The Sunshine and Blogger Recognition Awards 2016

Wow! This year I’ve been nominated for two (!) blogger awards here on WordPress. And seeing as how I have an open article spot thanks to Crunchyroll’s horrid server errors, this is the week to tackle both of these suckers (though if you really need a few recommends for something to watch over the holidays, I shall point you over towards WWW.WAGNARIA!! and Kiss Him, Not Me! for comedy because that’s pretty much all I happily consume in the anime world these days and those two are pretty dang hilarious. OH! And Yuri!! On Ice has some seriously amazing animation. Honestly. It’s worth it just for that, I swear).

recognition-award-logo-2016Alright, let’s take down the more boring stuff, shall we? The Recognition award requires the following tid bits:

  1. Display Award – check!
  2. Thank the person who gave you this award (and include a link to her/his blog). –see nominations below for more info on my nominator, YahariBento!
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started. –might have gone on too long on this one…
  4. Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers. –I’m helpful to no one, let’s be honest
  5. Nominate 15 bloggers –Oh wow uuuuhhh

 

How RARR was Born:
a tale about a survivor of the ye ol’ VHS era

Way, way back (like before there was matter), I had a younger brother. And being the good (usually) older sister that I was, I would always scourge the Internet for reviews on anime before buying it (that’s right sweethearts, no free anime back then. Nope). But way back then, finding reviews, let alone good ones, was a huge pain. Not to mention that they usually only contained the personal opinions of the reviewer rather than any in-depth information on what the show actually contained. And ratings for anime… well, that’s never been all that accurate. It’s actually gotten better over the years (hard to believe, I know). So in the end, I would just watch an unholy amount of shows, either bought on cheap VHS (because DVDs were just starting to kick up, making even hard to get anime tapes cheap) or through Newtype USA (remember that one? Good lord, ADV films….) and get that content info myself.

Fast forward to college and I still did that, even though my brother had been old enough to think for himself for some time. It had become habit. Being a moderator for the Risembool Rangers group was also a factor (I’m now retired as a mod, but still remain semi-active here and there). So when I took a blogging class and had to create a blog, well I figured it was a good time to test out something I had wanted to try for years. My own review blog, with a twist: content reviews. My first posts were graded and originally I wasn’t going to include my personal thoughts on shows at all. But I ended up getting requests to do so from so many classmates that I decided to give it a try.

In the end, I enjoyed what I had made so much that I continued the blog long after the class finished. I’ve been reviewing anime here on WordPress now for years. Though thankfully I did make more than a few changes since graduating college, including better tagging and categorizing systems as well as getting into a far more routine posting schedule. So there you have it.

And I’m pretty sure I broke the rules already by making this too long…

Two Bits for Fellow Bloggers:
What to do and what to avoid, respectively

To Do:
Get ahead! My best months, which often include my best work, occur when I’m around three weeks to a full month ahead of schedule. This means getting the hang of the occasionally glitchy “schedule posts” option on your blog. Trust me though, it’s worth it! Getting sick or hitting a writing block happens. But if you’re already booked for weeks with posts, it won’t hit you as hard. Plus it’s far less stressful. Can’t figure out how to get that far ahead? Try writing two articles to every one. Or use your day off to write three or four at once. And don’t be afraid to look back and ax some of those posts that either don’t get enough traffic or just aren’t working out for your blog in general. Notice how I don’t post Pick of the Month anymore? I figured out over time that it was better for me to focus on writing actual reviews and thought articles than blurbs that do little more than direct you to a new show every month. Especially if that show is new and doesn’t have a review to link back to.

To Avoid:
Don’t be afraid to change your format, schedule or content at any time. It’s easy to think you’re trapped running your blog only one way, but that thinking is perfectionist and will only make writing harder. Make sure you own your blog, don’t let your blog own you! Don’t be scared to take time off when you have to and revamp your site as needed. I have tons of content that went no where because I learned the hard way that it wasn’t for me. I also had times where I would go months without posting here. While I try not to let that happen now, life happens. Let yourself breathe and get through it. Unless your income depends on your blog content (and if you’re reading this, I think that’s highly unlikely), do what you need to. Take care of yourself first. Your blog can wait and so will your followers. I’ve learned that the best followers stick around for you (hey, Artemis and John!).

