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Author Topic: Monthly traffic reports 2007  (Read 28296 times)

Offline Akira

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Re: Monthly traffic reports 2007
« Reply #30 on: July 03, 2007, 06:59:49 PM »
Win.

Bring the Smirnoff.
I don't have opinions. I have facts.

Offline cyanoacry

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Re: Monthly traffic reports 2007
« Reply #31 on: July 27, 2007, 01:50:34 AM »
Well, I expect that you guys should see a peak in traffic this month. Just two days ago, I linked to NHRV from moe.imouto.org.

Unfortunately, I highly doubt that any of those visitors will be back, and that traffic next month will be about average.

The only reason that I linked over here was, I think, to prove a point: I'm awfully curious as to what your guys' purpose is, in building this site, amongst others.

You guys certainly don't have a clearcut demographic. With moe.imouto.org, we've got the high-res image fanatics who will cry bloody murder over a scan with a fold, much less a non-denoised one. Over at sos-dan.com, we've got Harutards. Lots of them.

But at the very least, the fanbase is dedicated and selective in both cases.

What exactly have you guys got going for you here?

It would seem that the anime reviews are pointed towards your typical run-of-the-mill American audience who has absolutely no predisposition to his or her favorite selected fetish. You're writing reviews for a neutral baseline audience that doesn't exist.

Moreover, should I point out---what are these reviews useful for, anyway? They obviously don't have much of a basis and personally I think many of my colleagues would argue that they're entirely useless. For a review to be useful, it'd basically indicate why this show should---or shouldn't be watched, what sorts of people would like it, etc. Preferably, such a review would coincide with the release of the anime in Japan in order to really, really help out those poor Western viewers who have nary a clue what they're actually saying.

But that's not the case. Your reviews are sometimes years late---such as that review of Nausicaa that went up a bit ago. It doesn't help anybody, especially considering that Nausicaa's already been regarded as a Ghibli classic and the review's perfect score of a ten does nothing but entrench the common fanbase's assessment. It's a third spinning wheel, nobody really cares about it.

Moreover, it would seem that most of the reviews tend to follow the same bland, horribly uninteresting straight-face-no-lies editorial style that screams bloody legalese when examined at its roots. There ain't a smidgen of emotion in those posts.

Plus, you've got to realize well that this is the new web, where immediacy and quick, short updates are the norm. You've got people in Japan blogging nearly hourly from their cellphones with short little blurbs of what happened, etc. Here, you've got longwinded, boring posts which basically restate what the fanbase (most likely) already knows, but to add insult to injury, they tend to be on a less-than-weekly-basis.

The above is already a recipe for death. I could delve into how I disagree with certain people's reviewing styles, but I know I'm not the intended audience anyway (what, with me being a hardcore lolicon with a mahou shoujo fetish).

What you've got going for you, though, though is an interesting editorial style, as evidenced on the BtNHRV blog. Sure, while I may not agree with your assessments at all, at least it's interesting reading with a hint of emotion in it. There's interesting stuff to be read there, and while I think that most of it is pure bunk, at least I had fun reading it. I read BtNHRV for the same reason that I read Hop, Step, Jump and Anime on my Mind. There are actual opinions there, things that I couldn't gather myself.

Reading through the reviews on the main site is an exercise in staying awake. Each article is basically a recipe-list of measuring x,y, and z metric and then nodding everybody off to sleep about how x plot point was good and y plot point wasn't so good, while offering little to no actual substantiation to back those claims.

Embrace your fanbase. You're fans yourselves of anime, are you not? Write something that you would enjoy reading intensely, not just a cursory summary/review that looks "official".

Case in point: lolitron.org. While abq might be quite the lolicon, at the very least his posts are funny and entertaining; that's the only reason that visitors continue to roam his site despite the fact that it's been effectively killed due to abq's current workload causing an update every bloody month.

But at the very least those updates are ridiculously funny.

To be honest, I see no reason why anybody would actually -want- to stick around on this site. You all write boring, insipid reviews (which people could probably already write themselves) of old shows for an audience that doesn't exist.

Good luck in your quest, guys. You're headed for disaster.

Offline Ascaloth

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Re: Monthly traffic reports 2007
« Reply #32 on: July 27, 2007, 02:46:11 AM »
Well, thank you very much for your incredibly negative opinion of our site.

Now, would you be so kind as to actually suggest some improvements we can make?

