For the record, this is a looooong wall of text article!
Well, on the 22nd of May 2011, it shall be my websites 5th anniversary of being on the web. It is hard to believe this time has finally come around, as I honestly didn’t think I would last more then a year running this site, and heck, if you were one of the few following this blog in May 2006, you would have thought I had given it up by the months end. I would like to take you through a bit of a history of Sam’s Anime Study / The Otaku’s Study.
On the 15th of April 2006, I made the decision to open up an anime blog, after becoming a big fan of the blog “Matthew’s Anime Blog“, and sent off an email to Maestro, the head of AnimeBlogger.net. Whilst it took a month to get everything set up, I was finally approved, and I opened up version 1 of this site, Sam’s Anime Study (Archive.org without theme images). Initially I was not going to focus on the recent series that everyone was blogging, instead I decided to focus on the older series, .hack//Roots, Mahou Sensei Negima and Rozen Maiden. Forward a day to the 23rd…. that was the last day I made an active post until October 2006. I thought blogging was tiresome, even for short blog posts, and with it competing with school (I was in Grade 10 at the time), I had no doubts in my mind that I would never be blogging again.
On the 29th of September, I got an email from Maestro informing me of spam on my blog, and for some reason, I decided that I would give it another chance, and if it didn’t work, it didn’t work, and if it did, I would have a place to vent my thoughts out at least. I started by choosing to blog Negima!?, which whilst they were very small reviews with only a paragraph of content and a hell of a lot of images, I was happy enough that my thoughts were being put online about the episode, and hell, I managed to get through the whole series. Alongside this, I did very very small reviews of series such as Pani Poni Dash, Rozen Maiden and Mahou Sensei Negima. I also tried to review a few other series with limited success. Asatte no Houkou was the first series I tried with a full summary attached to it, however I only managed to do the first episode, then lost track of it. The first month proved to have relatively good success, and considering I dropped the blogging after a day the first time around, going one month was a very good sign.
In the month of November 2006, I continued reviewing Negima!?, and also did my first game review, on the Japanese MMORPG game Yogurting (Which I did a closing article for at a much later date – HERE). During the rest of the year, Negima!? remained my only reviewable series on an episodic basis, however I did some similarly smaller reviews on complete series such as Rozen Maiden Traumend and Ouverture, The Spring and Summer OVA’s of Negima and my list of Best and Worst Anime up until December 2006.
Starting from 2007, things seemed to pick up slightly and I decided I would try a few new series. The slice-of-life school series Manabi Straight was my first pick and surprisingly was dropped and then picked back up at the end for the final episode or two. Winter Garden and Hidamari Sketch were also chosen but never made the cut.
By the end of March 2007, I was in a bit of a pickle and was at the risk that this would be left out in the rain. My only series, Negima!? was at its end and I needed something to keep my blog going for a bit longer. So, in a desperate attempt to find a series I was interested in blogging, I chose a whole bunch of different series that met varying levels of success. Hitohira, Hayate no Gotoku, Seto no Hanayome, El Cazador de La Bruja, Polyphonica, Nasasarete Airantou, Wellber no Monogatari, RomeoXJuliet, Kamichama Karin, Monster Princess and Lucky Star were all potential series for me to watch. Whilst Lucky Star and Kamichama Karin lasted a couple of episodes, all of them didn’t make the “Enthusiastic Score” to continue blogging. During this time, I also tried Stellvia Of the Universe as a past series to review, and that also failed within a few episodes. There was one OVA series that stood out to me, Murder Princess, which to date remains a personal preference of mine. During this time period, I also tried to review a couple of games such as Princess Maker 5 and Warioware: Smooth Moves… two reviews I cannot look at anymore and I would to redo at some stage.
The next season of Anime, starting in June 2007 proved extremely interesting and I was actually able to start blogging up to a better efficiency then I had previously. Whilst there were a few series that didn’t stand the cut such as Nanatsuiro Drops and Potemayo, other series proved much more enjoyable. Whilst not having any interest in it initially, having not watched the first season, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai rose up the ranks as one of my favourite anime series of all time. I also decided to choose series that not many, or no other blogs did at the time. I chose to do Doujin Work, which was not as popular as most series at the time, and Moetan, which seemed to be a bit of a “stay away” series. During the next few months, these three series remained the primary series that I worked on, with the other occasional episodic reviews of series such as Murder Princess, Dokuro-chan, .hack//GU Returner and Cosplay Complex. At the time I also became a Granado Espada Community Crew member, which I eventually rose to Captain and then Super Moderator. The next season of anime came along, and in the same way as the previous season, I chose primarily anime that most other blogs didn’t pick up, such as Kodomo no Jikan (Specifically for one episode in particular), Shugo Chara and the Negima Live Action series, whilst other series generally fell at my interest requirements. These series included Koharu Biyori, Sketchbook, Shakugan no Shana II, Mokke, Prism Ark, Minami-ke and Night Wizard.
So came the start of 2008, my final year of high school and a year that would really test my ability to keep this blog up and running, I knew that if I could get through this year, then I would be able to continue this site. Sadly, I either dropped my continuing series or they finished, leaving me with no series again to watch. The first few months were slow, both due to my bid to get the highest end-score at High School I could, and as well as a lack of good series I found to watch and review. During the first few months, I watched series such as Rosario + Vampire, Minami-ke Okawari, Moegaku*5 (Shudder), Yotsunoha, Kure-nai, Wagaya no Oinari-sama, Penguin Musume Heart and Kyouran Kazoku Nikki.
