When you post everyday, one of the things that suddenly becomes precious to you is source material! Obviously, I’m not watching entire series every day, and I wouldn’t want to even if I could somehow. As such, I’ve come to really appreciate those shows I have watched and tell you all about them.

this gif accurately describes my relationship to anime – loving and smothering

Heck, I even reviewed Rose of Versailles and I watched that series when I was a feoteus. Yet there are a few shows I can’t seem to review. Soul Eater and Hunter x Hunter, I opted to do challenges on rather than take on full reviews. A lot of the romance shows (My little monster, Kimi no Sachi, Clannad) I couldn’t quite put a review together for. The one and only draft I have having around my WordPress app is a review for full metal Alchemist brotherhood, that’s been there for almost a year. I refuse to admit I’ll never finish it. I will! I’ll show you.

I’ve also watched a substantial amount of fairytale, most of Naruto quite a bit of One piece. For a long time my favourite anime was Berserk. As for classics, I loved Ulysses 31. I listened to the soundtrack on vinyl until I wore it out! Goldorak (also known as UFO Robot Grendizer) was my introduction to the Mecha genre and whenever it plays anywhere as a throwback, I make sure to go.

Heck, I haven’t even talked about Eva or Bebop or Gits…

oh right, them neither

But whyyy? Why am I struggling to hammer together half thought out non posts instead of genuinely reviewing series I’ve seen and have thoughts on. I love doing that!… Guys, what’s wrong with me?

I use to think I couldn’t write about series that I enjoyed a lot. That’s why you never saw a single Haikyuu or Durarara post out of me. But that theory crumbled to the ground when a certain quiet boy and his fiesty cat came around. Since then I’ve discovered and shared so many new favourite that the notion is laughable.

I threw around the idea that I couldn’t review longer series but I can always break them down by season. Besides Katekyo Hitman Reborn! clocks in at 203 episodes, and I’ve reviewed a few sports series in the upper two digits. Also I’m obviously going to get that FMA review out. I will! As for those other titles, I thought maybe I just don’t review romance shows….ok well that one still stands.

don’t even know what this is

Sometimes, I get intimidated by fandoms and actively avoid a series to stay out of the conversation. Other times, I enjoyed a show but simply don’t have anything concrete to say about it. Yuru Yuri is tons of fun, you all know that. I have a tomato onesie because of that show. See now, I did have stuff to say about it. Why aren’t l reviewing the show instead of randomly rambling about not reviewing the show? I’m asking!

I have to admit, I honestly don’t have an answer for you guys. There doesn’t seem to be any standard criteria for what gets reviewed and what doesn’t. I could pretend to only write posts when I have something of value to add to the conversation but unless it’s your first time here, you probably know better. If I was better at blogging I would spend a minute with Google analytics to figure out what shows people are searching for and post on those. This isn’t the post for it but we’ll get back to Google analytics and all that stuff, I need one of you to teach me how to use them.

there must be better teaching methods

So rather than waste all of our time speculating on something I have no clue about, I figured I would just ask. Do you guys review EVERYTHING you watch? If not how do you choose what to review and what to just watch for fun? Do you feel differently about the shows you review? I feel a bit guilty about leaving some out… Aww man, I never even reviewed Ippo. I LOVE Ippo….

For those of you who know ahead of time which are shows you will be reviewing, does that knowledge affect the watching experience in any way? Wow, I just threw a whole bunch of questions your way. It’s almost as if I’m trying to make you write this post instead of me ***innocently whistles***


36 thoughts

  1. There were a lot of reasons when I was blogging that I would pass on a show, but mostly it comes down to this: If you can’t find a hook to write about, then you can’t write something that would be worth reading. People don’t really want to read a recitation of the plot of a show, they don’t want to read a listing of the jokes in a comedy. And even if you love a show, without something to really sink into with a post, it’ll just feel incomplete. And then there are other shows you don’t necessarily like that much, or aren’t particularly good, but they just have that thing you NEED to write about, whether you think it’s an important topic or you just need to put out in the world how clever you think you are with your thoughts. And sometimes you just need to do something as a personal challenge (I blogged the whole season of Photo Kano episodically without ever using a photography metaphor or simile).