Offline cyanoacry

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Re: Monthly traffic reports 2007
« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2007, 03:01:53 AM »
Actually, yes, there are some grains of constructive criticism in there.

Lots more editorials would be really cool, and original. The NHRV staff has wonderful writing ability, which at the moment I think is probably restricted by house style. Should let it be a little less formal, and more off-the-collar honest.

I think with just those two fixes, it'd help a lot.

Offline Ascaloth

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Re: Monthly traffic reports 2007
« Reply #34 on: July 27, 2007, 03:06:34 AM »
Thank you. I will bring these two suggestions to the attention of the adminstration of NHRV on your behalf.

Personally, I am of the opinion that the BtNHRV blog deserves more attention, and could actually be the key to greater recognition amongst the anime blogosphere if only there were more frequent postings. Would you recommend this course of action?

Offline cyanoacry

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Re: Monthly traffic reports 2007
« Reply #35 on: July 27, 2007, 03:39:10 AM »
Yeah, actually, I think that editorials are the way to go. You can only have so many reviews on anime before it gets tiring; there's more variety and style to be had writing editorials.

Besides, it's not even so much the anime "blogosphere" now. You could possibly use that term a couple of years ago when blogsuki was still running and contained all the important ones, but to be honest there's a LOT of people out there doing their own editorialized sort of per-episode recap writing.

Editorials that are a little more indepth and more general would be really appealing, at least to me; plus they'd be a lot more fun to read than just your typical episode cover blog-entry as you've got all sorts of stuff you can pull in.

Though, honestly, I'm sort of curious... do you guys still believe an anime review site is relavent in this day and age? Sure, there might be new people who enter the scene and google for reviews, but do most people decide the prospective watchability of anime from their friends, or from online sites?

Offline Sorrow-kun

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Re: Monthly traffic reports 2007
« Reply #36 on: July 27, 2007, 04:47:03 AM »
Maybe not.  Who knows?  We're just providing the service and if people read us, so much the better.

We're not really interested in pandering to a certain fanbase.  The idea of these reviews is that we pretty much call things as we see them.  You may be right, there may no longer be a significant neutral anime fanbase anymore.  Then again, there may well be, just that they're not terribly vocal.  Who knows?  It's not our place to determine whether they exist or not, we just continue writing to them regardless.  Like I said, if people read us, that's great.  People need to know we exist first.

Is it really that important that we don't have a specific target audience in mind?  We're writing recommendations, but the most important thing overall is to be fair to the title we're putting under the microscope.  Understandably, in cases like Nausicaa, reviewers are going to come to similar conclusions as the majority.  It may well make such a review less relevant than others, but that's not going to stop us from putting it into our database for the sake of completion.  But, far more important than that, is we're putting light onto titles that aren't well known.  While ever blogger and his dog was following Mai-Otome or Suzumiya Haruhi, how many people were talking about Hataraki Man or Fantastic Children?  We have reviews of those.  And what of the live action medium, a medium that has very little exposure in the West?  Sure, we may only have a limited number of titles reviewed, but we're one of the few presences on the English-speaking internet that have anything to say about a lot of these titles.  The fact is, a lot of people out there aren't going to even know that many of these titles, both anime and live action, even exist.  If we provide information AND opinions on them in an at-fingertips fashion, I can't see why what we're doing is wrong.

I don't necessarily agree, but if people think the writing is dry, then so be it.  We want to be fair and honest with our reviews, with at least some amount of objectivity.  The idea is that they're an informative recommendation.  The main aim isn't really to emotionally sway or entertain the reader (although there's no attempt to quash our reviews from doing so), the main aim is to provide our readers with informed observations to aid them in coming to a decision in whether they want to watch the title or not.

Thanks for the criticism, but, in all honesty, I don't think there's all that much wrong with what we're doing.  The only thing that's wrong is that we don't have enough exposure right now.

Offline Ascaloth

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Re: Monthly traffic reports 2007
« Reply #37 on: July 27, 2007, 07:15:29 AM »
Even so, there is one point cyanoacry made that does make a certain sense; reviews are fine and all, but we can't rely on just a database of reviews, and expect that to draw a large amount of exposure. The way I look at it, we only need a "critical mass" of exposure before the publicity starts feeding upon its own momentum, and from that point on, we won't have to worry about exposure any more. The trick remains getting to that "critical mass" in the first place.

