I’m Back into Anime! (What’s been going on with me?)

Hello! It’s been a while again, huh?

(This is going to be super lengthy, so I’ll post a TL;DR at the bottom.)

Since the Last Post

My last post featured an outlined plan that I was going to follow to get back into posting on this site, starting with a review as a part of a block called “Funimation February”. I even hinted at one of the shows I was going to be reviewing as a part of that post… obviously, that didn’t pan out.

Sooooo there’s been a couple things that happened since then. Let’s talk about this, and then try to take a frank look at what I’ll be doing from here.

So that last post, I published in December of 2019. There’s… something major that certainly occurred since that day. Still kind of ongoing in a sense, but yeah, there was this whole pandemic thing.

My experiences with the pandemic was not great, but not nearly as bad as others had it. But suffice to say, the job I had back then (in December 2019) is now two jobs ago for me. I’ve had other major changes in my life too, such as moving to a new place and getting a dog, and I’ve been thinking a bit about where I want to go with my life, given that I’m nearing the end of my 20s.

Those things alone are enough of a distraction for me to not really want to put time and effort into this blog. I’m sorry I didn’t come here to post more about it, but frankly, I had other things on my plate and I was worried about filling up the front page of my site with just update posts, rather than actual reviews (especially if I set a new date for returning in an update post, and then missed that date, prompting another update post, and… yeah). There’s already a number of update posts like these on my front page, and that’s after I went back and hid some of them. It doesn’t really look good for an anime reviewing website’s front page to… not have anime reviews.

Falling Out of Anime

Anyway, that’s not all. There’s also the ongoing issue of… me just kind of falling out of anime for quite a while. Looking back, that post I made about the Spring 2019 anime season, that was the last anime season that I actually tried to sit down and keep up to date on the new shows. And of those shows that I talked about there, guess how many I actually kept with all the way to the end… 0. (And some of them, like Ao-chan Can’t Study, I really enjoyed too!)

This has been an issue for me since like 2018, maybe even a bit earlier. Part of what kept me engaged in anime was the college life, where I had friends with me to talk about anime and enough openness in my schedule that I could sit down and watch these shows. And at the time, for me, anime was a relatively new thing too; I only really got into anime just before college.

By 2018, I was out of college and moving on to other things in my life: getting a job, finding a place to live, paying for things… you know, fun adult things. I was also running into the issue where a lot of the anime I was looking at, the new stuff coming out… didn’t interest me as much. There were some excellent, stand-out, and unique shows for sure, but there were also a lot of shows where I read the synopsis or even just saw the title, and I was like “okay, I don’t think I need to delve more into that one”. A lot of repeats, rehashes, similar concepts done again but with small twist that I’m sure made it suuuuuper unique (also a number of sequels to shows that I never watched the original season of, sooo yeah). There’s been a big influx of isekai-style shows in the past few years, for example, with lengthy and ridiculous titles, taking a page out of the book of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon and others. Which made for a kind of funny, unique thing when done once or twice, but when it’s every other show…

Anyway, I’ve ended up turning to getting entertainment from elsewhere. The Nintendo Switch came out in 2017; I was a casual fan of video games at that point (and still kind of am), but I’ve spent more time on the Switch than I have pretty much any other game console since, like, the Wii. That’s taken a decent amount of time.

I’ve also been watching Western animated shows, like Steven Universe, Adventure Time, She-Ra: The Princesses of Power, Amphibia, The Owl House, and more. I was hooked into one of these shows (Steven Universe) and from there, realized there was a whole slew of stuff coming out here that I hadn’t caught up on. I ignored Western animation for quite a while, as a number of shows coming out for a handful of years didn’t interest me (and many still don’t), but there’s been a number of gems to appear as well. So I slowly dropped more and more anime and instead started watching more and more Western cartoons.

I’ve debated a few times about posting reviews of these Western shows on this blog, and I even wrote up an entire review of Steven Universe (mid Season 2), but I never got around to actually posting them. I might go ahead and write up some at some point, but let’s not promise anything.

Life of a Reviewer

Part of the issue that I’ve had too is this internal expectation that when I watch an anime, I’m supposed to then turn around and crank out a review of it to post here. That’s partly because that’s what I’ve been doing for about 2 or 3 years, at least. Finished a show? Okay, let’s get that review over the finish line and into the backlog so it can be posted here in the near future!

