I wouldn’t categorize myself as a legend of anime blogging, but I felt that I had decent traffic when I was consistently writing back in ‘07. And with decent traffic, comes a decent amount of comments. And whenever I would refresh my front page and see that I had another comment, I’d get a quick shot of adrenaline. I’d get the following thoughts: “What kind of comment is it going to be? Who is it from? I hope it’s not someone trolling me. I wonder what my stats are now? How large is my e-ego right now?”
To constantly get this… rush, I would do my best to pump out a post every day of varying quality. Some pros by doing such a thing was that I grew as a writer, I was able to improve my writing, build stamina, and teach myself the tricks to bringing in traffic (protip: experience has shown me that a catchy post title does wonders). Some cons include questionable post quality, and a dishonest mentality to blogging, which I feel should be a pure expression of anime fandom. Ultimately, that selfishness lead to my downfall. I burned out and retained my huge ego -which took a while to come down.
Fast forward. I’ve since stopped blogging, and despite immense resistance initially, I eventually bought into Facebook. Not only did I sell out, I became addicted. They won. It won. It really didn’t hit me until this summer, either. That was when I started to really get into Facebook. I went on trips to all sorts of places and started sharing photos. Those got comments and likes. Then, I started to post random status updates. Those got comments and likes. Those comments started to increase. Reach double digits. You can tell where this was going. Before I knew it, I was a serial spammer. You know those people.
It wasn’t until a friend told me one day that I update too much that I realized how bad it got. I tried to ween myself away from Facebook. Instead of checking constantly, make an effort to only check once and hour. The longer the gap between checks, the better. I started to reflect. No one really gives a crap about where I am right now, and it showed via the amount of comments and likes. Yet, people liked and commented on a bunch of stuff that sounded interesting. Gotta stick to the latter, but I gotta make it count.
Sound familar? It was the same as the rush I got from comments from ani-blogging, except this was much easier and lower-brow. Hur Hur, “I saw Mary Poppins at Disney World. I mistook her for a random geisha.” Like. Like. Like.
Anyone think I’m onto something? (Legitimately not trying to comment hunt with that question) I think that by typing this out, at least I am expressing some shame and slight disgust for the social network monster I’ve become. Ironically, I wont be posting this on Facebook -I have yet to embrace my online persona and my real life persona. What I will do once I post this, though, is check my Facebook. I’ve been sucked right back into this black hole.
Unrelated: I bought my first manga since Borders closed down. I hate supporting B&N, but it was nice to buy manga again.]]>
Gather ’round, kiddos. Let me tell you a story:
A couple weeks ago, I was able to meet up with Lolikit and reminisce about anime blogging. It was like how we imagined we would meet: we’d be oldbies, sitting together, eating, drinking, sighing, and fangirling about the classic anime from back in the day: the mid… 2000s. We definitely talked about “The Golden Age.” When I brought back Natsukashii, I tried to coin that term whenever I alluded to the time when /I/ was blogging. Selfish emphasis on “I.” More on that later.
It truly was a golden age. There were so many blogs out there, yet everyone was connected. And in some twisted, enigmatic, multi-cultural sense, we were all just one big family. Albeit, an extremely nerdy family teeming with an unhealthy love for Japanese cartoons. A family where everyone was related by something more than just a bloodline, and in some sense, there was some incest going on -open to interpretation. Everyone read each others’ blogs and left comments. Some comments were simply inside jokes -plant rape, anyone?- while others fostered serious conversation. Hell, I was just being facetious trying to coin that term, but it’s actually starting to sound like the actual Golden Age. And I quote Wikipedia, ” By extension ‘Golden Age’ denotes a period of primordial peace, harmony, stability, and prosperity.” Let’s break that well-written Wikipedia tidbit down.
It was definitely “primordial.” Anime blogging hatched and evolved during TGA. Animeblogger.net’s antennae, Blogsuki, and Anime Nano was the primordial ooze that we all crawled out from. Sticky from God Knows what, already walking on two feet. There’s the first blog to do episode by episode summaries. The first team blog. The first figurine blog. The first blogroll. The first podcasts. The first IRC channel devoted solely to anime bloggers. Etc. (*1) If anime blogging history was all broken up into seasons like a TV show, I’d comfortably place myself in season 1, but the aforementioned firsts would be the pilot episode.
