Reflections on Animanga Blogs

Foxy Lady Ayame kindly asked me to participate in a blog carnival, and although I wrote a post about the topic last year, it was an offer I couldn’t refuse (if I had… well, let’s not go there). The topic: what do you want in an anime or manga blog? Let’s examine each of FoxyLadyAyame’s questions individually.

Why not get to reflect on what we like to read and for what reasons? (reviews, commentaries, editorials)

I agree, why not?

Ok, ok, fine! I can already feel FoxyLadyAyame glaring at me. I’ll do some reflecting!

I like to read reviews to compare what I thought of a show to what other people thought, or to know whether I should watch something that I haven’t seen yet. I like reading episodic commentaries to glean an extra bit of insight into what I’m watching. I like to read editorials to gain some further depth or insight into a topic. I guess I like everything. That’s why I do all three of those on this sight.

“That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary. Go and study it.” — Hillel

I really like how Ayame calls episodic posts commentaries, I think I’m going to have to start using that term. It fits how I see episodic posts: as an addendum to the episode rather than a summary or replacement. My goal is to write posts which add something to the viewing experience, and I do that here with limited success, for some shows more than others.

There is a perceived division among bloggers between “editorial bloggers” and “episodic bloggers”, with the former tending to look down on the latter. In my experience, episodic bloggers can be more insightful than any editorial blogs out there. Plus, they do it multiple times a week.

What do we do when we stumble across a new blog?

I look at the titles of the posts on the front page. If none interest me, I leave. If one sounds interesting, I read the post. If I like it, I add it to my Google Reader. Not that complicated. I don’t give two hoots about your site’s layout unless it is completely unreadable.

What must a good animanga blog have and do?

It must have posts about anime or manga that interest me. You’d think the “about anime or manga” part is obvious, but you’d be surprised. Here are my secret tips for writing well, as I shared last year:

  1. Have something to say.
  2. Say it.
  3. Stop.

Follow these rules and you can’t go wrong.

Two is the easy part. Your writing style doesn’t matter much to me compared to what you have to say, as long as you use coherent English (or Spanish works too). One and three are the hard parts. The way that most people seem to screw up is in spending a lot of time saying nothing at all. There are so many posts of hundreds of words that could be summarized in a single sentence. Don’t be afraid to write a zero-word post. I follow over a hundred blogs, so I am not going to bother reading something that’s long and going nowhere.

What blogging behaviors annoy us (anonymously of course)?

First of all, it annoys me when people say things “anonymously” about others behind their back. So I will say everything to specific people’s faces. Don’t worry about any drama or anything, I only chose bloggers I actually like and I asked them if I could beforehand. So don’t be insulted by what I’m about to say, and keep fighting the good fight. I make many of the same mistakes as well.

Lord Reiseng: Talent, hard work and a lovely, green-eyed bishie.

Reiseng needs to stop slacking off and update more. Unfortunately, I have no interest in shounen manga so I will skip those posts and go straight to this one on Hyouka.

First of all, the title is weak. I have no idea from it what this post is going to be about, or even that it’s going to be about Houtarou. It doesn’t grab my attention at all.

A few weeks back, I watched Hyōka episode 10 and for one reason or another, something in that episode hit me quite a bit, so, I decided to write a post. This here is that post, it happens to be pretty damn late, but here it is regardless.

I get that this is supposed to be some meta-humor, but it says nothing and isn’t very funny. Rule #3.

“Thanks for the summary, shithead. I could have looked up episode 10 on Wikipedia and got the same thing. What the hell are you trying to say?”

At least we have some self-awareness about breaking Rule #3.

Well, I think Hōtarō actually knows that he is talented; he just claims otherwise.
“Woah, woah, stop right there. I know that like most anime bloggers, you are a cocky asshat, but aren’t you pushing it a bit too far? You must be mad or something.”

In the fourth paragraph, we finally get to the point of the post. This should have been in the title. The humor in the dialogue is starting to pick up steam and get a bit amusing, so that’s good.

But I still have one major problem: I thought the premise of the post, that Houtarou knows he is talented but claims otherwise, is obvious. Clearly it’s not, since Reiseng seems to know some people who would disagree. But who are these people? Reiseng’s post would benefit from breaking the anonymity rule we previously discussed, so it doesn’t feel like we are attacking a strawman. Besides, the whole point of blogging is to create discussion: the people who disagree with Reiseng won’t be insulted, they will be glad that someone is considering what they write and interested in discussing it with them.

As we continue the post, the meta-humor continues to be hit and miss. I’m not sure it’s helping.

