Inquiring Minds Want to Know #18

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Still on the hunt for questions, however I did like the most recent inquiry that came through. As always, I’d love to know your answer to the question and if you have something you’d like answered, be sure to fill in the survey below or DM me on Twitter.

Is there any genre of anime that you have yet to watch a “definitive” title? In other words, for many genres you’ve probably encountered an anime that just links to it. Ex: Action anime = DBZ Horror = Tokyo Ghoul, etc. What genre have you not experienced that yet?

Anon

This is probably where I admit that of the big 3 shounen titles, Bleach is the only one I’ve watched. I did try Naruto and One Piece but for various reasons just never got into them. Then again, it isn’t as though I haven’t watched plenty of other shounen titles and while some might be arguably more definitive of the genre than another, I don’t think it matters all that much.

Even in the question examples, I found myself wondering whether I’d class Tokyo Ghoul as a horror. Certainly there are parts of the story that are horrific but I would watch that more for a dark action than the horror elements. For horror I’d turn to Shiki or Higurashi.

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That said, there are plenty of ‘big’ anime in various genres that I’ve just never gotten to. I still haven’t watched Spice and Wolf despite it being endlessly recommended, there are plenty of sport and harem anime I’ve never tried or gone near, and literally hundreds of comedy anime that I either never even started or didn’t watch all of it (Gintama comes to mind, though I did really enjoy season one, I felt one season was enough).

So pretty much I don’t really feel there are ‘definitive’ titles for genres, though there are very popular examples from the genre. Even then, there are always plenty of anime I haven’t watched despite how much anime I try to watch. That’s kind of what I like about it because there’s always something new to find and experience.

But I will throw this question over to the readers and see what they think. Please leave us a comment below.

As always, if you want to ask me a question please DM me on Twitter or complete the survey below.

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Karandi James
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Inquiring Minds Want to Know #17

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Just a heads up that I’m running low on questions again so if there’s something you’ve been wanting to ask, take a minute to fill in the survey and I’ll happily take on your question. So far there have been only two questions I haven’t answered. The first was just someone being a troll for the sake of it so I just ignored the question. The second one asked me about my work in the real world and that’s one question I’m going to continue to avoid answering on my blog. Sorry, but I’ve just drawn a line on that one.

However, today’s question is kind of fun and I’m looking into getting into it.

What games have you been playing recently?

Anon

It’s actually been a fair while since I’ve discussed games on the blog at all. Part of that is because I haven’t really played anything new and part of that is because I have so much anime content there really just doesn’t seem to be a lot of time or room to write about gaming as well. Still, it isn’t as though I haven’t given some time to games recently.

Over the last couple of months I really got into Darkest Dungeon. I read a review of it on someone’s blog (and I cannot remember who it was) and it looked interesting so I marked it on steam for when it had a price drop. Naturally it soon did and I picked it up and decided to give it a go.

For a really simply concept it actually ended up being a lot of fun and I worked my way through to the end of the game on the easier setting. The last dungeon actually ended up being a bit of a disappointment given the second last dungeon took me ages to beat, but otherwise I had a great time with it. The music gets a little repetitive and the dialogue, which is pretty fun and quippy in a morbid kind of way in the beginning, also gets kind of samey by the end, but for the price it was an interesting game.

I remember how crushed I was when my first adventurer died. And then I had a whole party wipe-out. But I also remember how excited I felt the first time I actually took out the Shrieker before it flew away.

From full health and happy adventurers to terrorised, broken, and dead in the space of a few moments.

Anyway, I am going to try to beat the dungeon on a harder setting but not right now.

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I’ve also recently had a bit of a look back at Fallout Shelter. Now, I hit the maximum number of dwellers in my vault ages ago and just kind of stopped playing, but now I’ve decided I want to max out my dweller’s stats so I’m checking in on it periodically just to keep things rolling along and while my dwellers were a little unhappy about some of my renovations to their vault a few key evictions and then some pairing up of key dwellers later and I have a largely happy and functional vault.

I also want to unlock all the weapon recipes so we’ll see how that goes.