There was peace and harmony in many senses. Ignore all the imagined slights *cough that whole metablogging thing cough*, and you take a step back to see everyone trying to actively promote each other. I always tried to link to others in my posts and for the most part, I noticed others were doing it also. Though people had differing opinions, different opinions alone didn’t seem like a good reason to stop reading someone elses’ blog. Okay, this part is all me being presumptuous, but damn it, I’m keeping this romantic image I have of myself and others.
Speaking of peace and harmony…
There was definitely “stability.” If you ran a “good” blog, you’d see run it solidly for about a year. That’s like… 7 years in blogging years. There were posts almost everyday on varying topics. Once a blogger got into their groove, you could expect the same -yet different- thing every post. “The same” referring to a consistent and stable style and “yet different” meaning varying topics on the same subject. Things would start to slow the second year and taper off the third -if you lasted that long.
And finally “prosperity.” Prosperity. No one made money (*2). We did it for the love of the game… Well, it was mostly for the stats. Actually I cant talk for everyone. I did it for the stats. I got my reward from the comments and the page visits. I became bloated from the stats. I was gluttonous from the attention. Fat kids like cake. I LOVED to see that I hit thousands of visits per day. I shat my pants in joy whenever someone alluded to something I’ve said. This is not the first time I’ve “come clean.” I think I’ve talked about the selfish side to blogging every time I’ve decided to “retire” from anime blogging -about three times, now. So let’s look on the bright side: Ignore the fact that I had a huge e-ego and focus more on the fact that people simply enjoyed reading some of my stuff. I will promise you that I thoroughly enjoyed reading other people’s stuff. Yet this give/take relationship doesn’t end up cancelling each other out, but provides prosperity for all. We’re not some IRL society where output must equal input -learned that in college. This was The Golden Age. The economic bubble of anime blogging. The. The. The time when Megatokyo was still cool.
But eventually, at least for me, blogging became a chore. Oh, I still loved that shoujo. (*3) Today, I still go to the bookstore every week to sit down and escape into manga for an hour. But then afterwards, I would have to return back to real life. A reality where I am a middle school Language Arts teacher -you probably couldn’t tell with all those grammatical errors so far, right? Shhh, dont tell the people hiring me. (*4) A bitter teacher who spent a few hours putting this post together with apparently no real direction. Note: I had a direction when I first started this post, but I admittedly wandered off as I started typing whatever that came to my head. (*5) I wanted to go all academia on you by talking in-depth about how humans truly enjoy simply recognizing allusions, but that’s just too much work for no grade and when you’re a crappy writer like me.
So to sum it all up: tldr.
At this point, with this blog so dead, I dont expect many to, anyways.
*1 - I wanted to link people to specific “firsts,” but I only have vague ideas of who was actually first in what.
*2 - well… most of us didn’t.
*3 - “Did somebody say ’shoujo?’”
*4 - Teaching is a profession I would only wish upon my enemies.
*5 - Most of my posts and academic papers came from this method.
I’m feeling natsukashii (get it?).
Does anyone have ANY information on Garten from the now defunct Memento Anime Blog? I cant even find a cache of Memento. I’ll take ANYTHING.
He is my hero, and that will never change.]]>
I doubt anyone ever comes here anymore, but this is the only place I could think of putting the link below. It’s a blog run by my Japanese friend. There’s not much to say about it. He’s a Japanese guy who really just cares. I wish I could make a difference, but I have nothing. It hasn’t even been a year since I’ve been to Japan but seeing as I’ve been so immersed in this culture, I cannot help but feel a strong connection.
I dunno, just wanted to place this link here.
So, it’s finally happening. You know how when you start to REALLY get into this anime stuffs and in a wave of passion you declare that you’re going to Japan only to have the reality of life smack you down? Yeah. Suck it, reality. For two weeks (may 14/15-28), I am gonna EFF UP JAPAN.
Now I’ve been out of country before (England) but I was a wee lad and I was with my family. This time, I’m all by myself. Problem with going by myself -and considering that it’s me- is that I’m pretty noobish to this traveling abroad thing. I have no idea what to do. So here I am, asking the community I once considered as close as a brother/sister -now you guys are more like a cousin- for some help.
What do I bring? Practical things like a plug adapter? Impractical things like my Aya Hirano photobook in case I randomly run into her? Do you have tips? Keep one of those lame ass traveler’s packs? Bring a credit card? I need to look up what traveler’s checks are. Where should I go? If you’ve been to Japan already, tell me things I should know!
I still have 6 weeks or so to prepare but right now, I am TOTALLY unprepared. Once again, I turn to the ani-blogosphere. Dont let me down.
