Blind and mostly-blind speculation eats poo, right? I haven’t seen a season preview in six months. I’d be doubting that they were still around if I didn’t remember that the blogosphere generally thinks they’re a good idea for some reason.
I always open my season previews by badmouthing season previews, then doing one anyway. I’ve been doing them for exactly five years now, starting with Fall 2007, back when I didn’t know SHIT, and my post was as worthless as the next asshole’s.
Now it’s different. Not to sound (too) pretentious, but I think I bring a little more to the table with my season previews. Not because I have magical clairvoyance and can predict if a show is good or not, but because I can bust open the speculation doors with staff analysis and raise the stakes on hype to drive you mad, wondering if the show will live up to the reputation of its creators, or flop hard.
That’s the thing with predictions. They’re never more than the tiniest bit certain. Every creator has their shitty shows (sometimes shitty decades). No matter how much of a dream team you get working with an A+ studio, you never know when they’re gonna crank out a no-try cash-in. Who could possibly have thought that after Samurai Champloo, Ergo Proxy, Michiko e Hatchin, and even The World God Only Knows, Manglobe was going to crank out fucking Deadman Wonderland and Mashiro-iro Symphony, while working on a Hayate movie? No one. No one at all.
All I can do is tell you what the staff has done before, and evoke a picture of the possibilities. I can build a hype wave that can mercilessly crash on your expectations, like Ao no Exorcist or Yozakura Quartet of Gunslinger Girl S2, or I can understate the potential of a show that turns out to be fucking awesome.
Whatever happens… this is my preview.
Might’ve been more romantic if this came a month from now on the site’s fifth birthday, which is also two days before my blog debuts in the second aniblog tourney, but what can I do? I can’t pass up making a special 1000th post. 1000 posts! That’s a lot! This is including the 87 posts that I have set to private, though not including the 54 drafts. When I published my last post, WordPress told me, “this was your 999th post!” so as far as I’m concerned, it’s an unambiguous 1000th. At least the birthday and tourney should get pure content posts.
Figuring out how to run this blog is difficult. I’ve moved away from being an “anime blogger” at present, having spent more time in the past two months blogging My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and, on this site, writing as much about video games as I have about anime. What am I now? What I’ve always been: just a blogger, only now one who’s less focused on one specific subject.
In this post I’ll explore what I should do about my sites, what my dream is as a writer/blogger, my future in anime blogging, and why I want to be more than just an “anime fan.”
I had a dream: of escaping anime fandom
And I succeeded. You’ll remember that two months ago I stated the following: “…there’s an extent to which I think my anime fandom isn’t so much more massive than my other fandoms as it is more inescapable and easy to be a fan of.” I then successfully escaped anime fandom without even trying. I didn’t watch any anime for almost two months, and consequently didn’t read anything about anime (unless it was by otou-san or ghostlightning because I read their writing indiscriminately). Meanwhile, I stepped into My Little Pony fandom in a way as massive as I’ve ever stepped into anything in my life, if not more so.
I didn’t stop being an anime fan, but I stopped being, “Digibro the anime fan.” For a while you could’ve called me, “Digibrony the self-explanatory,” and there’d be no reason for debate since ponies had a totalizing effect on my life that even anime never achieved. I couldn’t have seen that coming, but I knew that things would even out at some point, and then I was wondering… will I just become an anime fan again? Will I be “Digibrony the anime fan?”
It’s too early to say, because I’ve only re-emerged heavily into other cultures for the past two weeks. However, I didn’t find myself getting hard back into anime as though I’d been unknowingly harshing for a fix (as I’ve done after breaks in the past). I thought I’d end up diving into a new season like I’d missed out on a bunch of shit, but I didn’t react much to the things I watched, and while I remembered love here and there (Zetman), I didn’t go crazy back into otaku mode. I imagine that the effect of Japanese sounding weird to me all of a sudden will go away soon and I’ll remember why I liked some of these seiyuu that right now I’m going uuuhhrrrggg about, but what I also see is a long-broadened horizon waiting to be walked. Right now, more than anime, and even more than ponies (because I’ve almost consumed everything pony that there is, so now it’s more keeping up with new shit), what has my attention is video games. Who knows where this could lead?