    I totally agree with your reasons for staying out of extraordinarily popular older shows. People have really all made up their minds about them, and they’re not going into ‘your’ post with the idea of finding something new to think about, just a lot of finding ways you’re “wrong”. But there have also been plenty of shows that I just had kind of a ‘want’ to write about, but could never find a hook to really write anything I wanted anyone to read.

  2. Hmmmm… I find the more an anime has me bedazzled, the greater need I have to review it. It is like I have found this new thing and can’t wait to share it.

    I’d write more but I have other interests that steal me away from the keyboard – and then some of THEM have to be written about. If someone then comes along with a better review than I could ever hope to, I’ll share that instead of my own inferior version.

    The longer an anime is, the more effort to write it up. Watch it once for the story then a second time to pick up things I missed the first time and to snag screen shots. A short season or a movie are easy but something like Kara no Kiyokai is a monster. Ditto GITS.Ditto all the Evangelion incarnations. I’d love to tackle it but it will take many hours over many days. I don’t want to do them piecemeal. So that has to wait until I have the time or someone else does it really well and I can just point my finger at them and say “Go read it.”

  3. I’m one of those people who doesn’t put grades on reviews because 1) I’m lazy and 2) I’d prefer people decide for themselves whether they like a work or not.

    Anyways, I ran into this problem with Mob Psycho 100 at the very end of last year – I tried to write about it and then found what I had to say wasn’t substantial enough for a post. That means now I have a stack of half-written posts from shows which I otherwise don’t have any content on (aside from their inevitable showing up on my end-of-year list), not to mention how infrequently I cover manga and the possibility of covering light novels (even though they’re not part of the mission statement of an “animanga spellbook”)…There are also some topics I’d like to talk about, but they involve talking about things I’d rather not reveal online.

    …well, I figured it was part of the job as a blogger to only write what I feel strongly about since, unless there’s some other motive (e.g. “I’ve never reviewed XYZ (type of media) before and should try it out with the next XYZ I come across”), I have no or close to no motivation for writing anything…I find this problem crops up with manga a lot, since it’s made to be read fast and I’m often under time constraints to read it since I’m borrowing it out from the library.

    1. This is an interesting trend in the comments – the write only about what your passionate about. I have the most problems writing about shows I’m passionate about so sucks to be me but on another level, it makes me sad for all those shows that a gretaa – very well made and pleasant, smart, unusual but not the type of stories to create strong emotional responses.

  4. Ever since I started my site 4-ish years ago, yes, I have reviewed everything I’ve watch.

    (I wouldn’t go looking for those early reviews on WordPress; my entire catalog is getting moved from Blogger one post at a time)

    I actually don’t remember the last time I’ve seen a series just for me. This includes Cowboy Bebop, Fairy Tail, Sailor Moon, Durarara, and many of the other shows you’ve mentioned. Heck, the past few times I’ve gone to the theatre to watch an anime movie I’ve written something.

    For me, I’ve never concerned myself with what’s popular or worried about fandoms. I’ve just watched, enjoyed — or hated, depending on the show — and wrote.

    Also, posting something everyday is one thing I doubt I can maintain, so its impressive you do it.

  5. I don’t write about every series I see. It really depends on how I’m feeling after finishing a series. There have been times where I started posts and half way through I’m not feeling it anymore. All things I wanted to say vanish or I can’t describe anything. So I either scrap it or try to salvage it for the sake of my precious time and energy.

    But now only write about stuff that I have strong feelings about and that’s how I decide.

  6. I’m a bit of a broken record on that topic, but I’m not a blogger. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t occasionaly consider a blog, but I’m just not the type for it. And that’s my segue into this post’s topic: never once when considering to run a blog did I imagine my blog posts to be reviews. In my mind, reviews are a service that has one of two functions. either you (a) describe a show to interested people who haven’t seen it, so they can make up their mind whether they want to or not, or you (b) describe your personal reaction to the show in a bid to position yourself and to let other people position themselves, too (“taste-mapping”).