I’ve already created a list of places to go/things to do. Here it is thus far:
That’s it thus far. Help me out.
Also, finally caved in and got a twitter: GreatoSenseiVu. Get it? Cos I’m a teacher and it has “Os” in the middle. Thank you, thank you. Yeah, I still got it.]]>
I haven’t written a post in over a year. This blog is dead. To me and about 5 other people, we will look back on this website and think “Natsukashii~” (Get it? Because it’s the name AND the expression! THAT’S how clever I once was). Others will look back, and scoff, especially after that last attempt to be funny. I doubt don’t think anyone during my “time” (which I have deemed The Golden Age of ani-blogging) still blogs, either. Well, I can’t say “doubt” because I haven’t actually checked, but I think it’s a safe assumption. I also think it is okay to claim that I am officially an “oldbie” now. I don’t even know if Lolikit still blogs, and he’s the one who hosts me. What I DO know, is that my hero Garten doesn’t blog anymore. I always wanted to meet him, shake his hand, thank him, kidnap him, and have him tell me bed time stories… anything. Unfortunately, that stuff wont happen and it seems I’m going off on a tangent already, so I’ll get to that in a bit. I need to set it all up first:
The other day, I was killing time before going out to dinner, so I decided to check up on Anime Nano. After skimming the first two pages, NOTHING was familiar to me. “How could that even be possible?”, I asked myself, but with more profanity and saying something entirely different (the idea is the same though). I used to check Anime News Network, Blogsuki, Animeblogger.net, Anime Nano, Tokyo Toshokan, and all these different blogs religiously. I would put aside at least an hour everyday to go through the works and catch up on the latest news and start downloading the “it” shows. I WAS AT THE TOP OF MY GAME. I KNEW WHAT EVERYONE WAS TALKING ABOUT. I WAS THE SHIT (hence the caps).
Now, I go to none of them, and recognize nothing (here, caps are only at the beginning of the sentence and proper nouns). Instead of reading up on all the new stuff by visiting the newer generation blogs, I decided to further live in the past and just go to “Anime Blog Directory” and sort them by popularity seeing how all my old friends are doing. I couldn’t get past the third blog on the list before I had to leave, but an imprint was left on me.
Memento, the number one blog, is what inspired me to blog in the first place, and the only writing to ever make me cry. Now it’s gone. I never got to personally talk to him, yet I felt as if a person close to me is gone. The second blog, Basugasu-something-or-other-osu, led me to messaging Hung, and I caught up with him a little bit. He’s out of the scene, too, apparently. I then noticed Sea Slugs. Congrats on your 6th year, by the way. I always wanted to go on forever, like you guys. I saw that the title is still the same, but it’s changed a bit since my Kono Sono days. Time waits for no one. All in all, things have changed since I used to roam that territory, but I wasn’t able to give it another second’s thought the rest of the night.
Flash forward to the next night. I like to get at least 8 hours of sleep when I’m on vacation time, and I had to wake up early so I went to bed at 2. Naturally, seeing as my sleep schedule is so terribly effed up, I ended up just lying there for what seemed like an eternity, tossing back and forth. When you cant sleep, your mind starts to wander to sports, food, missed opportunities at love, the works. I couldn’t help but drift back to thinking about my old blogging days. Kono Sono (now dead), Karoshi (now dead), Heterochromia (now dead) and Natsukashii (now dead) all came flooding back to me. I started to remember the people I’ve met, the comments I’ve read, and the stats I once had: Over 1500 unique visitors a day, 500 returners, ridiculous amounts of hits from random ass places looking for some hentai. I LIVED for that (not the hentai part). I lived for the glory. I wanted to be recognized. I wanted to be remembered. “Natsukashii” was sort of like what one would call a “heat check” in basketball, I just wanted to test to see if we all still had it. It was a last ditch effort to drive in our marks on aniblogging history. Unfortunately, we didn’t last but I appreciate the effort, guys.
Skip to Sunday. I thought about it at various points during the day when I wasn’t napping or watching wild-card football. Pfft, football. What a non-nerdy thing to do. A bunch of sweaty beefed up guys hitting each other. Why not watch some moe anime? Why not watch shoujo? Why not watch anime, period, question mark.
That got me thinking, “Have I finally grown out of it? Was it a gradual thing or did it just happen one day?”
I dont watch anime at all anymore, but I still enjoy reading manga. I really like all my posters but I’m starting to get embarrassed by them even when no one looks at them. I still love Japanese culture, but now I’m totally into Korean culture, too.
