The We Remember Love Year in Review 2010

macross frontier ranka lee hard hat wink kira pose

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.

Blogging Series

Revolutionary Girl Utena

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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:

Revolutionary Girl Utena: A Diary of the Akio Car Arc Lived

Macross Frontier

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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:

How to Date an Idol

…and, I get really serious with

Did Macross Frontier Open a Frontier for the Macross Franchise?

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.

The Editorial Folio

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.

Dubious Achievements

ghostlightning, Episodic Blogger

[Mazui]_Katanagatari_-_09_[A2A1E109].mkv_snapshot_37.32_[2010.09.13_13.57.35]

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

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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.

ghostlightning, Loser

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I talked big about going far in the Aniblogger Tournament, but subsequently lost during my first battle. Terrible. My bitterness was obvious and violent.

ghostlightning, Hater

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:

  1. 10 Reasons Why Mobile Suit ZZ Gundam is Awesome

  2. The Need for (Gundam) SEED: Masochism (& Sadism)

  3. To Make The Impossible Possible: Enjoying Gundam SEED Destiny

gundam judau athrun kira shinn

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.

Skills Learned!

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.

Future Projects

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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.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
This entry was posted in how to remember love, meta and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to The We Remember Love Year in Review 2010

  1. Xard says:

    For header picture alone I give this +10 Magical Xard Points Of Awesome Blogging 😀

    I agree with most of what you say here, I especially enjoyed your posts on Macross and Utena but felt that Kino’s Journey posts were as a rule disappointing. And yeah, I love the show, personally.

    And trudging through 151 eps of shit calls for some honouring *salute*

    I find your final offer very seducing – I was about to launch my own blog focusing on anime and films earlier this year and even managed to write introduction post and first review (of Alien Nine) but then EGF’s “official film blog” started and I decided to focus on that instead. It doesn’t really allow me to write posts on anime in the vein I’d like to though, given that it’s mostly film reviews.

    Then again, I don’t know if I’d qualify and “one blog post per week” feels pretty harsh schedule for someone who has mastered art of yukkuri’n to degree I have, lol 😀 This blog has high standards and I wouldn’t want to bring it down in any way. I guess I ight fit for guest writer if I actually have material good enough one day and have no other use for it. I don’t know about qualifications for those either. I haven’t been active commentator on this blog for long, albeit I’ve read it for long time.

    • While GL is now looking for regular writers, I think if you’ve got an occasional post you want to do here, you’ll be more than welcome. There are plenty of writers like that here (I’m still a member but I haven’t posted since 2009 lol).

    • I guess this is as good a time and place as any to make some distinctions: Ranka’s mascot powers >>> Sheryl’s, and is a big part of my favoring her. Minmay could play both Ranka and Sheryl roles, bless her but Frontier gave us 2 Minmays and that makes me happy.

      So more than preference indicated in editorials I make, my predilection to have Ranka represent my Macross fandom time and again here in WRL (see my about page) is the proof of my favor for the character; gorgeous, delicious, deculture, etc.

      About those episodic series, I truly believe they’re far more difficult than people give them credit for. This is compounded by the fact that the show is over and the ones who will read are fans of the series — which leaves a blogger not too happy with the work very little to work with to entertain the readers. Unless one likes to troll, which I don’t.

      I’m writing about Saikano on a per-episode basis and I encounter similar challenges. I think episodic blogging is very, very difficult if one truly wishes to add value for readers.

      I will contact you re writing for WRL. I think we can work something out, no problem.

  2. Blackholeheart says:

    We may always have to agree to disagree about Macross 7 but I have you to thank for awakening a deep love for the Mecha genre so thank you and keep writing!

    • Thanks! I’m certainly going to watch a whole lot more robot shows this year since I’ve exhausted much of the Gundam franchise and I don’t want to try watching Wing again (I’m not too thrilled to start watching X again, so I’m gonna go through a lot of old and perhaps obscure robot shows).

  3. Happy birthday GL—I hope you’re re-reading my post from last year, because you still deserve it, perhaps now more so than ever from me.

    I’m sure you’ll never quite die out in 2011 but I do look forward to what the new blood here may contribute. And since I’m writing books worth of blog posts already, I may as well hand some over to WRL once in a while (like when I watch some mecha anime, hehe).

  4. TWWK says:

    I didn’t know you did the episodic thing with Kino’s Journey. I’m sorry that you disliked it! It was the series I selected to watch for the Secret Santa thingy, and I enjoyed it tremendously. I think I’ll go back and read through your posts for each episode.

    • For what it’s worth I really wanted to like it, as I expected it to be truly profound and well-made. The former is arguable, the latter is no contest. I found the show ugly and not beautiful to look at with its crude style and sparse animation and ugh dull colors. As an exercise in animation I think it undermined the “beautiful” part of the Ugly and Beautiful World thing it was going for.

