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Bateszi Anime Blog

Anime fans fornever

Thoughts on blogging; mass-market episodic anime blogging

Fear the snail's spiral, image from Uzumaki

I’m feelin’ kinda lost right now. Writers block, you might call it. Much as I want to say something exciting, profound or interesting, I’m basically runnin’ on empty, still searching for a tiny shred of inspiration. All through this week, I’ve intended to write something; anything. I want to be a more regular blogger, but I’ve never been able to stick to a schedule. The truth is that I’m not like the others, I can’t write all the time. You know, this anime blogging lark, it’s a good laugh, but its hard work too, like a responsibility burning a hole in my pocket. That’s not to say I hate doing this, on the contrary, I love it, but even still, I’d be lyin’ if I said I’d never considered jacking it in.

In between in this lull, I’ve found solace in writing news posts for my other website. No-one needs opinions in those, so it’s easy, I’m just documenting short and sweet moments in time, but it’s funny how my energy swings between the two, the swing of the pendulum always favouring one over the other. I suppose right now, I’m just bored of (my) opinions; may be it’s the icy season, or the sudden dawning of a new year, but inside, it’s like I’m struggling to engage my enthusiasm for anime.

This is all just a long winded way of saying “right now, I don’t have much to say”. Of course, I’m having fun watching the likes of Kaiji and Ghost Hound, but to write anymore than that would be a waste of time, and generally, I think it’s pointless talking about anime that’s already being adequately covered elsewhere. This is something that I’ve never really grasped about episodic anime blogs too, because so many of them copy the same formula of mini screen-caps, boring plot synopsis and a couple paragraphs of tacked-on opinion. Inevitably, most of them are saying the same things, all written within hours of each other and titled “Clannad 14” or whatever.

Lemmings? Not really, it’s just the different ways people approach blogging anime (and, I suppose, TV in general). I like recommending anime, telling people when something is worth watching; it’s taken me nearly two years to understand that about myself and this site, but I can only say “this is good” so many times. Much like web forums, episodic blogs are more about in-depth commentary and discussion; simultaneously, they attract hardcore fans, but alienate those like me, people looking for broader and opinionated reviews that draw on more than a measly 20 minutes worth of stilted animation. Episode reviews are great from a fans perspective, but they sure make the anime blogging community insular and inaccessible to outsiders. May be they are better off being discarded as things of the past and placed where they belong, on series-specific forums, instead?

What this comes down to is how we perceive blogging. I’ve always treated it like writing a public diary or journal, if I’m passionate about something, I’ll write about it, if not, I won’t, but I get a different feeling from a lot of episodic anime blogs. Come hell or high water, it’s like they have to write about every episode because their readers demand that ‘service’ in doing so, and don’t forget, you have to post it as fast as possible or you’ll likely lose a dozen of those superficial one-line comments, hence a raft of “Clannad 14” all within hours of each other. Is that even blogging?

All of this, it’s not intended as a jab at anyone; it’s aimed at this community as a whole. If you’re having fun writing your identikit couple of paragraphs every week or two, that’s perfectly cool with me, I just think it’s lazy and decadent and right now, I’m just waiting for all those rip-off spring ’08 previews to roll-around. You know, the ones with the little thumbnails, synopsis, urls etc. They are all the same too, but we’re going around in circles and I’ve been reading the creepy Uzumaki lately.

Comments

Koji Oe says:

OH NOES ANOTHER THE COMMUNITY SUCKS POST!

Jokes aside, you make some good points. Personally, I believe it comes down to two things. You write what you like writing about, and then grow to perfect that way of writing.

Ivy says:

Wow haven’t heard from you in a while. Yup, thats a slump. You’ll get over it though spring seems to be stacked with very positive shows. Oh and I think you should give Persona and Shigofumi a go they’re both so watchable relatively speaking of course. Regarding the whole idea of Blogs posting summaries and such I think in time its turned into an obligation/service meaning in a way for those blogs that have been doing it for a while they seem to enjoy it and look at it as a part of their daily routine. Nothing wrong with that. Its just that as we’ve been seeing recently if someone reaches that point where they’re fed up with it all they can just pack up their bags and leave. Nothing wrong with that either, so ya I’m guessing its a “We’re doing this because we like it and we’ll stop whenever we think its the time to stop” kind of thing. Wow it feels as if I’ve lost the whole point of the post lol…all in all as long as you throw at us your usual random opinions on the shows your watching its all good. Oh! The idea of not posting because someone got there before you is kind of stale. I mean personally I love looking at a personal blogs thats opinionated. Those blogs have a certain flair thats just so attractive. Anyways Work hard hehe

Martin says:

I must admit that unless it’s a blog I regularly read, the only time I find time for episodic blog entries is when I’m checking details like names when writing a post of my own that’s about the same show. The rest of the time I prefer to read editorial-orientated stuff…it’s strange to think that the blogosphere is still divided along the line between editorials and episode summaries because for me at least the most rewarding posts lie between the two extremes (or at the very least, a mixture of the two).