[I’ve combined my nominations for the Recognition and Sunshine awards below!]

sunshine-blogger-awardBefore we hit a blogging list, let’s take on Artimis’ questions for the Sunshine Awards!

Sunshine Award rules:

  1.  Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog. –Again, see nominations below for more intell on one of my favorite followers, Artemis and their loverly blog!
  2.  Answer the 11 questions posted by the person who nominated you. –easy
  3.  Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions. –actually easy this year thanks to the larger list requirement above
  4.  List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post. –this sounds a lot like the Recognition award, but whatever

What was the first movie you ever saw in a cinema?
The Lion King. Interesting first film seeing as it kinda ripped off Kimba the White Lion…
If you could snap your fingers and be super-talented at any one (non-fantastical) thing, what would it be?
Languages.
Is there any food you absolutely can’t stand?
Mayo. So gross.
Based on your own personality, which Stock Japanese Character would you be?
Harem Nanny. It’s horrible, but pretty much. I have little tolerance for people tip toeing around one another so I’d be prone to just annoying the hell out of the main leads if I were in a show.
addamswednesdayAssuming it was totally safe and you had the time and money, where would you most like to spend a week’s vacation?
Because “assuming it was totally safe” is in there, I gotta say Bermuda Triangle. I gotta. Oh! Or in some deep sea exploration vehicle or one of those really fancy hotels where your room is underwater. Ocean life is my jam. Seriously. I research it for fun. I used to do free presentations of marine wildlife for local schools in my state. I love it to death.
What natural disaster is the most terrifying?
Tsunami. It’s earthquake caused and if the force doesn’t damage and/or kill things, the rot or cold might later.
Have you ever broken any bones and if so, how?
Pretty sure I broke my leg after having slipped on a pencil on the ground. Keepin’ it classy.
Even if you’ve only watched a few minutes, what’s the single worst anime you’ve ever seen?
Diabolik Lovers. Satan thinks it’s a “bit much.”
What charity would you donate a million dollars to?
Streetlight USA.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Loud eating sounds. They make my eye twitch. Not even a child shrieking at the top of their lungs is as bad.
Did you ever believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny, or the tooth fairy?
Nope. I was a very practical child, thank God.

(note on nominees: through this challenge I’ve realized that my blogroll needs serious updating {2017 goal!} as most of the blogs I used to follow have been dead for the last few years. As such, I have a lot of new faces down in my nominations. I have read a bit of each’s newer content, however and all seem to be quality blogs! A thousand thanks to Yahari for introducing me to them via her nominations list. I’ll try to give some good, yet brief, blurbs about each to help you see if you might be interested in them as well. I look forward to reading more material from each in the future!)

My nominations for both the Recognition and Sunshine Awards for 2016:

  1. Otaku Lounge – owner Artemis is one of my top commenters and her insight and differing opinions are always pleasant to read and discuss. While she does go over anime and has some truly wonderful posts on streaming shows, she also posts on culture here and there and her info is always explained and researched well. 10/10 recommend!
  2. Pirates of the Burley Griffin – Another faithful commenter of mine for years, John Samuel’s blog is a nerd cash. While anime is a main focus, he does diverge for other nerdy fare here and there. His thoughts are well written and detailed, but not overly so. Like Artemis, this is the kind of no-nonsense blogger I love.
  3. Lost my Thesis – I’ve followed this blog since my early blogging days! They still create wonderful posts on new shows. A very steady anime blog!
  4. 100 Word Anime – If you want to keep up on series that are trending, this follower of mine might have what you’re looking for. Not only do they post their own thoughts on episodes and overall series, but they also link back to other blogs and media posts discussing various shows and opinions.
  5. Yahari Bento! – This one knows their way around the blogsphere! Yahari was my nominator for the Recognition Award and their links to various other bloggers provided me with some great new blogs to follow! In fact, the rest of my recommends list was thanks to them! Definitely check out their various award posts for great blogger lists as well as anime thoughts and reviews.
  6. Otaku Village – Looking for a blog that doesn’t just go over anime, but culture, VA news and more? This is a good start!
  7. Ruminating Scrawlings – Want a reviewer who makes the five star rating system look pathetic? This is your blog! Good in depth reviews and well thought out impression posts.
  8. I Have a Heroine Problem – It’s not what you think! If you want some more feminism and some great analytical looks into female heroes in anime, this is a wonderful blog!
  9. The Josei Next Door – A lovely blog with thoughts on anime. Well thought out layout and posts.
  10. Frogkun – Ever wonder what an official Crunchyroll writer is thinking? Wonder no more!
  11. Treasure Box – Wonderful blog with in depth reviews, not just of anime, but also live action, with references to directors, actors, etc. This blogger knows their stuff!
  12. No Brand Blog – some nice thoughts on posts and experiences from an anime fan who has been to Japan and wishes to pass along their knowledge to future travelers.
  13. Itadakimasu Anime! – I’m so excited about this blog! Food! From anime! Being recreated! I’m all over this!
  14. Anime and Fandom Life – If you’d like some solid anime reviews with no frilly-ness attached, this is for you!
  15. shcboomer’s blog – If you like the review by episode format, along with a great many images, this blog is up your ally!

