Today, December 20th, marks the 1 year anniversary of my anime blog. And since it’s in the middle of the 12 Days of Anime, let’s double up this anniversary with an appropriately themed 12 Days post. The topic for today is about something central to the beginning of my anime blog and something I learned over the course of this year. My whole system of classifying anime through the tags of Brain On/Brain Off never really made sense, caught on, or was used by others. You could even say: it was never a good idea.
Before starting my anime blog, I tried to invent or recreate a system for how I’d categorize the anime I watched and into a ranking system of sorts. One of the first things I noticed with all the anime I liked was that there were some enveloped me in their characters and stories, made me think and then rethink, and inspire me in various ways. And then there were some dumb fun anime that were the embodiment and manifestation of entertainment, making me laugh and amused and generally joyful or elated. Both anime have completely different styles, positives, and are even different in how we watch and evaluate them. It was then I decided to separate these anime based on their styles with the story/character-driven anime were given Brain On and the entertaining/relaxing/guilty pleasure anime getting Brain Off. It was hard to identify some but deep down, you knew which one belonged in which category.
With this simple new system in place, I decided to use it with my anime blog with hopes that it would catch on and that others would use it, too. I realized at the time they were delusions of grandeur but I went ahead with it and tried to make a post explaining the difference between the two with examples to clarify. And the system was fine at first but these coined terms were never really utilized to their potential when I began finding interest in writing various analyses and tangential posts on various topics. And then came the anime that were both story/character driven and had high entertainment value that was the one big flaw in the system. Where do they go? And what about anime that change overtime, how do they fit in? With me using the terms less and less and only for tagging purposes, it’s no surprise the terms were never picked up by others. Why would they use these systems when the creator of them wasn’t even using them? Eventually, they’ve grown to become a forgotten relic of when I began my anime blog a year ago today.
So after this first year of anime blogging and watching roughly 50 new anime, I’ve learned a thing or two. The biggest mistake I made was with the Brain On/Brain Off system but there were others, too. I never really excelled or grew proficient with my creative writing ability like I had hoped for. I still struggle from time to time with certain analyses and often make wrong predictions, a reason why you won’t find any post about Mami in Madoka here (since I brushed it off and thought it was just an elaborate act planned by Kyubey and Mami, so I never found the scene shocking). And something I flat out don’t make sense or go on rambles that don’t add to anything besides my word counts. But the good thing about making these mistakes and identifying from them is that I’m learning from them and that I can improve. I made a ton, almost an unimaginable amount, of progress during the past year, too. But I tend to look at my mistakes and work on them as areas to improve and better myself with. And after one year watching anime, blogging about it, and connecting with other anime fans, I look back and see where I can make myself better. Now the next step, what I will do in this upcoming year, is taking the action to improve. Let’s see what we can do in 2012!