Although my writing skills have certainly improved since I began this website, I’m not a quick writer and after starting the site, I was going through my backlog of finished reviews faster than I could write new ones. This, in turn, turned up the pressure for me even more to get a review out for any show I finish, because… otherwise, there just wouldn’t be a review to post. Part of being a content creator online is being consistent, right? Something new every week? What would I do if I didn’t have that something new?

(sigh)

I’ve said multiple times, in multiple places, that I ran this review site as a hobby, not intending to “make it big” or make this my job or anything. I’m not here for the numbers, although I did appreciate seeing people comment and like my posts. … But in a sense, it kind of did become a job. I couldn’t watch an anime without also thinking about “how am I going to word this concept” or “how do I explain my thoughts on this character”. Sentences and paragraphs would flow through my head, trying to formulate a review on the fly, while I was still watching an episode. Watching an anime without writing a review about it just wasn’t a thing. There’s so many anime that I’ve watched over the years that, right now, have half-written reviews. A handful of these reviews likely won’t ever see the light of day.

That’s probably also partly why I turned to Western animation for a while too. It was freeing, watching a well-constructed story with great characters and good animation… and without the expectation that I’d have to take my esoteric, fleeting, hard-to-define thoughts and shove them into words on a screen. The most I’d really ever talk about a cartoon online is a few tweets, which also has a much lower bar of quality to reach too.

Naturally, as I continued to write and write, my reviews got lengthier and my ability improved. But as my writing quality increased, so does the bar I set for myself and the amount of work that goes into it. With my earlier reviews, I could pound out a whole review the day after finishing a show without needing to look back or do anything extra most of the time. Sometimes if I wanted to reference a specific scene, I’d go back and rewatch it to make sure I wasn’t misremembering it.

But as I became more thorough and I set more of a bar for myself, writing a review went from taking a night or two, to taking multiple days, and then a week, and then even more. I created a checklist in my mind, things like “paragraph about the minor characters, discussing the color scheme, sharing thoughts on the BGM”, a review couldn’t be done unless I hit all these points. I’d rewatch multiple scenes or whole episodes, so I could reference them all in detail in my writing. I’d have to track down clips of the dub (or rewatch a few episodes dubbed) if I watched a show with subtitles – and vice versa if I first watched it dubbed. I’d go out and re-listen to the OP and ED songs, I’d pull up the list of voice actors on Wikipedia or ANN so that I could find a few I could “shout-out” in my review. I found myself going back and rewriting the words I wrote: I didn’t explain myself enough, I was too wordy, I didn’t actually get to the heart of what I felt, this paragraph could be written better to flow into the rest of the review more smoothly.

While, again, this was part of me getting better at my craft and me caring more about what I put out, it all added up. And again added to the pressure that this felt like a job, rather than just something to do for fun, because these thoughts were just swirling around in my head anyway, may as well dump them somewhere because… why not? That was why I started this.

But it kept adding up and adding up, and then… my Beyond the Boundary review came out.

I put my all into that review, and threw out any semblance of trying to stay within a word count. I read and reread and rewrote my sentences and paragraphs so much until I was fully satisfied with what was on the screen before me.

The Beyond the Boundary review got a decent amount of attention as well, at least comparatively to what everything else on my website had gotten before (or since). I chalk a lot of that up to being mentioned and linked on Crow’s anime mentions weekly post. Again, I’m not here for the numbers and I shouldn’t read too much into one review being mentioned on a larger blog, but… at the time, I was a bit swayed by the attention I got then and decided I had to push myself just as hard for every review since.

I’ve been proud of that review and every review afterwards. I feel like they all capture my thoughts and feelings exactly – not that I’m not proud of some of my earlier reviews nor that my earlier reviews don’t show my feelings, but these newest reviews felt like I put it all out there, precisely and completely.

But that review took multiple days, multiple weeks to make. Every review since then has taken multiple days, that whole process I outlined, to put together. And even if there was a show that I just finished watching and wanted to share my thoughts about… if I didn’t go through this whole process and check all the boxes in my mental list It was… then the review wasn’t done, it wasn’t ready, it can’t be posted. It became a bit draining sometimes.

