I could quit whenever I want – honest…

When does a hobby become a job?

I recently had the opportunity to put together a piece on anime blogging for MAL. After some consideration it seemed to me that the best way to do so was to solicit the input of my colleagues. So I did just that, and some of the crew here at RC was kind enough to participate. I also interviewed Setsuken, the founder of Anime Evo, one of the best anime websites out there.

The article is here – thanks again to all the writers who shared their thoughts!

  Participating Writers


  1. Great article, I thought Jigs advice on people wanting to blog anime was the best there. I personally think people should just write what they’re happy to write. If you love anime, and a series, putting a lot of yourself into a post isn’t a bad thing. I know putting a personal touch may offend one or two people, but for every jerk, you’ll have a lot more people who appreciate what you do!

  2. Great article and enjoyed and learned from the insights provided by the various bloggers.

    This might be sad, but I don’t think Anime Blogging actually has much of an impact on the industry itself.
    Anime, at the moment, seems to be exclusively created for the local audience of its home country, Japan.

    IMHO, That is it’s biggest appeal and what makes it truly unique in the world —
    I pray that never changes, ever, never, no, do not want.

    I don’t want Japanese Anime producers to cater to my wishes or my Western
    sensibilities; it’s up to me to train up my game to their level and point of view.
    My biggest fear / nightmare id that it will become Disneyfied – and that would
    be very sad.

    Do I feel as if we have any influence? On the industry, not much…

    This is going to sound like sarcasm, but the fundamental reason Western blogging
    has little influence on the Anime industry is that it’s all in English. English, on a good
    day with a strong tailwind, is a very difficult language to learn for a foreigner and
    especially to master. Then add all of the colloquialisms and “everyday” slang that is
    used, it’d really take a true bi-lingual Japanese/English reader to make sense out of
    what is written. I don’t have experience with any Japanese people, but my career
    has placed me working with Indians. Even Indians who have been here for years
    still are sometimes lost by the dialogue in some American movies. So, I think a
    similar thing may apply with Japanese speakers as well.

    There are also matters of national pride and identity, and resource availability
    which adds to their reluctance to generally seek out feedback from non-native
    viewers — it’s not like there’s a shortage of a native audience the industry can
    draw upon for input about their work.

    But all of these things apply to Western media as well, I can’t think of a single
    Western producer who has ever said, “…boy, I hope this does well in Japan.”

    With all of that, for me, I respect and appreciate the effort the RC bloggers and
    all of the other bloggers put into their art. Blogging is definitely a labour of love!

    Thank you!

    1. To be fair, English is only hard to learn because it’s a slutty thug of a language that dragged several other languages into a back alley and mugged and/or fucked them for their words/sentence structures, until it’s a brutal mutt of a tongue with exceptions for all of its exceptions.

      On the plus side, English is one of the easiest languages to create words for. It’s not like German, where they have to be approved by some government agency or something. We just make shit up and start using them. English is insane, but it’s versatile. Plus, at least it has an alphabet. I laugh when people say Chinese (Mandarin) will become the next lingua franca. It will not. That shit’s too crazy hard. Esperanto would happen first. (Probably.)

      Keep in mind that there’s a difference between catering to a western audience, and demanding that foreign viewers familiarize themselves with Japanese cultural norms and anime tropes. Some anime already do this just fine. I got a non-anime watching friend to watch Log Horizon because he liked MMORPGs and its story is friendly to all MMOers. It would certainly be sad if all the weird shows disappeared (Dagashi Kashi, for instance), but that need not be all there is. It need not be an either/or option, basically; we can have both.

      And you’re very much wrong about Western producers. While they might not single out Japan in particular, they’re damn well thinking about Europe, Russia, India, and China. The days when you could make a blockbuster by catering to American/Western audiences alone passed along with flicks like Independence Day in the late 90’s/early aughts. The big studios are trying to sell tickets worldwide now.

    2. IMO the issue is more audience than language. Anime is simply targeted to Japanese audiences as most studios are unwilling taking risks to try and expand beyond them. You would see blogging have a larger impact when/if Japanese producers started considering expanding beyond their core base. Such a thing is incredibly unlikely though, as it would require gambling on productions which are more “western” oriented when most groups have doubled down on light novel adaptations and more “Japan-esque” stories. Until we see a Space Dandy emerge that wows the western market, little consideration for western tastes beyond licensing out dubs is ever going to be given.

