Random Curiosity

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The Sum is Greater Than Its Parts

Shimizu Raimei
I promised a status update at the end of the week, so here it is.

“What’s going on Div?”

As readers have undoubtedly noticed in the past few weeks, my coverage of shows hasn’t been nearly as timely as usual. The reason being, I started a new job at the beginning of February and have been prioritizing it over watching anime, let alone blogging it. I’ve switched to a full-time Android development position with tight project deadlines and have been putting in extra hours as needed. It’s an exciting time for me as I enjoy the work and the challenges that come with it, so I actually don’t mind bringing my work home with me and sitting in front of the computer and coding on some nights. The problem is, that kind of unpredictable schedule makes it rather difficult to adhere to the blogging one that I have for the site, not to mention that I can be mentally exhausted afterward and just want to unwind and blogging three shows on a given night isn’t exactly the best way of going about that.

I had actually told myself that I’d have to take an indefinite leave of absence from Random Curiosity if I got this job, but I didn’t want to just drop coverage of my 9 shows mid-season so I prolonged my decision to see how I’d manage if I gave the site much less priority than work/life balance. Well one month later, I can tell you it’s definitely taken its toll when I can easily have a daunting backlog of 8 posts in the mere span of 4 days (Thu – Sun). I don’t know if everyone realizes how much time it takes to run the site in its current form, but it generally takes me 25 hours a week just for my portion, which in conjunction with working at home on some nights, really feels like I’m putting in the hours required for two full-time jobs. It doesn’t leave much time for anything else — not even playing a video game for half a day — which I found out when I “made time” to play Final Fantasy XIII-2 this past month and got through it as quickly as possible (~30 hours… what’s with the ending?). That naturally came at the expense of sleep and further delaying posts though. I also don’t like the fact that my posts are “slow”, which I agree goes against one of the main appeals of the site.

 

“So what happens now?”

Effective immediately, I’m going to do what I probably should’ve done a month ago and reluctantly transition away from active blogging on the site — at least for the foreseeable future. We’re approaching the two year anniversary since I took over Random Curiosity and I don’t intend to put readers through a repeat of 2010 by using the “R” word come April, so my plan is to simply go on an indefinite leave of absence. The current writers, whom I’ve been very happy with, have expressed interest in continuing to cover shows and even taking over some of mine for the remainder of the season. The site will NOT be closing down — not so long as there are people to regularly update it in the “spirit” of Random Curiosity.

The recent poll has made it very clear that this blog has outgrown the personal interests and efforts of one or two people and turned into an outlet for anime that’s supported by its own community, so it should continue to thrive with the collective effort of those who understand the appeal of a site like this and want to be a part of the content coming out of it. With 7 active writers — the most that the site’s ever had — I have every reason to believe that things will continue along just fine without me. During the transition period, I’ll be taking on more of an administrative/editorial role and familiarizing the current writers with some of the “featured” posts that I’ve been responsible for.

 

“What about your current shows?”

As mentioned above, the writers will be finishing coverage of some of my shows this season. In most cases, this will be only one more show per writer, as I don’t want any of them to take their contributions to the site beyond something they can do at their own leisure. It’s already pretty demanding to write on a schedule week after week, so 2-3 shows per season is the recommended maximum for any one person. At the moment, this is what I’ve confirmed with the other writers for the rest of the season. (Please watch this space for any updates.)

Unfortunately, this means that some of my shows will likely to be dropped.

 

“Are you looking for more help?

Yes I am. For the first time since inheriting the site, I’m openly looking for new writers who can start immediately to reduce the number of shows dropped and take on ~2 shows per season going forward. I’ve had plenty of people e-mail me in the past and have had to turn a lot away, but now I’m looking to bring on 3-4 new writers to help cover the 7-9 shows that I usually take on every season. I will be giving preference to 1.) female applicants (since there’s been an interest to hear more feminine perspectives), 2.) applicants who aren’t students that will get bogged down by homework/projects, and 3.) those who understand enough Japanese to watch anime raw and read information from Japanese sources. The last one hasn’t been much of a requirement with the prevalence of simulcasts in recent years, but I need some contributors to help fill in that language void that I’ll be leaving behind.

Other qualifications are as follows:

  • Good written English skills. Preferably college/university level.
  • An insightful and objective outlook on anime.
  • Ability to stick to a blogging schedule and write on days you may not feel like it.
  • Some technical experience taking screen capture and using Photoshop is beneficial.
  • An abundance of free time and a diverse taste in anime are big pluses.

