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?

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Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!

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In Case You Missed It 2019 #8

The Promised Neverland Episode 7 Norman

Some of you would have already caught the news of twitter but for a week or so I’m scaling back my posting to two posts a day because life got hectic on me. Actually, it has been hectic for a couple of weeks but I was managing but I’m at the point where something has got to give or I’m going to break a little bit, so taking that one post away each day will help lighten the blog load a little and allow me to get some other things in order. I’m definitely not going on break or hiatus, just a temporary slow down of posts.

In the meantime, I’m not certain what that means for my reading of other posts. So far, I know I haven’t been commenting as much, more just reading and liking posts and moving on because I’m a little time poor at the moment. Hopefully I can continue to visit everyone and read their work because I really enjoy it and hopefully I can get back to being able to comment on posts and discuss anime with people.

Thanks to everyone who sent me kind words and thoughts on Twitter. I appreciate it and hopefully things will be back to normal very soon.

Below are some cool posts I came across last week. As always, if there is a post you would like to give a shout out to, send me a link via my contact page or DM on Twitter and I’ll check it out.

Posts from the Community

Standing On My Neck has a mini-essay on the Crunchyroll awards winners. As I kind of tuned out of the awards this year after seeing the nominations and only finding one or two in any category that I even vaguely wanted to vote for, I was a little curious as to what ended up winning. I probably shouldn’t have been, but I did enjoy reading this post that looks at the nominations, what one and what Mr Flawfinder would have picked instead.

Black and Yellow Otaku Gamers has a mid-season review of The Promised Neverland (yes, everyone is writing about it). This one is a quick impression of the anime so far and is great though there is a fair amount of comparison to the manga (still no future spoilers if you are only watching the anime). Well worth the read if you are curious about The Promised Neverland.

The Promised Neverland Episode 4 Ray, Emma and Norman

Red Wolf Artist shares some more news on Japan’s attempts at modifying their copyright laws. Much like the EU’s current situation, this is one I’ve been paying fairly close attention to as the implications in terms of a future as an ani-blogger could either be huge or non-existent depending on just what the final version of the laws are that get passed and how they choose to interpret and enforce them.

Blubbyweb has a comparison of Poco’s Udon World and Barakamon looking at the superficial similarities in the settings and characters of the show, but the deep differences that lead to quite a different viewing experience. Having watched both of the anime, and quite enjoyed them even though neither is really within my preferred type of story, I quite enjoyed seeing them contrasted as it high lights what makes each anime a valuable and entertaining watch. Definitely worth checking out.

Ahneemeh has a fun post where they look at ten character pairs you won’t believe have the same voice actor. There’s quite the wide ranging list of characters and voice actors on this list and some of the pairs really do make you sit back and think if they sound anything alike. Still, there’s some well known voices on this list and it is always good to see the voice actors getting recognised for bringing some of our favourite characters to life.

Pick of the Week

Nefarious Reviews has a great write up of Paranoia Agent. Clearly they are a fan of the director and that definitely shows in how they have viewed the anime, but it means this review highlights a lot of the positives that a fairly weird and overlooked anime bring to the table. If you’ve never tried Paranoia Agent, this one is a spoiler free review that might get you interested. And I am impressed that they managed to review it spoiler free. It is a hard anime to write about without giving things away.

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In Case You Missed It 2019 #7

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 5 Haru

I decided this week to make a greater effort to include episodic content as even though I read and comment on plenty of episode reviews I’ve gone back through my round ups and realise I rarely link to them. As always if there is a post you think deserves some attention please flick me the link via my contact or DM me on Twitter.

Incidentally, this week I asked twitter who was cuter this season: Fuzzy from The Morose Mononokean or Haru from My Roommate is a Cat. Tragically, Fuzzy kind of got slaughtered in the individual votes but a lot of people did choose both so there’s clearly some love for him out there.

Posts from the Community

The Anime Alcove has a great write up of episode 5 of Magical Girl Spec-Ops Asuka that is as fun to read as the episode was to watch. It covers the main plot points with a bit of opinion about how they sat within the story and just as entertainment and it is nice and quick to read but gets the job done. Well worth checking out if you are following the show or even if you are curious about it (though a few plot spoilers if you haven’t seen it).

Magical Girl Spec Ops Asuka Episode 5 Kurumi

Nerdgeist shares their top ten cosplays by Spiral Cats and honestly some of these costumes and photos are incredibly impressive. Loved scrolling through this post and seeing some of the great work they’ve done. I’m not massively into the cosplay scene but I do appreciate the effort some people put into this and these were amazing.

