I’m just going to be straight with you. This post isn’t about anything really. I don’t have anything in particular to say but I thought we could just chat for a bit. In fact, let me tell you this little story..

I got this blog started (as in I filled out WordPress’ little forms, got a layout, played with themes and learned the basics of using this site) in early July. By the middle of the month, I started actually posting. It took a week maybe for me to get my first comment and that experience was exhilarating beyond any reasonable expectation. Now, almost 6 months down the line, I think we can all agree, I’m an uncontested expert on all things blogging!

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I know right!

Seriously though, I still have so much to learn, way too much to ever think myself in any position to give you advice. But I did have a whole lot of fun and I’d like to share some of it with you. Here are just a few of my favorite things that happened wit my blog this year.

I discovered my love for writing. I’ve always had a penchant for lighter “humorous” or sarcastic writing but to ensure the integrity of the message I tend to either exaggerate/explain the joke or interject long winded explanation. In the end, my writing never really felt like “me”. In posting each day though, I finally just fully embraced my corny side and wrote a handful of posts that even I couldn’t deny the sincerity of. They may not be my most popular offerings but they are my most creative and I loved them. When I read them, I remember the girl who wrote them and I actually recognize her. I’m not even embarrassed by it anymore. It’s nice.

And despite all my assumptions, it turns out that I do have feelings. I still get annoyed by excessive or exaggerated showings of sentimentality. You could say I’m a bit of a jerk. But when done right, and with proper measure, I am defenseless against feels. Every single time I mention tearing up in a review, it’s not for effect, I really did do so. This said, I am still not entirely comfortable with being nakedly earnest about it. It makes me feel a bit vulnerable so I don’t tend to do it that often. This year, with the anonymity of the internet as a shield, I’ve allowed myself to speak honestly about my feelings. These aren’t big flashy posts or hugely personal revelations. I’m just not that deep. To you, best beloved, they probably look like completely average offerings. To me though, they’re special. They give opinions based on subjective emotional impact rather than any empirical arguments and stand there completely unprotected by jokes, sarcasm or asides. Of course, such candor needs some type of catalyst. It’s brought out from visceral moving experiences that resonate with us. As such, these posts are few and far apart but I was lucky enough to create one or two and if I have the chance, I would love to write more.

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I’m not crying YOU’re crying

You know what else? I am still capable of improvement! Look it’s something I wasn’t all that sure about. Not because I’m so great there’s not way to get better but because at some point you learn to accept your limitations.

I’ve always loved stories in general. In my head this is a basic reality of the human condition which is why I’m always baffled by people who tell me they don’t like “fiction” or they aren’t into “reading”. I don’t know why I just shaded some poor random folks, this has nothing to do with my point. My point was: I’m not a great writer. I’m ok but it was never one of my strengths. I studied sciences and was much better at analyzing literature than creating it.

Well after throwing myself headlong into regular everyday posting, I actually think I may be slowly improving. Don’t get me wrong I’m still far from great and whenever I make the tragic mistake of comparing myself to other blogs, that fact becomes glaringly obvious, but I’m getting better. At least in my own eyes. I reread my posts (as I’m sure we all do) regularly and once in a while, I fall on something and say to myself, huh that was pretty good. I actually enjoyed this. That feeling is the best! My favorite posts are often not your favorite posts but that’s ok too.  There’s room for all of us.

Tags: Anime, Daburyuu, Inazuma Eleven, Otonashi Haruna, Pixiv, Fanart From Pixiv, Fanart, PNG Conversion
By Daburyuu (go see the gallery – so nice!)

Speaking of acceptance, look a that amazing segway… I haven’t done much to pare down my occasionally unconventional side (you guys seemed to have noticed if I go by the amount of “unique” blogger tags I get) and although I sometimes have a little trouble getting my point across, by and large I feel very accepted by you guys. It doesn’t hurt that there’s a couple of other weirdos out there (you know who you are). I’ve discovered a community that is both diverse and united. That strives to be inclusive without silencing biases. I know that we are a tiny subgroup of an already small niche but when I look at all of you, no wait, all of us, I don’t understand how anime fans could ever be considered anything short of the best people ever! Maybe overreaching a touch there, but just a touch. I seem to have strayed again, this post was about ME. Here’s the point, we are all beautiful weirdos and/or wonderful weirdo accepting angels, and I am awesome since I’m here too.

