Round 1 Matches 53-56

Lost in America vs She’s Lost Control

World of Yamaguchi Hoshiko vs Anipulse

Lower Mid-Table vs Organisational Anti-Social Geniuses

Otaku Champloo vs YumeState

54 thoughts on “Round 1 Matches 53-56

  1. So now it’s our time!(well, mainly me, Cherii, Naru, Sweetpea, and LC’s time, screw Kuuki, Muse, and Illogicalzen, they went already and dealt with pressure–) The pressure is getting to me…

  2. America is a big place so I understand Lost in America. It’s also hard to control so I can also see it when She’s Lost Control. Really a toss up personally. I guess if you dig podcasts then the latter is the one for you, otherwise the former. I’m not really good at listening to podcasts so I went for the written word.

    I sorta liked Hoshiko’s blog. Reading the kanji makes me feel like, “King Records?” The opinions are nice and light, but at the same time it’s really just someone’s 2c and it doesn’t get to me. That’s how anipulse feels to me at times. But anipulse sometimes hits pretty well. So that’s where I’m going with. I guess it comes down to that I know anipulse the blog better.

    Lower-mid table is a pretty ok anime opinion blog/episodic review deal. Beats sturgeon’s law at any rate, which is more than what I could say for most blogs in the tournament. OASG is enterprising, but too new and too light on content so far. Plus the layout is kind of weak for that sort of thing.

    YumeState has light novel reviews…not much but at least one. Otaku Champloo looks like a manga blog and is a manga blog omg. It’s okay I guess. Not feeling much for either but at least one has stuff I’m interested in.

  3. Woot – my first aniblog tourney! Should be fun, and good luck to all. Thanks in advance to those who support Lost in America.

  4. Lost in America vs. She’s Lost Control
    I have seen very few episodic reviews equal Guardian Enzo’s in terms of depth and analysis. LiA in my go-to blog when I want to better understand the events that transpired. He also handles a staggering amount from season to season, so I’m almost always guaranteed further discussion from him.

    World of Yamaguchi Hoshiko vs. Anipulse
    Unfortunately for me, I find both of these blogs extremely interesting in terms of topics and personality. It’s a tough call. While I enjoy the fun and relaxed personality in WYH, I absolutely love the soft intellect apparent in each of Anipulse’s reviews. There’s a real sense of a talented writer in the background. I only wish there were more editorial-type posts versus episodic reviews, as those are my favorite types to read.

    Lower Mid-Table vs. Organisational Anti-Social Geniuses
    I’m sorry Justin, but OASG as it is now is just too weird to navigate. I don’t like how only one post is shown in detail on the first page, with the recent and popular posts just on a list on the side, or in a short list beneath the topic post. That doesn’t make it very convenient for readers to scan through the actual entries/blurbs all together. LM-T feels more like a user-friendly anime blog at the moment.

    Otaku Champloo vs. YumeState
    Though I love the idea behind OC’s name, YumeState simply posts about topics that I find more interesting. Ultima and Co.’s blog also includes a nice variety of both currently airing anime, and already completed shows. Since I’m currently watching Eureka7, my immediate thought of their title was that it was inspired by Gekkostate. Turns out that that wasn’t so, but I still like the name, regardless ><

    • I also have a hard time with OASG’s front page layout. There have been times when I was looking for a recent post that I knew must be there, but couldn’t figure out how to get there from the front page. Fortunately I get emails when new articles go up, so I usually just use those to find the content I want.

  5. Finally, round 1 is coming to a close.

    Lost in America
    The domain, lostinanime.com, doesn’t match the website’s title. I wonder about this.

    The top menu has lots of useful links packed into submenus. I like it. However, the site has a massive sidebar. “Site Navigation” duplicates links from “Navigation” up top. “Current Anime” is also in two places. Suggestions: remove Current Anime on top and add “About” instead of having that in the sidebar. Remove archives from the sidebar and add a link on top to an archive page. It’d be great if you could get the website to bottom out from the main content, not the sidebar.

    Hmm, I guess left-floating images can work after all. Though, images in the spring preview post need right margin. Posts here are well-formatted and new ones are created frequently. I’d expect no less from a RandomC writer.🙂

    She’s Lost Control
    Sidebar: Not liking the section headers – they don’t stand out enough. And I’d rearrange things in the sidebar. Why is Blogroll on top?

