I have made it to three years. This site is old. I think it’ll also feel sad when I hit four years and I haven’t reached four hundred reviews yet. Whatever, I’m taking it in my own pace which is sadly slow and tedious. The fact that the following years are already planned out, you can expect this blog to considerably slow down a lot more. I’m gonna be soaking up so much stress that it’s going to be funny for some sick bastard that enjoys seeing people half defeated. That’s for later down the road though. Right now, it’s a fun celebration because The Pantless Anime Blogger is now three years old. It means that I have subjected myself to a lot of anime in that time and you can be sure that I have changed in often the worst way possible. I used to do these anniversary celebrations as a way to track my growth but I think I have transitioned from that wide eyed positive guy that wanted to review one thousand anime to a cynical guy that is slowly hating the very thing he loves. It’s that treadmill thing where you keep doing the same thing over and over then you slowly lose interest in it or grow to find the small details excruciating. I’m not like most bloggers though that’ll stop halfway because the magic is gone.
In fact, I think there are some wonderful things to gain once you continue blogging long after the satisfaction it brings you is now over. As a guy that really wants to keep on aiming for his one thousand goal, I do think the journey is especially tough now because the enjoyment faded away a long time ago but I really do think I learned some interesting things in the past three years. As always, for my anniversary posts, I want to do a top ten list that highlights all the things I’ve learned as a blogger and reviewer. I’ve done it the past two years so I want to keep this tradition going. The TPAB of the past two years is an anime addict that happily wrote stuff about his blogging journey. I think the third year TPAB is different because he slightly doesn’t care one bit and so it’s interesting just what the hell I’m going to list down. I’m writing things down blindly. I wrote the other anniversary posts in one sitting just grabbing things that comes to my head and I want to do the same process here. It is fun comparing the anniversary lists because it feels like reality is slowly knocking on TPAB’s door. Even I get a kick of seeing my positivity die down.
Firstly, here are some stats. I’m not one to shy away from posting my stats. As you can see, the numbers plunged. In my first year, I was actually pumped seeing it climb and I think it peaked then slowly came back down. The numbers right now is small but I am getting solid views from stalkers. I’m comfortably in the forty thousand range and I know I can get the numbers climbing again if I keep posting more stuff. Sadly, I’m at a point in life where I am trying to achieve my short term goals so I am slightly ignoring this one long term goal I’ve set. I am happy people still support this blog despite my lack of effort in posting. Once I’ve cleared my short terms goals, I am planning on shooting high for TPAB and break my peak. It’s a short term goal I am planning on doing once I’ve done my other short terms goals. They’re more important though because they’re kinda career related. I’ve found a job I am really good at and I want to work hard to excel in it. I have some big motivations right now that I actually acquired when I was working hard making this site grow. For now, I think the numbers will keep on dwindling but, again, I don’t really care for it that much. As you can see, I am still posting despite the fact that I know I’ve lost some readers.
The posts are obviously short. In my second year, I had 339 posts and I’ve only come up to 390. I have gone post-less for a couple of months and I think I have only pushed three or four reviews in my busiest months. I was honestly concerned about the dwindling numbers at first but then it came to a point where I am just so f*cking tired from work that I can’t even worry about this site anymore. Again, I am planning on making a comeback but that’ll be for a long time. For now, I’m just posting and reviewing on my own pace. I have gained some followers though. A lot of them are from wordpress. Twitter followers only follow you if you follow them back and I find that idea stupid so I don’t really care about it. I also have a bulk from tumblr but I think I also gained them as courtesy re-follows. It’s not really much though but it is nice to see other people still like my reviews.
No, GISS. No pity comments. I don’t need it. I am strong, damn it. I should get around to making more GIFs of you. It’s another short term goal I’ll be putting on the list. It feels really good to be busy even though it’s like balancing a stack of plates with one arm as you watch some plates fall and shatter on the ground. Anyways, let’s get down to the list. Again, this is not an actual top ten list. It’s not a countdown. It’s just a bunch of things I learned and I wanted to put it in a top ten format for easier consumption. As always, this is my opinion and you are welcome to disagree. Let me have fun though, it’s my anniversary post.
