Below are recommended blogs of friends and/or critics that I look up to in the anime-related blogging community. They’re nice people that publish insightful posts, and they deserve more traffic to their sites and more folks reading their writings. I’ve given some poignant to witty reasons for why they’re good and smart, so if you haven’t visited their blogs in the past, be prepared to lose an afternoon or several.
Atelier Emily’s for me, in full bloom: Of the myriad techniques writers can utilize to add that extra amount of gravitas into their work to interest readers, she employs the personal. Her most moving pieces beautifully weave narrative media to lived experience. They get people to empathize with stories from a resonant level by illustrating and demonstrating how deeply those stories touch her. Self-reflections can be difficult to write because they ask us to reveal difficult things about ourselves. Stories not only ease these troublesome aspects about our lives out of us. They also give us advice for how to address them and move on.
Bobduh’s Wrong Every Time: Honestly, his writings have been one of the biggest influences on my decision to blog and the style of my blogging. The first time I came across them, they were articulate to the point of mesmerizing, and just as intelligent and thoughtful (to the point of causing me to reconsider my worldviews at times). I used to idolize him, and I still respect his editorials — even if I’ve long past the point of agreeing with every point in his arguments, and even as my authorial voice has developed beyond my previous imitations of his work. We’ve never really interacted that intimately with other, and he’s since moved on to greener pastures (or perhaps more fragile fields as he’s homesteaded onto full-time anime blogging). If he recognizes my username nowadays, it probably would invoke vague and fleeting memories. Nonetheless, I am immensely thankful to him.
Frog-kun’s Fantastic Memes: The narcissistic toad refers to his blog after himself nowadays, but it used to be called (and his banner header still refers to his site as) Fantastic Memes. To cut the difference, Frog-kun’s a fantastic friend who can be counted on for varied content galore, ranging from smart editorials to amusing shitposts on Japanese culture at large, otaku subculture as translated, otaku media analysis, self-reflections, gushing ship x ships, trashy and not-as-trashy light novels, and pretty good to entertainingly embarrassing fanfiction.
iblessall’s Mage in a Barrel: My eternal foe in the eternal conflagration between optimism and cynicism, and also one of the first anime bloggers to reply positively to my writing when I was starting out. He basically, inadvertently, propelled me to continue this thing that we call blogging. His taste in anime is kind of shit, but the guy’s passionate about what he likes. He can articulate his arguments and musings pretty well, and he’s successfully translated that fandom passion and writing prowess into a personally fulfilling and pocket-filling career. He’s a machine. He’s human. He also puts up with my shit.
Punished Hag’s Un-profound Adventures in Writing and Opinion: She claims that she’s not very bright, but the content of her writings speak otherwise. She’s talkative, and her pieces go on and on about whatever strikes her interest. Without paying too much mind to grammar (not that she doesn’t know it all, she just doesn’t care about it all that much), she provides honest, unfiltered, thoughtful, and broad-minded perspectives on games and anime. She’s also super friendly and has helped me in the past with some of my drafts.
Oncasteve’s Marshmellow Pastel: For a guy who admits to writing to stave off boredom, his scattered thoughts about anime can be quite profound, even as he admits complaining about things as being more natural to him than pure analysis. His writing is also pretty accessible and conversational whilst keeping an erudite edge. He is writing is for himself first and foremost, after all, but that doesn’t stop me from getting something out of each post of his that I read. It shouldn’t stop others either.
Nanairocosmos’ Through a Glass: I’m jealous. I’m honestly jealous and astonished and spellbound every time I read an article of hers aloud. I read aloud, not only because it’s easier for me to remember things that I’ve recited. To the oft irritation of some close peers (i.e. my sister), I read aloud because I like the sound of words. I like the sound of sentences strung together. I like the innate lyricism of my spoken language, spoken words woven into one tapestry, the harmonious profundity of a muse’s harp. She has such a richly sophisticated and passionate sense for the art of prose and a deep and sharp knack for the science of analysis that, combined together, make for some of the most engaging reads this side of the Aniblog-o-sphere. I wish I could write like her, all the time and every day. Her words soothe and pained… for dumb things like idols and anime.
The Backloggers: A trio of anime critics that produce a fairly regular stream of podcasts and a more irregular series of essays. I wish that they would write more frequently (not that I’ve been one to talk), but the content that they have written so far have been interesting posts about anime and stuff related to anime. On more than one occasion, they’ve broached and explored subjects to the kind of variety and extent that I like but can’t provide on my own blog. With that passage, hopefully this recommendation will encourage them to be more prolific.
yaochongyang’s Pause and Select: I used to watch many anime video bloggers back in the day. As the ways by which I interacted with media became more complex, I’ve ended up having a falling out with most of them. Few of these video bloggers tackled anime with the kind of literary and academic analysis that educated as well as entertained. Much as I appreciate the evolving sophistication of anime blogging today (especially in the realm of sakuga), few still really scratch that educative itch of mine in the humanities and the social sciences. One exception is Pause and Select, a video channel whose offerings combine excellent editing and formatting skills with analyses of literary themes and scholarly works to create informative and digestible content about anime and us.