A Review of The Blog – 2018 – Part 2

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 8 Fireworks

Part 1 of the review of the blog looked at the general stats for the year but numbers are just kind of that. As 2018 draws to a close I’d like to take a moment to reflect on some of the posts I wrote this year that people read and to wish all my followers a wonderful night and success in 2019.

Most Viewed Episode Review

This one is and isn’t a surprise. It is the post most often hit by search engines so it kind of explains the sheer number of views this post has gotten. Anyway, this one managed to become my second most viewed post ever on the blog: How Not To Summon a Demon Lord Episode 2: Fan Service and Boobs in Fantasy Land. Part of me kind of wishes my most viewed post for the year was one that was slightly better written than this one but still I’m glad that an episode review did get some attention.

Most Viewed Light Novel Review

Again, not so much a surprise with the anime release, but my light novel review of Goblin Slayer Volume 3 ended up being my most read review this year. Timing really worked in this one’s favour but it is a shame because of the first three volumes, volume three was definitely the weakest and the review meanders because of it (it is always hard to review things you have a luke-warm reaction to). Still, I’ve continued reading this series and I am looking forward to getting more light novel reviews out in the new year (and manga reviews as I continue to work through Natsume Yuujinchou).

Most Viewed Inquiring Minds Post

That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime Episode 13 Rimuru

Turns out there are some topics all bloggers are a little bit interested in and one of those is how to gain followers. I wish I knew the answer to that one myself but I did my best to answer the question about how I gained the followers I have. Of all the post series I’ve started on 100 Word Anime, I really enjoy the Inquiring Minds Posts because the topics are so varied and they usually force me to think about things I would otherwise be writing about or just think about something in a different way. They have been some of my most challenging posts to write and I certainly don’t always get them right, but I’m really glad I started the series and hope my readers continue to send questions my way in 2019.

Most Viewed Series Review

Noragami Aragoto Yato

I was absolutely thrilled to see that this post that came out in early January ended up being my most read series review of the year. It is an anime that is so close to my heart and I just love it (and where is the next season already). Noragami Aragoto was a delight to watch and I had a lot of fun writing the review. Given the responses, clearly a lot of my readers love it as well.

Most Viewed Feature

How Not to Summon A Demon Lord Episode 9 Shera
The magic of anime hair, and sparkles.

I’m noticing a trend with this and my most viewed episode post. When you write a feature about fan service in anime discussing the currently popular fan service filled anime that is already blowing up your views because you used ‘boobs’ in a post title I guess it is to be expected it will get views. I’m not big on click bait so while I get that these sorts of topics get views, I’m not about to start filling my blog with them because while they have their place it isn’t my main topic. Still, this feature may have garnered some click bait views but it also gained some fairly decent discussion in the comments and that was something I was really delighted about. My most viewed feature of 2018: Is Anime Doing It’s Fans a Service?

Most Viewed Top 5 Post

Sword Art Online - Episode 4

My most viewed top 5 post was looking at my favourite dubbed anime. I’m not much of a dubbed anime viewer (and having recently watched the Yuri on Ice English dub now that I’ve finally got the DVD’s I’m standing by my usual stance of sticking with the Japanese versions of most things), but occasionally there are English dubs I quite like. Clearly lots of people have opinions on this one as it is one of my most commented posts and it remains a post that regularly gets found by search engines.

So that is my look back on 2018. I’ll be looking at my plans for 2019 very soon as Irina has asked me a fun question for my first Inquiring Minds post of 2019. Once again, I hope all my readers have an excellent night and get to welcome in the new year.

Thanks for joining me in 2018. See you next year.

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A Review of the Blog – 2018 – Part 1

100 Word Anime is nearing the end of its third year and now it very much feels like this blog is an inseparable part of me. I honestly can’t imagine what I would do without it. As 2018 draws to a close and 2019 is just around the corner I’m taking a moment to take stock of the blog and think about next year.

In part one, I’m looking just at stats for the year and part two I’m going to look at posts and content. In terms of goals for 2019 I have two. Continue to have fun and continue to try to make the blog something that I can do more full time. I am happy to say that 2018 has allowed me to make the blog break even and I’ve been able to put some money into a few things to try to improve the blog in the future, but I’m definitely not at a stage where I can consider leaving work for my blog (not even close). But I do greatly appreciate those who have supported the blog in some way in 2018, whether that was a donation, ko-fi, or those who continue to support the blog in an ongoing manner on patreon. It has all helped enormously.