But that’s really it for me and gaming. I haven’t gotten into anything overly expansive or time heavy at the moment because I just don’t have time. Still, I think later this I’ll probably start looking for a serious RPG to get into because it has been awhile since I’ve really gotten sucked into a new world and I’m keen to get going again.

However, I’ll throw this over to the readers and ask you what games you’ve gotten into recently?

As always, if you want to ask me a question please DM me on Twitter or complete the survey below.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
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Inquiring Minds Want to Know #16

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I’m pretty sure the question today is one everyone can get behind because we all remember starting our blogs and just how many things we didn’t know. So here we are reaching out to the community to see if we can give an answer to this one.

Can you give a word of advice or two for new bloggers?

Anime Rants
Tanjiro - Demon Slayer

Even after three years I don’t really feel like I’m qualified to give anyone else advice about blogging. All I can do is share what I’ve learned and what has worked for me. Whether that is applicable or helpful to someone else really depends on a whole bunch of other conditions. Still, there are a few points I can share.

Perhaps the most important thing is to clarify what you want from your blog. If you are just wanting to write and you don’t really care who reads it, then all you need to do is write and post. There are plenty of bloggers happy with a small following because they write their posts for themselves. However, after starting my blog and finding out just how enjoyable it is to write for an audience and to grow that audience, I started wanting to make my blog more of a job than a hobby. I haven’t got there yet but each year I work a little bit more toward that goal but it does mean that a lot of what I’ve been doing and learning about blogging is aimed towards increasing views and building a relationship with my audience.

And yet some days it still feels like I’m not getting anywhere.

Still, the fundamentals remained the same. I need to write and have something to share in the first place. At first I wrote very short reviews (hence the 100 Word part of the blog title) but over time I’ve found myself expanding on that and now find episode reviews come in at between 300 – 600 words and that’s enough to say what I want without droning on. Other posts go for as many words as they need but I still try to focus on keeping the post length to something that can be comfortably read fairly quickly but that is my style. Other bloggers write quite extensive editorials or opinion pieces and they are a delight to read but due to the nature of what they are writing they post less often.

However, once you know what you are writing and your purpose, there does remain the issue of getting your blog noticed.

How Not To Summon a Demon Lord - Episode 3 - Diablo
And no, don’t wait for permission, you need to put yourself out there.

While it might seem like the long way to do it, the most consistent way I’ve found new readers is by putting aside a block of time every day to read the posts of others. I read the posts of those I follow by checking in on the wordpress reader and I also search for new blog posts on particular topics to find new audience members. Not everyone I visit ends up coming to my blog or following me, but by being consistent in this approach steady follower growth occurs. And that was mostly all I did for the first year. Posted regularly and visited other blogs leaving comments where appropriate or liking content that I actually liked.

Natsume Yuujinchou
He’s so precious.

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Last year I spent a bit of time researching and reading about twitter and changed a few of my habits on twitter and since then I’ve noticed consistent increase in views generated from twitter. It usually sits just under the readers and search engines in terms of referrers. That said, I’ve still got a long way to go in terms of learning how to use twitter better but it has been fun to figure out and the ani-twitter community is interesting. While it isn’t quite as warm and open as the wordpress ani-blogging community has been with some people genuinely being trolls for the sake of it, there’s more than enough wonderful people on twitter with a love of anime that it has been time well spent learning more about it.

Twitter is quite interesting.

This year, at the prompting of both Irina and Crow and a few other ani-bloggers, I’ve been attempting to figure out Pinterest. I still don’t get it at all but just the simple act of pinning an image from each of my posts and occasionally putting together boards of anime I’m enjoying has seen an increase in traffic to my blog with Pinterest now sitting just under twitter in terms of my referrers and a couple of times over the last month it has overtaken twitter.

However if I was going to narrow my advice down to a few quick points:

  • Know what you want from your blog.
  • Don’t take on too much at once. Focus on one thing until you have a bit of confidence and then try the next.
  • Reach out to the community as there are some amazing people you can meet online particularly in the ani-blogging community on WordPress.