Next, we have three questions, one of which doesn’t end in a question mark. Punctuation is important. But it’s good here how we have a bulleted list here to break the more monotonous flow of paragraphs. Formatting and pictures are your friends. However, I would suggest using section headings for the three questions instead: by the time we finish answering the first question, we have already forgotten what the next two are.

In the answers to the first two questions, Reiseng provides some legitimately interesting discussion. But then we get to this sentence:

If Hōtarō fails, then people end up sad and he doesn’t like that.

This is a) obvious and b) lame. We should phrase this in a way that’s more interesting and less insulting to the readers’ intelligence. We could toss in some poetry: “Everything depends / on Houtarou.”

I like the section on the personal note: self-reflections are great if they complement something you’re saying about anime, as long as your anime blog doesn’t become a personal reflection for its own sake.

One final thought: Reiseng has an excellent use of paragraphs. It’s not a massive wall of text, which enables you to skim for a bit without losing the thread of things entirely. The post has some good ideas, but it would benefit greatly from a stronger title, organization and focus, and from convincing us that the people we are arguing against are not strawmen.

flomu: On Kokoro Connect

Flomu fails as a blogger because he doesn’t update enough and makes a new blog every other month. But let’s look at his most recent post anyway.

First of all, the title is again weak. But Flomu address the main topic of the post immediately. He has good paragraph spacing and variety in the post formatting. He address the arguments of a specific person rather than arguing with a nebulous cabal of anime fans. He has a clear point he is trying to make, makes it, and stops. Flomu has mastered Rule #3. An excellent concise and incisive post.

Mushyrulez: Trainin’ in the Mountains

Mushyrulez is the anime blogosphere’s resident loony tune. And we love him for it.

His latest post has no point or purpose, and rambles all over the place. He breaks Rule #1. But these are more guidelines than rules. We’ve come to expect no less from Mushyrulez, so I’ll forgive him. Still, his is definitely a niche blogging market.

Jesus159159159Yuru Yuri ♪♪ 02

Embarrassing confession: Jesus159159159 is one of my favorite bloggers. He has endless enthusiasm and knows how to make people laugh.

Now, some people might accuse Jesus159159159 of breaking rule #1 and not having something to say. He just writes episodic posts and makes “summaries”. But I disagree: he always has a purpose behind everything he says, which is to make people laugh. And there is no higher calling.

Jesus should put some more effort into his titles though.

Anya Fennec:

Anya should update more.

Flawfinder: Ani-Elitist Review: Ane Haremix

Flawfinder does a good job at having a large variety of posts. Let’s hope he doesn’t burn himself out.

I’ll be perfectly honest though: I don’t really get the Ani-Elitist Reviews. They offer reviews of a show from the perspective of an elitist, but they leave me confused. Is this perspective supposed to be genuine? Is it supposed to be funny? It’s easy to make fun of bad anime, but what is the point? The reviews don’t really make me laugh…

This particular post first summarizes the show twice in two different paragraphs (rule #3). Next, we discuss how the animation style changes in every episode. I guess this is because this is from an “elitist” perspective, but who cares about the animation? I could probably qualify as an elitist but I don’t care.

Next, we move onto a third paragraph of summary. A summary in this case would be fine since no one in their right mind would watch this show, but the way it’s presented in three separate section makes it hard to follow what is actually going on.

Ane Haramix is just a lame incest fantasy which ended on a “semi-shocking” note that is ironically trying to milk its premise for all it’s worth, leading to an overlong and ultimately dry series that didn’t know when to finish.

The conclusion is what one would expect for a show such as this. But I still don’t get the ani-elitist character. Is it supposed to be funny? If you’re going to blog awful shows like this I think humor is the only way to make people want to read them. I feel like I could find these posts more interesting if Flawfinder made them more genuine rather than constructing an artificial “elitist” character. Or at least if he gave the artificial character more of a personality rather than meeting my image of a British guy lounging on a couch and smoking a cigar.

IllogicalzenRace, Ethnicity and Conflict in Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse

The title tells us exactly what the post is going to be about, so good. But the first paragraph and a half are summary and cruft. I am already losing interest by the time I get to the crux of Illogicalzen’s argument. Rule #3.

At the very root of the problem however are the ideas of race and ethnicity and how they play an immensely important role in the creation of identities and social spaces.

However, the central point is rather vague and ill-defined. What does “immensely important” mean, exactly? Where did social spaces come from? They are never mentioned again, don’t promise more than you offer. And would anyone disagree with this premise?

