to look for if I was going to continue watching.

    I’ve also purposely committed myself to a fast from sweets. Worked for about a year, actually…. until Halloween rolled around! xD But I did learn a lot about how to cook in ways that satisfied my sweet tooth, or to crave things that weren’t as unhealthy.

    1. I’ve skipped anime for that length of time before, but never with purposeful intent. I’ve just kind of been in the ups and downs of fandom.

      And no sweets for about a year?! Commendable! Oh, and I remember reading about your cooking on one of your blogs – does that mean you use honey or some other substitute?

      1. Nope. I actually went without sweets. No candy, no cake, no honey (scratch that- I think I did have a bit of honey to accustom myself to the pollen that was in the air because my allergies were so bad), but when I say no sweets, I mean No Sweets! xD

  9. Fasting from anime? Man, despite being an anime blogger, I don’t even watch enough anime for that to be an issue. I have so much other stuff going on in the rest of my life that it takes more effort to *watch* anime than to *stop* watching it.

    1. I kind of feel that way, as well. Watching anime sometimes becomes a chore for me – a way to find content for my blog, rather than being an object of enjoyment.

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