Image result for anime weirdoWhich brings me smoothly to me most and only important thing I have to say. This year I’ve discovered a brave new world with such people in it. I’ve gushed and raved about how wonderful you all are. I’m a bit of an emphatic person, there’s no real point in denying that anymore. However, that doesn’t mean my praise is unearned. The social aspect of the blogging experience has been nothing short of fantastic. Readers have taught me so much through the comments. Authors have taken the time to answer my own comments on their blogs, starting actual conversations. Everyone I’ve had the chance to personally speak with has been some combination of kind, helpful and just plain great. If you have even the slightest interest in reaching out to a blogger, I strongly encourage you to do so. It’s sure to be rewarding.

So there you have it. A sweet little list of the personal joys of 2017. I hope I can write another one of these next year. Maybe by then I’ll have enough experience to share some fun stories or actually useful information. Maybe I’ll be bitter and disillusioned and write some vitriolic post about how everything has changed.

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let’s burn some bridges

I doubt it. I’ll probably be just as clueless and enamoured. There are a few things I’d like to do in 2018. I would like to find a proper flow and do more/ better visual novel reviews. I also want to collaborate with more bloggers. I have loved every single collab post. I think it also helps me improve more than any other posts I’ve written. If you’re Interested, let me know. I really hope I can keep the Blogwarming going. It’s a fun project for me and I get to discover all these wonderful posts I might otherwise have missed.

I would love to maintain the illusion that Im some type of efficient and organized blogger but to be honest, I do most of my projects on a whim. An idea strikes me and I throw something together. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It makes it a bit difficult to predict what the future holds. I would like to put together some more DIY posts if I can. I love those. I also have one or two larger scale projects that would involve more people. I’m not entirely sure l can get them off the ground so I’ll leave it as a mystery for now.

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don’t worry I’m way too impatient to keep the secret for long

I would love to get more interactive with my readers as well. That’s just a buzzword, haven’t the foggiest how to go about it. Maybe some giveaways? Oh if you want to do a guest post but don’t have your own blog or wish to remain anonymous… I don’t know, I’ll give it some more thought.

Well here we all are. A little older, a little wiser….well a little older at least. that was a lot of words to say very little. If you’re still here, for the last time this year, thank you for spending a bit of your precious time with me. Next year will be ripe with wonders and miracles! I can’t wait to share them with you.


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65 thoughts

  1. Well, someone had a productive year! Writing that first post which gets to the heart of who you are is hard work, but so worth it and it’s always easier from then on. It’s like breaking through a shell into a new level of self awareness, which can only help with any writing you do.

    Happy new year, and many more. I was happy to find this blog last year, so I’m looking forward to everything you bring to it in 2018 😊

  2. great post! you know, some of the things you mentioned on here are some things I started to think about nearing the end of the year. 2017 was sort of experimental for me and i reached out past the anime community and into the book community and i have to say, the aniblogger community is THE BEST. not saying the book community isn’t but there’s just something very connected and family like and supportive about the little community we have here and i’m super glad to be a part of it. and you bet i’m super glad to have met you even though at this point idk how it happened (my memory is really failing me recently). reading your posts is always fun and make me smile and i’m always happy to see all the optimism on this blog

    and i reread a lot of my posts too (don’t tell anyone!) and rn i did a list of the posts i liked the most and realized that one of them hardly had any views. and like yeah, some of my fav posts don’t really get out there (and i’m also remembering takuto’s series of SAO posts that he was super excited about and those apparently didn’t do so well but he loved them anyways) ahhh, the wonders of blogging

    cheers to a successful 2017 and even more fun and randomness in 2018! 😀

    and i’m sure everyone already said this (but i hear it doesn’t hurt to keep saying it) you are doing such an awesome job as a blogger and i’m sure you’re blowing everyone away with how you’ve only just started and you feel like our senpai <3 can't wait to see what else you have in store for us :3

    1. The fact that anyone would skip a post of yours or Takuto’s is insane. Both of you just write s well it’s a pleasure to read no matter the content. Thank you s so much for the lovely comment – it’s been a blast getting to know you a little, I hope to do so more in 2018!

        1. I didn’t say you couldn’t you know the deal. You just got to balance it out….Also I appreciate obedience. This is a good way to start the year!