The other day, my friend asked me if I was going to Otakon this summer. I told him yes, but I didn’t know when I would stop. We didn’t talk about it anymore, but it bothered me a bit. I went last summer, 2009, and it was vastly different from my other trips. I spent more time in the dealer’s room than going to panels, and I didn’t take a single picture. I started to feel a bit embarrassed. BUT IT WAS WHERE I FELT COMFORTABLE, DAMMIT. Sure, I am embarrassed for Narutards or people that take it too far, but I still liked the shit. Hell, I wouldn’t even be here if Megatokyo didn’t link one of my posts in the first place that got me really going. I’m attending again this year and buying a bunch of useless crap like I always do (mostly phone charms because I go through 3 per year, minimum). And when it is all said and done, I’ll become normal again in the normal, hard as nails, real world.
Now that I’m progressing in my education, I realize that life’s not all fun and games anymore. I wanted to be a publisher, so I could work with Del Rey -or something-, and do something I love everyday. What with this crappy economy, I’ve had to modify my plan. I am now becoming an English teacher with hopes that I can slowly get into the industry after I’ve stabilized myself. I’d even work for Tokyopop if need be. It’s my third major change in as many years. I PLANNED on having my future revolve around this stuff, and now I’m slowly growing out of it? Some could argue that I was all but forced out of it. I think it’s both. Talk about bad life decisions. Yet somewhere, deep down inside me, I think that if I DID get a job publishing manga, I’d at least be happy.
Truth be told, I’m having a hard time writing this. Hung made me do it. No. Actually, Hung gave me the idea and I wanted to get that high one more time. This blog post wont bring back my youth. I’m not getting back the many many hours I’ve put into this hobby. It wont bring back my stats nor my comments that I cherished so much, but lost when a random acquaintance I met on the internet stopped hosting me. It wont bring back the massive double digit skype sessions with the random people you’ve never met in your entire life, but you respect as a fellow anime blogger. Hell, it wont bring back the pride I once had in my expression of self.
This is more a blog post you’d find on livejournal than any anime blog post I’ve ever read, but I doubt anyone would read this far anyways. I’m not sure where I’m going with it, either. This is something for me to save and re-read one day. When I used to blog series like Ouran, it flowed out like water, it was beautiful to me. I initially wanted to make someone else cry like I once did, but I was lost to the glamor. Now, it feels like when I was near the end of my blogging career: a bit forced. In the end, this is really just for me. This is my nod of recognition to all the blogs I used to frequent but are now dead and to the community I once thought I’d never leave. I’m just raising my fist, walking away with my back to anime blogging… and maybe some cheesy music in the background.
“Did somebody say shoujo?!”
So I’m supposed to be paying attention in class when my eyes wander across the large periodic table hung up on the auditorium walls and it just sticks out to me like a sore thumb. I cant believe I never noticed this:
I really should start paying more attention…]]>
…that was until I read the recently translated chapter of Nana. THEN the results ended in tears. My boyfriend had the nerve to question my mental health! Arse! Okay so read chapter 78 and not be pissed….
I actually HAVE been away from civilised internet connections for quite some time, hence the lack of blogging activity, however I can’t reveal any details of my time away. To do so would be a breach of national security in some random country you don’t care about…
Anyway, that aside. I am back (and yes I pity all of you for having to put up with my dumb rants) and I need to blog like a maniac. While I was away someone brainwashed me into liking Cat Street, and then they made a drama out of it… get ready to be inflicted by my fangirlisim. AND YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE?!
I LOL now… Love & Martinis,
Newt (New With Tags)]]>
I didn’t go to NYAF, but I’ve watched about 5 minutes of the video of the anime blogging panel so far and all I gotta say is… NEEDS MOAR HUNG-HOSTING.
This doesn’t count: Clever, play on words, JPMEYER… “DAN-GO”…]]>
So I’m a bit pissed about the ending of Tetsuwan Birdy Decode which is a bit weird because I didn’t have any expectations going into this show, and while it was actually pretty good it’s not top 10 by any means. The reason why I’m pissed is perhaps a minor detail to some, or even a boon to the show to others but it really got under my skin.
I’m talking about the god damn piss poor cowardly cop out between Senkawa and Nagasuki. Memory loss? You have got to be f-.. did they just do that? What was the point of slowly building up their relationship and actually giving them some great chemistry if you’re just going to throw it all away in the end. It’s time to grow a pair and actually show some progression and development at the end of a show instead of this reset bullshit.]]>