From what I have observed on the Internet, the anime blogosphere is the most readily available form of viewership numbers; whatever trace I could find of an equivalent live-action or soundtrack community doesn't seem to come even close to the volume of readership that the anime blogosphere has. Therefore, my suggestion is that for the fastest way to reach the "critical mass", the readership of the anime blogosphere is what we have to aim for....and BtNHRV, our staff blog where most of the editorials are situated, is in my opinion our best bet to access that readership base.

However, there's also the fact that the anime blogosphere is pretty saturated with blogs as it is, so how can NHRV differentiate itself from the many, and admittedly more well-known blogs out there? Because if we don't, then we won't have much of a chance to capture much of the readerbase at all. However, I do believe that in this respect, we do have a trump card; our live-action section. Basically, we might want to try and establish BtNHRV as an anime blog first, and then use the NHRV main site to advertise ourselves as THE live-action resource for our BtNHRV viewers who may be interested in expanding their range of viewing pleasures. Basically, convert our anime viewers into live-action viewers as well by offering them a starting index of what is worth watching.

It's worth a shot, is what I think.

Offline Kuma

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Re: Monthly traffic reports 2007
« Reply #38 on: July 27, 2007, 09:10:27 AM »
Quote from: cyanoacry
The only reason that I linked over here was, I think, to prove a point: I'm awfully curious as to what your guys' purpose is, in building this site, amongst others.

You guys certainly don't have a clearcut demographic. With moe.imouto.org, we've got the high-res image fanatics who will cry bloody murder over a scan with a fold, much less a non-denoised one. Over at sos-dan.com, we've got Harutards. Lots of them.

But at the very least, the fanbase is dedicated and selective in both cases.

What exactly have you guys got going for you here?


First of all, thank you for your blunt and honest outsider's opinion.  We have had precious little criticism from our readers, and we really need feedback.  I would say that our purpose is to provide a database of objective reviews of anime, Japanese live action film, and Japanese music, to aid our readers in finding new titles to digest.  We can debate if such a thing is helpful or necessary, but that is our purpose as I see it.  Our "demographic" is fans of Japanese media.  There is definitely a dedicated fanbase for that, it just seems that they haven't found us yet.  As for what we have going for us, we are one of very few sites to try to build a database of live action reviews, which is a very new fandom in the Western world.

Quote from: cyanoacry
It would seem that the anime reviews are pointed towards your typical run-of-the-mill American audience who has absolutely no predisposition to his or her favorite selected fetish. You're writing reviews for a neutral baseline audience that doesn't exist.


I understand what you're saying, but I think that's the wrong way of looking at it.      First of all, this "neutral baseline audience" as you call it does exist.  Not every fan of anime watches only moe, or shoujo, or shounen action series etc.  There are plenty of fans who watch all sorts of anime and who are looking for new experiences within the world of anime.  We try to provide these people with objective reviews to help them decide what to watch next.  Besides, it's not like it's possible to be perfectly objective; I believe our own personal tastes do come through in our reviews.  Using our reviews to further push people into their own demographics is unnecessary.  If I only like shounen action anime, for example, I really don't need to dig deep to find a show to watch -- I'm practically bombarded with them from all corners of the internet.

Our goal is to provide a service to a certain kind of fan, not to increase our hit counter ad nauseum by being something we're not.  There's a reason our site has no ads, no pop-ups, and no pandering.

Quote from: cyanoacry
Moreover, should I point out---what are these reviews useful for, anyway? They obviously don't have much of a basis and personally I think many of my colleagues would argue that they're entirely useless. For a review to be useful, it'd basically indicate why this show should---or shouldn't be watched, what sorts of people would like it, etc. Preferably, such a review would coincide with the release of the anime in Japan in order to really, really help out those poor Western viewers who have nary a clue what they're actually saying.


I believe our reviews go into plenty of detail as to why the anime in question should be watched, much more so than simply saying "Watch this because it's moe-licious" If anime is to be respected as a medium, it needs to be held to some sort of objective standard.  Otherwise it is disposable commodity.

You're right.  Ideally our reviews would line up with the completion of fan-subbing or in time with an American release, and a great number of our reviews do just that.  Sometimes it doesn't work out that way, but these reviews are not useless.

Quote from: cyanoacry
But that's not the case. Your reviews are sometimes years late---such as that review of Nausicaa that went up a bit ago. It doesn't help anybody, especially considering that Nausicaa's already been regarded as a Ghibli classic and the review's perfect score of a ten does nothing but entrench the common fanbase's assessment. It's a third spinning wheel, nobody really cares about it.


