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.***