Thanks

zip scan 12-profile pic cutI don’t know for sure what I’m going to try to do…
I’m afraid this will just turn into a list of apologies or assurances…
when what I’m really trying to say is that this project, NewAnimeThursday, is reaching a close.

Since falling off my routine of regularly writing reviews for anime due to a concussion, I’ve started pondering my reason for continuing. And even though I’d like to say that I’m just too busy to keep writing or that I want to start a new project, it boils down to a lack of energy and drive to continue NewAnimeThursday.

I’m by no means ending my obsession with anime, manga, etc. I still plan on moving to Japan (though now I’m looking more into being an ESL teacher), and I still love being enraptured in current anime, as well as marathoning completed series that people recommend to me. I just have no reason or enthusiasm to write and continue running a full blog. And it’s not like I’m dropping off the face of the anime side of the internet. I’ll still quip on Twitter, and I’m regular on Facebook on the pages You’ve got to be Squidding Me and The League of Emotional Otaku. I’ll also keep reading the blogs on my Google Reader (and probably comment more). And I’m still on Skype (belden.otaku) too if you want to chat.

tooru-pp-cut-21octWhether or not I return to blogging, either on a new NewAnimeThursday or some other blog is uncertain and probably unlikely in the very near future, but who knows. As one project ends, another begins. I’ve gained a lot through NewAnimeThursday, friends I love communicating and discussing with, and I’ve expanded my curiosity and interests far beyond what I had just 2 years ago. Through NAT I’ve “found my voice” in writing, and by that I mean I’ve come to learn that my “voice” is a changing, adaptive quality that’s served me very well, both in blogging and in the real world, where I’m now more well-spoken in classes and able to cut through and understand complex topics with an objective viewpoint.

Though I’d hate to add to feal’s dead blog count, if I were to continue simply to avoid that, I’d be doing it for the wrong reasons. If I were to continue, I’d want to enjoy it like I should and not feel obligated to do so. Not that I do now, I just don’t have the desire to anymore. It’s not necessarily a growing tired of, but more of a growing out of NewAnimeThursday. I’m going to leave the site active (until WordPress decides I’m too inactive or however they kick off pages), and I’ll get an email if anyone comments on an old post, so I’ll be sure to respond.

I’m not sure how to end this, other than to thank anyone who read, followed, and commented. I hope you continue to remain awesome.

- BeldenOtaku

Thanks for reading

Thanks for reading

Post Aniblog Tourney Thoughts

Aniblog Tourney Match Page

In a stunning, yet not surprising, turn out, Animekritik handily defeated me in the first round of my Aniblog Tourney bid, 61.95% to my dismal (yet higher than my most optimistic estimates) 38.05%. What does this mean for NewAnimeThursday? Do I accept failure and quit blogging?…hardly. If anything, I’m more enthusiastic about being a better writer now that I’ve seen what others think of me and NAT. (Aside from being “that Tooru blog“) The general idea I picked up from comments on both NewAnimeThursday and the Aniblog Tourney match page was that my match with Animekritik was a contest of quality writing versus unique/creative content. I’m okay with this, I’d rather see quality writing win over creative content any day.

If you’ve been reading in the past week, I hope you’ve noticed a shift in post style. I’m trying to move away from episodic summaries and focus more on opinions and thought posting. I feel like I’m making strides, but would like some feedback. Maybe I’m not backing up my thoughts with examples, or maybe you just want more of what I’m doing and would like to see me step it up a few more notches.

With school coming to a close for the semester, unless the part time job I hope to find takes up too much time, I plan to be more active around the blogosphere (feal87, I need to reclaim my position in the Hall of Fame :3), as well as improve NewAnimeThursday. I’ve already begun the process with the episodic reviews, soon I’ll have a new editorial and I also want to make improvements to the speed draws and fan art too. Within the next week or two, you may notice layout changes (or an entire theme change) with the site as I’ll be re-evaluating design choices and finding what I think works best.

I’m also thankful that I was up against such a good sport, and would like to give my warmest congratulations to Animekritik, and wish him good luck in future matches. If we ever meet again in competition, maybe next time I’ll prove a tougher match-up :3

Don’t sell yourself short, in my opinion, writing beats out “creative content” everyday :3

Obligatory Aniblog Tourney Post

Today, NewAnimeThursday goes up for vote in the Aniblog Tourney against AnimeKritik at Kritik der Animationskraft (kudos to being one of the few anime blogs who resisted the temptation to use a foreign name, and use Japanese :3). If you’re like me, you’re not going to spend too much time trying to make a decision, especially if you’re not already familiar with NAT. Certain people look for certain things, so I thought I’d help ease the process by laying it all out.