To Yui, we see how her identity has been formed through her social background and that of her family. Coming from an old established samurai family, along with being a member of Japan’s Imperial Royal Guard she is an elite soldier, someone with heritage and high social status.

Illogicalzen’s writing would benefit from a more active writing voice. This is one of the few ways to screw up at Rule #2. The phrases “has been formed”, “coming from”, “being a member”, “she is”, and “someone with” are all weak, weak weak. Here’s how I’d rewrite these two sentences:

Yui’s roots in an old, established samurai family and her position in the Imperial Royal Guard are central to her self-identity as an elite soldier.

This version says pretty much the same the same thing but is much easier to parse. In my opinion, this awkward language is the biggest thing holding Illogicalzen back, along with a weak application of Rule #3. This post could say the same thing in at most half the length.

AJTheFourthCultivation of the Mind: Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita Episodes 3-4

AJTheFourth was the only editorial blogger brave enough to open herself up to scrutiny, so thank you AJTheFourth! (Note: flomu is not an editorial blogger, he is a Nichijou blogger.)

The title here doesn’t exactly capture what the post is about: perhaps “Monument to Subculture” or something along those lines would be more appropriate. But it does pique your interest.

The posts’s formatting is beautiful: we have evenly, medium-sized paragraphs, several pictures and quotes, and bolded words to catch the reader’s attention.

AJTheFourth has something to say, she says it and then stops. If I had to criticize anything, it would be that that a few jumps in the narrative are difficult to follow. Particularly the transition between these two paragraphs:

Y didn’t think to submit her manga empire to the Human Monument Project because it wasn’t the right type of culture: the lofty kind that upholds how wonderfully productive and meaningful humanity is.


Except, as the series so eloquently points out, one can be a living monument to culture every day, casting their votes through the things that they choose to consume.

The “except” is the troubling part, because it’s not clear how the second statement contradicts the first. It doesn’t say anything about the type of culture. This transition stuck out to me like a sore thumb in an argument that was otherwise so orderly and logical. Still, overall an excellent post with a clear and succinct point.

Further Thoughts

Ok, I’ll break my own promise and mention some things that annoy me anonymously because the people who do them didn’t volunteer. Here are some other ways to annoy me:

  • Write a letter. This is a blog post, not a letter. You don’t need to have a greeting or sign your name.
  • Make your posts unreadable in Google Reader. I don’t want to break my flow to click a link and read more.
  • Use walls of text. Use paragraphs.
  • Be pretentious. Some people like to throw big words around for the sake of throwing big words around. It doesn’t make you look smart, it makes you look like an idiot. Simple language is best.
  • Assume your readers are dumb. They aren’t. Nothing annoys me more than a post making grandiose claims and introducing a word in italics as the most profound thing in the world, especially when the word is one I’ve known since elementary school.
  • Ignore comments. If someone took the time to respond to your post, they deserve a response, even if their comment is pointless. If I leave a comment on a post and I don’t get a response, well, I’m not going to feel motivated to comment again.

Thanks again to those who volunteered to be critiqued! They all run excellent blogs that you should check out if you haven’t before. Also, if you are interested in this topic, see what the other participants in the carnival have to say:

The Beautiful World
Anime B&B
The G-Empire
Moe Sucks
deluscar ~ the otaku wonderland
The Kotatsu
Going Commando on Anime

78 thoughts on “Reflections on Animanga Blogs

  1. Not sure if you would agree, but I would also add that for some longer posts, some variability in formatting would be nice. Like if this post had been a continuous string of paragraphs, I’d imagine it would be easy for eyes to trail as well.

    That whole editorial vs. episodic thing has always bugged me too. Personally, I think it’s fine if you prefer one over the other, but don’t think yourself superior for writing on either side.

    1. Exactly, for long posts it helps to have some formatting to help organize things instead of making it a big wall of text.

  2. Hello Draggle,
    Today we’ll talk a bit about your blog post here reported and distributed as part of the “Reflections on animanga blogs” project.

    Not much to say apart that there are not enough pics.


    [/sarcasm] 😛

    1. But the most interesting thing he did to nerf the notion of “You always need pics in your post” is by A) providing links B) Using italics and bold and C) Bulleted and Block Quotes. Or something like that O.o

      1. Honestly speaking, it didn’t work exactly like he was expecting (that is assuming it was his intention in the first place of course) as I skimmed through half the content (the blog reviews side mostly) because of a series of reasons (including, but not limiting to the lack of pics) that are mostly similar to what other guys pointed out before me (Marth, Marow, etc…)

        1) Having a block of text with no pic in between (to break the pace and keep interest) will bore the common internet reader that will inevitably skim through part of the content. That is unless your content is enticing enough to force the reader to keep his focus even in front of these limitations. (It wasn’t the case for me.)