Every now and then I get tired of episodic posts as well – writing about them in three-episode blocks gives more to write about but often I try to break the routine with a fully series review or OST-related article that’s different from what most other people are doing at the time. Editorials are the most fun of all but inspiration beyond meta-blogging is often thin on the ground. Every blog has its own approach but the best thing to do is to avoid sticking to the same format.

robotact says:

Good blogs have a high signal-to-noise ratio. You can accumulate many such blogs in your reader. Quality blogs don’t waste your time, even if posts come out once in a quarter. Regular blogging doesn’t have any benefits in itself, because most of the readers are subscribers anyway, and there is no point in unsubscribing if blog isn’t updated for some time, it doesn’t make any difference. So strive for quality, not quantity. One certainly can’t say something worth reading for each and every episode.

Anime blog can educate a reader about state of the field, its history, major schools, trends, achievements, and keep him up to date with current series. It saves a reader research effort in understanding a topic he’s interested in, provides guidance in choosing what to see to his liking without stumbling in the dark.

IKnight says:

Now I always thought good episodic blogging must be harder than editorial writing. I certainly wouldn’t be able to come up with something interesting, entertaining and constructive about a new episode of the same anime absolutely every week. Bad episodic anime blogging is probably an unimaginative business, though. Summaries are mind-numbing.

One format for episodic writing which I like is where the blogger draws together various series into one post (‘This Week I Watched’), but this seems surprisingly rare.

When I can’t think of anything to write, I either read editorial content which I disagree with, or watch something manifestly rubbish and force myself to come up with something clever to say about it. But I haven’t been going about this for very long, so I’m still probably in the stage where there’s lots to say.

And (ashamed as I am to admit it) I’m considering some more episodic (though sans summary) entries when this spring’s mechapocalypse arrives.

bateszi says:

@Koji Oe: It’s not really a “community sucks” post, there’s no hidden agenda, I’m just trying to come up with some logical criticism of the way things go in this community, though I definitely agree that with every day that passes, you develop your own style of writing. I started out being a really episodic anime blogger too, but at some point, I stopped doing it.

@Ivy: I’m not necessarily stopping myself from writing about something because others have already done it, it’s more a case of not wanting to repeat the same things. I’d write something about Kaiji but it’s already being superbly covered at Epic Win, while Hige wrote some fine reviews of Ghost Hound. Also, I’m wondering whether or not blogging as a “service” to your readers is really blogging at all? Sounds more like a job to me.

@Martin: I definitely feel that many of the best posts seem to mix episodic content with editorial/personal comments. Having been writing DVD reviews for so long, I’ve grown to loathe straight up, dry writing and unfortunately, episodic blogging tends to fall victim to this particular curse. You know its great when you can read an episodic blog and love it, despite often having no real intention of watching that reviewed anime in the first place.

@robotact: I can only agree, thanks for posting a great, inspirational comment right there.

@IKnight: Oh, for sure good episodic blogging is hard work; I’d cite Derailed by Darry (aka AoMM), Sea Slugs! and Epic Win as great examples of good episodic blogging, but it’s clear those guys always seem to devote a lot of time and energy to their craft rather than just going through the motions in order to say something quick and fast. I just think it’s a massive waste of potential when you look at Anime Nano, and there’s all these different individuals using the same post titles and saying the same things; it sucks if I can’t read your blog because what you’re saying is so disconnected…

Outlawstar says:

Youd be the first to say not to write unless its something you want to write about or feel passionatly about, just wait, dont try to force it, wait…and it will come.
And if you feel its time to move on, do so.
Personally I really enjoy your blog entries, apart from the fact that your posts are all excellently written(not essential in a blog Im sure but it sure makes you wanna read it more) its clear there from a real anime fan, your.