If you’re more interested about myself, BeldenOtaku, you can check out the About page. In short, the About page is about me…

If you’re looking for my writing to make a decision, I’ll point you towards BeldenOtaku’s Best: A Sampling of NewAnimeThursday’s Finest. A little post I put together composing various elements from the posts I regularly make. From episodics, to editorials, and speed draws.

And I also do fanart (being an art student, it comes with the territory). Here’s my DeviantART account, or you could hit up the NewAnimeFanart tab as well.

So, thanks for the consideration. Good luck to all my fellow bloggers.
Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

BeldenOtaku’s Best: A Sampling of NewAnimeThursday’s Finest

If you’re not familiar with the Aniblog Tourney currently in progress, first, I’d like to welcome you back to the surface (as you’ve obviously spent quite some time under a rock), and second would like to point out that NewAnimeThursday is up for vote on 23 April. So, in light of this, I’ve realized this is a rare opportunity to make a mass first impression on lots of new readers. So I compiled a list of various things I do, along with sampling of what NewAnimeThursday is all about…

Anime reviews: Each season I pick up airing series to follow and episodically post about, usually about how the episodes struck me, what I liked, what I disliked, where I think it’s going, possible plot problems, etc. I’ll also end each season with a final review of every show I’d been following, recently I’ve also taken to attributing a grade to each series (similar to an academic score where anything above 6.0 is passing, with 10.0 being a perfect score) based on qualities such as visuals, audio, plot, character sets, and the like.
Here are a few series I particularly enjoyed reviewing: Guilty Crown, Tamayura~hitotose~, , and Steins;Gate.

Occasionally, I have an idea…on a rare occasion, I have a good idea. So I write about it. I have them labeled as Editorials. I ponder and ramble about everything from being an otaku in real life, aniblogging, and other anime-related stuff. (I’ve only been doing editorials for a few months now) Editorials also give me an excuse to post A Channel photos :3 Some of my favorite editorials (which are also the most commented posts) are “For the last time, I don’t hate shounen…”, “The Problems with Anime Blogging: From the Writer’s Perspective/From the Reader’s Perspective“, and “Why it’s hard to admit I love anime (at least where I live)”

So now I should say something that sets me apart from other aniblogs…something like I DO SPEED DRAWS!!! :3 Speed draws are where I draw characters from various anime, record said drawing, speed it up (because 3 hours of drawing and coloring are kinda boring), throw in some music, upload it to Youtube, and claim the internets as my own. Here’s my favorite one so far, Tsukasa Hiiragi (Lucky Star)…

Other’s include Hakase Shinonome and Sakamoto (Nichijou), Mio Akiyama and Yui Hirasawa (K-On!), and NAT Banner Winter 2012 (with Tooru Ichii).

Thanks for your consideration in the Aniblog Tourney :3
Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

Guilty Crown: Final Review

Back with the first final review of the Winter 2012 season, Guilty Crown. What started back in Fall 2011 was a series that turned out to have more melodrama from the fans than the show itself. Many people dropped Guilty Crown before even hitting the double digits, some who continued watching did so only to continue making jokes or quip about its unoriginality/slow (or stupid) plot/horrible cliche twists/something else that I don’t care about.

Guilty Crown follows the story of a high schooler, Shu, as he gets pulled into an epic adventure 10 years after “Lost Christmas”, a tragic event that caused a mass outbreak of the Apocalypse Virus and prompted the national takeover by the GHQ of Japan. He reluctantly joins a counter-government organization to use his “King’s Power” (the ability to a pull a “void”, an object or tool that takes shape and power from its owners heart and personality, from anyone after making eye-contact) to fight the oppressive GHQ and their Anti-bodies military force. Shu slowly grows stronger in his power but is plagued by his own personal shortcomings through most of the first 15 episodes. Despite making good strides in personal strength, he still finds himself breaking down in moments of crisis. While also shining brighter when he’s able to collect himself and save the ones he cares most for.

