Two years ago, I posted my first editorial on this blog. It was pretty bad compared to the standards I have for my work now, but it was still my first step onto this blog and what would eventually grow into what I do today. While I’m not going to go super in depth about that today, I decided to commemorate my two years on this blog I would let you all ask me whatever questions you might have had for me on Twitter and today I’ll be answering them!
— Joe (@josefcd904) October 10, 2016
My desire to start blogging in general was kind of a spur of the moment decision. I noticed a lot of the people I coincidentally ended up following while I was becoming more active Twitter were active in the blogging community on WordPress. I figured why not try it myself? That created my now pretty extremely dead blog I try to revive occasionally and it got me at least slightly familiar with WordPress. Essentially my thought process for the decision was “Hey look at all these people doing it, that must be fun.”
#AskTsuyuki What made you want to start blogging and what kept you motivated for writing the blogs?
— Kiri (@camellirite) October 10, 2016
The grammar in this question makes me giggle. Anyways, seeing as I answered the first part of that question above, I’ll just go into the second half of it. What initially kept me motivated to write blog posts was nothing, and that’s why my personal blog is pretty dead as of now. Even after Nick agreed to me being on Anime Corps, I was pretty unmotivated to write anything; always convinced whatever I was writing wasn’t good enough. I kind of just stuck to reviews on this site for that reason since I used to write stupidly in-depth reviews on MyAnimeList and that was at least something I knew how to do. Now that I look back at it, all I was really missing was experience and not knowing how to portray myself to whatever audience might be reading my posts. After I got a gauge for that and know the kind of material that’s expected from me, I’m a lot more comfortable writing here and really the only thing keeping me motivated to write these editorials the deadlines I’ve set up for myself and knowing I have at least one person out there who reads what I write every week.
— Beebop (@BryanAKADJ) October 12, 2016
Funny you ask me this; I’ve only seen a couple of episodes but my initial reaction (and an opinion I still stand by) got several people to unfollow me on Twitter, as if my opinions on the original series weren’t worth that on it’s own. Anyways, I personally think Love Live! Sunshine!! was the worst show to air in Summer 2016. Out of the six shows I watched last season, Qualidea Code and Love Live! Sunshine!! were the only two I put on hold and the quality of the latter, in my opinion, was far worse than the former. Compared to the original, Sunshine!! makes School Idol Project seem like a genuinely good show, and everyone should be familiar with my opinions on the original by now. It felt like Sunshine!! was banking way too much off of the success of School Idol Project and referring it back to it so much, even in just the few episodes I’ve seen as of writing this, that the show lost all identity of it’s own. It felt like instead of the makers of School Idol Project making this show, fans of School Idol Project made Sunshine!! and wanted to fit in as many references and as much pandering as possible. As much as I dislike School Idol Project, at the very least it was it’s own show.
#AskTsuyuki what is the anime that was the biggest disappointment to you?
— SpooKyri (@Kyr1zz) October 12, 2016
Mekakucity Actors. Let me just paint up a scenario for you, you’re a huge Vocaloid fan and you love Jin’s Kagerou Project series to the point where they were some of the first Vocaloid albums you bought. Then you hear Studio SHAFT, the masterminds behind some of your favourite shows, The Monogatari Series, ef, and most importantly Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, was making an anime adaptation of Jin’s songs and not only that, but Jin himself will be brought on-board to make sure the show is staying in the right direction. Clearly, this is going to be the coolest anime ever, right? Then the show comes out as one of the biggest clusterfucks I’ve ever seen with terrible animation and art direction, randomly having some of the original Vocaloid songs covered by popular J-pop artists and others being kept as the originals, leaving out or changing huge plot points that happened in specific places in the original material, and somehow having too much dialogue in some episodes for even Monogatari fans – a show that had an episode where it was literally one character talking the entire time – then proceeding to leave out my personal favourite song from the series and one that is hugely popular amongst fans of the series to be uploaded to YouTube later as a TeddyLoid remix featuring Jin using ONE as a way to sell the music collection. Mekakucity Actors was terrible and will likely eternally be my least favourite anime of all time.
Okay here I go with an actual question. How did you get involved with Anime Corps? #AskTsuyuki
— Pokeytrix (@Pokekeytrix) October 16, 2016
I hope you weren’t expecting this epic tale about how Nick hand picked me from a vast array of choices, ’cause it’s nothing like that. All that happened was I noticed Nick had brought writers other than himself on to Anime Corps to write more posts and I, being unfamiliar with WordPress at the time, didn’t even know you could do that. So, I asked Nick in Direct Messages if he was looking for a new writer, he asked what I could write for the blog, and after me deciding to go along with his suggestion to write editorials despite me literally never writing an editorial in the past and hardly being familiar with what the word meant, I was a writer for this blog. I wasn’t even familiar with any of the writers on the team when I first joined, some of which have left since my joining and now I’m not even the newest member on the blog. In general, I’ve always been off in my little corner writing my own stuff and doing just what Nick has given me permission to do; rarely ever doing something I want to do regardless of permission. Granted, this Q&A along with the anniversary post going live in two days I decided to just do on my own, and posts like the Nico birthday post make me feel like Nick would be okay with me doing anything as long as it was relevant and I put as much effort into it as I do my normal posts, but I still tend to ask if I can do something before I do it. I dunno, I’m getting off topic now.
