A Much Overdue Update: State of the Site
All righty. It’s been a while. So let’s just dive in.
Let’s kick things off with a brief look back at how things have gone, regarding the site revamp. What’s worked out and what hasn’t?
Revamp in Review
If I’m honest, I’d call the revamp a success in a lot of ways, while noting those places where it falls short. The thing I definitely want to say was an overwhelming positive was the update to Bulletoon. And it’s easy to see why. The show just gradually gets more and more polished and will continue to do so. Which is great, because it’s the direction we’re looking to start taking things as we go forward. More of an emphasis on the show and on our original content. Written anime content will still be a feature, but more on the back burner, I’d say. And it’s probably for the best.
Anime TKO’s been fun, this go-around. For us, at least. We’ve enjoyed taking a more entertainment laden approach, essentially writing the demi-reviews as sort of caricatures of ourselves. I do wish things had been a little tighter, earlier on. But it mostly comes down to us having not actually covered a looot of really good – great anime that are being hotly discussed and whatnot. (though if we’re honest, seldom do I honestly care about what’s being discussed by everyone and their best friend)
Speaking of Anime TKO, next season we’re actually planning on doing something different again. We’re still working out the details, well in advance, but I can say this – Battle Royale. Yep. No brackets. Every man for himself. It’s gonna be fuuun.
Now. What didn’t work? Well, this is less because of the avenue itself, and more because of life situations I’ll get into later, but the streaming hasn’t gone so great. We’ve been making a pass at it on Fridays, but I dunno. Still figuring out how we wanna go about it. Part of the issue is definitely the limitations of my equipment, but I also just don’t have much of a feel for it yet. And time is growing into more and more of a precious commodity. In all, we might end up putting off on doing any more streaming, in the future, at least in the way were already were. Might actually shift it over to YouTube to shrink our net a bit.
Social Anxiety, Laziness, and Adult Responsibilities are a dangerous combination. If I’m not staggered on an effort by one of them, at least one of the others rears its head. And there’s where a lot of the problems rest. Pretty much squarely with me, seeing as I’m in charge around here. I’m not going to bore you with the details. But I recently got a new job that’s been absorbing large amounts of my time. I also have to conduct the meetings for our Writers’ Group, almost daily, and I have a few personal obligations to handle, as well. If none of those are actually happening, then odds are I’m either procrastinating, or I’m getting in my own head with stuff related to social anxiety, thus am struggling to get things done. Those last two things are entirely on me, but they’re still pertinent. All this is largely why the site’s been so low on content, of late. As I said, time is just a precious commodity and I have very little of it. Though that’s changing pretty soon, I think. I have some ideas to help me better organize it all. Though it will come with some more changes to the site, albeit much more minor ones than the revamp brought.
A lot, actually. Just not a lot that you’re going to really notice, yourselves. Not to give anything away, but we’ve actually made a ton of progress with Burning Sky and are well on-track with everything. It’s really exciting stuff. Honestly, my job aside, this is where a lot of my time has been going. And I think it shows. A lot. We’re a tad bit behind on the schedule for it. But we’re still in a pretty good place.
Elsewise, there’s Soul Eater Summer. This is one that’s been delayed of late, and that’s entirely because of work. But I’ve really enjoyed the process of it. Probably because I love Soul Eater, mind you. But I think the best thing about it is that I’ve discovered that review format is quick to write, easy to digest, and can be a lot more fun than trying to sit there and analyze every single aspect of the show in question. These shorter reviews are probably going to wind up being more the direction we go with the site in the future, when it comes to seasonal reviews. Because it’s pretty rewarding, as far as I see. It’d save us on that precious time and let us generate more content more frequently, I think.
