One Year Down …

. . . who knows how many more to go?

OK, as tempted as I am to make the above my simple, self-congratulatory one-year anniversary post, I suppose I should write a bit more, huh? :p

It has been a fun first year for me. I got into this blogging business because I enjoy writing about anime, sharing my thoughts and people bouncing their ideas back at me. I’m far from the biggest dog on the block, but I think enough people read and comment on my dinky posts to make this a genuinely rewarding experience for me. (Of course, I don’t want to devalue those who simply read the posts — I like all of you, too! All five of you. :p) I’d still write even if I got nothing, just because I like how much writing forces me to think about each series, but knowing there are a decent amount of people who get something out of all this makes it much easier for me to continue on.

When I started this site, I made the same mistake many others make — I pushed myself too hard and too fast because I didn’t know my limits, nor what the hell I was really doing at the time. Summer ’09 was an unusually good season, and I had no qualms about jumping in on shows in the middle of their runs, so I took on five (!!!) shows at once, which seems insane to me now. (And it wouldn’t be much longer until my brief stints blogging Genshiken, Kare Kano and Monster.) I didn’t have a job at the time, so time wasn’t an issue, but still, that’s a shitload of writing. Unless you are a true madman, then that pace is a difficult task to say the least!

But, hey, I know my limits now, and with every day that passes, I have a clearer idea of just what the hell is up with this UNMEI KAIHEN business. Really, my philosophy is simple: I take what the episode (or series, or whatever) gives to me and work with that. I have my filters and biases, of course, but I try my best not to shoehorn anime into the type of writing I do; rather, I try to keep my writing fluid enough to adapt to the anime. It’s like Spike Spiegel says — you have to be like water. If an episode is serious, I’m serious. If an episode is humorous, I try to be funny. Take High School of the Dead please: I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to write something really serious about it (but more power to those who have) every week, so I adapted and tried something different. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. But that’s the fun of keeping things loose.

Above all, I’ve tried to be smart and fun in how I go about this crazy blogging. I want people to think, but more than that, I want people to enjoy the process of thinking. If someone gets through one of my posts and thinks for even one second, “I didn’t enjoy reading and thinking about this” then I’ve failed. Period. Not everything I pump out is going to be a winner, of course, but I’d much rather people enjoy the experience than not. Hopefully I get closer to that every time I write.

One final thought: There has been a lot said about how closed off the blogging community is, and while there is definite truth to that, the community has been nothing but good to me. I approach it less as an exclusive club and more as just another way to wring an extra bit of enjoyment out of this hobby I love so dearly. Writing about anime and reading other people’s thoughts on anime has helped me love and appreciate this medium more than I did before. I would have liked shows like SDF Macross, Berserk and Simoun plenty on my own, but it’s through reading other people’s thoughts and reflecting them against my own that I love them that much more. I can only hope that I do the same for other people.

Thank you to everyone who has read and supported me through this first year, and I’ll stick with this as long as humanly possible!

36 Responses to “One Year Down …”

  1. I still think you have the coolest weeaboo blog name. UNMEI KAIHEN

    More power!

    • Haha, I wear my weeaboo blog name as a badge of honor!

      Fun fact: I originally registered the site as “The Seven Swell Effect” (from Eureka Seven). UNMEI KAIHEN won out, though, because it is an amusing in-joke among myself and some friends. I was a circle jerker from the beginning!

  2. *clap clap* Congratulations!

    (btw, I still have that e-mail… Do you also keep it close to your heart? *blush*)

    • LOL Of course! (I have no idea what you are talking about! If I ever received an e-mail with unspecified content, it surely does not exist!)

  3. Congratulations on your first year of blogging! Summer 09 was a fun season to start out on, wasn’t it?

    It’s been fun reading your posts and following along on episodics when we’ve watched the same shows. Ookami Kakushi and it’s mind-breaking ridiculous ending comes to mind (oh that show…) Your posts gave the show a good measure of humor and speculation about the plot, well at least until all effort at speculation was destroyed by HUGGING OFF A CLIFF!! !And you watching Macross and writing and tweeting about it was a fun reversal for me, since now I got to see someone new to the franchise experience it as the older fans got to see me as I blogged it. Congratulations once more on living through Macross 7 completing the canon.

    Here’s to the next year ahead, and many more!

    • Thank you, good sir! It’s been fun discovering other people and enjoying shows that much more. The Macross experience has been that much better because I’ve been able to appreciate the series with other people.

      As fun as Ookamikakushi was to blog, I hope I never write about another series as bad as that ever again. :p

  4. What’s with people I thought were older being almost as new as I am…

    But yeah, nice job on lasting a year. I guess I win for being someone who reads but doesn’t comment much. Yay?

