I’m quite reluctant to make a post like this (though I really, really want to) because I feel like I’m creating artificial pressure on myself to do better in 2011 when the game for me has already become about survival (at least it feels that way). I think having passed the 2-year mark there is very little certainty on sustaining the blogging hobby, but what the hell: I am nothing without the desire to do better than whatever I’ve been able to express creatively in the past, no matter how insignificant or dubious the achievement is.
So in this post I’ll share what I think are the highlights of the blog on my own terms. But also, I want to share these things as a form of thanks to all the readers and commenters that make this hobby so fulfilling for me.
I personally feel that I’ve put in some of my best analytical efforts into this show and I’m very glad to see the whole thing through. I didn’t bring to bear any particular theory into the work. The posts are basically close readings of the show (and the film), attempting to make meaning of the rich content of the subject.
My personal favorites are my work on the arc that possessed the most symmetry:
Lies, Murderous Intent, Remembering Love Gone Wrong, WHOSE RESPONSIBLE THIS Black Rose Society Arc of Revolutionary Girl Utena
…and then a post that allowed me to get personal, establishing a richer connection with the show:
I finally finished it! I tried my hand at blogging anime episodically in 2009 (Bakemonogatari, & Tokyo Magnitude 8.0) precisely because I wanted to experiment… to find a method so that I can retroactively blog Macross Frontier. This show was the first show that I followed week to week along with the anime blogs aside from being a show in my core fandom.
It was time to remember love for serious, and I wanted to do it using a distinct voice and and approach. All in all, I’m ecstatic about not only the creative result, but also the level of discussion this series was able to get here on WRL. It has many of the posts I loved making the most. But I will only share two here:
…and, I get really serious with
With the completion of this post series (which took over one year, the blog series should have ended in 2009 LOL) I felt that I’ve done something significant relative to what I wanted to create in the service of the Macross fandom that I love so much. Also, thanks to Macross Frontier: The False Songstress, I was finally able to blog a Macross show the same time English speaking viewers are able to see it.
I wanted to share posts to my readers, who are a broader base than the friends and acquaintances I follow on google reader shared items. I also wanted to format my shares around certain themes that allowed me to feel my own editorial work belonged with.
The project was more difficult to maintain than I expected, but I feel that it was very well worth it, channeling my own propensity to do meta posts in what I consider a more productive fashion.
ghostlightning, Episodic Blogger
I began and completed episodically blogging two shows this year. I retroactively blogged Kino no Tabi, and kept up with the airing of Katanagatari. I like very much the idea of blogging shows episodically, and I’m very happy to have put these two shows under my belt. However, I personally think that my posts here are far from my best.
In Kino no Tabi’s case it may just be because well, I didn’t like the show very much. I feel like my half-assed feelings led to half-assed writing. I feel like I did much better when I wrote about shows that I truly detested (more on this later). For Katanagatari, I felt like the material was so rich but I wasn’t able to put enough of myself to take it on. It’s not like I’m terribly unhappy with the posts I eventually made, but I felt like I could’ve done more, but didn’t.
ghostlightning, blogosphere slutwhore
I write in other people’s blogs. Why? I feel like WRL has a specific voice and identity that is well-suited for richer and higher effort-level blog posts. Obviously I can’t always do that and blogging anime and manga is an itch that I need to scratch. Power to the Dream is my tumblr, but I also post on notdotq (warning: sometimes lolikitsune uses my account to publish garbage), and in Shameless Otaku Shenanigans.
The apex of this is my editorial work in T.H.A.T. Anime Blog, which often involves collaboration with other slutwhores who I abuse to create content that I get credit for ;p Seriously though, I love being part of this fan community and my contributing content for these other blogs is a direct expression of that.
What? It’s not like I don’t also take advantage of these slutwhores and let them make content for WRL! Thanks to them there are now over 400 posts here mwahahaha.
I talked big about going far in the Aniblogger Tournament, but subsequently lost during my first battle. Terrible. My bitterness was obvious and violent.
Well uh… yeaaahhh. It was inevitable I suppose. My encounter with Bincho-tan was only the beginning (I only used the Order of the Black Knights, and Ramiel to torch her mountain). This year I was able to watch three incredibly long and incredibly atrocious shows. I have completed a trifecta of 4-cour horrors (that is, my friends, 151 episodes of shit) and lived to blog about it:
In so doing I have discovered the joy and fulfillment of hate. It’s an invigorating kind of rage, fueled by self-congratulatory righteousness, an entitlement to being entertained, and a wish to share the suffering with others. There is nothing truly redeeming about it, except, that it is incredibly gratifying and immensely entertaining.
- We learned to make my own videos (and not just slideshows) as blog post visual aids.
- I learned how to be sneaky in displaying my power levels in public.
- We learned to collaboratively fanficblog (or whatever you can call this abomination)
- I learned how to organize anime panels for blog posts.
Outside of enjoying the arrival of our firstborn daughter (which is the awesomest thing ever), man I had a shitty year in meatspace. But looking at what happened in WRL, I can’t possibly say that I didn’t have fun. It’s been great, and I want more in 2011.
Launch of an Original English Manga website.
I am lucky to be amongst friends who have the talent to write and draw comics at a professional level. Mechafetish, the co-founder of WRL has put together enough talent and ability to produce and distribute comics in the Japanese manga style over the web.
We are working on the economics of the project, but one of the things that personally excites me about the project is it will be a method of producing and distributing original work (in the manga format) that makes sense for English language readers worldwide that overcomes the barriers to entry on both the reader and publisher ends.
This will mean more manga for the people. Maybe someday soon I can write my own too.
Opening WRL to regular writers.
In the interest of longevity and sustainability for WRL the blog proper, I am inviting bloggers to write regularly for WRL. I am opening the blog to 2-3 regular writers one of which will be someone who will blog in an episodic format. WRL does not have a staggering amount of readers, though it has grown consistently over the years. The value proposition here is that WRL is and has always been a “safe place” for both casual and serious discussion.
Nobody should feel afraid of being flamed or getting maliciously trolled, which makes it easy for readers to comment and just let it all out. If you like writing about anime and getting lots of discussion, then perhaps WRL is for you. I only request four blog posts a month (one per week) from incoming writers.
Needless to say, you’ll be welcome to whatever collaborative blog projects I come up with, and will be more than welcome to invite me to your own. Interested parties can leave a comment, or message me on twitter (@ghostlightning), or send an email to ghostlightning[at]gmail[dot]com.