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
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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.

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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).

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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).

tearing a limb

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.

erza

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.


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Karandi James


Inquiring Minds Want To Know 2019 #12

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

Right, I’m not entirely sure I understand the question this week but we’re going to give it a great effort and see if we can answer it. As always, if you have a question for me, feel free to complete the survey here or at the bottom of the post.

What is the most important thing to make Anime and why?

Mr Cat
Meiji Tokyo Renka Episode 5

Okay, as I said in the introduction, I’m not 100% certain I understand this question. For instance is it asking what is most important to make an anime watchable or interesting or it actually asking about the technical side of making anime. If it is the latter, I’m out of luck because I’m pretty much clueless as to the specifics of what goes on behind the scenes to make an anime happen (okay, I get the usual writing, story-boarding, production process but nothing beyond the fairly generic).

bakuman

So, I’m just going to assume it is the former and look at what makes an anime work because I’ve probably got a better chance of getting to a sensible answer with that one. Better chance. Not a guarantee.

Now, I’ve always said on my blog that I primarily watch anime, and engage in most of the forms of entertainment that I dabble in (books, movies, video games) for the story lines. For me, that’s what will make or break something. Whether the story fits together neatly, whether it builds to an interesting climax, whether it moves me emotionally. I’m aware that some people aren’t so concerned about whether something has a strong narrative and are happy just watching characters interact or comedy skits, and that works for them, but for me what makes an anime truly great and memorable, is when the story really sticks with me and the journey the characters have gone on really connects.

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However, ultimately I think an anime just needs to succeed at being what it wants to be. If it wants to be a slice of life, than it should be and not try to sneak some plot elements in and push for character development that doesn’t fit. Mostly because people looking for a story probably won’t be happy and people wanting a blissful slice of life won’t appreciate the intrusion of these other elements (unless they are well integrated and balanced). Same with comedy or harem or any genre. Whether I like it or not, I appreciate a show that manages to be exactly what it sets out to be and doesn’t try to pretend to be something it isn’t. Using the tropes and standards from a given genre and using them well usually results in something highly entertaining, at least for fans of the genre, and for everyone else, they probably weren’t going to get on board regardless.

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Meiji Tokyo Renka is probably a great example of this. It isn’t doing anything new, visually it isn’t amazing, the music is pretty great though and some of the characters have been really charming, but Meiji Tokyo Renka isn’t trying to break new ground. It is just being this cute reverse-harem with a bit of time travel thrown in, and while there are some fun plot elements afoot, for the most part it hasn’t really stepped outside of its genre box (though the camel showing up was still a bit on the weird side). The anime works, it is entertaining, and ultimately while it won’t get a lot of attention in a season full of more impressive or dramatic works or amongst works that had a lot of pre-season hype, it is a fairly functional anime and one that most people wouldn’t be too upset about stumbling across in their quest to find something new to watch (it won’t work for everyone but nor will it horrifically offend).

That probably didn’t answer the question you intended and I’m sorry but I tried.


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Karandi James


Inquiring Minds Want To Know 2019 #11

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

This one is an interesting question as a reviewer and one that made me think about the shows I’ve covered and reviewed and shows I’ve chosen not to. Remember, if you have a question for me you can complete the simple survey here or at the end of the post.

Is there a series that you would actively chose not to review? As in you just didn’t have enough thoughts about it, or you didn’t feel inclined to write about it even if you enjoyed it?

From Anon
Banana23d

There’s a couple of reasons I’ve chosen in the past not to review particular anime series. The first, and most important one, is that I don’t want to review content on my blog that I haven’t watched through an official channel or by purchasing the DVD. Which actually means a large number of anime I watched a decade ago, I can’t review until I manage to track down a legal stream or DVD of because back then downloading and file sharing were about the only ways I could access large amounts of anime content (that and YouTube).

Banana Fish Episode 17 - Ash and Eiji.