Though, perhaps the best thing about 2018 is that people in my life started taking this endeavour as something I was serious about. As I built up a following and people who supported the blog online, people in the real world have seen how much effort and time I am putting into it and I’m getting a lot more support in the real world. So 2018 has been a really good year for me in a lot of ways despite a bunch of other issues.

Alright, onto the stats for the year. These were taken on the morning of the 31st so don’t include the final day of the year.

2018 blog stats

Right so in 2018 I apparently posted 1,222 times. That seems crazy to me but I’m not going back and counting. My average comments per post hasn’t really gone up and that’s probably because while features and top 5’s generate a lot of comments normally, episode reviews don’t after the first one or two of the season. And my word average per post continues to go up this year rising to 637 making the whole 100 Word Anime title really a lie at this point, but you know, 100 x 6 is kind of fine too.

2018 posting activity

I continued to post every day even when I took a bit of a break in July I still scheduled a post every day. At this point it would feel weird to not post every day given I’ve done it consistently for nearly three years. Most days I post three times a day, though there are certainly times when more posts go out. Still, I’m not looking to increase the number of posts next year. I’m very much just wanting to keep my three posts a day and work on improving the content rather than increasing it.


Lastly, I am super excited to announce that December saw me just scrape over the 10,000 views in a month target for the second time in 2018. That was really fantastic to see. I’m tentatively setting a goal of 12,000 views in a month for 2019 as I think that would be reasonable growth based on past trends but we’ll see how things go. I didn’t really think I’d hit the 10,000 and I was thrilled in August when I realised how close I was getting and then finally tipped over.

That’s the end of part one but later part two will come out looking at some of the top posts for the year. If you actually have plans for New Years Eve and won’t be reading my blog later today, have a great night and I hope that 2019 brings you happiness.

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In Case You Missed It

It would probably be remiss of me not to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year given the week we are in (though mostly people have already done this via twitter or their own blog posts). Still, I really do hope everyone in the blogging community has found some moment of happiness during the season. It’s been very up and down for me being able to catch up with family I seldom see and also getting some less than great news elsewhere, but overall, I’ve had a pretty satisfying Christmas break.

Apologies to some of the excellent posts that I didn’t link to. While travelling I read posts in the evening on my phone and I can’t save URL’s the way I do when on my laptop so end up forgetting where I read various posts. Still, there are some excellent posts below and I definitely recommend checking them out. As usual, if you have a post you’d like to give a shout out to leave me a comment below.

And if you missed it be sure to check out my best and worst of the season posts.

Posts from the Community

Remy Fool has a short review of Release the Spyce this week. It covers the basics, doesn’t spoil too much and gives a relatively level opinion of a series that has some great moments but just doesn’t do much with them or its story as a whole. I was struggling to finish the series and this post gave me the push to actually just get on with it.

Release the Spyce Episode 12 Momo

Luke P reviews the Bug Boy manga and I will admit he made me very interested in checking this one out at some point. Admittedly, the imagery looks a little disturbing but that probably added to the appeal and so I’ll hopefully get around to this one at some point. In the meantime, if you are curious about an allegorical horror manga, maybe check out this review.

David takes a look at Goblin Slayer and how thematically it has stuck to its message throughout even if some viewers thought it backed off. For people who haven’t read either the manga or the light novels, it may have seemed like after the violence and sensationalism of episode 1, Goblin Slayer toned things done, but this post focused entirely on the anime, makes it clear that this wasn’t the case. For a look at Goblin Slayer the anime, this is an excellent post to read.

Jessi is sharing their first impressions of some of the short anime that came out in the Autumn season. There are no spoilers here as it looks at their impressions from the early episodes and what they thought of the set up. if you were curious about some of the shorts this season and wanted to know which might be worth checking out, than this post may give you an idea of what to try. They also did a first impressions of Voice of Fox which is an anime I’ve quite enjoyed this season despite some of its shortcomings but I don’t see a lot of people talking about it. Check out this first impressions and maybe you’ll want to give it a go.

Jon Spencer has an interesting post about rain and how it is used in the storytellers tool kit (both good and bad examples from anime). For something a little bit different, and some great examples from well known stories, this one is well worth the read (though there are definitely spoilers for the anime being discussed so if that’s a concern perhaps steer clear).

Bloom Into You Episode 12 Nanami and Yuu

OG-Man from the Yuri Nation has a great review of Bloom Into You. It captures what Bloom Into You did well, looks at what might put the audience off, and overall is just a nicely balanced and well written review about an exceptionally well put together anime. Well worth checking out if you didn’t watch the anime this season and are wondering if it is for you.