          1. Ahh, balancing things. Not my strong suit…

            Obedience is something I’ve been learning recently.

            But It’s a good start to 2018 for sure!

  3. Happy new year! It was actually your blog that inspired me to write my own, so refreshing and fun to read! May you continue for years to come. 🙂

    1. Happy New year and REALLY?? I am truly humbled. That has to be one of the biggest compliments I’ve ever gotten. (Unless it was because it was so bad and you needed to contribute better but I’m still happy…)

  4. It’s New Year’s where I am, so happy new year!

    I’m planning something about light novel adaptions myself, but details on that are gonna be secret until I’ve got the first post for it up. I’d like to join in at least one of your wider-scale projects or a collab as well, although I’d need to work on my WordPress reputation first.

    For interactivity, polls and quizzes always seem to work, according to both what I’ve tried and what other people have done.

    1. As far as I’m concerned your rep is awesome – or should be. I’m up for a collab anytime. Also I am super intrigued about light novel adaptation project. I’ll look forward to it!

  5. I wandered over here a few days ago following the 12 Days of Anime trail and loved what I saw. Well, after all we both love Natsume, so clearly you are quality people. I read a few more entries and found I like your tone, your writing, and well yeah I think we share tastes and so I have subscribed. I admire your ability to write every day. I lost that years ago. I admire your ability to wax poetic about anime. I think I’m still too inhibited by feeling like I sort of don’t belong in the anime community. I drink and watch anime myself. I’ve been accused of being unique. And I hope we’re both here next year, enjoying anime and blogging. 😀 Blessedbe

    1. I think the ability to appreciate Natsume is going to be the new yardstick I judge people by.. I love this comment so much. I don’t know why you don’t feel like yo belong but for what it’s worth you’re more than welcome to drink and watch anime with me any time!

      1. I meandered into Anime late in life. Like my 50s late LOL. I’ll take you up on that invite! Maybe we can even do a collaboration in 2018 😀

          1. Awesome. I’ll look forward to it! I don’t blog on this WordPress account – you may have noticed – my blog is actually over at https://summerfoovay.blogspot.com/. We’ll have to do something fun – anime we love to drink to, or best to drink to, or maybe we’ll just gush over Natsume. 😀

            1. Ohhh nice blog. I’m horrible about finding blogs off wordpress….Thank you for the address and yeah we’ll find something!

  6. Happy New Year.
    It is really hard to believe you’ve only been around six months. I love reading your posts and discussing anime with you and your impact on the community has been enormous. Looking forward to working with you again in 2018 and reading your thoughts on whatever you decide to write about because I know it will be a fun read.

    1. Happy New Year and thank you so much! The feeling is quite mutual. You’ve been a steady source of encouragement and inspiration (I’m sure i speak for a whole bunch of people here). Can’t wait for more!

  7. Happy new year (okay, almost.)!

    It was amazing discovering your blog after reading your Haibane Renmei review. You’ve been doing great and having your own reviewing style when it comes to anime. I really like how you cover both older and newer anime in your blog. I’m happy to support and follow your blog. You’re also the first person who nominated me for a blog award which was very kind of you. Keep up the good work and have an amazing 2018!

      1. You’re welcome. I never realized that when it came to my anime reviews on Iridium Eye, but I really appreciate it. I also like how you’ve checked out some of the live action stuff I’ve covered or even the Ospreyshire page. Thank you.

  8. 1. We all have our own emotional triggers, don’t we? Some things work on you and some things don’t, and sometimes it comes as a surprise. (This is me, stating the obvious.)

    2. With writing, I’ve had similar experiences. Those brilliant, clever lines I love so much go unnoticed, while throwaway stuff that would go in an edit (say, for being too corny) gets glowing praise. That’s a big part, I think, of why professional writers have editors.

    3. Since I haven’t played the guessing game in a while:

    – Banner: Obvious: Dragon Maid

    – No idea. Looks vaguely familiar, like something I might have tried and dropped, or finished but not remembered well, or never tried but seen lots of pictures of.

    – I find that surprisingly tough. I want to say this is Okumura Rin, so I’m going to guess Blue Exorcist.

    – Fanart – of something? Original? No guess.

    – C3, the anime about the airsoft club (not the one with lovecraft cube).

