Thankful For Five Years of Blogging

Five years is a long time. It’s longer than any single project or occupation I’ve held in my lifetime. Thus, I am personally quite stunned at how this hobby, primarily expressed through this blog, has become the most stable and enduring thing in my life (since starting this in 2007, I’ve graduated high school, dropped out of college twice, and spent a year as a NEET, while working on countless projects that never saw the light of day).

But enough plagiarizing ghostlightning. Whereas he was able to establish clear, reachable goals to accomplish before ending his blog on the highest possible note (yes folks, it’s coming), I’ve only ever set crazy fantasy goals while writing gallons of shit that has nothing to do with them. My one consistent goal has been “the perfection of my favorites list,” which is the kind of goal that expands to forever.

I’ve divided myself a lot in terms of blogs, and rather pointlessly. It’s not a matter of me deciding that I didn’t like my blog to have this or that extra subject so much as assuming that my audience wouldn’t care about it; and thinking “if I make a site just about manga, then it can get its own audience.” But this never happens. The only distinction really worth making is between whether something is a blog post or a tumblr post—the difference being that tumblr posts aren’t about anything in particular.

A month ago I put out a mission statement for my blog, and I’m sticking to it. I’ve had some difficulty deciding what’s appropriate for my site, and struggle to come up with post ideas that aren’t insanely in-depth. I’m working on that.

The long and short of it is, I have no reason to imagine this site ever closing. I won’t stop writing, and I don’t see the point in creating a new site, not only because this one already has no clear mission, but because I don’t intend to have one on any other site I may create. It would just be My Sword Is Unbelievably Dull 5.55 with all the old posts gone. Which isn’t a terrible idea, but I don’t need to move to do that.

Now, to the thanksgiving proper:

I love all of my readers. Everyone who reads my blog, my tumblr, and even has the headfucking insanity to read my twitter, you’re the ones who give me faith in my ability to produce worthwhile content. You remind me that there’s plenty of room in this big-ass world for what I do. Special shout-out to Chii, my most favorite reader <3

Shout-outs to ghostlightning and otou-san, whom I love. It’s not that they read me and that I read them—it’s that they’re my friends. And that goes for a lot of you, like Schneider and thoughtcannon and 2DT, along with plenty of other people that I don’t talk to nearly as much as I could stand to.

And of course, a big shout-out to everyone in the anime community, from fansubbers, to bloggers, to people who make weird youtube videos. You’re the reason that watching anime by itself isn’t enough for me anymore.

The last year has been by far the deadest in my blog’s history (I “only” made 96 posts in the past year). I don’t know if that will change. I don’t know if I’ll write as many posts as I’d like to, or if I’ll ever figure out what I’m doing with my life. But I know I’ll be here.

As for why I’m copying ghostlightning’s third anniversary post: you’ll see in two days.

Haro Is Useful! (Also Hi, I’m A New Writer)

Hello, I’m Conrad’s (Digiho’s?) younger brother, Iconclasm (AKA Victor). I’m finally being forced to do posts for his blog because I actually keep up with current anime while he’s busy snorting pony crack and doing… whatever it is he actually does. I’m a big mecha dork and I generally end up enjoying any show I sit down and watch. I’m not totally sure what kind of posts I’ll be making, but I will try to make them not suck.

Continue reading

1000th Post: The Titles Keep Changing, But the Intent Is the Same

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).

Applying Baka-Raptor Ratings To My “Completed” List

The Baka-Raptor rating system is interesting because anyone can easily implement it. It does away with the most challenging elements of most rating systems by not requiring that shows be compared against one-another. Everything is determined by objective readings of one’s subjective experience with a series. It also looks like a lot of fun, so I’m using it.

I chose to interpret the question, “was the show strong all around?” as, “did the show never bore me?” This means I had to not only recognize the show as strong, but actively enjoy the whole of it. I did this to prevent shows that I like and respect as strong but don’t totally enjoy from getting a ++. I assume this is similar to how Baka-Raptor uses the question.

Continue reading

Inescapable Anime Fandom

I consider myself a man of broad tastes, though if you ask me what I’m into, I will invariably answer “anime.” Because clearly, I’m more into anime than anything else—I run an anime blog, not a music or film or game or book blog. Yet 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. This is caused by my social life, really.

Whereas I know a shitload of anime fans, a million sites and places where I can go to talk about whatever anime related subject I want, and easily locate fanworks, I can’t do that for anything else. I don’t know where to talk about movies or games or music, etc.

It’s not that those are hard to find, it’s that I’m picky. There are only a handful of anime-related sites I actually read and only a certain number of friends I have that are anime fans. But I love reading/talking to all of them, and they weren’t easy to find. I’ve been a member of the anime fan community for some ten years now. I’ve graduated up from being a forumite to being a blogger and social interactor to narrowing down my social circle into just people whom I like.

