Anime Blogs

One of my resolutions for 2009 was to make an honest attempt at not being negative about every single thing–it’s not good for me, and it’s not good for the people around me. Whether or not I’ve been successful is your call, but one thing I’ve been completely not successful at not hating are anime blogs.

I don’t hate all anime blogs. In fact, I don’t even hate most anime blogs. In general, I am indifferent to the obscene number of anime blogs out there–they don’t bother me and I don’t bother them. As a concept, I love the anime blog– it’s a medium by which fans can share theories, information and analyses on the variety of media that encompass modern 2D visual culture.

However, somewhere it’s all gone terribly wrong.

The types of blogs that do what I’ve outlined above tend to be complete and utter bullshit. There is no nicer way to phrase it–that’s just how it is. And no, this isn’t a case of me getting mad at people over the internet for having different opinions than I do. It’s me getting mad at people on the internet who pass their opinions off as important, while having little grounding in what they’re pontificating about atop their soapbox composed of zeros and ones. To put it simply, there is a large contingent of people who just have no idea what they’re talking about.

This alone doesn’t enrage me. On their own, blogs like these are just annoyances–like flies. What really pushes me into bouts of head-banging frustration are when these bloggers come together and debate over their pseudo-academic hogwash. The comments on these blogs are the worst internet circlejerk you could ever subject yourself to–inane comparisons are made, wrong facts are thrown about, and assumption after assumption is made; resulting in everyone involved looking like a total ass.

I am not asking all anime bloggers to have been anime fans for 10 years, watch every single classic show out there, or even learn Japanese. I don’t think these are requirements for one to be an anime blogger, but–and this is a rather large but–if you lack grounding in the field you’re writing about, don’t pretend that you have it. You can be a perfectly fine blogger that has just started watching Japanese cartoons and have something of merit to say about them, but don’t for a second take a high and mighty tone. This is my other issue with the blogs at hand–tone–they act is if they actually know what they’re talking about.

Of course, there are a small number of serious anime blogs that do what they do quite well. Their writers have either been fans for a number of years, have seen a wide variety of shows, or posses a deep knowledge of Japanese culture. Sometimes they have all of the above. They are however sadly overshadowed by the dark, looming and evil collective of pseudo-intellectual bloggers that all wank to their own misguided bullshit.

Now, don’t think for a second that I consider myself above these guys–I’m just a rambling kid vomiting up years of pent-up rage. That said, I’d like for some of these individuals (you know who you are) to think about this for a minute–does watching every show made after 2006 automatically make you an expert on this medium? No. Please realize this, and we’ll all be better for it.

Thanks!

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42 Responses to Anime Blogs

  1. While the tone of this post is fairly negative and I can see the frustrations that pop up when people engage in pseudointellectual hackery, I think it’d be kind of helpful if, instead of concentrating on the negative aspects of the anime blogosphere (which, in my opinion is far too easy to do), to focus on some of the better blogs out there that you do enjoy reading. Granted, your opinion is your own, but I’d be interested in knowing which blogs people consider to be high quality. It gives us something to strive for at least.

  2. Sub says:

    I dunno what you’re talking about, homes. As high grade Opinion Maker Professionals(TM), we here at Colony Drop LLC pride ourselves on knowing our shit basically all day, all the time.

  3. fuck gay balls says:

    is the post modern meta statism of anime in regards to art a matter of freudian analysis?!?!

    i love lucky star

  4. Link says:

    Yeah, I agree that saturnine is a retard.

  5. dKiWi says:

    So you’re slamming contemporary anime? You sound like Isaac Newton in heaven slamming today’s developments in Quantum Mechanics lol.

  6. astrange says:

    what an amazing metaphor w

    I was going to call out omni once for his Lucky Star episode review parts coming with long rants about how it was amazing and he couldn’t live without it, it seemed silly to do that on a blog nobody reads though. And now that he’s fired Patrik in favor of some guy who loves harem shows he’s in anime hell* anyway.

    * as opposed to Anime Hell

  7. Jura says:

    I don’t know your blog, so you may be one of those blogs.

  8. roast-beefy says:

    I for the most part don’t read anime blogs out of a lack of interest (even the ones I like I rarely keep up with), and I don’t update my own blog out of a lack of motivation.

    I think subatomic and let’s anime are the only ones I read that actually bring me some sense of enjoyment.

  9. kransom says:

    I agree with zzeroparticle, i’d really like to know what kind of blogs you like. perhaps you could create some sort of roll of blogs where you post links to them… just my $.02! cya

  10. VZMK2 says:

    Is my blog one those blogs?

  11. wah says:

    >>zzeroparticle
    See krandom’skransom’s post

    >>Sub
    I take it you’re also Colony Droppin’ all day, all the time.