He ultimately has to face off with a GHQ that’s gone rouge under the control of Shu’s adopted mother’s brother, Keido, as it declares war on the world by using it’s satellite weapon, Leukocyte, to hold Japan hostage as once friend, Gai, and Shu’s on-and-off dead sister/stalker, Mana, try to recreate the world using the Apocalypse Virus. With the help of friends and a final leap in courage and personal strength, Shu is able to save humanity from the devious desires of his insane sister and the king of butthurt, Keido. (Gai was secretly on Shu’s side all along but knew that stopping Mana wasn’t as simple as keeping her from activating the Apocalypse Virus on the world scale).

From a plot perspective, Guilty Crown is impossibly complex. By “impossibly”, I mean that I can’t really delve into and explain all the details. Mostly because I’m sure there are more than a few subtleties that I’ve missed, and also because it’d ultimately give away the ending for those who haven’t watched yet. Although it had a few slower episodes, I can’t really say Guilty Crown had any fillers, which is a plus for me. Every episode either expanded the plot or gave character development. As far as premise, Shu’s “King Power” and the setting, albeit separately aren’t too unique, were very well placed and both had it’s own characteristic impacts on the story.

The cast was rather well-rounded, from the despondent, shy (in the beginning) Shu, overzealous, energetic Souta, the always cool, brilliant Gai, and cute, smart Tsugumi to the bats*** crazy Kenji, obsessed, mysophobic Daryl, and the real man Dan, Dan the Man. Cast members bounced and played off of each other every step of the way. Hare, the calm voice of support for the group later in the series, was probably the character I most hated to see die, but her character left a present mark on the remainder of the series. Even the quieter or less seen characters had their own impact, as Rowan gave Daryl his last, parting words to be nicer to people.

Now to the part I’m most happy about, the audio. If for nothing else, Guilty Crown should be picked up just for the epicness that is the background music. All of it, βίoς, Euterpe, Hill of Sorrow, it’s all so well played into the series that every scene just seemed to double in pants-p***ing awesomeness whenever the music rolled. (I want that robot in the picture from “Hill of Sorrow” by the way) Best example is the last episode, where it seemed to have dropping every last song from the soundtrack (which made me very happy because it was well done). Supercell and Hiroyuki Sawano did a great job with the audio, as expected.

The animation and visuals were of high quality throughout most of the series, thought  the animation seemed to slip a bit leading up to the last episode, but this probably more a result of cost-limits than anything else. The final episode was fully and brilliantly animated, despite the previous few dropping off somewhat. The visuals were what originally drew me to Guilty Crown, and the visuals sold me on the ending. That and the audio are the two irrevocable tenants of Guilty Crown in my opinion.

Now, time for the rating. Reminder: I grade on a scale similar to an academic grade. If it doesn’t “fail”, it gets 6.0 or higher. Any higher shows much I liked it or how well it was, and any lower shows how much I disliked it or how poor I think it was.

Guilty Crown: better than average plot with sometimes lackluster points, a truly developmental character set, good visuals, great music…. 8.2.
As mentioned, the animation slipped a bit, but the biggest problem (for me, mind you) was that Shu’s personal growths didn’t make as big of strides as I would’ve liked (for more on developmental characters, I recommend Yumeka’s post “Why Guilty Crown Isn’t That Bad“, and Yumeka, that scene in episode 21 made me cry, so, at the very least, you’re not alone.)

Rewatch value…maybe not immediate, but probably higher than most of the series I’ve watched, because once the story has started, I’ll want to finish it. (Notice how I never brought up Inori? It’s because I neither love nor hate her, she’s a bit manipulative, but has her moments. I guess I’m indifferent towards her.)

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

50 Questions

Originally done by Ace Railgun, and subsequently popularized among anibloggers like MarthTsurugiarashix, and Yumeka, “50 Questions” offers a look in the little details that makes each anime fan unique and is also a good way for someone like me to make a post when I’m too conked out on pain meds (see author’s note at the end of my previous post) to keep focus on any new anime. So, here’s a mixture of anime and personal questions, without further ado….

1. Who is your favorite male anime character?
Haruaki Yachi, from C³: CubexCursedxCurious. I guess I just appreciate that, unlike 99% of all anime male protagonists, a naked girl appears in his kitchen, and he takes it like a boss! :3

2. Who is your favorite female anime character?
Tooru Ichii, from A Channel. I’m infatuated with this girl, she’s so cute and I love the way she’s so protective of Run. And it drives me mad when she puts on such a tough exterior when she’s really incredibly sweet on the inside!
 3. What is your favorite anime soundtrack?
My musical preferences change like the damn seasons, but right now I really like the Guilty Crown soundtrack. Lots of concerto sounds and Bios is really trippy to me. Makes me feel so epic when I’m simply walking to class but listening to it with the volume cranked up! (My taste in music is admittedly crap, but it’s what I like, so…)

4. What is your favorite anime opening song + animation?
The second opening to C³: CubexCursedxCurious, Kirika’s dance and the reverse snow fall are stunning to watch, and Shirushi is one of my favorite songs of all time.