1. Light novel anime have one flavor
Harem with a lot of wish fulfillment about a guy that is overpowered by default. In my third year as TPAB, I have grown some massive hatred for light novel adapted shows. For the love of gawd, they’re all the f*cking same. It’s like they have the same template and it’s constantly recycled over and over and f*cking over again. Now most viewers would just think I’m crazy because light novel shows are good. They don’t understand why TPAB is going batsh*t crazy on his reviewing about a show they genuinely enjoy. TPAB is not like most viewers though. I don’t just pick some shows to review in a lineup. I f*cking review them all or as much as I can obtain since a lot are ongoing kid shows. That means TPAB has seen every gawd damn light novel adapted show of each lineup and the similarities has started bothering him. I don’t mind if it’s just genre elements copied and pasted but the overall pretentious air of light novels feel the same. When you have watched ten f*cking shows with the same amount of exposition garbage having the same unsatisfying ending with the same unsatisfying type of main character in the same unsatisfying type of harem then you would want to pull your hair out from the roots.
The worst part is that I have to review them. If I just watched them then I can just let it go even though it bothered me. As a reviewer, you would have to recall the events and the feelings you had for them. If you saw ten shows with the same things about it and you try to review them then it’ll really ruin you. As a reviewer, you want others to try this anime and so you’re trying to force yourself to like certain elements. If you’re doing that for ten shows then it’s really heart breaking. The annoying this is that you have nothing against light novels but you also wonder why the whole medium have turned into such a saturated piece of sh*t. It’s like Yugi Oh the card game but I only really play it on the PSP and I don’t review it so I’m not affected by it. I am bothered how Joey got turned into a girl for GX though. That was whack as f*ck. For all those unaware of the recycled cliché light novel anime keeps using then let me list them off.
1. The complicated story. There are so much terminologies and background about so much sh*t that you are forced to learn them. Upon learning about them though, the show won’t really do much with it since the plot progresses in a simple manner afterwards. It’s like the show was trying to be smart throwing random words around and then you realized they’re just adding bullsh*t on top of simple stories like a kidnapping or a guy out for revenge or a man trying to steal something from a vault. All the terminologies doesn’t matter but you’re subjected to a lot of them for the story to make sense except the story never make sense because of the fast pace leaving you clueless for the better part of the anime.
2. Privileged main characters. Mahouka! Mahouka! Mahouka! F*ck that show and its utter blatant attempt to say “look, our main character is perfect, deal with it”. This is a constant in light novels though. Characters don’t train. In Highschool DxD, the character gains an extra ordinary amount of power from groping a girl. It’s a wonderful deus ex machina to justify the absolute worthlessness of our main character. Seikoku Dragonar didn’t allow our main character to grow strong. Nope, he acquired a stronger armor and weapon that defeated the villain. In Campione, the main character kissed a girl to death. In Hagure Estetica, our hero is perfect as is for no reason. In Strike the Blood, the hero has a bunch of strong familiars he casually unlocks to fight the strong enemies. F*ck this genre. I’m fine with one or two shows doing it but every gawd damn show does it. It’s really pissing me off. Please just stop it. Wish fulfillment is one thing but there has to be more than that, damn it.
3. And lastly, GISS take this one away from me. I don’t…I can’t….I just can’t deal…f*ck.
I’ve said time and again, light novel anime ruined harems for me. It’s no longer fun and I now hate the genre. I seriously do not want to touch another show like this for a long time. Then again, I’m in a brand new lineup and I’m pretty sure there’s one light novel show with the same vanilla flavor in it. This is why being TPAB sucks. You see this. In three years, I have grown massive hatred for light novel shows and I’m only in number one of my top ten list. Let’s move it on. I’ll rant another day.
2. Production IG = a score of nine
I noticed this after grouping my lineups in their scores. It also helped me realize how I rate my show. I’m kinda mad at myself for not doing it sooner. I saw a pattern in what shows should be put in the 5s, 6s, 7s, 8s and 9s. For a perfect score, I’m still having brain farts with that. I’m three years in and I don’t think I understand the requirements to rate a perfect score. For a bunch of 9s though, the highest I can give in a certain lineup, I noticed that I mostly give it to Production IG shows. I’m not doing it on purpose though. I judge anime on the overall enjoyment and all the little stuffs but Production IG seems to hit the spot for me. I think it’s a combination of the high quality animation and the smart storytelling. Production IG shows aren’t just good looking for the most part. In recent years, they’ve also adapted some intriguing and interesting shows with gripping content. They still do clunkers like Robotic;Notes and Guilty Crown though since I hear Psychopass 2 is a bit of a downer. I have to watch that show. In my three years though, Production IG seems to have a great grasp of what makes an anime really fun to watch. From Attack on Titans to a slew of those sports anime they’ve released, Production IG really knows how to deliver a great show. Their shows are just beautifully made. From the visuals to the soundtrack to the story all the way to the character growth, some of the best shows I’ve seen often come from Production IG. I do hope other studios can be as great. I’ve been rooting for A-1 Pictures for a long time and I think JC Staff is ready for a gutsy comeback so we shall see. It’s actually making me excited thinking about all the great things that could happen.