    Images are plentiful in some posts. As for podcasts, I don’t have the patience to listen to them. Not much else to say. Overall this is another decent, uncluttered layout.

    World of Yamaguchi Hoshiko
    “Currently Watching” in the sidebar is a great idea. I immediately know if there’s something relevant to my tastes on the blog. The “About hoshiko” section before comments on each post is something I’m seeing more and more of on professional websites. I think Hoshiko should write something more catchy and interesting in that box.

    Front page post images link to nothing. Well, it’s better than linking to the larger images. Posts: There’s a 10-line paragraph in the Chihayafuru post. This is a bit too long given the 630px space. Aside from that, this is a good blog.. and a fairly popular one.

    Anipulse
    Paragraph bottom-margin is 8px. This is not enough space. It should be at least as much as line-height / font size. With that and the lengthy paragraphs, this site has the best examples of “walls of text” so far. I mean just look at this: http://i.imgur.com/rwzYw.png . Posts could use more images too — as JPGs, not PNGs.

    Lower Mid-Table
    Image quantity good, captions present, and paragraph length works. Recent Comments being high up in the sidebar is good. I just wish Emperor J would use a more unique theme.

    Organisational Anti-Social Geniuses
    This is the same theme that 8thSin uses. I’ve spent a good amount of time modifying it for him, so I’m tired of thinking about it. Sorry.

    Otaku Champloo
    Compact headers are awesome. It means less mouse wheel scrolling on each new page. Though, the top menu has one of my pet peeves — slow fade-in. Ugh. Posts: Montserrat is a wide font but it’s definitely readable. Single post: The “Recent Posts” section links the same exact article I’m reading. Lastly, the sidebar on this site is insane. It’s 5 times as long as the content in About. Come on!

    YumeState
    “I will start adding audio clips to my posts so that readers can enjoy some music.”
    Embedded music is EXTREMELY annoying. It’s one of the things that led me to use Flashblock. Also, my music > your music.

    It’s no surprise that other poor decisions are to be found:
    – The site background stands out more than the main content. If it’s a must-have, apply some transparency to it.
    – Chatboxes are dumb.
    – Topnav items are linked like: “td onclick=”document.location.href=”. WTF?

    My pick: Lost in America. I lurk there every now and then.

    • As the owner of yumestate, I feel I should weigh in on the comments said about my website:

      Embedded music doesn’t play automatically, and it doesn’t start downloading the song unless you decide you WANT to play it. As well, you’re missing the entire point of adding music to the blog; It’s not there to TAKE OVER what you’re already listening to. It’s there for those that are interested in hearing something they haven’t heard before, and something that acts as a recommendation for reading through the post. Again, it’s the viewer’s choice whether or not they want to listen to it.

      The background can be changed between two different layouts. If you don’t like the first one, you can switch to a more simplistic layout. Did you stay long enough to try that feature out?

      Chatboxes: Well I can’t really say much about this, since that is your opinion. I rather like Chatboxes, as it allows an alternative way for viewers to leave general comments.

      Topnav items: Well, this is more backend stuff, so from a raw viewer’s perspective, this doesn’t affect their experience whatsoever. Last I checked, onclick is valid XHTML and I used it simply because I don’t know how to get the same effect with a different way to code.

      I hope that answers some of your statements. Thanks.
      Ultima

    • As far as my lack of original theme, I think at some point I decided that I wanted something that actually worked over originality. I guess it was just acknowledging that I’m never going to be able to out design a site on my own.

  6. What the hell is up with Lost in America vs She’s Lost Control. This is some terrible seeding that makes a perfectly good new blog look terrible.

    6 month old blogs should be put against 6 month old blogs not 3 year old blogs.
    This isn’t helping bring traffic to She’s Lost Control it’s making the site look bad.

    • Um, no. Seeding’s specifically made so that old blogs would go against new blogs; otherwise, the old blogs would go against old blogs and then bam, an old blog would be beaten out of even Round 2.

