Round 1 Matches 37-40

Continuing World vs Ashita no Anime

Manga Widget vs Yaranakya

Empty Blue vs Otakuness Anime Reviews

Kuriousity vs The Anime/Manga Harem Brigade

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41 thoughts on “Round 1 Matches 37-40

  1. Continuing versus Ashita no Anime – I still hold the theory that most people who are into this tourney are really into people, not so much blogs. I think the latter blog features an interesting personality, but the former blog has quality content. It’s not that Ashita no Anime’s posts are uninteresting, but they hit all the wrong buttons for me. As in, dropping shows on 1 ep and tl;dr on it. And o/c I am biased for knowing Schneider longer.

    Manga Widget does feel like a widget–it’s so organized. But at the same time if you can’t distinguish yourself apart from MMF activities then I’m like :/ even for manga blogs… Nothing wrong with MMF, it’s cool and all, but com’on! That said no manga blog stand a chance against Yaranakya anyway, just on the basis of providing translation on behind the scene stuff.

    Emptyblue reminds me of blogs from 2006. LOL. It’s cool, the content has a lot of personality. OTOH Otakuness has more bland content but the presentation is more up to date. The penguin “please subscribe” graphic is very cute, given the way it is used. Hard to distinguish but I think one blog covers VN content, which kind of elevates it over the other. Then again Otakuness does have the best 2-column, right-side-widget blog design and episodic review post layout that I have seen thus far… Can’t decide.

    Don’t particularly fancy either AMHB or Kuriousity, but the latter has traces of actual hard work and solid content. The layout is a bit of a wash with the former on the weaker side and Kuriousity’s design is simple, if unremarkable. Which is always the best side to err on. Kuriousity wins on content that is actually worth posting, rather than just posting on twitter w.

    • Hmm. Well, in my defense of the style of Ashita no Anime, I drop a lot of shows on episode 1 because I watch the first episode of pretty much EVERYTHING. I’m trying to be as diverse as possible and cover as much territory as I can. In doing so I have to prioritize what catches my attention right from the start and some legitimately decent shows may fall through the cracks because of that. But…if someone can convince me to give a particular series a little more time I’m more than willing to go back and revise my opinion after watching a little more. For example, I was going to drop Ano Natsu on the first episode, but a friend told me about how it ties in with Please Teacher. So I stuck with it and found that it was better than my initial impressions suggested. I hope that clears up my reasoning behind dropping so many shows after only a first impression.

      • Protip: You’re trying to convince someone who tries to watch 3 episodes of pretty much EVERYTHING. And guess what, I have no problem with people dropping shows on 1 ep or 15 seconds or -15 days. I have problem with people making snap judgment on a show with limited information and not recognizing that they’re doing it. If you like to wax on the proverbial judging a book by the cover you are welcome to, there is just no accounting for tastes and numerical grading on one episode. And what’s the point if there’s no accounting?

      • I’ve come to realize that you can’t judge any show by the first episode so I’ve always had a 2-3 episode bench for anything I try no matter how good or bad. But do you guys blame me for dropping the Bread anime in one ep? LOLS

  2. Brief Comments for Match 39: EmptyBlue vs Otakuness Anime Reviews
    Emptyblue: Yeah, the layout is rather outdated, but on the flip side, feal87 has a lot of personality which makes his writing a pleasure to read. The posts are short, but they get to the point.

    Otakuness Anime Reviews: Although it looks great in the design department, the content just doesn’t interest me and it sounds bland. Also, a lack of an archive widget is a big drawback. How I supposed to view your older posts?

  3. Empty Blue’s a growing site considering it’s so popular with 1 million views in 11 months (bit jealous but the guy deserves it ;D) Feal87 doesn’t use screencaps but instead uses fanart and even incorporating short scenes into his posts which is an innovative idea I haven’t seen others use. I guess the only thing I didn’t really like about the site is the layout. Not the shades of blue but how everything is kinda clustered together in a simple text format. Then again, if someone who has 1 million views in 11 months must be doing something good to get that many views and heaps of comments at that too so my opinion is quite minor ^^;

  4. Apologies to WP.com users; I didn’t realize there were so many limitations. Reviews will be adjusted for this.

    Continuing World – Twenty Ten from WP is a good theme, so there’s not much to say. In posts, images are inserted after 2-3 paragraphs. Posts are made weekly (at least). This is run by Schneider, the guy that’s been analyzing the competition here.