Maybe you should consider a little break from anime, chill out, watch a movie or two(just recently saw Manchrian Candidate and Shawshank, if you havint seen them you really should).

Anyway, sorry for rambling, good luck with it.

Back before I started my own “anime blog”, I had just finished watching Petite Princess Yucie, and wanted to see what other people thought about it. I saw some reviews of the early episodes, but not much else. Then I came across a sort-of-blog where someone posted their thoughts on the series episode-by-episode. Since the most recent post appeared first, I read every one of the pieces from episode 26 to episode 1. There were no episode summaries, I don’t think, just raw thoughts and opinions. I enjoyed reading this very much.

I actually did have something I was getting ready to put online, which would be series reviews. But after enjoying the episode-by-episode thoughts, I decided to try that out for myself. I’d be writing something like what I enjoy reading, and it will keep me writing, and hopefully I’d improve. I didn’t know about other anime blogs as they cover the latest Japanese series, and generally don’t touch the older and licensed ones, which are what I watch.

At one point, I came across something about how bad an upcoming series called “Lucky Star” would be, and that led to a whole lot of anime blogs about how bad the series would be, then a whole lot more about how perfect it would be. Suddenly I was able to find a bazillion anime blogs by doing Google searches on the names of these “recent” anime series from Japan.

What I noticed about almost every one I found was the format listed here: screenshots, episode summary, and a short paragraph or two of thoughts.

I understand the reasons for putting in the episode summary, but for me, I wanted to read thoughts on series I had seen, not summaries and thoughts on series I hadn’t seen. And if I had seen, or was watching, the series, I wouldn’t need episode summaries.

For my own postings, I don’t bother with episode summaries. Rather, they stand as an archive of what I thought of each episode as I watched through a series. Add in episode titles and screenshots, and I can easily locate an episode if I need to reference it for some reason. This is one reason I “don’t skip episodes” in my posts.

I’m hoping to write series previews/reviews more as I complete series, but I often read previews/reviews for other series (not necessarily anime), and end up not being able to write something anywhere near as good. It’s a wave of inspiration followed by a tsunami of deflation…

My questions on the post of topic would be: 1) If someone were to try moving away from the episode summary format, but isn’t Jeff Lawson, what would you propose? If someone can’t go all out with editorials, would the suggestion be to cut back on blogging? I’m trying not to put that to an extreme, but if I did it would be asking 99.9% of bloggers to stop blogging until they can come up with something worthwhile =P

My own suggestion to bloggers trying to branch out would be this: Install something so you can see what people are searching for when they find your blog via Google, Yahoo!, MSN Live, etc. Look at what they searched for and what page they landed upon. Ask yourself, “Did they find what they’re looking for?” If not, ask yourself, “Are they looking for something anime related, something one can find on a blog?” If so, ask yourself, “Why am I not writing a post to fullfill what people are looking for?” I get so many people landing on my hanbok piece that I really need to update it and clean it up, putting even more research and information into it. Everyone reaching that page via a search engine is looking for hanbok information, not anime information, but that doesn’t mean I can’t provide both.

[…] wrote in comment: Back before I started my own “anime blog”, I had just finished watching Petite […]

berkles says:

I’m still pretty new at the whole blogging thing, sure i’ve read blogs about anime for a while, but never tried to posting in my own till recently

I suppose i’m just not as jaded as you are about the community yet, but i can see what you mean about people just summarizing and screenshotting. I’m tempted to do that all the time, but then where would the philosophy schtick come in?

also i laughed at the url for this post-

thoughts-on-blogging-mass-market-episodic-anime-blogging

makes me want to write a post with the word blog three or more times just to out-do you

usagijen says:

What a coincidence it is that I just wrote a similar post not so long ago, and decided to pimp some Spring ’08 animes instead because of a “Winter’s Block” I currently have. I do not want to write episodic posts, unless I’m really passionate about a certain series, which is most likely why KimiKiss is the only series I’m faithfully blogging now. I’m actually surprised how I’m able to babble so much for this show, to the point of taking things too seriously at times.

I’ve grown tired of doing summary posts, because in the end, you’ll be remembered most by the thoughts and insights you provide (episodic or not).

I’d have to admit, I sometimes do these random not-so-worthwhile posts, but they are enjoyable, especially if it’s really made to have a LOL effect xD

@Christopher Fritz: from what I’ve seen in other blogs, it’s actually not a good suggestion to pressure yourself to conform to what your readers want. It’s good to fulfill what your readers want, but in the end, it boils down to writing what you’re passionate about. The readership will only come as a second priority.