Kapodaco shares their list of ten trivial anime pet peeves. It is a fantastic list of tropes and recurring events in anime that really are both pointless and annoying and I think most anime fans will find a few things on this list that have them nodding along. And after reading this list I’ve seen about half of them within the next couple of days. If you can’t find your trivial anime pet peeve here why not add it to the comments.

Irina does an amazing job with her February OWLS post focusing on one specific episode of Natsume Yuujinchou and two characters who are well worth discussing. For anyone who has watched Natsume this post is a must read. If you haven’t watched Natsume (why not), this post may show you why this series is an absolute must watch – though you know it discusses two characters from season six.

Xenodude covers Domestic Girlfriend Episode 5 and like me remains pleasantly surprised by the series (the beauty of low expectations). This is a nice write up of the events and some speculation about where this may go and it is just fun to read so if you are following Domestic Girlfriend be sure to check it out.

MIB has a review of Vatican Miracle Examiner which is a title I haven’t thought about or heard about since it finished airing so this review kind of caught me by surprise. If you didn’t catch the series while it was airing this review will help you decide if this one is worth going back and checking out or whether you are better off just letting it go. Either way, a great read.

Hall of Elliot is looking back at Girls’ Last Tour with the English dub now coming out and this is an anime that made a splash when it first aired but doesn’t get a lot of discussion (and really should). If you happened to miss Girls’ Last Tour when it came out, check out this post and then maybe go check out the anime. It is great. (No spoilers in the post as it focuses on episode 1).

Pick of the Week

Atelier Emily discusses the dystopian setting within The Promised Neverland and looks closely at how Isabella in particular has been framed through the use of shot types. It’s a fun discussion post of The Promised Neverland that doesn’t reveal anything more beyond what the anime has shown so far so you don’t need to be wary of manga spoilers. Well worth reading if you are following the anime.

The Promised Neverland Episode 4 Mother and Sister Krone

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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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In Case You Missed It

Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 11 Sakuta

For those who may not check back until next week, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I’ll still be posting more or less as normal though Features and Reviews aren’t starting up again until the new year. Still, plenty of episode reviews, my Top 5, the 12 Days of Anime posts, and an OWLS post from last week so heaps of content coming out on the blog. For patrons there was also my second video review to check out which is linked to below and you can get the password from my patreon site. I’m definitely still learning the whole video editing thing and having to travel midway through putting it together didn’t really help, but I learned a lot and I’ve got quite a few ideas for the next one on Bloom Into You that should come out in the first few months of next year.

In the meantime, the ani-blogging community have been busy, busy, busy and there are some great posts to check out. Below I’ve linked to some of the great posts I found and as always feel free to give a shout out to a post you read last week that you think deserves some more attention in the comments. One more In Case You Missed It post for the year next week and then we’ll be into the new year. 

Posts from the Community

Ka-Chan has a great post as part of the 12 Days of Anime about Fruits Basket. They explore what drew them to the original anime, what they learned while checking out the manga, and why they are looking forward to the reboot. A great post for fans of Fruits Basket or those wanting to know why there’s a lot of anticipation around the new anime. Actually, Ka-Chan is on a roll with their 12 Days of Anime posts as their one about Free (an anime I can’t finish watching for reasons I’ve discussed previously) is pretty amazing in sharing their enthusiasm for this franchise and what it means to them.

OOCentral has a really fun post about Uchouten Kazoku (The Eccentric Family). This was an anime I loved but seems like it doesn’t get much discussion. However it is great fun and the sequel was pretty solid and I really enjoyed coming across this post last week. If you’ve never seen the anime, go check out this post.

On The Well Red Mage this week there was an excellent game review for Mario vs Donkey Kong. This little piece of nostalgia was a highly entertaining read and while a lot of people won’t be interested in reading a review of a game for an old system this one was a fun read and made me want to go back to these style of games (at least for a little bit).

Banana Fish Episode 21 Ash and Eiji

Ty-Chama looks at the different shapes and sizes romance has come in during 2018 and it was something I realised while putting together my best couple list for the year – there have been some awesome diverse couples in anime this year. This post celebrates some of the pairings that have confronted issues such as age, gender and even species differences, even while looking at issues that anyone in a relationship can relate to such as being lead on, codependency, etc. Really great post.