These days I pretty much don’t watch shows unless they are streaming on a service I’m subscribed to and that lets me watch most things I want (or at least more than enough). However, for those following my blog at the end of last year, it would have been obvious I was watching Banana Fish and really quite enjoying it. Alas, I wouldn’t review it episodically, and even though I’d love to do a full series review, that’s just going to have to wait until I can actually buy it given it is only streaming legally on a service I don’t have. Trust me, as soon as I get real access to it, I’ll be reviewing.

Banana Fish Episode 9 - Eiji realises that Shorter betrayed Ash

As for other anime I haven’t reviewed, mostly anything I watch week to week I will write a full season review of once it is done airing. Sometimes this takes a bit longer to get around to but if I stuck with something for a season there was usually enough to talk about to make it worth my while. Though I will admit some anime have ended up with fairly short reviews when I’ve not really had a great deal to talk about.

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This season, I made the choice not to review How Clumsy Are You, Miss Ueno? after episode 1. While that post got a lot of views and I did watch episode 2, I realised fairly quickly the show was not to my tastes at all and I’d mostly be rehashing the same criticisms over and over again and so I chose instead to simply cut it from the final watch list. A lot of cute girl shows and slice of life shows meet the same fate, mostly because episodically I usually just don’t have much to say about them that isn’t repetitive.

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Still, I try to cover a fairly large range of anime and mostly if I’ve managed to sit through something there’s something to say about it. Mostly. I really enjoy writing up my thoughts on the shows I’ve watched because I rarely have someone in my real life who is watching the same show, or even if they are they usually aren’t up to the most recent episode, so I love putting my thoughts out there and bouncing ideas and theories off others in the community about where something it going. I think for the most part I’ll happily cover most anime just to have that conversation which just adds so much fun to the viewing experience.


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Karandi James


Inquiring Minds Want To Know 2019 #9

Inquiring Minds Want To Know Feature Image

A rather intriguing question this week and one I am keen to get into. I’m also excited to know what other people think of this one. As always though, if you have a question you’d like me to tackle please feel free to complete the survey below or follow this link.

If you could reset your memory of two particular anime series — one that you don’t mind forgetting about forever and one that you want to re-watch again without prior knowledge — what would those two series be?

From Mei

Okay, let’s start with the one that I wouldn’t mind forgetting about forever… the thing here is I actually don’t mind having watched most things even if they are bad. That is because it gives me something against which to compare stuff that is only kind of okay and stuff that is actually good. So forgetting something terrible would just make me more critical of stuff that is actually kind of competent.

Still there’s a definite temptation to throw Hand Shakers into this one. I just couldn’t find anything to recommend about that anime and it was an incredible time suck that gave very little back. Diabolik Lovers would be another anime I’d like to just pretend I hadn’t given in to temptation and watched it.

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However, anime I’d like to rewatch again without prior knowledge is actually a harder question. There’s quite a few that I’d love to experience again for the first time.

The one that immediately springs to mind is Natsume Yuujinchou. I love that anime and I’ve rewatched the earlier seasons a lot of times and it certainly doesn’t have diminishing returns as that lovely relaxing and calm feeling as well as the general cathartic nature of the anime really hits home each and every time. But the first watch was something special. Watching it was genuinely like experiencing falling in love and while the anime remains amazing after repeated viewings having that initial rush of emotions and that unexpected blossoming love would be amazing to re-experience.

Natsume Yuujinchou

The other anime I’d like to throw in here (though there are plenty of others) would be March Comes in Like a Lion. Meeting Rei for the first time and seeing his growth all over again and how he struggles, moves forward, falls back, is lifted up and helped by the sisters, finds his own feet and moves forward, to continue to struggle… there was just something really incredible about his character journey and while rewatching March Comes In Like a Lion was a great experience, seeing it the first time was almost overwhelming emotionally.

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So those are my two picks for the second part of the question. But again, I’d love to know what my readers would choose so be sure to leave us a comment and if you have a question for me it is as simple as completing the survey below.