You have a point here, but these "years late" reviews are not totally useless.  First of all, new people find out about anime all the time.  To them, at least for a while, everything is new.  Secondly, people need a basis with which to compare our opinions to their own to see if they can trust our opinions with titles they haven't seen.  Thirdly, I see no reason why we should only focus on the newest titles when there are plenty of older titles that are just as good as they are or better.

Quote from: cyanoacry
Moreover, it would seem that most of the reviews tend to follow the same bland, horribly uninteresting straight-face-no-lies editorial style that screams bloody legalese when examined at its roots. There ain't a smidgen of emotion in those posts.


I disagree.  I try to put some emotion into my writing and I think it comes through most of the time.  Is there any way you could give us an example of what you consider good anime reviewing/writing?

Quote from: cyanoacry
Plus, you've got to realize well that this is the new web, where immediacy and quick, short updates are the norm. You've got people in Japan blogging nearly hourly from their cellphones with short little blurbs of what happened, etc. Here, you've got longwinded, boring posts which basically restate what the fanbase (most likely) already knows, but to add insult to injury, they tend to be on a less-than-weekly-basis.


Well, the reason we added the blog element to the site is because of what you've just stated.  Review sites are down and blogs are up.  By turning our site into a blog/database hybrid we're attempting to get the best of both worlds.  If you want up to the minute information on specific series, read those blogs, or our forums.  If you want a full dissection of a series that has already finished, come to our database.  As for more and shorter updates on the blog, I'll definitely consider it.

Quote from: cyanoacry
The above is already a recipe for death. I could delve into how I disagree with certain people's reviewing styles, but I know I'm not the intended audience anyway (what, with me being a hardcore lolicon with a mahou shoujo fetish).


I think that's what the main problem is.  You're not the intended audience, but thank you for taking the time to let us know what you think we're doing wrong instead of just going elsewhere on the internet.

Quote from: cyanoacry
What you've got going for you, though, though is an interesting editorial style, as evidenced on the BtNHRV blog. Sure, while I may not agree with your assessments at all, at least it's interesting reading with a hint of emotion in it. There's interesting stuff to be read there, and while I think that most of it is pure bunk, at least I had fun reading it. I read BtNHRV for the same reason that I read Hop, Step, Jump and Anime on my Mind. There are actual opinions there, things that I couldn't gather myself.


I'm glad you like our blog, and this tells me that the idea was a good one, and by diversifying we've snagged readers who would otherwise pass us by.

Quote from: cyanoacry
Reading through the reviews on the main site is an exercise in staying awake. Each article is basically a recipe-list of measuring x,y, and z metric and then nodding everybody off to sleep about how x plot point was good and y plot point wasn't so good, while offering little to no actual substantiation to back those claims.


When you've written a ton of reviews, it's hard to find new ways to dissect the crucial elements of an anime.  But I do the best I can to add the occasional flourish to my reviews.  Again, specific examples where we did not substantiate our claims, or were particularly formulaic would be very helpful.

Offline Shadowmage

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Re: Monthly traffic reports 2007
« Reply #39 on: July 27, 2007, 10:51:07 AM »
To be blunt, each and every single one of us have different views and ideals as to what the NHRV is about.  Personally, I agree with most of your (cyanoacry) points.  IMO, we are doing a tough balancing act between informing and entertaining.  Yes, both can be done, and yes, we are not doing both successfully.  I always try to infuse a colloquial style to my reviews with a bit of humor and a dash of wit, but only a fraction of my reviews have all these elements.  

As for the "why", personally, I write becuase I find it fun.  I hope my writing level is high enough so that my posts don't sound like mindless trolling, but I write because of the same reason you and so many other bloggers write: entertainment.  I'm working on my skills to entertain others with my writing, and I do hope that time makes my writing better.  

As for success and failure, I'm not as uptight about it as my other colleagues.  As I stated above, we all write becuase we derive a level of entertainment or satisfaction from our efforts.  I admit, making this a niche site will draw in more loyal viewers, but if you take the time to look at each reviewer's tastes,there are plenty of small niches within our hierarchy.

I recommend Mobile Suit, RX-0 and Unicorn from the Unicorn OST.

Offline sevenzig

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Re: Monthly traffic reports 2007
« Reply #40 on: July 27, 2007, 11:47:42 AM »
I like you Cyanoacry. We need more people like you.