But mostly I’d suggest having fun with what you do. Blogging most definitely has to be driven by passion and if you aren’t having fun there’s very little point to any of it.

Seriously though, let’s hand this over to everyone else as I’m sure they will come up with much better advice than me. I know how many people have helped me out over the past three years and I am very thankful to every blogger who has ever shared their advice, tips or tricks.

As always, if you want to ask me a question please DM me on Twitter or complete the survey below.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
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Inquiring Minds Want to Know #15

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Alright, Irina sent me this question a fair while ago and while I had drafted a response to it and I didn’t publish it. Mostly because my answer seemed really silly. Then again, that’s probably the point of the question. However, in true Irina fashion, this is one question that probably needs to opened to the community so I’d love to know your answer to the question as well.

Is there are small, silly blog goal you want to accomplish this year?

Irina

It probably seems super silly but I’ve actually been wanting to try it for awhile. What I’d really love to do this year is have one day where I post 24 posts in 24 hours. I have no idea why I want to do this or what it would accomplish, but I’ve just really wanted to try it.

So that I started wondering about the what and the why and honestly I think if I was going to do this it would probably need to be themed so something like 24 hours of Evangelion or something where each post looked at a different aspect of the show.

But every time I start thinking about it common sense kicks in. To start with, nobody is going to read 24 posts in one day. The time it would take to set it up and schedule would be massive and I’m honestly struggling with my existing schedule and work at the moment so this one seems like it would just be asking to stress me out. More importantly, would the posts be worth reading or would they just exist for the sake of existing?

Then I think about how great it would feel to complete it as a challenge, even if I wrote the posts over a few weeks or even a couple of months and I’ve also really wanted to write about Evangelion and keep putting it off so choosing that as a theme would be kind of awesome. I don’t know if I’m going to try to do this or not but in terms of silly blogging goals it is probably my big one at the moment.

Over to you; do you have a silly blog goal you want to accomplish? Also, would you actually want 24 posts on Neon Genesis Evangelion?

As always, if you want to ask me a question please DM me on Twitter or complete the survey below.

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Karandi James
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The One Thing We Wish We Would Have Known When We First Started our Blogs – A Community Post

Once in a while, I get messages from bloggers asking for advice with their blogs. Although I feel very flattered and honoured that anyone would come to me for such a thing, I also feel a little bad because I don’t have that much to offer. I can only draw from my own experience which is still fairly limited.

So I asked for help! And because anime bloggers are the best, I immediately got a whole bunch of responses. I reached out on Twitter and asked anyone who wanted to participate to DM me. Then I asked my volunteers the following question:

What is/are the one (or two) thing(s) you wish someone had told you when you first started your blog?

I figure I can steal these next time someone asks for advice! In the meantime, I’m sharing them all with you, because it’s never too late to learn. I’ve also grouped them in general categories for ease of reference:

Search Engin Optimization

SEO

SEO and people are nice

To be honest I’m just too devastatingly lay to properly apply SEO tools and tricks but for bloggers that want views, this really is a must. And the sooner you start, the better. Once your site already has good traffic, it’s a lot easier to make new posts popular.

Also, people here really are great, speaking of which,

Community is important

community as

community

people

voice and community

packages and community

I was lucky enough to find out just how great the anime blogging community was pretty early on. It’s one of the biggest reasons I’m still around. So if you’re still wondering whether you should take the plunge and get involved more, well don’t take it from me! Take if from these amazing bloggers.

Both Marth and Naja bring up some other good points as well, but let<s start with Marth.

Hosting and Packages

package and don't compare

I have actually heard this as well. If you have the time and patience, do research your hosting options carefully. It’s going to make your blogging life a lot easier or at least cheaper!

Be Yourself

voice again

your voice

own voice

voice and slow

Finding your own voice may be one of the most important blogging rites of passage. And it is way easier said than done. We all struggle with being true to ourselves but the rewards are undeniable.

And as that Random Editor says, you shouldn’t worry too much about growth. Building a successful blog is a slow process. Probably the most common advice I give is:

It Takes Time

it takes time - social media

Ok, the social media thing is actually great practical advice. I could use help with that myself.