    Ashita no Anime – Wow, good theme. Site feels uncluttered, and that table in “Anime of the Week (4/8 – 4/14)” looks awesome. Unfortunately, episodic posts suffer from walls of text. Break them up into paragraphs! I expected more from an English teacher.

    This guy goes crazy with tags — for example “Aniblog Tourney, Editorial, introduction, news, welcome” all for one post. It’s absolutely ridiculous. Also, if you want to stick genres on posts, create a custom taxonomy for it in WP Admin instead of using tags (if you even can).

    Manga Widget – Posts desperately need more images. Large footer is bleh, despite me liking tag clouds. Not liking the calendar in particular. This guy hasn’t posted in 22 days; enough said.

    Yaranakya – Solid layout. “Accel World 03″ post does well with images, but others need more. Cytrus diligently categorizes and tags posts, but the series title tags are redundant. For example, “Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu” and “BakaTest” — pick one. New posts appear more than once a week, but this was not the case in March and February.

    Empty Blue – The banners are great. For Featured Posts, move the thumbnails between the title and text excerpt. Post titles are creative, but leaving out the ep # makes them hard to identify in bookmarks or AnimeNano. Starting every post with “Hello, Today we’ll talk about …” is weird and repetitive. Think of something unique each time or just remove that intro.

    New posts appear frequently, and the author finds ecchi images to use instead of screenshots. It’s clear that he’s really dedicated to the website. Also, I’ve seen feal87 comment on a large number of anime blogs; he sure likes to network.

    The layout packs as much as possible in the space given, and as such it feels *very* cluttered. This is a major issue. Think about what’s important in the sidebars, cut out half of the things, then cut out half of what remains. Maybe go down to one sidebar. Carefully consider page flow, and form a logical way to navigate without putting all the links up-front like they are now.

    Otakuness Anime Reviews – Good job with images in posts, but there are major wall of text issues. Move Recent Comments widget up higher and do something about that crazy long category list. Theme is pretty solid. Post frequency is great between the 3 authors. Very active blog.

    Kuriousity – The blue horizontal line between front page posts is a good idea. I would say more images are needed, but they probably wouldn’t fit with the kinds of posts here. For a blog that has so few comments, why the hell are you using CAPTCHA? That’s a good way to annoy potential commenters. Akismet is the way to go.

    The Anime/Manga Harem Brigade – What’s with the Nasagarete Airantou image looking squished? Stuff like that is unacceptable. “General Information” on top should be “About”, since that’s more recognizable and it’s the URL. Remove “Harem Brigade Feed” from the footer — it ruins the look.

    • On my “Anime of the Week” posts in Ashita no Anime, it’s very hard to get that into a logical paragraph format since I’m trying to repost my tweets in the most concise manner. I’ll see what I can do to clean it up, because so far a table has been the best solution I can find. =P

      As for my tags… I suppose I can incorporate common genres into the primary taxonomy. >_< In hindsight that really would help add more method to my madness. Lol, thanks.

    • Hi Motsucq,

      I’m one of the writers at otakuness. Love reading all the feedback and with the category thing… Well… =_=! WordPress is doing my head in and is having an issue with its alternative very of category listings. Either way, I will take a further look into how we can make that list shorter and more effective. =)

      Cheers

  5. I haven’t had much time lately because of work and other creative projects, so I’ll write about my opponent’s blog first and foremost.

    First, Alexander, your online name makes it hard for people to recall you. Not everyone knows katakana, and if I wanted to be scrupulous about it, I’d have to fire up my Japanese IME just to type your online name… This is important because as a blogger, you’ll want people to remember you, and that’s not going to happen if they can’t even read the moonrunes you’ve identified yourself with.

    I read your Tourney post in your blog. I like your message about personal taste, and your direction for writing Ashita no Anime is great (concise reviews of various anime).

    One problem, however, that I see, is that the posts you write don’t quite match up to the vision you have with your blog.

    You watch a lot of TV anime, and I get the feeling that you want to say something about every single one of them, but you end up merely giving your impressions and a value judgment whether you liked the episode (or not). You want to foment discussion, but there’s little for readers to discuss the episode with you in the comments, other than agree/disagree with your opinions. There’s no clearer indicator of this than the lack of comments you get. Readers have nothing to say or add to your posts.

    That’s the problem I have with review-style blogging: it’s pretty much one-way. Moving on.