Stepping Away…

The results of this sometimes played out right in front of my readers on this website. I’d make update posts saying that I was taking a break, and maybe sometimes referencing or mentioning a show I was planning to review soon… but then breaks would take longer than expected, and the reviews I mentioned never came about.

And when I did come back, I’d post 2 or 3 reviews and then disappear again.

My backlog was mostly dried up, I wasn’t writing enough new reviews fast enough, and I wasn’t in the mood or mindset to even watch anime, much less write reviews for even those.

After my review of Madoka Magica, I ended up planning a break, where I expected I’d take some time to reset myself, spend time working on some other projects I had, and then come back to anime with a refreshed mind and ready to write some new reviews. I watched shows like Little Witch Academia, Made in Abyss, Typhoon Noruda, and some others. I’ve started reviews on all these shows, but, like mentioned above, they’re still in a half-finished state, if even that.

I do have thoughts on these shows. I’d love to post reviews for them. But I just couldn’t get myself back into the headspace for going through the hoops and process I’ve done before to drag a review along to the finish line. Soooooooo I just continued to sit here, with half-done reviews, and no will to actually do anything with it or with this site.

And the longer I went without posting a review here, the longer that I felt bad about not posting a review and the guilt made me not want to return back to this website. Which then kind of snowballed and snowballed.

But I had 2 yearly reminders, when WordPress would send me an email about renewing the WordPress plan I had, and my domain registrar sent me a reminder to extend my registration for animebird.net. I recall sitting there for a week in 2021, thinking for a short while about what I wanted to do with this website. I could pull the plug on the domain registration and just kind of let this site fade into obscurity. I didn’t want to keep paying for this website if I wasn’t going to use it… Ultimately, I decided that I did want to return to doing something with this site, and so continue paying for it I did. But, clearly, nothing happened in 2021.

It was always a kind of “I want to get back to this at some point” thing in the back of my mind, but I never actually sat down at all and said “yes, I’m going to do this now”.

… And Stepping Back In

I’m not quite sure what changed, really.

I think what triggered it was the recent(ish) announcement that the Funimation and VRV brands and services are being retired in favor of Crunchyroll.

Throughout all these years, even when I wasn’t even using the service at all, I still kept paying monthly for a VRV subscription. For those outside the US (or in the US who don’t recall), VRV was put forward by the same media group that owned Crunchyroll, back in 2016. It was kind of awesome as it was a single streaming service at a decently low price, and it bundled other services with it: Crunchyroll, Funimation, Mondo Media, Rooster Teeth, Curiosity Stream, and more.

The website was attractive (even if it was maybe a bit barebones and occasionally buggy) and it meant a laaaaarge majority of anime released in the West was right at my fingertips in one place. They created original series with online content creators too, like Epithet Erased and Shadowstone Park. It was actually pretty nice, in my opinion.

But a lot changed between 2018 when I stopped with anime and 2022 when that announcement came out. Of course, with an aggregate service like that, services will come and go. Funimation was replaced with HiDive at some point. But when the announcement came out that VRV would be eventually shuttered and those with VRV accounts should move to Crunchyroll Premium, I logged into the site to start that process and was surprised by what I saw.

There was only three services available on VRV when I logged in in 2022. One was Crunchyroll, of course, and there was “VRV Selects”, which was the banner for VRV’s original content and some other stuff… and Mondo Media, randomly lol. The site felt empty, a kind of husk of its former self. I found since-deleted support articles talking about various services leaving VRV, with the vague promise of “we’ll still continue to work on delivering great content” every time. It was a little sad, but it wasn’t really surprising. The streaming landscape has changed a lot since 2016.

So yeah, I cancelled with VRV, and just got myself a regular Crunchyroll subscription. And once that process was done, I sat there, looking at the main site… “You know, I’ve heard people talking about Spy X Family, let’s take a look at that.”

Where I’ll go from here (Welcome back!)

When I originally started with this website, years and years ago, the idea was that I’d post something every weekend, and if I had any additional thoughts or extra things to say, I could put that out sometime during the week. While that worked well while I had a large backlog to go through, that started to sputter out once the backlog started to dry up, and I relied more on stuff I was finishing writing that week.

