15 Anime Resolutions for the New Year

Enhance Your Fandom and Your Life with these New Years Resolutions

With the beginning of a new year upon us, now is the perfect opportunity to take stock of the previous year and begin making plans for the next one.

Here are 15 awesome ways to rejuvenate both yourself and your hobby during the next 12 months and beyond.

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Stay Healthy

Stay healthy while watching anime
Stay healthy while watching anime. Daniel Grill / Tetra images / Getty Images

Watching anime doesn't have to mean sitting on the sofa. Anime can actually help you get and stay fit!

Next time you watch an anime series or movie, push the coffee table out of the way and do some situps, weights or pushups. Time will fly by and you'll be surprised how much longer you workout.

Make your workout a daily ritual by watching three episodes of an anime series a day (great for powering through a long-running series) or dedicate an hour of television for your workout.

When your friends ask you how you stay in shape, you can tell them you watch anime.

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Upgrade to Blu-ray

Time to upgrade
Time to upgrade. sturti / Vetta / Getty Images

Your VHS and DVD players may have a certain old school charm but it's time to upgrade.

VHS is now obsolete and DVDs are losing relevance more and more with each passing year. Current DVD releases of anime are pretty barebones with very little extras and all the good stuff is being included on the new Blu-ray releases which also boast superior image and sound quality.

Blu-ray players have never been more affordable and several video game consoles even come with a Blu-ray drive built in. Blu-rays themselves are also a lot cheaper than what they used to be.

Tip: Don't worry too much about getting a 3D Blu-ray player. 3D is very much a gimmick and is very much for 3D enthusiasts only. Regular Blu-ray though is here to stay and well worth investing in.

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Be Present

Really appreciate what you're watching by turning off your phone and tablets
Really appreciate what you're watching by turning off your phone and tablets. Eric Audras / ONOKY / Getty Images

Mobile devices like smart phones and tablets really have enhanced our lives in many ways but they're also affecting our attention span and preventing us from fully appreciating whatever we're watching on TV at home.

Quickly checking Facebook or live tweeting your favorite episode of Naruto might seem harmless but you're missing out on the show's visuals and probably losing some plot information that could be useful later on. Constant checking of your device can also be distracting for others watching TV with you. It's time to stop.

When watching TV, simply leave your phone or tablet in your bag (or even another room) and just check your messages afterwards. Odds are you haven't missed anything too crucial.

Finding it hard to go cold turkey for a 20 minute episode of Pokemon? Give yourself a social media release during the opening and closing theme songs and the commercial bumpers and build up to zero checking for the whole episode.

Bonus: With a group of friends? Make a game out of it. Get everyone to put their devices on the table at the beginning of the show or movie. First person to touch theirs has to buy dinner!

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Switch it up

Road to Ninja - Naruto The Movie
Road to Ninja - Naruto The Movie. ©2002 MASASHI KISHIMOTO / 2007 SHIPPUDEN ©NMP 2012

Everyone has their preference. Some people like to watch their anime only in Japanese, some in English. Others, like myself, change the language depending on the show or movie (Naruto in Japanese, Ghibli movies in English).

Sometimes it's good to shake things up and step outside your comfort zone though. Try watching one of your favorite anime series or movies in the opposite language you usually watch it. You might like it or you might not but at least now you can have an educated opinion.

Remember not to let one series tarnish the reputation of the entire language. Some English and Japanese productions have a great script and cast, others don't.

Always keep an open mind.

Bonus: Really challenge yourself and watch an anime in Cantonese, Spanish, Italian or any other language. A great wat to expose yourself (or your children) to a new language is through a medium you're familiar with. Give it a go!

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Be Proud Online

Be proud. Be confident.
Be proud. Be confident. David Burton/Fuse / Fuse / Getty Images

The days of using the internet as a form of roleplaying is over. Unless you're in witness protection (and odds are you're not) or a child (in which case you shouldn't be on social media anyway) there really is no good reason to be hiding behind an image of a teddy bear, puppy or sunset. 