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Inquiring Minds Want To Know – Send Me Your Questions

inquire 3

Well, we’ve gotten to that time again where the backlog of questions have been answered. If you would like to ask me something and have it answered on my blog, please send me your question by completing the survey. Thanks to the couple of people who sent me through questions last week, I will start writing answers again next week.

Questions can be on any topic, though I am primarily an anime blogger so questions about anime are kind of appreciated.

If you don’t want to do the survey you can DM me on Twitter and just let me know it is a question for Inquiring Minds.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed a question to this blog series. I’ve had a lot of fun trying to answer your questions and hopefully you enjoy reading my responses. Hopefully we’ll have some more questions for next week.

Inquiring Minds Want To Know 2019 #8

Inquiring Minds Want to Know Feature Image

Such a classic question this week and one that is sure to spark some interesting discussion amongst the readers – no shipping wars please. If you have something you’d like me to answer be sure to ask using the survey by following the link or scroll down to the bottom of the post. I’m looking forward to whatever question you want to throw my way.

Who’s your biggest OTP in anime?

Anon

I’ve previously looked at my favourite couples in anime from 2018 with Ash and Eiji coming up tops and I’ve looked at my favourite romantic anime with Kimi ni Todoke being my favourite and Snow White with the Red Hair being a close follow up. Surprisingly though I’ve never looked at my OTP (one true pair) though so I’ll probably have to do a top 5 list at some point this year on it.

banana11b

Honestly I don’t know who my biggest one would be. I’ll probably have to sit down with all the options written out and do some pro-con listing to narrow it down and even then I’d probably be dissatisfied with picking just one.

However for this post let’s go with the first pair that popped into my head when I read this question.

Yuri and Victor from Yuri on Ice. I know, who is surprised that these two are the first that come to mind when I think about a couple I absolutely want to be together and get a happily ever after. Seriously, these two are perfect and seeing them together is sheer beauty in and of itself. If anyone even suggested someone else for either character I just don’t think I could take that seriously as they so obviously belong together.

Yuri on Ice Episode 6 Victor and Yuri

Fortunately, though the anime aired in 2016, the past two years have been full of beautiful fan art and absolutely gorgeous imaginings in fan fiction and the like of what life for Yuri and Victor was like after the final episode. And while none of these events may even be canon, they’ve certainly been enjoyable. Besides, until there’s an actual follow up people can fill the gap with whatever they can dream. And Victor and Yuri make people dream big.

Yuri on Ice Episode 8 Yuri and Victor

So yeah, I’d have to say these two are the OTP that first come to mind when I start thinking about it. Zen and Shirayuki are certainly high up there as are Maka and Soul, though Maka and Death the Kid could be something (wow, that opens up a whole other can of worms). But really, anime has given us so many fantastic characters and relationships that narrowing it down to just one is nearly impossible.

snow white with the red hair episode 10

Still, I’ll turn it over to the readers and ask, who is your biggest OTP in anime? Keep it civil and have fun in the comments.

By the way, this was the last of the backlog of questions, so if you have anything you’d like to see me answer, leave me a question using the survey below.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know 2019 #7

Inquiring Minds Want to Know Feature Image

Back again with another tricky question that took a bit of self-reflection. As always, if you have a question you’d like me to answer just complete the inquiring minds want to know survey either by using the link or at the end of this post. I’d love to know what’s on your mind and have a go at answering your question.

What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your career?

Anon

I don’t tend to talk about my day job on my blog other than I have a career and it takes a large chunk of my time. And honestly, while I have plenty of small victories there I’d say my biggest accomplishment is actually just still being in that career and building up a reasonable amount of respect for the job I do. It isn’t much but we can’t all save the world.

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And yes, there are plenty of really great moments in my career I’d like to highlight (I’ve been doing it for thirteen years) but its just not something I put on my blog so I’ll leave that there.

However, if I look at my blogging career and its wondrous span of almost three years, I’d say building what I have right now is the biggest accomplishment. With the readers that I have and the progress I’m making each day is the best day and I am just going to keep working on making this something I might be able to do full time one day (though that means making the blog actually profitable).