Even after taking various breaks, and even now, I wanted to adhere to some form of schedule. Not weekly, heck no, but dialing it down to only posting monthly feels really unappealing. That’s only like… 12 posts in a year? What is that? So my goal for a long time has been trying to do 1 post every 2 weeks. It’s probably not wise to come back into this with an expectation of a schedule, but that’s what I think I want to aim for. This could be a review, me revisiting a show I reviewed in the past, or maybe some other kind of think piece or post.

There is the issue of me disappearing without warning from this site for months (or years), and while every time I come back, I’ll say that I’ll get better at reporting when I’ll be gone, the reality is… I still certainly could and am kind of likely to disappear without warning again. For sure, I’d expect there will be times where I’ll skip a month or two (especially when I have real-life stuff to focus on), but, for real, I’ll try to write a short update post when I think that time is coming.

I need to get the expectation out of my head of making sure I have something to post each 2 weeks, because even if I can push myself to get things out, I also don’t want to fall into the same patterns and issues I had before I took this lengthy hiatus. It’d be better to say I’m taking a break when I run out of pieces to post, rather than trying to pull something out of my butt to get put onto here.

I already have in mind what reviews and shows I’ll be posting about first, and it’d be great to build up even more of a backlog before I hit the ground running… so let’s aim for the first week of September for when I’ll begin posting! This gives me all of August to wrap up the multiple posts I’m working on. This will indeed include full on reviews like I’ve done in the past, but I also have plans for revisiting various shows that I had reviewed before. I’m also also considering a newer “quick review” type of thing, where I put out my thoughts on 3 or so shows, without putting in all the time and effort of making a large review. That way, I can try to cover shows that I have a review half-written for, but I doubt I’ll be able to quickly get over the finish line.

One other major thing I’ll be doing: retiring the @AnimeBirdTweet Twitter account. (Or more specifically, rebranding it.)

I originally set up the Twitter account around the same time I set up this blog, back when I thought it’d be cooler to have an alias and alternate identity and you didn’t know who was actually running this site. At some point along the way, I dropped that whole schtick, as I felt there really wasn’t much of a real reason for me to keep it up… and frankly, if this blog actually went anywhere, smart internet sleuths would surely be able to connect this back to me anyway.

Anyway, I haven’t had much to do with that Twitter account, even when this blog was in full swing. I had followed a couple fellow anime reviewers here on WordPress, but I barely went on that Twitter account often enough to actually meaningfully interact in any way. I had considered using the account to live-tweet anime shows I was watching, but putting in the effort to pause the show, take a screenshot, and write thoughts with it… multiple times in a single episode, that got old quick. During my hiatus from this blog, I used the account to live-tweet reactions to various online concerts I watched, like Miku Expo or some Hololive stuff… but otherwise, the account just sat there, dormant.

So I think I’m going to instead transition to having all of my stuff being posted onto my main Twitter account (@JaykeBird), and have that be my main social media base of operations instead.

I do have plans for what I’ll do with the AnimeBirdTweet account, but it’s going to be wholly unrelated to this blog, and so I’d rather have a few months break where that account goes unused before starting to transition it to something else.

Anyway, yeah!

I’m back, I suppose! I don’t know how much of an audience I have left here (how much of an audience did I even have before?), but hopefully people will enjoy once I start posting things here again in September. I’ll keep in touch about any changes I’ll need to make along the way with this blog, but I hope we’ll all have fun together!

For now, though, I’ll see you around!

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read)

I realize this was a super lengthy post. Here’s a summary.

I had a number of reasons to take a (super long) break away from this blog. Some of them involved becoming an adult and doing adult things, but one big part of it was how I just wasn’t watching anime much anymore. Adult stuff got in the way, anime wasn’t interesting me as much anymore, and the internal expectation I had of “you watched an anime, now write a review about it!” (along with the super high bar of quality for a review that I set for myself) all contributed to me dropping anime, and by extension, this site.

But I dunno, something happened, and now I’m back! I have anime to watch, thoughts to share, and I want to get going on it! I have ideas about what I want to post, and my goal is to start posting in September! Once every 2 weeks, I’ll write a new post, and I’m going to get better and sharing an update when I need to take a break away from this for a while.

I’m also dropping the AnimeBirdTweet Twitter account. I’ll be primarily using my main Twitter account, JaykeBird, from now on in relation to this site.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the stuff I have to share, and I’m looking forward to coming back!

