Wednesday, February 4, 2009

An update for those not in the loop

I don't think this blog has ever had much readership outside of primarily a circle of my personal friends, but if you aren't among them and you've ever checked this site, I apologize for not updating recently. Things have been hectic and I have a lot on my plate, in one way or another.

Surprisingly, each review I write takes up a considerable amount of time, and it's difficult to find much time to crank out any decent ones--at least by my standards--these days, between work, personal responsibilities, and continued attempts to learn Japanese.

To give you an idea of the time involved in a review for me, here's how I normally do it:

First, I watch the series at least twice. Often things are different the second time we see them, after we have acclimated ourselves somewhat to the creators' styles, or whatever. Or I just miss things the first time through. Either way, I think it's remarkably unfair to write a review of something I haven't seen at least twice. Occasionally the second run-through will only be a skim over, just a review of various scenes and whatnot, but generally I try to go through it completely twice. This is why you will probably never see me write a full review for any of the long-running serial shonen series. I caught up on most of them once, and I hated most every minute of it, so I am not putting myself through that again <_<.

Then I make a version of the review that is as closely tied to my own personal opinion as possible. What did I personally think of the show? What aspects was I arbitrarily biased against? Were there aspects I gave too much credit for some reason? During the nest few steps I try and remove as much of this as I can, or at least distance myself from it somewhat. Objectivity is an ultimately impossible goal, but it doesn't do anyone else that much good just to tell people my base personal feelings on a show, now does it?

Next it is time to actually write the review, after which I try to make sure it doesn't totally suck before posting it anywhere. I generally fail in this pursuit, but I try hard, and that's gotta be worth something.

I've always considered the idea of doing more informal reviews and/or short responses to individual episodes and series, like many very popular blogs, but I never really got evaluating anime on an episode to episode basis. It's a complete work, why not just treat it as such?