      At its heart, the Aniblog Tourney is NOT meant for us to find new blogs to read. It’s a popularity contest. Young blogs should not go into Round 2. (This is also why O-New obviously lost.)

      Enzo’s also writes for RandomC (in addition to writing all of the extra posts on LiA!) and his posts are very similar in style to the posts Divine writes. I’d take off points for ‘lack of personality’, but frankly, personality doesn’t matter when you just want to reflect objectively on what you just saw. Wins my vote.

      P.S. If you’re up for creating a tournament that specifically focuses on bringing traffic for new blogs, I’m all up for it. Not that I can do anything, but maybe drumming up enough support might pressure the ABT organizers to host another tournament between the popularity contests. Of course, somebody would need to organize that…

      • I don’t see how you could have an anime blog tournament that actually forces people to look at new blogs and not vote for the ones they like. We do what we can to turn this tourney into less of a popularity contest, and comments like this are not really appreciated.

        Young blogs can get into round 2 if people like them enough to vote. I have voted for a lot of young blogs in this tournament. We set up the seeding so that new blogs would *not* go against the most popular blogs right away — that’s why we have older/more popular blogs in round 2 of the tourney automatically.

        I don’t know what you’re talking about.

        • Oh, sorry if it came off in a bad way. There are many somewhat popular blogs that were not automatically seeded into Round 2, and I thought (based on previous tweets/comments by an organizer) that you seeded blogs based on age, so that two somewhat popular blogs that were /not/ put into Round 2 would not face off against each other. The problem is not young blogs getting in; it’s somewhat popular blogs keeping out. The only fix I can see to this is to put somewhat popular blogs against young blogs, so that no somewhat popular blog loses in a round it’s not supposed to lose at.

          As for a tournament that focuses on seeing new blogs, all one would need to do is alter the terms of voting: instead of the blog you’d most like to read, you’d vote for the blog which most deserves more readers.

    • She’s Lost Control seems to be mostly reviews and podcasts. I don’t listen to podcasts very often, so I am not interested in those. I am not interested in straight reviews either. I think they are boring, and those on this site are nothing special.

      Lost in America does episodic impressions, and they’re interesting. I would vote for it because it seems like it’s actually enjoyable to read regularly.

      There is more than one reason She’s Lost Control isn’t doing well.

      • *Shrug*, I simply can’t see much difference between Lost in America and tons of other episodic blogs with a similar wall-of-screenshots + walls-of-text style that got less than half votes as him.

        Strangely the problems people found in other blogs (wall of text anyone?! I saw many people complaining about this in the recent posts) simply seems to not affect that blog votes magically.😉

        Oh btw, I abstained from that poll because both sites looked uninteresting to me as in “I wouldn’t read either”.

        • Oh, and btw what to say about the surge of votes in Wanabrar vs Behind The Nihon Review match? Isn’t that the proof that its just a “I have more friends to vote in this match than you” contest? Or are you implying they are the most popular blogs featured to date?😛

        • Oh, I don’t like Lost in America much either, and I hate episodic blogs in general. I just would prefer reading LiA to SLC. /shrug

  7. Let me post my humble opinions here, good sirs and madames and more progressive genderalities.

    Match 1: She’s Lost Control In American Anime
    Lost in America has pretty bland aesthetics, generic blog design and generic anime background. It does however win many points with me for its fine coverage of Nazo no Kanojo X (otherwise known as MGX). HOWEVER the site’s url being different than the title and their coverage of Legend of Korra, as an anime blog, shows a certain level of indecisiveness and unreliability that should be carefully watched.

    She’s Lost Control doesn’t really have what I would call interesting aesthetics either; it is at least more unique than its opponent though. They do win my heart with one design decision though: They seem to absolutely love punctuation!

    Match 2: Battle of The Girls Looking At The Screen
    World of Yamaguchi doesn’t seem to give a crap about the current trend of episodicals, which is both refreshing and disappointing.

    Anipulse on the other hand is only covering anime I have no personal knowledge of. This gives them a certain mystique and cool factor. What are they saying? I have no idea but I’ll keep reading.

    Match 3: Battle of the names that don’t appear to mean anything.
    Lower Mid-Table (Which I presume is a reference to the area you hold your plate at under a table for a dog to eat all your nasty vegetables) has the nicest design today, so that’s good. Also, if you don’t support EmperorJ I am afraid his tweets will become even more melancholic than they already are.