AnimeBird in 2020

Hey there!

Sorry I didn’t come back as soon as I thought I was going to! But don’t worry, I’m still here and I’m still alive! And, more importantly, I’m still interested in running this site.

So here’s what’s gonna be happening next:

I’ll be returning in February 2020 for the Funimation February “event” I’ve been doing in past years. I have 3 reviews planned for it, and I also hope to make another announcement during that month as well.

After February, I’ll have a few other reviews I plan on posting in spring 2020, and… we’ll see what happens from there!

Anyway, sorry for the silence for so long. I’ll be honest, the show I’ve been watching the most recently has been Adventure Time. I never watched Adventure Time when it was airing on Cartoon Network, as I figured it was an episodic childish stories type of show, but those assumptions are pretty wrong! While Adventure Time doesn’t really ever get as deep as more dramatic anime and it takes quite a while to ramp up from silly episodic stories into something more, it’s still a lot of fun and I really do recommend it for people to watch!

Maybe I should write a review for Adventure Time…

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes, I’ll be back in 2020! I’ll be excited to share with you my first review for Funimation February! YAHOO!

Sincerely, from the roof of a nearby building,

Jayke

About the Recent Tragedy #PrayForKyoani

Given the number of my recent reviews being shows animated by Kyoto Animation, you can probably tell I’m a big fan of that studio. Even though I’m still taking my time away from this blog for the time being, I figured I may as well come by and say something.

I was really saddened by the news about the arson that occurred in their Studio 1 in Kyoto. They’re a beacon of bright shining light in the anime industry, and it’s unbelievable to think that someone would want to perform such a malicious act against a studio that has rendered such adoration for their works.

However, I don’t really have much I can personally say that someone else hasn’t said already. I can sit here and talk about how I first discovered their work while watching Nichijou (back when it was on Crunchyroll in 2013) and how I became an adoring fan myself after watching Haruhi Suzumiya and Beyond the Boundary. I could talk about how much of an impact their work has made on so many people, or I could talk about how they’re truly a one-of-a-kind studio, having forged their own path in the anime industry for decades. I could list off the various shows that have become popular hits and classics that they’ve animated: K-On!, Clannad, and Free! are some that come to mind.

But the fact of the matter is, others have already said this. Others are better at coming out right away and posting these kinds of things, sharing their own feelings and thoughts. That’s why I didn’t say anything right away. There’s nothing I can personally add to the conversation.

I offer my condolences to the victims and their families in this terrible act. I’m glad that the studio is continuing to stand strong and not letting this slow them down, and I’m overjoyed by the outpouring of support that they have received. I have donated $20 towards them as well through the option that RightStuf has provided.

Others have already gone around and shared Sentai Filmworks’s GoFundMe, and it’s lovely to see over 2 million dollars that people have poured in as support for the studio. RightStuf provided a clear and straightforward way for our donations to reach Kyoto Animation’s donation fund directly, and so that’s why I took that route. You can also offer words (or images or drawings) of support through a form that Crunchyroll has set up. There are other, more direct ways to offer monetary support to Kyoto Animation as well, but these ways require more effort or some knowledge of Japanese.

At the end of the day, I know that no amount of money or words or drawings can really help heal the wounds that these victims and their families are going through. I’m glad I could offer support in some form, but I ultimately don’t have anything else to share or say. I just feel sad.

I’ll be returning to this blog in mid-August, as previously announced.

Until then, tell a loved one how much you care about them.

Jayke

Taking a Break ’til August!

Hey there!

No doubt, you’ve probably seen I haven’t posted much in the past month… like, at all.

I apologize for the complete silence on my end; I originally was planning to finish my Little Witch Academia review and then begin posting reviews for the shows in this season that’s just finishing up. But, well… that didn’t happen.

Okay, I’ll be honest. I haven’t exactly watched anything anime-related for a little while now. Hard to review anime when I’m not watching anime. Part of it, truthfully, is that jumped back into Splatoon 2 and that’s soaked up a lot of my limited free time; part of it is other projects and other personal things taking up a lot of my time as well; lastly, another part is just changes going on at my work right now that I’m needing to navigate. I haven’t had as much time to just sit down and watch stuff, and even when I do, I usually end up playing video games or watching YouTube instead.