        2) To suffice to the lack of pics we could use the quotes from the offending blogs, but the format used for them isn’t that strongly separated from the actual content to stand out and act as a context-breaker (instead of the images) between paragraphs. The whole text looks and feel like one mass of text at the moment.

        I agree that the bulleted list is fine, but that’s it.

        I understand that this is a post directed to fellow bloggers sharing his own opinion on a particular subject, but it’s good to tell him that most readers aren’t that nice and will end up ignoring the content altogether even if it could provide interesting insights.

        Of course, we all blog for fun, so these are merely my opinions and can be put in the garbage bin in favour of an entertaining experience from the blogger. (at least I prefer fun over being “effective” :P)

        1. I think you should use pictures if the pictures add something to what you’re saying. In my posts on anime, I always use pictures. But on this post, I’m talking about other blogs, so it doesn’t lend itself to pictures as easily. I guess I could have put some pictures of the offending blogs, but I didn’t think it would add much.

          For example, in this post of yours I feel that the pictures actively counteract you getting what you have to say across. The post is about personality and relationship with your readers, but the pictures are random shots of half-naked girls from Dog Days. I looked at the pictures, sure, but they actively prevented me from reading the text since they have nothing to do with it. I feel like your point could be made more strongly without the pictures.

          Sure, adding the pictures may get you more viewers, but I would rather get viewers who came to read what I have to say than look at pictures.

        2. *shrug* as I said that’s the original motives of creating that space. It ended up becoming a blog only after a bit, but I don’t want to throw away my origins of a wallpaper focused website. As I said “Of course, we all blog for fun, so these are merely my opinions and can be put in the garbage bin in favour of an entertaining experience from the blogger. (at least I prefer fun over being “effective” )” 😀

          But still, as I said pics aren’t necessary, but there must be some way to divide the content into multiple blocks, or content will just be impossible to read like your last post over traps…:(

          1. Well, my last post was quoting a passage from a book, so… if you hate reading, you probably wouldn’t like it. I guess some people like pictures and some like reading. To each their own.

      1. Well, it was a good example of how it’s great to have pics, but sometimes, it can be great not to have them. So I find it alright. As for Feal O.o

    1. I am too tired after all this to go into detail, but looking at your last post, I have no idea who Mizuki Nana is. Could use some introduction, since not everyone who reads your site is going to follow anime music.

  3. “There is a perceived division among bloggers between “editorial bloggers” and “episodic bloggers”, with the former tending to look down on the latter. In my experience, episodic bloggers can be more insightful than any editorial blogs out there–”

    Interesting statement to make, mostly since you’re an episodic blogger 😀 But yeah, there seems to be two sides to that issue that will never go away apparently. But it’s simple: just write good episodic posts, not bad ones. Since there’s more episodic bloggers on the ‘net than editorial ones, most just see the bad.

    “I look at the titles of the posts on the front page. If none interest me, I leave.”

    I feel that’s kind of a weak view in terms of reading a blog. Aside from everything else you wrote (which I like), that’s kind of the one thing I have to take to task on you for. Not everyone needs to have a great title for their posts, as they may not be able to come up with one. If it’s an anime or work you’re interested in, why care about the title? It’s the writing that needs to be judged, not the title of the post. You should have just enough time to check out a post if it’s something you’re watching or checking out, or at the very least, read the first few sentences. I’m sorry, I just don’t get it.

    1. Interesting statement to make, mostly since you’re an episodic blogger

      I am 100% unbiased.

      I feel that’s kind of a weak view in terms of reading a blog.

      Sure, it’s totally unfair, but that’s what I do. The onus is on the blogger to capture my attention, not the other way around. If you’re not going to put effort into a title, the first thing your readers will see, why would you put much effort into the rest of the post? That said, I don’t require the title to be a masterpiece or anything: just address a specific topic that sounds interesting and makes me want to read more. It’s really not that hard.

      1. “If you’re not going to put effort into a title, the first thing your readers will see, why would you put much effort into the rest of the post?”

        Wait, did you just assume that because the title seems like there was no effort put into that at all, the posts will be bad? I can only think you had many bad experiences to say that O.o

        1. Yes, I’ve had many bad experiences. Most posts with poor titles turn out to be poor posts. The title is an essential part of a post, put some thought into it.

  4. “only editorial blogger brave enough to open herself up to scrutiny”

    I’m open for you any day.

