The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Good News and Bad News

First, the good news — new reviews!

I’ve got Zombie Loan written by our fearless leader, Sorrow-kun, and a review of the classic shoujo series Ayashi no Ceres by AC.

Now for the bad news — this post will be my last official action as a staff member of The Nihon Review.  I’ve given it a lot of thought, and I’ve decided that there are things in my life that are more pressing than reviewing anime.  With the new semester, I’ve begun to examine my life, and I haven’t liked what I’ve seen. I’m in my fourth year of college out of a planned five years and I still don’t really know what I want to do with my life. The only reason I’m a Psychology/Stats major is because those were the only two subjects I’ve found that I don’t actively dislike. My love life is non-existent, and as a whole I feel I am accomplishing nothing of consequence with my life. All this introspection has lead me to realize how little I really know myself. These things must take priority at this stage of my life.

I want to thank all of you reading this for visiting The Nihon Review and supporting us.  I especially want to thank those who continued to read my reviews as they matured and improved.  It is my hope that someone out there has a greater appreciation of anime because of me.  I’ve spent the last three years working with the staff here, and each one of them is a wonderful person who is dedicated to bringing you new reviews, pouring their blood sweat and tears into this site.

So long, and thank you all once again.  Maybe one day I will return and once again contribute to the greatest review site I’ve found on the internet — The Nihon Review.

(””)(;,,;)(””)

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  1. Pingback by Neglected blog is negleeected : Behind The Nihon Review | 2007/11/14 at 08:44:25

    […] So, the blog suffers. Hell, even our review output is suffering, though still somehow remaining head above water thanks to people like Shadowmage (who is the most active retiree I’ve ever come across). We’re on about eight reviews a month at the moment, while, in the past we’ve hit double that at times. That’s not bad, I’ve no complaints about that. We’ve got a few too many inactive reviewers for my liking, but the ones that are active are good.  Outstanding, in fact. The blog is probably the most superfluous component of the site. If there’s a part of the site that can afford to take afford hit in activity, it’s this. My hope with this was that it’d be a good attention grabber. People see a headline from wherever, read a good op-ed on a random anime-related topic, scratch the surface of the site a bit and realize that there’s a healthy library of reviews filled with good recommendations and an active community of well-read anime nerds. That’s the dream. I still can’t see any reason why, with a bit of effort on our part, it can’t happen.  Time and dedication, as well.  Those are the killers. To be totally honest, the cyanoacry incident hurt us. While his criticisms were, to a degree, apt (and I’d actually say helpful in some cases), none of them were unequivocal reasons for stopping review writing. But, it forced all of us to justify to ourselves why we were writing reviews in the first place. Some of us couldn’t. It did do some good, though, by highlighting the fact that all of us can improve our writing and must constantly strive to make it interesting for our readers, else there’s not reason for them to bother. I think it’s safe to say that, up to that point, my own writing was becoming dull and formulaic, and it’s something I’m watching for a little more nowadays. But again, constantly trying to improve one’s writing and make it interesting and entertaining isn’t trivial. Writing takes effort, but writing well takes even more effort. As much as I can’t really blame anyone for it, the current set up is unsatisfactory. Having an environment that’s conducive to lots of output is important, and, as head of the site (that’s official now that hosting fees are coming from my hip pocket), it’s my job to establish such an environment. People need some sort of incentive to do something, or else they won’t do it. I used to think passion for whatever we were writing for was enough to drive people, but I’m starting to come around that this is naive, particularly considering that a big part of reviewing (at least in a way that’s fair) is holding the material at arm’s length, which limits the role “passion” can play in one’s writing. The blog was supposed to offer the other incentive: ego. Blog posts have something review pages don’t have: comments. Comments start discussions, but, moreso than that, comments are direct evidence that people are reading what you have to write, digesting and contemplating your opinion to the point that they can, well, comment on it. In other words, it’s an instant, cheap, ego boost, since knowing that someone actually cares about what you have to say is one of the biggest pay-offs for a writer (well, for writers like us, anyway, that don’t get paid a cent for a single word). The interaction makes the writing more worthwhile, more exciting, I think.  Yes, people may think it’s a petty reason for writing.  It’s still a reason, or, at the very least, a part of the reason and/or a payoff for the whole process. So, I’ve been thinking, maybe it’s time to integrate this blog with the front page, and to totally reinvent The Nihon Review, to make it resemble a more traditional blog. We wouldn’t get rid of the review pages, let alone the current reviews, since having such a vast number of reviews at fingertips is a real convenience. But, maybe reviews of recent titles should have post counterparts, which would be open to comments. Like, maybe a preview of the review in post form when it’s first published, with a link to the full page, and a section for comments down the bottom like a standard post. People can then read the new review and, if they so desire, they can comment on it and, thus, engage with the review writer (and vice versa). It wouldn’t fix all the problems with reviewer inactivity, but suddenly there’s another incentive for reviewers to express their opinion, and a better chance for them to see that their opinion is being appreciated or, at the very least, read. And it’d make things more open for feedback, which I’d imagine would be quite welcome among reviewers. As well as this, the op-ed pieces that generally find themselves on this page would appear on the front page (which gets more visits anyway), which would make things easier for both the writers and the readers, since they wouldn’t have to lurk an obscure corner of the site to find these articles. […]

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