Offline AC

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Re: Monthly traffic reports 2007
« Reply #41 on: July 28, 2007, 09:25:04 PM »
Quote from: Shadowmage
To be blunt, each and every single one of us have different views and ideals as to what the NHRV is about. Personally, I agree with most of your (cyanoacry) points. IMO, we are doing a tough balancing act between informing and entertaining. Yes, both can be done, and yes, we are not doing both successfully. I always try to infuse a colloquial style to my reviews with a bit of humor and a dash of wit, but only a fraction of my reviews have all these elements.
 
As for the "why", personally, I write becuase I find it fun. I hope my writing level is high enough so that my posts don't sound like mindless trolling, but I write because of the same reason you and so many other bloggers write: entertainment. I'm working on my skills to entertain others with my writing, and I do hope that time makes my writing better.
 
As for success and failure, I'm not as uptight about it as my other colleagues. As I stated above, we all write becuase we derive a level of entertainment or satisfaction from our efforts. I admit, making this a niche site will draw in more loyal viewers, but if you take the time to look at each reviewer's tastes,there are plenty of small niches within our hierarchy.
Well said, Shadowmage. Basically, I think most of us will agree that we reviewers write because:
[list=1]
  • We love anime, and want to convey it through writing
  • We want others to know each of our tastes in anime titles
  • Share interests in writing and watching anime
Writing about anime can be very tedious at times. By being too informative, it becomes too dry, like how some other critics have claimed. However by being too entertaining, it becomes too incoherent and too much 'beating around the bush'. I was initially leaning towards the latter category: I began writing with too much descriptive elaboration, which Shadowmage was pointed out to me to put under scrutiny. I have, and it has improved my overall writing skills.
 
Reviewers will always trying to improve on our writing skills, both enlighteningly and uncoventionally. Through this, we hope we can attract more inspiring anime reviewers to our site.

Offline cyanoacry

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Re: Monthly traffic reports 2007
« Reply #42 on: July 30, 2007, 12:21:10 AM »
Quote from: Sorrow-kun
Maybe not.  Who knows?  We're just providing the service and if people read us, so much the better.

If you're just out for pure enjoyment in writing reviews, that's great and well. Unfortunately the history of this thread looks like you're assuming the opposite---you're catering to a fanbase of a certain sort. You haven't exactly said what, but you said you're making changes... to what ends?

Quote from: Sorrow-kun
We're not really interested in pandering to a certain fanbase.  The idea of these reviews is that we pretty much call things as we see them.  You may be right, there may no longer be a significant neutral anime fanbase anymore.  Then again, there may well be, just that they're not terribly vocal.  Who knows?

If you're not pandering to a certain fanbase, you should at the very least pander to yourself. Literature written without an audience in mind is the same as conversing to thin air. It might be entertaining for the first few minutes, but it's a pretty hopeless endeavor.

If there is a neutral anime fanbase, I'd like to take the chance to try and brainwash them to come over to the dark side with me. Honestly, I don't see how people can be very much "neutral" about an entire genre like this; certainly doing so would mean posessing a certain hate for all shows across the board---while neutral, I doubt you could call that a fanbase at all. The use of the word fanbase connotes that they're, at the very least, dedicated. How can you have a group of people dedicated to neutrality?

Quote from: Sorrow-kun
It's not our place to determine whether they exist or not, we just continue writing to them regardless.  Like I said, if people read us, that's great.  People need to know we exist first.

Well, I know a lot more people do know that you exist now. Albeit, the comments I've received about your site so far are far from rewarding. Perhaps my associates and I are the wrong demographic...

Quote from: Sorrow-kun
Is it really that important that we don't have a specific target audience in mind?  

...but you need to know who you're aiming for if you want exposure. If you write without a target audience, there won't be many people who stick around, mainly because they'll like a couple things but made terribly bored by everything else on the site. By directing your efforts towards a certain group of people, no matter how tenuous that relationship, you're entering into a dialogue with those fans in which they enjoy your work much more than if they only appreciated every nth article.

Quote from: Sorrow-kun
We're writing recommendations, but the most important thing overall is to be fair to the title we're putting under the microscope.  Understandably, in cases like Nausicaa, reviewers are going to come to similar conclusions as the majority.  It may well make such a review less relevant than others, but that's not going to stop us from putting it into our database for the sake of completion.

If you're doing it for the sake of completion, please don't write it. It serves nobody, and at the very least I hope that you write such reviews because you enjoy them. Writing reviews just to make sure you've covered all your classic series and everything out this season might be some reason to write, but it isn't a very good one.

