Remembrance of things past: in search of lost time

It has almost been two years since I started writing a blog. What initially were spiels regarding literature and computers had evolved, through time, to be a blog about anime. It all started with a post defending Rozen Maiden; thence on I ventured into writing a proper anime blog. I was initially hosted at WordPress; what made me persevere through those formative times was that as time passed, I became more and more popular to the sphere of anime blogging: at my apex I belonged to WordPress’s Top Blogs. It was an achievement for me, and this was what allowed me to persist despite everything. In time, I moved to animeblogger.net with the kindness of Maestro, but I sadly lost some readership after the move. I can only guess, but I think primarily writing only editorials was the reason.

t-rex
With regard to blogging, I sometimes ponder and ask myself this question

There were lesser editorial bloggers back then, and to be honest I could also only remember a few. Lupus-sol of THAT wrote his own blog back then, and it was highly insightful at times. Most of the time, however, it was just really funny. Hopeless Sensei now has his blog riddled with spam to the extent of being suspended by WordPress. Time and real life assassinate in their passage.

I am glad and highly thankful, however, that I am still being read. I have had my fifteen seconds of fame, and it was enjoyable. I appreciate co-bloggers like Ryan of aloedream, who I have exchanged ideas and thoughts for more than a year. I am truly grateful. I can only say that most of the time, the subject matters I discuss often alienate a lot of blog readers. I alienate some because despite some inconsistencies, I try to write posts that are more than episode reviews and internet drama: I try to write pieces that would persist through time. I guess most of them are unsuccessful, but I am glad that even with my minimal success rate, some posts like this have already been used as a reference in a research paper.

To be honest, the tension is difficult: I want to be read by more people, but I do not want to write vitriolic posts or merely episode reviews. Anyone could do that. I want more people to comment, to disagree, to offer alternative ideas, but I guess that is very difficult considering my blog aims to juxtapose different media with anime as being one of the foci, literature being the other. I know that what I write about often puts me in disfavor with many; however, I wrote this primarily because I wanted to reflect upon myself.

(The title, if anyone noticed, is an allusion to Proust. I got the third volume of his novel-cycle hardbound and at a really cheap price; in addition, I found that it is relevant to the matter at hand. I also really wanted to write more, but I guess it can be edited and elaborated upon later on, especially if anyone comments :) )

13 Responses to “Remembrance of things past: in search of lost time”

  1. Aka Says:

    If you put in enough effort, your site will shine on its own and of course, people will start reading and linking.

    I hope you don’t worry about what kind of content you ‘have’ to write to get people to read. If you only want readership, of course you would have to go according to reader wishes, reviews.. etc. However, i feel that you should write what you want. In this way, you will be bringing a uniqueness that is your own, that is not found elsewhere. That’s what i feel is the most important in blogging. I hope you do not turn out to be yet another political newsboard, only posting what brings in people and not reporting or saying what they really want/ or the truth..

    Have a great day.

  2. Lupus Says:

    Ah reminiscence… it’s been 18 months since I’ve started blogging, even if I haven’t written anything good in well over 6 months. I missed those days when I was still at my own blog and full of inspiration (for a whole 3 months lol).

    I think you should just keep doing what you do. Even if most people don’t like what you’re writing, I’ve noticed that you still have a solid fanbase who reads your post carefully and deliver comments that they actually put thought into. I’ve always thought that having a few elites is better than being swarmed with trash.

    Thanks for the praise! I don’t feel I deserve it.

  3. Michael Says:

    @Aka

    To be honest, I really have been putting enough effort. I try to write posts that are timeless, and although they fail me often I still keep on. This is the tension that I am talking about: I want to be read, but it’s hard if I kept on with my own spiels primarily because of the fact that despite the subjects are not niche (in fact, they are quite encompassing), I believe they require deep thought. I believe, in all honesty, that I already have written what I have wanted throughout my almost two years of blogging, and I believe I have been somewhat unique: I have not found anyone who tries to admix literature (formal, classicist) with the medium of anime.

    Thanks for the comment. It is highly appreciated. :)

    @Lupus

    I remembered before when we often commented on each other’s blogs because you often wrote sharp editorials regarding the state of anime – it fizzled out, however, and I think I know the reason: school. This is not to disparage Impz, but I must say I liked your writing a whole lot more when you alone wrote your blog.

    And I am not kidding. In fact, yours was the only blog I remembered I visited often back at those formative times. Along with JP Meyer and I, there were times when we broke through the Top Blogs of the Day. It was not only me who was impressed with what you have written. Quite a few people were, also.