If you’re interested, please send me an e-mail titled [RandomC Application] with:

  • What your anime background/history is (e.g. how you got into it, what some of your favorite series are),
  • Why you want to blog for the site,
  • A sample post on a recent episode of one of the remaining shows that I’m currently covering, and
  • A batch of 36 screen captures (zipped).

This will allow me to get a good sense of both your writing and view on anime to see if they’re a good fit.

In the meantime, I’m going to try and cover some of my remaining shows, such as Guilty Crown which I feel like I owe it to myself to see it through.

 

“What about the season previews?”

Incidentally, the fact that I haven’t even looked at the list of shows for next season was one of the biggest reasons behind taking an indefinite leave from the site and having new help come in. (I normally start researching for the next preview mid-season, i.e. two weeks ago.) Verdant has offered to put one together for Spring and I’ll be doing everything I can to help him with the ins and outs of doing so, as well as supplementing what I can from Japanese sources. This may evolve into more of a collaborative process that involves more writers, but for now, the plan is definitely to have one ready before the start of the next season.

 

“Will you ever come back to blog regularly?”

Quite honestly, I haven’t thought that far ahead to answer this question definitively. Real-life priorities have taken hold and if things are smooth sailing even without me, then I probably won’t feel the need to come rushing back. If readership takes a nosedive and it makes little sense to keep the site running in its current form (which I highly doubt will happen), then I’ll likely intervene before it gets to some unsalvageable point. The site is currently in capable and proven hands and that’s what matters the most. I may stick my nose in from time to time though. I’ll also be idling in IRC a fair bit.

 

On behalf of all the writers and myself, I’d like to thank you all for your support over the years — 3.5 years now for me — and making Random Curiosity into the anime blog that it is today. If you have any other questions, concerns, suggestions, complaints (?), I’m willing to hear them out. All I ask is that they’re presented in a constructive manner.

 

Updates:
03/10: I’ve gone through the 35 or so applications that I’ve received and have shortlisted them down to ~8 people, many of whom are female. There are a lot of candidates who show promise and fit RC’s perspective on anime, so I may even bring on board more than 4 writers. I apologize for taking a while with this review process and keeping everyone in suspense, but I want to make sure that I give everyone proper consideration.
03/07: I still haven’t gone through all the applications yet, so for those who have applied, please be aware I haven’t contacted anyone yet. I’ll post an update after I’ve done so.
03/04: Thank you everyone who took the time to send in applications already. Please keep them coming. I’ve received quite a lot already and will be going through them over the course of this week and contacting those who are a good fit.

March 3, 2012 at 3:55 pm
292 comments »
  • March 5, 2012 at 10:19 amFrito

    Divine, if you are still here. Is it possible for you to blog your android project. Sounds interesting.

    • March 7, 2012 at 11:16 pmDivine

      That’s an interesting request, but I’m not taking a break from blogging so that I can blog about something else. :)

      • March 11, 2012 at 3:54 amComM3

        Make a RC app

  • March 5, 2012 at 12:45 pmSeishun Otoko

    Thanks for picking up Black Rock Shooter, Takaii. You’re such a Bro! ;)

  • March 5, 2012 at 1:32 pmMoses

    Never really felt the need to comment before, but on this I would like to say thank you, you’ve always given me something interesting to read and always thought of something that I hadn’t thought about (which generally turned out to be true…)
    Good luck with you job, and hopefully we’ll all hear from you, from time to time :)
    Thanks again Divine, you’ll be missed!

  • March 5, 2012 at 1:57 pmboingman

    @yo:
    It’s Raimei Shimizu (take a look at the file name) from Nabari No Ou.

  • March 5, 2012 at 2:36 pmKamion

    No one continuing Guilty Crown? Damn, that would mean that I have to watch it to find out how it ends lol

    • March 6, 2012 at 1:30 pmBROOKLYN otaku

      HAHAHA!!! I HEAR THAT!!! “this can be said for quite a few shows this season”

  • March 5, 2012 at 4:54 pmSuppa Tenko

    It would be nice to have someone blog Aquarion. Nice Romeo Juliet development this week.

  • March 5, 2012 at 6:22 pmKabitzin

    Best of luck with the new job and the site evolution/transition!

    • March 11, 2012 at 1:42 amDivine

      Thanks Kabitzin. I hope everything’s going well for you and your crew over at Sea Slugs too.

  • March 5, 2012 at 6:43 pmRednights

    Good luck on the future all nighters before that deadline!

  • March 5, 2012 at 10:42 pmLectro Volpi

    Nothing lasts forever, I know.

