12 Days of Anime, #7: Going Pro

I don’t know what I’m doing here, guys. Don’t have a goddamn idea. I started out on friggin’ reddit with a post about Nisemonogatari, and now I’m ANN’s official Monogatari analyst. That’s worth noting, right? I’m happy about how things have turned out, but am generally too stressed and busy to actually revel in it, which I guess is how this writing thing goes no matter how you’re doing? I hope?

ANN's job offer was very convincing

ANN’s job offer was very convincing

But yeah, being picked up as first a streaming reviewer and then a staff critic was a pretty big thing for me this year, and has certainly changed my relationship with anime in some subtle and not-so-subtle ways. It’s interested reading reviews now – my first response to seeing someone else’s criticism is to immediately break down the structure, see how much focus they dedicate to each element of the production, think about their use of tone, etc. The review mill is a hungry beast, and so I’ve had to get even more mercenary in my watching choices, but that lack of flexibility is countered by the satisfaction of the work I do. The preview post is a hellish thing, but it’s also kind of freeing, in that it’s nice to just watch a bunch of terrible shows and actually feel accomplished for it. I actually had less time to just goof around with bad shows prior to ANN – now I have an excuse to watch a bunch of random crap because I’m on the clock. I’m also trying to learn how to marathon, which is difficult for me, but it’s a process.

At least watching bullshit gets me some great out-of-context screencaps

At least watching bullshit gets me some great out-of-context screencaps

We’ll see where it goes from here. I’ve spent the last month slamming my head against the wall as I move the site to my own hosting, and I’m hoping the advertising that allows will let me inch just a little bit closer to full time between ANN and the stuff I write here. It’s been a hectic year, but I don’t regret any of it. I hope you’ll all stay with me as I keep stumbling on!

8 thoughts on “12 Days of Anime, #7: Going Pro

  1. A really sincere congratulations to you, man, for getting to the point where you could go pro! You’re a great writer and a great person and you deserve all the success you’ve had to this point.

    I hope everything works out well with the self-hosting so we can keep on getting more Bobduh around here. I’m sure I don’t speak for just myself when I say you’re an inspiration for us smaller bloggers to believe that maybe someday we too can make pennies a day by writing about anime.

    • Thank you! I really appreciate that, and will keep working hard to push this site as far as it can go. Who knows, maybe soon I’ll actually be making quarters a day.

  2. Congrats. In my opinion, you deserve it. Your writing is thoughtful and and consise, with a real personality and sense of humor behind it. And the topic – reading first your reddit posts and then your blog, seeing what you do and how and why you do it, has made me far better at analysing and understanding the anime I consume. Picking up on themes in the writing, understanding what’s conveyed by the direction and art, noticing when the director is trying to create a certain emotional tone and how they’re doing that, basic stuff like that. (The other thing that’s helped is a lot of time spent on TVTropes.)

    So, thanks. I really enjoy reading what you write. It’s good to see you getting some recognition for it, and I hope that continues.

  3. Fantastic-maybe you could explain to me the draw of Monogatari? I sat through the first half of Monogatari because a friend raved about it—he was a big Senjougohara fan–but though I could appreciate the clever dialogue, it never really clicked with me. Araragi was not a very interesting protagonist to me so I wonder why people enjoy the series so much?

    • If i may.
      In no particular order:
      – characters (and their quirks, basically every character is ‘awesome’ in its own way)
      – style (head tilts, etc)
      – fanservice (besides the obvious, a lot of what characters do and say could also be considered fanservice (Araragi, Shinobu,etc))
      – the literal aspects (dialogues)
      – the thematic aspect (philosophies, etc)|
      – music
      – harem (+ romance)
      – all kinds of fetishes, monogatari is all about that

      What i dislike about monogatari is that characters often behave in certain way for the sake of behaving that. Not for the thematic point, but as service to the fans.

    • The appeal for me is largely in its aesthetics. Monogatari isn’t the show I go to when I want to gawk at gorgeous animation, but nearly every shot is beautifully composed.

      And like evafan mentioned, its characters are some of the best. It’s not gonna be apparent to you right away. The last arc sold me on the notion that there was something meaningful here. If you’re invested in any of the characters by that point, I’d recommend sticking with it, if not then it’s probably not your kind of show.

      When you get around to Second Season (after Bake, Nise, and Neko-Black) then you’re in for a treat. It’s not that I think everything preceding is bad. It’s just that the arcs are limited in their perspective. Second Season separates from Araragi’s POV and lets the rest of the cast realize their full potential.

      So yeah, it’s all about investment. It’s not the neatest series in execution, but it’s definitely one of the most rewarding ones.

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