We have all experienced that moment when your favourite anime/manga ends and you have no idea what to do with your life since that anime/manga HAS been your life for over a few days or months or even years! Here is a helpful guide of sorts to help you recover after it all ends.
The first thing to do is to accept the fact that it has finished. Finito. Reading/watching it has been a roller coaster and the time you spent on it has been precious but it is now over. Nothing is going to bring it back, unless they do a sequel or a remake, and there is nothing you can do about it. So grab your blankie, favourite drinks and snacks, turn on the AC/Heater (depending on where you are), and begin the mourning process.
No one can escape the mourning process, however, the length of the process depends on each individual. I know people who get over it pretty easily in a day or two and there is some who takes weeks or even months. The most important thing to do here is to think how happy you made the mangaka/director (or the people involved) by feeling depressed. It shows how much you have loved it. And I am sure they thank you in their hearts of hearts that you have enjoyed it so much till the point of depression.
You will begin questioning all sorts of things like “why did it even exist in the first place” or “why has it ended” or “What happened to this character?!” Don’t fret, all these questions are normal and there are people who probably have the same questions like you. There is a reason why forum exist so head onto step two.
2. Learn everything you can about it
As I said, you probably have questions about your anime/manga and other people probably have it too. So go on discussion forums and begin reading it. And if you have a question, just type it in. Even if the people on the other side of the internet scold you and call you dumb or anything of sorts, they can’t harm you physically and just disregard it.
They won’t know how you look like, they will not do anything to you, and if they do, you can always report them. And remember to always be polite even if you don’t like the other person’s opinions. It is their own feelings and thoughts and you can’t hate them for that. So kiddies, be NICE!
After reading the forums, go on wikia/wikipedia/etc. and start READING! Learn about the things you don’t know and do know about the anime/manga. Learn about the things you have missed and the assumptions you have made. Read about the minor or major characters and their trivia. Watch videos on YouTube about them. Dig out the little details and just enjoy them.There is no harm learning about them.
3. Look at Tumblr/Fan Art/Fan Comics
After reading on wikia for hours and hours, it is time to embrace it. It is time to embrace Tumblr.
Tumblr is great for curing your fandom needs. It has tons of art, trivia, nonsensical stuff that go on and on. Even if you hate Tumblr with every fiber of your body, you just can’t deny that it is a pretty great platform when it comes to things like these.
So love it or hate it, just embrace Tumblr to feed your needs. You can always delete your account anytime anyway. But trust me, once you go Tumblr, you can never go back. It is like an addiction!
Other sites you can go are pixiv (popular for fanart or great art) and deviantart! Read fancomics and squeal in the middle of the night, letting your inner fangirl/fanboy out! Just remember to ask for permission if you want to repost it somewhere and always be nice and polite!
4. Two words: Fan Fiction
Phewww…… this is a dangerous step! Fan fiction, like Tumblr, is like an addiction. Once you start, you can never stop! There are some really good fanfiction out there but most of them are incomplete or you have to wait a billion years for the author to update it. However, trust me, you will keep reading new ones every hour of your life until your addiction dies down.
Then after reading it, you will write your own story, publish it, and probably never finish it. That is usually the case. But if you do write and and actually complete it, I THANK YOU ON BEHALF OF EVERYBODY WHO READS IT.
But seriously, fan fiction is both a curse and a blessing. You get all these fantastic stories but you will get so addicted to it. So if you are really desperate to fuel your anime/manga needs, I recommend fan fiction but if you are not so DESPERATE don’t even peek at the site.
So when you are ready, you will begin looking at all the merchandise that will be released on the official site or anywhere else. CD’s, files, plushies or even games! You name it, they will probably have it. So just look over the merch on the things that you probably can’t afford or even get because you are not in Japan. But have no fear! That’s why shipping agents exists. So even if you are not living in Japan, you will be able to get it. That is, if you have a tons of money.
But if you are LIKE me and can’t afford (because of rent and food), you can always wait till conventions and buy fan-made merch. They are a lot cheaper and they come in a large variety such as badges, posters, phone cases, key rings and so on.
The downside is that if the anime/manga is really popular, you can find tons of merch for it. But if it is not really famous internationally and so on, you can’t find anything or very few merchandise for it. So what do you do? Well, there is always the option of buying merch from the famous chinese ebay, Taobao!
6. Look for a new anime/manga
After spending time being depressed,being addicted to Tumblr & Fanfiction, and filling up your room with so much merch that you can’t even see the floor; even though you are still mortified over the ending and the pain in your heart still resides, you have to force yourself to look for a new manga/anime to fill that void in your heart.
It can even be a rebound manga/anime; something to fill the empty space before you find that special one to replace it. So while reading that filler anime/manga, take your time choosing a new one to get obsessed over. Check recommendations from friends and online for anything that catches your fancy, or you can even just simply choose one by idly scrolling through them.
There is something about discovering a new one by oneself without knowing anything about it. The feeling is like satisfaction and excitement mixed into one jumbled up emotion that enhances your entire mood when reading/watching it.
So force yourself to watch/read a new one because that will help you get over it faster. And you can still come back to your favourite one, just don’t watch/read it over and over again till you get so sick of it. (Trust me on this one. I have done it before, and it killed the franchise for me.)
All in all, everyone gets over something they love differently. These are just the basics to get you through it if you are feeling lost and down. Remember that anime/manga are there for your enjoyment (emphasis on ‘enjoy’!) Don’t feel too bad that it has ended since there is possibility that there will a sequel, a new adaptation of some kind, a spin off or even a remake.
Just be patient and look out for any news about it! In the meantime, there are plenty of other anime/manga for you to discover and explore! So, have fun with them!