I can’t go and join some forum for some fandom, because I will hate it. I hate forums. I wouldn’t even want to go back to reading blogs, really. Because in the end, what I really like isn’t talking about anime so much as talking to people whom I like, and anime is just what I talk to them about… the consequence is making my fandom expand even more.

I’ve ended up limiting myself to discussing my other interests with anime fan friends who happen to share those interests. I can talk music and movies to otou-san to an extent. I have friends with whom I can talk video games. But I couldn’t do something like run a blog and have a readership from the ground level of those things. If I started, say, a My Little Pony blog right now, only my little brother would be reading it until I established a new readership, then spent years thinning it into people that I like.

All of this is why my side blogs never survive or thrive. There’s no reason my manga and music blogs coudln’t have been updated with as much frequency as this one, but it was never as fun because hardly anyone was reading them.

But maybe I’m about ready to undergo the process again. After all, I’m getting pretty bored with the anime fandom, and some of these fandoms are just dying to be expanded. (Just as likely, I’m too lazy to try.)

Go To A SOPAland!

There aren’t many things that I give a shit about enough to get riled up over. This is the rare time that I have.

I’ve protested SOPA, and I hope that you will too. Because, why not? You can only help yourself.

PROTEST HERE.

Sadly I can’t black out my site, so I’ll just repost this shit everywhere. Gotta reach *everyone.*

Pick the Next 5 Shows I Watch And I’ll Do Some Shit

I’m not feeling Winter 2012. I like Nichibro and Kill Me Baby, along with some 3-minute shows, but comedy just isn’t a genre that grabs me by the balls when it isn’t Gintama (much as Nichibro thinks it is). Symphogear and Lagrange are fun action and fanservice shows respectively, but I don’t give a damn really. “Another” just reminds me that PA Works is an offshoot from Bee Train. So that leaves me with Nisemonogatari which I may or may not watch weekly.

To make up for this season that I probably won’t keep up with anyway, I wanna watch some backlog shows. I have an assload of them taking up literally all of my harddrive space and I’m an indecisive fuck, so I want you guys to vote on them. I’ll watch the top 5 voted shows and I guess post on them or tweet about them or something. I probably won’t drop any of them since I actually planned to watch them already.

POLL CLOSED: I can’t figure out how to actually close a poll so here’s just the results at the time that I closed it.

Anyamaru Tantei Kiruminzoo 0.4%

Aria the Natural 4.45%

Astarotte no Omocha 3.64%

Crest of the Stars 6.07%

Darker Than Black Ryuusei no Gemini 5.26%

Eat-Man 0.81%

Figure 17 3.24%

Fushigiboshi no Futago-hime 0.81%

Great Teacher Onizuka 9.31%

Hayate no Gotoku 4.05%

Heartcatch Precure 3.24%

Hidamari Sketch x Hoshimittsu 2.43%

Hime-chan no Ribbon 0%

House of 5 Leaves 3.64%

Idolm@ster 5.67%

Idolm@ster Xenoglossia 1.62%

Index S2 4.05%

Key the Metal Idol 1.21%

Kodomo no Jikan 3.24%

Letter Bee Reverse 0.81%

Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha Strikers 3.24%

Mouryou no Hako 4.45%

Natsume Yuujinchou San 2.83%

Planetes 8.1%

Princess Tutu 6.48%

Star Driver 6.88%

Suite Precure 1.62%

Vampire Princess Miyu OVA 0.4%

Yu-Gi-Oh! 2.02%

 

Tempting though it is to follow Omo’s advice and watch Hime-chan no Ribbon just because it got no votes, I’ll just stick to the rules and watch the following: Great Teacher Onizuka, Planetes, Crest of the Stars, Princess Tutu, and Star Driver.

Celebrating Ten Years As An Anime Fan

I consider the beginning of my anime fandom to have occurred in late September 2001, a couple of weeks after Cowboy Bebop’s debut as the first show on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim block. At the time, I was still a Pokemon devotee, though unaware of the term “anime,” and an avid Nintendo fanboy. It’d been a couple of months since my eldest cousin, then in his late teens, showed Ninja Scroll to myself and my cousin Boyd when we were ten and fourteen years old, respectively, which got Boyd hooked instantly. The timing couldn’t have been better with not only Adult Swim debuting, but also the magazine Anime Invasion, the first volume of which Boyd gave to me months later after we’d officially become “anime fans” via Cowboy Bebop and Yu Yu Hakusho. I think the point where anime became more important to me than Nintendo was around when Inuyasha premiered on Adult Swim in August 2002 and Yu-Gi-Oh! started.

2001 Digital Boy

Continue reading