I’ve kept quiet on this, largely because I’m just bad at handling these. Tragedies like this are difficult for me to talk about in any capacity. And it made me feel really crummy that I was about to start writing the Kyoukai no Kanata review when it happened. A review that likely was going to be done very quickly and without much care or attention to the deeper, more emotional themes and aspects that KyoAni weaves into damn near everything. But what, then, is the best course of action? Well… I don’t really know. The thing is, I read all these tributes to KyoAni and a lot of them talk about how the studio’s stories moved them or affected them. How they related to the characters’ struggles and connected with them emotionally and such. It would’ve felt kinda dirty to sort of slap a message onto that review – post-incident – about the whole thing. But I also know I’d be terrible at writing a tribute from a personal perspective.
Yes, I can talk about how Kyoukai no Kanata, Hyouka, and Dragon Maid are some of my favorite anime, out there. But it’d feel kinda wrong since I can assure you, such a post wouldn’t be coming from an emotional place beyond “they made shows I liked a lot.” The reasons I liked them would, in no way, be poignant or pretty enough to warrant use in a tribute. But that’s a subject for later. My point is that I really wanna write something in support of KyoAni. I just wanna find a way to do it that doesn’t feel forced or fake. Right now, this is the best I can come up with. An honest appeal from a place of sympathy and compassion for real people – not fictional ones – wishing the victims and families the best in their time of grieving and recovery. Disregarding the “anime studio” part, and speaking more from the angle of them just being a group of people – real-life, flesh-and-blood individuals – who experienced a horrific event and will need time to heal and regain some sense of normalcy.
I don’t know if and when I’ll do that Kyoukai no Kanata review, at this point. Frankly, it’d take someone with far more emotional intelligence than myself, I think, to write the review that show – or any KyoAni show, for that matter – truly deserves. I thought about maybe doing the Soul Eater Summer style micro-reviews of each episode. And maybe touching on the movie (which I’ve not seen). But I’m just not sure, at this point, what to do about it all. We’ll see, I supposed. If nothing else, there’s an episode centered around Hyouka coming to the show, next season. So maybe, by then, I’ll be able to come up with something. Better than… this rambling mess of circle-talk.
So What’s Next?
There’s still a lot I’d like to do and a lot we’ve started that I think we need to work on. If I were to be honest, I think it’d be a good idea to step back and figure out where everything stands. Knowing my limitations and what I’d actually be able to do is important, after all.
With the new job, I think it’d be reasonable for me to just step down from the idea of making Streaming a regular thing. I’ll still do it, of course. But not frequently. Just whenever I get the time. And I have to think about other stuff I’d want to do on-stream. Things that’d make it worthwhile. Because I’m a pretty dry person, on my own, and I’m not especially good at games (if anything I’m marginally above average). So I’d have to figure out something else I could bring.
We’re (I’m) gonna start pushing the Discord and Patreon more now. Through the site posts, the show, etc. I’m gonna try to figure a way to do that where it doesn’t come off as intrusive to the actual content while making sure people still see it. That’s the part about marketing that’s toughest, really. Making sure it doesn’t feel like marketing. We’ll see what I’m able to throw together. Oddly, I feel like it’d be easy to do that on the show (a few little graphics and that’s that).
Also gonna manage time a little differently to force more into my day that I can take to do other things like participate more in the community. I haven’t really been able to read a lot of blog posts lately. The odd review of a show a may be watching. Some posts from bloggers I just always read from, like Karandi and Irina, but that’s about it. Time to fix that. Really, I don’t interact with the community much at all. Partially a matter of the aforementioned social anxiety. A habit of waiting for people to talk to me, not the other way around. Alas, contrasted by how boring I am. C’est la vie. Actually, I was given an idea or two for some collaborations, but I’d have to let those spend some more time in the oven before I reach out to anyone. Maybe a month or so. Depending on what the next month even looks like, for me, on a personal level.
Honestly, that’s about it. Not a whole lot of stuff to actually report, alas. A large part of why this was so delayed, perhaps. Regardless, thanks for putting up with me and stuff. Keep up the Awesome!