    This Blog Carnival seems fun, I guess I’ll jump in soon!

    Besides what you’ve said (and I agree on), I find design, or formatting as Marth puts it, very important. I wouldn’t mind this post having pictures to lighten it up and divide it into “parts” the eye can focus on.

    1. Sorry, I am already exhausted after critiquing just these people’s posts. You get the same criticism as Anya. 🙂

      The reason I didn’t put pictures is because none really lend themselves to the topic I was discussing. I suppose I could have put pictures of the other blogs.

      But this is another thing that annoys me that I forgot to mention: pictures that have nothing to do with the site’s content. I’ll be reading some serious discussion of something or other, and then we get a random picture of a half-naked cat girl. It’s very distracting.

      1. I’m not really a fan of when blogs use pictures of lightly dressed girls, it gets distracting and is not fitting at all. Also, I don’t dare to read the posts in public then :p

  5. Google reader is your friend for blogs <3 <3 <3 <3

    Yeah when I find new blogs I find if they can make me laugh I tend to hang around or the posts are short and to the point, but I don't mind reading blogs that use like three screenshots filled with giant walls of text as long as the content keeps my attention.

    I am still messing around with my own style of writing since Kyokai gave us the thumbs up to experiment, but I still love doing comments for pictures and of course those MEME shots those are a lot of fun for me. Other than that I always have a hard time coming up with some of my thoughts near the end of a normal Metanorn post depending on which series I am following or if some scenes speak to me? I know when Guilty Crown was around I connected with Ayase due to similar issues with disabilities same with Katawa Shoujo when that was floating around.

    I like your style of posting Draggle ;D

  6. Yeah, people making their feeds show excepts is kind of counter productive. There is usually no reason to do so unless one is really afraid of those blog scraper thieves who pops up in a blue moon.

    Yeah, I have covered the editorial vs episodic blog thing on my blog and said that the debate is pretty pointless, although I tend to read more opinion posts than episodics since I have watched it. They still have their purposes and neither one are better than the other.

    But aside from that, I think that blogging should be fun and one shouldn’t force to write someone when there are no ideas to write about. Thats how blogs continue to stay alive, the motivation to write about our passion towards Japanese media.

    1. But aside from that, I think that blogging should be fun and one shouldn’t force to write someone when there are no ideas to write about.

      Exactly, I couldn’t agree more. This is a good test for rule #1 and #3: is writing a post fun or is it a chore? If it’s a chore, you may be saying things without actually having anything to say.

  7. OH MAN!!! I thought you’d say something like “J159’S SENTENCE STRUCTURE IS AWKWARD!!! HE’S A TRY-HARD!!! HIS JOKES ARE LAME AND FULL OF TOILET-HUMOR!!! I HATE HYPHENS!!! NO ONE LIKES HIM!!!”, and I’m glad you didn’t!… and… I’m glad you like me~ (◕‿◕✿) But yeah, I try to put more emphasis/effort on writing nowadays so it won’t sound as awkward as it used to (except for this sentence #BADUMPSH). I’m really envious of episodic bloggers like Hanners. HE WRITES SO EFFORTLESSLY!!! I wish I had his talent… and swagger! BANNERS!!!… but anyway, I’m trying my hardest best, and I think that’s what counts!

    I was also-almost certain you’d mention my lateness in terms of episodic blogging, and if we take it from that angle, I’m perhaps the worst episodic blogger ever #BADUMPSH The funny thing is that (and I’ve received plenty of comments on the matter) no one cared. At Sea Slugs, a J159 post would receive at least 3-4 original comments despite being 1-2 weeks late. You’ve already touched on this, though: PEOPLE LIKE REPLIES!!! And since I like comments AND replies, it’s pretty much a match made in heaven ;)! The only comments I wouldn’t reply to were spam, ’cause Kabitzin would delete those immediately (the spam, that is…) And speaking of Kabitzin, there was only one person who didn’t like my tardiness but I’ll keep that name hidden for now… and perhaps touch more on the matter after blogging Yuru Yuri (toot toot~).

    Jesus should put some more effort into his titles though.

    AND SPEAKING OF SECRETS, I guess I should explain myself here! This all goes back to my very first episodic post at Sea Slugs, which was titled “Card Captor of the Clow, Nintendo Wii is Sellin’ Now! RELEASE (Hoe?): Sora no Manimami 01” (please don’t read that post #BADUMPSH). It wasn’t explicitly stated towards me, but I’ve noticed long titles on Sea Slugs ruined the design, which I’m guilty of on many accounts… And honestly, they stood out too much for their own good. We all know I want attention, but I’ve come to appreciate the subtlety of simple titles. In short, if a title is too flashy, I’m not reading it. #BADUMPSH.