  5. Grats on the milestone! WARGH WARGH!!!

  6. Hey Hey! Good job, keep it up. Also, you should note you have 54 subscribers in Reader, so that’s a plus :) Not everyone comments, so… hehe

    Congrats~

    • Indeed, having that many people interested in what I have to say is crazy to me, even if that is just a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things. But, hey, commenters or not, I love my readers!

  7. I remember seeing this blog show up on Animenano the first time. Johan Liebert avatar and unpronouncable name made me think ‘lol stoopid elitist’. :)

    Congrats on the year. Also I gotta get to watching Escaflowne one day so I can complain about how it’s a great show and you just don’t get it…either that, or join you in bouts of shouting UMNEI KAIHEN!

    • Haha, my site’s name is perfectly pronounceable! And thank you very much. :)

      I’m honestly not sure how you would react to Escaflowne, haha. It’s a very good show in the first half (the 7 I gave the series on MAL despite hating most of the second half reflects that), and hey, you might appreciate how nutso it gets in the second half, or you might be as turned off by it as I was. Who knows. The show still looks pretty good (especially if you grab the DVD transfer), too, and the music is wonderful.

      What would shock me most, though, is if you liked the romance. Van x Hitomi is all right but only picks up at the end. Anything involving Hitomi x Allen is the worst thing ever, because Allen is SUCH a wasted, stupid character. (He’s a swordsman and voiced by Shinichiro Miki. How could that fail?! Escalfowne finds a way.) The one relationship I like is of course the one that gets the least amount of time by far.

      But it’s worth it because Dilandau is awesome. He’s a crappy villain in the grand scheme of things because he gets owned so much, but that’s part of his crazy charm. He also has the best facial expressions ever.

      • Sounds like a mix between Guin Saga and Umineko

        *places on to-watch list but not that high, which means I’ll probably get to it sometime in 2013*

  8. Congratulations on reaching this milestone.

    I’m glad that you appreciate our community the way you do. It don’t think the closed gates metaphor works as well as the insular one does. We become an island surrounded by deeper and deeper waters the longer we’re around and the deeper our relationships become with each other.

    It’s how difficult it would seem to someone who’s not a member of the Light Music Club to join it because not only would tastes in music (or cake) differ, the language and intimacy may either turn them off, or really make it hard for them to traverse and reach the club.

    But that doesn’t mean the members aren’t open or welcoming. As much as I love all you OH MY FRIENDS, every anime fan is welcome to our PLANET DANCE.

    Congratulations again and may you grow our community further and share the love for deculture~

    • Yeah, that makes sense. It can be a bit intimidating from the outside, because nobody wants to feel like they’re on the outside looking in all the time. The best solution is to just jump in as best you can. I’m as welcoming to newcomers as possible — without new people, my site would never grow. :)

      And thanks!

  9. I think you do a really good job of conveying your enthusiasm, no matter what series you’re covering. Congratulations on reaching your one year milestone. : )

  10. Congratulations! Your blog was one of the first I started reading after I started later on at the end of 2009 :P It’s been a pleasure. ^_^

    This post lacks Horses though ;) As punishment you need to listen to PLANET DANCE 5 times in a row.

  11. Man, I can’t believe you’ve only been around for a year. Your blog is younger than even mine! (but I bet you get a ton more hits lol). Keep at it, Shinmaru! And may better years follow.

  12. Congrats. The first time I read one of your posts I thought, “now here’s another established blogger I’ve failed to notice.” That is to say, I was really impressed with your content and style. Good stuff.

    • Thanks! I appreciate it. I’ve really enjoyed the reviews you’ve done at The Nihon Review btw. I could never get the hang of a good, even reviewing style, myself, haha.

    • I think I had the same reaction, first time I came across you. I sort of remember being semi-shocked when I learned you’d only been around for like 6 months (at the time).

      Congrats to year 1, cheers to year 2!

      • Haha, I did have about a year’s worth of practice on my personal blog, so I developed my writing style, analytical skill and the craziness to write about way too many shows at once on there!

        Thank you very much!

  13. Mad Bull 34 just finished downloading. If it’s good I will congratulate you. If it sucks I’ll never read your site again.

  14. Congrats on reaching this milestone. A year of writing alone, I wouldn’t have the motivation to keep going that long. I should know, because I totally failed when I first started out. Keep it up!

    • Thanks! I’m usually a loner when it comes to writing, so going at the site alone doesn’t bother me much. :p I’ve thought a bit about taking on another writer, but I don’t know if I’m big enough yet to make it worth it for someone!

  15. Congrats on the milestone~ Keep up the excellent work! =D

  16. Big congratulations to you! :D I’m one of those non-commenters (I’m generally so lazy that I hardly ever comment on blog posts by anyone) but I always really love your posts and talking to you on Twitter. Keep it up!

    • Thanks! I can understand laziness — I read a bunch of people and sometimes just do not feel up to commenting, no matter how awesome the content. When The Lazy hits, it hits hard.

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