    The first time I had an idea for what I thought was a good blog post was in late 2011, when watching the romance Mashiro Iro Symphony, a fun show for fans of the genre, but not very memorable. In the pre-credits sequence, the little sister character, usually calm and collected and the voice of reason, was jumping on an ice puddle to crack it, a rare reminder of her playful side. It was a competent, rote scene, not meant to be dwelled upon. But this one scene suddenly showed me what I liked about A Channel earlier that year: the pre-credits scene of episode 10 also involves winter imagery and the cracking of icepuddles, but this time it’s the perfect showcase of what makes A Channel work. How you tie setting into character and seque into plot, and what stylistic measures the show takes to show its attitude. (Other topics might be things like “Kotoura san is a 4-koma adaption and I can’t tell”, and similar things.)

    That’s not quite a review, and it’s not even really about any of the shows involved. It’s about what I like about anime, which I’ve suddenly seen in all clarity with one show when another show pulled off something similar in a rote manner. But reviewing an anime? That’s all about the anime itself. It’s taking a step back and looking at it, and depending on what you want to do with the review, either trying to guess a target audience, or also looking at your own reaction. For me, when I’m having fun, I don’t normally want to step back. It’s alienating and reduces the fun. Joke posts are easier, for example; that’s having fun with the show.

    Basically, I don’t know what’s it like to not be able to review shows, because I’ve never been tempted to review shows, and if I were to review them, I’d probably have a set template that would allow me to improvise something. But I can certainly understand that some shows are harder to talk about than others.

    1. I’m the opposite. Even though I post a lot of essays, my main goal when starting the log and prefered format is reviews. Because I could see them being at least a little useful to someone. The idea that a stranger would care about my random thoughts enough to invest time in discovering them is still really strange to me and I still think that interest is gonna run out eventually

  7. I tend to agree with Jenn about not reviewing shows to which I’m indifferent. I say right on my welcoming page that I only review what I like, and I’ve managed to keep that promise. I write reviews in order to share my love of anime, so it makes sense to me to discuss anime that I love (or at least strongly like!). My thought on this is that every show will find an audience, and that audience watches because they appreciate that show. That being the case, they deserve to have it reviewed by someone who also appreciates it. I tend to review shows as a series, so my reviews are usually geared towards people who are first considering a certain show for viewing. I talk about what I liked and why, but make sure to discuss the things that I wasn’t crazy about, as well. I try to provide enough information for someone to get a “feel” of whether or not they might like a show, the caveat being that they know from my having reviewed it at all that I did like the show in spite of whatever shortcomings I mention.

    1. I sort of like to review everything but the meh shows probably do make for very boring reviews. At least my readers are warned….
      Then again this is probably just because I stubbornly try to post everyday. You and Jenn have a very good approach

  8. I tend to review a 1/4 of the shows I watch. Some things like One Piece or Naruto are way too big to give a full review to. Even Detective Conan is just too massive to give an episode to episode review, though I do plan on taking a crack at some of the first few movies.

    Then again I don’t really review, but just ramble on about some insane take I have regarding a character or anime.

  9. For me, it’s scope. That’s one of the reasons I review series one episode at a time. Only rarely will I tackle anything like a whole series review (like the Caw of Fame recipients); and even then, I’ll often cover the first few episodes instead of a whole series review.

    Something as broad and sweeping as FMA defies a single review. It can be done; but accurately capturing your reaction and thoughts on FMA would take several weeks’ worth of posts! Either that, or you’d need to publish a book of criticism that covered everything.

    Actually, I’d love to read a series of posts where you talk about your reaction to various aspects of FMA! That’s be a lot of fun, and I think it might break the work into chunks that would fit your blog’s format!

    Either that, or you could plan a series of eBooks to tackle each of the series you mentioned! That’s be fun to read, too!

  10. I agree with Lynn in a lot of ways, because I don’t like giving ratings either and telling people what I liked and didn’t liked about a thing seems like a fair option.

    And I feel like I have the correct policy of me rewatching a thing I loved completely before I even touch it again because of some failed Eva posts from a couple years ago. (Can’t wait to rewatch the show and still have no idea what I’m talking about.)

    Anyway, that’s I am missing a lot of shows and things that I watched way before I started blogging on here still. That and my blogging pace is kind of slow…

  11. I don’t give ratings for this reason. I prefer to say what I liked the most and least about the show. Hopefully, the reader can get a sense for how much I enjoyed if from that.

    I don’t see the entertainment is saying something is terrible, especially as it’s just my opinion and other opinions will probably vary.

