Seeing the above tweet by Spiritsnare last night sent me into a whirlwind of thinking about bygone and still surviving aniblogs that started in the previous decade (2000-2009). While memories were swirling around in my head, I realized that this May will be my ninth anniversary of blogging on a semi-regular basis – not as long as AWO has been podcasting (December 2005) but it feels like long in Internet time.
Anime blogs, then and now, reflect the watching habits of their authors and the conversations happening among anibloggers as well as the general fan community. When I started up a Wordpress-hosted blog in May 2006 during my sophomore year in college, I was writing episodic posts about the first Haruhi Suzumiya series, Welcome to the NHK (which I still haven’t finished after all these years…) and Honey and Clover II among other topics. Lucky Star was the series to talk (and, for some people, complain about) in spring 2007 – it was one of many things discussed at an all-aniblogger panel (State of the Aniblogosphere) I was on with lolikit and Spiritsnare at Fanime 2007.
Most of the new stuff that was written about around 2006-2007 was obtained through fansubs – there were no real legal anime streaming websites (at least in the US) until ADV’s Anime Network began streaming episodes on a regular basis in November 2007 and BOST TV launched later that November. Crunchyroll made a simulcast deal with Gonzo that began in April 2008, though it wasn’t until January 2009 that they announced its removal of user-uploaded episodes.
Prior to Twitter’s July 2006 initial debut, RSS aggregation sites like Anime Nano (launched in June 2006) and AnimeBlogger.net Antenna (October 2005) as well as Google Reader were often used to keep up with other bloggers’ posts. AB.net Antenna started up as a rival to Anime Blog Toshokan, which debuted earlier that month and was later replaced by Blogsuki in January 2006. (I didn’t know about the brief existence of the manually-updated “Anime Bloggers” in summer 2005 until I read about it in Zyl’s post celebrating Blogsuki’s launch.)
Reading over Impz’s 2008 chronological history of notable anime blogs again has me wanting someone to update it through the mid-2010s since it feels like many noteworthy bloggers have come onto the scene in the past 6+ years. Unfortunately, I don’t think I could undertake such a task since I feel out of touch with a significant portion of the current aniblogging community, partly from personal preferences but also not knowing who else I should begin reading along with those I currently follow.
The stalwarts I recall who are still actively writing include omo, Kabitzin, otou-san, Author, JP & Hinano, Evirus, Yumeka, Mike & Ray, Carl (sdshamshel), Alain & Kate, Evan Minto (VamptVo), bateszi, chaostangent, Martin and TheBigN [kind of]… I’m sure there are some others I forgot to mention.
Among those who have moved on to other things (or have moved mainly to Twitter) are Jeff Lawson, Michael, Hung, ghostlightning, thaliarchus, Josh, OGT, eternal, Canon, Garten (of Memento)… Again, I probably forgot a bunch of people – feel free to yell at me on Twitter or in the comments if you remember more.
I don’t really know how to end this so I’ll just say: though it’s easier now to express short-form opinions and share screencaps with your friends over the Internet than it was 5-10 years ago, I’m glad there’s still people willing to take the time to write long-form reviews and other content. It helps that it’s also easier to access streaming anime than having to deal with torrents all the time. (Now I only have to use them on rare occasions such as when something isn’t being simulcast or it’s older/obscure.)