I have a dream: of establishing a personal canon
For years I’ve tried to perfect my favorites list. I’ve known forever that favorites lists are meant to evolve constantly, but now I understand that they key isn’t in a list per say; it’s in having a personal canon.
What is a personal canon as opposed to a favorite’s list? Here’s what four entries in my dream canon would look like, roughly sketched.
What makes this so different from a favorite’s list? Importantly, it’s mixed media, and more importantly, it can contain anything. This would be a literal canon of *everything that I care deeply about, period.* It would all culminate into something like this thing I’ve already started on, only minus all of the stuff outside the “favorite things” section.
My dream is for everything I do to tie into one central canon. I want one location that is a hub for absolutely everything: a singular website that is host to everything which I care about. This raises the all-important question:
Is that place here?
Even though working towards a total canon is my god-tier ultimate dream, it would hardly contain all of my writing about creative works. None of the posts I’ve written since coming off of my last hiatus, for instance, have a place in this canon. Yet, the posts within this canon certainly have a place here (after all, the whole site has been structured around perfecting it). But to what extent?
Video games and anime posts feel right at home here. My Little Pony and music posts don’t. This leads me to think of a separate central location for my canon which would link to posts on all of the separate sites that I use to talk about different things. I already have more than one central location of that sort, and while their purposes aren’t quite the same, they’ve all proved a cumbersome and unappealing system.
The problem is that I like this site the best, and I still have the hardest time reconciling what I want it to be against what I insist on making it. I’ve always said that this site was meant to be the ultimate hub of my output; yet, I have a site for pony posts, I have a site for personal posts, and I have sites for about nine hundred million other things (including, of all things, manga!).
The fear of integrating it all here is diminishing, however. For one thing, my readership is already more than well-established. For another, I never write a post expecting people to read or reply to it, and if I do, I go around publicizing the shit out of it. I’m not terribly concerned with netting new readers is my point, and I trust my readers won’t unfollow my blog just because it becomes varied. (If anything, it could have the positive consequences of 1. not forcing people who just like to read whatever I write to go all over the place, and 2. possibly interesting those people in new things through my writing).
The main post feed of the site isn’t even a thing of great importance. You come here, and there will be tabs, reading “music,” “games,” “anime,” etc., and you can damn well figure out what you’re looking for.
My Sword Is Unbelievably Dull has a long and storied history. At no point was it solely an anime blog. One of the first posts I did here was a review of the Halo 3 beta. I’ve talked more about myself than I have about anime, written about many different aspects of the subculture and surrounding cultures, and all the while deluded myself into thinking that this site was somehow focused. (Myself and probably no one else.)
Where does the site go from here?
It should be obvious: the answer is to condense all of my godfucking ridiculously innumerable blogs into two sites: the Digibro Canon (My Sword Is Unbelievably Dull), and the Digibro Creative Output Center (Modal Hsoul Productions). MSIUD becomes a center for many subjects, though, full-stop, it probably will mostly consist of anime and ponies (and possibly video games if the trend continues).
But what of the community? The people who want to read shit about anime, so they come here, and I go read their blogs or whatever? Look, I’m done watching and blogging current shows beyond the occasional impressions/analysis. I’ve been done reading anime blogs outside of the <10 I subscribe to for a long time. I’m done with the idea that I’m writing for anyone but myself and those who care to take a peek. If anything, I think that the readers who really enjoy me will be happy to see me writing more meaningful articles like the ones I’ve put out maybe once a month in between all the other shit I’ve been crapping out these past seven months.
What can you expect?
– More of the same, since that’s never going away
– More of all the stuff you see listed in that canon image
– More pages
– A site once-over (the site will go down sometime in the next 48 hours and I’ll add shitloads of shit to it)
– More things that aren’t anime
In other words, expect what this site has, at heart, always wanted to be. (animekritik.wordpress.com).
And here’s why I’m bothering to declare such a thing:
My Little Pony fandom has altered the way I think just a bit. It makes me feel like taking a more friendly voice and outlook in general. I’ve always been bright and optimistic, but I also have refused to reign myself in and act like I’ve got some class. Something about MLP just makes me want to speak with a little more… I dunno, likeableness. People respond really well to that stuff (see: why 2DT and ghostlightning are so loved by their readers) and maybe I just want to try a little harder to put smiles on peoples’ faces.
