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Anime Editorials

Spring 2020 anime season rankings (and thoughts on anime blogging)

3,112 words later, I’m finally finished with my Spring anime season reviews, and what a promising season it’s turned out to be! I ended up reviewing 9 anime over the last few weeks, and I couldn’t say any of them were even average, let alone bad.

Phew!

Given the state of the things in the world right now, with so many of us living in isolation, we need anime now more than ever, and it’s delivering guys.

We all need escapism, to let ourselves go wander in other worlds. Like dreams, anime can help us process reality in abstract ways, to make sense of how we’re feeling at a deeper level than simply watching the news all day and feeling like the world’s collapsing around us. Read, watch, play: give yourself a break, and take care!

My Spring 2020 anime season rankings

Ordered in terms of personal preference, this is how I’ve ended up ranking things, but there’s not a bad anime amongst them:

  1. Sing “Yesterday” for Me
  2. BNA
  3. Listeners
  4. Gleipnir
  5. The Millionaire Detective – Balance: UNLIMITED
  6. Appare-Ranman!
  7. Wave, Listen to Me!
  8. Kakushigoto
  9. Tower of God

At the time of writing, I’m intending to keep up with 8 of the above during the next few months, but I don’t have much hope that I’ll last the pace with all of them! (4 anime in a season is about all I can manage!)

This anime blog in 2020

At the beginning of the year (gosh, that seems so long ago now!), I sat down and reviewed the blog’s raw visitor stats. They had been in a slow decline for years and the question has always been if I could arrest the slide (Aside from, you know, actually posting regularly and not disappearing for months or years on end?).

We anime bloggers are a funny bunch and trust me, I’m the same, there’s a large part of me that resents caring about things like blog views; I’ll just write what I want, and if people want to read it or not, why should I care? Well, the flip side to that argument is that, of course, I want to be read, this is a public website after all, so why should anime fans care about whatever random thing is running through my mind? When you follow that line of thought to its natural conclusion, you must accept the idea that “I’ll write what I want” is not (often) compatible with wanting to be read, it just isn’t. You must separate yourself from your ego and look at the raw data.

(Minor digression: If you’re interested in reading more about anime blogging, Irina’s blog has a number of fascinating posts on the subject. My blog right now is an island, it has been for years, but that’s a conscious decision, if just because I think being a “connected” blogger can lead one down a path of writing for a select audience of bloggers instead of anime fans. That definitely happened to me.)

From 2018 to the end of 2019, my most read post was “Seriously?! The end of Banana Fish“. From my perspective, there’s nothing particularly special about that post’s content, it’s just a visceral reaction to Banana Fish‘s gut-punch of an ending. Why was it more popular than the others? Well, it’s obvious when you think about it. People finish Banana Fish, go looking for a shoulder to cry on and, completely by accident, I’d given that post a title that made it easy to find.

Long story short: the raw data told me two things, people wanted me to write about anime endings and first episodes, hence that’s what I’m doing with this blog in 2020, I’m really trying, and the results so far have been promising, the views having tripled in as many months. Of course, there’s still a part of me that resents it, screaming that I’m above all of this, that I’m compromising myself in this way, but the truth is much simpler than that. I’m still searching for my voice, and now I’m going back to basics to find it. I can only hope that you’re enjoying the journey with me?

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