So anyway, needless to say, I don’t exactly have much prepared to post here, for at least a little while.

As a result, I plan on taking a break from posting anything here until mid-August at the earliest. I’ll be able to wrap up some of my other projects and personal things, it allows me to adjust to some changes I’ve been making in my life, and it also gives me time to try to finish more shows and write out reviews.

Don’t expect a “My Look at the Summer 2019 Season” post, either. To be frank, I don’t have the slightest clue what is even coming out next season. When I do return, though, I’m looking to post reviews of Little Witch Academia and Sarazanmai, among other shows. Time will tell which review will get done first, though!

Either way, I look forward to seeing you in mid-August!

Jayke

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

An Update on AnimeBird!

Hey there!

It’s… uh… it’s been a while, huh?

Alrighty, well, let’s not beat around the bush. Get right to it. Let me start off with an announcement, and then I’m gonna talk for a bit about various things with this website.

Firstly, I’ll be putting out a new review next week Friday (the 15th). This review will not be for the third season of Free!, but as luck may have it, it will be another Kyoto Animation-animated show. (5 of the 6 past reviews were of KyoAni-animated shows, and honestly, this wasn’t really intended. I’ll delve into that later.)

So this leads into the next talking point: why isn’t it the 3rd season of Free?

I’ll be honest with you, I just wasn’t with it that season. I’d say this is spoilers for my review, but honestly, it’s not like reviews are something rare to find, especially for a popular franchise like this. I felt that Eternal Summer was the perfect ending point for the Free! series (and since the other CTFK shows ended after their 2nd or 3rd project, I figured that’d be it for Free too). This 3rd season just feels unnecessary, and it doesn’t help that everything in this season just feels… manufactured, contrived. I didn’t really feel like actually finishing the 3rd season, but I also couldn’t put out my review for it because I jumped off before the climax. I didn’t feel like jumping back in to either finish the show or rewatch some earlier parts (as I often have to do with my reviews) to try to finish my review, and so it’s been sitting here, half-done, on my computer.

At first, I didn’t think I was going to jump off for as long as I have (and still am). I thought it’d be an extra week, and then I’d be done. So I wrote that update post saying so. But then 1 week turned into two. Then 2 weeks stretched into a month, and then 2 months… and now we’re here.

But since I had previously said that this 3rd season was next, I couldn’t get myself to posting anything else because “anything else” wasn’t the 3rd season. And so this website just sat without anything being posted to it.

So that brings me to my next point. Usually I don’t announce what my next review is going to be (mostly because I myself don’t know what it’s going to be), but in these cases, I did, and then I couldn’t do anything because I couldn’t do what I said I would be doing. So I’m going to be doing things differently. I may still continue to announce my next reviews (especially since right now, I have a pretty good idea about what my next couple ones will be), but don’t 100% expect me to hold myself to that. It’ll be less of a “this is what’s coming next”, and more of a “this is going to come sometime soon”.

I do still want to review the 3rd season and share my thoughts in a more constructed, organized way, but it just won’t be right now. I do also want to review that bizarre adventure I teased in that last update as well, but, again, it’ll be a little while.

Alright, so that’s all been discussed now. So, two last points.

Next point: why so many KyoAni shows in a row?

Honestly, this wasn’t intentional. I’ve been going through the process of rewatching some shows I’d enjoyed a lot previously to get myself back into anime, and as I’ve been rewatching them, I’ve been writing reviews as well. … And, well, a lot of the shows I’ve enjoyed were KyoAni shows. That explains Nichijou, Daily Lives of High School Boys (which isn’t KyoAni-animated), as well as this next review coming up. But the others…

Munto (and Munto 2), I had wanted to see for years, and I watched it for the first time about 6 months before I wrote the review. I had intended to write reviews for them at the time as well, but since I only had them on loan, I couldn’t keep them long enough to reference for finishing my reviews. So when I had the chance to go back and get them, the timing just lined up to be after Daily Lives of High School Boys.

For Free!, that’s easy. Since the 3rd season was announced, I intended to rewatch the first two to refresh the franchise in my head before the new season came out. And so I wrote reviews for them as I was doing so. So again, it was a happenstance of them just lining up.