    But yeah, I have to agree on Justin on this one. That is to say… THIS JUST-IN!!! #BADUMPSH You state how bloggers should have more interesting titles, but I don’t think it’s important at all. In fact, I honestly believe posts with dumb and obnoxious titles like “PenguinDrum and the Deconstructionism of the Perplexities of the Human Mind and why I like sucking SHAFT’s cock om nom OH WAIT they didn’t make that OH MAN it’s pretty salty don’t you think Or: How I learned to love the bomb and over-analyze dumb anime like Madoka and Redline (/OPINIONS)” are, well… dumb and obnoxious. THAT’S JUST MY OPINION THOUGH #BADUMPSH.

    I don’t usually leave comments so I’ll make this even longer #BADUMPSH: In a sense, I DO give my episodics dumb and obnoxious titles, but only on twitter. Whenever I tweet a post, it’ll go something like this:

    “New O-NEW Post @Jesus159159159: Yuru Yuri ♪♪ 01: Jim Akkari”


    “New O-NEW Post @Jesus159159159: Yuru Yuri ♪♪ 02: Made in CHINAtsu”

    They’re pretty much made on the spot, and, well, they’re slightly annoying #BADUMPSH but that’s why I do it! On twitter, it’s OKAY to be annoying cause EVERYONE’S ANNOYING!!! “OH MAN I CAN’T WAIT TO DECONSTRUCT THIS ANIME!!!” though I guess no one really uses deconstruct anymore… hmmmmmmm…

    I’d like to conclude with this picture I found on my camera back when I took pictures of my text messages from Kabitzin (don’t ask….) In short… he didn’t like my confusing titles (◕︵◕) (and he spelled FINENZLE wrong (◕︵◕))

    1. I was also-almost certain you’d mention my lateness in terms of episodic blogging, and if we take it from that angle, I’m perhaps the worst episodic blogger ever

      Yeah, I don’t really care about lateness. I don’t always watch episodes the day they come out anyway, so sometimes late is actually better. Timeliness only matters so much if you are reading the post before the show airs (i.e., a summary) and I tend not to care about those kinds of posts anyways.

      You state how bloggers should have more interesting titles, but I don’t think it’s important at all.

      What I care about most is simply knowing what kind of post I’m in for before reading it. With your posts, I know exactly what I’m in for without reading a thing or even knowing what show it’s about. So in your case, the titles aren’t that important. But most bloggers don’t have as unique a style as yours. Long and over the top titles can be annoying, but I find them less frustrating than a title that tells me nothing at all.

      On twitter, it’s OKAY to be annoying cause EVERYONE’S ANNOYING!!!

      Haha pretty much.

      And great picture.

  8. FYI, I didn’t step down out of fear. I stepped down because my blog-mates wanted to participate and I was truly saying with my tweet that I thought the idea was good, rather than offering myself up for it. However… I wish I hadn’t backed out. It would’ve been interesting to read your critique.

    I’d also like to note that as an editorial-style blogger I don’t look down on episodic bloggers. I agree with your sentiments that as long as they have something to say and something to add episodic bloggers can write great things. It’s worth noting that the vast majority of what I read falls into the category of episodic blogs. (Without going too far into the subject I also understand the criticism often directed at episodic bloggers.) Something I will readily admit is that I don’t write episodics because I can’t. I can’t keep up with the schedule and I can’t write something interesting week after week about the same show. Thus, I have immense respect for those who can and do.

    1. I know it wasn’t fear, I already had two bloggers from your site anyway so it worked out well.

      Of course the editorial / episodic divide doesn’t apply to everyone, I’m not trying to pick a fight here. And of course some of the criticisms against certain episodic bloggers is valid. The problem comes when they overgeneralize, and it can be very frustrating when there are great episodic posts which are just as good if not better than theirs that they refuse to check out due to the episodic nature. And yeah, episodic blogging is a ton of work.

      1. Yeah, I know you know why. I just wanted to write that so I could segue into saying that I regret having backed out.

        As for the second part, I wanted to represent editorial bloggers in a different light since I felt they were overgeneralized by saying that they tend to look down on episodic bloggers. Before the last Aniblog Tourney I’d rarely seen any mention of the merit editorial posts versus episodic. Normally when I did see such comparisons it wasn’t generalized, but pointed at specific episodic blogs that provide little more than recaps. I’m willing to accept that I haven’t been active in the ‘sphere for long, but I don’t think many bloggers look at it that way.

