As You’ve Probably Noticed…

…the site’s been down for the past couple of days. I managed to put up a maintenance message for a good part of time, but for those who missed it, the server had a hardware issue that required some emergency maintenance. The short story is that the hard drive was failing. To make matters worse, the RAID-1 mirrored drive that’s supposed to have me covered in this situation actually failed back in July without my knowledge, which left the site running on a single faulty drive that needed to be backed up and swapped out immediately so that both drives could be replaced.

With the help of Mentar and his friend Fruit, I managed to get a full up-to-date backup of the site, so nothing was lost — not even a single comment — unlike the crash we had back in the day on Aniblogger. It took me longer than I would’ve liked to reconfigure the server with a new Debian (Squeeze) distro, but everything should be up and running now. I expect there to be some hiccups, so please let me know if you encounter any issues (performance or otherwise). Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Note: Expect a flurry of posts to be published, as the writers have been staying on top of things during the downtime.

New Contributors On Their Way!

First off, I would like to extend a big thank you to everyone who took the time to apply and expressed their interest in helping keep Random Curiosity running like it’s always been. The outpouring of support has been great and I really wish I had the time to thank each and every one of you individually.

Given the number of promising candidates, I actually increased my initial plan of 3-4 new writers to seven and have already contacted them. If you weren’t contacted, please don’t feel slighted in any way. There were so many great people to choose from that I could’ve easily brought on 10-15 new writers. I guess that’s to be expected of the best readership that I’ve had the pleasure of writing for over the years, but I had to draw the line somewhere and not make this sudden influx of new writers too overwhelming for longtime readers.

You can probably expect introductory posts to trickle out over the course of the week, as well as first posts by at least a couple of the new writers who will be finishing coverage of some of my remaining shows. I hope you’ll extend a warm welcome to them like you did for me when I first came on board.

The Sum is Greater Than Its Parts

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

Thank you everyone for the kind words. I thought it was going to be more difficult to step away from the site, but your understanding is making it a lot easier to do so.

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.

CODE GEASS: Boukoku no Akito – PV

[flv:CODE_GEASS_Boukoku_no_Akito_PV.mp4 550 310]

The spin-off to CODE GEASS, “Akito the Exiled” (literally, “Akito of the Ruined Country”), is finally gaining some steam on the production side of things with a 90-second promo video — three and a half years after the second season finished airing. Along with it came the starring cast announcment: Irino Miyu as Hyuuga Akito and Sakamoto Maaya as Reira Markale (official English spelling pending).

The side story takes place in 2017, around the time Lelouch took on the alter-ego “Zero” and built up his “Black Knights” rebellion army (i.e. season one). The setting is Europe, where the Euro Universe (E.U.) allied nations are being invaded by the overwhelming force of the Britannia Empire. On the verge of defeat, the E.U. army forms a special division known as “W-0”, which a young pilot named Hyuuga Akito is a member of. Coming to the E.U.’s aid is a former Britannia aristocrat named Reira Markale, who commands the “Wyvern” Knightmare corps comprised of Japanese teenagers. They recklessly plunge into a battlefied where the survival rate is extremely low to fight for their freedom and have a country they can return to that feels like “home”. Thus begins their fight against the adult world.

The premise has been more or less laid out (translated above), but it’s still relatively unclear on whether Boukoku no Akito will be a full TV series, an OVA, or a film. What we do know is that it will be screened in theaters this summer and that it will be directed by Akane Kazuki (Tenkuu no Escaflowne, Noein: Mou Hitori no Kimi e) and once again feature original character designs by CLAMP. Judging from the screening date, we’ll likely see this long-awaited spin-off in either summer or fall of this year.

Update: A movie project for the original “Hangyaku no Lelouch” story has also been announced.

Thanks For Reading! 80 Million Visits and Counting!

Saber Lily from Fate/unlimited codes.

