Recap Episode. For Those New to Anime Blogs!

It being the end of the year and all, I felt it to be a suitable time to make a quick stop and do a recap episode, similar to Code Geass episode 8.5 or the many Gundam Seed Destiny ones. For the sake of new readers unfamiliar with this community/medium of anime discussion, I shall now go into a bit of the history, lingo and styles.

Not sure if there’s an official anime blogging history book, but the first anime blogger seems to be Jeff Lawson, who has since moved on to a new anime blog. He pioneered the style of reviewing and recapping every anime episode he saw, adding comments and analysis in a blog-like style. This was unheard of back in the old days of 2-3 years ago (?). Forums were no longer sufficient in satisfying anime fans worldwide’s appetite for the latest anime stuff and this new format was a welcome addition.

Anime blogging caught on and soon, there was a substantial number of people from all over the world doing episode summaries and reviews, with the occasional editorial. These blogs were all linked by blogrolls but could not be truly considered a community. Then it was the age of RSS aggregators, which collect the latest posts from many anime blogs into a single page for easy browsing and thus a community was born. Bloggers started linking and referring to each others’ posts and the anime blogosphere became far more connected. The most prominent of aggregators was Anime Blog Toshokan, which later became Blogsuki early this year. However, as more and more anime fans started their own blogs, there was a new need for a far less exclusive aggregator site which would have options for filtering. Hence, Hung, of Basugatsubakuhatsu, started Animenano.

Besides these two, there’s also the Animeblogger antennae, which lists a lot of sites as well. AB is the host for many anime bloggers, including Tsubaki’s Anime Desho Desho and Random Curiosity. AB is a free service created by Maestro4k, paid for out of his own pocket. It’s the single largest group of anime bloggers actually.

As more people started blogging, individual styles started to shine through. This site, RIUVA, typically focuses on figurine news and reviews, and when an anime series is either really awesome or plain bad, I’ll talk about it. Other faucets of Japanese modern culture, such as cosplay, jpop etc are also covered here occasionally. Once in a while you’ll see quizzes, joke posts and other fun and games too. For new visitors, read this article on the truth about the Japan anime industry.

Now let us look at the various blogs and what they are known for. This could be a good list for new readers to start with. I’ll use my blogroll as a base to work with.

