To be fair, I always struggle with how to start The JCS. Even now, I’m considering deleting that first sentence, but I learned long ago that an imperfect start is better than no start at all.
So I’ve struggled with exactly how to approach The Jon’s Creator Showcase this year. It’s been a little over a year since the last time I took this task, and we only have about 30 posts this year.
And it could really be simple. All I really have to do is write a small summary about each post and maybe throw in a few reflections. If anybody is prepared to do that quickly, it’s me. I have seven months of doing The Otakusphere under my belt. I could jam out 20 or so posts in a long afternoon.
But it’s precisely because I’ve done The Otakusphere so many times that I want The JCS to be something more than just a catalog of posts. I really want it to be a celebration of the people and the posts that they submitted.
So here is what I propose. I will talk about what I like about the posts, but I also want to discuss what I like about the blog. Why you should read it. I’m going to try and do what Blinky did earlier in the year and talk about what I like and hopefully why you should like it too.
Not everything is going to be perfect. But my goal isn’t to criticize or critique. It’s to celebrate. All of the people here are great creators. But more importantly, they’re unique voices talking about what is important to them.
We should celebrate that.
Blogging as a hobby is likely in its twilight years. If we wanted to be famous, we should be chasing those YouTube or Twitch dollars. Video is where it’s at.
So for those who are left with words in our souls, I think it’s better to be positive.
And even I have to admit there are a few blogs on here that are new to me. So while I may not have as much to say, we should celebrate that not all of us know everyone.
So there it is. Please explore the list. Find new stuff to read and enjoy.
(Oh and fair warning. The pictures have nothing to do with the posts. I just like them.)
So this is an anime blog. That might be why I’m starting with an anime section. To be honest, Japanese cartoons are an art form I’ve come back to several times since 1996. First, it was new and exotic, and I enjoyed it because it was weird. No one ever told me that Iria/ Zeiram the Animation was bad. I just thought it was strange.
Once I got past the strangeness, I really enjoyed it because it told serialized stories in a world of episodic television. I know some people don’t remember the world before The Sopranos and Lost, but there was a time when all of the television was pretty much singular episodes. Shows like Doctor Who and Babylon 5 were the exception and not the rule.
Now, to be honest, I enjoy anime because 24 minutes is a reasonable length of time. I can watch an episode and not start to get bored and itchy. Sure it might take me longer if I’m reviewing something, but it’s always a short enough length of time.
So let’s see what other people have to say about anime.
Mechanical Anime Reviews
Macross 7 is a show that lives in a strange place in anime lore. When people talk about it, it’s either with joy or with disdain. I rarely find anyone who comes in middling on the show. As someone who has never watched it, I don’t have an informed opinion.
I have to say that I love the designs of the floating cities. This is something Macross Frontier does as well. They seem very fragile against the backdrop of space.
Scott falls decidedly on one of those sides, and I recommend going and finding out which side that is.
So why should you check out Mechanical Anime Reviews: When I returned from my 11-year hiatus to start blogging again, Scott was one of the first people I encountered. Scott has a measured opinion and a depth of knowledge about mecha and science fiction, which means everything he writes is well-informed.
Mecha and science fiction are not for everyone, and it’s not all that Scott does over here. He does have diverse tastes. And he plays the trumpet. I mean, how can’t you enjoy someone playing the trumpet.
My interactions with him have always been fun and pleasant, and I’m sure yours will too.
Jonah’s Daily Rants
Readers of the blog can probably guess what I’m going to say next.
I haven’t seen Demon Slayer.
It’s not that I don’t want to, but I’m not that intrigued by the show. Though I am a little interested in the controversy around the show. I feel like any show that can generate that much conversation must be doing something right.
What I can’t really discuss is how much I might agree or disagree with Jonah’s position. What I can say is that he has feelings, and you should go check them out.
So why should you check out Jonah’s Daily Rants: Two items overwhelmingly would lead me to recommend this blog. The first is just the sheer variety of posts. Jonah covers everything from book covers to Song of Ice and Fire to Demon Slayer. If you’re invested in any corner of geek culture, I’m sure you’ll find something on here.
