It speaks for how busy I’ve kept, that I completely forgot to make a post rounding up 2012. It only occurred to me at the last minute that I was accidentally breaking a tradition which spans the entire history of my blog. But whatever, it’s better late than never with a tradition that I actually hold pretty dear, so let’s get it together.
2012 is an odd, and in some ways difficult year to look back on. I spent the first two thirds of the year doing a whole lot of fuck-all, and then suddenly I spent the last third doing things almost constantly. It was a year largely about new things—namely, video games and ponies—with little of the good ol’ standby that started this blog, anime. In fact, I did not complete a single anime which started this year, breaking my record from 2009 of only completing one.
Trying to remember the early months of 2012 is really damn difficult. January always seems to be a dead zone for me, though this has already changed a lot in 2013. Going through my archive, I protested SOPA back in January, which was a pretty big deal at the time, and still a scary thing looming in the background of the internet.
Off-blog, more importantly, my mom’s cancer went into remission in January, putting her on the year-long road to re-stabilizing. There was a pretty epic party in there somewhere as well.
I hit 1000 total entries on MAL in January, and my current count stands at 1051, which just sounds completely ludicrous to me right now. I guess watching a lot of first episodes across various seasons probably did the trick there.
February began a dry spell of blogging for me, because early into the month, my little brother and I discovered a little show called My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, which has pretty much dominated my life ever since. I wrote about my desire to escape from anime as a blogger, and the very next day, I opened my Digibrony tumblr.
Throughout February, ponies were my primary concern. After initially watching the show and discovering the fandom, there was a three-day period in which I had to go up to Richmond to babysit my three young cousins, and it was a period wherein my new love of the show was constantly tugging at my mind. I researched everything about the show, and then started taking the big plunge into the fandom, watching and listening to and reading everything that I could get my hands on.
At the start of March, I declared that I have no favorite anime and put my blog on hiatus, and Digibrony became my main activity hub. It’s amazing just how much February and March were a blur of ponies. It’s not even like I was doing other stuff on the side, it was pretty much a non-stop pony hurricane.
In April, I came back and actually started talking about anime, even including some new ones, as I tried to make anime part of my life again. It didn’t work out though since none of the April shows really grabbed my attention. At some point that month, I applied Baka-Raptor’s ratings scale to all of my completed anime just for fun, which later led to me fully adopting it as my regular scale for the Media Journal posts and beyond.
Mid-April was also when I started to get seriously into games criticism. That month, Michael of Low On Hit Points introduced me to the writings of an insane, narcissistic, mean-spirited cunt named Alex Kierkegaard, who had some very interesting ideas about video game design. I wrote a huge post about sexism accusations and Skullgirls in response to something by r042, who was probably the only new blogger in this circle of the sphere to come to my attention this year.
I officially launched the first edition of my Canon that month, and sadly watched as the second season of My Little Pony came to an end. At the end of the month, I completed my epic Brony Media Overview post, which marked the end of me talking about MLP for months until the start of season three. This marked the moment when My Sword Is Unbelievably Dull became the official catch-all Digibro blog, and all of my extraneous sites became obsolete.
If April wasn’t already, May was when things got jumbled on the site. I started talking about video games more, and I tried to recruit my brother Victor as a new writer since he was actually watching current anime. He never ended up publishing a second post, though. May was the month that all of my friends and I got into Tera Online, and I spent the better part of the month grinding my way to the level cap and being really into the game. I posted about a lot of random stuff that month, a lot of which I don’t even remember writing.
At the start of June, my blog continued to be weird and jumbled, with a bunch of posts coming out all at once. What finally marked a very real transition into talking primarily about video games was two my site’s most successful posts ever, the Tera Leveling Guide and Chasing Moby Dick. These posts were pretty popular on Reddit’s Tera board, and managed to be helpful to a lot of people. The leveling guide deserves to be called my best post this year, being as it was the one I put the most effort into and had the biggest payoff.
The rest of June and July contain a spattering of video game posts, including the start of my awesome but ultimately unsuccessful AARPG series. Making those videos made me decide that making videos was something I enjoyed and could be really good at, and made me decide that video game analysis was going to be my destiny. I still have never gotten over the hurdle of promoting the videos, though.