Note: Obnoxious reminder that you can support the blog by becoming a patron for as little as $1 a month and over time that will hopefully buy me more time to work on content.

My Roommate is a Cat Episode 2 Cat on Keyboard

Still, I never would have even dreamed of getting the kind of views I get when I started. I genuinely believed I’d write a few posts and maybe ten people would follow my blog and maybe I’d make a friend to discuss anime with. So realistically, my blog as it is right now is my biggest accomplishment and I’m going to keep working to make it bigger and better.

morose2h

That was a pretty short one but I’ll turn it over to the readers: what would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your career?

Also, be sure to leave me a question below if there’s anything you’d like answered in this series of posts.

Inquiring Minds Want To Know 2019 #5

Inquiring Minds Want To Know Feature Image

This was a bit of a more recent question but I felt this one really needed a more immediate answer so it jumped the queue a little bit. As always if you have something to ask you can send the question my way by filling in the simple survey at the end of the post or you can use this link to the inquiring minds survey.

Do you think someone who only watches dubbed anime could write an anime blog?

anon
Meme - When you mention subbed anime, no one Bats an eye. But when you mention dubbed anime, everyone loses their minds.

This one could have a really short answer and be done: Absolutely.

While I personally prefer subbed anime and tend to watch in subs with a very small handful of exceptions (or when watching with a friend who won’t read subs), that doesn’t make me any better at writing an anime blog or reviewing anime than someone who watches dubbed. Both subs and dubs are translations, some subs are great and some are terrible, some dubs are great and some are terrible.

Goblin Slayer and Priestess

Looking at the anime community, there are quite a few bloggers who watch and review dubbed anime because they prefer it. The only downside they really face is that if they review seasonal anime there’s often a delay between a release of the episode in subbed form and dubbed form meaning those who watch the episode subbed will have their reviews out first.

Still, that minor issue isn’t something that should stop you wanting to write about anime if you want to write about anime. If you love it, or are at least really interested in it, and you want to write an anime blog, go for it.

Run With The Wind Episode 12 Twins

However, I would suggest thinking through what sort of a blog you want to build. Are you wanting to review seasonally, write articles about the industry, review older anime, more researched pieces, opinion based pieces, etc? I kind of started my blog without having a real plan and I very much had to figure out what I wanted to write on the go and if I could do it over, I probably would like a do-over of starting my blog with everything I learned over the last couple of years because I’d definitely waste less of my time and be a bit more focused.

Given I don’t really want to open up the subs vs dubs argument again, this week I’m going to ask my readers a nice simple question: What do you think you need in order to write an anime blog?

Inquiring Minds Want To Know 2019 #4

Inquiring Minds Want to Know Feature Image

Rise is back with another Netflix related question. I’m sure there are some mixed opinions out there on this one so I’d love to know your answer if you would like to leave a comment below. As always if you have something to ask you can send the question my way by filling in the simple survey at the end of the post or you can use this link to the inquiring minds survey.

How do you feel about Netflix producing their own anime verses a traditional ‘Japanese studio’ producing them?

Rise
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I’m actually pretty indifferent about who produces anime or any kind of media really. My only real concern is whether it is entertaining and accessible. I was previously asked how I felt about Chinese co-productions and mostly again, while some of these have been terrible, I don’t dislike them just because they were co-produced. And some have actually been pretty good.

When it comes to Netflix, they definitely are making things accessible (even if they don’t stream weekly for the seasonal anime they get the rights to at this point in all countries – and they really, really should). But, when it comes to being entertaining, I’m guessing someone is entertained given how well Netflix is doing, but so far their anime has been, well, not to my taste.

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Basically, of the Netflix anime (or one’s I think are Netflix) I’ve watched I really enjoyed Ajin and Kuromukuro. I found A.I.C.O disappointing but watchable and had a similar experience with Knights of Sidonia. However this year ID-0, B the Beginning, and a number of other titles just haven’t hit their mark for me. While they aren’t necessarily bad, they just aren’t what I’m interested in.