Another seven months, another ten million visits. I’ve had the pleasure of writing three of these milestone posts, which allow me to take a moment to thank you all for reading the site regularly and sharing your thoughts about anime. I said before that Random Curiosity wouldn’t be what it is today without its readers and I firmly believe that even now. I can’t speak for all the other writers, but I know I wouldn’t be devoting as much time and effort into the site if it wasn’t for its readership. While I’m passionate about anime and enjoy talking to those with a mutual interest, the motivation to continually push myself to churn out well-thought-out posts in a timely and consistent manner comes from all of you. I mentioned before that one side drives the other, and from my perspective, it’s the readers who shaped Random Curiosity into the anime blog you see today. The reason I spend so much time taking screen captures and writing up posts is because there are people who want to read them. Without you guys, there’s simply no compelling reason to cover shows on a weekly basis to the degree that RC does, let alone spend hundreds of hours putting together season previews to introduce them. I probably don’t say this enough, but I’m very grateful for all the support I’ve received in the comments and direct e-mails, and all the personal time the other writers have devoted to help meet reader demand.

…More after the jump.

Random Musings – The “Survival” Strategy

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.


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.

The Status of Things

While I’ve been lurking the site during my break and reading the odd comment here and there, I’ve been somewhat detached from the everyday happenings in the past month. I never would’ve imagined that I’d be able to take a break to begin with, so I’m curious as to what the sentiment is towards me doing so. I feel the other writers have done an admirable job filling in for me, but it’s hard to get a feel for what it’s like from a reader’s perspective when I’m in the “hot seat” so to speak. The poll I held about this initially was kind of split over the idea, where more than half of the voters were either a little concerned or flat-out didn’t like it, leaving me wondering if people still feel the same way.

If you’d like to leave more detailed feedback, you’re more than welcome to in the comments, but all I ask is that you word things in a constructive manner and don’t berate any of the writers for their efforts. There will be little to no tolerance for flaming, and I won’t even entertain the notion that it’s “funny”. Random Curiosity has built up a bit of a reputation with its timely posts (i.e. covering raws), insightful and objective content (arguably), and of course, plethora of high definition screen captures, so those are some areas that may be worth addressing to help this site continue to grow as (hopefully) one of your regular anime stops on the Internet.

As always, from one fan to another, thanks for reading.

Edit: Added the Retrospective Look poll for better visibility.
Edit #2: This post will be kept at the top for the next bit, since the feedback is veering toward a direction of personal interest. Please be sure to scroll past it or refer to the Recent Entries in the sidebar for new posts.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Milos no Seinaru Hoshi – Movie Trailer

[flv:Fullmetal_Alchemist_Milos_no_Seinaru_Hoshi_PV.mp4 550 310]

The official site for the Fullmetal Alchemist movie, subtitled “The Sacred Star of Milos”, recently added a minute long trailer. The movie is intended to tie-in with Brotherhood (i.e. the manga’s story) but as a side story before the actual conclusion. It’s directed by Murata Kazuya (assistant director of CODE GEASS) and the script is by Shinpo Yuuichi (author of the novel Whiteout). L’arc~en~Ciel is performing the theme song, whereas BONES is back for the animation production and seems to going with a very subtle change in style.

* Warning: The official site is Flash-heavy and spasm-inducing with its loading pages.

… More after the break, including details on the story.

Thanks For Reading! 70 Million Visits and Counting!

In just seven months, Random Curiosity has been graced by another 10 million visits, so I’d like to once again thank all our readers for continuing to make this site one of your regular stops on the Internet. It simply wouldn’t be what it is today without its readership, which motivates me to continue on to the best of my ability. The five-year history that was about to come to a close has officially become six, coinciding with the one-year anniversary of things under my tenure. Both Kiiragi and Prooof are approaching their first full year as writers as well, so I’d like to thank them for all they’ve contributed. The same goes for Takaii, who’s taken on a fair number of shows in the past six months and handled them very well.

This isn’t the same Random Curiosity that Omni left behind, but I hope the changes made in the past year are seen as positive ones. This includes the ever-so-popular season previews that I’ve tried to improve by making them more comprehensive than in years past. A goal of mine has always been to promote a more open-minded view on anime, so hopefully the fairly objective coverage on a diverse range of shows has achieved that to a certain degree too. For me, one of the most satisfying aspects about blogging anime is helping people discover new shows that they would have never considered and sharing in the discussion of them. After all, it’s about being a fan first and foremost, and our mutual interest in anime.

Since August, the site has seen 600 new posts, 32,000 new comments, 18 million new page views, and of course 10 million new visits. We’re quickly approaching the 5,000 post mark and have already past the 205,000 comment mark. Again, thank you all for helping Random Curiosity grow, not only as an anime blog but as a bit of a community as well. This one’s for you guys!