Inquiring Minds Want To Know #30 – Thoughts on anime influencers?

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Question: I wanted to ask your thoughts about anime influencers in the community. I’m certain some are good people, but do you think the status sometimes impairs their vision? From ShirayukiX

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To be perfectly honest, this question stumped me. For one, even though there were a handful of names I might have thought of when thinking of influencers in the community, I don’t follow any of them. Most of them are on YouTube and while I’ve seen bits and pieces of videos or even a whole video that’s been shared on a blog, I don’t spend a great deal of time on YouTube for the simple fact that I tend to enjoy reading more than viewing (weird but true). More importantly, I’m just not that concerned with whether I agree with someone’s opinion or not. People who I enjoy reading or watching I’ll watch or read whether or not I agree with them and then I’ll happily go about finding and watching the anime I was interested in.

So I turned to Twitter and asked my followers who they thought the ‘influencers’ in the community were (and thanks to everyone who threw some names my way). Some fairly common names like Gigguk, Digibro and Mother’s Basement floated to the surface but what really surprised me was how indifferent most people were or unaware of who the ‘influencers’ actually were. Perhaps that is just because my sample is fairly small, but by and large people were more questioning whether a name they put in the list was actually an influncer than confident about it. I kind of drew back from the thread altogether once someone threw my name into the ring because I just don’t see myself as being anywhere near big enough for that (but then again, no one can agree on how big you need to be to be considered an influencer so what do I know).

Having determined that no one really knows who the influencers even are I did some research, watched some videos, read some posts, from the names that did come out of the discussion and ultimately, I don’t think I can answer the question. I certainly found content from most of the big names that I disagreed with, but that doesn’t mean the person in question has impaired vision so much as they have a different view on the situation.  And without watching or reading significantly more material from any single one of these names, it seems really unfair to make a judgement about their overall perspective from the small sample I did look at.

Therefore, I’ll look at my own experience as a blogger and point out that I do not think it is possible to remain unaware that you are writing for an audience once you reach a certain point. When someone tells me they will pass on an anime I just pulled apart I wonder if maybe I was harsh or biased and just sent someone away from something they may have enjoyed, or someone tells me they will definitely check something out I start running through all the flaws in the show in my head that I didn’t mention in my review and wonder if maybe I should have.

But while I am aware that I have an audience, I don’t let that change my view. I like what I like and I dislike what I dislike. I try to read my posts before they publish to ensure that even if I hated something I’ve been fair to any points of merit that are worth noting. I try to balance praise with some of the more negative points when I’m writing a rave. But ultimately, I’m expressing an opinion, explaining my reasons, and leaving it to my readers to make up their minds. Which is what I would hope most people would do.


So, I haven’t really answered the question and I don’t think I can, but I think this question has raised quite a few other questions that I’d like to turn over to my audience.

01. What does it take to actually be an ‘influencer’ in the ani-blogging community?

02. What impact do influencers actually have on viewership, if any?

03. Who is an influencer that you follow or like and why?

04. Who is an influencer that you you don’t like and why?

Thanks for reading.

Karandi James


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11 thoughts on “Inquiring Minds Want To Know #30 – Thoughts on anime influencers?

  1. I don’t follow any of the big influencers in the YouTube anime community. A lot of them tend to be more focus on covering only seasonal stuff whereas I’m interested in checking out anything if I find it interesting. I tend to be more influence by bloggers, or random people I talk too in the anime community than I do any big YouTubers.

    I engage more with the anime blogger community, or whenever I can on MyAnimeList. The few YouTubers (all small) I do know that cover anime I tend to be more involve in having a discussion with them. Mostly because it won’t be an echo-chamber, and they won’t over react to an opposing viewpoint compare if I say I dislike so-so anime in a YouTube comment section. In the case of a friend, he told me our many discussion helps him think about things more critically without becoming cynical.

    1. I kind of think it is important to talk to people who see things differently from you. As your friend said, it does help you think more critically about why you like or don’t like something if you are able to see the other point of view as well.

  2. I have absolutely no idea what an “influencer” is. I keep seeing the term “social media influencer” but what do they do? Tell people to buy/watch/listen to stuff? And they make a living from this? 😮

    My only influence is if a show’s premise sounds good to me, then I check sites like MAL for reviews if it is an old title I am reviewing, or simply make my own mind up if it is a new one.