Whether you realize it or not, you are a beautiful person and shouldn't be ashamed of what you look like or what your interests are. Being a geek is in. Own it! Some of the sexiest internet celebrities right now are massive anime and Sci-Fi fans.

Being a geek is in. Own it!

Feel like representing your favorite series or movie? Pimp out your Twitter, Google or Facebook cover photos to your hearts content. That's what they're there for afterall. Another great way to express your fandom is through filling out your online bio. You can mention your interests and spice it up with a healthy dose of hashtags representing who you really are. #geek #anime #onepiece #pokemon #gaming #aboutdotcom

Being on social media is all about (you guessed it!) being social. By showing the real you, you immediately earn a higher level of trust and respect from others and are more likely to make more meaningful connections. "Sailor Moon from Tokyo who likes to save the world" might not get a reply on Twitter but "Susan from Italy who's into Sailor Moon, Power Rangers and Disney Infinity" might.

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Go Retro

Elita One in the classic Transformers cartoon series
Optimus Prime's girlfriend, Elita One in the classic Transformers cartoon series.

There's been some great new anime releases recently but don't forget all of the classic anime series from the 90s and 80s and earlier that inspired the current generation of anime series and movies.

Take the time every now and then to watch that one series you've been meaning to watch but never gotten around to. Maybe it's the first season of Pokemon or the original Transformers series. Maybe it's The Mysterious Cities of Gold and Speed Racer.

There's a mountain of classic anime series worth watching and the best part is you don't have to wait between episodes. You can watch the entire series immediately!

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Be Positive

Start a zero negativity policy
Start a zero negativity policy. Ruslan Dashinsky / E+ / Getty Images

The internet can be a rather toxic place but only if you let it. Start the new year with a positive outlook and a strong determination to avoid drama.

Is someone yelling at you on Twitter simply because you like a show they don't? Refuse to engage in a discussion with them and hit the 'block' button. Scared of retaliation? Twitter has a great new feature called 'mute' that stops you from seeing any tweets from them. Best thing about muting someone is that they have no idea you're no longer seeing their tweets!

It can be tempting to argue your point but others will respect your restraint and you'll appear to be the sane one who's keeping a calm head while being verbally abused by a complete stranger.

A trend that's catching on that could be useful is to not follow anyone that doesn't use their real name or have a photo of themself as their avatar or profile picture, This may seem extreme but people are far more likely to treat others with respect online if their own reputation is on the line.

Drama isn't what happens to you. It's how you react to something. Unfollow and unfriend negative people and make connections with positive people online who share similar interests as you.

Life's too short to be focusing on the negative. Don't worry, be happy.

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Watch Western

Western animation can be pretty good
Western animation can be pretty good. © 2013 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved

I love anime. You love anime. Anime is great but there's a whole world of animation out there that's just as enjoyable as animation from Japan.

Have you seen the new Star Wars cartoon, Star Wars: Rebels or the hillarious adult comedy series, Archer? Maybe you're curious about My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Adventure Time.

No matter how much you love a genre, it's always good to spice things up every now and then with something different. It makes you appreciate what you usually watch more and you might even find your next favorite series!

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Marathon it!

Super Saiyan Goku and Gohan battle the android, Cell in Dragon Ball Z Season Six.
Super Saiyan Goku and Gohan battle the android, Cell in Dragon Ball Z Season Six. ©Bird Studio/Shueisha, Toei Animation. Film©1989 Toei Animation Co., Ltd. Licensed by FUNimation® Productions, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball GT and all logos, character names and distinctive likenesses thereof are trademarks of SHUEISHA, INC.

Some anime series are long. Really long. Rather than being intimidated though, plan a marathon! You could marathon a long running series like Dragon Ball Z or Naruto on a rainy day, while sick or even invite a few friends over for an anime marathon party!

Bonus: You don't just have to marathon one specific series. Mix things up by watching some anime movies back-to-back or watch special episodes from several different series that suit a specific theme such as anime Christmas or Halloween episodes.