3. Being harsh is acquired through repetition
In my first few reviews, I was really doing my best to not say any mean things about an anime. I always had this idea that too many people are doing this already. They would watch a show then review it after seeing four episodes and call it a lot of negative things. I didn’t want to be like that. As much as possible, I want to let the good things come out more than the bad. Reviewing things for three years kinda wear you out though to the point that you just have to be brutal when it calls for it. Now, I am still impartial. I think I am. I always make sure I say good and bad things about an anime. I don’t just focus on one but I do let one take over especially for really bad shows. It’s not really hard to list off things that you like or don’t like about a show. The TPAB three years ago did that but also wanted to really convince you to watch the show. Part of the reason why I don’t re-write stuff is because there is a genuine honesty in my earlier posts that reflected who I was when I started this site. I re-read them from time to time to remind myself not to stray too much far into my intended goal for this site.
For all the reviewers out there though, I should tell you that you can’t force a review. If you honestly feel like you love a show despite everyone saying it sucks then express your opinion. If you go with the mob, you often force negative things in your review and it’s very easy to spot. You’re hating for the sake of hating since everyone hates it. Don’t force it. It honestly comes to you the more you gain experience. When you watch a bunch of otome shows, subject yourself to a Gonzo anime or sell something despicably bad to your readers, the natural emotion you feel about anime is easier to express.
For me, I actually think I have become a better writer because I embraced the negativity and also acknowledged the positivity of it all. When I learn not holding myself back, I often write some of my best reviews. Learning to be restrained and learning not to hold back is actually something you acquire the more you keep on writing. It doesn’t start natural at first but you eventually get into a groove and just learn to express things naturally as you keep going. So, just keep going.
4. There is a different kind of enjoyment in otome anime
For two years, I have expressed my utter disdain for this genre. There is just no way to enjoy something that has a bunch of guys with a dumb ass girl as a lead in a show with zero plot. It’s just one of those things you just cannot enjoy unless you’re in it for the hot guys and I am not in it for the hot guys. For years, it’s often been my one genre I can never like. I think I reviewed less otome shows in my third year though so my hatred kinda died down a bit and shifted elsewhere. And then, something magical happened. Once you discover how to write otome reviews in your own way, it really becomes fun. It’s really fun writing a review for an otome show since you realize there is no hope of it getting good and so you just unleash the assh*le inside you. You make fun of the characters, make fun of the people that like the show and other sh*t like that. I’m still pretty impartial though but I really just let loose after I realized otome anime is just a dumb thrill ride for the sake of it. It will never change because a lot of people enjoy the ride they are on. Soon, accepting the inevitability of it all, you just review otome shows for the hot guys and the dumb plot expecting nothing more. The more you enjoy doing this mocking exercise, the more the genre somehow becomes a lot more tolerable. I kid you not. I actually miss writing otome reviews. I don’t want to watch one though. I find otome anime dull but finishing it and writing about how dull it is makes it worthwhile. I know, it’s weird but I have found a way to make peace with the genre. I hope I can do the same for the genres I am starting to hate now.
5. I hate marshmallow anime
Marshmallows are sweet fluffy things that are full of air. You squish them hard and they stay flat because the content is pretty much just air and it’s only enjoyable because it’s f*cking sweet. That’s basically the same thing I’m getting from those four panel adapted cute girls doing cute things slice of life garbage shows. I call them marshmallow shows and I hope the term catches on. C’mon, give me this one thing, damn it. After three years, I have grown to hate these shows as well. It’s the same thing with light novel shows. After you review a bunch of them, you notice a pattern and then you get sick of it then you get sick of other shows recycling that pattern. Marshmallow shows are annoying though because I still enjoy the f*ck out of them despite being so one note.
It’s because of the cute stuff. The genre lives and dies by it. Luckily for them, the cute stuff is hypnotizing and fun to watch. The more I realize that I like these shows though, the more I realize that I want to hate them a whole lot more. I think liking cute things is hardwired into an anime fan’s brain though so marshmallow shows are entertaining by default. Reviewing them is a pain in the ass though. I put effort in my reviews and so it’s hard to do it when you really don’t have much to say. I basically do the same thing I did with otome shows. I point out the things I hate about them then point out the things that make the show good. It’s a way to stay impartial while also being a massive d*ck. I do miss watching marshmallow shows though. I follow the lineups so I often get served more light novel stuff or harem shows so I really do hope I can get my sh*t together so I can write more reviews about these genres I hate. What the f*ck is wrong with me?