    Drop by sometimes Mr. Divine Comedy.

  • March 6, 2012 at 1:54 amdeafvader

    Divine, usually you would singe handedly cover “Best anime of 20XX”. so who would be doing 2012?

    • March 7, 2012 at 11:17 pmDivine

      Undecided at the moment. It’ll probably evolve into a collaborative thing like the season previews.

  • March 6, 2012 at 6:10 amEclipse

    We will miss you and good luck on your new job :)
    Hopefully the new writers will take Random Curiosity to new heights!

  • March 6, 2012 at 10:19 amSudachi

    Thanks Divine – Your insight will be missed and you’ve really made this one of the best anime sites out there. Seems like you’ve cultivated a lot of new talent here so I look forward to your current writers carrying on the torch! Good luck with the new job and hope you’ll pop in from time to time.

  • March 6, 2012 at 10:22 amShirt

    I have every single one of the qualifications down except for the College/University level English skills. Ugh.. How badly I would love to write for the blog. So much free time. I actually tried making my own Season Preview a while back and Divine, I bow down to you. It is hard work. -_-”

    I’m looking into giving my writing skill a level up because I think I’d view anime and the way I describe them differently. Hopefully I’ll be in time to help out here later on down the road. Been coming here since the B.D. era (Before Divine) when Omni was in power.

    Either way, congratulations and best wishes.

  • March 7, 2012 at 12:17 amChloesong

    Congratulations Divine on your new job! Your views and dedication to details will be sorely missed. Your new job sounds very exciting and as a long time reader, I am sincerely happy for you.

    I’m looking forward to the new female writers. Thank you for making sure that the site is in good hands before passing on the leadership.

    Will someone take up the Naruto manga coverage? Because I’ll miss those. :(

    When Omni left, I thought it marked the end of RC. Then you took over and raised in into something even more better. Thank you so much for all your hard work up until now! I hope you enjoy your well deserved rest and guest post often. I’ll be following your GC coverage to the end.

    Best of luck Divine!

    • March 7, 2012 at 1:01 amChloesong

      Ps. Wow, talk about full circle. A Nabari no Ou image to match with your introduction post back in 2008….. Not to mention, it was one of the first series you blogged. . :’<
      We'll miss you Divine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • March 7, 2012 at 1:07 amChloesong

        Pss. I can’t help noticing it takes 3-4 writers to cover what Divine takes in a season. :P Summer 2012 is going be a season record for having different writers on RC.

      • March 11, 2012 at 8:25 pmXumbra

        This confirms my belief that Divine is a robot.

  • March 7, 2012 at 7:46 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    WE STILL ON THIS TOPIC!?!?! aight my niggas!! there’s a new SORA NO OTOSHIMONO movie OUT!!!!! “yeah i know been its been out fo a min ..raw” NOW CHOP CHOP …DASHOO!! lets get that in!already!! life moves on.

  • March 7, 2012 at 8:06 pmDa5id

    I’m actually more surprised we have less than 300 comments and we somehow have 3 pages. I guess I’m just used to it all being on one page.

    • March 7, 2012 at 8:39 pmThe Moondoggie

      Well it’s a pretty big issue. I can’t remember if Omni’s own goodbye post surpassed this one….

      • March 7, 2012 at 8:53 pmDa5id

        No, I mean, in GC posts, the post number goes over 400, but it’s still just one page. Maybe it’s because most of those are replies, not individual posts.

    • March 7, 2012 at 11:15 pmDivine

      This is because I lowered the amount of comments per page.

  • March 8, 2012 at 3:00 amJay

    I wish you good luck on your day-to-day job. /Salute

  • March 8, 2012 at 4:04 amAlpha

    Congratz on your project Divine!
    Sincerely, thank you for your magnificient efforts on RC..
    It’s been evolving more and more.. :)

  • March 8, 2012 at 5:43 pmhafizan

    bravo the author.. actualy long time i read at here also…

  • March 8, 2012 at 9:55 pmZanibas

    The writing applicants must be feeling like high school students waiting for their acceptance letters to come in…only I bet this is a whole lot more nervewracking :P.

    Of course, no rush for Divine to choose, it’s a careful decision that’s unrushable after all.