5. What is your favorite anime ending song + animation?
Right now, it’s most likely the Kill Me, Baby ED. Although it needs more Agiri, I love the dance and anyone who can do this in real life is a god to me. This song is also pretty catchy as well.

6. What is your favorite anime scene?
The scene from episode 22 (or close to that)  of Lucky Star, where Konata Izumi’s mother visits her family in ghost form. It was very touching and always leaves a tear in my eye as they finish off with Konata and her father wondering what to do with the haunted picture he took using his new digital camera, in which Kanata posed in the background, unbeknownst to her husband or daughter.

7. If you could meet an anime character, who would it be?
Hmmm, Tooru Ichii. No, wait, Lelouch vi Britannia. Hold on, Ika Musume. Actually, Black Rock Shooter. Acccck! This is too hard…really? Only one?!

8. What anime character is most like you in terms of personality?
The more I thought about this question the harder it became, so I asked a friend. After a while of thought, she came up with the answer: a mixture of Maes Hughes (Fullmetal Alchemist) and Azusa Nakano (K-On!), you’re serious when you need to be, but when it comes to comparison, no one can compete with your confidence.
I’m like “seriously?”. I always see myself as shy and kinda quiet, but maybe that’s just with people I’m not so comfortable around…

9. What is your favorite thing about anime?
That’s there always something more to watch or enjoy! And even if you can’t access something you haven’t seen, rewatching anime is just as enjoyable!

10. What is your least favorite thing about anime?
Too much anime, not enough time :3

11. Who are your favorite anime couple?
I’ve never really thought about it, but I’d have to say… Horizon Ariadust and Tori Aoi from Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. I love the idea of him taking on the world to save her and then to retrieve her personality remnants.
 12. Who is your favorite anime animal?
Easy, Sakamoto-san from Nichijou. How can you listen to his smooth tones and not love the coolest cat in Japan?

13. What anime would make a good game?
I’ve always wanted a real, playable version of “The World” from the .hack series. Not a story-mode driven game, but a fully opened RPG MMO. Maybe throw in a conspiracy or two to make it interesting.

14. What game would make a good anime?
I honestly can’t think of a game that wasn’t already an anime that would make a good anime… I don’t play very many video games, though the few I play, I play A LOT.

15. What is the first anime you watched?
I can’t be certain, but (with like 60% probably) I’d have to say Dragonball. Seeing as it was the most likely anime to be watching on TV when I was little. Other early anime include G Gundam, Zoids, YuYu Hakasho, and a little Sailor Moon, though I don’t remember much of Zoids or Sailor Moon, simply that I would watch them.

16. Do you think you’ll ever stop watching anime?
I honestly hope to raise my kids on anime, seeing as I want to be animator. Watching anime for me is like researching, studying different animation styles and how they work with the genre of anime they portray is good to know for any aspiring animator. For example, a simple style like Kill Me, Baby works to play off the comedic nature of the series, while a more detailed, hard-lined design of a series like Guilty Crown helps portray the stark reality of the world they live in.

17. What is your favorite genre of anime?
Slice of life, it’s my bread and butter. Gimme a good slice of life series any day, it warms my heart and makes me happy. It also doesn’t give me the anxiety of longer, more action-based shows.

18. What is your least favorite genre of anime?
Least favorite would be… shounen, simply because the popular ones are too long and have some of the worst plots in my opinion. (Read this before you comment with your annoying butthurt) That being said, some of my favorite series are shounen, but they’re limited compared to series like Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece. FMA is only like 60 episodes, but the plot moves every step of the way. This is a little off topic to the question…

19. How open are you about watching anime with the people you know?
You get one chance, if you can’t shut up or generally ruin the experience, don’t expect me to hit you up for an anime showing anytime soon. You should also be okay with me pausing some to take screenshots :3

20. Have you ever been to Japan?
No, but I’m planning on studying abroad for a semester in Fall 2013. Hopefully going to Ritsumeikan University’s College of Image Arts to learn animation.
 21. What anime was the biggest let down for you?
Right now, Kill Me, Baby! It’s proof that what works in a manga doesn’t necessarily work in anime.