After this, though, I’ll resist the temptation to rewatch Tamako Market and move on to something animated by someone else for a change lol.

Lastly, what should you expect from my website in 2019? How often will I post?

To start off this answer, I’ll begin with a side note.

The time is coming up soon for me to renew my yearly payment to keep this website going. I gave a bit of thought about what I want to do, but I pretty quickly decided that I’ll be paying that renewal. And so here’s the thing: if I’m gonna renew my payment for this website, I should be posting to it. No point paying for something I’m not actively doing anything with.

So I will be around in 2019, posting things.

The real question is how often, and the real answer is… I dunno. I’ve said it a looooot in the past, but I run this site primarily for my own amusement and interest. I’m not expecting success or popularity or some anime reviewing gig for some major publisher. I’m writing here because I like to write here, and that’s pretty much it. I don’t want this to turn into a chore or job, because at the end of the day, it’s still just a hobby.

So when I have a review ready to post, I’ll post it. And when I don’t, I don’t. It’ll be as simple as that.

As for things that aren’t reviews… my interest in those have really started to wane in recent times. Part of me would still love to do pieces on how the anime industry is going or writing topical posts or making videos of any sort, but… I just don’t see it happening right now.

Conclusion

That’s all I’ve wanted to share for now. If you read all the way down to the bottom here, thank you! I’ll be honest, this blog has a bit of a bigger following than I expected (the following I expected being 0). I really wouldn’t call this blog successful in the financial or social sense or anything, but still, it’s nice to see people enjoy the things I make.

Actually, I did get an offer about a month ago from someone asking me to do a sponsorship deal… but I’m not here for the money, so I didn’t accept. Person seemed maybe a tad sketchy anyway.

Either way, I’ll see you soon!

– Jayke

No Review Today!

Greetings!

In a rare move, I’m actually announcing that I’m skipping this week instead of just mysteriously vanishing for a while lol.

But yeah. It’s in the title. There won’t be a review today! Biggest reason is that it’s Black Friday, and that leads to busy times for those who work retail. I honestly haven’t really started yet with the review for the third season of Free!, but that is next on the list. I do wanna have it out next week Friday Sunday, but we’ll see how that goes. I’m not as fast as I used to be when it comes to writing reviews.

Also, once I finish that last Free! review, it’s probably about time to move on to something that isn’t Kyoto Animation, huh? Let’s say… we have an adventure.

– Jayke

I’m Back Y’all!

Greetings!

It’s been a while, huh?

My apologies for being gone as long as I have, I hadn’t intended for this long break. However, it’s not really unexpected either, let’s be honest.

I don’t really have any reason to give for not posting here except… I just haven’t really wanted to. I’ve wanted to spend my time on other projects and doing other things. The thought would cross my mind every now and then of “hey, I should try to write another review” or something, but I never really… felt like it.

Well, I’m here to see that I have some stuff ready to go now, and I’m excited to get posting!

I’ve seen a number of long-running shows recently, and I’m excited to share my thoughts, season by season. After that, I’ll probably try to dive into a couple Netflix-exclusive shows, since I recently got a Netflix subscription. After that, expect me to disappear again for a little while.

Enough stalling though, yeah? Let’s get to talking about anime!

See you Friday!

– Jayke

Taking a Short Break!

Hey there!

So I finished Funimation February, and just barely in time too! My last review was for Baka and Test, which I… didn’t think very highly of. It was meant to have been posted earlier (preferably last Friday), but it seemed the world was transpiring against me being able to do that.

To be honest, there was a couple of difficult things that needed my attention during this time period first and foremost, beyond me finishing up some review for some site. A number of these difficult things have passed now, though, hopefully, and that’s when that review got posted! And now that it’s been posted, I’m gonna take a break!

Now, you might be saying, why take a break now, after your hardships have been solved? Well, there’s a couple things: firstly, I don’t know for certain if all the issues have been solved. Either way, some of the decisions I’ve made are going to reverberate in my life for the next few days/weeks. Secondly, I’m beginning a strange transitional phase in my life right now (trying to change careers), and I want time to focus on what I need to do for that (so yay, more hardships, but at least it’s a planned hardship). Thirdly, I want some time to build up a bit of a backlog again for this site. I do currently have one fully written review, and three partially-written reviews already, but I like to have a sizeable backlog.

