jpmeyer on Anime Blogging (history, nature, growth and decline)

Original Post: Is The Anime Blog Dying Out?

jpmeyer

February 7, 2011 at 11:00 am

Two other things:

1) The first big bump in anime blogging occurred in 2006, which comes as no surprise since that was also the peak year in anime production.

2) The decline in anime blogging can also be somewhat attributed to the rise in fansubbing. Anime blogging started out as mainly consisting of blogs that posted episode recap summaries back around 2004 or so, and that model really endured for years despite becoming increasingly obsolete. There was a demand for these since not everything was being fansubbed and what was being fansubbed could still take a while to come out. And when I say a “while” here, I don’t mean being butthurt over it taking a couple hours for subs to come out. I mean taking weeks to show up.

As a concrete example, people Garten and Momotato got large audiences when they would post episode summaries of My-Hime because the subs for the show were almost two months behind and it allowed (the many) people that were following raws to understand the parts of the episode that they couldn’t follow purely based on the visuals alone. Subs still weren’t really coming out for everything (or in a quick turnaround) until around 2007 or 2008, so there was a need for these recap blogs to provide a place with information about shows.

I would also attribute the constant decrease in anime production as a source of declining need for anime blogs since it’s a lot easier now to watch everything that you want to watch in a given season. We noticed that we were writing episode summaries for something like a dozen shows per season back in 2006. Right now, there’s only about 4 or so shows per season we even watch.

Additionally, Wikipedia took a while to take off. Nowadays, there are pages for anime up well before they even air. My-Hime didn’t even have a Wikipedia page until it had nearly aired, so if people wanted to find out about it, it was blog time. It’s almost like why there are no “fan pages” any more. There’s just no need for them. Similarly, there’s no point for most people to write episode recap blogs any more. People will have seen the episode.

Finally, has anyone ever really stopped to think if maybe the whole “anime blog” thing is kind of weird? I’m really having trouble thinking of some sort of equivalent for Western TV and film. It’s more like Television Without Pity-ish forums, or posts on professional sites which basically serve more as a comment thread for people to talk about the show like they would in a forum. I never see stuff like “Here are my thoughts about moe, and by moe I mean women in Ice Road Truckers. And then tomorrow I’ll ‘interpret’ Dancing On Ice With The Stars.” Or “Here are the plots of this weekend’s movies”?

jpmeyer February 7, 2011 at 11:07 am

Oh, one more thing:

In fandom studies, one reason that fans are drawn to fan activities and purchasing memorabilia is an attempt to extend the pleasure derived from the object of one’s fandom. Think about if you’re a fan of say, Firefly. You watch the show a few times, but then if you want more Firefly-related enjoyment, you’ve gotta do other things than watch the show. I’d wager that part of the growth of anime blogging had to do with there only being so much accessible anime back in the day (even if the amount produced by Japan had been higher), so people needed to come up with other things to do if they wanted some more “anime experience”.

 

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