But, that doesn’t mean I want Netflix out of the industry. They are making anime more accessible to a wider western audience. What they are producing is entertaining some people. They are generally working with Japanese studios (as far as I am aware) in producing these anime which means there is money going back to the industry that might end up going towards other projects that I do enjoy. And that’s a fairly good thing.

I know some people don’t want to see anime go mainstream, but I think with the number of genres within anime, some being quite niche even within an already niche market, even if some anime ends up being mainstream, there will always be those smaller projects that hit the spot for those who want something a little bit different.

B the Beginning - Netflix anime

But, that’s just my opinion. As I said at the start, I’d love to know how the rest of you feel about this so please give us a comment below.

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Inquiring Minds Want to Know 2019 #2

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Continuing the ‘Inquiring Minds’ series of posts for 2019 I’m taking on my second question for the year and this one is sure to divide opinions. As always if you have something to ask you can send the question my way by filling in the simple survey at the end of the post or you can use this link to the inquiring minds survey.

How do you feel about Netflix creating live action adaptations? Especially thoughts and feelings towards the new Cowboy Bebop live action?

Rise
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I’ve covered a few live action adaptations on the blog previously, including the Netflix adaptations of Death Note and Bleach. I also looked at the live action Erased series that aired on Netflix. So clearly I don’t hate the idea of anime being made into live action given I keep giving it a go.

However, like with most adaptations, sequels, spin-offs, re-imaginings and other things, I end up wondering what the point of a lot of it is and why we can’t just be happy with the story as it was told and move on to telling a new story. Not that adaptations are new and even classic authors and the stories they told were frequently adaptations of earlier works, myths, fairy tales and other stories so to claim that I’m looking for something original would be pretty hypocritical. I think I’m just looking for a story told well, whether it is new or a retelling but if you are going to retell something I really think there should be some thought put into why and how.

Netflix, needless to say, has been pretty hit and miss in most of their work. Other than Stranger Things, I can’t say I’ve been a huge fan of a lot of their originals, their anime has very much not been really the sort of style or tone I like, and their movies are of incredibly varying quality. The same is true so far of their live action anime adaptations.

Death Note as an adaptation was terrible. There’s no real getting around that. As an individual movie, it was decidedly average (assuming you compare it to other thriller/horror stories and not every movie ever made). While I enjoyed aspects I felt it didn’t go far enough to make the story its own so it neither followed the source well enough for fans to be happy, nor cut itself free from the restrictions of the source to tell a good story.

bleach movie training

Bleach I liked much more and felt they made some fairly good decisions about what to include and what to leave out and how much to adapt. Still, I’d strongly recommend the anime over the live action adaptation.

When it comes to Cowboy Bebop I’m just kind of shaking my head. Sure it is a popular commodity so people will watch it regardless, but the fans of Bebop are unlikely to be happy with any modifications to the story or tone so they are really just setting themselves up for a mountain of criticism. Maybe they are working on the theory that any publicity is good, but that seems fairly pointless. They might actually make a decent series. Bebop certainly has some great ideas behind it that could easily make a decent live action. But hampered by fan expectations and trying to please everyone by leaving in certain elements even if they don’t fit the new format will probably kill it.

Cowboy Bebop
Who knows how this will turn out?

That said, I still haven’t finished the anime series (I know, that’s almost a crime) so I don’t have a lot of personal investment in it. I’m just waiting for the Twitter tirades and I’ll be pleasantly surprised if people can just accept that even if this is a bad adaptation, it doesn’t take anything away from the original series. See, a bad adaptation doesn’t kill something. You can just not watch it.

Let’s be honest, love it or hate it, adaptations just keep on coming out and while the occasional one hits the right notes, most really are just compressed and sub-standard retellings of a story that was fine as it was. Still, I’ll probably keep watching them just hoping that eventually someone will figure out how to do it well because that will be something worth seeing.

Thanks again Rise for the great question and now I will turn it over to the readers. How do you feel about Netflix and their live action anime adaptations?

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