12 Moments of Anime #11: The Blogosphere’s Branches and the Disappearance of the World’s Greatest Hikikomori

by eternal on December 15, 2009

Nagi Sanzen'in[kohinata sora]

Hayate no Gotoku was a great show. I can say that without a moment’s hesitation. I wasn’t on the internet while the first season was airing, but it made its rounds among my friends at school, and even with my meager experience at the time, I adored everything about it. Between the consistent and often clever references and the childish nonsense of the comedy, it was a pleasure to watch, which is more than I can say for a lot things.

I can see why a person might complain about the second season, though. For one, it’s a sequel to something good, so it has to come with a few complaints. More importantly, though, the focus on Hinagiku and the “love” story can be a bit of a turnoff since the show never had much of a plot to begin with. Still, I think Hayate no Gotoku really excels in its portrayal of its characters rather than in the characters themselves. It has the makings of a truly generic rom-com, but the intentional veneer of a kids’ show and the cheesy jokes and punchlines are what really make it shine. Despite the suspicious and disappointing absence of Nagi Sanzen’in, whom I deem to be greatest tsundere loli hikikomori in the history of everything, the show never ceases to be entertaining, and that’s what I love about it.

– – –

The blogosphere’s “branches” is an awfully ambiguous metaphor to use in a post title, but its meaning isn’t as abstract as it might sound. I’m actually talking about sideblogs: the little branches and twigs that bloggers create to manage and filter their thoughts. It’s almost like installing a few extra filing cabinets in your brain, giving you more places to dump your stuff and allowing each folder to specialize in something specific. Of course, while you’re busy pouring out your ideas left right and center, you’re also branching out into a different readership and indirectly growing more established.

I think the blogosphere has seen the emergence of quite a few sideblogs and projects throughout the year. I won’t even attempt to link to all of them, but I started my own a couple months ago (though it won’t hit full stride until the new year). Ghostlightning also came up with a novel idea to keep track of comments, and Moritheil’s meta blog is still going strong. CCY’s Saimoe blog is now but a memory, far as I can tell, but it was an interesting idea while it lasted.

The bottom line is that as bloggers gain more experience and the act of writing about anime becomes less exotic, many of us search for ways to experience fandom from a different perspective and discover something new. This is obviously a good decision for us individually, but it’s also great for the community because it adds more variety and assures that we don’t get trapped in an endless cycle of episodic summaries and lit-crit essays on Tomino and Tezuka. Just don’t let it detract from you real blog!


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Gargron December 15, 2009 at 10:10 am

It’s not the love story and Hinagiku which/who made the second season of HnG so disappointing, it’s the large lack of references and jokes compared to the first season.

Also, I love Moritheil’s blog and what it’s based on. The idea of Twitter dramas is original and funny.


Scamp December 15, 2009 at 10:37 am

The problem with a meta blog is you might not pay attention to every part of the blogsphere. In fact you’ll only pay attention to the parts that interest you and miss dorama in other areas. For example, the bust up at Borderline Hikkikimori has been one of the most entertaining pieces of dorama I’ve seen in a while.

I never knew that ‘we remember comments’ site existed although I’m a bit miffed that it only includes comments from his own blog. What would be interesting would be if you could submit the best comments from your own blog. We all get interesting comments that deserve more than to just dissapear into the depths of a post.


ghostlightning December 15, 2009 at 11:29 am

Oh, my initial ambition was to get comments from everywhere, but I realize I can’t subscribe to every comments feed, and I don’t even read every blog post for obvious reasons.

Feel free to take this on!


ghostlightning December 15, 2009 at 11:32 am

Oh, re submissions: maybe we can do it by email for the mean time. Reach me via twitter for now. I’d like to try it.


RP December 15, 2009 at 7:39 pm

Geez, you spend a couple days not checking out twitter and all of a sudden all hell breaks loose. What the heck happened at Borderline?

I loved the move to a more dramatic, story-driven (closer to manga) turn for Hayate. Not that I didn’t love all the random, meta-humor from the first season, but it was just way too much. It probably also didn’t help that they had to fill 52 episodes with all sorts of bland fillers, whereas this 2nd season felt a lot tighter. Plus Hina is <3 Best tsundere ever.

I'm always eager to hear about people's side projects. For whatever reason I find that challenging the whole construct of writing a "typical" blog is very, very interesting.


Aorii December 15, 2009 at 10:55 am

An aniblogosphere version of bash.org sounds necessary.

But yeah, the growth and diversity is nice, as even the more obscure parts of the fandom are getting blogged about now. [rant]Although now it feels like tracking blogs is starting to consume too much time, not to mention there’s still the networking issue of finding said obscure blogs[/rant].


ETERNAL December 15, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Join Twitter or Google Reader Shared Items! Most good obscure blogs end up getting spotted by someone or the other, and they don’t stay obscure for long :P


Aorii December 16, 2009 at 11:26 am

Haha, thanks for the extra push, I find tweeter annoying but google reader is truly wondrous. Now I just need to find more people to follow and see if reader can config my subscriptions together in one giant feed for RSS ticker.

So behind on blogspheresurfing and online network. Engineering degree what have you done to me!?!


moritheil January 13, 2010 at 8:02 am

Ironically enough, it’s the other way around for me – GRSI usually pops up 200-400 new items per day, so I can never keep up with it, but Twitter is manageable.


Ryan A December 15, 2009 at 10:57 am

I also created something as such in my Micro category, which is fully abstracted from the blog’s main content, but does have it’s own feed ^^ and similarly there is a Comments category.

Moritheil should include forums in his slice-n-dice, twitter is just one source (just one implementation), and it’s not like “it has to be tweet drama” … right?


ETERNAL December 15, 2009 at 8:51 pm

I’d like to see some variety too, but I guess it’s hard to cover everything. Regrettably, it’s like Scamp said up there: no one is capable of tracking the entire sphere.

Now, it would make an interesting team project to try to create the ultimate meta blog, but the required time would pretty much force everyone to abandon their own blogs.


moritheil January 13, 2010 at 8:03 am

Hmm. Interesting idea. I think it suffers from the fact that so many forums are out there and it would take another level of effort to include them as well. But forum content is definitely something that should be included, yes. Ideally.


Canne December 15, 2009 at 11:42 am

I’m also somewhat tired of episode review posts that I usually skip them. The article/editorials and, of course series reviews provide more diversity and topic for discussions.


Shinmaru December 15, 2009 at 2:52 pm

What I like about the second season is that there’s always something going on to at least keep up interest. The first season lives and dies by its jokes and references; when they work, they’re hilarious, and when they don’t, they really drag (the middle of the first season REALLY drags, for me). But with the second season, I was never bored or not entertained by/laughing at something.

Plus, the second season has Hinagiku singing “Cruel Angel’s Thesis”. That just can’t be topped.


chii December 15, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Hayate no Gotoku is on my wtw list so i think i’ll move it up to be watched in the new year. it does look cute.


animemiz December 31, 2009 at 1:57 am

I definitely agree with this 12 moments.. there is a push and pull to and from anime, so definitely this is a good one. That definitely shows growth or for better or worse.


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