Episodics, and my qualm with them

by eternal on January 13, 2009

Picture is vaguely relevant because I always figured Konata could make a decent aniblogger.

Before you say it, this isn’t another editorial vs episodic debate: those have been done countless times before I entered the ‘sphere, and they’ll probably be done many more times in the future. Instead, this is both a bit of a site update and a short ramble from yours truly about the topic mentioned in the title.Why bother bringing this up, you ask? Shouldn’t you just make these decisions on your own, and focus on writing something good instead?

Well, the answer to that is actually quite simple: I have an episode of Clannad sitting on my desktop, and the thought of screencapping and reviewing it sounds considerably less pleasant than writing another post like my last one.

First off, let me say this: I read episodic blogs. And that’s read in the present tense. Ascaloth is probably my main (dare I say only?) reason for frequenting RIUVA now, and AniAri always proves to be entertaining whenever they cover something that I’m following. DarkMirage and Jason obviously do an excellent job at satire, though I’m not following Gundam too closely, and I’ve recently taken note of the shockingly fast-paced episodic posts from the teams at Sea Slugs! and THAT. And even outside of the few sites I’ve mentioned, there are tons of episodic bloggers out there, painstakingly churning out information each week for their readers.

But that was one of the things that started to bother me: there are tons of them.

This isn’t to say that episodic posting is bad; good reviewers are able to write with flavour, and if a person is able to infuse their personality into whatever they write, then people will enjoy reading it. That’s probably a big part of DM’s and Jason’s success: even if they’re repeating information that we already got from watching the episode, they’re doing it in an interesting way. Opinion is what fuels any good blog, and opinion is something that both an editorial and an episodic blogger can have.

However, I’ve also found that blogging is a very personal thing, and if a writer doesn’t like what they’re writing, then pretty soon they’ll want to stop writing.

Why does no one talk about e-shuushuu? They seem pretty good to me, and if it weren’t for them, you probably wouldn’t have this irrelevant pic to distract you. Now keep reading.

The main reason I singled out Ascaloth above is because his episodics feel far more opinion-centric rather than information-centric. In fact, whenever I read an episodic post, I usually skip over the summary and screencaps and only read the part under the “impressions” heading, because that’s all that matters to me. That’s why I never really go to RC and Subculture, even though I’m sure Omni and Totali are both great people and active members of the community; it’s just that the information-based posting style doesn’t appeal to me. Opposite to that, just as Ascaloth phrases information that I know into a form that I may not have known, I tried to insert more analysis into my episodics than information. In fact, as any of you who actually read them would know, I didn’t even summarize at all: I simply altered between witty my-attempt-at-being-witty captions and a few paragraphs of my opinion.

But once I started following the editorial blogs, I came to realize that I could share my thoughts a lot more efficiently if I waited for something to impress me than if I posted religiously on a show every week.

Take OGT for instance: skimming through the front page, it looks as if most of his posts are reviews for either shows he recently finished marathoning or some form of commentary on something that’s currently airing. ghostlightning’s recent post on Toradora is also one of the many examples of this (though I have yet to actually read the post since I haven’t seen ep 14 yet). IKnight’s commentary also seems to be quite infamous, though a lot of it occurred before I started frequenting the analytical writers (and even so, he’s got enough of a reputation to draw readers regardless of what he’s writing on).

But anyhow, you get the idea: editorial bloggers don’t necessarily have to analyze things that already finished; they can also theoretically write about Clannad AS 13 (and, theoretically, not write about 14 if it didn’t impact them).

And that, quite simply, concludes my opinion on the issue of episodic blogging.

was right, you really do see way more of her than Nagi.

So yes, in the end, it all comes down to each person’s writing style. That’s a given. I’ll keep following a few of the episodic blogs, just as I still read super rats and Adun even though I’m just about as far from a figure blogger as one can get. However, I suppose this can count as my first official declaration to the world that you can expect (slightly) slower and hopefully longer posts in the future. Not to bring up the whole length vs brevity debate again, but I’d personally rather read one good post each week than one mediocre post each day. When you have something to say, say it well, and when you have nothing to say, then say nothing and spend the time thinking about things to say instead; if people respect you and enjoy your writing, then they’ll be back. Just look at Epic Win.