Questions for my Nominees:
(if you’ve already been nominated prior, feel free to answer my questions in the comments!)

  1. How much has the first anime you ever watched aged?
  2. If you somehow got yourself into working for an anime company, what job would you likely hold? Direction? Production? Cast? Art?
  3. What’s one Japanese dish you’ve always wanted to try but either never got around to trying or are too scared to try?
  4. If you could become a part of a show just long enough to shake some sense into a character, which show and character would you traumatize?
  5. Which anime (or general) trope do you most want to die?
  6. If another season for an old anime long forgotten were to be announced for next year, what show would you most want it to be?
  7. Japanese or Western sweets?
  8. What two unique genres would you most like to see blending well on screen?
  9. Your top show of this year?
  10. Got any New Years/beginning of the year traditions?
  11. On a scale of one to ten (one being “don’t care either way” and ten being “*explicatives while binge eating chocolate*), how done with 2016 are you?

 

And that’s all folks!

Thank you again to both Artemis and Yahari for nominating me for both awards. I don’t interact with the WordPress community as much as I should. Hopefully 2017 can see that change a bit.
Or at least see my blogroll get a much needed update…

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Site news: Comatose

ngnl03Or I have been, symbolically anyway. For those that have found this site and enjoyed it, I apologize for my recent MIA issues. Real life has been giving me a few curve balls and with more of my time devoted to working, I’ve had less time for anime and, thus, less time for this site. However, I’m trying to get things back into swing. Tomorrow’s review is already written and scheduled with Saturday’s article also in process.

I do enjoy anime and I certainly don’t wish to drop this site entirely, though I am considering various other options for running it as it isn’t always easy (or possible) for me to keep up with writing a review a week. In addition to looking into having more guest reviews on here, what other things would you guys be interested in with a blog like this? Let me know in the comments or send me an email with any suggestions you might have (or to inquire about doing a guest review OR to suggest some shows you’d like reviewed next).

Other than that, enjoy tomorrow’s review and happy autumn!

News: Death of the “website” info

Back in the day, companies made a big deal of a show, many creating individual websites for them (some using fancy flash and everything). But I’ve noticed over the last year just how few shows have individual sites anymore. In fact, usually FUNimation is the only company left with specific pages for their shows.
Considering how many sites report on shows these days, with Anime News Network being the largest, companies have gradually realized how much pointless work goes into these individual pages. And thus, as nice as many of them were, series’ sites have met their end.

And so has that bit of info in my reviews. But I just couldn’t make that spot bare, so we have a new, likely more useful, addition. Company. This will tell you who has the current rights to the anime in America. If you live elsewhere in the world, my apologies. However, due to quite a few licenses being streaming only now, more often than not you might find that the company owning the show might work in your country as well. It’s still not as universal as I’d like, but we’re making some progress in the right direction.

In any case, I hope this info helps, although I will warn that if a review was posted years ago, you best double check. Anime companies are not immortal over here. The licensing just might have changed.