Something is Different. But What? | State of the Site

All right. Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty details of what this little “refresh” has meant for us.

Why did you decide to change up the site’s look?

A few reasons that we’ve gone over before. The biggest was that we’re starting to make more and more of a push towards original content. And that means much longer posts with a lot of longer passages. Our old site layout was incredibly narrow, making larger passages seem longer by stretching them down. And it also just wasn’t great aesthetically. Looking at it on longer posts felt strange because of how squeezed all the text felt.

But there were other major reasons. In the old site, there was an annoying white bar that would clip over the bottom of the Featured Images and it was incredibly noticeable… and annoying. A lot of our Feature Image design decisions were specifically implemented to get around that one, small thing. The new layout doesn’t do that. Granted, it doesn’t automatically have the Featured Images at the top of the post either, but that’s easily fixable. We can just plug them into the body of the post, manually.

The last major factor was that the old site was just… dark. But the way it was laid out, it didn’t really look very good lighter. Our whole brand is about being bright and energetic. The darkness just didn’t suit that. This theme is a lot brighter. Brighter, but also a far cry from overly saturated. And we think it looks good like this.

So did you JUST change the site’s look?

Actually, no! There were a lot of other changes that went into this.

The bulk of the work actually had nothing to do with the site’s look. Heck, the site’s look technically still isn’t completely done at the time of writing this. No, most of the work went into organization. If you’ve been following us for a while, you know we like to do… a lot. But as we move towards these other endeavors, we decided we needed to take a step back, look at what we wanted the site to be, and work on properly organizing things. So we got to work streamlining the site’s category hierarchy.

There are now far fewer categories as we got rid of ones we weren’t using and ones we’d no longer be needing. And while this is something you’d really never see, restructuring the internal hierarchy of the categories was something we really, really needed to do. It simplifies the entire process for us and will make everything so much faster and more efficient.

Reflecting these changes, the top menu has been updated. You’ll notice that several of our traditional series are gone. And there’s a reason for that. Going forward, we’re going to put a hard focus on Anime, with some light touches on gaming, every once in a while. So review series not related to those two things have been canceled. And as it pertains to the anime coverage, our anime commentary will now be saved for one of three ongoing series – Anime Burst, Anime TKO, and Flash Anime-tion.

As a refresher, Anime Burst is our newest series, utilizing a format I introduced last year with Soul Eater Summer. They’re basically what the title suggests. Burst reviews that provide really quick thoughts on the episode, then the Favorite Scene/Sequence, Favorite Line, and MVP. Also, to be introduced next season, if an episode leaves a bad impression, then those categories can be swapped out for Least Favorite Scene/Sequence, Least Favorite Line, and WPP (Worst Performing Player).

Anime TKO is a seasonal anime… well… TKO. TKO stands for technical (or sometimes total) knockout. It’s something we do to cover a ton of shows in a season, then cull them down. This particular season we’ll be handling it Battle Royale style, using a scoring method that pits my more technical score up against EvilBob’s more objective, entertainment value score. More details available in our post revealing the official watchlist for the season.

And, as I’m sure you’re familiar, Flash Anime-tion is just my more in-depth review series that takes a look at either an entire show (assuming it’s a maximum of two cours, at the time that I decide to cover it, with a few exceptions) or just one season at a time. It’s essentially a light analysis, but mostly about praising the things that a particular series does well.

For this season, there won’t be any Anime Burst or Flash Anime-tion content because we’re going to be incredibly busy with other things. The official release of Burning Sky is looming over us and we’ve got to be as ready as we possibly can. So the entirety of our commentary for this season is going to be in Anime TKO. This means you shouldn’t expect more than one anime commentary post a week, unless we’re really on a roll on a particular day.

And on the subject of Burning Sky, no, we are not ready with any of those major announcements we promised yet. As I said, it’ll be at least a week before we’re ready to talk about that. Bear with us!

So are there any other announcements?

As a matter of fact, yes. There are. And one of them is vaguely related to our lack of ability to do a lot, this season. Alas, we’ll save that for last.

The first thing to get out of the way is a social media thing. We’ve given in to the peer pressure and created an instagram account! (this is entirely because I discovered a way to cheese the system and post from my desktop so HA. Eat it, mobile development). Technically we already had it but weren’t using it. Don’t expect to ever see me or any of our real selves on there. As far as the internet need be concerned, we’re a bunch of disembodied voices… that really like anime and can use a keyboard somehow. In any case, I’m not overly certain what we’d wind up posting there aside from the thumbnails of our reviews, videos, etc. And, of course, the occasional haul… whenever any of us have money to get a haul. Any other ideas are welcome. You can access the account through THIS link or from the Connect! tab in the top menu.

Next, there’s a new thing I want to bring everyone’s attention to, and that’s the Archive! I already basically said as much, and anyone minding our Twitter will probably already be aware of this. But I spent basically the last two days archiving a bunch of our older posts. The archive can be found in the Top Menu. We essentially archived a few posts from 2019 and all but a few posts from before 2019, saving only the ones we really liked. You can access every post in the archive or search specifically for them in the sidebar.

And now for the kinda big thing. As I’ve stated, we’re not going to have the time to pump out a ton of posts, ourselves. For the next few months, we’re likely only going to average one anime commentary post a week with maybe the occasional side thing. That’s where this last announcement comes into play. For the first time, we’d like to open the doors for guest posts on the blog! We haven’t ironed out all of the details just yet. So we’ll definitely make another post about it shortly after a little more discussion amongst ourselves. But let us know if you’d be at all interested in making a guest post, any time throughout the Winter season. Doesn’t even have to be a review or about any current anime. Nor are we expecting it to be a regular thing. It could even be a one-off, easy. Sound off in the comments or message me through our contact page or Discord (Voyager#7586) if you’d be interested in doing that!

What else?

Nothing else! That’s everything! A surprising amount, honestly. I thought this post would be short. Oh well. So are you excited for anything to come? Do you like these changes? Let me know, down below. As always, thanks for reading, guys! It actually means a lot that anyone cares about the words I make. And it’s nice going into a new year, knowing I’m slowly getting more and more integrated into this little community as an individual, rather than just an entity. Managing all of this is tough and I’m only human. So I appreciate it. Aaaanyway, you know the spiel by now!

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