The second should be evident from the title. Jonah has opinions. They are clearly stated, and they are definitive. Not to the point of hyperbole, but clear enough that you know what they are. I also don’t find them disparaging. I think it’s a fine line to walk to express opinions firmly, but not to the point where they feel like they cancel out other people’s views.
The Infinite Zenith
Violet Evergarden: The Movie- An Anime Film Review, Reflection and Full Recommendation, On Kyoto Animation and Resilience
Yep. I’m going to say it again. I haven’t seen Violet Evergarden.
It’s a show I’ve heard mixed things about. On the one hand, the people who love it really love it. On the other hand, the people who don’t love it really don’t. And I find very few people in the middle about the show.
That said, you can always expect Infinite Zenith to dissect the experience, and that is what he does here. Especially in light of KyoAni’s recent tragedies, I think it’s pleasant to talk about something that seems like a success for the studio. Though, I’m assuming that the movie came out after the fire.
(Double checks) Yes. It was. I don’t need to turn in my anime card yet.
That reminds me. I need to make anime cards.
But you can undoubtedly see Zenith’s love for the genre and the show.
So why should you check out The Infinite Zenith: When I was thinking about this, there is a lot that recommends this blog. He does some neat Google Maps stuff as part of a faux travelogue for series like Yuru Camp. He bridges the gap between giant robots and girls having parfaits.
But I feel like this post and several other posts highlight the sheer amount of work he puts in to lay out his thoughts. His posts are dense. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. They just contain a lot of ideas, and that makes them worth reading.
Crow’s World of Anime
What is strange is that I’m writing about these posts in the order I received them. So I’ve just written about Dewbond’s High School DxD, which will appear below this post. I bring this up because I often wonder if the two have any relation. But reading through Crow’s post, I doubt it.
High School of the Dead is another show that I’ve heard people love and hate. It is nice to see Crow’s thoughts about it. I don’t have much to add other than, I have to agree that was a pretty humorous line in context.
If you want to see what I’m talking about, go and read Crow’s post.
So why should you check out Crow’s World of Anime: I appreciate that Crow’s World of Anime exists. I enjoy that he watches things that he likes and then writes about them. In many ways, that is what blogging is about at its core — writing about the stuff you love so other people who love it can find it as well.
In a completely selfish way, Crow reminds me why I write The Otakusphere. Whenever I end up on his five favorite posts of the week, I’m excited. It’s nice to get recognized, even if no one else new reads my post because of it. It’s nice that someone read it.
That’s not to mention that occasionally Crow put up a nice column that helps illuminate either a piece of tech or a point in a show worth paying attention to.
The Traditional Catholic Weeb
Digimon is a franchise that I know because of two things. The first is that it came after Pokemon but isn’t really the same as Pokemon. And that Chiaki Konaka got into a bit of hot water when he tried to take on “Political Correctness.”
I know that neither has anything to do with the latest adventure.
Reading this blog post makes me want to watch the movie. I like stories about trying to bridge the gap between being a child and being an adult.
It’s worth checking out the review for more.
So why should you check out The Traditional Catholic Weeb: As an agnostic, I find myself collecting information about religions. This is a blog where you can learn some of the intricacies of the religion and how they apply to anime. While many blogs take a literary critique approach to look at anime (including mine), this is the only one I’ve seen that views it through this lens.
That alone should make it worth checking out, but plenty of other posts aren’t religion-focused. (The one I just read is a good example.) Some seek to compare eastern and western cartoons. Some are just reviews. It’s all worth your time.
Never Argue with a Fish
Ha. Finally, a show that I have actually seen.
Vivy is a show that deeply divides people between those who love it and those who don’t. Granted, I fall in the middle camp of people who enjoyed it enough to watch it, but I wouldn’t suggest trying to peel away the layers to look for meaning.
This post certainly falls into one of those two camps, but I think it would be better to see for yourself rather than have me ruin it.
