Category Archives: Off Topic

Anime & Blog & Me

Not so much introspective as yet another yard sale-style meandering of what’s on my mind. You’ve been warned?

Garden of Akizuki Ritsuko

1. Journalism. I’ve been writing for Jtor for a while now. I always kind of regret the amount of output I hand out over there. I feel that there are a lot of things I can write about if I can square off chunks of time and focus on writing it in a way that fits that particular media outlet. Over time I feel that this is not a productive way of looking at things. I think it is true that the average editorial that I post here on this blog will require a lot of reworking. I look at blog posts like this one more like a set of stairs or more like, better put, a car lift or a jack, where I put some ramp under the “narrative” and work hard and push it up so it gets to where my idea actually resides, in a way that forms a bridge of understanding for some unfortunate person reading said unfortunate blog post.

So it’s not a surprise to me to see someone reddit my Sasami blog post because the bridge itself is what I want to express in that particular effort. I wanted to explain the things that explain what the hell was going on. But this is rarely the case. Which is why nobody reads this blog, relatively.

And I think in a lot of ways, this is really where we’re stuck at, since 2008. I joined Jtor because it’s one of the few real “blog” style sites that can make a difference in terms of what I see is out there, what people wanted, and what I wanted. Stuff that goes in between Sankaku Complex and ANN, basically. It’s got people who get what I mean when I talk about blogging. It’s got some readers. It’s got some actual cred, most importantly.

Since then CR News has been probably the closest thing to what I’m looking for. Unfortunately they are basically stuck gleaming off the same 2ch matome pipe that ANN runs off of. It’s too Gawker, not enough bloggery-ness, for my taste. Their coverage is pretty decent although I can nitpick a lot in terms of their editorial qualities. Well, nobody is perfect.

The reality of the situation is highly complicated by the revenue picture. I think an important thing to realize is that to produce quality news-editorial content in a reasonable quantity, at least at the levels I’m talking about, you basically have to full-time hire someone. Probably a few people at least. And we’re talking beyond just administering the platform. Nobody really has this much money. And this is kind of a fundamental problem in the anime space. We’re too hooked on the usual social networks (namely things like forums and 4chan and 2ch and twitter etc) to really let these pro journalism sites grow. At least, the market opp is pretty difficult to outline.

This is partly what I’m talking about at least. It’s like when you write a post, you might expect that a good chunk of your readers are not cold dialing your URLs, but rather they’re referred from established communities and familiar with existing discourses that are subscribed by those communities. That’s the “road” or “surface” level where the jack has to be to establish that sense of engagement.

In some sense I feel this is why ANN is as successful as they are today–they can give that less damn. Their forum is a pretty good example as to why it might be a good idea to keep it that way. To keep writing news like news.

The flip side, of course, is that if you want people to have better experiences, better engagement with your content, you gotta do more. Rely on fansubs to review new content. Talk about japanese fan meta crap. Stir up controversy. What have you. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Which is why I call it a jack or a car lift, not an escalator. Because that’s where the hard work is.

You get all that? I’m assuming that is what the word journalism really means. Well, maybe it’s beyond just journalism. More like, how to write about something in a way that engages the reader with the subject matter?

Speaking as a reader, on the other hand, I think a lot of the community are simply way too quick to judge and not open-minded enough to welcome new people. Often we don’t see the long-term value of sites like Sankaku Complex (or Seventh Style, which I just like more by far, for different reasons) or ANN’s forum. And I can go on. There are not enough people who engage these venues with a mind towards improvement and how we as individuals can make these places better. If 4chan can change, anything else can. And I’m not even saying we should aim that high. All I’m saying is that we have to be responsible for our own mess and do something about what you don’t like within the community.

I wonder if anyone can change Colony Drop.

2. Blogging. I think when people talk about blogging they’re talking about the platform. Nobody really seriously think of twitter as “microblogging” (and if you do…please get a life). When people say blogging I think “how the hell can I save allllll my data from Google Reader by Monday” and not, say, Gawker or Facebook or most actual blogs. Well, maybe I think of anime blogs in the way that we have had anime blog tournaments, but that gets down to introspective and existential semantics. The things out there. Blogger. What have you.

I think we, as a people on the internet, have long gone past the point where we’re still hung up on bloggers being something or someone doing what. The average RC post acts both as a thread in a giant interweb forum and as a blog post to remind me what happened in episode 10 of Valvrave without loading up the video. That’s great. Just like the set of numbers in Psgel’s episodic posts that tells you basically all you need to know about what he tries to say every week. Or what image walls that typify your average Metanorn or Kurogane dump, and the comments underneath. It’s all good. They have their audiences and uses.