    Reading the opinions of others like your blog, Irinia’s, etc. is also an interesting way to gauge how a show is being received and whether I agree or not, otherwise only my opinion counts! 😉

    Sorry for the rant, but terms like “influencer” and “YouTube Star” becoming acceptable criteria for being a “celebrity” these days really hacks me off! >:(

    1. No issue with the rant. I’m also fairly indifferent to the term influencer. Still, it was an interesting question to ponder and I’ve learned a bit over the last two weeks trying to put a response together. I even found some interesting blogs and YouTube channels in amongst the ‘research’ effort (usually by following an interesting comment or the like) so not entirely unhappy by this.
      That said, it doesn’t really worry me one way or the other if people do put influencers up with celebrity status. There’s a whole bunch of people who have been famous for doing nothing or very little of consequence forever and social media just provides another avenue.

      1. That was what I was going for with that. I hate hearing the term “Reality TV Star” to describe someone on a “celebrity” version of a show. because it means nothing.

        This “famous for being famous” culture should have run its course by now but social media has made it worse. I don’t mind genuinely talented people being noticed via social media or a reality show but just BEING on social media or reality TV is simply not enough.

        Sorry, going off on one again…. :-\

  3. “Influencer” is a nebulous word because it really depends on circles you frequent, and due to the “echo chamber” that is the internet, one person’s influencer is another person’s non-influencer – if you don’t like them, you have the chance to walk away.

    1) The “influencer” needs to be someone people pay attention to and subscribe to, the wider the reach, the better. For ani-blogging specifically, I’d point to those who have been featured outside WordPress or on WordPress Discover (e.g. Atelier Emily)/those with anime-related jobs outside WordPress (e.g. Frog-kun of Fantastic Memes)/those who have solo blogs but also participate on a communal anime blog like Random Curiosity (e.g. Guardian Enzo of Lost in Anime, who also works on the Glorio Blog)/those who’ve been around the longest (e.g. TPAB, although there’s some exceptions to that point). People who only have pull within WordPress (such as yourself, Karandi) might only have a limited pull in the grand scheme of the internet, so it depends on the scope of the topic too.

    2) Depends on what influence people want influencers to have. It can range from “nothing” to “replying to influencer’s blog posts with their own posts”.

    3) One of my favourites would be Nick Creamer (Wrong Every Time/Anime News Network/Crunchyroll). His writing is always clear, coherent, deep yet simple and best of all, his taste in anime aligns with mine more often than not.

    4) I’m not sure if my bias against Digibro is because of the content I’ve seen from him (since it was about 1st episodes, it’s affected first impressions of the shows in question) or because of him, so I can’t really say if Digibro is my answer or not…

    1. Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions and for the thought you put into your responses. Looking into Digibro was interesting. I’d seen some of his stuff before and certainly heard his name in a lot of discussions, but actually looking into him, there’s a lot of divided opinion about him.

  4. I find the majority of ‘influencers’ in the anime community kinda to be trash. The majority of them find something to nitpick and then point out a bunch of series with this ‘flaw’. Any skits they do they are usually screaming/over-reacting, etc which I don’t care for. I use to watch Akidearest but she mostly shifted back to skits and commentary on fans so I unsubscribed. I watch her monthly favorites and that’s about it.

    The only one I like is TheAnimeMan on Youtube who happens to be dating Akidearest in real life. He speaks Japanese, and thus has had a lot more ability to bridge the gap between international fans and Japanese fans. I remember recently he had a small voice acting part in Pop Team Epic, and interviewed the author of Oyasumi Punpun as well. Aside from that, in my opinion he actually provides insightful commentary as to why he likes a thing, thinks a thing is a problem, etc rather then just deciding it’s bad without reasons.

    Tbh, I don’t feel directly influenced by any of them. Sure they can recommend titles and maybe offer something insightful but I find blog posts a lot easier to digest. Most of the time, there’s more thought in a blog post (via editing and revisiting after awhile), then most Youtubers at least. Maybe that’s just me though.

    1. That seems to be an ongoing trend with people I asked about this while thinking about how to respond to the question. Even people who watch the ‘influencers’ don’t really feel like they are influenced by them.

      1. I mean, I know because of them I’ve watched or read something I wasn’t planning on doing so but it was more the nudge that got me to do it rather then their direct influence. It’s a tricky topic for sure.

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