So why should you check out Never Argue with a Fish: Look, if the blog’s name hasn’t interested you enough to check it out, I’m not sure I can do a better job of it. It’s an excellent name for a blog. Not to mention that each of the reviews has its own hand-drawn banner to go along with it.
But really, you should read Never Argue with a Fish because of the quality of the reviews. I’ve always found the opinions in these to be clearly stated and entertaining to read.
Plus, you should never argue with a fish.
Seeing the various opinions about Odd Taxi being thrown around is entertaining. This is a show that I enjoyed, but not as much as some people. It borrows heavily from crime fiction tropes, but it’s constructed in a captivating way.
When I was watching it, I would never have thought to watch the first and last episode. That seems like a reliable way to be confused. Part of the fun of these shows is figuring out how the main character will get out of the trouble they’re in. It seems like it would be less enjoyable with that information.
But, you can get a lot out of what Blerdy Otaku has to say. I wonder what she’ll think when she watches the intervening episodes.
So why should you check out Blerdy Otaku: I appreciate enthusiasm, and Blerdy Otaku has that in spades. I’ve enjoyed her videos about Japanese snacks and manga hauls, as much as I enjoyed reading her thoughts about Odd Taxi.
It’s easy to read, and her excitement to share her opinions comes through in her writing.
This is my place.
A little Eva. A little Slime and a bit of the rest of the summer season. After getting invested in a stellar spring season, I’ve fallen off again. Mainly because the majority of the shows don’t appeal to me.
I always enjoy checking in with Fred to see how he’s enjoying the current season. He has a different outlook than I do, which is what makes it compelling.
So go and check it out.
So why should you check out This is my place.: To be honest, I had never heard the perspective of a nudist until I started reading Fred’s blog. I like hearing different views and philosophies, and it’s given me plenty to think about.
Now that is certainly not all that you’ll find here. This is my place offers a combination of personal ruminations and experiences as well as talking about anime. In fact, the first time I ran across the blog, he was talking about Eva. I really enjoyed those posts.
You should give it a shot.
Art of Anime
Welcome to my refrain. This is not a show that I’ve ever watched or really have heard that much about. So I don’t really have anything useful to add.
I’m not sure if from the description if it’s a show for me. Plucky kid stuck in a fish out of water situation who has to figure out how to survive. It could be good.
But if you want to know more, you should check out the post.
So why should you check out Art of Anime: The Art of Anime has been a blog that I haven’t spent that much time with, but the author seems to have a reasonably wide variety of tastes.
It seems like a lovely place to visit.
Matt Doyle Media
I like to think there are anime generations. The one before me came in during Star Blazers and Speed Racer. The one after me came in with Cowboy Beebop and Outlaw Star. I came in with Robotech. But the first anime I watched, knowing that it was anime, was Oh My Goddess! It was an OVA.
I bring this up because I remember harem shows being a thing, and now they seem like less of a thing. Or at least I remember them being more prominent, and maybe now they’re hiding behind the latest season of My Hero Academic or Attack on Titan.
Anyway, Matt takes this show about a bunch of women having a thing for a guy. You should get his opinion on it.
So why should you check out Matt Doyle Media: The implication of the name Matt Doyle Media is that either we’ll get a bunch of media from Matt Doyle, or Matt Doyle will talk about a lot of media.
And both are true.
While this is a blog, there is a range of subjects from comics to books to anime. He’s also been pleasant to talk to on social media the times that we have interacted. So go and check out his blog.
So it’s strange that I’m finishing The JCS with a review of yet another show that I haven’t seen. It shouldn’t be any surprise to regular readers of the blog that for an anime fan, I’ve seemingly seen very little anime.
I know I’ve heard good things about this show, but I’ve also heard bad things about A-1 Productions. So I will let people read the BakaNow review and make up their own minds about whether they really want to watch this show.
So why should you check out BakaNow: So this is another blog that is new to me, but my first impression is that it’s really slick looking. As someone with relatively limited graphics abilities I am pressed by people who can do things that I can’t.
