Mini-Update! What’s coming next

Greetings!

Figured I’d take the time to give an update about what’s coming down the pipeline next.

I’m not sure what’s been going on, but given how things have gone in the past week, I’ve been excited to return to this blog and make things happen. Part of it may have been the attention I’ve received from my Beyond the Boundary review – big thanks to Crow from Crow’s World of Anime – and part of it may also just be that I have a lot of time on my hands right now.

I am particularly proud of my Beyond the Boundary review; while it was definitely very long, I felt like I was able to get into everything I wanted to say, delve into enough detail and give enough examples, and also make it all flow nicely and become a fun read. I do worry a lot about word count, though, and so it’s always been a difficult struggle/balance between getting out all of my thoughts and preventing the review from turning into a mini-novel. If this were in a video essay format, like the video game retrospective videos I’ve recently enjoyed watching/listening to, I think it’d be an easier swallow than a wall of text. Still, again, given the attention it’s received, I think this will continue to be the direction I take with my reviews.

So speaking of which, let’s get into that.

I’ve been thinking about when the next ones are gonna come out, and here’s what I’ve decided. I’m going to switch to a bi-weekly release schedule. This means, once every other Friday. So no review tomorrow, but a review the Friday afterward – March 1st.

So speaking of which, here are the next two I have planned:

Devilman Crybaby
Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Definitely two big shows!

I had been wanting to review Madoka Magica for a while, and given how many times I’ve seen the show over the years, you would think it’d be easy, right? Well, apparently not. However, I somehow got inspired after seeing the review for it on A Girl and Her Anime – her entry was right below mine in Crow’s Other Posts to Crow About… post. (Try saying those last 7 words five times fast.) I like delving into what makes a show successful at what it tries to do, though, so my review will go in a different direction from hers.

Devilman Crybaby is the first Netflix exclusive show I’ve reviewed, so that’ll be interesting, I guess? I’ve been toying with writing a piece about Netflix and the landscape of anime distribution today in the US, but we’ll see if I’m able to nail down a tone I want to use for that. Either way, even though I’m late to the party, I’m excited to share my thoughts about this show.

I also have a review for Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san (Master Teaser Takagi-san) being worked on as well, but I don’t know when that’ll be done.

Re-reviews

Another thing I’ve been thinking about is going back and revisiting some shows I had reviewed early on in this site’s life. I absolutely love 5 Centimeters Per Second, but I feel the review I wrote for it just isn’t doing it justice anymore. There’s other shows, I’m sure, that I feel should deserve a better treatment than I had given them, so I’ve been thinking about what I want to do here.

If I re-review a show, I’m probably going to put it into a new post, and make a big link in the old review pointing to the new one. I had thought about taking down the old reviews as they get slowly replaced by new ones, but I think I want to keep them up – some have comments and discussion on them, and a part of me (and maybe some of you?) likes being able to go back to the old reviews just to see how my thoughts have changed or stayed the same.

So yeah, I’ve been thinking about that.

Finally

So once again – I say this every time there’s one of these update posts – but this website is nothing more than a hobby for me. I have a lot of drive and inspiration to keep going with it right now, but if that peters out, I won’t be afraid to take a break from here for a while.

Since this is just a hobby, I’ve never had any expectations of amassing any sort of following or anything, so I do thank you if you’ve taken the time to look at my posts and keep updated with what I do! I have absolutely nothing to promise you, so if you stick around, uh… that’s more than I’d ever expect coming into this.

I like sharing my thoughts, and I’ve been trying to get more involved and seeing others’ thoughts as well. So yeah, other bloggers out there might start to see more attention from me.

Until next time,

Jayke

3 thoughts on “Mini-Update! What’s coming next

  1. “I am particularly proud of my Beyond the Boundary review; while it was definitely very long,”

    It was a great review.

    I think there’s an unresolved debate about how long blog posts in general and review posts in particular should be. My daughter and son in law suggest that longer forms have moved on to YouTube (which you alluded to when you said “If this were in a video essay format”).

    I’m not so sure. Sure, shorter reviews may tend to get higher page views, at last initially. But we’re not in this for the short game, are we? More than half of my traffic goes to non-current reviews, and that number seems to be trending upward as time goes on. The longer format I use lets me set context and discuss things in more detail. That’s useful for non-current series, where the reader may not remember everything that just happened — because they watched it months or years ago.