  • Anime Bloggers

    • Anime Desho Desho? Tsubaki’s blog. This 19 year old film major with a coconut haircut is very in-tune with Singaporean readers, doing special features on local events, deals and people. It’s a good site to read when you want to find out the latest gossip, sensationalised news and even find out more about the people behind the blogs.
    • Basugasubakuhatsu Hung is the resident computer whiz and the God of Animenano. This American specialises in reviews and first impressions of anime series, especially when the new seasons arrive. Recently organised a karaoke competition, which I actually entered and hope to lose badly. He’s also the host of the Animenano Podcast, a weekly session of anime discussion, together with Hinano and JP Meyer.
    • DarkMirage A 40 year old in a 17 year old’s body. This 17 year old Singaporean is an avid ero-gamer and has achieved the status of JLPT 1, making him probably the blogger most proficient in Japanese around here. His forte is doing crazy stuff (ONLINE) like registering a Code-Geass.com domain and spoofing the Haruhi website. Also a cult hero of the Haruhiists worldwide, for his contributions in getting the Noisy one immortalised in Yahoo’s time capsule project. You can spot him on the street with his "Hi, I’m Darkmirage" t-shirt.
    • Ex-Fansubber Hitori Goto Hinano is a Real Girl. That’s so rare on the internet! She’s an American with some Russian blood and loves Asian guys. Recently cosplayed as Suzumiya Haruhi at some American convention. Her site is one of the quickest when it comes to the review of the latest anime episodes, long before they actually get subbed. Why? Cos she was a fan subber!
    • Hontou ni Taihen desu Stripey, Shocking Siscon! This middle-aged Singaporean has a penchant for loving younger sisters, and is the Subject Matter Expert on the internet for this. Check his site out if you think you love younger sisters too. He is partners (not literally) with Zyl.
    • Houtou ni Sou Omou Zyl the Lunamaria festishist. Madly in love with the Gundam "female warrior", he owns at least 20 Luna figures and 30 posters. Also a middle-aged man in Singapore (HAH), he occasionally delves into very complex essays on anime fandom, with issues pertaining to sexism in anime, evolution and even quantum physics.
    • Ikimashou! Digiwombat’s News Site! For the latest figurine and anime news, check this fat American’s site out. He weighs 200 kg but nevertheless trawls the net for the latest news and updates in the Anime Kingdom. Very useful when you are just too lazy to do your own research. He also runs Oniichan no Ecchi!, which is a platform for intelligent discussion in the world of adult doujinshi.
    • Kurogane is one from the 2nd generation of anime bloggers. A first year university student in Malaysia, he provides a great look into the anime affairs of that nation, as well as being in-tune with the latest 4-chan memes and fads. A good way to know about the dirty part of animedom without actually getting dirty.
    • lolicontrol Kwok, the psycho lolicon. If you have attained a certain nirvana, you can now read this 20 year old Singaporean’s site. Officially one of the Akiba-sub species of human beings, he favours 2D drawings over real girls, Touhou soundtracks over all other music and draws his own CG and doujinshi. With razor sharp wit and sacarsm, he also has great jokes to laugh at. But only updates when he surfaces from the more serious hobby of anime art and Touhou shooting.
    • Matthew’s Anime Blog is one of the first bloggers. He covers reviews, news and almost anything. Especially magical girls.
    • Memento This is probably the site you would go for anime episode reviews. Featuring very detailed reviews and comments, it’s also one of the most widely-read anime sites on the net.
    • Minaide Hazukashii John Paul Meyer, aka JP Meyer the Grad Student of Anime Studies. He’s doing his PhD at NYU and it involves a lot of academic research and papers on anime. He’s part of the 3rd wave of blogs, similar to this site. Browse his site to find out why he’s widely known to be the king of anime editorials.
    • Moetron is a news site as well, which focuses more on anime news. It’s also the only anime blog to have been featured in a Japanese magazine, in a two page spread in Ican’trememberwhat mag.
    • orz We have the avatar of Internet rage here. Drmchrso is permanently angry and ranting at anything that moves. His pet peeves include Hongfire, fansubbers, ODEX and Jason Miao.
    • Happy Soda Widely known to be the best figurine photographer around, his indoor sets have attained divine cult status. Be sure to read his tutorials on indoor photography!
    • Random Curiosity Along with Memento, RC sits on the throne of episode reviews, thanks to the crew’s comprehensive, well-capped and detailed summaries.
    • Wakaranai Washi the Australian is most well-known for his and friends’ amazingly indepth dissection of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.
  • Based in Japan

    • Danny Choo is a Storm Trooper who prowls the mecca of Tokyo, for the latest in figurine, gadget and Japan news. He also does a mighty fine job of reviewing them too! Danny is a good example of someone who strived hard to succeed in Japan as a foreigner, so budding Japan-workers, be sure to check out his About page.
    • Heisei Democracy Shingo, who is about to leave his current job as an English teacher in Japan for work in the eroge industry, is the authority on all things Moe and Akiba. His indepth articles, especially on the subject of the famed M word, has garnered attention even in the commercial world of anime.
  • Hobby Sites

    • Akiba Blog For the latest info on figurines, Akiba blog (fully Japanese) is the place to go. They get their figures to review even earlier than the release date.
    • Urban Attic Funan the IT Mall’s figurine and toy store.

So what are the advantages of adding anime blogs to your internet reading list?

  • You get to keep up to date with the latest series straight from Japan.
  • You will know which series are good and bad, thanks to these nerds watching anything that resembles a Japanese cartoon and talking about it.
  • You get to meet a lot of new friends, some even offline!
  • Your new friends will talk to you about your hobby much more than your reallife friends can.
  • Your knowledge will improve by leaps and bounds, and you can impress all your n00b friends who only watch Naruto and Bleach.
  • You will know so much, that you can actually answer the quizzes on this site.
  • You will see so many pretty pictures, funny parodies and hilarious posts that you’ll never want to go back to forums ever again!
  • You can save time on surfing forums, because those are less organised and full of trolls.
  • You will no longer need to scour around the net for news, as everyone talks about the latest stuff.
  • You can even skip the anime itself, since some summaries are so indepth, it’s like watching the show.
  • You can become famous just by posting comments on well-read sites.

Go read some anime blogs right now! And for those who already do, post a comment on your favourite blogs, who got you started and anything else!