Hige says:

While guilty of doing it myself, it’s a rare occasion that I read episode blog entries of others. There needs to be two conditions met before I even consider: 1) It’s on a show that warrants focused attention, and 2) I know the blogger will be more editorial than descriptive. Or at least, very funny.

Otherwise, I agree with your criticisms entirely. I honestly don’t see the point of these kinds of post when people are perfectly capable of, y’know, watching the show themselves.

I wouldn’t Zetsubou Sensei about posting, though. Most people are happy with waiting if they can rely on quality, as with yourself, so take a break and wait for inspiration.

Highfives for Junji Ito manga. I’m reading Gyo and it’s upsetting me in the best possible way. :D

bateszi says:

@Outlawstar: Thanks for the advice and the nice compliments, it’s not really that I’m feeling especially burnt out or anything like that, I’m just hitting a bit of a brick wall as to where to go next with all this stuff without wanting to repeat myself or others.

@Christopher Fritz: Wow, a long comment! :) As for where to go next, I just think people (especially the relatively new ones) need to treat their blogs as just that, personal blogs; I love reading the introspective, personal posts that almost “bleed” into the anime being discussed/reviewed – basically, there is no need to stick to such a strict formula of anime blogging simply because it’s the most popular/used style.

As for your final paragraph, I tend to disagree with the notion you should be bending over backwards to accommodate your readers. For example, once I’ve published a post and it’s over a day old, I’ll never go back and correct any outstanding spelling or update it because I treat this blog and every article like a individual moment in time; I’m not providing a “service” by writing this, it’s just my thoughts and feelings at that specific period of my life, whether 1 person or 10 more want to read it or leave a comment should be largely irrelevant. If you’re going to write a purely objective article on something like “hanbok”, is that blogging? After all, if you’re just trying to present some useful information, your blog becomes less about you and more about being a “resource” or a “service” for your visitors.

@berkles: Everyone develops their own styles eventually, I suppose I’m trying to get people to, sooner rather than later, question their motives for blogging and asking whether or not they just want to be another brick in the wall?

@usagijen: I actually read your spring ‘08 preview; one of the first things I’ve been able to read at ‘Scrumptious’, simply because you guys (or in this case, girls) almost exclusively post in-depth episode reviews of series I’m never watching. Of course, I’d definitely love to see you write more editorial/random content, or maybe review anime from a broader perspective. But whatever, at the end of the day, it’s all about having fun; as long as you enjoy what you write, stick with it.

@Hige: Gyo! is good, but I’m loving Uzumaki even more because it isn’t as kitch/corny. Incidentally, have you read The Enigma of Amigara Fault yet? It’s included as a short-story at the end of Gyo! and damn, it’s very weird and unsettling.

And thanks for advice. I’ve actually started carrying a notepad around with me to quickly jot down fragments of ideas/thoughts that could lead to some interesting posts in the future, anime related or not. We’ll see what comes from all this, I guess.

usagijen: I do agree with you 100% to focus on what you want to write rather than what readers want or what you think readers want. However, if you’re looking for inspiration to write, and can’t come up with anything, seeing what people searched for to reach your pages can give a jump start for new content. I haven’t actually posted anything I wrote after seeing numerous related searches land people on my site, although I have started a few things. That goes directly in line with your saying to write what I want to write, rather than what visitors are after (or else I might have had something completed and posted from it!), but I think it has potential as a starting place when one has no other ideas. If you’re completely out of ideas 100%, writing about what visitors want isn’t exactly going to solve the underlying problem.

bateszi: I didn’t mean “bending over backwards” for ones readers, but it seems that’s how I came off as sounding =P I intended the comment as more of a starting point for something to write when one has no other ideas, but at the same time you can’t use it as a crutch when you’ve exhausted your own ideas completely. I’m thinking of it more as a supplement. “I’ve been blogging about Petite Princess, and somehow hit my post on the beach episode asking what the watermelon scene was about. I know a lot of anime fans are familiar with this scene, and I know a bit about the watermelon thing, so I’ll write up a nice, detailed post on it. I can add related screenshots from various series I’ve seen this kind of scene in, and I can do research on watermelon-splitting, talk about the price of melons in Japan, etc.” This isn’t simply caving in to the demands of ones visitors. It’s taking what they’re looking for as a starting place, and making useful content which can be useful to yourself for later reference, for your regular readers (as they’ll know you’re the one who had a post on this), and for newcomers who want to know what’s up with that watermelon!