22. What anime was better than expected for you?
Nichijou. Going in, I knew it was funny, but I had no idea I’d spend hours hunched over on the floor from laughter.

23. What is the best anime fight scene?
Any fight scene from Ben-to, there’s something primal about fighting for your meal, using your hunger to power your ambition and drive to win.

24. Who is your anime waifu?
Tooru Ichii (see question #2) :3 though I’ve “adopted” Tsukasa Hiiragi, Azusa Nakano, and Chris Yukine. :3
The first step to Waifu Recovery is to admit you have a waifu, step two is acceptance. I accept this part of me, which leads to step 3, understand. You need to understand why you chose to have a waifu (though I developed mine inadvertently). For me, Tooru is a placeholder in my mind for the girl that I hope to meet one day and marry. Smart, maybe a litte shy but irresistibly sweet, cute (to name a few qualities). If that makes any sense…

25. What was your favorite video game as a child?
Pokemon, still is…

Now for some more personalized questions, most are taken directly from Ace Railgun or others, or I changed them to make them easier (or more fun) for me to answer.

26. Most Embarassing moment?
I can’t really pin down a most embarrassing “moment”, but 5th-6th grades were probably the most embarrassing time of my life.  This was when my muscular dystrophy (Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease) became very pronounced and I walked on my toes all the time. My heel never touched the floor and elementary school kids did as elementary school kids do, attributing various not-so-empowering reasonings to as to why I “walked funny”. The most awkward was the rumor that it was because I was holding in flatulence… Though I had it corrected and only partially stand on my toes today, I endured teasing and misunderstanding through middle school and most of high school. Luckily I had good friends who would actually listen to why I stood like I did, and thought nothing less of me because of it.

27. Can you drive?
Yeah, I have a license and a hatchback (I need the room to carry art supplies), though when I can, I bum rides because I’m not good with directions and I’d rather enjoy the ride than have to focus on driving. I’ve only had two accidents, the first one when I hit a tree in the dollar store parking lot, no real damage other than a few scratches to the hood, but the second time I rear-ended a truck after having to stop short behind the truck that had to stop for a car cutting through rush hour traffic. My car was totaled but no one was hurt and the guy’s truck didn’t really get damaged.

28. Are you mature?
Maturity is relative, and like my answer to #8, I’d say I can get serious when a job needs to get done, otherwise I’m pretty laid back (unless you’re being a dick, running up and down the hallway at 3 in the morning on a school night…if you lived in my dorm, you’d know exactly what I’m talking about).

29. What year were you born?
1992, my parents didn’t vote in the general presidential election because I was also born on election day :3

30. Do you prefer dogs or cats?
Not that I really prefer one over the other, but cats make better in-house pets (and I’ve always wanted a kitty to call my own :3)

31. Describe yourself physically?
6 foot and about 1 and a half inches tall, only 120 pounds. A side effect of my muscular dystrophy is that I can’t gain any muscle mass and since I have a fast metabolism I don’t have body fat. I get thrown around easily, but it’s okay because I have a cute demeanor. I’ve also shrunk about 2 inches in the past year…which is strange.

32. What would you name your first child?
I probably shouldn’t be naming my first (or any) child, they’d mostly be names like Azusa, Tooru, Fu, Chris, (you get the picture). I should stick to naming pets. But I will say this about having kids, I’d rather have a daughter to dote on, because I’ve taught children’s classes before, and boys don’t gain any common sense until around age 20 (and some still don’t). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to keep a young boy (various ages) from ramming his head into a wall. For no reason, other than he could…girls seem easier to handle and reason with (at least for me), plus it’d be less awkward (I’m a lot like Konata Izumi’s dad if I think about it).

33. What is the worst injury you’ve ever had?
I’ve broken my leg twice while simply walking. Not kidding, just walking. In August 2010, I was walking through church when what sounded like a gun shot (to me) came from my foot. Turns out that because of my muscular dystrophy, my foot was turning on itself and putting all the weight on the small bone on the outside of my left foot. After healing and returning to normal shoes, I broke it again in December 2010. I then wore a cast or a brace until May 2011, which started a series of surgeries over the summer to place pins in my foot that would prevent it from turning. Now my foot gets sore whenever the air pressure changes or when I step on a loose manhole.

