There was a news post Wednesday on Anime Vice stating the site will shut down April 8th with the current staff’s focus shifting to their YouTube channel. The wiki pages are currently in the process of being moved over to a Wikia site. I haven’t been paying attention to the site very much since the middle of 2010 aside from making occasional wiki edits to fill in blanks. I was a more active reader during its first couple years and felt like I should try to memorialize what I liked about it.
The website formally launched in December 2008 as part of Whiskey Media, though it was in beta for a few months before then. Gia Manry, John Martone, and GodLen (formerly a Japanator contributor) were the main people I remember from the site’s early days. Gia covered a number of conventions and other events for the site, including the grand opening of the New People center in San Francisco’s Japantown, as well as anime and manga releases – sometimes in brief videos and other times with written posts.
Gia and John left the site in May 2010 and the site’s content moved away from news stories to more discussion posts and videos of current anime and manga. Gia joined ANN staff and had a bi-weekly feature called “Gia’s List” from June 2011 to July 2012 – it was simply renamed “The List” when Lynzee Lamb took over the feature. She then became a brand manager at FUNimation – here’s a 2013 interview with Chris Beveridge at Fandom Post.
Tom Pinchuk took over as Anime Vice’s main staff writer and I sometimes browsed his review posts but not so much his videos. One of Pinchuk’s contributions I won’t forget is a subheadline for an episode review of Steins;Gate that FUNimation frequently used when marketing the series on home video.
There was a site podcast called the Anime Vice Squadcast that ran for 52 episodes from March 2009 to April 2010. I only remember listening to one episode in the past but I now want to go back and listen to as many as I can. (I recently downloaded all the episodes through iTunes before the feed presumably dies when the site shutters in a few weeks.)
The other main attraction I liked about the site was the wiki. Users could edit pages about characters, franchises, concepts, locations, etc. – similar to once-sister sites Comic Vine, Giant Bomb, and Screened. Though it was not as comprehensive as ANN’s encyclopedia in terms of voice actor/staff listings, I enjoyed its structure and its base of dedicated user editors.
It’s sad for me to see a website I used to regularly visit go offline. Anime Vice wasn’t a mainstay like the Anime Web Turnpike (which went offline last November) was in the ’90s but it was an interesting site to explore during its heyday.
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Interesting. I have been following Tom’s and Sam’s anime talks on their Youtube Anime Vice channel. I have really been enjoying their content too, so I was wondering if they would made the channel more active. While I am sorry you will miss the Anime Vice website. I hope you will visit the Anime Vice Youtube Channel. They both have really good content. Some on coverage for Psycho-Pass, Parasyte, and more. I am sort of not that surprised that Tom’s contributions were used by FUNimation to market an anime. I sort of think he really knows how to express himself to an audience.
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I remember the first convention I went to with a press badge. It was AnimeNEXT in New Jersey in 2008. That is when I first met other members of the blogosphere – Even Minto (who was also there as his first time as press), Brad of Japanator, and Gia. Shortly after meeting them, we recorded a podcast together in Gia’s hotel room and then we all went out for dinner.
“So Gia, sorry that I didn’t catch this earlier, but what website are you writing for?”
“Well…” she said, “I’m technically writing for my own blog right now, so everything I’m doing for this convention is going on my personal site. But I’m preparing for a new, big project.”
“Oh really? What’s that?”
She talked about Jeff Gerstmann – who had recently been in the news for supposedly getting fired from CNET for giving a video game a negative review. Jeff had used this publicity to start his own video game website, Giant Bomb. Although the site was still in development at the time, there was already a plan to have two spin-off websites, one for comics and another for anime. Gia was going to be in charge of the anime site.
And then she paid for the dinner off of Whisky Media’s credit card.
My first thought was man, Mr. Gerstmann must be doing very well in order to fly his employee all the way to Jersey, only to have that employee write for her personal website! But then my second thought was that this website had some money behind it. It was going to be a legit professional competitor to ANN, and it was something to look forward to.
But Gia always kept the site casual and let her fandom come out through the posts. That was her writing style and is what set her apart from everyone else. I think this might have done more harm than good in the long run by not getting the website the kind of journalistic respect it needed to succeed.
And I always thought of Gia as the heart and soul of Anime Vice, so after she left the site, it became an empty shell just a breath away from blowing away.
I am glad that she found her career as a brand manager for FUNimation. I am sure that offers far more stability than the world of ani-blogging. And hopefully she is still able to go out to conventions or other geeky activities and charge it as a business expense.