1. I think I always wanted to be a blogger, maybe even before blogs existed at all. Or, that is to say, I wanted a place where I could comment on my interests and share them with others, and from the moment I first learned what the Internet was, I had a feeling that I’d find something on it that would meet those needs.
2. Sadly, desire and even a knack for writing don’t automatically transform to success in this pursuit. Blogging isn’t just about writing and posting your own entries, even with a noble “quality over quantity” mindset, but also being an active reader and commentator on other blogs. I realize that to many people this is a simple and painfully obvious principle, and one that’s probably made many (most?) successful blogs what they are today. I’ve made an active attempt to do this myself but have never been prone to casually comment on someone’s blog unless I’ve felt that I can really contribute an opinion of real worth or meaning to an author’s post or readers’ discussion. Commenting for its own sake has always felt wasteful to me and has made writing this writing exercise somewhat of a struggle.
3. How then, do you explain this horribly unnecessary entry? I don’t know, the whole matter was a non-event and it was probably pointless to attempt to pontificate over its real “meaning” for more than a sentence or two. This is the sort of thing I’d like to avoid from now on.
4. I really love anime, but do I love it enough to justify having a blog partially-devoted to it? I watch it 2-3 days per week, which has been enough to satisfy my regular craving for escapist fantasy. But could it be that many of the other bloggers out there that I follow are living in it for five, six, seven days a week? I look across the blogosphere and see bloggers writing thousand-word entries on individual episodes of K-On and So Ra No Wo To, already expressing strong opinions on these shows and ideas about where they’re headed after only a handful of episodes had aired. I’d guess that these are at least a year or two away from being released on DVD in the US, which for the most part is how I come to obtain the series I watch. As of now I only have a vague idea as to what these shows are about, but already they’re yesterday’s hype online as the new season in Japan gets underway. By the time I get my hands on them, they’ll be about as relevant to the anime blogosphere elite as early seasons of Naruto are today. I only just figured out how to download torrents, but do I want to invest time in keeping up with these new series? I’m not sure.
5. I tend to bemoan the fact that the most passionate anime fans online are usually the ones following new/current series, apparently not buying DVDs or watching older titles, and not engaging in the hobby in any way that overlaps with my usual habits. This is an ironic stance to take given how I tend to use the Internet to find so much music that’s outside of the mainstream and often unavailable through traditional means, and don’t align or concern myself with the habits of most music fans or the kind of ongoing dialog they hold online. Why it should rub me the wrong way that so many people want to download freshly-aired, single-episode torrents of Chu-Braa!! or Dance in the Vampire Bund — two more programs that all the cool anime blogs I found last year are suddenly enamored with, much to my unprovoked disdain — and then devote two-thousand word write-ups with 20+ screenshots to them is a mystery. I’ve always wished that people would give more consideration to the films, books, music, and all the media they enjoy rather than quickly consuming and disposing of it as they’re so apt to do. Here’s a community of fans lovingly chronicling and reexamining a medium that I love to treat with a great amount of seriousness, and I have nothing but critical words for them?
6. I guess what bothers me about episodic blogging in general is that I just can’t find any use for it. Who is it written for? Readers who’ve already watched the episode themselves? Readers who haven’t? A detailed recap and a dump of screencaps would be redundant and pointless for the former, spoiler-ridden and useless to the latter. Is it possible to infer anything meaningful from a single episode without jumping to conclusions and making snap judgments? Is this kind of blogging just a way for fans to foster a deeper connection with a series, even if they’re only writing for themselves? When it comes to anime, I suppose I tend to treat series in the same way I would a novel, where the individual chapters only take on a real sense of meaning when they’re all together. Other bloggers seem more prone to treat them like albums, in which each song is worthy of individual examination and appreciation on its own.
7. Do I really think this approach is flawed or “wrong,” or do I simply lack the energy to summarize and dissect episodes in such minute detail myself, and need to summon up a justification to excuse myself from it? How often am I invalidating the viewpoints of others simply because they’re not right for me?
8. If I hate anime fandom so much, why do I go to such lengths to try to inject myself into it?
9. Do I blog just to satisfy and fulfill an identity-bound need to believe that I’m a thoughtful, critical and discerning person? Hasn’t telling myself this every day for the last 15 years or so been enough? Does everyone reach a point where they “get over themselves” and recognize the unimportance of having a great number of cultured opinions or a sense of expertise on trivial matters? Or does digging deeper into your obsessions, as harmless but petty as they might be, eventually have its reward?
10. Is my inability to regularly connect with others over what should be a wealth of common interests and experiences (point #2) a symptom of a deeper unresolved problem? Do most people take more than a week to compose a simple blog entry? Do I suffer from a real inability to recognize thematic and social connections, or do I just overanalyze every opportunity to communicate until I paralyze myself? I think about this stuff a lot and wonder, is there something wrong with my thought process, or is it possible that everyone feels this way?
11. Am I blogging because I really have something to say about the things I enjoy? Or is it because I want to push myself to take a more active and observant role in the way that I consume media and use the Internet, and hope that the interesting observations will begin to form as a result?
12. Where would my interests lead me tomorrow if it weren’t for the Internet? If I cannot answer that question, or cannot imagine them existing in an Internet-free world, then how important are they to me?