  • March 9, 2012 at 1:20 pmLunafloon

    I originally became a fan of RandomC because of Divine’s coverage of Sora no Otoshimono, and even though I love the other writers too, Divine was always my favourite, I guess I just prefer his writing style.
    Either way, it’s sad to see you go, but I wish you luck and hope that you one day come back, but if you don’t then that’s completely fine!
    I’m looking forward to see how the others do without you, RandomC has a lovely bunch of bloggers :3

  • March 9, 2012 at 2:39 pmlaaa

    This is definitely sad as for me this site was RC-Divine something with very similar meanings. These were good years and I had alot fun visiting. And for most of time I ve been wondering how can you do some much and never get tired of it…
    Well then cya and good luck!

  • March 9, 2012 at 7:19 pmKitsu

    Why I can’t hold all this tears?

  • March 10, 2012 at 2:27 amGodKnows

    I’ve seen people do android development…It looks like a terrible curse of nothing but hours and hours of coding in java.

  • March 10, 2012 at 6:18 pmTFOG

    Most of them are females? Well, that sounds interesting, we might get a dif… Wait, are any of the current writers female? XD

  • March 10, 2012 at 6:31 pmSmiley

    I don’t suppose I can do anything to increase my chances short of sex reassignment surgery… I think I’ll just keep my fingers crossed instead.

  • March 10, 2012 at 7:00 pmKuroshi

    I wonder how many applicants there have been and how many have been female. XD

  • March 10, 2012 at 7:39 pmOutcast

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • March 10, 2012 at 8:04 pmHastella

      I don’t understand. Why don’t you think females are as good enough as guys to blog about anime? Do you think we’re biased about girly-girly shows or are all rabid yaoi fangirls? Not all of us fit this criteria, and we women are entitled to our opinions on anime too, aren’t we?

      You should at least give us a chance before posting comments like these. We girls might just surprise you.

      • March 11, 2012 at 4:17 amOutcast

        It’s like female comedians they’re just not my thing.

      • March 11, 2012 at 4:21 amDa5id

        So it’s their gender you have a problem with? Not they’re actually strength in their job?

      • March 11, 2012 at 4:23 amOutcast

        You might be able to surprise me. But mostly i’ll be waiting for you to quit after trying, not being able to cover broad spectrums of anime (in the spirit of randomc), and not be entertaining.

  • March 10, 2012 at 11:31 pmJam

    I’m already waiting for your indefinite hiatus to finish…
    Good luck with your job, but come back soon! :)

  • March 11, 2012 at 6:34 amRaso

    Female writers does that mean we will get more Shojo shows like Pretty Cure and such here?

  • March 11, 2012 at 11:05 amErif

    I don’t mean to offend, but I think you’re ignoring the major problem, and you’ve even mentioned it yourself. “2-3 shows per season is the recommended maximum for any one person,” you said. You don’t need to burn yourself out and blog a whopping nine shows, especially for someone like you, who has other priorities. Hell, I’d say five shows would be the max for someone situation as yourself. There may be ten great shows worth blogging, but you should limit yourself to a select few. You have also have several other bloggers contributing to the site, so between you and them, you should be able to produce an adequate number of episodic posts for an adequate number of anime. Quality of quantity, my friend.

    As for applying for a position, it may not work out in my favor because
    A) I’m not female.
    B) I’m student (and a rather poor one) and
    C) I can’t speak Japanese

    Nor do I sufficiently meet the other qualifications (I’m probably more subjective than objective, and I have no expertise with Photoshop, though I could learn if I tried) So maybe I’ll lay low?…

    • March 11, 2012 at 11:49 amErif

      Meant to say “quality over quantity”. My mistake.

  • March 11, 2012 at 2:50 pmsuff

    Here’s my suggestion.

    Since this blog is going to written by a whole bunch of writers, Divine, you as the operator of the site, need to work more on advertising. I think RC has a lot more potential readers than what we have right now (even though the site has seen substantial growth), and those extra readers can help RC to retain its writers and staff.

    I am not exactly sure how this can be done, unfortunately. Maybe a brain-storm session is needed.

  • March 11, 2012 at 3:21 pmSoren

    I know all this has been said before, but I wanted to submit my record of gratitude towards your work Divine. I discovered this blog 5 years ago, and it was a great blog to keep me updated on all things anime. It is sad to see you go, but it is perfectly understandable. RC’s success, especially in transition, I find is that the community is a very enthusiastic one. That is key because it keeps it alive and thriving. You did a wonderful job maintaining that level of quality, and I wish you all the best in your new job!

  • March 12, 2012 at 3:51 pmayasawada

    Glad the site’s still going to continue and woo-hoo to new writers! Community approach rocks!

    Thanks for all your blogging and (continued) hard work behind the scenes Divine. New job sounds awesome. Being one of the lucky who have a day job I’m passionate about, I know how rare that is. Best of luck with it all.

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