— Pokévolution Network (@pokevolutionnet) October 18, 2016
The hardest part about making anime reviews is really just making sure my opinion gets out there in a way that’s defend-able and isn’t baseless critique. In my opinion, reviews are a lot easier to write than editorials once I get the ball rolling. With editorials I have to chose a topic, decide a clear way to convey my stance on the topic, figure out a way discuss the topic that feels less like I’m shoving my opinion down your throat but instead opening up your mind to the idea of the topic so I can get you to think about it; which is a main difference between some of my first editorials and the editorials I release weekly now. With reviews the topic is already there and all I have to do is talk about my thoughts on the show and why I feel that way; boom, I’m done. As far as daily blogging struggles, it’s primarily thinking up of topics to write editorials on. There are quite a few weeks where I just didn’t release an editorial because I had no idea what to write about; because of that I now have a notepad file on my computer that’s just all of the ideas I could write about; writing about them in the way I like to do my editorials is the hard part. Another blogging struggle would just be releasing content that I’m proud of and think lives up to the standard I have for my work.
Is there any single factor (eg: art style, VA, etc.) that you consider a “make or break” issue when deciding to watch a series? #AskTsuyuki
— Westy of West (@ydna__san) October 19, 2016
Generally the biggest thing for me when deciding whether or not to give a show a watch is whether or not the premise seems interesting to me. If the initial idea doesn’t interest me whatsoever, see Yuri!!! on Ice for example as a show I don’t find any interest in the concept of so I really don’t want to force myself into it, I won’t bother. Of the 222 anime entries I’ve started on MAL, I’ve only ever dropped two, so if the initial premise is enough to catch my attention, 99% of the time I will at least finish the show.
Why do you love Nico so much? #AskTsuyuki
— Nick (@SkyCorps) October 19, 2016
#AskTsuyuki What is your least favorite and your favorite anime?
What is one show that you been told is good, but you don’t like it?
— Joe (@josefcd904) October 19, 2016
My least favourite anime is Mekakucity Actors for reasons I mentioned earlier. My all time favourite anime is selector infected WIXOSS because it’s beautifully dark and reminds me a lot of a show I love a lot, Madoka Magica, while also being about card games which is something I don’t see all too often anymore. It’s hard to explain my reasons for loving the show without diving deep into the show itself. A show I’ve been told is good but don’t like was I had to think about for awhile but eventually I remembered my distaste for the second Kara no Kyoukai movie. I’ve seen endless amounts of people praise that chapter in the story and adore it, but it was really just boring to me and was my least favourite movie in the series; especially after such an addicting intro like the first movie. Even after watching plenty of people praise the show and go into depth about why they enjoy it, I just don’t see it.
#AskTsuyuki what Is your favorite manga that you have read that hasn’t been adapted into an anime
— Derek O’Brien (@LoveableNagato) October 19, 2016
Small problem with this, I don’t read much manga. The only manga I’ve read that wasn’t adapted into an anime is the Yume Nikki manga (based off of the super trippy RPG Maker game of the same name) so I suppose that’s my answer. If it counts for anything, I started the Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu manga before the anime was even announced and I love the Yumekui Merry manga that despite being adapted into an anime, the show only captures a very tiny part of the story in the manga. If light novels count, I also really liked Fate/Apocrypha.
What is your favorite anime OST and what is your favorite track from that OST? #AskTsuyuki
— Nick (@SkyCorps) October 19, 2016
My favourite anime OST is without a doubt the Madoka Magica: Rebellion Story soundtrack. Yuki Kajiura is one of my favourite composers, not only in anime but in general, and the soundtrack for that movie not only stands out extremely well as beautiful independent tracks, but amplify the moment amazingly well whenever they’re used. My favourite track from that OST is either flame of despair or any rearranges of the track not yet, most notably something, everything is wrong and theatre of a witch.
#AskTsuyuki Favorite anime movie? Favorite anime movie soundtrack/ODT
— Derek O’Brien (@LoveableNagato) October 19, 2016
I’m going to assume you meant OST instead of ODT in this question; for that answer see above. If that’s not what you meant, I apologise. Anyways, my favourite anime movie is Kotonoha no Niwa or Garden of Words because holy crap that movie is an experience. Not an experience for everyone, not a perfect experience, but an experience. In a way it’s like a more powerful but less artistic Byousoku 5 Centimeter, which is another film I love. The emotion, animation, emphasis on character interactions, and the fact that there’s only really two characters yet it happens to deliver an amazing experience are all things I love. It’s kind of the same formula that makes me love planetarian (the visual novel) as much as I do. When each of these elements is perfected and combined perfectly in an extremely minimalist way, they create an experience that is truly unique depending on the characters that we get all of the focus and how they interact with each other. It’s something worth admiring from a writing perspective while simultaneously something amazing to witness.
Where do you draw the line when it comes to the author utilizing fan suggestions/feedback/opinions in his story? #AskTsuyuki
— 東風谷早苗 (@StarbucksSanae) October 19, 2016
This ultimately depends on when the author in question is utilising fan suggestions. If it’s pre-writing or during writing, I think the author should ignore fan input entirely. While the story is still in your mind and growing, as a writer you need to let yourself develop the story. Hearing input from fans on this matter can turn your story less into what you want it to be and more into a fantasyscape for your followers. If it’s after you finish the project and it’s publicly available, listen to every single word. This project is now done and the people who enjoy your work will be able to tell you what they thought of your experience from an angle you literally cannot see. Of course, you should take it with a grain of salt; not everything said is constructive and not everything is useful, as good as the intentions from others may be. Your production should always be your own, and afterwords it is always good to learn from where you production fell short; and it did somewhere, nothing is perfect.
With those answered, that was my Q&A! Now, I’m happy to announce that over the next two days at the usual time, there will be posts in celebration of me being on this blog for two whole years! Thank you to everyone who asked me a question, and I’ll see you all tomorrow for the Friday editorial!
The featured image for this post was drawn by pixiv artist まさる.jp.