Pick of the Week

Gay Anime Symposium has a great final thoughts on episode 24 of Banana Fish where they look at the final episode as well as the characters and themes of the series as a whole. Needless to say this one is spoiler heavy but it is well worth the read particularly if you’ve watched the series. If you are just curious, it may convince you the series is worth checking out but again it is going to tell you how it ends.

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Karandi James
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What Were The Worst Anime of Autumn 2018?

I’m going to say, this is the last Worst Of the season list I’m going to do. While I do like looking at the other side of the coin, I made my blog to celebrate anime and I kind of feel this particular vote and round up doesn’t really contribute to that all that much. Still, it is fun sometimes to look at the mis-fires of the season so perhaps I’ll just need to figure out a different way to go about it.

In the meantime, here are my picks for worst of the season and at the end you will see the results of the poll and the reader’s choice. The rule is really simple, I have to have watched the anime without dropping it to declare it the worst. I don’t make judgements about shows I don’t finish.

Still, if you read my best of Autumn 2018 post you would have seen my rankings for the season already and know what my least favourite anime was.

Worst Story – Jingai San No Yome

Alright, I’ve watched all of this short anime and other than the premise I still don’t know what the story is with this one. It probably doesn’t actually have one and is meant to be a slice of life or something, but nothing is ever explained and things don’t really go anywhere. What was I expecting from three minutes a week? Probably about this, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is the most pointless thing I watched in Autumn in terms of story.

Jingai San No Yome Episode 6

Worst Visuals – Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary

Okay, I like Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary, but there is no denying it is ugly to watch and the animation is just this side of terrible, when it isn’t actually throwing hideous CG at us. Fights suffer particularly and given we’re watching a show about a war between the empire and rebels, the fight scenes kind of need to be solid. There’s not a lot more to say about this one other than wishing it had been given more attention and more of a budget because the story was actually pretty interesting.

Worst Opening – Release the Spyce

Don’t get upset with this one. This is my personal list and honestly when an opening is so flashy with its visuals I actually have to walk away from the screen or turn down the lid of my laptop until it is done to avoid a serious headache each and every week, I don’t care how good the song is. This one is an eyesore (quite literally) and well and truly became the thing I hated most this season (even more so than a certain show that took out my worst of the season). Honestly, this opening was nearly grounds for dropping at the mid-season but I was kind of curious about where the show would go. Knowing now where it goes, I wish I’d just dropped it.

Release the Spyce title

Worst Character – Mana

Considering I threatened this character with a paper shredder fairly early in the season, and I may have suggested using a nail gun on her (though I may also have sensibly edited that out of my rant review), I’m pretty sure I hate this character. The rest of Conception is at times slightly amusing, a little bit interesting, largely bizarre and unfocused despite setting up a potentially interesting plot, but Mana manages to make each and every scene a pain to watch. Forget worst character of the season, Mana may be the character I hate the most out of any character ever (and that includes Excalibur from Soul Eater who used to be the single most irritating character I could think of).

Conception Episode 11 Mana

Worst Anime of Autumn 2018 – Conception

Yes, no doubt about this one. Conception was the worst anime I watched this season. Part of that is because it isn’t exactly a genre I’m a big fan of. And it relies on fourth wall breaking comedy, which I’m not a big fan of. And it has the single most annoying character I can think of as a major character who is with the protagonist in almost every single scene. But, I did watch this show from beginning to end. Even when I decided A Certain Magical Index was boring me too much to continue, I kept this one on the list. So while it was the worst anime I watched, I think for people more into this genre, while it still doesn’t exactly stand out as particularly good, there’s probably a lot more entertainment to be found in it.

Conception Episode 9 Itsuki mad at Mana

Reader’s Choice

This one also had a clear ‘victor’ this season with one anime title being both fairly well watched and being riddled with problems. Yes, that was Conception.

The rest of the votes were kind of scattered, though part of the problem is that I ask people to have actually watched the show they vote for and most people are sensible enough to drop anime that aren’t very good (I really should learn that skill at some point – I drop boring anime but not bad ones).

However, that wraps up the final ‘worst of’ anime post for the blog, but just remember the best of the year poll will open on the 1st of January and you will have two weeks to vote. The top three choices from the best of polls each season will be available to vote for and I’m looking forward to seeing what wins best of the year.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
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Game Soundtracks CDJapan

What Were The Best Anime of Autumn 2018?