I do agree with you and usagijen as the two of you worded your replies. You say you don’t go back and improve any posts, but I do just the opposite. If I’m re-reading an older post of mine–if I can’t enjoy reading something for the fourth time, how can I expect someone to read it even once?–and I find a typo or something which didn’t make sense, I’ll go back and correct it. And if it’s a post on watermelons (which I haven’t written), I might go back and revise it later on, adding more to it. If it’s commentary on, say, who I think Blue Butterfly is in Janggeum’s Dream, then I later find out who Blue Butterfly really is, I’m not going to go back and revise my prior writings. These writings are my thoughts, my moments in time. If it’s instead an article meant to be informative or thought-proviking rather than entertainment, I’ll revise it from time to time as I see fit. But this is just me. Everyone’s different and everyone has their own way of doing things ;)

As for not providing a “service”, I know how that is. I once had a Pokemon web site which became fairly popular as small sites go, and it aggravated people soooo much that my outlook on it was, “This is my site for me to write things. If there are errors or mistakes, or if things are incomplete, or don’t give the right information, or lack what you’re looking for, my apologies. This is just a tiny fansite.”

About writing a resource article, I’d argue that it is blogging if you define blogging loosely. It’s me writing about something that interest me. It required mean reading and learning more about something I wanted to learn more about. In turn, I put together what I learn about something which interested me so I can refer back to it, but also it stands as something which may inform others interested in it. In the end, this is my style. You’d argue this is better than writing episode summaries, no? ;)

Man, that last paragraph of my prior comment really killed it for me! Here’s hoping I explained my view a little more, and anyone with an opposing view at least understands I don’t mean it to the extreme, and can say, “Yeah, I see where that could be one starting point for posts, when used in moderation.” Maybe.

Equitan says:

To be honest I’ve never seen why much of an interest developed in anime blogging given 9 / 10 blogs ARE just episode recaps. Unfortunately I tend to find that of the remaining 10% that attempt to do something different half of such blogs go to the other extreme and take things a little too seriously.

I remember a link you posted here that went to a blog with an examination of Darker Than Black that I considered the most pretentious piece of writing on anime I had read in a long time. I mean, whatever floats your boat, but still….

This is the only blog I read because I think you do a very good job of treading the line between providing incisive commentary on series while also remaining a fan and admiting that a good Naruto fight is on a level with the more sophisticated works. If you updated less it would be a shame but I’ll always take quality over quantity. I think you do a great job here.

Martin says:

@Bateszi: episodic reviews and DVD volume reviews share many of the same shortcomings – I’ll be experimenting with a ‘looser’ and more thematic way of posting in the coming weeks to see if that approach feels less constrictive.

@Christopher Fritz: with those in-depth comments in mind, your blog is going onto my feedreader!

@Hige: Ah, Gyo…fish with legs FTW! I’m falling in love with Ito’s art and storytelling style so I’m eagerly awaiting my volume #2 to land on my doormat; at which point I’ll probably start reading Uzumaki too.

@Equitan: as a self confessed over-serious blogger, I see this as part of what makes the anime blogosphere such an enjoyable place to visit: a large proportion of blogs are, for better or for worse, written with honesty and conviction. Sure, I often wonder “am I being too in-depth here?” just as Bateszi and others question their own approaches and so on but it’s all about the personal touch and saying what you think. Whether your writing is pretentious, sporadic or lacking in accurate spelling, it’s representative of who you are and how you feel – although like you, I’m still not too enthusiastic with recap efforts (getting screencaps strangely feels like more of a chore than writing for me) and wish there was more comment and analysis – I still have more incentive to post comments on articles like this rather than a ‘series X, episode Y’ post.

Likewise, Martin, a quite look at your postings shows a level I’d like to attain one day. Right now a lot of my own site postings are a mix between earlier writings (from last year) and current ones, as schedule all my posts. This means I’ll have a fresh stream of posts for many months into the future, even if I take a break from anime for other things. I admit that that’s leaning way over toward quantity over quality, but by writing so much I’ve steadily improved over time, and hope to keep improving. For me, quantity is a path to quality. I hope =P

Even though you’re writting about series I haven’t seen, and probably won’t see, I’ll be following your feed as well. Sometimes I simply like to bask in the glow of writers better than myself (that is to say, writers whose writing looks less like how mine is and more like how I want mine to be) in hope that some of it rubs off of me. After all, any fiction writer will tell you one of the best ways to improve your fiction writing is to keep up your fiction reading.

