Rabbit Poets – Three years and then some

Rabbit Poets was actually born in October 2008, so technically it’s already 3 years old, but I tend to celebrate the anniversaries close to the last day of the year, because a.) that’s when I became more serious about writing regularly and b.) frankly, it’s just easier to remember that way. Still, my relative absence over the last couple months did make me consider whether a picture of a funeral would be more fitting than a celebration. So with that said, I think I’m due an explanation and my thoughts moving forward.

Three years and hundreds of virgin followers

The last three months

So my absence wasn’t unplanned per se. I knew that the first quarter of grad school was going to be really demanding on my time, so I had no plans to write episodically for the fall season. However, I probably should’ve at least posted about it in advance. I was just hoping it would fall under the radar, which was partly why I ramped up on writers in the months prior to ideally fill the void while I bowed out for the season. Unfortunately, as circumstance would have it, my writers ran into a similar time crunch as me, and to be honest, I did a poor job of managing the situation. Not only did I lack the time to write regularly, I lacked the time to guide my writers, and for that I apologize.

On the bright side, my absence has nothing to do with me losing interest in anime. Actually, after getting one of those HP Touchpads on fire sale, I’ve even started reading manga (really love the Natsume Yuujinchou manga, there’s definitely enough good stories for the fourth season).

  • Loved Fate/Stay Zero, although I really wish they would’ve just made it a straight forward two coeurs instead of giving us a cliffhanger and four months of wait
  • Really liked Haganai, or OreImo 2, except with more sentimentality and a much better soundtrack (or maybe I’d just call it a better, less otaku-pandering version of OreImo). Basically, it was AIC doing what it does best
  • Ika Musume 2 has been ok, but as expected completely unnecessary
  • Persona 4 has had its ups and downs – more downs than ups lately, although the last episode was probably the best of the season so far
  • Guilty Crown was a disgraceful disappointment and was dropped. I don’t hate Shuu or any of the characters, but the show is just so soulless and unengaging. What is up with soulless, crappy action mecha shows this season? First Star Driver, then Sacred Seven, then Guilty Crown. Bones, Sunrise and now Production IG – all just completely dropping the ball. Did Code Geass inadvertently ruin the mecha genre?
  • Have heard good things about Mirai Nikki, but haven’t watched it yet. I’m collecting episodes, so I can start marathoning it once it gets close to completion.

About episodic blogging

I will admit I have grown increasingly frustrated with episodic blogging – which hasn’t exactly helped my not-so-prolific output.

It’s similar to my concerns with the season preview post – basically, what’s the point? I remember someone posted a while back, I want to say it was Hinano, but it might’ve been someone else, about how episodic blogs initially arose. And how they fulfilled a need by getting fans up to speed while they waited days, even weeks, for the show and episode to be subbed. This was why blog posts of yore often had detailed summaries and loads of screenshots. Nowadays, if the show isn’t simulcast, a sub group has the show up within a day, if not hours, of the RAW hitting the net. No one reads episodics for the information anymore.

So if it’s not about information, is it about our opinions and speculation? But I’m convinced that it can’t just be about that. If that’s all it was about, then we should just post on a board like anime suki where an actual discussion can occur. After years of contemplating the value of comments and trying to figure out ways to encourage them, I’ve come to the conclusion that I was really just trying to pound a square peg into a round hole. Blogs are good for generating “feedback”, but they’re not an ideal vehicle for sustained or invested “conversation”.

So I’m convinced that episodics need to be like mini-editorials. And actually, that’s how I’ve approached it mentally for a while now, even if I was probably not that successful in reality. But sometimes the material might not be there, so dutifully writing after each episode becomes more challenging, if occasionally superfluous. I want to approach the routine of episodic writing completely differently.

The future

To be perfectly honest, the next quarter isn’t necessarily going to be easier for me. However, one bonus is unlike last quarter where I had classes start at 8am everyday and was stuck at school for basically 12 hours a day, I start classes much later this next quarter, so thankfully, I’m not going to be held hostage at school all day long. This means even though my school obligations won’t be alleviated much, I’ll be able to make better use of all my time.

My expectation is that I will be following a show “episodically”. Not guaranteed, but if there’s an interesting show, that’s my plan. In the event that I don’t, I will still be writing more frequently – hopefully trying to think of topics as interesting as the ones Triple_R has done in the past. I’m also hoping to be plugged back into the community again – whether through the blogs or through twitter… when I’m away from my computer, Twitter continues to be out of sight, out of mind for me – even with a vast array of mobile apps to rely on.

Writers-wise, Triple_R will still be spinning his golden silk. I’m also happy to say Sabishii, after a school-initiated sabbatical, will be back.

On the downside, I’m sorry to say that Lemmi, Essick and Sophy won’t be back for the new year. I realized I had less time to manage my writers, so I wanted to consolidate the team. I want to thank them for all their help and support. I really enjoyed working with them and wish them the best. (And of course, hn_elly too, although this was a summertime change)

I also want to thank the readers and the blogosphere. If you didn’t exist, I probably would’ve folded up shop.

As far as predictions go, I guarantee that Rabbit Poets will be around for at least two more years… because I just recently paid the two-year bill for continued hosting. So bear with us for a while longer. Winking smile

16 Replies to “Rabbit Poets – Three years and then some”

  1. Congratulations on 3 years! You are a pretty important fellow, so, it would be nice to keep you around for a few more years. 😛

    Oh, and you probably already noticed, but along with 3 years, you also passed the mythical 2 year failure mark that Master Scamp once talked about.