(and just for the record, I don’t intend on slipping as far as one post per week. I personally think DKellis’s quota of twice a week sounds good, but who knows. I’m not a schedule person.)


{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

tai January 13, 2009 at 9:54 pm

I like reading episodic blogs because I can hear what other people thought of it and pick up on things I missed myself, but there are definitely too many that are relying on plot reviews for length and have no real content. I can’t say I don’t do this as well, but lately I discovered myself that episodic blogging can turn much better if you bunch up the episodes into relevant sections, instead of rushing to be the first out with a “review”. There’s more content this way to write about, plus more citations to support your entry. I wouldn’t mind doing purely editorial except I need to give myself some sort of material and deadline for my posts otherwise nothing would ever come out.

Not to mention that you’ll arouse more discussion from the blogosphere with quality-over-quantity entries; e.g. how I’m writing a second consecutive somewhat-lengthy comment-with-meat on MoE and subscribing to the replies.


ghostlightning January 13, 2009 at 10:15 pm

I actually read two episodic bloggers: Crusader, since he takes on Macross Frontier and Gundam 00, and Kaioshin since he takes on Code Geass, Gundam 00 (not updated), and Tytania.

I realize sometimes it’s less about the opinions published, but the happy grinding in the comments sections. Crusader’s comments sections get quite epic: his 4,000 word posts inspire 1000 word comments, lol. Oh lol Gundam fans.

Perhaps it’s particular to the Gundam fandom, but I feel like going there to vent some steam – either to be validated or corrected. It doesn’t really matter. I want to be with people who are talking about the same things, and feel ‘safe’ making my rants, suggesting things to others, etc.

To be able to do that every week is a good thing! That’s what keeps me going back ot Crusader.

Kaioshin doesn’t get THAT’s monstrous traffic, but I enjoy his viewpoints. He takes on all comers too, so you better be thorough with your thinking when you’re commenting anywhere around him because he will engage you. And he blogs Tytania. I gotta get my fix too.

I don’t do episodic posts because it’s too much work, and my opinion changes too much. I’d rather see a whole bunch of episodes before I write about it. For impressions and comments, I just use twitter.


animekritik January 13, 2009 at 11:35 pm

I tend to resort to the episodic blogs when the plotline is so obscure that I’m not sure what the hell is going on (e.g. Ghost Hound).
I imagine many (most?) people going to Random Curiosity are RAW watchers, who could use a blow-by-blow account to go along with their less than perfect Japanese comprehension skills.
That’s a very worthwhile service as well..

animekritiks last blog post..memories vs melodies – how about a structural approach


FuyuMaiden January 13, 2009 at 11:50 pm

Despite being an episodic blogger myself I can’t really think of any other episodic blogger I visit regularly. Except a couple who started out as commenting on my blog.

I mean, there are tons of episodic blogs. It’s too much trouble to sift through, especially for a really popular series. I’ll only read something I know will be good or short (both is awesome).

But like you said, it is all about opinion. I find the most popular episodic posts (outside of my own blog where fangirling, “OMGZ!” posts rules my stats) are ones that are full of incredible negativity where opinion is sure to run rampant. For episodic blogs, that’s all you really have to make yourself unique (it’s disheartening when everyone blogging a series shares the same opinion though, because then you have to try to be smart about it).

Anyway, yay! Another blogger has found their true calling! How come it takes all of us a while to come to the conclusion that, “Oh. I should only write something when I want to.” Why don’t we figure out something that sounds like common sense right away?

FuyuMaidens last blog post..White Album – Episode 02


lelangir January 14, 2009 at 12:06 am

I’m actually enjoying episodic blogging via team posts. An hour or so of chatting with Crusader or Omisyth turns into [what I’d like to call] a fruitful post.

Ascaloth’s posts seem a step above the status quo. I had a hard time excising a key point for the collected white album 02 notes, while all the other blogs were mostly summary and then a paragraph or two on thoughts. Hanner’s blog also has nice, short episodic posts.