    >>dKiWi
    I have no idea how you came to this conclusion, as I quite like modern anime. I mean, have you not read any other section of this blog, or even looked at the rotating banner?

    >>astrange
    People like omni are the types I’m merely indifferent to. He doesn’t ever pretend he’s a super cool anime scholar or anything like that.

    >>VZ
    no

  12. kransom says:

    why is it that you and colonydrop and people i played magic:the gathering with 10 years ago are the only people who turn my last name into “random” ?? is it some cool nerd thing

  13. moritheil says:

    I just tried to figure out what I would change about your above statements to have them apply to academia, and I can’t really think of anything major that would need to be changed.

  14. TheBigN says:

    kransom: You come off as random, maybe?

    Elite douchebaggery is fun to read about sometimes though. Maybe because those that do it take themselves too seriously most of the time.

  15. omo says:

    IMO, people who care about the stuff WAH cares about don’t blog, and those who read it don’t read these “animu” blogs, so those who don’t care or those who don’t even know they should/could care are the ones reading and writing.

    I think that’s kind of sad, dialog is important and the blog is one of the better ways to communicate this kind of stuff.

    On the other hand, it makes going through the hundred or so blogs on my feed reader easy if most of them posts ignorable stuff most of the time :)

  16. Anonymouse says:

    >why is it that you and colonydrop and people i played magic:the gathering with 10 years ago are the only people who turn my last name into “random” ??
    They still secretly hate you for using meta decks.
    Also, I second wah in the “comments on these blogs are the worst internet circlejerk you could ever subject yourself to” part.

  17. Omisyth says:

    I would have liked it if you renamed the post “Colony Drop sucks”.

  18. Jeff says:

    WordPress’s hosting has a pretty sweet 404 page. It brings up a registration form so that you can have YOUR OWN BLOG at whatever mistyped URL you entered, like http://omsiyth.wordpress.com/. Just what I always wanted!

    Man, what kind of a jerk-off actually complains about analyzing their entertainment, anyway? They’d have to have, like, zero intellectual curiosity, and probably absolutely nothing to contribute to any kind of discussion worth having.

  19. VZMK2 says:

    The only people who I can’t stand that critique anime are the one like Susan Napier. You know, the ones that think they know what the medium’s about but have no idea just because they’re college educated. “The crater in Akira represents an anus” Uh, what?

  20. GS says:

    For the most I dont really care for animeblogs unless they really screwed up on their opinion of it.

    Also most blog that talks about anime is usually random.There only a few who dedicates there blog purely just for anime

  21. mt-i says:

    V2MK2 >> Napier is mostly fine. Compare Sharon “anime is a nice soapbox for short-sighted feminist discourse” Kinsella.

  22. wah says:

    >>omo
    Yeah, that is the sad truth. I guess I just got to learn Japanese better and hang with Real Japanese Otaku to get the Real Shit I want.

    >>Omisyth
    I’m cool with CD

    >>VZ, mt-i
    I’ve actually met Napier IRL, and she just seems like the really nice mom of that friend you have in the suburbs. I half expected her to be baking cookies while they were screening Tekkon Kinkreet.

  23. lametastic says:

    I think it would have been better if you named which blogs you consider pretentious. Otherwise, it’s really vage, and anybody can just think their own blogs “ARE NOT LIKE THAT AT ALL”. I mean, I consider Owen to be the best example for that kind of ill-informed blogger who takes dull show too seriously, but maybe you think he’s actually making reasonable points. And I’m pretty sure that he really thinks he knows what he’s talking about. On the other hand, I think blogs like Eastern Standard are well informed and have well thought opinions. But who am I to know if they’re just pricks who happen to have the same taste as me?

  24. wah says:

    I deliberately kept the blogs I was referring to nameless so as not to start any kind of drama.

  25. Shii says:

    you don’t understand – average folks like you and I who want to know about upcoming anime aren’t the intended audience of this, the emergent Ignatius J. Reilly-type blogger who exists not to inform, but to bloviate; his posts designated and foremost as something for others of his ilk (hence shout-outs in the preamble) to talk about in their twitter jerk circle and mention how “lol” his insipid rating icons are

  26. Alex says:

    >> I deliberately kept the blogs I was referring to nameless so as not to start any kind of drama.

    At the very least, can we get descriptions of typical stuff you appreciate and the morass you ignore?

  27. digitalboy says:

    I actually am with WAH on this, i really hate anime blogs who pretend to matter when they don’t know wha tthe hell they are talking about. for example, Omysith. He once had a post about ‘interesting animation’ with 3 lackluster examples from the past year and he obviously had no idea how animation works or anything, he jsut saw 3 shows that looked different than others and picked them out, then said somthing to the effect of these shows being rare, etc. There was no research involved, no finding every show withunique animation to find out more about it, no checking out what studios produced them or what techniques were used, just some worthless-ass bullshit.