    With regard to the fanbase, I thoroughly appreciate people I can coerce into reading my spiels, and I highly appreciate their insightful replies. meganeshounen, Kljigen, Ryan, elvyse (who has been vacillating in and out of this blog for more than a year, haha), AkaiWolf (poster above you), and now, sometimes totali and Cameron Probert – I highly appreciate your comments, and your insights.

    I wish you guys could be patient with my blog. I can promise two things: I will never act elitist, or if I do, it would be an obstinately facile manner. Second, I will never insult any of my commentators, because they are awesome and are full of wit I often do not possess.

    Thank you, everyone. :)

  4. Michael Says:

    So that’s what I forgot. ATE USAGIJEN, SORRY. :((

  5. Lupus Says:

    No I think the problem is that I’m just not passionate about anime or blogging. Anime has never been my favourite hobby; I’d really rather site down in a comfy chair and read something, be it manga, novel or even just a news paper. Writing… well, for some reason at one point I just stopped being able to write easily. I guess I can still do it, but I can’t find any topic on which I can post about on an anime blog.

    Also I’ve restrained from using words like shit and fuck, which seems to have made my writing much harder :(

  6. Lupus Says:

    Did I write “site down in a comfy chair” lollerskates

  7. Ryan A Says:

    I’m sitting in a comfy chair, truth. ^^

    I have not found anyone who tries to admix literature (formal, classicist) with the medium of anime.

    That’s pioneering, my friend. I’m sure there are anime viewers who have pondered the relativity [animeXliterature], but you are the only blogger I’ve read who has made solid connections through words. Your writing is in the media.

    I love these entries btw, they spark so many interesting thoughts upon myself, as I enjoy anime, blogging, media, and especially the relations of these things.

    On attracting readers:
    Writing for readers is a very positive notion, I do believe this. I feel your writing deserves more readers, but I have a couple theories about this:

    -the anime aura
    -the blogging aura
    -the anime blogging aura

    Though I’m not positive about other countries, anime is not vastly popular here in N.A.; most people have heard of it, but many have never watched a single full-length anime series, maybe a movie or two. In the other corner, literature is possibly the most popular of all media, globally (I’d say music is close).

    In my personal life, I hardly know anyone that reads blogs. If I were to call 100 friends (not that I have that many lol), and ask if they read at least one blog, actively… I bet no more than 5 would confirm. As huge as blogging is on the Net, the global revere is only slightly influenced.

    When we combine the lack of wide-spread anime popularity with that of blogging, it is the equivalent of set intersection; there are even fewer who are anime AND blogging enthusiasts. Grasping those who do read anime blogs isn’t the easiest task, but I feel its well invested time. I am in an understanding of your entries, which convey that media is not singular, anime should not be excluded for marking relations between media, and anime is sometimes viable beyond the fanboyish entertainment we see in it; there lies depth.

    I think you are on a weighty path, and I enjoy the topics, but in light of the anime blogging readership, I see a wall, which will take time to overcome. All bloggers must have realized that doing episodic summaries attracks the most attention, and readership, but editorials and relational perspectives are usually interesting to bloggers, more often than to a passerby. What is the cause of this? I find it may be the fixation of some anime-viewers, that anime-blogging is nearly always an episodic function, and few make it past this idea at first. My reference to this opinion would be those who I joined in an anime IRC channel over the couple years (none that I know of read anime blogs, even when I would bring it up at times).

    How on can someone mix literature and anime? and why would I, who simply like watching anime, want to read about these things?

    This probably isn’t a far-fetched grasp of many anime fans, as a whole (usually everyone who currently reads anime|otaku see the good in what’s being written). It’s not that they are different, but anime-blogging may have come off in an skewed light; not all viewers watch seasonal stuff, but 99% of anime blogs are doing seasonal things, just an instance… Seems like a simple miscommunication, but your approach, write in a timeless manner, is a way to overcome. I believe this. You are doing intriguing things; your writing shows thought and assertiveness behind ideas, and these ideas are real and relevant; they’re humanistic, we can learn from them. That’s why I say, keep going, the archives will only be a larger treasure in the future. In the meantime, I can only attest that someone like me enjoys this blog, and recommend it to others, gladly.

    Do good work Michael! :)
    Cheers

    note: Up-to-date information is nice, its new, but things of the past can be extremely intoxicating. For past anime reflections, I like to keep a few of my favorite reviewers from AnimeNFO bookmarked; very interesting when done well. Sorry for the length O_o

  8. Cameron Probert Says:

    Michael,

    I understand. But honestly, the reason I come back and read your posts again and again is because they are interesting. And I’m not the fanboy type, but it’s interesting to see a site that is more focused on analyzing then it is on episode recaps. Honestly this site is one of my inspirations for my own blog. So I really wouldn’t worry about being the biggest, like one of my writer friends says, “If you write a good story people will read it.” The same thing with blogs.