Floating Into Bliss looks at some of the really amazing Yuri anime out this season (and anime that may contain Yuri elements). When they line them all up like this it becomes fairly clear that Autumn 2018 has had a lot of same sex couples (and they weren’t even looking at the guys). So if you are interested in titles containing yuri, or anime that have potential yuri pairings, out this season, this is a video/transcript for you.

Bloom Into You Episode 11 Camp

Astral Gemini shares their top 5 favourite snowscapes from anime in a post that looks at different moods and ideas that are captured within snowscapes. It’s a really great post with some great images of snow scenes in anime and well worth checking out. 

Pick of the Week

Irina has a great post about Gurren Lagann this week and while she does do a fair amount of discussion about leadership within the anime, she really looks at why it is the emotional roller coaster it is and why it ends up resonating with so many viewers. It’s an excellent post looking at a series that despite initial impressions has quite a lot of depth to it (and is a lot of fun). This is one for all fans of the series to check out and if you haven’t watched it this may be the post that gives you the push to give it a go.

Gurren Lagann - Yoko

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KIRBY STAR ALLIES – THE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK [LIMITED EDITION]
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In Case You Missed It

One Punch Man Saitama Flying

Another week and another round of excellent blog posts from around the internet. Hopefully you’ll find something great to read in the list below and remember, if you have a post or read one this week that you’d like to give a shout out to, just let me know in the comments below or you can always send things my way via twitter.

Just so you know, from now until just after New Year’s I’m winding down blog activities. Part of this is to give me time to finish a video review for patrons, participate in the 12 Days of Anime, and prepare my ebook for January 20, and part of it is just wanting to have a bit more time for family and friends. I’ll still be doing my episode reviews and Top 5’s (most of my top 5’s for December are already written) but whole series reviews are on hold until the new year as are light novel/manga reviews. I’ve already halted Inquiring Minds posts until the new year and I’ll probably only release features every second week during December.

Thanks for everyone’s support during 2018, and I look forward to getting back into everything in January.

Reminder: the poll is now open for you to vote on the best and worst anime of the 2018 Autumn Anime Season. Be sure to jump in and have your say.

One Punch Man

Posts From Around the Blogiverse

This Thing Is Neat had a really interesting post about pacing in shoujo stories, using Kimi ni Todoke as an example that I felt was a great read. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kimi ni Todoke and hold it up as one of my favourite romance anime ever, but to say that it is slow moving would be a drastic understatement. For an interesting discussion about the pace of these stories, be sure to check out this post.

Dewbond from Shallow Dives in Anime put out a conversation starter around whether anime fandom is ready for mainstream attention. The post was an interesting read with some fairly interesting points raised about other media that have gone through a similar transformation and then they tagged a couple of other bloggers to see if we’d share our take on the idea. And I will admit, I’ve been mulling it over ever since so probably will put a post together on this one. Whichever way, it is an interesting conversation to have and I’d love to know what people think about this one.

Cactus Matt gives us a top ten OP list for 2018 with a bit of a difference giving out awards for ten top OP’s in various categories before deciding on the best of the year. Very fun to read through and if you don’t know some of the fantastic openings he’s selected he’s embedded the video for you to watch. Great post and great fun to read.

Lynn Sheridan  shares his thoughts on Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai episodes 5 – 8. I was waiting for this to see if he continued to enjoy the anime or not and I was really happy reading this post to see that they were still enjoying it. If you are one of the very few people not already following Bunny Girl Senpai, check out this post to see why it is something you should be diving into.

Bunny Girl Senpai Episode 8 Sakuta and mai

Ya Boy Jack also takes on Bunny Girl Senpai looking at what the show gets right about being a teenager. This makes for an interesting read and really looks at adolescent syndrome and the insecurities the characters are bringing to life. A great read about a great anime and well worth the read.

Gracie on Anime Trending News has a really interesting piece about Banana Fish and how it is a triumph in terms of the portrayal of LGBTQ stories. It focuses a lot on the usual tropes found in BL and yaoi stories, and how Banana Fish isn’t a story about boys in love, but rather a story where two boys are in love. I really enjoyed reading this and was glad it popped up on my Twitter feed this week. 

Banana Fish Episode 20 Ash and Eiji

Geek and Gear discuss episode 10 of Run With The Wind and both the positives and negatives of the episode. It’s a fun piece that covers what the episode was about and what it got right and really looks at the impact of Haiji on the team and Kakeru. Well worth checking out if you’ve caught the episode. Spoilers though if you haven’t already watched it.