Dakaichi Episode 13 Takato

No doubt about it, Autumn 2018 gave me a lot of anime that I personally enjoyed. It also gave us a lot of anime that were technically pretty solid creations and between these two groups of anime that meant I ended up having a lot to watch and enjoy.

Even anime that weren’t particularly well made managed to be delightful to watch and while it won’t show up on my best of list anywhere, I’d still like to give a shout out to Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary. As a fantasy with a vaguely historical setting, the story is kind of good (okay, cliche driven but what else is new). I’d really recommend giving it a look if you are into fantasy and want a non-isekai title for a change.

Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary Episode 7 Zhao and Yin

However, that isn’t getting on with the list.

I tried something different this season and actually ranked the anime I watched each week so that when I got to the end of the season I wasn’t just blown away by a shiny ending and forgot about all the other issues an anime had. The system isn’t entirely without flaws and there’s a few changes I’m going to make for next season. But it means that I really am looking at the whole season rather than the last three weeks when I pick my favourite.

Alright, let’s get into this. Like every season, I’ll go through my favourites first and then I will announce the reader’s choice. The poll for best of the year where the top 3 picks from each season will go head to head will open on the 1st and will run for two weeks closing on the 14th.

Favourite Story – Voice of Fox

While this might seem random, it actually makes perfect sense in my head. There are so many anime I love this season but I love the characters, the emotions they make me feel, the visuals… for one of the first seasons ever plot has taken an extreme back seat. The few anime where it is the potential plot keeping me invested are running into next season so not even sure where the plot is actually going to go. Voice of Fox tells a simple but solid story about Hu Li struggling to make it as a singer, becoming someone else’s ghost singer and the ensuing scandal when it is revealed. While we still haven’t seen the conclusion yet, I’m really looking forward to it. Voice of Fox may not be a masterpiece by any one’s standards, but its been great fun and for a short anime it has really managed to tell a solid story and I think it definitely deserves some recognition.

Voice of Fox Episode 8 Hu Li on phone

Favourite Visuals – Bloom Into You

There was never any doubt with this one. The direction of this has been brilliant and the use of colour has been amazing. Bloom Into You is one of those anime I really appreciate for how well it is being put together even if it isn’t really my kind of story. I’m actually surprised by how much I’ve ended up getting drawn into it, and part of that is the characters have really been fleshed out to feel real, but a lot of the appeal of this one comes from how it has been visually presented and while I was pretty disdainful in episode one when I said it was ‘very pink’ I’ve come to really love how much thought has gone in to each and every scene.

Bloom Into You Episode 9 Yuu and Nanami

Favourite Opening – Bunny Girl Senpai

Alright, I’m still not the biggest fan of the animation for this opening, but in terms of distinctive and memorable openings, Bunny Girl Senpai has to win. When I was looking at this category, the first few bars of the song just started playing in my head and drowned out any other opening from the season I tried to think of. Except Skull Face Bookseller Honda-San. That opening was distinct, and amusing. Worth checking out. Anyway, if you are one of the few people who hasn’t already checked out Bunny Girl Senpai please do or at least listen to this opening.

Favourite Character – Takato

I couldn’t help it. Alright, no denying Dakaichi as an anime has its issues but also no denying that I’ve seriously enjoyed Takato this season. Part of it is definitely shallow and the fact that he is a very good looking, non-teenage, male anime character, but a lot of it comes down to how interesting his character is and how much I enjoy seeing him in different situations and how he handles it. Okay, I could write all day about Takato, or I could explode the rest of the post with Takato screen caps, but I think I’ll just leave it here by pointing out Takato has been awesome and I’m going to miss seeing him each week.

Favourite Anime of Autumn 2018

Right, so this one I kind of know the answer to but I’m going to go back to my ranking system that I tried this season and take you through the whole list. Each anime I watched got ranked each week and I averaged these ranks for a final score. It was interesting and watching something like Release the Spyce go from ranked tenth on the list to third was kind of bizarre but it does make me think about the shows that have really grown in strength and those that lost momentum as the season progressed.

Scores were based on enjoyment and technical merit and so balancing shows each week where I liked an episode but it had some rough edges compared to a story that was a bit slower but was really well done made for some interesting internal debates.