I would also say that the posts are well-written. If BakaNow isn’t part of your reading schedule, it probably should be.
Manga and Book reviews
Once upon a time, I was an avid reader. One summer, I read 42 books over the course of three months. I spent many a warm summer day sitting in a chair outside with a cigarette, enjoying a good book.
Well, I haven’t really had the energy to read as much as I used to, but I always appreciate people who do. Especially since there are so many things to read. There are manga, manwha and light novels. There is new stuff and old stuff. There are chapters published every week. The sheer amount of stuff available on any given day is staggering.
This is why I’m glad that we have these wonderful people to help me sort through the printed word.
Al’s Manga Blog
Among the things I’ve heard of but not read, is the story of Mash, the boy in a wizard school whose only power is being really good at martial arts. I like the idea of magicless people cheating the system by using their other powers. It reminds me of Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera series. Where the main character doesn’t have access to the same magic as everyone else but uses his wits to overcome obstacles.
There is something inherently fun and funny about someone cheating the system, but everyone else is too dim-witted to catch on.
Go check out Al’s review of it. It seems charming.
So why should you check out Al’s Manga Blog: Two of the things I appreciate about Al’s Manga Blog is its consistency and breadth of topics. Al always has some title I’ve never heard of. While that isn’t hard, it’s easy to have the same titles everyone else is talking about. It’s harder to talk about something that no one else is talking about.
Having posts every week is more challenging than it might seem, but Al always seems to have something new. As a reader, I appreciate it.
Ramblings N’ Scribblings
Free Comic Book Day combines two of my favorite things — comics and free. Though not necessarily in that order. It’s interesting to read Emiko’s post about it because it happened before the current wave of delta has seemingly taken over our lives. Now I just feel the oppressive weight of COVID no matter where I go.
That said, Emiko writes about some interesting stories, and I enjoy the post’s opening lines. They are delightful.
While Free Comic Book Day is in the past, it’s never too late to go and check out some new stuff.
So why should you check out Ramblings’ N Scribblings: There are several blogs that I like to visit because they give a sense of the person behind the blog. Whether it’s because of the variety of topics or the small bits that the writers leave that tell me about them.
I appreciate that about Emiko’s blog. There are a variety of topics, and each starts with a touch (or sometimes more) of something personal. This one, in particular, describes what the comic book store is like in the time of COVID.
So here is my admission. I don’t follow a lot of the traditional shounen battle manga. I’ve tried to wade into Bleach a couple of times. Naruto just seems daunting, and don’t even get me started on One Piece.
What I do remember is the time when D. Gray Man, Blue Exorcist and Black Butler were a thing. I’m surprised to find that they faded out. I often wonder what caused people to fall out of love with a thing. Whether it’s just that it ended, or if it just never went anywhere.
But I won’t tell you what Nabe thought. You should go and find that out for yourself.
So why should you check out Geek Nabe: My short answer is the Nabe is one of the few people I know who can get away using “Ganbatte!” unironically. Everything about her and her blog is simultaneously intelligent, approachable and humble. She truly is a joy to interact with.
Her blog ranges from video games to manga to webcomics to anime. So I’m sure there is something you’ll enjoy over there.
The only thing I wish is that I subscribe to her blog on WordPress reader. I feel like I miss so many significant updates.
Shallow Dives in Anime
I doubt anyone reads all of the entries, but in case they do, they will find this a tired refrain at this point. I haven’t watched High School DxD (or read it, for that matter.) I have an odd relationship with ecchi and fanservice. I really like the Monogatari series, but I find the ecchi aspects distract from what I want. But sometimes they’re good.
But if I was going to look for a recommendation for an ecchi series, I would definitely turn to Dewbond. And here we get the first volume of High School DxD. To be honest, it seems intriguing. In most shounen titles, there is a point where the main character becomes too cool, too powerful or too “attractive,” and I’m out. But if this story can walk that line effectively, I’m in.
That said, Dewbond has some worthwhile opinions to check out. And his enthusiasm is infectious.