At least with comments on others blogs, I seem to attain content and quality over quick and quantity. Now to apply this to my blog…

KT Kore says:

I’ve yet to fall into the widening category of episodic blogging hate, mainly because it’s still my preferred method of choice. However, there are certain types of episodic blogging that I don’t enjoy, and it seems to be the type that’s most prevalent in the community, that type being what’s mostly being discussed here — the long, involved summary followed by a short opinion paragraph. Two years ago when I first started my blog I followed the same formula, and I have no idea what the fuck I was thinking. What is the point of an episode summary? Well, that’s why I quickly changed my format to be rid of any form of summarizing and to include, what I thought to be, in-depth opinions on as many points of an episode as I could. I found I enjoyed doing that much more, and at the same time I would reckon it gives people much more incentive to read, based on the fact that I, myself, always skip right to the opinion part of anyone’s posts that I read. One of my favorite things about episodic blogging is seeing how peoples’ thoughts on a series evolve as the show goes on and finally reaches its finale. I also enjoy going back and reading my own thoughts on a series long after I had finished it.

Even though I enjoy doing it myself, I think I may still dispose of, at least in large part, my episodic blogging ways (which has already died down quite a bit even when I wasn’t on one of my forever-long hiatuses over the past year). Mainly because I don’t see myself posting as often as I once did, because I don’t follow newer anime as instantly as I did in the past, and because I’ve gone back to enjoying anime without writing about every single episode. As such, I feel my style might evolve yet again, this time to reviewing the whole of a series, any such random episode of anything I may be watching, or just whatever else may be on my mind that I feel like sharing or hopefully discussing. This will clearly make my blogging world wider while taking away that “I need to write about every single thing I’m writing” feeling, which had honestly grown old after a while.

So even though I may be changing for the most part, I still don’t mind episodic blogging when it’s done “right.” In the end, I don’t even have much interest in the series most episodic bloggers choose to cover, so I won’t be reading their posts anyway. lol

Wow… a lot of people wrote a lot of good stuff before I read this.

But all of that said, iknight actually reminded me of something a j-professor once said about sports reporting. Basically, the bad stuff is horrible and when it’s good it can be better than actual news reporting. I think episode blogging is the same way. Except usually I don’t really care.

That said, I’m kind of new to reading the blog. But judging from what everyone else has said, I’d say, you have your reader base. And that’s what’s important. I’d say, you’re writing to impress them And as long as they aren’t howling for you to post something now, I’d think your okay :)

But that’s just me.

bateszi says:

Epic comment ahead, approach with caution. Do you think I’m mad enough to resolve to reply to everyone who comments on here?

@Christopher Fritz: I wouldn’t say the last paragraph of your first comment “killed it” for you, but it perhaps revealed an interesting method of finding inspiration to write.

Personally, I’m anxious to avoid tailoring my writing to pander to visitors precisely because I’ll inevitably find myself writing about things I really couldn’t care less about; looking back over my archives, I actually blogged 16 posts in October 2006 and even worse, a mad 30 posts in May 2006. Back then, most of them were random episodic posts and I was certainly writing to attract regular readership, but it was all so scatter-shot and random that I never really had an identity. I’d say you definitely improve by writing all the time, but I probably learnt more from taking a step back, refining my ideas and trying to reflect more of my personality in my writing. I suppose it’s all about finding a unique voice and having confidence, and like you, I probably built mine up by going mad and posting tons and tons every month :)

@Equitan: Thanks for the nice comments, and I agree that many anime fans are prone to pretension and hyperbole, though I suppose how we feel about these things is influenced by our opinions on the anime in question. There’s simply no way I’d consider “Darker Than Black” anything more than ‘good’, and anyone who does has ‘questionable taste’, but it works the other way too (apparently there are people out there who hate Naruto, the damn fools), so one man’s pretensious dribble is another’s compelling scribe.