      You’re wrong with German 😛 German is actually the easier language to “invent” words as the language is designed around combining base words into long, ridiculous monstrosities. You’re correct that for any of these inventions to be “approved” they must meet certain standards, but that is largely for appearing in dictionaries. It’s one of the reasons the language was the scientific lingua franca in the 19th/20th centuries. English got around the issue by wholesale adopting Latin and Greek for terms and definitions, and using whatever the hell it felt like from other languages for concepts lacking a good English phrase (like sayonara or gesundheit). German is easier for understanding what the words mean (just need to break them up into their stem words), while English provides the near bottomless pit of words for new concepts–just have to memorize each any every new one 😉

      1. Ahhh, I was thinking of the official thing then. Maybe that’s just ’cause English is such a bastard of a language that we don’t pay attention to what the official rulemakers say. They mostly follow what society has already decided, or get ignored.

        And to be fair, most English speakers don’t know that many words, and can get along quite well without knowing the esoteric ones, like esoteric. Though I freely admit that I tend to wax poetic about the language, because it’s such a damn foolish yet strangely beautiful one, and because it’s sort of my business. Plus, for authors, it’s wonderful; widely adopted and difficult to master means there’s a market for those who’ve mastered it >:3

      2. Until we see an special Dandy

        You know, lately i saw the prototype for Space Dandy. i watched “redline” the OVA Movie. Well, how should i put it. This is nice Animation and action, but did you found the Story? i still looking inside my brain where i lost it. They just put 2 races together extend it to fill the space, they even used an “Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind” living Bioweapon idea… (if you watched redline, it surly bite you), so my brain come to the conclusion: redline is more an proof of principle what these animators are capable of, it lacks heavy on good story

      3. Need the Realty TV phase to finally pass to a whimper. Then there will be more room for Dandy experiments to succeed and be profitable compared to Realty TV. We do need to introduce the Anime Industry to Netflix series where there might be room. I know the Japanese Government wants Anime and Manga to come over here. Two years ago at EPCOT the Japan art exhibit was how traditional Japanese art translated into Manga and Anime. The Japan exhibit like all the others at EPCOT is ran by the country that sponsored it.

      4. Personally I’ve always thought that when studios make anime, they look to recoup the money from their national audience first and foremost. That’s not me saying overseas revenue isn’t important, but their main revenue source will always be the fans they produce the show for who buy the BD/DVDs, manga or light novels and others.

    3. I don’t want Japanese Anime producers to cater to my wishes or my Western
      sensibilities; it’s up to me to train up my game to their level and point of view.
      My biggest fear / nightmare id that it will become Disneyfied – and that would
      be very sad.

      Me, too. I falled in love with their own unique style. I fell in Love of their Nippon ways doing their stuff. There is no need for me for them making it more murica style.

      i am become an Anime Veteran Viewer, i wrote on purpose Anime. Not Disney or Animation. Anime is from Nippon, and i saw some Disney (nearly all of them has the same storyline, Only Frozen did break out of it at the end), some French (TV Animations).

      Disney and murcia influence:
      Best example where to much murica Style “destroyed” the film for me, is “Final Fantasy the Movie”. I saw the original Storyboard, and it had more tension for me, then this smooth played Movie lines… (*yawn* murica way of storylines..), okay Titan AE was good. perhaps they done making the “way to the target” better. But Disney in my past became more and more musicals, even Frozen still follow this lines. Disney without musical are not Disney, it seems this stereotypical thinking is strong in murica and even Hollywood

      Perhaps this is a Culture thing

      Frech influence:
      Well, some Nippon animators did sad they had some influence of some french mangas. Valerie and Veronique (these time travelers) and some others, here the french inspiration did benefit their Style, gave them more other ways of drawing characters (or you would still see these old Samurai style persons)

      I dunno, but french and Nippon manga roots, helped both out to expand their view (and if there are still some french animators, please continue if possible)

      So, yes. I became an Nippon Anime/Manga Veteran, but lately the Story telling of Nippon Animes are became also predictably like Disney, their own stereotypical thinking are coming back, to pleasure the old fans with their big Wallet. Even if they need to go deep into the Ecchi section

      But i still love their way of doing their own Animes. Please be yourself, it is me how has to choose, not the other way around (except their plan to bring it worldwide. Then please be Nippons drawing their way, not Nippons living in murica)

      Uff, wall of text. But i hope i wrote all i had in mind here

    4. English may be hard to master, but I think it’s actually fairly easy to learn. Compared to Arabic, French, Japanese and Mandarin at least. And when it comes to written English, it actually becomes a lot easier, since it uses one of the more common writing system. Of course it also depends on what your first language actually is. A more similar language would definitely be easier to learn than an alien one. But generally speaking I think English is quite easy. At least when comparing how easy it is to pick up just from TV, not from taking courses.