    I also find the Anime of the Week series of little value. I think this is a trap that anime bloggers easily fall into: they tend to try and link several very coincidental things together just for the sake of putting up a post. This is very evident in Season Previews (which do have their use, but only when the very competent people do it). Most bloggers just do it wrong and end up lambasting 80% of upcoming anime that merely share an airing period with each other. So why should we care about anime episodes that aired in the same week? A roundup like this seems to aggregate posts you’ve already written just recently, and it smells like unnecessary filler. Little to discuss, too.

    Your personal taste is something I’d like to know more of, but all you’re doing is boxing everything with respect to it. Why did you like show X, and not show Y? What elements did you enjoy, and why? I know that your focus is not about lengthy editorials,but there’s place for these things in a good review, too. Speaking for myself, I find your posts to be too short.

    This is just my gut feeling, but you look like you’re forcing yourself to write your posts. It’s like you have to say something about this show you’re watching (or not watching anymore), despite these thoughts not really interesting to a general audience. What sets your opinion apart from some other blogger’s? I don’t see that from your posts. It might be good if you trim down your output and focus on the anime that you really feel like writing about, which you truly feel deserve your insight.

  6. Thanks for everyone’s feedback so far for us over at Otakuness! :)

    Never thought that our writing would be called “bland” though, since we (esp M0rg0th) seem to be pretty opinionated and vocal about many (but not all) series.

    Maybe in the future I’ll try to be more interesting? I don’t want to *overdo* it though, so if anyone has specific thoughts on what that specifically means I’d love to hear it! ;)

  7. Ashita no Anime and Otakuness Anime Reviews both need to work on paragraphing. I like to think of it like I would food: you might make a mean *insert delicious dish here* but if it’s not presentable, chances are you can’t really popularize it for popular consumption.

      • I’m pretty sure what they’re trying to say is that your one-paragraph reviews are too long (too many words) to be only one paragraph. Like, hit the enter key a few more times and you’ll be golden.

        I think that the concern is whether or not the text (and overall aesthetic appeal of a post) is pleasing to the eye, in addition to the mind.

        I wouldn’t take it too hard though. I think everyone’s just trying to help each other out with the suggestions/critiques…. And, you know, it’s always possible that the people who suggested that are just getting a little too used to Twitter’s 140-character limits. Hahaha! ;)

      • Taking this from the first anime-related wall-of-text I saw:

        What do you get when you try to cross a romantic, moe comedy with Lovecraft? The jumbled mess that is Haiyore! Nyaruko-san, that’s what. Seriously, just what were they thinking when they came up with the setting for this show? Were they throwing darts at post-it notes or did they just spin a roulette wheel of possible themes?

        Perhaps it might have worked if the writers didn’t actually think that they could spin these two mismatched concepts into something with real-world ties—‘cause really, how can anyone think that turning Nyarlathotep into a female, alien-otaku is a good idea? It expends way too much energy trying to legitimize itself as something more than the sum of its subtractive parts and it just doesn’t work. Also, it makes a lot of obscure references to the Cthulhu mythos that only someone deeply familiar with Lovecraft’s work is likely to understand. It’s so full of itself that it can’t see how unfathomably thick it is.

        I actually find this kind of poorly constructed amalgam to be insulting in the way the viewers are just expected to roll with it and accept something so half-baked. It also doesn’t do a very good job constructing its more romantic side with the male lead seemingly having some kind of bipolar disorder. He knows that his new protector is a crazy, nutzo, wild girl, but one minute he’s dealing out punishment for her transgressions by stabbing her with a fork and the next he’s enraptured by her wiles. Is this proof of the concept that the hotter a girl is the crazier she’s allowed to be?

        Well whatever…I think I’ve adequately made my point that Haiyore! Nyaruko-san is not worth any more of my time.

        —-

        1.) This can be done in infinitely many ways, and this is just one example where I haven’t tried to split your writing up too much.
        2.) Justification:

        Paragraph 1 is your introduction, where you sort of poke fun at it and set the tone for the rest of the post, in which you’ll be criticizing the show.

        Paragraph 2 is your analysis on the main character, its ties to the Cthulu Mythos, etc. This part largely deals with the points you identify concretely as its failures.

        Paragraph 3 is a bit difficult to say just where exactly you should split it; what I have above works best visually to prevent the preceding paragraph (P2) from being far too wordy. I split it there so you have your own concluding opinion about the story, before moving on to the problems you had with the romance part. (Just so you know, the fact that you started a sentence with “Also, …” two sentences before the second sentence in P3 makes the flow funky.

        Paragraph 4 is the conclusion.