Also, I have no intentions of updating less, rather I’m simply lamenting that I can’t update more than a stupid 6 times a month. If only we could do this for a living, right? :)

@Martin: Your style is naturally developing that way now anyway, as I said on one of your past articles, I think your writing for blogs took a real leap in 2007; not necessarily in terms of technical prowess (which has always been excellent), but you seem to infusing your writing now with a personal style of humor and wit that’s engaging and piercing the heavens etc.

@KTKore: I do think when you find yourself not writing so much (or at least, in the immediate aftermath of an episode), the ideas and the concepts of what you’d like to blog about are naturally refined as you ponder and deconstruct your thoughts again and again. These days, I probably spend at least an hour, while doing other things, just thinking about what I’m going to say even before I’ve written a word. Sometimes, almost an entire day is consumed by thinking and writing about something stupid like “why usopp is so cool”, at which point I wonder why I’m thinking so much about “just a blog”!

@Cameron Probert: Thanks for dropping by, I’ve been reading your blog since you were added to AnimeNano (I always click through all the new additions to see if I can’t find some good new blogs). Obviously, you’re an editorial blogger and indeed, you aren’t much of a fansub watcher either, which definitely is something the anime blogging community is lacking right now; not being so connected to the fansub ‘scene’, you obviously have a unique perspective on what it means to be an anime blogger online. In truth, I’d say we need more people like you taking up the hobby :)

usagijen says:

@bateszi: It’s actually one of the great difficulties I face in blogging, not being able to review things in a broader perspective. I find this a bit ironical myself… I can’t seem to bring myself to say something constructive or insightful about a show unless I’m absorbed into it. But then the more I become absorbed into the anime, the less I am able to see things from a broader point of view.

I don’t think I’ve really taken anime seriously (doing analysis and all) until I started blogging, which probably explains this too. I think I need more experience, in terms of watching more animes [seriously], reading other blogs for inspiration and ideas in writing style, and… blogging itself :)

I’m also hoping to do more editorial and comprehensive reviews for other shows in the future. Take a step back from the routine of episodic reviews in light of a more in-depth broader analysis of the series.

dengar says:

The one benefit I see to personal episodic blogs is that it makes it easier for me to provide a foundation to recommend shows to friends. It’s difficult to remember everything that happens in multiple episodes of multiple series and much easier to write about series immediately after watching them while they are fresh in my mind.

Also I tend to treat blogs as one more stop on my perusing around the internet. In this light it matters less to me if every post is brilliant and more whether it provides some insight at certain times. After all it only takes me a couple of minutes to read paragraphs of blog (although much longer to write I’m sure :))

Of course my own limited adventure in episodic blogging lasted about a week. I found that it just required too much time to write consistently (although I did summaries every couple of episodes instead of every episode) and I did not feel that it was accomplishing its original purpose, making it easier for my friends to determine what to watch next.

Kim says:

I am coming into this a little late. Well I really enjoy your blog (as I think you should already know). I also enjoy some episode per episode blogs but I certainly don’t think every blog out there has to be like that. I think you have your own niche because we (the readers) never know what you are going to post about (a new series or an older series or something else). With episode per episode blogs I usually know what to expect from week to week. However, when I come to this blog the new post is always sort of a surprise and I really enjoy that.

lars says:

Episodic blogs help a lot on shows that require a bit more understanding and insight into each episode. The first anime blog that I regularly read was an episodic one, and I’ve always liked to read into that blog’s summary and thoughts, just to see if there’s anything that I may have missed or some new insights that I could never have thought had I not read that blog.

This I do most especially on shows that I like, scouring anime blogs in search of their own thoughts and insights. Forums like Animesuki also are good in these kinds of episodic discussions.

Impz says:

The thing about my own blog is that I decided long ago that I do not want to stick to one genre. I do not want to only do episodic summaries. I want to write humorous posts that will make people laugh. I do not only want to do editorials. I do not only want it to be a crucible of hatred, rants and complains. In a way, being human, I am greedy. I wanted everything in my blog.

Hence, without the true capability to do so, I decided to just have a team blog to compensate for my inability for humor, my inability to critically analyze and the absolute lack of anger to rant about issues.

My approach to anime blogging is simple: I share what I enjoy. I will be bullshitting and lying to say that I do not mind no one reading my posts and commenting. Of course I mind, and I can shamelessly admit that comments drive my motivation to blog more. However, find me a blogger who says “OH, I HATE COMMENTS, DON’T EVER COMMENT!”.