    Not only that, but I really want to think — and advocate for — the power of the written word. YouTube’s great; so is Instagram and all the other platforms for publishing ideas. But when all’s said and done, if we want to deepen our understanding of the world, we need to think about it. I haven’t found anything better than the written word to do that.

    That’s a long way of saying I didn’t think the review was too long at all.

    Like

    1. Like I said, I believe it’s a balance.

      I know I’ve looked at say, game reviews, or some other articles and such, and although I go into them with the full intent of reading it all, I get so far in and then my eyes glaze over a bit and I either skip around until the end, or just grow bored and move on to something else. After a while, it just turns into a big wall of text. I know I do it, and so my concern becomes that others may do it as well.

      But I agree with a lot of the reasons you say. Back in my earlier days here, with my first few reviews, I remember cutting and reworking so many paragraphs to keep the reviews shorter, and it definitely came at the cost of me being able to delve in as far as I may have wanted. As my reviews have started to grow longer and longer, I’ve begun to feel more satisfied with my writing.

      Sometimes, I’ll come onto this website to just reread old reviews of mine and see what I thought and what I wrote, and a lot of them, I just think “wow, that’s it? that’s all I wrote?”. And I definitely get a percentage of people who visit here just to look at a review of a specific show, and with those older ones, all they get is some generalized thoughts from me and maybe a few examples to go with it. That’s another reason why I want to re-review some of those shows. (Edit: as I was responding to another comment, I also got to thinking: I like going into a show mostly blind, and seeing what others think after I finish it, to see another perspective. I think that’s a decent part of the reason why people seek reviews of a specific show, and also all the more reason to go into detail, to appeal to those who’ve already seen the show and just want to see another person’s thoughts.)

      I section off my reviews (Introduction, Plot and Characters, etc.) so it becomes less of a long-winded ramble and has some structure to it; I think that helps a lot. But since I only have 4 sections (one of which is just the plot summary), that only helps so much – I think it may be time for me to revisit that in the near future.

      YouTube is awesome in a lot of ways (as long as you don’t touch the whole monetization thing), and I feel that if you really want an audience, that’s the place you’re gonna get it. But it also comes with an accessibility problem; unless your video also has subtitles (and a lot of the longer video essay type things don’t), you’re pushing away a lot of people who don’t have time to listen to thoughts or don’t know English well enough, or people who are deaf. So I think that if I were to start posting to YouTube, I’d do the thing I’ve seen others do of having the video along with an accompanying post here. A written version and an audio version. But for me, making videos is a concept that I don’t feel ready to tackle anytime in the near future.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “After a while, it just turns into a big wall of text.”

    That’s a really good point. If we have a lot to say about a show or a series, it’s on us as writers to make it interesting and entertaining so the reader is enchanted, not bored.

    “I section off my reviews ”

    As a reader, I enjoy that technique! I also hired my daughter to look at my site as a millennial reader, and her feedback was that she appreciated the breaks. It let her choose which section was most interesting. Given the potential audience that the internet represents, giving diverse readers a quick way to hit the sections that most interesting is a great idea!

    “But since I only have 4 sections (one of which is just the plot summary), that only helps so much – I think it may be time for me to revisit that in the near future.”

    I like the sections you have, but I’m not saying to not keep experimenting! That’s part of the fun of a blog — experimenting how to best present your perspective to the widest audience while maintaining your core appeal.

    “But it also comes with an accessibility problem; unless your video also has subtitles (and a lot of the longer video essay type things don’t), you’re pushing away a lot of people who don’t have time to listen to thoughts or don’t know English well enough, or people who are deaf.”

    As the parent of a deaf child, let me say a big THANK YOU for understanding that! You may already understand this, but folks who are deaf appreciate it when content creators don’t forget them.

    “A written version and an audio version. ”

    My 2/100? That’s a great idea.

    “But for me, making videos is a concept that I don’t feel ready to tackle anytime in the near future.”

    Also my 2/100? You’re wise to wait until you’re ready! Video production is easier than ever (iMovie, for example, is a great and free entry-level video editor), but it’s still wildly more time-consuming than writing blog posts. My wife does both, and it’s a huge time sink. Though, as you noted, the potential audience can be far larger.

    Thanks for the opportunity to talk shop!

    Like

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