34. What is your worst habit?
Procrastination, if I can get started, I’ll keep going until I finish, but that’s the problem, I’ll put off something saying “Oh, I’ll just relax for a bit, then hit that” or “I’ll have plenty of time to do it tomorrow” (I sometimes do this with anime reviews when I’d rather play games or do nothing…doing nothing is quite the past time for me).

35. Do you drink or smoke?
No, never. Smoking is like signing your death certificate, and it’s bad enough I have to breath in the second hand smoke from people on the streets (I think of it has puffing out little doses of cancer for whoever has the misfortune of being downwind). And as for drinking, I don’t have a problem with responsible drinking, but I’d rather never touch it myself. I’m already chemically dependent on caffeine :3

36. Do you have a tattoo?
Nope, and never will. Too scared of needles, and besides, who would want a permanent anything on their skin forever?

37. Are you a morning person or a night person?
Most definitely a night owl, why, in fact, I wrote this post at 3 in the morning (not kidding).

38. Have you ever slept past midday?
More than once a week…

39. Do you regret anything?
I try not to regret the past and instead learn from it, there are things I’m ashamed of, but nothing I can’t grow from.

40. Can you count the number of friends on one hand?
While I’d say I have different levels of friendship, from friends I’ll be hanging with 20 years from now to people that I converse with sometimes merely by proximity in class, I mostly definitely have more friends than I can count on my fingers.

41. Do you wear glasses?
No, I had to wear reading glasses for a month because I was getting a headache from doing test prep quizes every day in junior year, but other than that, I’m the only one in my house that doesn’t need glasses and one of the few in my whole family.

42. Are you a picky eater?
Not picky, but I get hungry in moods. By that, I mean that although I like fried chicken, sometimes I don’t want it. I’m (hypothetically) game for anything, but sometimes I only want certain things.

43. Would you die for someone?
For a certain someone, of course…

44. If you could have any super power, what would it be?
I’ll take Haruhi’s power to alter reality, thank you!

45. Do you believe in the supernatural?
Not really, but it’s not like I won’t piss myself when someone else dies in Another.

46. Would you rather be rich or famous?
Rich, simply so I could easily provide for my family and feed my anime addiction.

47. Have you ever committed a crime?
I don’t think so, unless you count PIPA or SOPA-esque crimes. In which case, every damn day. (But media companies need to understand the benefit of sharing their product and the growth produced by 3rd party generated content. )

48. Pirates or ninjas? (Time traveler or ghost?) Esper or Alien?
I’ve seen enough Melancholy to confidently answer “alien”.

49. Does someone have a crush on you?
I wonder…probably not, I’m not the “dreamy” type. Though it’d be nice to know if someone could possibly have deeper-than-normal feelings for me.

50. Are you in a relationship?
Nope, never have. I don’t date really, I hate seeing the “dating culture” in America. I’ll only date someone if I feel like I could start a lifelong commitment to that person, too often I see people dating for the status. That’s not to say I haven’t had a few crushes in my life, but I’ve gotten over them. I’d much rather start a relation with a good friend than go and “pick up chicks” like I see most guys do. Though, to be honest, I’ll probably be infatuated with her for quite some time beforehand.

Take me as I am, I may not be perfect, but I'm the best me I can be!

Well, there’s some answered questions about me and then some. It’s been fun, especially the parts where I ponder my being while hopped up on narcotics :3 I’m more than happy to answer additional questions or go more in-depth on a topic if asked. This’ll probably clear up a few gender confusions I’ve seen as well (yesh, in fact I AM a guy…though very very VERY effeminate).

As far as my health goes, my surgery went off without a hitch and now I’m trying to gather my wits together so I can stay awake for an hour to review a show. I also need time to download here (not under normal connection circumstances), so I’ll get back on the regular schedule soon. I’m also wanting to make a new banner with video to go with it this week using my time off, provided a few other things can get done as well, I’ll have that ready (hopefully) by next week.

Thanks for reading and thanks again to Ace Railgun for starting this “50 Question” phenomenon, it’s been really fun and I’m sure someone is really enjoying these glimpses into anibloggers’ personal lives.