We all love attention (in the good way). I can empathize with drain out when it comes to episodic summaries because to be honest, it’s not easy. I always struggle to write consistently, and it can be a total chore too. X_X

TheBigN says:

In my case, my avoidance of episodic blogging is part circumstantial (not enough time to do so as a medical student) and part feeling that it doesn’t lend itself to what I want to say, even if it’s nothing. I feel like I’m the type of person who likes to explain things rather than keep them short and to the point, so editorials suit me better?

It just feels right to me, like Sora feels when drawing scenes on her Sketchbook. :P

[…] thinking a little on bateszi’s post, Thoughts on blogging; mass-market episodic anime blogging, I’ve decided to de-emphasis my episode commentary […]

[…] Bateszi: I like recommending anime, telling people when something is worth watching; it’s taken me nearly […]

[…] and Prosody: An Inappropriate Comparison [I’d like to title this ‘kaibitzin on bateszi on Episodic and Editorial’ because stealing a title format from Author would make me feel […]

Dogmeat says:

http://www.bingerama.uberotaku.com my friend is trying her hand at anime blogging. Though she does more general overviews and gives her funny opinions on it mixed with her WOW jargon. LOL.

[…] said, I think I understand the rationale behind strictly episode summary entries: the authors have something to […]

DrmChsr0 says:

Heya Norman bateszi.

I don’t want to turn watching animu into a tiring chore. That’s why I don’t do episodic summaries, and when I actually did, I pretty much made sure I didn’t include screencaps and… … …

Yeah. I’m crazy and I like to rile people.

IKnight says:

‘Welcome to pingback hell.’

bateszi says:

I blame Kabitzin, he’s thrown me into the lion’s den ;) Seriously though, even whilst writing this, I was preparing for such an onslaught (ala “Anime is dead“), I’m just surprised it’s taken this long, and of course, I’d be foolish not to expect a disagreement or two, given I’m criticizing the most popular style of anime blogging and all. Still, a part of me wants to turn off the lights and hide under my sheets; I’m freaking out seeing my name on all these different blogs.

Kim says:

Yeah this post really seemed to set something off. I guess it’s good that people are so passionate about their blogging. :)

Although I don’t think people should need to defend how they blog. If people like to blog by episode than they should stick with that. Just like you should stick to blogging editorials. There is an audience for both out there.

[…] bateszi has decided that the community sucks because everyone, their mother, their pet dog, lolcat and […]

Kabitzin says:

Hehe, it just means we love you and care about what you write! Agree to disagree, just like in Anchorman.

I wasn’t leveling an attack at you or anything, and in fact I do not say that episodic or editorial is the superior format. But oftentimes a blogger will write something along the lines of, “Episodic blogging is great, but it’s boring, hard to write, and actually really crappy.” There’s only so many backhanded compliments one can take!

For new bloggers especially, it’s important to understand that there are different styles/formats to try and each has strengths and weaknesses.

BTW situations like this make me appreciate pingbacks. There is also a way to separate them in your php code for a more natural discussion flow.

bateszi says:

@Kim: I agree with your general sentiment, though my overriding feeling is that the anime blogging community could be better and that the bloggers should be feeling more responsible for that. Of course, my idea of “better” may well be someone else’s nightmare, hence some horrified reactions else where, but if nothing else, I’m glad this has inspired fellow bloggers to reflect on and refine their stances. As you said, it’s clear that many people are passionate about their writing and as long as that’s the case, we’ll be fine.

@Kabitzin: I know, I’m not taking any of it personally, and seeing the discussion spread in such a way has been extremely flattering, though at first, I admit it was a little daunting trying to “fight fires” on about 5 different fronts. My next post is bound to be an anti-climax!

[…] do have is a new episode’s worth of content with which to develop whatever theories we have. And that is what episode summaries are for, darling. Even if my CLANNAD articles are not so much episode summaries as they are fail parody […]

[…] of writing about anime, Bateszi writes ABOUT anime. And sometimes about writing about anime. But it’s all thought provoking […]

[…] of episodic and editorial blogs. As its title may suggest, the interplay of thoughts is an ongoing, consistently occurring one. Various points have been made. Kabitzin succinctly puts his opinion as […]

[…] On episodic blogging, or rather the pressures of being an episodic animu blogger […]

Mcnamara says:

Showing some love to this topic “new to this wordpress”. I defiantly agree with it also. If you really think about it than it all makes alot of sense

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