But here’s the weird thing: I’ve been acting like that… in the MLP fandom. My posts on the Rainbow Dash Network or my blog Digibrony have avoided the sort of… fucking idiocy that happens on my twitter account. Of course the obvious reason for this is that these people don’t know me, so I’m getting a chance for a fresh first impression. Meanwhile, however, the people on twitter and my blog already know who I am.
This is no excuse to not take on my new attitude here as well. The trouble is that instead, it seems like I’m just piling all of those dumb and negative-sounding thoughts into my old hangouts. Like I’m going “here’s a snarky or cynical or stupid thought, let’s post it on twitter because who gives a shit.”
I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore I’m really tired. Anyway I want to put myself on hiatus before, in my lack of caring, I start making really stupid, worthless, and snarky posts.
Appropriately titled I Hate Bee Train. If you like angry rants about terrible, terrible anime, this is a place to go. For those unaware of what Bee Train is, it’s the most terrible anime studio in history. Some of their worst shows include Madlax, Phantom, Avenger, and the bad segments of Halo Legends and Batman Gotham Knight, while some of their less-utterly-fucking-terrible shows include .hack//SIGN, El Cazador de la Bruja, Noir, and Murder Princess. (All of which are still bad.) I’ll be episodically blogging these shows and tearing them to shreds for sport.
So far, there’s only one post on the site (Fucking Madlax Episode 1), but if you want more rage over Bee Train, check out this post I did here a long time ago:
Here at the start of June I’m going to leave my rich-spoiled-American-white-boy life behind on a whirlwind adventure to the Philippines, wherein I’ll be staying with ghostlightning of We Remember Love for an entire month. This isn’t a “not blogging” notice—on the contrary, I’m sure I’ll do plenty of blogging, especially because ghostlightning and I are constant collaborators, and we can only do even more if we’re together in person. As a matter of fact, I’ve opened a new Tumblr, Digiboy’s Travel Diary, wherein I’ll be posting daily recounts of my adventures for anyone interested to follow (most especially my family).
This journey is going to mark an important turning point in my life. You see, ghostlightning has been a close and important mentor to me for the past three years, and I don’t even know where nor whom I’d be today were it not for his guidance. This trip was my dad’s suggestion since he felt—as did I—that I was stagnating as I fumbled my way through college, and that it was time for me to “get out of the house” for a while. Ghostlightning thought this was a brilliant idea—as did I—so it became a plan.
I’m considering this a sort of intensive Mountain Training. It’s my power-up arc; my Snake Road; my lessons from Pai Mei. This trip will require me to use everything I’ve learned and all the skills that I’ve acquired over the course of my life, and it will also teach me a whole new wealth of things. It’s all lead up to this journey, and maybe it’ll even be my Coming of Age tale. My bike ride to the Northernmost point of Japan; my Fight With A Bear. I’m going to be Taking A Level In Badass, and things will never be the same!
It might sound like I’m exaggerating, but really I’m not. This is seriously big because everything about it is new and I’ll have to knock down a lot of the walls I’ve been putting around myself. Not to mention ghosty has been laughing maniacally in the shadows as he plots sinister-sounding happenings for me, so I know there’s no way he’s going to let me slip into my comfort zone.
So, wish me luck. I hope you’ll see change in me through my writing.
I intended to do a flashy fourth anniversary post; I failed my first attempt, had an idea for another one, and then didn’t manage to finish it by the actual anniversary (May 14/15th), which I forgot was approaching until the 19th. But it feels wrong not to mention it at all, so here’s a mind-blowing summary of my thoughts on the site’s fourth birthday:
This August, I turn 20 years old.
This blog is now four years old.
I’ve been running this site for a fifth of my entire life.
[For the record, I can’t remember if this blog was made on the 14th (the day before the first post), or the 15th (the day of the first post), especially because the post was made early in the day. I’d know were it not for the fact that this isn’t the original site and only dates back to last November. Hence, the first image is the 14th and D-Boy’s b-day is the 15th.]