Quote from: Sorrow-kun
But, far more important than that, is we're putting light onto titles that aren't well known.  While ever blogger and his dog was following Mai-Otome or Suzumiya Haruhi, how many people were talking about Hataraki Man or Fantastic Children?  

That's definitely a good point. Unfortunately, people will have to weedle through the rest of the reviews that you've got to find such gems.

You should emphasize on the small, niche series if you're going for that---which I would totally support. It sort of goes with the live-action concept, which definitely lacks -any- large Western fanbase at the moment (except the folks over at J-addicts).

Quote from: Sorrow-kun
We have reviews of those.  And what of the live action medium, a medium that has very little exposure in the West?  Sure, we may only have a limited number of titles reviewed, but we're one of the few presences on the English-speaking internet that have anything to say about a lot of these titles.  The fact is, a lot of people out there aren't going to even know that many of these titles, both anime and live action, even exist.  If we provide information AND opinions on them in an at-fingertips fashion, I can't see why what we're doing is wrong.

Yup.

Quote from: Sorrow-kun
I don't necessarily agree, but if people think the writing is dry, then so be it.  We want to be fair and honest with our reviews, with at least some amount of objectivity.  The idea is that they're an informative recommendation.  The main aim isn't really to emotionally sway or entertain the reader (although there's no attempt to quash our reviews from doing so), the main aim is to provide our readers with informed observations to aid them in coming to a decision in whether they want to watch the title or not.

If it's a encyclopaedic sort of knowledge you're looking to amass here, I applaud you. Unfortunately that sort of thing -isn't- terribly interesting and is rather fun to look at in retrospect but never in the moment.

I suppose it depends on what you're trying to get out of this endeavor. If you're looking to launch a site that's encyclopaedic in knoweledge and is only ever brought up in the fandom as an authoratitve, but rather dull site, so be it. But the much more appealing alternative would be to write those lovely editorials and to insert a little more love and deobjectivity into the reviews.

I personally don't like encyclopedia articles, but if it floats your boat, hey. Go ahead.

Quote from: Sorrow-kun
Thanks for the criticism, but, in all honesty, I don't think there's all that much wrong with what we're doing.  The only thing that's wrong is that we don't have enough exposure right now.

You've got the exposure. To an audience you didn't expect, albeit. We'll see how it plays out.

Quote from: Kuma
First of all, thank you for your blunt and honest outsider's opinion. We have had precious little criticism from our readers, and we really need feedback. I would say that our purpose is to provide a database of objective reviews of anime, Japanese live action film, and Japanese music, to aid our readers in finding new titles to digest. We can debate if such a thing is helpful or necessary, but that is our purpose as I see it. Our "demographic" is fans of Japanese media. There is definitely a dedicated fanbase for that, it just seems that they haven't found us yet. As for what we have going for us, we are one of very few sites to try to build a database of live action reviews, which is a very new fandom in the Western world.

You're quite very welcome. I love to provide criticism because it means I'm helping there being one less site extinction. Your live-action reviews are rocking.

Quote from: Kuma
I understand what you're saying, but I think that's the wrong way of looking at it. First of all, this "neutral baseline audience" as you call it does exist. Not every fan of anime watches only moe, or shoujo, or shounen action series etc. There are plenty of fans who watch all sorts of anime and who are looking for new experiences within the world of anime.

Hmm, fair enough. I've seen maybe one of these specimens out in the wild, and I hope they're not an endangered species. We should lobby to make them protected. (While I'm saying this in half-jest, it definitely appears to be the case that the anime scene is more polarized, if anything, towards certain causes. You could hardly come across a fan these days that, with knowledge of the Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu, was indifferent towards Haruhiism. They either hated it or loved it.)

Quote from: Kuma
We try to provide these people with objective reviews to help them decide what to watch next. Besides, it's not like it's possible to be perfectly objective; I believe our own personal tastes do come through in our reviews. Using our reviews to further push people into their own demographics is unnecessary. If I only like shounen action anime, for example, I really don't need to dig deep to find a show to watch -- I'm practically bombarded with them from all corners of the internet.

That is, assuming that those shows are good. Some people are discerning fans within their own genre; for example while I am a vapid mahou shoujo fan, I tend not to watch series that depress me due to their obvious lack of funding, talent on staff, or both.

I really hope that the baseline audience exists, at this point.

Quote from: Kuma
Our goal is to provide a service to a certain kind of fan, not to increase our hit counter ad nauseum by being something we're not. There's a reason our site has no ads, no pop-ups, and no pandering.

