Yuuki Tatsuya is still the greatest.
Hello there, readers. I’d like to inform you that today, September 1st 2010, is the two-year anniversary of this anime blog.
Anniversaries are a great thing – aside from con posts, they’re the one time a year that we can talk about ourselves without worrying about the ever-imposing word count ceiling, especially since many people have already skipped to the comment section to leave a one line reply (and that’s okay; your thoughts are appreciated no matter what). Oddly enough, despite the fact that this is a notable year for me in a lot of ways, I’m not feeling particularly emotional. I guess that means you won’t have to listen to too much rambling! Anyhow, if you’re in the mood, kick back and grab a cup of coffee for this early September midday. (I-It’s not my fault if you’re in a different time zone!)
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I mentioned this a moment ago, but 2010 is a notable year for me. This anniversary wraps up two years of blogging – more or less the standard life span of an anime blog – but it also wraps up six years of being a casual anime fan, four years of being a high school student, three years of being a serious fan, two years of being a member of an internet community (ours), and eighteen years of being too young to shop at Hendane. Last but not least, it’s my last anniversary before going to university and playing in the big league.
As you might know, I take anime seriously. It’s like a competition to me; not in the winning money sense, in the “spend ten hours playing the Extra stage until you memorize every enemy’s location” sense. In other words, I enjoy spending unreasonable amounts of time on the things that I love, and one of my goals in life is to experience everything that I can as an anime fan – in search of anime enlightenment, right? The enlightenment is the end of the road on your retirement day, be it the day you get your first full-time job, the day you get married, or something even later. My goal is to have no regrets when I reach that point. Nothing would be worse than seeing my kids watch the latest Shounen Jump adaptation on YTV and telling them about how their dad used to be an anime fan but never got to do the fun stuff like get drunk at an anime con or wake up at 3:00 am for Comiket.
From that perspective, entering my third year of aniblogging and losing my ability to categorize myself as a high school student means that I have a lot to live up to. Suddenly, I have to reach the same level as the people I used to look up to back in grade 10 – those old guys who know how to drive and get to study exciting things, the old guys who produce fan translations and DDL links for obscure music and guides for how to browse Japanese sites. The people who actually do things, the people who the anons in the shadows keep an eye on and sometimes talk about. If anime fandom wasn’t already serious business for me, it is now; I’ve got a lot of ground to cover and only so many years of life to cover it.
Of course, the situation isn’t that morbid – I enjoy what I do, and I’m proud of how I spent my senior years of high school and this past summer. In fact, instead of talking only about broad topics, I’m going to lay out a few specific things I want to do before the next September 1st. The school year is more important to me than the calendar year, after all, so resolutions are natural. Here they are:
- Join a visual novel translation project. I’ve been thinking about this for ages, but I think I’ll finally be ready to do it this year. I’m going to play the VNs available in English throughout the year in the hopes of finishing all of them (with the exception of some SRPGs and the sex romps). I also finally made an account on TL Wiki, and I should be able to use my freshman Japanese and English skills to at least proofread or TL check a small-scale project. I’m okay with grunt work.
- Start a podcast. I’ve been thinking about this since the spring, actually, but I never got around to it. The format will be similar to wah‘s podcast – an informal, semi-irregular gathering of internet friends to have fun and chat about interesting things. I know I enjoy listening to his podcasts and I think it would be a good experience. Let me know if you’re interested, though it can’t get off the ground until I’m actually ready to do it, which might be a few months.
- Get into this figure photography thing. I have no eye for visual arts, but photography is pretty cool, and as I know from experience, taking pictures of delicious PVC is surprisingly fun. Unfortunately, I lack the materials at the moment to take presentable pictures. Still, the goal isn’t necessarily out of reach, and I’m only looking for enough material for some online albums, not a figure blog. Along the same lines, I plan on reviewing different types of merchandise like artbooks and music albums. I tried talking about artbooks before, but I think I have enough experience to not totally fail at it this time.
- Write some reviews. Seriously, why do I never write reviews? I prefer my blogging style over the strict review style, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only thing I can do. Reviews for things like light novels and eroge might be a good idea, especially if they’re obscure enough than a reflection/editorial/examination of the plot wouldn’t really work. I was also considering applying for a position at The Nihon Review but I’m not sure if my writing is up to par yet.
- Keep up with the EVN scene. Now that I’ve made more progress on Sepia Tears than simply writing the script, I’m getting a feel for how OEL VN projects are supposed to work. It’s pretty cool, and it has the great side effect of giving you an eye for the finer details of commercial visual novels, almost like an animation student watching anime. Of course ST will be completed and of course it’s always on my backlog, but I’ve also been toying with some other ideas. I think I’d like to have a game or two finished by next year.
And that’s about it! Projects like this sound like a big deal, but a year is an inconceivably long time. Last year at this time, I hardly used Danbooru and didn’t know anything about fanart; my Touhou music folder had 100 songs in it, not 1000; I was still getting confused between nakige and nukige; I hadn’t started frequenting any anime forums; I even though 4chan was scary! One year can make a tremendous difference, and I’m looking forward to challenging this year head-on.
This picture used to be 10302 x 5324 [Tinkle]
Anyway, I suppose I’ve rambled on long enough. If my first year was about getting accustomed to the anime blogging process and getting to know my peers, my second year was about finding new communities and broadening my view to include the internet as a whole rather than just the blogosphere. Of course, I still love the community here, and it would feel odd if I didn’t leave a shout-out for some of the cool people I met this year, so here goes:
- moefloraine is like that genki girl in your slice-of-life/comedy show that makes every episode more fun. Typo is intentional.
- Aorii‘s blog is basically what my blog is supposed to be. Delicious editorials.
- Rune Devros is a Twitter bro who happens to be a pretty cool guy (eh likes Touhou orchestral arranges and doesnt afraid of anything).
- Arkaether is another Twitter bro who I really don’t see often enough. Blame me and my antisocial internet tendencies.
- I’ve known Choux since last year but it’s been a pleasure working with her on Sepia Tears this year. Here’s to another year of attempting to prove that your name doesn’t have to be Type-Moon to make a decent amateur visual novel.
- I don’t know 8C too well but we’d probably get along judging from his blogging manifesto.
- Shance really needs to start blogging again! Or at least find a way to play PoFV across the Pacific without lag.
- relentlessflame is my new official mentor for random things that I’m too lazy to google and can’t read thanks to the moon runes. Keep it up.
- Somehow I ended up talking to Hisui from Reverse Thieves. I swear I’ll play the real Hisui’s route soon…
…And that’s about it. Apologies if you’re not on the list, but don’t take it personally; this is just something I threw together at the last minute.
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So with all of that out of the way, what else is there to say? Two years of blogging and being a member of an internet community has taught me more about anime than I ever imagined, and now that I’ve been settled into this place for a while, I can understand why the social aspect by itself can be so much fun. Indeed, one of my unwritten goals is to simply hang out online more often and forget about the backlog (though too much of that is the #2 cause of Hiatus Syndrome, second only to transitioning from high school to uni). I’m sure that I’ll have a ton of fun this year too, and I hope I don’t have to say goodbye to too many familiar faces.
Here’s to another year of excitement in this fantasy land of thighhighs and super robots. I can declare in the Red Truth that it will be awesome. Cheers.