      Don’t think of this as superficial. If it is not going to do a good job animating this story, then the praise for it is better left to the source material. Still, I am not too fond of the whole execution of the journey approach in the narrative anyway.

  5. Ness says:

    I recently started to follow WRL, well I mean just recently I was able to take the time to read through posts even though I’ve known of this awesome site for a while now. :3

    I’m surprised to see that someone covered Revolutionary Girl Utena even though it’s a bit old. The animation is just so wonderful and intriguing. For a moment when I saw the banner you used, I was like “What?! There’s another season that I didn’t watch?” Heheh, almost tricked me there.

    As for Kino no Tabi, I’m sorry that you didn’t like it. But for Katanagatari, I might browse through some of your posts. I’m currently watching the series, as I’m slowly catching up the season. One thing that I can’t stand as much is Togame’s ranting but meh.

    I look forward to your future projects and the manga website. As well, thank you for the wonderful mecha posts and the more reads to come.

    • Thank you for the kind words.

      At the time I did Utena, I was actually joining a bandwagon of bloggers watching and writing about it. However, only 2 people completed the exercise and I ended up writing the most about the experience.

      I personally liked Togame’s monologues, but I don’t have a problem with people not liking it. Overall I liked the show, and I feel like I could’ve written more if I put more of myself into it, but I found that difficult for the longer episode format. There’s just so much stuff!

  6. Like I said last year, it really does feel like you’ve been around a lot longer. Rest assured I enjoyed your (so you called less than exemplary) efforts on Katanagatari and your RAEG HAET towards Gundams less than stellar series. When it came to the Utena posts, I feel a little guilty for not taking as much a part in the discussions as I had with other shows like Bakemonogatari or anything Gundam. In the end, I was just happy you tried out a series I (& I’m sure many others) had been pushing for.

    This will always be a core sight for me to visit and contribute towards. I’m far too sporadic a writer to consistently contribute to your site, I’ll still pop in from time to time with some ridiculous post or another. You’re dad now too, so I know you understand. I’m like one of those sporadic three point shooters. Sometimes I’m on fire, sometimes I disappear for long periods. Regardless, keep up the good work. And be proud of the fact that you’ve made it through so much sh*tty Gundam.

    • Thanks and you’re always welcome here.

      There’s still this one post of RAEGHAET for V Gundam… but it’s so terrible (the post) that I truly hesitate to keep writing it. In any case It’ll just be a record for posterity. I’ll just have to live with its awfulness I think.

  7. Kabitzin says:

    It’s good to see that neither spawn nor floor nor the spread of your spores all over the blogosphere could stop you this year. 2011 should be a piece of cake at this rate.

    I think this is my first time seeing an editorial blog requesting episodic writers!

    • Thanks and despite my lack of participation in SS!AB for the most part (since I seldom see shows covered there that I watch), I’ve always looked up to it (and you) as a standard of episodic blogging quality. THAT blog I like because of personal nostalgia and affinity with the members and that they let me pretty much do whatever I want. It makes for a far more unbalanced and wild blog… something I think you and I won’t permit in our own sites LOL (but yeah it’s kinda home too, like a dorm filled with slobs and nutjobs).

  8. kadian1364 says:

    I swear I’ve read this before. Did Reader screw up and post it before it was ready? Also, I thought you blogged Letter Bee for a little bit?

    You’re like the Robert Horry of the anime blogging world. Wherever you go, success follows.

    Oh yeah, I think I still owe you a post? A decade list 13 months late and counting haha.

    • That was a afdkjdghkksahgkjhksjdhg SNAFU. You know I make posts in advance and fiddling with wp ended up publishing this post in 2010 and not scheduling it for 2011 as I intended.

      Hehe Robert Horry. As much as I want to be Kobe, I don’t think I’d ever complain having Big-Shot-Rob’s kind of career. You’re most welcome to make any kind of post you fancy here, just get in touch with me when you’re ready. All you contributors extend my life in this hobby. It’s truly a direct and obvious difference you guys make.

  9. Baka-Raptor says:

    I’ve never considered quitting, but I have tried going on hiatus—several times—and failed miserably. Here’s why: whenever I come up with a good idea, I can’t not write it down. It’s frustrating to let a good idea go. You’ve been updating frequently for your entire existence as a blogger, so I’m guessing you haven’t had to deal with this. Do you have what it takes to let good ideas go unwritten? Even if it’s a post about RANKA?

    Anyway, that’s my reason. I’m not saying any of this to dissuade you from quitting. I’m just curious. Many have quit long ago and been perfectly happy with GRSI/Twitter/Tumblr/Skype/etc. What makes you different?

    • It’s the same for me, if I come up with something I have to write it down — and it’s really easy with all these smartphones that I’ve been using since before I started blogging anime. I’ve composed drafts on them, responded to comments using them, etc.