I don’t know. Leave me alone.
6. Majority of O. Screenplay sucks
In my third year as TPAB, I was unluckily stuck in one lineup for majority of the year. Spring 2014 killed me because it had a lot of Original Screenplays in it. These are shows that are original. They aren’t adapted from any light novel, manga or visual novel. They came straight out of the gutter of the anime creators. A lot of these shows suck a lot. I think some of my harshest rants are given to these awful shows mainly because they’re unedited pieces of garbage that somehow escapes the brainstorming process. You see experienced anime directors and screenplay writers creating some really horrible sh*t. Captain Earth and M3 still scars me. Oh my gawd, these are shows that I cannot believe we are still getting in 2014. What in the gawd damn mother of all things sane is happening? I appreciate the risk, really but sometimes it’s just common sense that what you are putting out will be sh*t and yet, it still gets aired. It’s heartbreaking. It’s like they want to kill me or something. Ok, while I do think it’s promising to see studios be more original and not rely on source materials, I do think they should have a higher standard for these shows since it’s often more of a hydrogen bomb than a cool classy blimp. I cannot believe I made that reference but yeah, a lot of original screenplays truly suck.
Of course there are some great positives as well. In my third year as TPAB, we get to see JC Staff get ballsy with WIXOSS and shows like Samurai Flamenco and Kill la Kill are some great highlights to the success of original screenplays. If your sh*t is truly good, it often becomes legendary but for the most part, it’s still sh*t so studios should be more careful in creating original screenplays. I do welcome other studios to try but I am convinced there is a seventy percent chance they will fail. Good luck to them.
7. I’m starting to hate anime but…
I enjoy writing reviews. I think I am at a point in my life that I am really sick of anime. I think that’s why the posts aren’t popping out that frequently. I’m not scared admitting it. After watching a lot of shows from a lot of lineups, the magic dies and you’re just continuing on with very little incentive. My reviews are also complicatedly long now. Have you seen my first few reviews? They were simple but I always wanted to make it more well-rounded so I kept changing it and changing it until it turned into a huge narrative report. If you buckle down and read them, I do think they’re good but they’re also really hard to make. Strangely though, I do love writing reviews. I think I like it more than watching anime actually. Something about dissecting the show and reviewing every element is really enjoyable for me. The shows often look alike nowadays that I do know is a basic anime thing. Repeating something till it becomes a saturated mess is natural in anime. I often do my hardest though to make sure my review isn’t the same. They’re all different given the same love and attention. I still watch anime but I don’t enjoy it as much. The previous things I listed down also led to me really hate the medium making it hard for me to keep on trying new shows. I’m surprisingly human as well, lol. I might not like anime now but I really love writing reviews and I guess I’m really passionate about them now. I know I’ll renew my enthusiasm once again since it is like a big wheel and I’m currently in the bottom section rounding my way to the top once again. For now, I just enjoy the journey in my own weird way and that somehow involves hating anime but loving reviews.
8. I’m a workaholic
Part of my short term goal is to cram as much work as I can. It wasn’t for the money. It was for the experience I would have that I know will be valuable down the line. I accepted a hellish eight AM to eight PM schedule that starts on Monday and ends on Saturday. By the time Saturday rolls in, my body really gave up and it was truly hell on earth. I turned in so many reports my computer refused to start up. I had so much small talk with so many people that I had a list of things to talk about when I meet other people. I got yelled at by my bosses (I have two) so many times and I got involved in so many office politics that it came to a point I was crying on my way back home. I only had to sleep three hours because it takes one hour to commute and rush hour adds two if you’re not careful. By Sunday, I am butter on toast not even moving when my cat decided to piss on the bed. I f*cking rolled over so my shirt can soak up the pee. It was insane. The scary part is that I didn’t even think about stopping. I enjoyed every gawd damn minute of it. It was valuable work experience that I just took on completely unprepared. I was able to survive mainly because of my time as TPAB. Repetition is something I learned to enjoy in both Harvest Moon and being TPAB. Most people quit blogging because it can get boring but I actually enjoy the boring parts since I know they lead to something more satisfying (like growing cabbage over the entire spring, I love ya Harvest Moon). It’s thanks to my time as a NEET that I can actually handle anything life throws at me now. Well, social things are still a blur to me since I can’t quite act naturally towards girls since I’m kinda exposed to so much Ecchi and Harem that my mind just thinks of stupid stuff. I often just shut up to avoid any real life consequences.
