My aniblogging resume is sorely lacking.
Last season was a complete mess. With my long awaited Violet Evergarden locked behind Netflix’s notorious simulcast schedule (or lack-thereof), I settled for my holy trinity of anime: fantasy, slice of life, and drama-the usual seasonal palate when starting off a new season. As someone who loved the light novels, Overlord promised a strong second season, with Grancrest Senki and Death March to Another World filling up the fantasy plate. Citrus would inevitably Yuri bait my group in the name of trashy fun, while Yuru Camp and Mitsuboshi Colors became the sweet, diabetes-inducing dessert of the season. The hype train for Evergarden may have been abruptly postponed, but the season promised all of my favorite genres on one platter. But I have a confession to make.
As of today, I haven’t finished a single one of them.
The Requisites of Anime Blogging
I recently met a fellow anime lover in the wild. A quick compliment on his rather stylish Tokyo Ghoul-esque mask (that’s still trendy, right?) and we kicked it off, talking about various shows over coffee and sweet tea. It was a pleasant exchange; transitioning from our favorite shows to the current season, while I not-so-subtly slid my blog into the conversation. But there was one comment from him that struck me as odd once we said our goodbyes.
“Oh, you only finished two shows last season?”
In context, I knew his comment was made more for the sake of idle chatter rather than some weird elitist remark, but I couldn’t help feeling slightly flustered. Is the heart and soul of an aniblogger not the ever-increasing size of their MAL; that strange standard that somehow marks a blogger’s experience in the aniworld? Are we not meant to be at the forefront of seasonal discussions? I know some bloggers that are reading this have thought the same, and I wanted to ask.
Why should we?
Why do we feel obligated to keep up with every show, regardless of our own taste? For me, it was a feeling of inadequacy. That because I’m part of the aniblogging community, I had to keep up. I mean, I’ve already figured out that Karanda is actually an A.I programmed to churn out well-written reviews on the daily with little regard for food, sleep, or writer’s block. And TPAB’s massive review list is getting so large his pants couldn’t hide it even if he wanted them to.
But that’s just how it is.
I admit I take great pleasure in adding new shows to my MAL. I’m sure many fans and bloggers alike can relate to watching that “days of anime watched” bar grow. Some even obsess over it. There’s this notion that bloggers must be experts in their niche to be relevant. That means watching all the anime, from the obscure to the classics. So to the few people that I’ve surprised when I said “No, I’m not following those shows this season,” I’ll say this.
“No, I’m not an expert on anime. I just blog about it.”
Because what makes your aniblog “relevant” isn’t simply defined by the countless hours of anime you consume. It’s what you bring to the community: some draw our fellow bloggers into thought-provoking discussions, or write in-depth analyses with their knowledge of flowers, and still others just make anime a bit more fun. As for myself?
There is only one requisite for being a blogger. Write. Whether it’s good or bad, write with a passion. As I finished the outline for this post, I had to wonder if I wrote this piece solely for myself-reassurance that I’m still an aniblogger. Maybe I’ll look back and find it silly; obsessing over insignificance, desperately scrambling for words while others are sleeping the night away.
But for now, this post is confirmation that I can still write what I want.
Just as a disclaimer, no offense was meant towards the one that posed the initial question. In fact, he was great to hang around and an overall chill dude.