Wait, things are changing?

If there’s one predictable constant in life it’s change. Everything changes at some point, whether that be the seasons, life circumstances, or the very anime we’re here enjoying to the fullest, and the only thing we can do is roll with the punches. Random Curiosity is no exception to this rule, and as repeatedly teased in a few posts now change has come to this site. Major change.

The gist of this announcement (in case you want the TL;DR) is that Random Curiosity is now officially under new management. Earlier last season Divine, after having managed and written for this site for over 15 years, finally decided to call it quits. This admittedly was a long time in coming: RC has been steadily declining alongside other dedicated blogs over the years, hosting of anime material such as images and PVs increasingly harder when relying on ad revenue due to threatened legal action (no matter copyright law), and site costs never going away. Divine put up with it all until he could no longer, ultimately deciding to bow out in the spring after some of the latest hiccups we’ve been dealing with in the background. Should a proper retirement announcement have been made? Probably, but Divine is a busy guy these days and wanted to keep it quiet. The result, however, is that I (Pancakes) wound up inheriting things and taking over ownership of the site. What can I say, I never intended on letting RC die that easy, and thankfully being employed helped ensure it remained the case!

So what does this mean for RC going forward? For the immediate future not much. The writing you’re accustomed to, the previews and AOTY posts expected every season and year, all shall remain as they were and continue carrying on. In the longer term though both I and rest of the team have a few major changes planned:

Opening RC up to donations

As mentioned, RC has struggled for a while now. This site has always prided itself on operating for free, largely thanks to ads, but the recent trend of licensing groups threatening legal action over images and PVs has almost eliminated all our ad revenue. None of us have any dream of turning this site into a profit maker (we do this entirely for fun after all!), but we all believe RC should be able to generate enough to keep the lights up and running. With this is mind we have two big changes forthcoming:

  • A Ko-Fi link will be added for one-off donations for those inclined. Like what we do? Appreciate our previews? Drop us a few bucks so we can keep giving such content. Likewise we intend on entering Amazon’s Associates program which will function like ads in that your clicks (and Amazon purchases) will provide the site a kickback.
  • Opening up a Random Curiosity Patreon. To head off likely comments no, this will not be for gatekept content, but rather enabling you the reader to help guide our content creation. Want us to write about a particular topic? Like us to cover a certain show or review an older series? Our Patreon supporters will be able to make those requests and get us doing those things some would like to see (within reason of course). Plus all supporters will be able to read our previews and AOTY posts early (~2-3 weeks before season start), because I doubt everyone has missed how speedy we’ve become getting those out of late!

Again, to reiterate, nothing you expect content-wise is changing, everything will remain free to see for any reader of this site (including any Patreon-requested posts I might add!). This is simply our way of ensuring RC can stick around far longer than it could with only us funding the costs while giving you all a way to influence what you see on this site.

Total site overhaul

Similar to RC’s funding, a site redesign is a long time coming. While this was done a few years earlier after some unintended downtime (as some might remember), the update happened to bust things like our comment section and left some annoying bugs relating to mobile views and basic blog UI design (no one likes scrolling through long posts if they can help it). Now me owning the site outright means several big changes are also coming on this front:


  • The RC theme will be updated to properly handle both web and mobile so users of both can enjoy our content as expected. Expect a visual update of our theme as well to herald our new age.
  • Commonly requested reader features like comment previews, comment editing, and night mode will be introduced. WordPress has enough plugin options for these already to make it possible.
  • RC’s overall design will be overhauled with the addition of such modern marvels as tabs (to ameliorate the scrolling issue for some posts), dropdown sections (particularly for images), and other UI components which fit our blogging format.

As part of the changes our secondary goal is to obfuscate our image and video content to ensure we can still retain some ad revenue because hey, it’s easy to do and just relies on you not using an ad blocker 😛 Plus such changes will let us refactor our post structure to improve our search engine optimization since that has definitely been lacking over the years.

The Game Plan

Now with all that said the obvious question is when you can expect these marvelous new adjustments – and the good news for some of them is very quickly!