Until next time,
– BeldenOtaku

The Problems With Anime Blogging: From the Reader’s Perspective

Back with the second part of my two-part editorial: “The Problems With Anime Blogging”. If you missed the first one, “From the Writer’s Perspective“, then just click that red linky thing that says “From the Writer’s Perspective” ( <— You can click this one too :3). Even if you haven’t read the first part, you don’t really need to in order to read this part, as they look at two sides of the same coin, so to speak, but I recommend both if you have time to kill…

Anime blogging, a daily constitution for some, much like a morning newspaper, and a time-passer for others, much like crossword puzzles or sudoku (unless you’re way into those, I know some are, but in general you’ll do them to waste time waiting for something like a bus, doctor’s appointment, etc.).  Like any niche blog, anime blog readers are looking for something specific whenever they check back or refresh their readers. But what? Well, anime, of course. Sometimes a few others things like manga, VNs, movies, events, and even figures, BD/DVD releases, as well as sales figures (which denote how successful a particular series is) are frequent topics on what are typically anime-centered blogs.  That’s not to say there aren’t manga, VN, figure, or event-centered blogs, but let’s keep it simple and stick to anime-centered blogs.

Asking what the average aniblog reader is looking for is like asking….I can’t even think of a fitting metaphor, reader tastes are so varied and shifting, there surely is no “One size fits all” blog style.  Some like hard facts and reviews, others like a little opinion thrown in, the (seemingly) angry like a place to bash everything that isn’t mainstream (or is too mainstream, as the case may be sometimes).  You’ll often find a plethora of editorials outlining the difficulties or troubles when it comes to style and demographic identification in blog writing (like this one :3), but I don’t often see off-the-cuff ramblings of a blog reader. Contrary to what you might think, blog writers are blog readers as well.  Though I tend to avoid reading on episodes I haven’t watched and reviewed yet (assuming I plan on doing so), I still search for particular blog styles when I peruse my reader tab.

Some blogs, like EmptyBlue, offer a quick rundown of an episode or series, citing things feal87 enjoyed or disliked, themes or a particularly funny joke, and usually with an added dose of personal flavor that is distinctly feal87 (like identifying ANY female friendship as yuri… even though, admittedly, he’s usually correct in some way).  Then there are blogs like KaminariAnime, that tends to stick to the breakdown of a series, with just some personal opinion peppered in here and there (Usually a first place to look, for me, when curious about a series that has already aired is KaminariAnime).  Which brings me to the more varied stylings of Wanabrar, covering areas from anime to figures, and a lot in between.  Wanabrar is also somewhat unique in that it has multiple writers, so the post styling and quality varies depending on the author. But, in general, Rei (who I seem to read most frequently, not entirely sure why, it just always seems to be the author of the Wanabrar posts I read) and the rest at Wanabrar have a style of writing that is personalized, but still approachable by the casual reader, as the hard details are always just under the surface of the opinion-framed sentence structures.

But maybe you’re not really into reading about an episode or anime series you just watched, maybe you want hard hitting, question asking editorials about the industry, fandom, or something else specific to anime. You’re in luck, then, because there are aniblogs just for you! Including Mainichi Anime Yume.  Yumeka is one of the most thought provoking and insightful writers I’m honored to read. From topics such as “The Direction of the Anime Industry” to “My Room (2012)“, you’ve made me jealous/curious/enlightened for quite some time, and I’m sure the dedicated aniblog reader needs this on their blogroll. Other sites that frequently post editorials include (but are not limited to): EmptyBlue, KaminariAnime, Chikorita157’s Anime Blog, Draggle’s Anime Blog, among others (you can check out my Blogroll if you want a list of blogs I personally follow, and I recommend them too ;3)

What started as an attempt to figure out what the anime blog readers want to read has turned into a case study of how complex a reader’s desires are.  Even as an individual, what I’m searching for in a blog post is constant changing and shifting, things I overlook today I’ll pour over tomorrow.  Biggest piece of advice I can offer to all readers: Don’t be afraid to try something new. I mean, what’s the risk? If you don’t like it, don’t read it anymore (99% of all the readers are going “Duh” right now, but it’s true).  As for a writer, don’t be too concerned if a seemingly large portion of the reading community isn’t reading your blog. People’s habits are hard to change, and you’ll definitely have a committed niched of readers who want to continue seeing your insights and thoughts on series (if I’m wrong, readers should post their criticisms here, I’ll be happy to admit I’m wrong if you can prove it).

***Note: I do not mean to cast any judgement, review, criticism, endorsement (unless…otherwise endorsed) of any of the blogs mentioned in this post. They were all used as references to show examples of types of anime blogs.  The use of any blog in this post does not necessarily relate to how I feel about them.***