I have now been reviewing some shows on an episode by episode basis for weeks, WEEKS, so I’m fairly sure I now know everything there is to know about this particular process. I’ve thought about the differences of these types of posts as opposed to full series reviews and I figured those of you who have never tried your hand at both and wonder how they compare, desperately want to hear my thoughts on it. You know, cause I’m an expert and all…
For your personal convenience, I’ve even gone ahead and structured my thoughts into a handy dandy list complete with 😊 advantage and ☹ disadvantage visual guides. Enjoy, comment, let me know everything I’ve missed, forgotten or not realized yet! There will be lots…
😊 Shorter works are easier to analyze
One of the things I’ve found in general is that the longer the series, the more daunting I find it to review. Not only is it hard for me to find space in a single post to fit all my thoughts in but it’s simply hard for me to organize everything I feel about a long running series in my own head. I almost always forget something that was important to me and the end results tends to be incomplete in my mind.
However, the more restraint breadth of single episodes allows me to go into minute detail if I want to without it getting out of hand. I can touch on everything I want to mention, even describe the action when necessary and not worry about forgetting anything or making it overly confusing for a reader that may not have seen the show. I don’t need to pick and choose specific elements to concentrate on.
☹ They can be too easy
The downside of course is that occasionally an episode is meant simply to be a set up or a filler and this can make writing an entire post on it a huge chore. I usually end up inventing something or wandering onto a different subject but I only review a few shows on episodic basis. I have to imagine that doing this for half a dozen shows every season can get incredibly tiresome when the episode itself cannot be relied on for inspiration.
😊 They help your enjoyment of anime
Even shows I would not have had the patience to sit through under normal (binging) circumstances are so much easier to take a single episode at the time, especially when I get to make fun of them in a post right after. It’s the hate watch effect and although it’s not for everyone, it’s still better than nothing.
☹ They hinder your enjoyment of shows
When watching an entire series, if it’s a good one, there’s a point when I get into it and forget about reviewing it. I might still scribble notes now and then, but I don’t feel the need to hold every detail in my head and study it like it was a job. I know I can simply think back on the experience as a whole when I write my post.
This doesn’t work so well for single episodes. If I forgot a plot point, it’s pretty embarrassing and changes everything, even if it may have no impact in the series as a whole it is likely still important for the single episode in which it features. The shows become fragmented in my mind instead of the single unified experience they are meant to be.
😊 ☹ Limited screencaps and media available
I’ve mentioned this a whole lot, but new shows will have little to no readily available media (clips, pics, gifs…) for my particular post format this means creating a gif per episode and screencaps galore. I really, really, enjoy doing this but that may not be the case for everyone and I can’t deny it’s time consuming.
Basically, if you enjoy this then it’s a plus. If you dislike writing, then you can draw people to your post with your unique and beautiful screencaps instead. Otherwise, it’s a setback that adds time and effort to every review you write.
😊 They are great for getting your blog discovered
We are watching three of the less hyped and popular shows this season, yet I get searches for them every single day. If the search terms on my WP stats are to be believed, 70% of all search engine traffic coming to my blog is due to the new season episode reviews. They are probably some of the best publicity for my blog.
☹ They require a demanding schedule
In order for these reviews to be of interest to readers, you need to publish them at least before the next episode is out. Otherwise what’s the point, and anyway dozens of others will have been published in the meantime. That means you have a few days to watch the episode, write a post, edit it, get the screencaps and publish the entire thing.
Personally, I have no issue with the amount of work involved, but in order to post every day, I schedule everything in advance. That way, days when I feel lazier and just want to play video games or something are offset by days where I’m super productive and manage to schedule 3 or 4 posts. You can’t really do this with episode reviews and I’m finding it challenging to keep up. HUGE props to those of you who do this for multiple shows every season!
😊 They get Views
Like I mentioned, these posts are popular. Even the shortest most offhand episodic reviews I’ve posted generally get more views than some of my detailed and lovingly crafted full season reviews.
The difference is rather impressive, to the point that I originally considered either adding episodic reviews as a regular feature to my blog (I may still do it with a single show per season) or even converting to that general format (I will not, see below…)
☹ They don’t generate much engagement
Even though a lot of people seem to be viewing them, or at least clicking through the page, they get a lot fewer comments. I understand why, in general, there just isn’t that much to say on any given episode. You are much more likely to have general thoughts on a series as a whole. But for me, the episode reviews fell a little lonely.
My personal experience has been that writing for single episodes is in fact much more akin to anime challenges, that give you a specific question to concentrate on, rather than full series reviews. You are commenting on a tiny little segment rather than the big picture so it limits you but also helps you stay focused.
I do enjoy the immediacy of sharing my thoughts with you guys right away and I like getting pictures for you. Once in a while I know exactly what image I want to use and it’s great being able to go get it for you guys. But I would miss my meandering odes to series I’ve loved as well as my ecstatic barely coherent tributes to series I’ve found ridiculous. I feel like I get to share more with you in those and although less people go out of their way to see these posts, those that do often give me a sign that they’ve read it and I truly appreciate that.
Out of curiosity, what do you guys actually enjoy reading more? Not only from me but in general? Have you tried writing both types of reviews? Is there a format you prefer?