But is there someone, like, looking at all of this and think to themselves what’s wrong with this picture? How can it be better?

What I see is a bunch of ships in the night. I think there are some great stuff out there, but there’s no good way to connect the people who like A from A and B from B. With Goog Reader dying that’s just another tool to do so going away. Yeah, I’m going to whine a lot about this, because what I used it for, nobody has done a better job reproducing it.

Over the years I found things like the Tournament and twitter being the most useful things to discover blogs. Animenano, surprisingly, is a close second. But I also read that feed and click on things that seems interesting, as a way to discover new writers and their baggage. It makes me wonder how people go about doing the same, their own way. Would be nice to know!

Tokyo 2013

Girl with Camera

I will be in Tokyo to cosplay as a tourist starting later next week. I will return to the guise of a salaryman otaku again after the 22nd. If I stopped blogging for a couple weeks, now you might have some idea what was going on.

I’m also planning to attend the following events:

The rest of the time I will be doing normal touristy things, I think. Hopefully I will have time to not only meet up with at least a few people I know living there at the moment, but hit up all the delicious eats! If you want to meet & say hello let me know.

Lately things has just been kind of busy, especially when I try to squeeze in video games in my routine (that is not Love Plus). Now the new season is here and I probably should say something about Kyousuke Hyoubu, Oreshura and Maoyu (again, but from an internal perspective). Especially Oreshura…

There’s all kinds of things I want to do in Tokyo too, but short of laundry-listing them (or rather, the listing of things I want to do in a master list format is a to-do item) let’s just say that there’s a world of possibilities and it’s like having to deal with the nagging feeling of missing out on something. Hoping the cherry blossoms will still remain and more importantly, I’m hoping the rain will keep away.

Figure Liquidation 2012

This is a pinned/sticky post. It will be updated over time.

[Last update: Oct 11 2013 1800 EST, Sale is basically over~ Nobody got grabbags so uh.]

I’m selling some merch, mostly figures. Click for details!

Continue reading

It’s Football Season

This is how I feel when Shannon Sharpe (Hall-of-Fame NFL pro and now commentator) this morning mentioned that the “Ravens will be better served with a little less Flacco, and a little more Rice”:

SUPAISU futasaji keiken shichae
dakedo genkai  karasugite… mou DAME
Ohnono nono nono no nonono

OK, yeah, actually I laughed at Sharpe (who’s known to have a mouth, so to speak) for about a minute. Then again, this is how I feel about Ray Rice generally. It has a lot to do with my Rutgers upbringing but he’s the man to electrified a local football program (along with now-NFL coach Schiano).

This post is brought to you by the strange realization that playing Space Chem from 12:30 AM to 3:30 AM makes the sunlight’s glitter just a little off.

Looking forward to MNF, though. And I’ve re-uploaded those “Asadayo~” tones. Help yourselves.

Administrivia, April 2012

Totally off topic and I almost never do these kinds of posts, but I should just put it out there so people can find this site when the time comes. By that, I mean, I am definitely moving off “Definitely” because I made a breakthrough in the migration process and so it will most likely cut over soon, with or without all the lost posts.

I understand the login/gravitar nonsense and I don’t like it either, even if it doesn’t really bother me. The main issue as I see it is combating spam. Anyway, it’s not like I get enough comments on my blog for that to be a serious issue. Or is a problem–they’ve been fairly good to me. For those really good at stalking, you know I have been setting up trying to move for a long time now, basically since like, Feb 2011. I’m trying to use the anibrog tourney as a motivation and get the move done before that happens, but there’s no guarantees that it will happen before whenever the May date it is that I’m suppose to compete against Spark Blog or A Product of Wasted Time. Well, I guess we will see how much I drag my feet in terms of deciding how to do it.

This means the best way to follow and keep track of this blog is by using the domain name “” as per usual. Because, like, man, modern technology, why don’t I use it kkthx domain name service.

For those who doesn’t know about the several hundred blog post I lost since, it is a tough lesson but one I am more than ever prepared to practice. And so should you, everyone of you should take backup and data storage/recovery seriously. I mean, it’s a part of you, your identity, your mark on the world, your life, at stake. Joke aside, I’ll probably set up something once everything’s situated, and let you guys know what I find.

For the TL;DR crowd I’ll prep some short message when the time gets closer to moving date. And also as a result you might not see many posts in the coming couple weeks…