  2. While I think asking the big questions, like “what do I expect people to get out of this?” is a good thing to do from time to time, I think it is also acceptable to maintain a selfish purpose mixed into the bunch. In particular your blog gives you a forum for expressing things; you don’t have to decide now on what kinds of things those always will be. You might have an essay in you some day, and this is a good place for it. You might want to comment on a series just to say how cool an episode was. You might feel there is no reason to write a season preview (or review, or a big list of the best characters, or OPs), but some day you might be moved to do so, and Rabbit Poets will be there for you. In my opinion that is enough justification for it to continue to exist. (Audience be damned!)

    That being said, I agree that some of the “original” reason for episodics is no longer relevant. On the other hand, I find myself reading them. In addition to getting people’s reactions, and engaging in a conversation, I look to them to get a sense of what a show is like when I am not watching it myself. There are far too many shows to watch all of them, so getting a peak at what a real episode is like is helpful in letting me know whether I was right in avoiding a particular series.

    1. You make good points, and I probably underplayed the importance of “my” motivation in writing above, but it’s definitely a consideration that’s as important as the “what do I expect others to get out of this”. There’s definitely a balance to strike.

      I will say that the longer the blog has gone, and particularly, the moment I opened it up to include other perspectives beyond my own, the less I thought of it as “my” blog and more of the “community’s” blog. If that makes sense. This comes with its own pluses and minuses. On the plus side, I feel more accountable in that I try not to post anything that doesn’t seem “worthy” of a post. On the downside, it also has meant I’ve experimented less. So if I compare my output in the past year to the my output in the first year, I think my posts have been consistently better – way less random crap – but less adventurous as far as style and structure goes.

  3. While episodics may no longer be useful for spoiling yourself after someone blogs about the raw, the summary aspect still serves some important purposes. It sets the table for discussion and it gives posts longevity. Furthermore, as Joojoobees mentions, reading the summary is still a lot faster than watching an episode, so you can get a somewhat objective gist of the quality of an episode quickly.

    Everyone who falls behind on episodics inevitably blames the format and says they will switch to an editorial format. This is like saying that doing incremental work is too difficult and instead you will come out with regular accelerated brilliance. I think it is just easier to get away with not blogging for periods of times with editorials personally, but I am of course biased.

    With that said, I hope you’re really back and look forward to reading some new posts here.

    1. Thankfully, I’ve never had a problem with falling behind on episodics – to me timeliness is the #1 most important aspect of episodic writing – which was the major reason why I took myself out of circulation this past season. I could’ve written episodically, but I knew I couldn’t commit to my standard for timeliness.

      I think the difference for me between episodic vs. editorial is that it’s just a difference in the perspective you take in your writing. I don’t necessarily think of one as being more “brilliant” than the other – although I know the supposed “quality” difference between episodic vs. editorials seems to be the common theme for most other bloggers. I also don’t know that one is easier than the other. You know probably better than me, good episodic writing is actually really difficult to do. I think of episodic writing in the same vein as sports writing, which has been referred to as the hardest story to write, since you’re putting a different spin on the same story over and over.

      In the end, all this is really just a supporting theme for how I want to try to approach episodics – in reality, my style is my style, it probably won’t feel that different from before.

      With all that said, thanks. I’m hoping getting back into the swing of things will be like remembering how to ride a bike. 😛

  4. So that’s where you’ve been! Not l-like I-I missed you, or a-anything!

    Not gonna wade into the episodics vs. editorials debate too deeply, but (as a predominantly epi-blogger who wishes to write more editorials in the future myself) I can see your point when you say, ‘episodics need to be like mini-editorials’. Saying that, Joojoo and Kabitan also make pertinent points re: the need to just express yourself on one’s ani-blog and the creativity that can still exist within epi-blogging.

    Above all, it needs to be fun, of course and I hope it has been. Finally, congrats – senpai! 🙂

    1. b-b-baka! *blush* 😉

      Yeah, to me it’s not really a debate so much as challenging myself to figure out new ways to keep writing fresh and interesting. In the end it needs to be entertaining both for the writer and the reader.

      Thanks Hana! 😀

  5. Happy Third Anniversary! 🙂

    Sorry for not keeping more in touch over the past couple of months. It’s been hectic for me in the real world, partly since my immediate family all make something of a big month-long celebration out of Christmas, lol. It does make this time of year that much more enjoyable for me, but it also means that my Decembers eat into my spare time a lot.

    I definitely see your points on episodics, which is why I was never able to really get into them as a writer, and why I have great respect for those that can pull them off. I think with episodics the best approach to take is to have a rough estimate in your mind of how many blog posts you can put out per month, and to blog a fitting number of series based on that. So, for example, if you have enough time to put up 8 blog posts per month, then following two shows and blogging on them weekly would probably be perfect.

    Aside from that, I agree with your “mini-editorial” point. This is what can make the episodic blog review stand out apart from, say, most Anime Suki posts on individual episodes.

    As for my own plans for 2012, I do intend to keep writing here, continuing to put up a blog per month or so; maybe more if inspiration strikes. On a final note, thanks a lot for the compliments. I appreciate them, and hopefully they’ll help to motivate me to write a bit more here, lol.

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