If you don’t necessarily wanna do Clannad [by yourself], I’d teamblog it with you =p


Caitlin January 14, 2009 at 12:20 am

The only time I read episodic blogs with any regularity was if the blogger was covering the same series I was watching. Then, I’d only read the impressions part and skip the summary. However, I do find the summary interesting, particularly the detailed ones, if I’m trying to remember something from a series. I think they’re really helpful in the long 26+ episode series.

With that being said though, the fact that someone else will always be there to pick up the ball makes me feel like I shouldn’t even bother. Someone is always going to be writing episode commentary but with essays, you might have an approach that no one’s contemplated about in the same light.


Owen S January 14, 2009 at 1:36 am

I can’t/don’t really read episodic blogs anymore due to being behind with the current anime season as it is, but I guess that’s where blogs like lelangir’s anitations and Author’s Ani-Nouto help lessen the pain of digging all those posts back up whenever you want to see what was said about a particular episode or so.

Maybe this makes those blogs who blog about episodic blogs the superior evolution? Or at the very least, a more condensed and tolerable alternative that doesn’t involve trying to keep up with about 100-200 new posts in a feedreader per day.

Owen Ss last blog post..Developer’s Diaries: Fate/Meta Narrative


lelangir January 14, 2009 at 10:32 am

@Owen: I realized that, insofar as how you articulate things takes precedence over what you articulate, anitating collected notes trivializes fandom but does not necessarily trivialize the state of being a fan. Which is more important? I dunno…

But if you took meta-collecting of episodic blogs at a larger rate, i.e. every show and every blog, that would be pretty crazy. I can’t do that by myself though.

lelangirs last blog post..collected notes on White Album 02


digitalboy January 14, 2009 at 11:58 am

my reason for not doing (or reading) episodic blogging is simple – I’ve NEVER watched a show weekly.

digitalboys last blog post..Anime Moment of the Week: Hajime no Ippo – Rocky’s Overdrive


Omisyth January 14, 2009 at 2:58 pm

I’ll always have a few episodic blogs I frequent but I’ve realised I’m kind of judgemental when it comes to looking at any blog. But Aroduc and Totali keep me coming back not because they’re lightning fast or information based, but because how they write interests me. That’s all you need really, to convey your personality in your writing. Which I fail at ORZ

Omisyths last blog post..A Rant On Censorship: Black Blood


Len-Vesper January 14, 2009 at 4:34 pm

I don’t like episodic stuff really, I read some but I find it to be too… I don’t know… shallow I guess. I think there’s more substance if reviews are done in trios or quads or something like that. Reviewing a set of episodes, like the end of each arc, or something of the sort.

I love the kona icon, by the way.

Len-Vespers last blog post..Toronto in two weeks…


Rin January 14, 2009 at 7:31 pm

I read the opinion part too…
Ep blogs are good and all, but then sometimes it just gets boring…
Do like that Konata pic!!!!!!

Rins last blog post..Figure Package of the Week…


M12 January 15, 2009 at 4:42 am

Episode reviews are cool. However, a lot of them writing a bit too much. As a result, I lose interest. Reading on a monitor is tougher than on paper, after all.

I don’t write ep reviews myself, because I lack the patience for it.

M12s last blog post..What’s with games nowadays?


super rats January 15, 2009 at 12:10 pm

As far as blogging goes, there is that fine line of only writing good stuff and then self-censoring in the name of quality leading to writing nothing at all. Just a cautionary note to watch out for it.

super ratss last blog post..Finished Kanon


rangerroh January 16, 2009 at 3:57 am

Very interesting post! Although I am new to the blogging world I find episodic blog somewhat informative. I go through a few episodic blog just to get an idea about a certain topic then make a decision for myself. I Like your view’s about writing 1 or 2 posts a week. I dont know how people can write and post blogs everyday.


Optic January 17, 2009 at 4:07 am

The main reason I don’t read episodic post is, I’m always behind and 95% of the time, I wait for the series to be complete before I start. I have my own pace where I watch 2 ep. for a series each day till the end and reading episodic post will potential mean spoilers to me.
e-shuushuu is a great site for moe images. I always grab my images from there and link them when necessary. I even have the link on my sidebar. In additional, I was a regular member for the past year and a half. ^^

Optics last blog post..Megami Magazine Vol. 105: My Impressions


kqannfd May 30, 2009 at 2:17 am



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