    Organization Anti-Social Geniuses had the genius and surprisingly social idea to edit their description to be a friendly greeting for us ABT voters. However their site layot appears to imply that the archive navigation is as important/interesting as the articles. Also the background appears to have been made from lemons.

    Match 4: Simplistic web icons war
    Otaku Champloo seems to think that pages should be 3 pages longer than the content they are displaying. They are also fond of bold things and floral backgrounds.

    YumeState won my vote for this one because their background is from my favorite anime movie and this is just a beauty pageant anyway.

    • Actually, the title carried over from when I didn’t even have a focus for the blog itself, so it was going to be on any random topic I wanted. For the record, it can either be seen as disappointment or the fulfillment of surviving against all odds at the end of a journey.

  8. I was looking at the Round 3 blogs and I clicked on Tenka Seiha (Group 8) then all these Hamsters came out of nowhere and started dancing O_O Why is something like that in the Tourney? AND IN ROUND 3 AT THAT!! D:

    Is that what the site is supposed to be? Hamsters dancing? Or did they move to a different domain or whatever the technical word for moving is…

  9. Why is everyone so focused on design? Jeez. It might be important, but as long as the damn blog is readable, it isn’t that IMPORTANT!

    Lost in America vs She’s Lost Control
    They are both good blogs. She’s Lost Control is slightly better organized in terms of actual writing. I love the SLC’s friendly, warm reviews. They make me feel fuzzy and nice.

    Lost in America has a good deal of episodics. They are well detailed, and not just 2 line summaries followed by 3 line impressions. I like that. The paragraphs are a bit long though, and should probably be cut slightly shorter. I personally don’t think the massive amount of pictures at the end of the posts is necessary, but it doesn’t cause much harm, so, if you like it and your readers like it, no problem!

    For both blogs, I can appreciate the pictures in text alternating sides format. As in, you have pictures embedded to the right or left, and the direction changes with each picture, but at the same time, it can also be a bit distracting. Be careful about this. It is kind of annoying having to move my eyes so much.

    World of Yamaguchi Hoshiko vs Anipulse
    After a quick look, I have concluded that I like both of these blogs!

    Hoshiko writes some fun, well written posts. Her thoughts are well captured, and the blog in general has a good deal of energy. I like that!

    Processor on the other hand, takes blogging qutie seriously (in a good way). His episodics have excellent summaries and his thoughts are nicely detailed and well thought out. Hey, Processor, try to avoid writing posts formatted like Organised Sound and focus your posts to be more like Kids on the Slope-Episode 1. I say that because the post for Organised Sound and a few of your other posts have a bit too much text staring at me. So, yeah, basically, break up the text with another image or two and you are golden, bro!

    Lower Mid-Table vs Organisational Anti-Social Geniuses
    They are both good blogs. OASG is a good team blog run by Sir Justin and LMT is a good blog operated solely by EmperoruJ: the Emperor of all J’s.
    I won’t say anything else because I am buddies with both Justin and EJ. I don’t want Justin chasing me with a hammer, nor do I want Ej crying in a corner.

    Otaku Champloo vs YumeState
    I can’t say much about Otaku Champloo. Even though I read a lot of manga and write a few manga related posts to, manga blogs are a bit out of my are of expertise, especially if they focus on manga volumes, the manga industry and that kind of stuff. I will say that the quick look I took on the post on CLAMP was quite interesting. She wrote a lot of stuff and stuff. Most fascinating!

    YumeState is also slightly out of my domain or well it feels like it is even though it probably isn’t. Doesn’t seem like a bad blog though. It is not one of the “anime is serious business” blogs and it has some heart and love thrown in. I like that! But maybe that is to be expected, for the great CHOLISOSE writes for YumeState, and he is quite a well liked critter.(Mostly for his nice, friendly posts over on SeaSlugs)😛 Not much else to say for some reason.

  10. Look at this classy gentlemen, instead of bitching on twitter and in the comment section about the over abundance of design critiques, Reiseng actually does something productive and comments on content instead of just whining.