    – Hard one, too. Shinryakusha no Rokujouma?

    – Another hard one: I’m trying to guess from the art-style and yukata(?), but I’m drawing a blank. Something like Tasogare Otome X Amnesia, though I don’t think that’s it.

    – Momo e Tegami.

    (Screenshot guessing is fun.)

    1. Oh YAY – The image game to round off the year. Dawnstorm my fired you are brill!
      1- yup
      2- Fam Fan Fan from Last exile – I had such high hopes…
      3- It is – I enjoyed Blue Exorcist much more than most people did
      5-Fanart (original)
      4 – I haven’t actually seen this but I want to based on the gif alone
      5- Rokujouma no Shinryakusha – Exactly!
      6 – Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei – this series deserves more imo
      7 – YAY
      Happy New Year!

      1. Ah, I’ve never seen Last Exile. Falls in the category of “seen lots of screenshots”.

        I’d never have guessed Zetsubou Sensei from that, though I did think it looked Shafty (Tasogare Otome is by Shin Oonuma, who is a shaft graduate). Zetsubou Sensei is awesome. (If you haven’t already, check out Joshiraku, based on a manga by the same mangaka. It’s excellent, too.)

        Also, Blue Exorcist is great. Many shounen shows, IMO, suffer from a rather dull or annoying main character. Not Blue Exorcist. Rin is great.

        Happy New Year!

  9. Cheers to the new year Irina-先輩!
    You’re always full of wonderful ideas, and both your strengths and vulnerabilities complement to create a masterpiece, so don’t fault your own personality and love yourself more (I’m sure we all love you lots already too~)
    Here’s to an awesome 2018 (good or bad or in-between, oh whatever (right?), as long as we lived that matters for the present and future :))

      1. :thumbs up: Time to upgrade that carnival ride to boost the oomphs and woows! 😀
        Will be trying some new stuff hopefully, and try to entertain (wait no I mean, to confuse) the rest of you :3

  10. You’re one of the best bloggers I know and you literally just started 6 months ago. Seriously, keep it up Irina—you’ll go places with that smooth wit, light humor, and drunkish charm! Also, you can never go wrong with a blog award post~!

    Here’s to all your success in 2017, and more merry moments together in 2018! Cheers~!

    1. Drunkish charm is going on my business cards!

      Considering how big a fan I am of your writing, this is no small praise. I’m printing all these comments and putting them n the fridge!

  11. Let’s see: you started this post with saying: “This post isn’t about anything really” I hope you do realise that this was much more than that right?
    Wonderful write up Irina: and I love the fact that you think that sometimes you aren’t a good writer. You are. I do hope you realise this. I’m not just saying this either. I love the way you write. When it’s time to add some feelings into the mix you do that with great skill. And I’m not going to even start about how much that I love the humor that a lot of your posts had. And then when he have yiur Blogwarming project that became not even only a huge succes, but a true inspiration to a lot of others. In short in the six months that your blog has now existed, you have surpassed so many other people, that I think your skills are far beyond a lot of expert bloggers.
    So: in other words: be proud of all that you have achieved this year. It has been an absolute joy following your blog. I can’t wait to see what fun you are going to come up with next year. Whatever it is I know it will be awesome. Best wishes for 2018, and I will definitely voluntary for a collab if you want to at some point next year. Have a great New Year’s Eve: see you next year 😀

    1. I was going to write this long winded reply but now…I’m just speechless. Thank you Raistlin, just thank you. If I figure out how to express how much this means I’ll come back. For now, I will wish you all the joy and love you can handle in 2018

  12. I’m looking forward to your posts for 2018! I hope I’ll get to know you more through your posts and (hopefully) other interactions!

    Happy new year! 🙂

  13. Well, Rin-san you’re considered an expert by many of us!
    Happy New Year!

    Interactive sounds good! Again, count me in~

    Also, it’s not only me we BOTH are crying.

    1. we are now….. Happiest of New Years Auri-chi. I am not sure it’s possible for you to get more wonderful so just stay as you are!

  14. Happy new year Irina, your blog continues to be an inspiration. I’ll look forward to watching all your new ideas come to fruition in 2018. Oh and try not to upset yourself too much comparing yourself to other bloggers, I know all too well that some can be quite astounding, but only you can be you (apologies for the cheesiness).

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