Reasons to Anime gives us 6 reasons to, well not watch an anime but read the manga, the Cardcaptor Sakura Manga to be precise. Given this one is already on my wish list to check out the manga for, eventually, I really enjoyed their reasons. Great post to check out.

Pick of the Week

Geek Gals has a really interesting post on Sailor Neptune and looks in detail at her role in the original anime and in the manga as well as her relationship with Saturn. For Sailor Moon fans this is a great read and one well worth the time. Be sure to check it out and get your Sailor Moon fix for the week.

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GAINAX: GROUNDWORK OF EVANGELION 1.0 YOU ARE (NOT) ALONE
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In Case You Missed It

Erased

Another week where it felt like things were go, go, go. But then again, I guess the lead up to Christmas always feels like that as for some reason everyone decides the things that could wait all year suddenly need to be done right now. However, it is also a time where people start doing housekeeping and putting themselves in order. Last week some three bloggers that I followed announced an end to their blog. And while I know blogs come and go all the time, some without announcement, it is still sad to see people leaving the community here on WordPress because it is a community that is so much fun to be a part of.

So without further ramblings, let’s get to this week’s anime related blog posts that I came across while scuttling around in my corner of the internet. As usual, I didn’t have time to read as much as  I liked and there are probably some truly fantastic posts I missed, so please feel free to give a shout out to them in the comments below.

Erased

Posts from the Community

Who Am I has an interesting post about the source of Kirito’s strength in Sword Art Online Alicization. They avoid going into spoilers for the arc, which is great, because I’m enjoying being pleasantly surprised by what happens and don’t really want to be told, it would take all the fun out of speculating. Still, they make a good point about Kirito and why he is fundamentally able to break or overcome the rules and other characters based on the information we’ve been given in the first 8 episodes. A very nice post to read.

Cactus Matt takes some time to look at 10 typical complaints about harems and works at rebutting them, or agreeing with them but in a round-about way making it clear that it doesn’t matter that the complaint exists. Keep in mind that he isn’t actually telling people who dislike harems they are wrong or that they should like them, merely that their not liking the harem genre is no reason to spoil the fun for those who do enjoy it. It’s a fun post and written in Matt’s typical conversational and entertaining style.

Ty from Watash wa Bucho shares a summary of why various bloggers still love anime. It was fun thinking about it about this idea and great to read the responses of others. Seeing the common themes from responses put together here is a solid reminder that there are a lot of reasons to love anime. This one is a great read to make you smile.

Yomu follows up their excellent review of Jormungand last week with a character analysis/discussion of Koko Hekmatyar, a very dynamic and interesting character indeed. While there are a few spoilers in this post if you really want to keep the plot a secret, for those who have watched Jormungand, or are interested and don’t mind having a bit of foreknowledge, this post is a great read and a lot of fun.

Koko Hekmatyar - Jormungand

Irina has a discussion post about the technical vs creative merits of anime and asks why more people don’t look at the technical. Like so many of her posts it is a great conversation starter and well worth the read, as well as reading the comments to find out what others think. Of course, I’m pretty sure most of my readers have already found this one.

Atelier Emily has a truly beautiful post about creating otherworldly spaces through visuals in Tsurune. One of the big draws for the show early on was just how beautiful it was and how the visuals drew me into each and every scene, and reading this post really emphasised how well thought out and detailed the visual direction has really been in this anime. A really great post to read.

Tsurune Episode 2

From Ink and Image there’s a post that looks at Lupin the Third and how the show and characters have evolved over time. I’m not a huge Lupin fan but I was still curious about this franchise that continues to enthral audiences and seems to capture new viewers decade after decade and this post was an interesting read as to how the story has managed to not become too dated over time. Great post to read.

Artemis from Otaku Lounge has a great top 5 list of English OP’s performed by native English speakers. It is a companion piece to a previous top 5 list which is linked in the post, and also an awesome list, and I just love lists. This one is a great read, and you can listen to some great OP’s so be sure to go check it out.

Pick of the Week

L-zerb did a comparison piece on SAO (season 1) and Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash this week and when I read the title of this post and the first paragraph I was a little worried that we were diving into another SAO bashing session. Instead, I found a thoughtful, reasonably balanced attempt at comparing how the two stories dealt with their premises and built up  their characters and the danger in the worlds. I really enjoyed reading this and it made think about all the things I loved about both anime as well as acknowledge the flaws they have. Absolutely great read, though clearly spoilers for both anime in the post so if you haven’t watched them and you are worried about that, probably give it a miss.

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KEI Art Book mikulife
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