45 Responses to “Recap Episode. For Those New to Anime Blogs!”


  • a very in depth and rather insightful entry.. good job…

  • I’d say that’s about right.

    Thanks for the Yuki pic. I didn’t have that one.

  • For the last time, I don’t have a coconut hairstyle. AND GASP HOW CAN U NOT MENTION THAT HIRANO AYA IS GOD AT ADD? lol.

    Good write up. Certainly a good introduction to anyone that’s new to the anime blogging scene.

  • First anime blogged was JASCII who in like 2002-2003 ran a anime raw summary blog site. In 2003 I had one as well in geocities and it was like screencap/summary format webpage rather than a blog. Bah tj you n00b ;)

    Oh and I don’t really have an obsession with asian guys anymore…I mean I’m dating JPmeyer now XD

  • Nice, really detailed for anyone who need some guidance.

  • Yes, please link to this page all LOL.

    Anyway,

    Tsubaki: Then explain that shape on your head you call “hair”.

    Hinano: When’s the wedding? Are you video conferencing it so we can all attend? And I didn’t really research a lot into the history of blogdom. Bah.

  • LOL? Get famous through trolling. How true indeed.

  • I got started on by reading random curiousity. Interestingly i don’t read it anymore. haha

    Favorites would be Danny’s novastorm and Hinano’s. And memento’s as well.

  • JASCII and Momotato ( http://www.momotato.com/ ) pioneered the style adopted by practically everyone years later.

  • “Your knowledge will improve by leaps and bounds, and you can impress all your n00b friends who only watch Naruto and Bleach.”

    So true. Rofl.

  • yer … anime blogs do allow people to discuss stuffs they normally can’t with their supposedly ‘normal’ friends ..

    but no matter how much I read … I can never answer all the question on your quizzes …. >_

  • Indeed, no discussion of anime blog history can be complete without the mention of JASCII and Momotato. But I’ll like to think it’s Jeff who carried on their legacy to the full global movement it is today.

    Man, I miss Momotato and his caps.

  • Godly post !!!

  • I’ll admit to being one of the first, but as has been pointed out, there were others who came before me, the most notable being Momotato and Hayama (JASCII’s site was valuable and influential, no doubt, but it wasn’t really a blog in the traditional sense). The episode-by-episode style I adopted was pretty much a copy of what Momotato was doing, and it wasn’t until he linked me that I started seeing much traffic. I suppose I was probably the first person to blog in that style using a CMS, however, so perhaps I was the first of the “modern” anime bloggers? Other old vets include Matthew, the Sea Slugs crew, and Garten over at Memento.

    Oh, and I’d be remiss not to mention Anime Blog Muyo!, a joint venture between myself and RadicalBender (and later, Sara of SpokeyDokey and Reika at Tokyo Jupiter.) It was one of the first “commentary” style anime blogs, and predated my individual efforts by a year or two. It was my proving ground, so to speak, and I owe a lot to RadicalBender for getting me started.

  • Hmmmm, I definately think I need to troll comments sections more often ^^

  • I’d have to say that MY favorite blog would be IKIMASHOU BECAUSE RANDALL IS SO SEXY AND NOT FAT. GOD DAMNIT.

    It’s McDonald’s fault. I’d move to Singapore and hang out with you guys, but I’m too racist to not end up in prison. BWAAHAHAHA.

    Also, RIUVA is one of only four blogs that I have on my RSS reader. SO CONSIDER YOURSELF SPECIAL, HAN… calling me fat… fucker.

  • Oi, it was PC/anime mag “Windows100%.” But I would’ve been just satisfied with a description that read, “some guy who’s known for his extensive coverage on Powerpuff Girls Z.” :r

    Oh and for me, my true inspiration came from Matthew of “Matthew’s Anime Blog.” And yes he was mentioned in the interview.

  • *claps* Good job. Very interesting. Okay, I just woke up, don’t expect me to say anything thought-provoking.

  • Good post. I should check out on the links.

  • bjorn: What? You haven’t?

    pKjd: Whoops. I knew it had the word windows somewhere.

    Randall: You are probably average sized in the US. Although if you lived in Singapore, the police’ll arrest you on charges of obesity.

    Jeff: I saw your site first, and I think that was way after Momotato (who actually scored full marks on one of my quizzes!!!!! TAKE THAT YOU GUYS!) stopped updating regularly. Thanks for the first person perspective!