So why should you check out Shallow Dives in Anime: It’s hard to write about ecchi, romance or light novel types of shows with the level of depth that Dewbond. I’m always impressed that he takes on shows like Fate and SAO with the same amount of gravitas as he would Gundam or School Days.
I’m not throwing shade on Fate or SAO, but definitely, other people do.
That certainly isn’t the entirety of his blog. He also talks about music, writes a weekly column and covers a variety of other shows. So go check it out.
Black and Yellow Otaku Gamers
K-Novels are among the corners of the gaming and otaku fandoms that I don’t know a lot about. But one of the struggles that Western fandom has gone through has been trying to get access to Eastern material, especially if it hasn’t caught on with a larger audience. Often, it relies on a handful of dedicated individuals who spread the word.
So I’m glad to see that there are now two companies trying to legally get K-Novels into the hands of people who want them in a form that they can enjoy them.
Minty presents the info you’ll need to know if you want to start experiencing more K-Novels.
So why should you check out Black and Yellow Otaku Gamers: There is a lot more to the otaku experience than just anime. While I still think anime should be a word that is tied to Japan, I don’t believe otaku should be. It’s just another word for the geeky obsession I would like to think many people share.
I bring this up because BAYOG covers music, webtoons, manwha and, of course, K-Novels. If you’ve been stuck in a Japanese perspective, you can widen your horizons by stopping here.
There is a lot of crossover between the worlds of anime and video games. I feel like plenty of video game fans dip their toe into the world of anime and vice versa.
Personally, I play quite a few video games. By quite a few, I mean that I have games piled up, some are still in the shrink wrap, that I intend to play while I start my latest round of No Man’s Sky, Skyrim, Morrowind or Battletech. (Among a few others.)
Unlike any other medium except for books, I find myself transported to another place by video games.
That said, I haven’t played many of the games that are favorites among the anime-viewing crowd. That’s not a judgment. It’s more a warning that I will probably say, “I haven’t played that,” a lot.
So let’s get to talking about the stuff I haven’t played.
Sweet and Spicy Otome Game Reviews
For the Otakusphere, I check out at least a couple of blogs that review otome games, so I’ve heard of Tears of Themis before. I didn’t know that it was put together by miHoYo, the company behind Genshin Impact (another big game among the anime community.)
This is a game I have not played. So I’ve found games with romance tend to follow one of two tracks. Either the game is good, but the romance is lackluster, or the game is about romance, and the game is lackluster. I’m not sure whether Tears of Themis strikes a good balance between the mystery/crime elements and the romance, but I’m intrigued that they’re both there.
If you want to see what Oona Tempest thought, you can check it out here.
Why you should read Sweet and Spicy Otome Game Reviews: So remember when I said there are some blogs on this list that are new to me. Well, this is one. This is unfortunate because it seems to be a really lovely otome (and otome-adjacent) review blog.
The review that I read was thorough and gave me a good sense of what I was in for if I picked up the game. You can’t really ask for more from a game review.
So I’m putting this in the video games section because the video games section was looking a little anemic. It could go into the columns section, but I also didn’t want it to get lost.
How we define terms is important. Not just because of who it includes but also who it leaves out. That said, I don’t know a lot about otome games other than involving a girl and many guys. Well, except when they don’t.
So instead of wading into a discussion that I don’t know anything about, I’ll let Blerdy Otome talk about this. Go and read her blog.
So why should you check out Blerdy Otome: So Blerdy Otome (among others) has taught me to respect otome games as a genre. Many people who grew up in a particular time see games that involve a lot of reading as somehow less. But I’ve come to respect the depth and breadth of the fandom.
If you’re like me, you should read Blerdy Otome to widen your horizons.
If you just like otome games, well, you should read it because it’s a good blog.
Videos and Podcasts
So given time and training, I can feel my way around video and audio editing software. But it doesn’t come naturally to me. In the end, I’m a guy who likes words. That doesn’t mean I’m great with them, but they are sufficiently low-tech for me to understand.