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Cosplay at Supanova 2014 in Sydney, Australia
Brad Stephenson, About.com

Cosplay can be a fantastic experience. You don't have to become a pro cosplayer or anything like that. You don't even have to be a professional to make your own costume. Simply dress up as your favorite character and have fun!

Feeling a bit nervous? Convince your partner or friends to dress up with you? Got kids? Children love to dress up in costume and due to how cute they'll look dressed up as a mini Sailor Moon or Goku, most of the attention will be on them so you don't have to worry about being judged to harshly.

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Learn Japanese

Learning a language has never been easier
Learning a language has never been easier. Granger Wootz / Blend Images / Getty Images

Learning a new language has never been easier with a variety of apps (Memrise is fantastic), good quality learning materials (Teach Yourself's Japanese books and CDs are brilliant) and About.com's own Japanese Language section that allow students of all ages to study wherever and whenever they like.

Not only will learning another language improve your memory and mental health but it'll also help you appreciate your own language a lot more. Learning Japanese (even just the basics) will allow you to see your favorite anime series and movies in a whole new light and understand a lot of the more subtle conversation quirks that normally would get lost in translation.

Bonus: If you're serious about learning Japanese and you enjoy watching anime in Japanese with English subtitles, make sure you get a good quality translation that uses zero Japanese words in the subtitles. You won't learn anything if the subtitles aren't translating word properly. There are numerous Japanese words that anime fans misuse due to shoddy translations. Incidentally, mixing of Japanese and English in subtitles is normally a sign of an unprofessional translation or even an illegal anime bootleg. If you're going to be studying something, you need to surround yourself with quality materials.

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Legal is Sexy

Watching anime legally is hot. Piracy is not.
Watching anime legally is hot. Piracy is not. 123ducu / E+ / Getty Images

It's time to stop the bootlegs and illegal downloads (if you haven't already).

The times are changing and it's no longer impressive to boast about all the shows you downloaded illegally. Piracy is having a really negative effect on the production of anime and those in the industry as well as fans are taking a zero tolerance approach against it.

Be a good guy.

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Try Something New

Attack on Titan Collection 2
Attack on Titan Collection 2. ©Hajime Isayama,Kodansha/''ATTACK ON TITAN''Production Committee. All Rights Reserved.

We all have our favorite anime series that we like to support but sometimes that can prevent us from discovering a new anime series or movie that could be just as good or even better.

New anime series like Attack on Titan for example, are proving to be a huge hit with fans and are well worth making time for. Need help finding something new? Crunchyroll lists all the latest series on their site for your convenience.

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Start Streaming (Legally)

Watching anime online is super easy and free
Watching anime online is super easy and free. quavondo / E+ / Getty Images

It has never been easier to watch anime. In addition to the thousands of DVDs and Blu-rays being released, anime can also be seen on TV and almost all video streaming services.

Hit anime series like Naruto and One Piece can even be watched for free online and best of all, they can be watched legally. This means that by watching anime series and movies on officially liscenced services, you're supporting the creators behind the media.

Piracy is so 90s. Decide right now to say no to illegal downloads and yes to supporting the anime industry in the New Year.

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Go to an Anime Convention

Everyone is welcome at an anime convention
Everyone is welcome at an anime convention. Brad Stephenson / About.com

We're all living in a golden age of conventions right now. Can't make it to the anime convention you've been dreaming about? Odds are there's another one happening soon either in the same city or a nearby one.

It may be intimidating for first-timers but you'd be surprised how much a mutual respect for an anime series can bring people together. Many people make lifelong friends at conventions and some even find their life partner!

Bonus: Unfortunate enough to live in the one city with no conventions? Why not start your own? Begin small with a gathering of local fans and if it's a success, build it up, ask local businesses to sponsor and get the word out on social media. Not every convention has to be as big as Comic-con. In fact, many anime fans have grown tired of the huge crowds and long lines and skip the big ones altogether in favor of the more niche conventions.