How does /a/ unanimously seem to decide on what anime is popular? Is it the compilation of literally every thread related to every anime airing this season?
What's popular this season?
I want to fit in with /a/ but I never seem to be able to catch up.
What is the average /a/ poster's viewing history? Do they literally watch all anime airing this season and decide on one?
one person voices an opinion.
the rest are like you wanting to fit it, so they copy it
everybody now agrees with this opinion, and given long enough for it to normalize and internalize, will defend it to the death.
this is how it works in all cases, not just on /a/.
Don't fall for all the xenophobic shit on 4chan.
It only exists because they don't want to admit that what they really hate are personal posting styles and the type of people they're spending all day with online. But it's just easier to say "lol you weren't here before a certain date"
4chan is just about having fun talking about shit with people who share a certain interest. Just pick a currently running anime that you think might be interesting and watch it while following threads on /a/ about it.
It's much more fun to do that than to waste your time trying to "catch up on the classics" or some shit.
Just don't be an insufferable shithead who has no respect for the people there and wants to change things to fit their needs rather than listening to those who have been there much longer, and you'll be fine.
Number of threads, speed of threads, download count on nyaa, Go to pixiv and see if a character is dominating new submissions if it's popular in japan it'll be popular on /a/ too.
As for what's popular try Phantom World, Dagashi Kashi, and Boku Dake ga Inai Machi,
Now given all that. I recommend not trying to fit in at all beyond obvious posting styles that can get you banned etc. You'll have more fun just watching what you like and /a/ will be better off because some retard won't be complaining about a show he shouldn't be watching in the first place.
Also to decide on what to watch each season you look at a chart pick the things that look interesting to you and give it the 3 ep rule.
I don't like using such a strict "rule". Some take more than three episodes to hit their stride. I just give things a chance whenever the mood hits me and if destiny sees fit then it will lead me to the great ones. Plus if something takes longer than three episodes to warm up I'm sure I'll hear about it.
KKK has a 4 ep rule.