I am impressed when people can come out with well-produced audio and video that is understandable and entertaining. It’s much more complex than most people might imagine. The number of podcasts that I’ve listened to where people stumble, stutter or pause their way through them is impressive.
None of these fall into that camp, and for that, I’m only slightly jealous.
Jon Spencer Reviews
The heart of creativity may be restriction, and what is more restricting than the form of a haiku. I really like the idea of trying to write haiku to talk about a movie about haiku. And that is what Jon starts off doing in this video about “Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop.”
This is a movie that I’m personally interested in because it seems to hit all of my buttons. An obscure art form. Check. A person who is strangely good at the obscure art form but not so good with people. Check. Love interest. Check. Yeah. This sounds like it has it all for me.
The video is really well-made. I’m not sure how to capture the video, let alone work the music in. Definitely worth checking out.
So why you should check out Jon Spencer Reviews: Look, this whole thing is called The Jon’s Creator Showcase because Jon started it. If that isn’t reason enough to check out his blog, I don’t know what is. What makes him unique in the community is that he’s always looking for new ways to reach out and improve. That, in and of itself, is commendable.
More than that, though, is that Jon has thought-provoking ideas about shows. Now I’ve been known to disagree with him from time to time, but that doesn’t mean that his point of view isn’t worth listening to. It’s reasoned and considered, so it makes for an excellent place to start.
Egghead Luna’s Blog
One more to add to the list of talents that I don’t have — animation.
So I haven’t followed as much of Luna’s project as I probably should have. I am aware that there is a light novel or game in the works and some other writing. That said, I’m impressed by the amount of work that must have gone into this.
Oh, and you should check out the 40-second YouTube bit linked in the post; that is good.
So why should you check out Egghead Luna’s Blog: Luna’s blog is as much an author’s diary as it is an anime or animation blog. It’s nice to see how someone works and what someone thinks about as they work.
My deep dark secret is that I’m a failed author, so I appreciate seeing what other people talk about as they create stories. Seeing other people’s struggles and triumphs makes it feel more universal.
Get in the Mecha Podcast
As a RahXephon fan, there is still a part of me that gets angry at Evangelion. Yes. I’ve made plenty of arguments that comparing the two series is roughly the same as trying to compare War and Peace and Catcher in the Rye. Both are classics and good in their own right, but very different.
But, if you’re going to listen to anyone when it comes to Eva, you ought to listen to Jamal. His dissection of the first part of The End of Evangelion is worth your half-hour to listen to. Though, I recommend not doing anything else because it’s some deep stuff.
So why should you check out Get in the Mecha: First, I have to say Jamal has a pleasant speaking voice. It reminds me of listening to the BBC World Service. Even when he’s excited, it remains level and clear. Also, the production value of this show is superb. You probably wouldn’t expect how many times I turn off a podcast because it sounds like it was recorded at the bottom of an empty tin can in the middle of a wind tunnel.
These are really just the polish on what is really a show by a fan of animation. Because even if his podcasts were recorded at the bottom of a tin can in the middle of a wind tunnel, they’d still be full of compelling observations and thoughtful commentary.
Now, if I could just get on his podcast to talk about RahXephon.
Retro Anime Podcast
Odin- Photon Sailor Starlight is a movie that lives in a certain amount of infamy among anime fans. At least since the early days of me watching anime. It is interesting to hear this take on it, which was far more measured than other opinions I’ve heard.
I think it killed someone at Otakon once. Or maybe it was that they died from old age, waiting for its ending.
They also talk about Lensman, which is a show I’ve been meaning to watch and have certainly heard good things about it.
So why should you check out Retro Anime Podcast: There is an entire history of anime that I’m less familiar with than I should be. Sure, I know about Harlock, Heidi and Dirty Pair, but I haven’t watched them. This is why I’m glad that Retro Anime Podcast exists. They really help me find stuff I haven’t watched that I want to, or at the very least, want to know about.
Columns, lists and other sundries
There are always posts that don’t fit easily into a category. Back in the old day, we would call these posts from editorial blogs. They featured opinions that ranged from talking about the anime industry to listing your favorite (or least favorite) giant robots.