  9. Michael Says:

    I rented a computer in a LAN cafe because I wanted to sit down and be comfortable while writing my replies to you, Cameron and Ryan. I can only think well when I have already settled myself on a comfy chair, just like you guys.

    @Ryan

    First and foremost, I totally appreciate the fact that you have spent a considerable amount of time and thought to reply to my centrifugal post. Thank you.

    I mentioned it in passing with a post I have written before this that I try to establish relationships among anime and other media, and in this sense I do not write about anime series, I write on anime as medium. The linguistics may confuse, but I think this is (generally) what I write about.

    I am grateful that my posts intrigue and more importantly entertain you.

    On attracting readers:

    I also discussed this in passing in a previous post of mine: the Philippines, in particular, in general is not a fan of anime. Bleach and Naruto are staples, and many are fans of these series, but appreciation is very shallow. Many people watch these series, talk about it, but do not try to dissect or discover meanings behind the plot, or the characters within the series.

    I would have to disagree with literature as the global medium, however. Music is more and more becoming a mainstream entertainment because, as was said by me and many other people, one does not need to think when one listens to music. One can appreciate the melody, and not mind the lyrics, no matter how bad the lyrics is. This is the reason why a lot of us anime fans can memorize an anime song without even knowing the meaning behind the lyrics, or understanding the lyrics itself.

    Literature is a medium that requires both thought and time, and thus with the mobile and transient humanity that is ever pervasive in the world today, it is a medium that is getting lesser and lesser attention.

    In general, though, your theory is one that holds water. In fact, it is a theory that is highly plausible and possible: there are few anime enthusiasts; correspondingly, there are fewer anime blogging enthusiasts, and subsequently even fewer anime and literature blogging enthusiasts. The idea is very novel and yet so simple: I commend you for that. It gives me a reason to persist 😉

    ‘ I am in an understanding of your entries, which convey that media is not singular, anime should not be excluded for marking relations between media, and anime is sometimes viable beyond the fanboyish entertainment we see in it; there lies depth.

    I think you are on a weighty path, and I enjoy the topics, but in light of the anime blogging readership, I see a wall, which will take time to overcome. All bloggers must have realized that doing episodic summaries attracks the most attention, and readership, but editorials and relational perspectives are usually interesting to bloggers, more often than to a passerby. What is the cause of this? I find it may be the fixation of some anime-viewers, that anime-blogging is nearly always an episodic function, and few make it past this idea at first. My reference to this opinion would be those who I joined in an anime IRC channel over the couple years (none that I know of read anime blogs, even when I would bring it up at times).’

    Frankly, I could not agree more: I do believe that the crux of my posts revolve around anime not only as medium of entertainment, but a part of the ever growing portmanteau of media. I am in defense of anime as something legitimate, as something to be taken seriously. Thank you for seeing this.

    It is a tedious function to write episode summaries, and I applaud those who have the gall who keep up with the times, the series, and the seasons. I cannot.

    However, I do not believe that episodic reviews can cut it. It is something that anyone who watches anime can do, and it will never be the same as another one’s impressions. But that is only me.

    Thank you for the praise and the support. I am very, very, very, very grateful and appreciative. 😀

    @Cameron Probert

    Thank you very much. Guys, I truly appreciate these supporting statements. I’ll try to maintain whatsoever quality or QUALITY that you have seen from this blog. :)

  10. Kljigen Says:

    Put lolis on your blog and you will attract readers like how a corpse attracts flies. Trust me. It works all the time.

  11. Michael Says:

    It worked with Impz, most definitely. And I’d say, it works ALL the time.

  12. meganeshounen Says:

    Well, this post seems to be already populated by the regulars, so I’ll just make this short. :3

    Everyone has their own fling or their own specific style of writing. Omni’s already known for his quite informative episode summaries, while Danny Choo, Shingo (and others) specialize in information brokerage, pertaining to that of otaku-related stuff. And it seems this is one of those fields that one can probably take on… the realm of literary-related approaches to the anime and stuff that we all love.

    Hmmm.. maybe I should get myself a blog or something…. or not. 😛

  13. Michael Says:

    That sounded … disparaging. :c

    (j/k)

    Get yourself a blog! Then I can spam it, bwahahaha. :p

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