And because it takes time, you should really learn to

Relax

proof and relaxrelax (2)relax (3)relax 4relax no schedrelaxrelax 5relax but diff

True story, because of G I R L up there, I have now finally installed Grammarly on this computer. Let’s see if it makes a difference. All of these are really great and my takeaway is, don’t concentrate too much on numbers or compare yourself to others. The blog is supposed to be for fun so just go with the flow. I definitely agree with all of them, except that I live and die by my schedule. That didn’t sound too healthy.

Here are some various responses that don’t fit in any one category. I also wish I had known these:

ask for criticism

I thought Auri’s response was really great and completely unique. I probably would not have thought of this. Asking for feedback is a good way of improving and most of us don’t think of it at all.

notebook

I have three notebooks. One to take notes while watching for reviews. I’ll also scribble post ideas I get in the middle of watching a series. One that I carry everywhere and just write ideas down as they strike me. And one is a Google doc with all the tag and collab posts I need to do.

personal issues

I haven’t personally had any privacy issues yet but I have gotten some readers a little steamed. I didn’t do much damage control I’m afraid. I do bite my tongue from time to time. Or my typing fingers I guess.

reader and schedule

Matija speaks my language. I integrated both of these early on in my blogging adventure and I’m very happy I did.

Of course, we have the ever practical Karandi giving us her advice:

Tags

I know what she means. I’ve been meaning to clean up my tags forever but I have a lot of posts…and I keep publishing more… and I’m lazy! 😦

Finally, I figured we<d end on a high note and this one made me smile:

just do it

A huge thanks to everyone that answered. You guys are the best and I’m sure you’ve helped some bloggers new and old, today.

Please make sure to go give some love to all these wonderful bloggers:

In no particular order:

And as always thank you Karandi!

Oh, wait…I never answered my own question. When you find a blogger you enjoy reading, don’t be afraid to ask for a collab. They might turn you down but then again, hey might not! I really wish I had started writing collaboratively much sooner!

Do you have any advice that’s not on here?

undefined
Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!

Inquiring Minds Want to Know #14

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Yay, for an anime focused question that I can sink my teeth into. That said, I’m happy for you to throw any question my way. As always if you have a question feel free to fill in the survey below and I’ll add it to the list.

I’d like your thoughts on Vampire Hunter D and its sequel.

Fred
Available from Play Asia
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To be honest, I’ve only seen the original Vampire Hunter D once, a fair while ago, and my memory of it is pretty hazy. I do remember it being interesting but fairly dated looking and I really didn’t like the sound design. Also, I saw Vampire Hunter D after I’d already seen Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust and I really loved that movie.

That said, a lot of what I liked about Bloodlust was actually present in the original so it is kind of weird that I loved Bloodlust and have watched it quite a number of times but never gone back for a rewatch of the original. On that note at some point I should actually write a proper review of it.

One thing I found interesting about the franchise is that it is technically set in a post apocalyptic future rather than in the past, which allows for artistic licence when it comes to the weapons, vehicles and all manner of items because they aren’t having to stay true to a particular period. A movie like Van Helsing with Hugh Jackman tried to push things with a Q like developer who came up with various weapons but they still had to operate within a known time period. Vampire Hunter D is not so encumbered by reality and allowed to really spread its wings.

D is an interesting enough protagonist though his stoic nature makes it a bit hard to get to know him. Speaking most about Bloodlust, I loved Left Hand, the parasite that just babbles more or less incessantly, until D clutches the reign of his mechanical horse more or less gagging him. That this character plays a fairly vital role detecting and eating magic at various points and offering, mostly unsolicited, advice, he helps to humanise D and more importantly keeps things flowing along.

There’s no denying though that even Bloodlust has not aged well looking like something from the 90’s despite its 2000 release date. That doesn’t take away from some great atmosphere, some cool action sequences, and a fairly sweeping narrative that is well worth the ride, but it does make it difficult to justify over more recent films given as cool as Vampire Hunter D is, there’s nothing that makes this a must watch, unless like me you will watch pretty much anything with vampires in it, in which case, definitely check it out.