Our Patreon and associated donation links will be going live in the next few weeks (a separate post will cover the details). We’re going to time this with next season’s preview (already being written by the way!) so Fall 2022 will be the first RC preview you can see early if you become a supporter. Likewise those who do support us will be able to guide our fall writing and make sure their chosen show of the season is absolutely positively covered suggest topics for us to splurge over.

The site overhaul will take longer due to its nature, but expect to see at minimum general post structure (particularly our previews and AOTY stuff) to be different come this winter, if not next season. My aim is to have comment previews and editing enabled for winter as well (but no promises), and the full site update implemented come early 2023 once I have some time to prototype a few ideas. Given I switched from oil & gas work to tech magic for a living I figure I should be able to blast this out relatively quickly – after all, gotta use that software engineering knowledge somewhere besides the 9-5!

In the end, however, no matter the changes and overhauls, RandomC will keep on carrying on. At least as long as I’m around this site will continue to cover all things anime and ensure those previews and AOTY posts you expect are there when new seasons and new years finally roll around. To everyone who’s stuck with us through the years, thank you, it’s your involvement and readership which truly keeps this site going and lets us really enjoy the time and effort we put into it.

Once again thank you all for being part of the RandomC community, and here’s to another era of anime fun!

53 Comments

    1. I’ve been lurking on this site roughly since Macross Frontier first broadcasted. It’s been my go to anime site ever since.

      Will this site’s previous contents be effected in any way?

      Amir Safwan
  1. Sad to hear a long time member of the team move on but excited for the future changes and hopefully the community will come together to help. Been reading the articles on RC for just over 14 1/2 years and the insight to the anime and manga community has been incredibly insightful over the years. Long may that continue for new readers and current fans

    Dan
  2. Muchas gracias a ustedes por seguir con este proyecto, yo tengo visitando este sitio web desde los de tempos de OMNI y claro estoy dispuesto ayudar a su mantenimiento a espera de los links.

    Saludos desde Mexico

    Pachikun
  3. Haven’t posted here in a while but just wanted to say Congrats Pancakes! Have you considered doing affiliate programs for websites like Amazon or Play-Asia? You know like pushing specific products you know folk will buy and mentioning that buying them would get the site x amount of commission? So if folk are going to buy something anyway do it via the link! Also cant imagine itd be that hard to recommend the latest RPG or anime/manga for folk to link through to help the site.

    Lyfe
    1. The legal action stuff over images surprises me. I guess thats from Japan where fair use doesn’t apply like the rest of the world right? They’ve been going hard on YouTubers covering anime or posting anything like that these days. Some would suggest geoblocking to get around it, especially on videos. Itd remove the bogus copyright claims & threats.

      Lyfe
    2. Regarding affiliate programs yes we are actually, as mentioned we’re going to apply to Amazon’s at minimum. If you have any others to look at though definitely let us know, I’m only aware of Amazon’s so anything else would be nice to know about!

      As for the copyright claims yeah it’s getting to be very annoying. The past 18-24 months have seen a serious spike in threatening correspondence forcing us to take down a lot of our older content (you’ll notice it the most for big stuff like BnHA and Bleach) which eats hard into ad revenue. Divine doesn’t think these messages are serious, but the threat is enough to get us to back off since none of us can afford a legitimate court case over it.

      Dispensing with ads entirely eliminates the problem which is mostly where the fundraising changes are originating from. We want to keep hosting images and PVs (since that drives a lot of traffic), but don’t want to restrict any of our content. Letting readers have more say in what’s offered (since those complaints are registered even if not addressed) seems the best compromise to ensure the site can stay up while still serving its primary purpose.

      It’s hard being a blog these days 😛

  4. Wow…. So many years have passed already… I have been reading RC since i was in my last year of school in 2007 and now I’m over 30. So many anime seasons and recommendations…. time uh? *shakes head* Time sure is unfair and merciless.

    Treyon
  5. All the best, Pancakes!

    You’re still the best site for grown-up discussions of shows 🙂 … which becomes particularly visible whenever you’re looking to talk about original shows which have an above-average complexity, like Engage Kiss.

    Mentar
    1. Thanks a lot for your support too Mentar, we certainly couldn’t keep going without you helping with the hosting in the background!

      And I definitely intend on keeping up the more mature discussions, there’s too many reaction videos and far too much clickbait content now for my tastes lol.

