So true to my last post of 2017, I want to take the opportunity to put forward a content plan for the blog over the next 12 months.
One of the goals I set out for myself was to post at least once every month. Another goal was to take inspiration from the multitude of professional and amateur writers out there to produce my own work. On top of those goals, I also made mild suggestions of turning ideas from 12 Days into running series for the blog.
After some brainstorming, I have decided upon a number of different concepts I can pursue on a semi-regular basis. The reason I don’t promise anything more consistent than that is because I want to cast a wide net, and because giving myself the freedom to dive in and out should prevent anything from being forced into creation.
It goes without saying that the following list is about concepts that can be used more than once, so all ideas for one-off articles are not included, and thus are expected to be littered throughout the year as normal. The list is also subject to change as more avenues are thought up, in which case I’ll just update the post rather than make a follow up.
PS. I know the titles are boring. I’ll be more creative closer to the launch date. Promise.
Take a style of blogging or long running series from a mutual writer and create a tribute post, taking the core fundamentals of their work while adapting it into my own words, with full credit to them. Only one post inspired per creative.
I think this is both the quickest and most direct way to address the whole “take inspiration” goal for 2018. Perhaps it’s quite on the nose, but I think by being unsubtle about it I can in turn take the opportunity to direct positive attention towards the people I appreciate in the aniwriting scene.
An example of this (and admittedly the one I want to try first) would be to talk about architecture in anime in the same vein as Heyitszel, highlighting something she hasn’t talked about before so that my thoughts can be both original and (hopefully) insightful. Then either at the start or the end I can say, “If you liked this, then you’ll love the person making it on a regular basis!”.
I think as a ground rule, I’ll make sure to contact the person I ‘mimic’ beforehand to get their consent, just so that I don’t hurt anyone who maybe wouldn’t appreciate this approach. After all I do want this series to be a constructive experience for everyone involved.
Read any manga series/one-shot to completion, using it as a platform to explore themes, writing conventions, artistry and more. Digital publications are preferred due to the ability to source panel illustrations for a post.
Another topic I mentioned in the yearly digest was that in 2016 I wrote about manga, which is something I never returned to in 2017. This year I want to correct that, because frankly some of the anime I’ve enjoyed the most in the past few years have been adaptations of a long in-print source material. It is past due that I checked out this vast library of works instead of relying solely on anime releases.
If you want a rough sketch of how this would be carried out, simply check out the post I made Bakemono Recchan (a long-ass time ago).
The reason I specify that it has to be completed, is really just because there is no shortage of works being written right now that will either never be completed, or will take years/decades to finalize. If what I write could be quickly outdated, then it makes sense to focus my attention on works that I can have a concrete discussion on.
Anime Feminist has a running series titled “AniFem Talk”. These posts include a number of discussion prompts that are designed as starting points for readers to get engaged in conversation. The aim of the version on my blog, will be to respond to these questions off-site and at much greater length.
I’ve long since been an Anime Feminist supporter and have made no secret of that. However I haven’t actually contributed articles to the site or written in the comment section. By using the AniFem talks posts as a springboard, I intend to correct this lack of involvement and perhaps help direct further interest towards the site.
You might be wondering why I don’t use their comment section, and the comes down to the fact that I don’t use Disqus, and would rather engage with the audience I’ve built up here than total strangers over there.
I don’t intend to respond to every AniFem Talk (e.g. “what did you think of X season of anime?”) but for anything that catches my interest, you can be sure it will find a place over on this blog.
Series Follow Along
This is designed to be a way to engage with the seasonal anime discourse, while keeping it lighthearted and easier to manage. Rather than talk about every show in a season, I will pinpoint a show that catches my interest, and create one post per episode in response to whatever subject matter I find conversational.
There are a few writers out there at the minute who create thoughtful yet self-contained commentary on seasonal anime. They somehow manage to talk about each episode as if it had the length and depth of an entire series, and without resorting to vapid speculation or play-by-play commentary.
I like that a lot, so I want to give it a try myself. To that end, when I do pick a show, don’t expect me to review its contents in a conventional manner. In fact if you catch me doing that, please feel free to call me out on it.
Take one character from one series or franchise, and reverse engineer their fashion choices. This can cover more than outfit, but ideally does not exceed 3 in total. Alternative outfits that feature on magazine covers are okay, but should be secondary to the characters regular attire. The post can cover what works, what doesn’t, what I would wear and lastly what I think might suit them based on their current wardrobe.
A concept first introduced during my 12 Days of Anime run. It’s first iteration was cluttered and constantly switched attention around a variety of articles of clothing. This was partially a result of talking about multiple characters at once, and picking otufits that had no connection or continued theme.
This time around I’m going to consolidate all that. One character, only a few outfits and further detail. Rather than jumping from one thing to another, I can slowly build up an idea of what their style is, and explore how it works during the process.
Seasonal OP Guessfest
Taking a unique selection of anime openings at the start of a new season, using them to speculate on how the plot of a given show will progress. If possible, adaptations with readily available source material and wiki’s will be avoided in order to keep discussion assumptive. Viewers are also invited to take part and make their own predictions.
Completing that 12 Days throwback to my reddit days truly reignited my passion for this kind of content. It’s easy enough to make, because really all you’re doing is taking a sequence of uncertain imagery and letting your imagination run wild. The fact that you then have something to go back to once the show is complete is just a cherry on the cake.
I’m excited to see how this plays out, because the last post got quite a bit of engagement from readers, and those were shows that are long since past. Bringing it back at a time when everyone can be involved should only boost the interaction to be had.
As a rule though, I think I’ll avoid shows that run longer than one season, have uninteresting OPs or suggest a story free from the drama/plot twists that would make speculation worthwhile.
These are the five ideas that I have clear vision for so far. As I said before, there might be more that get added, but otherwise I’m happy with what I have here. I certainly don’t want to overburden myself before I even get my feet off the ground, but I think given the sporadic posting schedule intended for most of the running series, there isn’t any immediate worries about that.
I look forward to helping these posts come to fruition, and I hope to see you back around when the time comes.
Thanks for reading!