The Peak of Anime Blogging

Posted by Os under Rants
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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.

26 comments to “The Peak of Anime Blogging”

  1. Comment by jpmeyerNo Gravatar:

    My pet theory: it sprung up/peaked in 2005-2007 because that was the peak of the anime bubble, so there was always tons of stuff to write about.

  2. Comment by Ryan ANo Gravatar:

    It *just* came to my attention today before reading this unexpected post that topic redundancy is becoming an issue. I’m sure it’s been creeping for years, but the feeling of a regressing community hit me today. So maybe there was plenty to write about in TGA, but also a greater diversity in perspective (fewer writers).

  3. Comment by Baka-RaptorNo Gravatar:

    Golden Age? More like the Stone Age.

  4. Comment by SasaNo Gravatar:

    @Ryan A: But movies have been there for some 100 years? I am quite sure that movie critics have not had a problem with topic redundancy yet. Anime evolves and there are always new shows coming out, so I don’t think there is nothing to write about anymore. But it’s possible that it has become harder for some.

  5. Comment by omoNo Gravatar:

    I think we’re approaching the next cycle already, if already nearing peak.

  6. Comment by Ryan ANo Gravatar:

    @Sasa Bloggers talk about new works, sure. In the short-term there is redundancy in discussing “hot points” (Director A, Studio B, Genre X, Idea Z etc) which is a shell I think film has broken free of or has become transparent over time. History also is on the side of movie criticism imo, in having a larger catalog, diversity, and track record. And there simply aren’t that many masters of meta-knowledge in anime blogging, possibly because of the language barrier.

  7. Comment by OsNo Gravatar:

    Yes, this is the type of discussion that just makes me happy.

    I would like to write a book or contribute to one about anime blogging. Not being too well-versed in blogs today, if I kept up my tv metaphor, I’d say this is season 3? 4?

  8. Comment by Vucub CaquixNo Gravatar:

    The so-called “Golden Age” of the anime blogosphere fascinates me, if /only/ just because I wasn’t present at the time. This preceding period is awash in a nostalgia I can only grasp at in its fringes, a golden glow of hallowed memory only whispered at its loudest. When I come across the remnants of previous enclaves within our larger internet anime community, I see the remains of years-old proclamations etched into the equivalent of digital stone, and the reverberations it caused in its appropriate commentary. Snapshots, moments, only to be perceived on intermittent bases in some technological purgatory.

    I just hope that by giving this period of time a label like that of golden age, that you don’t simultaneously dismiss what the anime blogosphere has become. There’s been a real vibrancy and verve to the community, partially due to the presence of newer(ish) social media platforms that allow us to communicate more efficiently with each other than ever. I, myself have expended a lot of energy over the past two years to codify the relationships between bloggers in this new environment, and we’ve managed to create a 150-person strong email list dedicated solely to seeking out and organizing bloggers to watch episodes of anime together simultaneously via skype. The effect of this on me personally is that I’m able to read posts from the current community in the authors’ own physical voice. It makes for the relationships forged to be even closer, verging on intimate (several romantic long-distance relationships have emerged, endured, and ended in this time). And my own blog was reinforced with authors I became familiar with as people first rather than just avatars.

    So yes, as Omo above says, I’m not sure I can agree to the idea of a more prosperous age or even some kind of bubble. If anything, we’re nearing another peak. Perhaps it’s /because/ I wasn’t present at the time so I have no reference point for basis, but the blogosphere I know has only known prosperity itself for the years I’ve been a participant.

    It’s our love for this hobby that will keep it going, and our commitment to expressing our devotion.


  9. Comment by TheBigNNo Gravatar:

    I guess I’m glad I started the blog during what people have considered to be the peak time of animeblogging then (don’t really agree one way or the other here). It does feel more splintered than before, and I’m sure part of that is because life goes on (my posting frequency has dropped like a rock as I went through medical school and now and doing residency), and part of it just comes from being large enough to form multiple separate cliques than coalescing around one whole thing. Or at least that latter part comes from my perspective of how the Aniblog Tourney has gone. 😛

    And in another sense, it feels bad that I only just read this post now. Good luck again, Os!

  10. Comment by esmarkNo Gravatar:


  11. Comment by Pablo E. de AndaNo Gravatar:

    Well in Mexico even there are many followers of the Japanese cartoons like that it is that hereabouts it continues the golden age, though I do not believe that anybody reads this comment

  12. Comment by juanNo Gravatar:

    Thanks for the information has been helpful and extremely interesting like many previous articles.
    Keep well

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