  • rofl @ You can spot him on the street with his “Hi, I’m Darkmirage” t-shirt.
    and totally agrees to this Your knowledge will improve by leaps and bounds, and you can impress all your n00b friends who only watch Naruto and Bleach. Good job Tjhan.

  • I was pretty much doing a mental checklist while reading this article. I pretty much visit most of these blogs on a regular basis. Though I need to update my blog roll.

  • Nice post tj_han, but you forgot about the e-Drama and thousand of fat yaoi fangirls stuff.

  • To tj_han,

    Nice recap. What’s next? Which anime is best for 2006?
    I would like to know what you think.

    From
    Waterfall

  • I always find it easier to spot Tsubaki. Seriously easy.

  • Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! your blog is awesome, keep it up!

  • Moeyo and Akiba-blog are two different sites. For shame!

  • DM: Yeah I know that, but I labelled Moeyo wrong. I added it to my bloglist when it was still called Moeyo! Akibablog or something. Must change.

    Zanza: Merry christmas to you too! And everyone else. Let’s celebrate Jesus day!

    bjorn: How true. You know how DM always sneaks up on you and stands behinds your back without a word for a few minute until you feel something hard poking you. While you can spot Tsubaki a while away with his headgear.

    Waterfall: I won’t do the Best of 2006 type post because I actually forgot what I watched this year. I probably saw 3-digits of anime series. And since I also watch completed series. If I had to say, the best series I watched would be Planetes and GItS SAC, none of which are this year’s.

    Deathy: Let’s not go into that.

  • @bjOrN : Why ??

    @Everyone: Mina Meri Kurisumasu !!

  • Hmm…lets see…I read 10 of the sites you posted out there on a near-daily basis…

    1 qns though, why is AoMM not featured here? I’ve always thought AoMM is a nice read. :D

  • whoa, another level up for me ^_^
    and since I don’t have any personal internet connection (always using internet cafe), I use a wikispaces page as my bookmark ^^;
    I used to be active in some anime forum, but now I realize that the most effective place to hunt the most updated information is by stalking another L337 otaku via his/her blog XD

  • @bj0rn FUCK YOU!

    @abao Oh, you didn’t know tj han had a fallout with Jason Miao? Hah. Super long story.

  • @tsubaki oh that was him ar…i read b4 but never really notice whether it is you or him or darkmirage or kwok

  • JASACII and Momotato.. dammit, you made me remember the time I used to check Momotato daily for his Mai Hime coverage

    Great post, tjhan, and.. hmm.. Merry Christmas? I’m jewish, but I guess it doesn’t hurt. :P

  • I will not hold against you because I’m not sure if you read my blog but where am I?

    And if you don’t read my blog its cool. This is a a great post and I was thinking of writing something similar but I think I will go another direction.

    I would like to say that I my favorite anime blog would have to be Jeff’s blog. Not to mention I’m closer to his age than most here and he has a similar taste in anime as me as well. I’m just curious. Where does Jeff get those great pictures that I see on his blog (his anime blog)?

  • Scott: I read your blog through Nano. Isn’t he like 35 or something? I thought u were 23-26. I listed my personal favourites, so you can see it’s quit subjective, with a high bias for fellow countrymen. It’s by no means an exhaustive list actually.

    I don’t have any issues with Jason of AoMM, but since he’s not listed on Nano, I haven’t been checking his site and have not been in touch much. It is Lolikit and DRM who have a beef with him.

  • I totally understand, tj_han. And in about 2 weeks I will be 27. So he is closer to my age than most anime bloggers.

  • Jeff is only 2 years older than me. I was born in 1980 and he says on his site he was born in 1978.

  • jeff lawson is still around? used to be an avid reader of his anime blog but lost the link some time ago. thanks for this write-up.

  • To tj_han,

    Blogger drama… the only sillier than fansub drama.

    From
    Waterfall

  • Hi

    I can’t be bothered with anything these days, but shrug. I just don’t have anything to say recently.

    G’night

  • avatar and naruto are my best choices.

  • A Poker-Face becomes unrelevat when taking part in on line poker – thus I think that playing online should only be used as a educating tactic towards the real deal – that playing live vs real opponenets with real face gestures and tweaks

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