I plan on being gone for pretty much most (if not all) of March.

By the time I come back, the Winter 2018 season will be finishing up, and hopefully my reviews for some of those shows should be ready to go by that point! I will also be trying to finish up those partially-written reviews, and also writing one more review for a show I’m currently rewatching.

I will also be planning a piece about Your Name when I come back! It will not be a review of the movie (that may come later), but more a perspective piece on it. I feel my perspective on the movie is pretty uncommon, and I wanted to share it. I do have some preparation work to do for this piece, so it may take some time, but be prepared for that!

Finally, thank you to those of you who have enjoyed what I’ve written so far! My posts haven’t really spurred much discussion or anything, but it’s still nice to come in and see someone had liked one of my reviews or began following my blog. I’m not doing this to become profitable or popular, I’m doing it solely as a “why not” project, but I enjoy the thought that maybe, just maybe, someone enjoys seeing my posts here.

Anyway, see you all in a month!

– Jayke

AnimeBird, plans for 2018!

Greetings!

Geez, it’s been a long while, hasn’t it? I really hadn’t meant to disappear from here like I did after my A Silent Voice review. I’m actually pleasantly surprised with how many people saw it, liked it, and followed me as a result.

I’m sorry I’ve disappointed you with my lack of new releases thus far D:

If I were to be a good content creator, I would say that things will be different this year and that you’ll see post more than ever before! and things of that nature. But… that’s probably not going to be how it goes here. I’ll be trying to post more often than I have these past few months, that’s for sure, trust me, but it won’t be every week on the dot.

: :

Since some point last year when I said to you all (and to myself) that this is nothing more than a side hobby, I’ve been really treating it as such: something I do only in my spare time and when I feel the desire to spend doing it. It unfortunately leads to this website/blog thing being woefully neglected at times, though. I do feel bad about anyone who actually is interested in my posts and my thoughts and is receiving nothing from me here.

I have some reviews stockpiled that I wanted to post after I wrote a review for “Your Name”, but seeing as I never finished that review, I never posted it nor posted the stockpiled ones. I’ve been telling myself to just post one of the stockpiled ones and forget about that plan, but obviously, that never came to be either (in the past month).

I’ll be coming into 2018 posting these stockpiled reviews that I mentioned. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, it’ll be reviews for the same exact shows that I was hinting at in the post I linked to a few paragraphs ago. So allow me to quote what I said back then:

The reviews I’ll be posting over the next few weeks will be quite interesting. A lot of them are well-known shows, to be honest, but it’s not just that. The shows I’ll be reviewing are shows that I either really like or really dislike. Not every show can be a winner, huh?

So look forward to that 😀

I will say that despite not posting much on this website/blog thing, I am relatively active on Twitter! Recently it’s just been retweets from my main/personal account, but they’re retweets about the things I’ve watched! If you want my (condensed) thoughts about a show I’ve watched, you’ll find it there, and you’re also open to ask me about shows too!

Also, quick last thing: I do plan on doing that Funimation February thing I did last year again! No promises on those extra pieces about the company itself or the anime industry as a whole, as I had said (and failed to do) last year. But I will be reviewing Funimation shows!

: :

Yet another thing I mentioned in that post and also haven’t yet done (wow, good going past me! /sarcasm), I wanted to talk about video games! Random thoughts about them, maybe semi-reviews about them, who knows? I’m kind of transitioning this website/blog thing to being just my place to voice my thoughts about the media I consume, and of course, I’ve been consuming video games.

I’ve recently been going through a Paper Mario phase (again), so you can actually look forward to a post from me talking about the entire series. Who knows when I’ll have it up, but… it’s a thing.

: :

Anyway, thank you so much for sticking with me… if, uhh, you have been sticking with me… and I’m sorry about my lack of posting here.

I’ve said it before, but this site is nothing more than a side hobby for me. But still, it does sadden me to see people reading/liking my things at the same time I’ve neglected to post anything new. I don’t want people to think I’ve abandoned this place, although that honestly is what it looks like. I guess I don’t quite know how to rectify that, though.

Oh well.

I hope I’ll post more often in 2018, and I hope you’ll be around to read it (and hopefully like it)! See you later on! 😀

Jayke (AnimeBird)