I also learned though that I am a workaholic. I think I was able to manage all that stress because of my three years here in this site. I can basically anticipate any sh*t my work can throw at me and I can always bounce back. I kinda learned anticipating sh*t here in this site. I have a long ways to go in my career because I still can’t handle office politics that good and I notice it’s a constant in any work place. Once I got that thing down, I can take my career to the next level. It’s another short term goal. It’s all thanks to being the pantless anime blogger, life is funny that way.
9. I “inspire” a lot of bloggers
This is something I noticed when I see a lot of new blogs pop up from time to time. I’m not saying they copied me or anything because I didn’t really do anything original of my own. Still, it’s funny when you see a review blog that has its mission statement posted on it’s about page and it basically points to everything my site doesn’t do. They don’t want to write long reviews, they are straight to the point, they want to share good recommendations and they think they have the best review blog out there. New bloggers often has a grand idea on how to create a review site but then you’ll see it abandoned in months for some strange reason. I know the reason by heart but these young bloggers never really take it into consideration once they realize they’re just a dot in an ocean of blogs.
But then there are these young bloggers that write a review with the same format as mine. They’ll change it up, of course. I have my reviews sectioned out with the story and the visuals separated. I can’t claim it mine because I kinda took the idea from the MAL guideline on how to do a review. Long story short, long reviews are really popular nowadays. Back before I start blogging, there is a standard length on how to write reviews but I kinda pissed on that when my style got complicatedly long. You’ll be surprised how many long reviews starts popping up long afterwards. Of course, I’m not saying they did it because I started doing but it is a funny thing to see happen. Hell, even MAL reviews got too long. Tehnominator reviews are indeed long but some new reviews look as long as mine. Have you seen mine? It’s out of control. I just like to take a step back and realize that I did have a hand in this. I don’t want to act big and say that I did this alone since I can’t really prove it but I can bet short reviews will be the norm once again once I completed my 1000 goal and stop reviewing shows. I am pretty happy seeing long reviews become a common thing since you can’t really do a proper review in just two paragraphs.
Some of you are doing it wrong though. If I only copied tehnominator’s review style then I’d end up with a clunky review that looks forced. You can’t just copy things. You have to develop your own. I started this blog not worrying about the comments. I wrote reviews as if I was the only one reading them until I developed a writing style unique to my own. It’s not just long, you stupid copy cats. Just because it’s long doesn’t mean its impressive (hehe). You have to really grow into it. It’s hard to explain but don’t just copy sh*t, you have to find a way to incorporate it into your own unique style. Do you know how many Robert Egbert wanna-bes are out there? His style is his own. His deprecating style is something only he can really pull off. A lot of people incorporate that into their style but you can tell if people force it counter those that really understand how to do it i.e. a lot of youtube reviewers. I’m calling you bastards out but only slightly since I know video reviews are a different beast from written ones.
10. Other bloggers don’t like TPAB
This is something I noticed a lot. Some bloggers really don’t like my style. They don’t like my long reviews that have the same template and stuff like that. Others even pointed out that the black background with cherry blossoms is tacky. Of course, it’s not directly. A smart writer knows how to take a low jab at someone without mentioning their name. I think they just hate the whole structure of how I do things. Since they have their own way of doing things, they often don’t understand why someone would not go with their own way of doing things. A lot of people hate long reviews. Some hate formatted ones that make each post look exactly the same. Some people just don’t like reviews in general. When I started this blog, it did bother me why they didn’t like it. Of course, it came to a point that I just don’t really care. I know for a long while that I’m not like most bloggers and I have a hand in that as well. I don’t interact with others, I ignore blog carnivals and I generally do things on my own. To be fair, I could just be paranoid but I do also think there is something to this theory of mine. Now again, I don’t really care. If I did then I would’ve stopped a long time ago when I realized the comments aren’t coming. I just know that I blog for myself and some readers like it. I can’t win them all, I guess, and that’s fine by me.
I still have GISS.
Don’t you start. I hit children. It’s part of my actual job. I do it for a living.
And that’s that. Thank you for being part of my journey for this long. Three years is a really long time but I also really do appreciate the support. As long as people support this site then I will continue on with my 1000 review goal. I’ll see you all on my fourth anniversary post when it comes. Hopefully my short term goals are realized by then. Wait, I think some beautiful hell will be unleashed first. For now, thank you.
Let’s all enjoy them pants-less. Peace.