While I know that any of the posts could fit into this category, these posts don’t seem to fit into any of the other areas.
In a lot of ways, these can be some of my favorite posts. I like when people propose ideas and then try to defend them. Or come up with a list of items that I wasn’t familiar with.
I think this is a long enough introduction. Let’s get to it.
100 Word Anime
Just the idea of coming up with a list of 26 characters seems daunting. Let alone trying to come up with one for each letter. Just for that, Karandi’s list deserves a read.
I appreciate that within the first few picks, we have someone from FMA, Code Geass, Future Diary and Grimgar. Now, I’ll let you, dear reader guess just how many of those I have read. I also appreciate that there is a lot of thought put into this list.
So how do your favorite characters match up to Karandi’s list?
Why should you check out 100 Word Anime: Let’s be honest. If you’re reading this blog, then you’ve read 100 Word Anime, and you don’t need my words to convince you. But just in case you do. Karandi really has a wide variety of shows, columns and opinions that she shares. Also, she offers a different viewpoint than some of the others that I have read.
I think any dialogue around a show deserves to have a variety of opinions, and not only does Karandi offer an opinion, but she is also willing to accept other people’s views.
It’s a wonderful blog.
The Wretched and The Divine
So I never cease to be amazed by the creativity and craftiness of cosplayers. Especially when they come up with as much stuff as Rose does at The Wretched and The Divine.
I wish I could say more about this post, but it’s just a lovely collection of some accessories, which I assume Rose either made, found, or bought. It’s worth going to check out.
So why should you check out The Wretched and The Divine: Beyond the random collections of stuff that Rose or the cosplays that she puts together? Well, she also has some splendid write-ups about anime, manga and other stuff.
I like Rose’s blog because it just feels like a place where I’m going to see neat stuff. Sometimes I just need that.
COVID has affected a lot of stuff. But it’s the small changes that have surprised me the most. In this case, the pandemic has closed anime conventions, which has stopped access to artist alleys and other small merchants who make money off of keychains and other bric-a-brac that surrounds the anime fandom.
In this case, G has found a way to collect stickers and other small prints from an artist called eggsbuttertoast or Nao. Oh, and what I think are paper dolls? Anyway, they are adorable, and you should go take a look at them.
So why should you check out Exploring Otaku: Exploring Otaku is one of the newer blogs I’ve been following. I mostly have interacted with the person behind it through Twitter, and they seem lovely.
It seems that the blog is relatively new as well. But it appears to combine merch and travel stuff, which means it’s on its way to my heart. Anyone who has read The Otakusphere knows my undying love for travelogues because I probably won’t be able to go to the places featured. Seeing someone else experience those things is the next best thing.
Blogs seem to be the elder statesmen of the social media role. So many of the people who have been writing them have been doing it for years now. Even this blog is more than a decade old at this point. Though I really haven’t been writing in it for a decade. It’s more that I end up writing for a bit, then I set it down for a bit, then I come back to it.
That said, I think many people are still new to blogging, or at the very least, new to using technology in this form. This list of valuable tools for improving your blog is just that — a helpful list.
And it’s certainly worth checking out.
So why should you check out Solitary Cubbyhole: Again, this one is an entirely new blog to me. Beyond this post, the blog has some stuff about Ace of Diamond, which again is another show I haven’t seen.
It’s well-written, and they are fun and breezy reads. I recommend them.
Do you know what is great about social media and blogs? Sharing things that you find on the Internet. Like here is a Bat Cat. There are some more serious bat cats out there, but maybe you haven’t seen this one.
This is one part collection of memes that are collected and one part an update on Matt’s life, and it’s pretty funny. So go and check it out.
And look up bat cats because there are many, and some of them are funny.
So why should you check out Matt-in-the-Hat: Have you ever encountered a blog that you’re sure that you’ve read before. Well, I was sure Matt-in-the-Hat was on my list, but evidently, it wasn’t.