      The impulse to quit is very selfish, weak, and narcissistic.

      I’ve no problems owning up to this. I sometimes get it into my head that what I’ve done hear means a whole lot more than what it probably really does, and I feel like it’s a good time to stop if I ever want to stop (quitting while ahead, etc.). But as I’m sure you’ve seen every sorry professional athlete try to return from retirement and it’s just never the same.

      So it’s a combination of hubris, writer’s block, and numerous options of easy ways to stay in the community (as you’ve mentioned) that get me to entertain notions of quitting (the notions I take seriously anyway).

      As for why I stay, a whole lot of sentiment:

      1. The second Macross Frontier movie isn’t out yet. I feel it is my personal mission to blog that.
      2. Gundam Unicorn will probably take 2 more years to complete. I feel it is my personal mission to blog that.

      I am that much of a fan that I feel these things are bigger than myself, and that I contribute to the culture they’re part of instead of using them as subjects to increase my dubious worth in the community I’m part of.

      3. I’m not comfortable in admitting this, but blogging anime is what I’ve become best at among the things I do. I’m not a good entrepreneur (not yet anyway), I’m not an investor yet (so many dominoes have to fall for that to happen). I’m not a good tennis player — it’s difficult enough for me to be in shape to play well. I’m terrible at basketball. I suck at karaoke. I suck at drawing. I have lost all my musicianship.

      I’m no longer an academician/scholar and am not interested in writing for academic journals. I am not a journalist. I am not a fictionist, and I am not a good poet.

      By good, I mean I don’t wake up in the morning excited about writing verses and racking my mind for ideas to write verses. But I am a good enough writer to write regularly, serendipitously, and with commitment. It just so happens that what gets me excited is anime and manga.

      It’s not easy to admit this, because obviously this blogging thing is a hobby, and isn’t what one plans to be the best at in life. I wonder at what’s it costing me in terms of other skills I truly need to master. I am not a professional fanboy, nor do I want to be. I’m a writer at heart and this just so happens to be what I’m best at.

      I think what I’m owning up to here is something that other bloggers have considered. Yes I do think so. Like you I really won’t be able to quit… I really love this stuff and love talking about it. It’s just a matter of accepting the form of what my blogging will take, accepting the form of attention I’ll get (when the people I know have moved on), when I end up making less, and stuff not as intense (for lack of a better word) as the stuff I made the past couple of years.

  10. adaywithoutme says:

    Ugh, this reminds me that I still have yet to do a post about the Black Rose Arc of RGU… I meant to after reading your post because I am much more sympathetic to Mikage than I recall you being…

    Actually, now that I think on it, while I started off wishing to argue for a more sympathetic view of Mikage, I then circled back to an analysis I’ve been meaning to do since far before I had my very own blog. Basically, I have some hazy thing that’s been percolating in my mind for literally years about Mikage essentially being an Utena “gone bad”. But I need to re-watch that arc before doing that… its been a long time since I’ve watched it. >_<

    Yeah, when I say years, I'd estimate it at… oh, well, probably closing on four years I've been meaning to do this for. Remember how I linked to that page of essays on the website Empty Movement? Yeah, I originally conceived of writing it for their site.

    • Hmmm, I never thought I was particularly harsh towards Mikage. I mean, he fails at what he tries to do; and what he tries to do is pretty evil, and that the foundations of which are memories that kinda warped themselves into lies (or that he warped them into lies). I don’t think I particularly hate him, I thought he was a pretty damn good member of this rather awesome cast.

      I think the “Utena gone wrong” thesis makes sense and I’d be more than happy to read how you put it together.

  11. Hana says:

    Hmm, I thought you’d been around for longer than 2 years too, ghosty… Either way, whatever the future holds, this past year has been loadsa fun getting to know you via THAT, through which I got to know more of you on here of course. Thanks especially for the Editorial folios, still gotta go back and catch up on articles that I bookmarked at the time for reading and commenting on later, but the collections I’ve read so far have been great for making connections and for inspiration. And you’ve also reminded me that I need to finish RGU, I was in the middle of the car arc when I last watched it, but will hopefully catch up and complete soon – in which case I’ll no doubt catch up on your posts on it! Hope you’re having a great 2011 so far and looking forward to seeing more from you!

    • Yesss, the car arc is crazy and is perhaps the best way to follow what in my mind is the perfection of the Black Rose arc.

      Part of my wanting to invite more people to write is because I do feel I won’t be able to produce as much, and what I do produce will be directed a little more (or a lot more) inward. I’ve been piling up unwatched backlog of robot anime and as much as I enjoyed diversifying my tastes I feel so behind on diving into my lovely piles of robots wrecking each other.

      I’m always happy to hear from you, who validates the effort I did to reach out beyond myself in terms of interests and activities related to this hobby. Cheers.

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