  6. I don’t comment much, but I still visit RandomC almost once every couple of days. Seeing each new generation of writers makes me realize how much time has passed. RandomC has been part of my weekly digest for maybe 20 years or more now and I’m glad someone is carrying on the torch and keeping it strong.

    azalea23
    1. Actually, I am interested in making friends who are interested in anime.

      I do some anime illustrations myself, like my icon was an old illustration of saber i did 5 years ago.

      I am wondering if the people in RandomC socialize or have activities anywhere?

      azalea23
      1. Thanks for still keeping around azalea, even just lurking is greatly appreciated on our end!

        And actually yes, our Discord (link on the right-hand side below Announcements, hard to miss) has more or less become our de facto community pool. Definitely feel free to join up, you’ll find both writers/former writers and site readers active on it.

        1. feel this should be advertised much more prominently… have been visiting RC for over a decade but never knew you guys had a discord!

          also looking forward to the revamp. only with change can there be progress!

          grayne
  7. Just like azalea23, I don’t comment much either. I don’t even know If that is my first comment. I’ve been following this site since its creation and visiting here has been part of my daily/weekly routine for about 2 decades. I’ve grown older and as such, longing and sentimentality are part of my life. Hearing this website will get overhaled leaves a deep sense of nostalgia but I do understand that things need to change for the better. Keep up the good work people!

    Cosmos
  8. Been here since Omni was doing his Fullmetal Alchemist reviews, and it’s still the only anime blog that I visit with any consistency. Was always thankful to Divine for taking over the site when no one asked him to and Omni was going to shut it down after deciding to step away, and hope he has success in his future endeavors. Likewise, it’s great that this site is taking on its third generation, and I can only hope that, one day, when inevitably this happens again, it takes on its fourth and continues on.

    hjerry
  9. Hey, guys. Glad to see the site is still going to be kept up and running. I almost never make comments on post (just an anonymous lurker); yet wanted to take this opportunity to let you know, as a long time reader (since the 2000s, Omni’s era), that there are lots of us old timers, from many different countries and languages, well into our 30s, 40s, and maybe even 50s, still coming to the site to see whats happening with the new shows and all things anime.

    You guys do what you gotta do. I’m sure everyone understands the situation, so you can be sure we’re all behind you. After all, over the years Random Curiosity has made a name for itself to the point it has become part of the anime experience.

    Pancakes, I wish you best of luck in this new role you’re taking on. I’m confident you’ll do great.

    My best wishes to Divine, who did one hell of a job for the past years (over 15 years, wow… still remember when he took over).

    I’m deeply thankful for what the whole team has done over the years. Hope to see you around for many more.

    Good luck to all !!!

    Some old timer
  10. I’m saddened to hear that copyright strikes are hitting ad revenues. I’m happy to chip in once that gets up and going. I still remember the early days when Omni ran the site by himself during my university days. Those were the years of frequent anime marathons and more active trips to anime expos. Hard to believe it’s been over 15 years and work generally rules my life…

    I always thought RandomC would be changing the guards more often, so I’m immensely grateful for the continuity. I’m generally a lurker, but will praise good shows from time to time and chat up fellow anime enthusiasts, All in all, I’ve immensely enjoyed this little slice of the anime community.

    Lastly, I want to wish all the best to Divine and in his future endeavors.

    See you around in the next era of RandomC!

    1. Thanks for sticking around with us Aoihoshikage, even just lurking is enough! We still all do this because it’s both fun and people like what we write up and enjoy having a spot to discuss things outside of forums, Reddit, or Youtube comments. Nothing ever lasts forever, but my hope is that once I need to hand things off in the future that RC will still be well-able to navigate the waters.

  11. Well, I still feel cancelled by “that angry mob” (and it’s hellish to feel unable to speak out) but I might as well chime in on RC’s overdue overhaul now. :^)

    – I hope you can fix the suddenly opened comment threads on older anime (seasons) that already finished their run. Seeing those comment threads spammed by bots isn’t fun.
    – And please tell me……spoiler tags work, even when copy-pasted from Notepad/Wordpad.