        1. True, true. This doesn’t apply to all editorial bloggers or even most editorial bloggers. Just a vocal few.

  9. Hah! I remember when you wrote your original post crossing ideas with this carnival; if I’m correct, you also nailed me and quite a few other bloggers for not allowing a full read of our posts in Google Reader ><

    I have to wholeheartedly agree on conciseness in writing. I don't too often have problems curbing my chatter and off-topic rambles in my own posts since I dislike reading overly long posts on other blogs. But on top of that, I don't think just stopping without a proper finish is good, either. This is something I do struggle with since sometimes I just don't know how to cleverly wrap up my thoughts and encourage the readers to leave still thinking about what they just read.

    1. Hah! I remember when you wrote your original post crossing ideas with this carnival; if I’m correct, you also nailed me and quite a few other bloggers for not allowing a full read of our posts in Google Reader ><

      Haha, yes! Now that advice is no longer as relevant since everyone made their posts readable after that. I guess my post did have an effect. 🙂

      And yes, I am definitely guilty of presenting ideas without really finishing them properly. I kind of assume sometimes that people will follow the same chain of logic I do and so leave thoughts unfinished, which is probably not a good thing to assume.

  10. I think there’s a fine line between having a blog and reading a blog. In having a blog, you get freedom to whatever the hell you want to write. But sometimes this isn’t the case. Sometimes people get imprisoned by something called popularity. People don’t write what they want to write anymore but rather they write to become popular. Then again though, sometimes the point of having a blog for some is to be popular.

    I guess what I’m saying is, in my point of view a blog should be self-satisfying. You’ll just have to be lucky that what you’re writing interests other people. It really irks me though that people write for the sake of popularity AND become popular. Now that’s a pet peeve I have in Aniblogging community.

    Lol OMG I am totally gonna make a post about this. I dunno something in this post gave me spark again haha.

    1. Glad to inspire. 🙂

      Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting people to appreciate what you write and to read it. But yeah, if you let that determine what you write about you probably won’t find the experience very satisfying.

    2. Indeed, to me, a blog is an “outlet” of my mind, so I just post about anything I want or experienced. Perhaps that’s why my blog is filled with so many stuffs, anime, manga, games, light novels, visual novels, figures, and misc commentaries, lol. Kinda chaotic, but fun.

  11. So here I am, even a bit late ( mean, wow so many comments!)

    Thanks for accepting the invitation first of all 🙂 And now to the content of the post:

    “I agree, why not? … …” – You made me lol so hard at this. Am I so mean?

    “I really like how Ayame calls episodic posts commentaries, I think I’m going to have to start using that term.” – Hm a commentary doesn’t have to be an episodic though. Yes, your episodics are commentaries. But my overview of Simoun is also a commentary, right? The term ‘episodic’ has to do with the format more than anything. I’d also had liked to use the term ‘essay’ instead of ‘editorial’, but it’d remind too much of school and people might miss where I was referring to.

    Great job on the criticism. I think that I do the same mistake as Illogicalzen from time to time, though I don’t know how to improve on my own :/ (I’m not sure I understood your explanation on Illogicalzen, though I got the general idea of what was wrong with it). It’s a shame I missed the opportunity for my writing to be dissected. I didn’t understand what was going on when I saw that tweet about volunteers (I thought you were promoting the canival- I’m kinda dizzy these days).

    1. Yes, what would traditionally be considered “editorial” is also a commentary. But these don’t limit themselves to a specific show. When I think of “a commentary” I think of the Talmud or other commentaries written regarding specific texts. An episodic post follows this sort of format more, as we look at each episode as it airs.

      I make the same mistakes as Illogicalzen all the time too, so you and he shouldn’t worry about it much. Hopefully this will help you both to be more self-conscious of it from now on.

      1. I see… editorials could be seen as commentaries, yet I feel there is a slight distinction on whether the focus is on analyzing the series or analyzing the idea itself. A commentary in my mind is sth still very based on a series, that’s why I call my SImoun post a commentary- it revolves on more than one idea and promotes the show above all. But if we take, let’s say the Grief and Loss post it primarily examines these ideas, and the series are just a means to explain what I mean. – Do I make sense?