    2-3 people have been consistently doing design critiques and they get torn apart for actually taking their time to look at blogs and write meaningful advice on how to improve the blog outside of writing. Really? We get mad at people for being helpful?

    When the best source of “content critiquing” is from Whiners.pro, who makes it apparent he reads a lot of “shitty anime opinions” from each blog, I think it’s time to accept people just don’t like or feel comfortable judging other people’s writing.

    • “I think it’s time to accept people just don’t like or feel comfortable judging other people’s writing.”

      Isn’t the ‘sphere a friendly community, where constructive criticism is actively welcomed? :c

      (too bad those design folks never took a look at O-New. Then again, if they did, they’d simultaneously and immediately die of heart attacks…)

  11. Judging design is like judging a book by its cover, but more often than not it reflects the overall competence of the blogger. Bad design choices tend to mean that there’s an unfavorable user experience across the board.

    Those who value their time would not waste it on sites with major issues. The most common problem that matters is the dreaded wall of text. There are some exceptions, but content that is easy to digest usually wins.

    The number of blogs which truly interested me so far — I can count on one hand. As for my reviews, most of it is minor / nitpicking intended to provide suggestions to blog owners.

    • Junk food is pretty easy to digest, too.

      If you deny yourself some really good content just because the paragraphs look a little big, then you are kind of destroying any sort of credibility you mean to build up in this crowd.

    • While I agree that better, or at least decent, page design makes for a more comfortable experience with a blog, to judge the competence of a blogger by his or her web design ability is something I have to call into question, if only because writing ability and design sense do not go hand in hand. I can point to a blog like Anipages and say that, you know what, his page design is hardly the best (and even a couple of years ago it was much worse), but it also has excellently written content.

      This is even what sites like WordPress and Tumblr are all about: “If you don’t want to bother with or don’t have the talent to make a fancy-looking blog, we’ll do it for you!”

      As for how content should be easily digestible, I think adhering to that idea like it’s an iron-clad rule is a mistake. I’m a believer in keeping paragraphs from being too large, and will try to break one up if I feel it’s too overwhelming, but the very act of breaking up a paragraph changes the flow of how information is presented. Just like the choice between a comma and a period, you have to judge whether or not breaking that flow at that point is the correct choice or not, because it can affect how your point is being conveyed.

      Similarly, if you’re trying to make a larger point, placing images within a post becomes not only a design choice but also a content choice. If you consider looking at a blog to take precedence over reading a blog, that’s one thing, and again I know that aesthetics matter. However, on a person level, I find that images can support content as more than just a way to break up texts, and in some cases overuse of images can do more harm than good.

      • Can’t help but jumping into this discussion since I feel design is very important!

        While it is true that design and writing does not always go hand in hand, just denying the fact that design is important it is plain ignorant. With a proper design it becomes much easier to digest the content itself, which is a blessing when it comes to longer posts. You just need to break it up with pictures and paragraph breaks, and voila, it’s already a lot better. As for the overall design of the site… just use common sense.

        Now to the important thing… is it bad to not vote for a site because of its design? I say no! Once again, design makes content easier to read and therefore, most likely, more fun to read. And if a blog is more fun to read, isn’t that what you should vote for? If two blogs have equal content, I’d go with the one with better design.

        But! What if blog X got better content but poor design and blog Y got worse content but better design? Then it really depends on how bad the design/content is. And there’s barely any point in discussing it. I say this: if design gets in the way of the content in a bothersome way, I’ll most likely give my vote to the proper design, unless the blog with bothersome design has really really good content.

        To be honest, what this whole discussion, and in some cases even whining, boils down to is people not wanting to accept that design is just as important. Which I find silly. It’s not even hard to have a decent design. I mean, my blog isn’t really a masterpiece, but it’s not bad as some of the ones I’ve seen.

  12. First “neighbourhood,” and now “organisational.” Which is not only the wrong variety of English spelling, but it isn’t even the same part of speech as the actual word used in their title.

    I am so slow.

  13. If the decision between competitors is, “If I only had one ani-manga blog to read in the foreseeable future, which would I choose?” and I believe that’s what this tourney thing boils down to, I will go with the one with more varied, topical, and insightful content every time, design be damned.

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