The end of July also marked the beginning of my Media Journal posts, which have become one of my favorite ideas for this blog. At first, it was supposed to be a video game journal, marking my journey to become a hardcore gamer. The journal was meant to be one big post that I’d make after I felt I’d become a gamer, but the list was starting to get huge, so I put all the games I’d played so far into one post, and decided to turn it into a monthly thing.
At the start of August, I continued to make games analysis post, and then there was a sudden and mysterious pause in my updates. There are reasons for this.
August was the month of The Hike, which was the big-ass event that drove the entire year for some of my friends. We had made plans on New Year’s Day to hike a mountain that summer as a group, with all of my friends involved. It was to be a big, manly journey, and in many ways the send-off to our youth. It was a few weeks before everyone’s best friend Marcus was going off to Army basic training, and would be the last time we all got to do something really big together before we started lives as adults.
My dad, myself, each of my younger brothers, and five of our best friends (yes, the same number of people as the Fellowship of the Ring), made a six-hour drive into the Appalachians to climb the highest mountain in Virginia. In preparation for the trip, Dang-san, my best friend who weighed over 300 pounds at the start of the year and couldn’t even walk a mile without taking a rest, had shed over 100 pounds and become a giant ball of muscle by the time of the trip. I was the only one who was out of shape, but I still made the incredibly difficult journey, enduring the greatest physical pain I’ve yet experienced.
The whole adventure was a pretty landmark moment in our lives, especially as friends. Marcus went off to basic not long afterwards. Our friend Mike has mysteriously not been around since Marcus’ going away party (but this is expected of Mike). I actually went and got myself a job, after more than a year of loafing around the house. A lot changed.
So anyways, after the hike, I probably slept for like a week and also started setting into motion to start doing something with my life besides blogging. I wrote some fairly random posts, some of which actually had to do with anime, and concluded with the first all-media journal of the year. I hadn’t played as many games in August, and had all kinds of other stuff I wanted to talk about, so the Media Journal became a permanent fixture.
In September, the blog continued to be relatively slow, and was entirely video game focused. The month was primarily characterized by two things: Mass Effect, and me getting a job. The Mass Effect franchise quickly became one of my alltime favorites, and the result of playing through it became my obsession with doing a movie-length analysis of the franchise, which continues to drive me on my course toward games analysis as a possible means of income. My September media journal was absolutely gigantic.
October was a month of lots of work and trying to acclimate to doing work all the time. My posts were a little more random, though in the background I was starting to play around with my new recording equipment bought with my first checks. Brandon Tolentino and I recorded some pretty good albums, and I made a bunch of music videos for them. But the biggest thing to happen in October was ghostlightning closing his blog.
November was where shit finally kicked into gear, riding into my current existence with an interesting sort of formulaic rhythm. Brandon and I started doing podcasts on a weekly basis, which have provided an outlet for all kinds of things I’d probably never get around to writing about on the site. Also, season three of My Little Pony began right in the middle of an otherwise hectic work week and rekindled my desire to blog the show episodically.
After writing a slew of episodic posts throughout the month, I turned one of them into a video, and decided I should do the entire show in video form. And that’s when shit. Got. Real. My Digibrony channel became the most successful thing I’ve ever done over the course of December, with the channel accruing 500 subscribers, 15,000 views, and hundreds of actually good(!) comments over the course of the month. Making the pot that much sweeter was the regular readership of Misfortune-Dogged, whose incredibly long and thought-out comments are the kind I’ve always dreamed of getting, especially on posts like the ones I’m doing.
December saw the continuation of the podcasts and the pony videos, as well as the start of Gamecube Chats, which ate up the first two weeks of the month. The fate of Gamecube Chats is in the air right now, because the series hasn’t seen any success, and when Marcus came back from basic training, he completely ate up everyone’s time and attention, so no one ended up making any new videos. I started to really second-guess the series as the month went along. Meanwhile, I also launched a second podcast with Brandon Tolentino, which is the very-fun Disneycast.
Altogether, 2012 was a fun year and a massive turning point for me, both as a fan and as a person. I’ve lost a little weight, gained a lot of money, and am starting to do great things. I spent a large part of this year claiming that I was “on the cusp” of something truly great, and I’ve never believed it more strongly than I do now. I want to lose myself in what I’m doing and strive to make as much amazing content as possible, and within the next few months, I want to be at the start of a new career in analysis.
That’s my only resolution for 2013. Make my career actually begin. That it’s the least crazy-sounding resolution I’ve ever made is less a testament to my calming down, and more a testament to my warming up.