        1. I must admit that I have a terrible tendency to make these long labyrinthine sentences, in my blog posts and my other writing. It’s more a case of attempting to edit them out, which is something that I havent really been doing in my recent posts. I think you can approach editorials/commentaries and posts on single episodes in the same way though. As long as your exploring the themes of the anime and your interests the post should be entertaining. The ‘episodics’ that bore me are those that do nothing other than summarise the plot, something I was guilty of doing about 6 months ago. In terms of episodics I quite enjoy looking at overarching themes and how they work into each episode rather than the specifics of the episode itself.

          While I dont necessarily agree with everything said, it did at least make me realise that I havent been spending enough time editing my posts and redrafting them. Although I would argue that your rules of blogging are far too constraining in many respects.

          1. Yeah, most of the difficulties I had with your post could be fixed with extra editing and cutting. I’m confident you will improve even more over the next six months. (Frankly, I’m embarrassed to look back at the things *I* wrote a year ago.)

            How exactly do you find the rules constraining?

        2. I guess you make sense. So my last Kokoro Connect post would be an editorial rather than a commentary, since I was focused on an idea?

          1. Hm, this is a bit more difficult to answer clearly, since you blog about the series on a weekly basis (thus the series comes first) and it appears from the first line of your post that you want to comment on an aspect of what you saw rather than use what you saw to present an idea. On the other hand, there’s certainly a big main idea. Let me read the post through and I’ll answer you there, ne?

  12. Until now I still don’t understand the difference between episodic and editorial. I think the division is just based on how the author named his post. If an author added an episode number to the title, then it’s a downright episodic, imo–that’s why I’d rather classify blogs to summary vs commentary.

    I don’t have that much problem whenever I encounter italicized and “big” words. I’m guilty for playing with my words because I believe it would help my readers easily get the gist and points of my article. I also don’t have a wide vocabulary that’s why learning new stuff is quite cool for me e.g. when I first read razzmatazz and pizzazz being used in a sentence I got excited. As a reader, I just usually scan over an article. If there’s a word(s) or statement(s) that would capture my interest then maybe I might read the entire post. But of course, everything boils down to how the words were used and their relevance to the article–indeed using a “simple” language is the best form of communication and I still find it hard to do.

    1. I think episodics are just a “format” for bloggers and readers to take notice of. What I’m perplexed is editorials and commentaries, they look somewhat the same..

      1. I think in general usage, “episodics” are done by people who write about every episode of a show. If you blog about a single episode but that’s the only episode of a show you write about, then it’s an “editorial”. Not the biggest difference.

    2. Pretty much. Maybe I should leave out the numbers and try my hand at being an editorial blog.

      I think italicizing important words is great, to be clear, I do it all the time. It just bothers me if the writer presents things as if the viewer isn’t already familiar with them when it’s a really simple concept. Maybe it’s just me.

      I still think simple, straightforward language is the best as well. This doesn’t mean dumbing down your vocabulary though, it just means picking the clearest word for the situation.

  13. “1. Have something to say.
    2. Say it.
    3. Stop.”

    I like how you define a “good” animanga blog. Simple, but effective. Rule #2 is certainly the easiest, as for rule #1, sometimes, I tend to avoid it if the content is something even I myself had not much knowledge in but other then that, rule #1’s cool. As with Marina, rule #3 is also something I had trouble with, since I always had trouble wrapping up with my posts and as for my editorials, I just leave my ideals as a question of preference to my readers.

    1. I’ll occasionally watch an episode where I have very little to say as well. In that case I generally revert to a short list of a few quick points.

      Honestly, your strategy with #3 is probably a better way to get comments, if you care about that. 🙂 If I get into some topic, I tend to beat it into the ground and no one has anything less to say, like with my latest Kokoro Connect post. :/

  14. This is a good post on this subject.
    I remember this from somewhere on your blog months ago.

    1. Have something to say.
    2. Say it.
    3. Stop.

    So let me do it right now 😛

    1. I’m glad you agree that every comment deserves a reply.
    2. I have stopped commenting on a few blogs because I never get a comment in reply. Replying to comments seems like the only reason anyone would blog so not replying to them seems as stupid as shooting yourself in the foot.

    1. Wait, did I not reply to your comment or something? I always try to… I’m not very good at doing it *quickly* though…

      1. Oh that wasn’t meant to be directed at you. There is blogs I’ve commented on multiple times and never ever got a reply. You replied to this so I’m happy.

        1. Ah, good, I think I have pissed some other people off recently without being aware of it and just wanted to make sure. 🙂

  15. I agree with the writing style doesn’t matter, Some blogs use words that can be only be found in the dictionary ,or Google, simple and makes sense. is what a blog should have right?

    1. Yep, writing should be simple and make sense. Sometimes more unusual words can make an idea clearer though.

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