The other issue I have, as I have with so many anime films, is it all just feels rushed. There are a lot of characters who get practically no development because they show up to serve their plot point and then we are swept on to the next set-piece. When we get to the tragic finale and characters are dropping like flies it is very difficult to care about the fates of so many of them because they just never got enough screen time to make you care. Also, a story this epic really did deserve a significantly longer run time to flesh it out but instead just kept packing things in to its less than two hours and hoped the audience would just go along for the ride despite all of the glorious sequences being built on a very fragile foundation with a lot of gaps.

So, that’s my thoughts on Vampire Hunter D and its sequel but I’d love to know what my readers think of these films so leave a comment, and remember if you have a question be sure to fill in the survey below.

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Karandi James
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Inquiring Minds Want To Know 2019 #13

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

And we’re back with inquiring minds and I’ve got a fun question to answer today (and a couple more that I didn’t get to before my holiday for the next couple of weeks). As always, if you have a question for me, feel free to complete the survey here or at the bottom of the post.

Do you refresh older posts and if so do you set aside regular time to do so?

Lynn Sheridan

This is such a great question and whether to refresh older posts is one lots of bloggers have to ask themselves as their blogs get older and they start looking back at some of those older posts and realise they’ve changed their minds, they’ve changed their writing style or format, or they just plain hate what they used to write. Also, a lot of advice sites about blogs tell you that you should update older content and not just have stuff sitting stagnant in the background of your site unseen and unread.

Personally I have a couple of different answers to this as I’ve been changing my approach around over the last twelve months (mostly my third year of blogging as prior to that updating old stuff didn’t seem that urgent given nothing was all that old).

For a little bit I was reposting some of my old anime series reviews. Things like Shiki that were reviewed in my first few months of blogging that had practically no views, used various layouts I’ve since retired on my blog, and basically just needed more exposure. However, my original approach was to actually duplicate post and make a new post with a heading explaining it was a repost with some updates.

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The problem I found with this approach is that some people had originally commented on the first review and their comments were essentially lost back with the first post, plus when searching my site for a review it was now unclear which review to read of the same series.

Plus, it meant the only posts getting any kind of update were full series reviews and I write a lot of other content.

Yuri on Ice Episode 7 - Victor puts Yuri to bed.

I actually stumbled upon my current approach while trying to figure out how to use my twitter account more effectively and following a few steps in a guide I found just to see what happened. My regular followers may have noticed that in November last year I suddenly started having five tweets spread throughout the day promoting content on the site. These were tweets that were pre-scheduled and were to ensure that regardless of timezone something was coming out on my feed fairly regularly. And the experiment continued more or less until my trip in April and you may have noticed my twitter is currently a lot quieter just at the moment (but so are my views, amazingly this actually works at boosting exposure).

However, in the process of setting that up, I realised I didn’t really want the tweets to all be about the same content, and content coming out was already automatically announced on twitter, so I started looking at older posts that either had gotten a lot of attention or had been over-looked at the time of posting to promote on twitter. The standard approach was to pick a month and go through the archives and look at the posts and how they’d gone and what content was there that might still be relevant or interesting, or that I didn’t just want to keep hidden.

Yagami Light Death Note

But, there’s no point trying to repromote a post that is still using an old signature or isn’t linking to newer content and then just reading some of my old posts made me wince. So before I schedule the tweet for a post, I revamp it. Sometimes it is just a formatting tweak, sometimes entire sections get rewritten. And then, once I’m reasonably happy, I promote the link to it.

As to a regular time, I was spending about two hours on either Sunday or Saturday selecting the older posts that I was going to promote next and then I’d chip away at editing them in small moments in between newer posts and the like throughout the week before setting them for promotion in the next week or so. It wasn’t an exact schedule as such but it was just something else to work on as part of growing the blog and so I made sure I gave it a little bit of my time each day.

That said, I’d love to know what other bloggers are doing in terms of refreshing older posts so please share your tips and strategies below.

Thanks for reading
Karandi James
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