    I’ll also apologize for two things:

    – Apologies for still using an ad blocker, but I’ll continue using it as a necessity since advertising networks are also used as a vector for mis/disinformation nowadays. (And it’s so much worse on mobile, which has too few effective ways to block ads.) I also can’t place good faith on advertising networks that rely on using comment spambots and wasting people’s time with intrusive a**hole ad designs (if not outright using spy/malware). It would be nice if you guys have a say on what ads to allow on your site, but I doubt that will ever happen.
    – And apologies if I sound too preachy and harsh, but I hope you’ll continue to accept reasonable criticism and use that to continue improving the site for future readers/visitors.

    Take care, stay safe, thanks for the good times. and keep on keeping on.

    Incognito
    1. The spam comments are really annoying and the aggravating factor is it’s down to our spam filters missing them. That’s on my to-do list too because I want such leaks permanently fixed.

      Also thanks for reminding me about the spoiler tags, god yes I want that working correctly XD

  12. Please add Disqus comments integration – will definitely increase engagement on posts. Fairly ubiquitous now, and for good reason.

    The API is relatively straightforward to implement too I believe

    grayne
  13. Thank you Pancake for taking over. Been reading here since Omni, and I re-read Divine’s post from March of 2010 when he and Patrick took over. It felt like yesterday. Thank you RC for many lovely posts and memories.

    Omni had a last post and proper sent off back in 2010. @Pancake, for us old-timers, please ask if Divine can have one last post so us old-timers can give him a proper send off and wish him well. He has not posted anything since 2014 even though we know Divine has been supporting RC from behind the scenes.

    I wish the current RC crew the best and looking forward in supporting you in the future.

    Raven
  14. Good luck on your next adventure Divine and thanks for the memories and articles all these years! Thanks Pancakes for keeping it going. When i think about it, i am pretty much on this site minimum once a week and been coming for what…gosh…not sure how long exactly but its over 10yrs! (Where does the time go?). Looking forward to the new changes. Cheers!

    Kurik
  15. As a long time visitor of RC, I want to wish the best of luck to Divine in all future endeavors. Pancakes, thanks for keeping the site alive and all that you do.

    Here’s a question; I’ve maintained an anime website for 20 years with images, summaries of episodes, etc. I do not post videos for copyright reasons. Images are usually captured via VLC as the video plays. I’ve sent many visitors your way during new season’s previews. There are no Ads. It’s become just a hobby at this point since I only update once every couple of weeks. As of this posting, I haven’t received any copyright threats. Is it because of the Ads that you are receiving these threats?

    Anifani
    1. Thank you kindly Anifani, and thanks for the support, it’s much appreciated!

      Regarding your question yes it’s entirely down to ads. If you use say AdSense, any material you host deemed in violation of copyright (done so by the copyright owner letting Google know) will have any ad revenue from the page/post hosting it nullified. The ads will still display, but no longer help you financially.

      Getting rid of ads takes care of the problem because, no surprise, our content meets copyright fair use doctrine. Copyright holders are likely going hard with the complaints to Google and such because it’s an easy way to taking out low hanging fruit who are offering their stuff (images, videos, or even entire episodes) for free.

  16. Its kind of weird to post as I rarely do and I’ve been popping on this site at least once – twice a week for the last 17 years now at least. Like I used to watch anime back on the Toonami segment back in 1999 – 2002. But I wasnt really an anime fan. I became a proper anime fan around 2008ish and the first few animes I watched was Code Geass, Spice & Wolf, Zero no Tsukiama and Bakemonogatari. RC was one of those sites I used to go on a lot when I was still finding my tastes and what was out there and soon-coming.

    But I’ve always liked the posts and captures and the community within. Despite never posting. Id dare say this was better than ANN as all they seem to do lately is post about C19 than anime itself these days.

    This is an old site and I hope it stays live. Im always open to friends too. I like gaming, anime, cosplay, Japan etc.

    Take care. From a long time visitor from UK

    Rob
    1. Heh I know that feeling, it was this site which effectively ignited my anime passion back in my early university days when looking for new stuff to watch after exhausting the search lists of streaming sites 😛

      Thanks for the continued support Rob, rest assured if I have my way RC won’t be going anywhere anytime soon!

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