Category Archives: Blogging

Year in Review: Conclusion

Decidedly, the word is that 2007 is not as exciting as 2006. We did not have Haruhi, we did not have Simoun, we did not have Black Lagoon. In fact, I’m going to talk about shows I didn’t see in 2007 (and some that I did see, but not like Haruhi, Simoun and Black Lagoon).

It's Mikan!

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WTB Good Industry Blogs

I know they are out there, somewhere.

I figured this is the place to ask since people who read blogs…know blogs. And if you come across mine from somewhere I don’t know, odds are you’ve been to other places I’ve not on the vast internet worth visiting. So I beseech you: Where are all the good English-language anime industry blogs? I’ve seen glimpse of manga blogs that are actually helpful and insightful, but anime? What’s anime? LOL?

Heck, even if it’s just PR nonsense. Good PR nonsense, to be specific. For a while I read Broccoli USA’s blog because that’s what a good (maybe “good” is too vague of a term…a blog worth reading?) industry blog should look like. I stopped only because about 1 out of 30 entries (and I think I’m being generous) contained anything I really cared about, as, you know, most of it is just manga news and I barely read any manga. I usually take a peek there before going to a con though…

But yes, anime-related please. In my limited knowledge most anime-centric industry blogs look like this. And it’s kind of, well, sad. Not that it’s bad or anything, but I might as well go read AoDVD, at least I get something useful out of them.

Which is to say AoDVD’s own blog effort is lolz, but that’s fine since the main purpose of the news/review site runs the same way as a good amount of bloggers. It’s a whole different business to run a news/review site as a blog, and if things comes down to that, well, oh well. They have an active forum community so it makes up for it. But it doesn’t read like a blog, and the community is different enough that I’d not want to get tangled up with it too much. Maybe AnimeNation’s community or ANN’s community is better, but I fear for their astronomic SNR.

Speaking of ANN, with the open letter nonsense, I found these blogs. I guess if you host it on your secure server Google is going to have problems indexing it. Forget about pingbacks and trackbacks. And why is it like that anyways? That said those blogs are less than 2 months old, so it’s kind of an unproven effort. But at least they have cool pictures. And the same Broccoli blogger writes this, I’m guessing. Pretty nifty I’d say.

I would link to the old Geneon USA blogs if they were still around, just so you know how sad American anime industry blogs are. I know the past couple years podcasting has been tried (Rightstuf puts out the only one worth listening to but others put out random con-related stuff too), but I don’t listen to podcasts really. Especially pretty much all but two English-language podcasts about this stuff are weaksauce.

AAAANNNNYWAYS. Do you know some cool industry blog that I don’t know? Please do tell! And it doesn’t even have to be actual industry. Just ones with real industry bloggers going at it would be fine. If it’s worth reading.

Year in Review: Factors for Consideration

You can read all about it’s wonderful to have a “your anime is lesser than mine” blog post here, but the more I think about it the more Jal left space for something even more wonderful to write about.

It’s not the “how” but the “why.”

Jeff alluded it to it briefly, but I’ll spell it out for myself: People like him and myself are not spiraling, burnt out fans finding every other anime a tripe, been-dun peddling in the shadow of some epic greatness of years past. Perhaps for all of us there were epic greatness in the past–some works that we found remarkable enough to hold onto like a light at the end of a tunnel. They may be our driving motivation to swim in this sea of Japanese modern cultural fandom, they may be our gateway drug. But for me it’s just a small part of a bigger picture. Even if every other anime under the sun is some cheap attempt at milking a dead cash cow, the anime industry proves itself that it still has soul left. There are creative creators working at it. There are still poorly-paid animators are still doing what they love to do. It shows. This is 2007 in a nutshell.

If I am to do a year-in-review Hop Step Jump style, I would have to rattle off ten anime titles that affected me the most this past year (with some reasonable limits), write a post describing the virtues and shortfalls, and how it affected me. That sounds reasonable…except that’s what I already do with my blog in general.

For every moment of existence this blog already records what little notable things I would share with you. Perhaps my threshold for what’s worth blogging is rather high, but don’t we all hold our Year-in-Review with a somewhat higher standard anyways? It’s worth your thought some long time before December 31 to get your stuff organized and show it off! Remember your anime has to be better than mine! It can be hard work! And since Jeff Lawson is so good at writing for marketing, he will probably win anyways.

So what the hell should we be doing? Well besides trolling his blog and saying his favorite anime sucks, we can just talk about why what makes our favorite anime this year our favorite. What makes Kimagure Orange Road the instant classic that it was? Why was Kidousenkan Nadesico so popular even in the shadow of an epic masterpiece of Neon Genesis Evangelion? Do these things hold true to your favorites today? Is Higurashi really a schooling of the 21st century harem? Is CLANNAD Kyoani’s third RBI or just a foul ball? Or not even the third? Does Shakugan no Shana stand against the test of time?

That’s my assignment: find that spark; the thing that keeps you watching and talking about anime, then see how this year’s offering fulfill those great expectations…and/or how this year’s offering fail to be something more beautiful. I think that’s a great way to cap a passing year and bring in the new one with a YAY!

Gundam Your Mother, or “Is That a Curse Word or Just Really Hard Metal?”

This is actually unrelated to this post (despite the matronly reference) and a response to these posts, only because I’m prompted by this post in reminding everyone that the more you spam your blog the bigger your visitor count-penis gets!

And silly Night Elf hos should just stop cluttering my game by quitting and doing something more productive with their lives, like making money.

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Previewing Seasonal Remedies

Maybe I’m just a weirdo, but somehow it’s not until I started to read j1m0ne‘s preview post that I realize this is exactly the next-season-preview I would like to read. Uh, I guess I also dig hawt and cute and cool voice actors as well?

And there’s nothing wrong to be superficial about what you like in anime. It helps to be superficial at this point in the life of an anime series because we just don’t really know much beyond the PR that we see, unless you have some insight into things that others can’t see upon first glance. While we may all be looking at book covers and judging the contents within, I found what j1mone is doing more like reading the author and telling you who’s done which work in the past, without really saying much about the show itself. It’s just less guessing and more actual useful information. It helps to go beyond this a little and connect the dots, but not quite this far.

But it also got me thinking: is my taste in anime so superficial now? I know for some time it was shallow to begin with–not only was I after the episode-by-episode experience over some satisfaction behind following a good story, I was much more concerned about acting, direction and music rather than plot, characterization and themes. Well, I talk about all six things all the time still, so I don’t know. Certainly a good story is no more important than having good acting (you’d think this ranks way higher with most people?) and direction. A fanciful setting is great but only if the show would take advantage of it. And humor is really a personal, eye-of-the-beholder thing. And of course if it’s an ugly, still-panarama, it will still get dropped. Maybe.

Sadly so few of those things can be figured out weeks in advance, unless there was an advance screening (hi CLANNAD?). I guess I’m just articulating, again, why I find seasonal previews unhelpful.