I’ve checked out some of his posts, and they’re all pretty fun. And I see a Darth Vader is lurking in a cathedral. I, too, find some people’s lack of faith disturbing.
So there are many things I don’t know and many things I can’t do. Drawing is on the list of things I can’t do. Actually, the only thing I can draw somewhat well is ax blades. That’s not because I was really good at it, but just because it was pretty simple for me. I’ve always wondered what my teachers would have thought if they saw random ax blades drawn in the borders of my notebooks.
Anyway, K and Moya shared their drawings in a guessing game of various anime. Some of the pictures are pretty good. Maybe this is all an extensive prank.
That said, go and check it out and be amazed.
So why should you check out The Moyatorium: Beyond the fact that is, has a great name? Let’s face it. We all wish that we thought of the Moyatorium first. But then again, none of us are named Moya, so it’s not likely we would have come up with it.
That said, Moya’s infrequent posts are always fun to read. And she is a pleasant person to interact with on social media. So it’s worth going to check it out.
Side of Fiction
So like Jacob points out, this is a question people have been asking for ages. Is it more important to have a compelling plot or thought-provoking characters? I won’t take anything away from his point. You should read that for yourself, but I will add my two cents.
I’ve always found this to be a false dichotomy. It assumes that, on some level, all stories are the same. See, I like Akudama Drive. Sure, the characters are thin. Their motivations are shallow. But damn, if that show doesn’t move. And it’s compelling for that reason.
Or what about Cowboy Beebop, where the characters are fine, but they’re relatively cookie cutter. And the plot is OK, but they are, at best, uneven. But the combination is something that is completely and utterly acceptable and even pretty OK.
So the mark of a good column is that it gets you thinking like this, so you should go check it out.
So why should you check out Side of Fiction: Again, this is another new blog to me. Probably something I should have thought about before I took on this task.
It does look like there is a lot of interesting content on here, including the intriguingly titled “Why anime is (In my opinion) the superior medium.” or “NieR: Automata’s Poetic “True” (E)nding.”
They all look good.
Tabibito’s AniStory and Beyond
So I think we all should try to learn something new at least at one point in our lives. I’ve wanted to learn many things, but I’m generally stuck in a single language. Tabibito is trying to expand into Japanese the way that many otaku do — through their favorite fandom.
In this case, Tabibito’s poison of choice is Pokemon, a series that I know very little about. So there we go, two up on me.
I appreciate learning a little more, even though I really can’t read katakana at all. I’ll just have to take their word for it.
So why should you check out Tabibito’s AniStory and Beyond: This is among the blogs that are new to me, Well beyond having a charming name, I see a relatively good variety of posts.
The writing is good, and I enjoy it when people enjoy stuff, and that is a lot of what I see here. The writer enjoys a large variety of items.
So among the arguments I’ve found myself wading into is the discussion of what is anime? How do fans of anime define it? And what are the larger implications of those definitions?
Now I thought I had a pretty firm grasp of the discussion. In my head, the issue was, “Can U.S. productions be anime?” What I never considered is that Japanese productions far predate our modern understanding of anime. Even beyond the Japanese shows that were bastardized for American audiences like Gatchaman, dozens of shows were paid for by U.S. companies and meant to play for a Western audience.
Was Transformers anime? Or Thundercats? How about Batman: The Animated Series? This is a fascinating wrench to throw into the discussion of what anime is or isn’t. How much does the audience really matter at all?
Anyway, you should check out to see what he has to say.
So why should you check out Animehead’s Retroworld: So I have to say I’m not as familiar with Animehead’s Retroworld as I should be. I really should be following it, though. I think I signed up to get the posts.
I appreciate the level of care and the levelheaded thought that goes into these posts. It’s nice to see someone who doesn’t take anime or anime fandom as life or death. It’s all good fun, and it should be taken as such.
Two thumbs up from me.
So this one is a little different. I’m going to combine the two sections because the art is really good, but I don’t have anything helpful to say about it. Go and check it out.
Emily’s feed, though, has a lot of great art, and I think I see some Assassin’s Creed Origins.