    I try to review everything but there are some that I haven’t got to yet, but plan on doing soon. I also tend to stick to season reviews, although will do episodes for special events.

    As with anything it’s best to focus on what you enjoy doing. If you’re not enjoying writing a particular review then don’t. Making a challenge out of it can be just as effective. I did a 30 MHA challenge on Twitter that was a lot of fun. May at some point extend it for the blog.

  12. Personally, I always have trouble reviewing “meh” stuff. Like, it would be no fun for me to just say, “well the story was okay and the music was okay and uh it was okay,” hahah. I also think big, well-loved shows are hard to review because it feels like everything has already been said. OR, because there’s TOO MUCH to say, because even 12 episode series can have a million layers to it. it’s tough! I’m not a big review writer because reviewing a whole series is too, idk, broad for me.

    1. TOO much is one of my big problems. Personally I love to read well written reviews – they can really help flesh out an impression of a series r add a new layer which is why I want to figure out how to write them. Not quite there yet.

  13. Something I’d like to bring up is that a lot of people get far too hung up on the idea of “reviews” being the be-all and end-all of content. And a lot of people sort of struggle to define what a “review” is, too; it’s one of the most commonly misapplied words about online writing there is. Many people use the word “review” to refer to pretty much any piece of writing that has a focus on a specific product or work, when that isn’t really an accurate use of the term at all.

    To me, a review is how it was always defined in magazines when I was growing up: it’s a simple, fairly to-the-point article about a finished product and whether or not it is any “good”, whatever that means to you. For some people, “good” means “this is worth spending money on”; for others, “good” means “technically proficient”; for others still, “made my cold, dead heart start feeling again”.

    Because of these varied definitions of what is “good” — and a seeming lack of understanding of the fact that a review is simply one person’s opinion about a product, not an “objective” breakdown of it (as if such a thing were even possible of a creative work) — I make a point of not branding anything I do these days as a “review”, because, well, they’re not. I’m not interested in meticulously going down a checklist of pros and cons, marking off whether it has graphics or how many guns there are in it. I’m simply writing about various aspects of the things I enjoy; if I had to pin them down, I guess they’re “essays” or perhaps “critiques”, but again, those things mean different things to different people. So they’re just “articles” as far as I’m concerned!

    Anyway, point is, try not to sweat the fact that you haven’t “reviewed” some favourite shows… because you’ve written about them in other forms from the sound of things, and writing an article with a figurative big rubber stamp at the end that suggests IRINA APPROVES OF THIS (or otherwise) doesn’t make those already-existing pieces of writing any less valuable or useful to those who want to know about the shows in question.

    Of course, on the flip side, a “review” could be a nice way of summarising and linking to some of those old pieces and getting some Classic Irina some more page views, so I dunno. Anyway. Have a pleasant Saturday!

    1. Thanks Pete! Have an awesome weekend too!
      I agree that reviews are not the ultimate form of discussion or tribute . I do find it easier to write about these shows in essay format when I can concentrate on just a small part or particular element…But I don’t add those to my index page… You can see my problem right?

      1. Is there a way you can rethink your index without a massive overhaul of your site structure? I find my approach is working quite well, where each “topic” (game in my case, anime in yours) has its own Page, and on that page is a brief synopsis, pertinent information, links and shortcodes for “feeds” about that title that make use of categories and/or tags.

        For my Cover Game features, I have two “feeds” on the game’s page: one in chronological order for the main features about the game (so the reader sees the Introduction article first), the other in reverse chronological order for “everything else” (so the reader sees the most recent article first).

        It took a while to set my site up in this way and set up Pages for things I’d already covered by that point, but the effort was worth it for me. Your mileage may, of course, vary!

        1. I have been trying to figure something like that out for a while. I’ve been slowly going over my old posts (I have like 700 or something) to reta them with all the anime titles featured in the posts (I never use to do that) so that I can somehow use the tags to create a topical index

  14. I can relate, there’s a ton of shows I’d love to review but ultimately I think when you can relate to a show on a personal level rather than a critical level its hard to find the words for–or rather its hard to find the words for AND seem like your contributing to some worthwhile discussion. There’s only so many times I can say “I love this anime because it has nipples” before my readers see me for the perverted fraud I really am!

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