Unfortunately, it'd seem that, for some reason, by catering to this sort of fan, you're draining the fun from it. It's sometimes -much- better to pander to your fanbase and entertain them.

Quote from: Kuma
I believe our reviews go into plenty of detail as to why the anime in question should be watched, much more so than simply saying "Watch this because it's moe-licious" If anime is to be respected as a medium, it needs to be held to some sort of objective standard. Otherwise it is disposable commodity.

That an anime is moelicious is exactly what I like to hear. Sure, go ahead and review a show on its merits, and I'll look at that too. But it's rather fun, and sometimes suprising, to be extremely nonobjective in these situations. I'd love to see everybody's initial-non-objective-wtfuxdidthatjusthappenrly-type of reaction, preceded (or followed) by a proper writeup.

And I would argue that anime is, sometimes, a disposable commodity. Maybe you need a one-off series to kill time; I've downloaded series that others said were horrid (Kokoro Toshokan), yet managed to fall in love with it all the same.

And then there are those truly disposable animes whose only purpose is to kill 30 minutes--along with some braincells.

Quote from: Kuma
You have a point here, but these "years late" reviews are not totally useless. First of all, new people find out about anime all the time. To them, at least for a while, everything is new. Secondly, people need a basis with which to compare our opinions to their own to see if they can trust our opinions with titles they haven't seen. Thirdly, I see no reason why we should only focus on the newest titles when there are plenty of older titles that are just as good as they are or better.

You make a fair point; I totally agree with you there.

Quote from: Kuma
I disagree. I try to put some emotion into my writing and I think it comes through most of the time. Is there any way you could give us an example of what you consider good anime reviewing/writing?

Sure.

A good example of a series-overview post would be one of Jeff Lawson's recent write-ups, particularly his small tidbit about sola:

http://anime.jefflawson.net/2007/07/05/into-thin-air/

As per editorials, I awfully like writeups about the fandom itself, but that may be just beacuse I have a tidbit of anthropologist in me:

http://anime.jefflawson.net/2007/06/17/bad-moon-rising/

There's good example of a one-shot-episode series assessment over at Anime on My Mind:

http://anime.miao.us/archives/2007/07/17/1119/

(Not very objective, but he brings up what his demographic will and won't like. Plus it's funny.)

I have some other blogs that I frequent whose posts have summarily impressed me the world over, but I can't come up with those particular links at the time. They're lost somewhere, but I'll find them soon enough.

Quote from: Kuma
I think that's what the main problem is. You're not the intended audience, but thank you for taking the time to let us know what you think we're doing wrong instead of just going elsewhere on the internet.

Yessir. One mahou-shoujo-heroine addicted lolicon at your service, sir!

Quote from: Kuma
When you've written a ton of reviews, it's hard to find new ways to dissect the crucial elements of an anime. But I do the best I can to add the occasional flourish to my reviews. Again, specific examples where we did not substantiate our claims, or were particularly formulaic would be very helpful.

Well, alright, to be honest there are just a couple of instances which have really pegged me to the board here.

I'm easily taken away and have a very low threshold for my suspension of disbelief to kick in. Which is why I think that it's quite odd that Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora and Gift ~eternal rainbow~ are two of my favorite anime, but...

Sorrow gave Hanbun a 3 and Gift a 5.

And on the opposite side of the spectrum, I thought Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora was one hell of a trainwreck just because of its over the top cliche characters who I spent more time laughing at (in a half-demented state questioning while I was still watching) as well as the fact that you could see the plot elements from a mile away, or two miles if you'd seen Kannazuki no Miko.

Sorrow gave it a 6.

I'm definitely the wrong demographic here.

There are a couple of other eroge adaptations which I wish ranked higher, but you're probably correct in assessing as in the low end of the spectrum, when rated on face value and ignoring sentimality towards the characters with which we've already bonded as eroge players.

But I digress.

Quote from: Shadowmage
As for the "why", personally, I write becuase I find it fun. I hope my writing level is high enough so that my posts don't sound like mindless trolling, but I write because of the same reason you and so many other bloggers write: entertainment. I'm working on my skills to entertain others with my writing, and I do hope that time makes my writing better.  

That's an awesome reason to write, and I hope you continue to do so.

