Well, I have been thinking about this on and off since I started out blogging back in 2011. To think about this is something that has come to my attention in recent time. I recently was on break from working and went to spend time with my folks. One of the things I did was clean out the closet of my old bedroom, which is now a guest room. There were a few plastic containers with various papers and old stuff going back to grade school, mostly either going to the bin or to the Goodwill. I then came across an old notebook and flipping through, discovered that it was my old notes from reviews I did back in 2011. It made me realize something that I haven’t yet talked about my own perspective on blogging and where I come from in terms of just not blogging but the anime fandom.
Where I am Coming From: A Perspective on my Blogging Process
I got into anime formally back in 2003, but before that, I was into the big sweep of anime that came to America in the late 90s and early 00s. Pokemon, Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh and several others from that time permeate my early memories of anime. Of course, that was before I knew anime as anime, just knowing it as rather strange cartoons, more so than the USA cartoons I was watching. Part of the appeal I first had with anime was the fact that it was so much different with regards to the American/western cartoons. Heck, I remember playing Pokemon with homemade cards back in 4th grade as the anime came out before the card game was released in my area. Heh fun times, oh to be young.
But it was in High School, around 2003, that I had my first eureka moment when it came to anime. I met through a group that met weekly at a Media Player (lol remember those?) comrades of a similar persuasion along with a guy who shaped my entrance into anime. For the sake of privacy, I’ll call him D-Man. He was quite the influence on me in getting me into anime further. Of course, I sort of dived into it myself with shows like Read or Die, Fullmetal Alchemist and Neon Genesis Evangelion among others which I have covered in my blogging stint. That’s mainly because I believe one should necessarily be forced into anime but should be prompted by self-discovery. That’s why my reviews are so eclectic (hence the moniker I’ve used) as in the end it is down to you to find what you like. Granted my focus tends toward science fiction and fantasy stemming from my own interest in those literary genres.
So, I went to college, my parents’ alma mater out in Virginia. I also enrolled when I found out there was an anime club there. It was there that I got exposed to subbed anime (had watched dubs 100% before then, now do 55% dub/45% sub) and met some interesting people and had excellent times with them. I got to go to my first full convention (Nekocon, November 2007) which was quite the experience. I also gained my wry sense of humor as we would sometimes riff on the anime MST3K if it was something especially bad. It’s perfectly fine to do that, as long as you do it from a place of good intentions, and not just out of spite.
After finishing up college, I moved back home only to find myself back in school (technical school) and living with my parents as the economy was still cruddy in 2011. I was thinking about stuff to do in my spare time as I am a very solitary person with not that many friends. I then thought about doing a blog at first for my own amusement. So I got a free Blogspot blog started as I have a Google account. Of course, I began with writing down notes on paper with pen/pencil then writing it into the blog site, often with little in the way of editing/revision work. Of course, most of the early reviews were over old 90s anime that was obscure in part inspired by Bennett the Sage’s Anime Abandon series which started around that time.
But I found out early in 2012 that was going down a dead end fast, so shifted gears towards more theme-based reviews, trying out various themes/common elements connecting various reviews. I generally stuck to a template similar to what ANN/FandomPost does but in a much more personal style to it. I also tend towards doing these reviews by the seat of my pants, often working on them right until my self-set deadline. But then again, that’s fine with me as that tends to be more exciting to write it in advance only to then slot it in when you feel like it. I do plan reviews out within a year or so, though sometimes it can be planned out longer (my recent review on Princess Nine is one that had been stewing around in my mind for roughly 3 years).
Now, let me say that I am not an expert or a professional writer. My academic background is in geography and IT and what little writing experience prior to blogging I have done is purely academic. Most of the media study material I have picked up on my own or through finding out about it through reading/watching other people talk about that sort of stuff. What I like about blogging is how informal it is, and allows a writer the opportunity to speak to others in a casual and friendly manner. I see myself less as an expert scholar curating at a museum and more like a friend who is fun to be around and enjoy what I like and can hope for common ground with others, that’s all.
Granted, keep in mind that I do this as a hobby. I don’t stand to gain much from this money-wise (I got work for that) and in fact, I have lost money getting my collection to size enough that I can do reviews, although I have done reviews on series that were available online only. Again, this ties back to the personable aspect of this blogging venture for me at least.
In August, I will likely talk about where I am going with the blogging venture, considering it will be my 6th year anniversary. In the meantime, May will be a busy month as I got 2 reviews planned to be out (May 7th and 21st), both with a sci-fi adventure bent to them, I can assure you.
Till next time dear readers.