          • 4-5 sentences is a good length to keep your paragraphs. You need to split them in this way because, even if your posts are 200-300 words in length, having breaks in the text allow your reader’s eyes to jump to the topic sentence of each paragraph easily, in turn facilitating comfort while reading.

    • I know what you mean by Paragraphing and we(otakuness) will be working on it as well. =) thanks for the feedback.

      All these constructive critism is awesome.

      I was wondering if perhaps someone could elaborate a bit more on the content being bland?

      It’s always good to know what people think of the writing. Afterall, we live to better ourselves (or whine about our downfalls in a closet). =)

      Cheers

      • I have no idea what prompted others to use the word bland but after reading a few postings the other day, here are a couple of quick comments. Please take with a grain of salt.

        From the Amnesia.01 review…

        “There’s a whole lot more of the stupid-girl being obnoxious, some foreshadowing about some sentimental stuff regarding ghost-girl’s apparently forgotten past, and something about Yuuko’s body being underneath the club room.”

        The thought that I had while reading was, ‘Why am I reading this?’” I couldn’t come up with an answer. How does it help me? The entire paragraph consists of similar lists of events, usually three or four per sentence. The previous paragraph has the same pattern. To me, this isn’t a review. It’s a listing of scenes. But despite this long list that covers many, many scenes, I don’t feel that I know anything about the show except that you didn’t enjoy it. As such, I don’t feel any connection to what you’ve written.

        From Fate/ZeroII.01, here is what you write about Kiritsugu.

        “Similar to last season, this guy hasn’t evolved too much in the first episode, he continues to lurk in the shadows and I am shocked he hadn’t sniped both Matou and Tokiomi while they were standing around getting nothing done through their “fight”.”

        What I read from this is that you’re not impressed in that he hasn’t shown any development this episode. But given that elsewhere you note that one of this series’ challenges is the number of characters, why not focus on what the show did develop? Or on why his lack of development is important? But there isn’t anything about the first episode that’s covered, other than that the awesome Ryunosuke was killed. So again, I’m left wondering why I’m reading the review.

        As this tournament celebrates, there are a lot of anime blogs to read. Of the eight introduced each day, I’m trying to visit and read from at least four each day. I tried to hit them all but haven’t been able to do it each day. Out of this, I hope to end up with a number of extra blogs that I can bookmark and read from time to time. How will I pick those blogs? There isn’t a formula but in general, if while reading I’m gaining some new insight into a show or a character, or if I’m feeling that I need to watch an episode again, or if I’m entertained by skillful writing, then there’s a good chance that I’ll want to return to that blog.

        Everyone has different interests so please don’t take this too seriously.

        • Thanks for the feedback.

          Our blog’s review style typically gives a synopsis of the episode, followed by our thoughts on it. The Amnesia review you quoted was mine, and yes, you were correct in perceiving my lack of enjoyment of the first ep (the sarcastic and off-hand style of writing was meant to convey those feelings). However, if you had read a little further, you would have noticed that I went into detail about *why* I didn’t enjoy it and what I felt it was lacking.

          Perhaps that’s not actually giving any “insight” into things, but I do feel that it’s good to explain why one does or doesn’t like something… which is why I appreciate you going into detail about what you don’t enjoy about our blog.

          I have to agree with you that there are a lot of anime blogs out there to read, and that’s a great thing. It seems like there’s something out there for everyone, and if there’s not? Well, those readers can always start their own blog. It’s pretty nifty like that. :)

        • Hey Mockman,

          I see where you are coming from. =) Thanks for the input. ;) At least now I know what you mean so that’s a big plus in making sure that we don’t end up ranting without a reason.

          I know that my Fate/Zero review was… well… it honestly wasn’t much of a review but more of a “how I felt” sort of thing. I’ll be sure to look into that to make sure that more justification is given for the comments.

    • “chances are you can’t really popularize it for popular consumption”

      You really know your stuff. Thanks for explaining paragraphs below.

  8. No it’s not. You’re Eureka Seven AO, Kids on the Slope, Saki, and many more reviews just like it are all a single paragraph. I get it, I have the same word length posts as you, but you can break that chunk of text into a minimum of 2 paragraphs. I see plenty of instances where you can start a new paragraph.

  9. I’ve got a question/concern about how the polls work… My two roommates are trying to vote, but for some reason the polls will only let one of them vote. They are using their own individual computers, but the computers are in the same house. So, what’s the story with this? Is it only one vote per building or house? Any explanation about this would be really helpful. Thanks! :)

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