Quote from: AC
Writing about anime can be very tedious at times. By being too informative, it becomes too dry, like how some other critics have claimed. However by being too entertaining, it becomes too incoherent and too much 'beating around the bush'. I was initially leaning towards the latter category: I began writing with too much descriptive elaboration, which Shadowmage was pointed out to me to put under scrutiny. I have, and it has improved my overall writing skills.

You can toe the fine line with practice and insert snippets of funny and outright ridiculous while still sticking to the subject. I've seen it happen, and you've got to moderate how often to write like that, but I think that injecting a good dose of entropy does a lot to liven up a piece.

Certainly, if you'd like to stick to professional writing becaus your job is an author, journalist, or otherwise, feel free to do that. The Internet is a different medium, though, and only those who are the target of your work truly deserve the right to critique it.

(Yes, I know I'm a hypocrite following that last rule, but hey, nobody else pitched in any advice so I thought i'd offer some of my own.)

Offline C0MPL3X

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Re: Monthly traffic reports 2007
« Reply #43 on: July 30, 2007, 01:39:26 AM »
I agree with you that most of the reviews are not the most entertaining. I also agree that often, they measure 'x, y, etc' factors without giving examples to back it up. No idea what fanbase these reviews are dedicated too, but as a non-staff member, it's nice to have very brief observations on animes that went under my radar, or animes that I've dropped. I'm bit strange in a way that 90% of animes bore/irritate me than entertain me, and I loathe the idea of starting to watch a show then dropping a bomb on it. So in that sense, this site is pretty helpful. Actually, in that sense, this site does better job than any other site I've come across (although I haven't been to many). I think it also helps that I am familiar with most of the reviewers' tastes, so it's easier to make something out of it compared to analysis done by people whose opinions are unknown to me. But newcomers will be complete strangers to the reviewers here so hmm.
 
And I agree that the site does need a fanbase if the staff wants any activity and popularity. If the staff do desire activity and popularity, they should identify the fanbase, and work on how to supply their demands. If writing for fun is the aim, and acitivity and popularity comes secondary (as in, doesn't matter if they like it or not, because we're having fun), then o well I guess there is no problem.

Offline Ascaloth

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Re: Monthly traffic reports 2007
« Reply #44 on: July 30, 2007, 03:47:48 AM »
Quote from: cyanoacry
If there is a neutral anime fanbase, I'd like to take the chance to try and brainwash them to come over to the dark side with me. Honestly, I don't see how people can be very much "neutral" about an entire genre like this; certainly doing so would mean posessing a certain hate for all shows across the board---while neutral, I doubt you could call that a fanbase at all. The use of the word fanbase connotes that they're, at the very least, dedicated. How can you have a group of people dedicated to neutrality?

...but you need to know who you're aiming for if you want exposure. If you write without a target audience, there won't be many people who stick around, mainly because they'll like a couple things but made terribly bored by everything else on the site. By directing your efforts towards a certain group of people, no matter how tenuous that relationship, you're entering into a dialogue with those fans in which they enjoy your work much more than if they only appreciated every nth article.

The way I see it, our supposed "neutral anime fanbase" should be defined as the newcomers to the Japanese medium; or to put it another way, those who are only now just finding out about the Japanese medium of work, and therefore do not possess as ingrained a set of bias as long-time consumers of the Japanese media. In that respect, they can be said to be a group of people dedicated to neutrality; our job is to give the first opinion on what's hot and what's not, and help them make their own choices and develop their own bias as they consume more and more of the Japanese media.



Quote
If it's a encyclopaedic sort of knowledge you're looking to amass here, I applaud you. Unfortunately that sort of thing -isn't- terribly interesting and is rather fun to look at in retrospect but never in the moment.

I suppose it depends on what you're trying to get out of this endeavor. If you're looking to launch a site that's encyclopaedic in knoweledge and is only ever brought up in the fandom as an authoratitve, but rather dull site, so be it. But the much more appealing alternative would be to write those lovely editorials and to insert a little more love and deobjectivity into the reviews.

I personally don't like encyclopedia articles, but if it floats your boat, hey. Go ahead.

Perhaps, that is why we do it; dry, encyclopedic articles tend to suit the newcomer who's interested to know what's worth viewing, better than the veteran who already know what's worth viewing. ;)


Quote
You can toe the fine line with practice and insert snippets of funny and outright ridiculous while still sticking to the subject. I've seen it happen, and you've got to moderate how often to write like that, but I think that injecting a good dose of entropy does a lot to liven up a piece.

Maybe that's something we can leave to the BtNHRV staff blog?
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