      But when it comes to accents, that’s a different matter. My Mum speaks American. Most of her family actually had a hard time understanding me when I spoke Scottish. So, it wouldn’t be strange for Indians to find American hard since they probably have more exposure to British and, obviously, local accents. I used to find Japanese English hard to understand, but currently I could understand the English version of NHK just fine. Not sure if the improvement was on me or them. When it comes to writing, most of the accent disappears, so it tends to be easier to understand. A funny thing with friends and associates around eastern Asia is the fact that they actually find it easier to understand American compared to Australian. Hollywood probably had something to do with that.

      1. Amen on accents. I’ve repeatedly tested in the upper 95th percentile of English vocabulary and usage (in high school and college … I’ve gotten radically better since then, thanks RC + writing books), and yet there are STILL people who speak English that I understand less than people speaking Japanese. Light English or Scottish accents are usually no biggie (I’ve no problem understanding everything Samucchi says, for instance), but then there are those movies (like Kingsman) with British characters I need to turn the damn subtitles on. And I’m a native speaker.

        When someone learns English as a second language, learns it properly, and then takes their proper English and matches it up against a native speaker who’s been doing whatever the fuck for their entire lives … yeah, some wires can get crossed. It doesn’t help that, unlike something like Italian, which is only spoken in one relatively small country, English is spread out from Australia to Britain to the breadth of the USA and Canada, not to mention all the people who speak it for business purposes.

        Anywho, maybe back to talking about aniblogging, lol 😛

  3. Ani-blogging? Well, I am trying right now but I won’t be lying that it’s not as grand as I thought it will be. You’ll start alone and unless you have some real good talent, you won’t be known. Sigh.

    1. I don’t think you have to be talented to be well known. Anyone can write an opinion of an anime on a blog, you just have to be you know, different? I think people will follow a blog for a wide variety of reasons.

    2. It isn’t about talent. For most things in life, it’s not about talent. It’s about doing it, and figuring out how to do it better, and figuring out how to give people more value than whatever you’re asking them to pay (whether it’s in money, time, or attention). If you’re not where you want to be yet, figure out how to provide more value, and how to tell people about what you’re doing.

      I know multiple people who are better writers than me, yet I’m the one who’s published books and writes for thousands of people a week. It’s not because of talent—it’s because I’m persistent, I make time every single day, I try to provide more value every day, and I let people know.

      Oh, and luck. Luck is useful too, but work is more dependable.

      Also, I favor longer excerpts on a personal blog, to lower the barrier of entry to people reading a post. Maybe give that a shot.

      1. No. Different is a choice. Whenever you think of the world in the framework of talent—of natural aptitude or skill—as opposed to a framework of choice and hard work, you limit yourself.

        I’ll give you a simple example. I’m 6’7″ (2m) tall, so I have a natural attribute that could have allowed me to play in the NBA. While height isn’t a talent, it’s something natural, which I had no control over. But I didn’t do the work, because I didn’t choose to, so I didn’t play in the NBA.

        If you loved basketball but weren’t tall, maybe you didn’t have the option to play in the NBA. But you could have been an agent, or a recruiter, or work for the association, or work in broadcasting. You could still involve yourself in the NBA, if you chose to.

        Very little is off limits when you stop worrying about talent. It’s just not a productive use of your time.

  4. Ts.. now even on reddit i got comments deleted because someones mark them as spoilers.. i am really that good in predict the next actions of anime? are their way of telling their story that predictable for me?

    Perhaps i am really to old for this stuff here

    1. If you believe you’ve done nothing wrong, don’t worry about it. Perhaps you should take a break from that website? It may just be a case of some people being jerks to you.

  5. I blogged once for a couple years, hated it in the end unconditionally. You really get to see the more scummier side of people when you engage in that sort of thing. They take everything you do for granted and won’t hesitate to shit on you and take away any sort of enjoyment you might have in anything for bothering to share your thoughts. Really the less time spent interacting with online fanbase’s, particular ones like Japanese anime’s the better I’ve found out over the years, it just takes away from the enjoyment of it and people kind of suck in an online environment. Just not worth it, you’re better off just sharing shit with friends and family whose first thought won’t just be “how can I make this persons day more miserable for their efforts in conveying these thoughts to me”.

    1. Or, you can build a relationship with a wider audience where they still don’t flame you, because they’re not talking to strangers—they’re talking to Stilts, or Enzo, or Takaii, or others they’ve interacted with multiple times in the past. You may have to ruthlessly excise a few haters too, but with a little work into building the audience this kind of thing can be quite fun. It’s not an either/or choice.

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