Random Musings – The “Survival” Strategy
August 25, 2011 at 3:25 am
Over the past month, anime has slipped quite a bit on my priority list. Work’s been hectic and I find that I don’t get home until seven or eight in the evening on some days, leaving very little time to watch anime let alone blog about it. Then there are other real-life priorities with family, a social life, and moments where I want to laze away and relax (maybe even play a game) — all of which have really taken precedence over the site as of late. I’ve managed to make do by squeezing as many waking hours out of a day as I can, hence why you see posts published in the early hours of the morning (i.e. 2-5 AM), but it’s become painfully obvious that I can’t — and shouldn’t — maintain such a grueling schedule for any prolonged period of time.
I don’t like having to push out a post three or four days later, even though I know most readers are pretty understanding when I have to. It’s against my style and the standards that people have come to expect from RandomC. As far as I’m concerned, if I don’t have time to cover an episode when I should, I shouldn’t be covering that many shows at once. Thursdays and Fridays have been particularly bad ever since I decided to pick up IDOLM@STER, Mayo Chiki, Ro-Kyu-Bu, and the Ouran High School Host Club drama. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to blog six shows in two days — more than a lot of writers on both RandomC and other blogs generally cover in a week — hence the recent poll to help decide on what shows to drop. A series’ popularity is never the deciding factor on what I cover, but it does make sense to take it into account when I’m pressed for time. I’m completely happy covering all the shows that I am now and fully intend to continue watching them, so it comes down to a matter of how to best spend my time. I also want readers to feel like they have some input on the content that comes out of the site, since you’ll ultimately be the ones reading it.
So with that in mind, I want to formally let everyone know what the plan is going forward.
I have no intention whatsoever of dropping Mawaru Penguindrum. I’m fully committed to Ikuhara Kunihiko’s original series for the full two cours since it’s one of the most refreshing series to roll around in the past while.
Takaii has kindly offered to continue covering Mayo Chiki on my behalf. He should be fine since he usually has to push out coverage of Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni until the weekend due to a lack of subs.
After covering five much-to-be-desired episodes of BLOOD-C and seeing that the story’s finally taken a significant turn in the sixth one that Prooof helped with, I’m going to continue covering it for at least another week. I may hand it off to Prooof or Enzo after that, depending on whether they’re interested enough.
I really want to continue covering IDOLM@STER given how it’s a slice-of-life series that actually features character development and how A-1 Pictures is doing wonderful things on the production side, but I know I’m just asking for trouble if I commit to two Thursday shows that will be carrying over to the fall season. I’m fully intent on covering the new noitaminA series Guilty Crown in October (which was the site’s banner until just recently), plus there will undoubtedly be other new shows I want to cover airing on Thursdays as well. I’ve had the full line-up of shows in a Fall 2011 Preview draft since July, so I already know IM@S will have some pretty stiff competition blogging-wise. It didn’t fair too well in the poll either, even though it seems I’ve sparked some new interest. For the time being, I’ll look at it on week-to-week basis and see how it goes.
Ro-Kyu-Bu’s coverage is officially dropped. I still intend to watch the series until the very end, but there’s been very little I care to talk about on a weekly basis. The series had a very strong start, featuring drama elements that I would’ve never anticipated from its premise. Since the completion of the first arc, it’s become fairly generic so I don’t have any problems dropping it.
The Ouran High School Host Club drama is something I really want to cover to completion since it would be my first live-action drama on the site. I’m well aware the interest is low, since not many anime fans cross the border to the 3D realm, but feel that it’s a good adaptation as far as Japanese dramas go and deserves some attention. I’m behind an episode at the moment, but I intend to catch up.
I still plan to blog the final movie in the Break Blade series. I’ve already re-watched the movie to take screen captures and get a quick reminder of what I saw nearly three months ago when Bandai Channel streamed it. I simply haven’t had a chance to write up a proper reflection and final impression of it. I’m tentatively aiming for this weekend.
Last but definitely not least, we won’t be posting monthly Retrospective Looks anymore. I didn’t want to get rid of them since I really like how they provide contrasting impressions from the writers on all the shows being covered, plus all the shows we’re watching that aren’t, but it’s an absolutely daunting task to go through if anyone watches over fifteen shows a season. (Thirty is even crazier.) The original idea was that they would only take five minutes or so per entry, but the reality is that a lot of thought goes into saying something meaningful in the limited amount of space and it generally takes me a day and a half to complete my part of an RL post. It doesn’t help that there really isn’t time to work on it amidst all the shows being covered and that it requires a coordinated effort to make sure everyone gets their part done on time. The timing is also really bad, especially at the end of every quarter when I’m scrambling to finish the season preview and will be swamped by Series Introduction posts on new shows. I’ve spoken to the other writers and none of us have particularly enjoyed writing an RL post past the first and second ones. They’re a lot of work (which I’d like to believe shows in the end result) and it would be a huge burden off our backs to simply get rid of them. There’s a chance they may be brought them back in some reduced form, possibly only for shows that aren’t being covered regularly, but I’m going to enjoy not having to write a substantial post every month that takes away time I could be using to get the season preview out earlier.
So there you have it. I hate having to drop a series partway through — something that I’ve never done before — but if the option is to either dial back or retire from blogging altogether, I’d like to try and make things work with the former before having to consider the latter. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions (short of getting more writers), you know what to do. I’m even willing to listen to complaints within reason.
Addendum: Thanks for the vote of confidence everyone, but please don’t read too much into the post title. I simply used it to go with the image and the quotation marks around “survival” are intended to be sarcastic. This post is merely a formal way of letting everyone what’s going on and why certain shows and the RL post are being dropped. I can still manage a show a day so it’s not like the site’s in a dire state or anything.