  • Conception = 1.25
  • Jingai-San no Yome = 2.33
  • Skull-Face Bookseller Honda-San = 4.09
  • Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary = 4.77
  • A Certain Magical Index (dropped) = 4.91
  • Release the Spyce 5.33
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime = 6.54
  • Sword Art Online Alicization = 9.42
  • Goblin Slayer = 9.82
  • Dakaichi = 10.69
  • Run With The Wind = 10.64
  • Voice of Fox = 11.00
  • Tsurune = 12.70
  • Banana Fish = 12.91
  • Bloom Into You = 14.58
  • Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai = 15.69

There’s some interesting results. For instance, That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime has really grown on me and I’m personally enjoying it more than SAO right now. Xuan Yuan Sword Luminary is another title I personally enjoyed though in terms of quality it is probably in the right place on the list.

However, my favourite for the season, Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai did manage to come out on top even though Bloom Into You did have a number of weeks where it took the top spot. Rascal was full of great dialogue and characters and while the ending may have been a little weak it was definitely a title I looked forward to each and every week.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 3

The Reader’s Choice

For the first time this year, the reader’s choice and my choices line up really well and the best of the season as voted by my readers isn’t something I dropped or didn’t watch. Yay. Okay, no further delay. This vote was the most decisive of the year with a clear victor determined fairly early on.

You guessed it, Bunny Girl Senpai.

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 6 - Sakuta and Tomoe

However, Banana Fish and Bloom Into You as the runners up will still go into the poll for best of the year. I was interested to see how well Run With The Wind went in this poll. If it maintains the same quality in the second half it might very well win the poll next season (though I guess that depends on what else comes out).

However, that is it from this poll so now I’m turning it over to you. What did you vote for? What were your favourites this season? Let us know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
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Sugar and Spyce and All Things Nice

Release the Spyce Episode Review Title

Release the Spyce Episode 12 Review

And so no-one is actually a traitor and no-one is actually dead, and no-one is actually surprised. This toothless ending fits the tone of the show and allows everyone to be all sweet and nice and become friends and trust in others and it is an utterly flat narrative. Given the characters never really went anywhere, I was hoping the plot would eventually pick this one back up but tragically that hope went unfulfilled as this final episode wraps everything into a neat little package.

Release the Spyce Episode 12

What that means is Release the Spyce has managed to be competent. Nothing more or less. The ending defeats the bad guys, sees the heroes wrap things up, and if the story was primarily Momo’s journey (or at least that is how the series has been book-ended), then that narrative at least is brought to a satisfactory conclusion.

Release the Spyce Episode 12 Momo

Still, there was a lot more potential in this series and these characters. So while what is here wasn’t particularly bad it was a little disappointing that the show could never rise to be more than what it became.

Release the Spyce Episode 12 - Villain

However, brainwashing machine go boom, the city gets a new pretty flower, and the girls all get on with their lives or with spying. Can’t really argue with it even if I wanted more.

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Karandi James
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Things Are Getting Spycy As Time Runs Out

Release the Spyce Episode Review Title

Release the Spyce Episode 11 Review

For all that this anime hasn’t really gone as well as expected from its premise, I do have to compliment its sound design this week. That was actually a thing of beauty and the whole series has actually had remarkably good sound effects and a pretty awesome soundtrack. However when I’m reviewing the penultimate episode and my major compliment goes to sound design that probably spells trouble for the rest of the episode.

Release the Spyce Episode 11

Firstly, Hanzomon isn’t dead. Which I guess we all knew. And given Goe hasn’t accepted her mentor as being dead either I’m guessing she’s going to make an appearance soon. So all the dire outcomes of last week are more or less swept away. Particularly if we consider the apprentices escape in about three minutes without all that much effort because the villains are dumb enough to try torturing and breaking their spirits rather than just killing them (and they don’t even hang around to do it themselves but leave it to an underling taking any potential suspense right out of the scene).

Release the Spyce Episode 11

About the only thing that stuck from episode 10 to this one is that Mei is still working for the bad guys. Only I’m still not convinced it isn’t some kind of ruse or that she won’t change her mind again. Given they backed out of every other major plot point I’m pretty sure this isn’t the kind of story where she’s actually going to betray them and that is going to stick.

Release the Spyce Episode 11 - Brainwashing device

And therein lies the problem. Release the Spyce isn’t exciting enough or cute enough or anything enough to be the kind of story that doesn’t commit to its plot on top of that. What we’re ending up with is a fairly watered down affair that has zero tension or stakes and I’m not attached enough to the characters to just buckle in for the ride. While it isn’t bad, not even close, it has become one of the least interesting stories I followed this Autumn.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
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