    Like you said, I don’t think there are ‘cridentials’ to being a fan or a blogger, but if you don’t have the balls as an anime fan to watch every kind of show, watch the classics, learn about the studios and directors and animators and all that, I personally can’t give a fuck and a half about your blog.

  28. TheBigN says:

    “but if you don’t have the balls as an anime fan to watch every kind of show, watch the classics, learn about the studios and directors and animators and all that, I personally can’t give a fuck and a half about your blog.”

    That’s not how I’d look at it. If you know what you’re talking about, then do that, and make sure other people know that you know what you’re talking about. If you don’t, don’t act like you do. That’s all. :P

  29. Otaku Dan says:

    I’m a blogger and i agree with everything you just said because I see all of these bloggers who have been watching anime for about 3 years and they act like they know everything but when you ask them about anything passed 1996, they will give you a blank stare. I hope I qualify as a good blogger, I have been watching anime for over 14 years. by the way, I like the article you wrote for Otaku USA.

  30. DrmChsr0 says:

    But wah, I am awesome and I link to pirate metal!

    Okay the latter is not done, BUT IT WILL BE SO.

    And I AM NOT some troll that pretends to be all smartypants for the sake of TROLLAN.

    I think half of what I read (or used to read) do have an inkling about what they write. But I agree with you about the other half though. The trolls who pretend to have an opinion so that they can troll makes for not just poor reading, but also Dan Brown-level trash.

    (Not saying Dan Brown is bad, but really, the guy should be writing action movies, not books.)

  31. Anonymous says:

    >Not saying Dan Brown is bad
    Dan Brown IS bad and trash.

  32. Gars says:

    Anime blog posts about anime blog posts make me feel weird.

  33. mellow_bunny says:

    I agree. I am also guilty. I’m a crap researcher, know nothing much about what I watch and any attempts I make at anything “indepth” are crap. Meh, i’m not cutout for bloggering. It’s not my business. I tried and failedzorz. I’ll stick to watching cricket.

  34. anonymous says:

    WAH you suck. Bring your serious business somewhere else. ITS FUCKING CHILDRENS’ CARTOONS FOR FUCKS SAKE AND WE’RE ALL GUILTY OF WATCHING IT.

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  36. wah says:

    >>WAH you suck. Bring your serious business somewhere else.

    Where… where else should I take it but my own blog?

    And I don’t know about you, but programs that air at 3am in the morning aren’t really aimed at kids… manchildren–like you and me–yes, but not kids.

  37. Hectotane says:

    Hi. I have opinions. And my opinions are based on experience and the news nobody had the balls to keep online. Plus, my experiences are mostly bad.

    My belief: There’s no such thing as shitty opinions, just shitty people.

    And shitty people, especially those who scream their favorite anime title(s) like a retarded moron, are the reason why I switched off my non-friend reply switch on my LiveJournal. -_-;

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  39. I am slow in joining the discussion….. noooooo

    Can’t we just watch anime and get along with one another?

  40. ETERNAL says:

    I obviously don’t hate the blogosphere in any way, shape, or form, but I’m with wah and digiboy when it comes to the philosophy behind all of this. It’s all well and good when the anime “fans” that think they know a thing or two talk like 13 year olds and ramble about Naruto, but when their writing actually makes a bit of sense, we’re entering tricky territory. How do we know who knows about anime and who knows how to write, versus the people that only know how to write? As an amateur myself I haven’t found any editorial blogs to complain about, but I can see why it could be a problem.

    On the other hand, there are quite a few editorial bloggers that clearly know a ton about the medium as well, and their fancy “intellectual” writing is actually backed up by evidence that makes sense to any decent anime fan. They might be the minority but they’re often praised as the best. I’m also assuming that some people, like myself, use aniblogging as a means to learn more about the medium. The act of blogging improves both my writing skills and my appreciation of the anime I watch, and I like to think that even if I often times churn out nonsensical ramblings now, I’ll one day be able to write like Omo and wield both knowledge and persuasiveness.

    Anyway, I’m with you with your ideas, but I can’t actually agree in practice since I learn a lot from the people that ramble about nothing. If you’re trying to find more stuff to read, learning Japanese is probably your best bet, but I’m sure there are more than a few English blogs worth following (and you probably know them already anyway).

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  42. HechEff says:

    >Can’t we just watch anime and get along with one another?

    I was about to ask. It kind of gets lonely without people with the same interests within close proximity…