Starting in June 2008, things changed with the blog. I found myself enjoying games and manga more then anime, so I started focusing more on these then anime. Having recently gotten into the Alpha Test, and also becoming a Player Moderator of Dragonica, I did a number of features on the game, including reviews of the previews, at later previewing items that were not available to the public yet. Over the rest of the year, I did a number of manga and game series, alongside some anime series. These included:
- Negima Al Alba OVA
- Rosario + Vampire + 2 CAPU
- Kemeko Deluxe
- Macademi Wasshoi
- Kyo no Go No Ni
- Kon Kon Kokon
- Pita Ten Light Novel
- Rozen Maiden Manga
- Love Hina
- Moon Phase
- Gakuen Alice
- Free Collars Kingdom
- Strawberry Marshmallow
- .hack//Legend of the Twilight
So began my University days, and with no 8:15 – 3:00 five days a week, I felt like I could get into the swings of some proper writing. I started the year basically dropping all mention of anime on my website and focused on reviewing whatever I picked up. With the closure of Broccoli Books, I felt that I should review some of their old titles so people who were interested, could purchase the titles ASAP. Having scowered book stores looking for titles, I came up with reviews for Murder Princess and The World of Disgaea Artbook. I also started a number of posts for the upcoming Dragonica guild TheAddicts. In the next few months, I primarily did manga reviews on titles such as Shoulder-a-Coffin Kuro, .hack//XXXX and a four part series called Speedy Manga Review (I II III IV). A few game reviews also came out such as Eternal Sonata and Etrian Odyssey.
Mid-March, I decided to do a big makeover of the website. The site had been going in many directions and I did not feel that it was warranted to have the title Sam’s Anime Study, when most of my reviews were of different areas. Therefore, alongside a theme change, I also chose to give the site a new title, The Otaku’s Study, which whilst sites such as the Animeblogger.net Antenna still show up the title, it would be a name that would cover me for the future and not discriminate against any of the content shown in my writings. I also hoped that this would be able to represent a new, higher quality of writing. The primary requirement for my writings would be, that the products I would review, would be purchased by me, or supplied from a company that distributes anime, manga, games or merchandise.
Nothing much eventful happened during the year, unlike previous years, and everything was more or less calm. I was able to push out a number of quality reviews (In my opinion). These include:
- Yoki Koto Kiku
- Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories
- Welcome to the NHK – Novel
- Hollow Fields – Omnibus
- When They Cry
- Hibiki’s Magic
- The World Ends with You
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles – My Life as King
- Little King’s Story
- The Newbie’s Guide to Dragonica – Which still seem to be very popular nowadays.
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni – Legend of the Golden Witch
- Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
- Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 – The Journey
As with 2009, I decided I would try and review stuff I purchased online and from stores. Later on in the year, I started back reviewing anime, whilst I kept my manga and game reviews going much stronger then the previous year, as I had then, gotten a good study routine and got slot reviews more effectively into it. Reviews of mine included:
- Koi Cupid
- Bunny Drop Part 1 / 2
- One Fine Day
- Dance in the Vampire Bund
- Kujibiki Unbalance
- With The Light – Raising an Autistic Child / Part 2
- Cross Edge
- Demons Souls
- Star Ocean 4
- White Knight Chronicles
- Heavy Rain
- Shin Megami Tensei: Persona
- Desert Bus
- Modnation Racers
- Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands
- Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 – The Answer
- Fragile Dreams
- Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable
- DJ Max Portable: Hot Tunes
- Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor
- Alan Wake
- Naughty Bear
- Cross Edg…..
- Final Fantasy XIV
- Yakuza 3
- Banjo Kazooie – Nuts and Bolts
- Trinity Universe
- Little Busters
- Alan Wake: The Signal
- Space Channel 5 – Part 1
- Criminal Girls
- Katamari Forever
- Assassins Creed II
- Last Rebellion
- Divina Online
So I got together with The Otaku’s Study team at the start of the year…. which consists of me…. and well no one else. I thought this would be the year that I would really make The Otaku’s Study a fully fledged website over one where I just post my comments on randomly. I decided I would try and use the resources given to me through PR teams in the areas of Anime and Games to give me content to write, and help promote their new release titles. I have initially targetted companies within Australia as I would like to see more sales in Australia, therefore allowing us to get more localized content in return…. a sort of Win-Win for everyone over here. Thanks to Madman Entertainment and Siren Visual, I have been able to promote a number of different anime series to my Australian readers and readers on a world-wide basis and hopefully encouraging people to purchase the quality localized (In Australia or elsewhere) titles that we have at our disposal. Up until now, the following title reviews are available on The Otaku’s Study.
- Rozen Maiden
- Disgaea Collection
- Moon Phase
- Spice and Wolf
- Girls Bravo
- Karneval (Manga)
- Xam’d Part 1 / 2
- Kenichi – The Mightiest Disciple
- Death Note (Black Edition)
- Summer Wars
- Honey and Clover – Part 1 / 2
- Blue Exorcist (Manga)
- Black Butler
- Sakura-hime (Manga)
- Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan (Manga)
- Laputa: Castle in the Sky
- Clannad – Part 1 / 2
- Durarara!! / Part 2
- Casshern Sins Part 1 / 2
- Red Versus Blue – Season 8
- Welcome to Irabu’s Office
- When They Cry
- The Tatami Galaxy
- House of Five Leaves
Besides the Anime and Manga, I have also been focusing on other areas such as my newThe Otaku’s Gaming Study which is my new weekly to fortnightly gaming news segment where instead of having the news spread out over several posts, it is all compiled into one tidy and well detailed post, outlining all the news supplied from companies such as Nippon Ichi Software America, Aksys Games, ATLUS, SEGA, Ghostlight and many others! In terms of game reviews, I have a current backlog which will be focused on in future reviews, but the current reviews I have done this year are:
Other things of interest to me include my Supernova review from Brisbane this year, my first attempt at catering a review for parents in POP Wonderland: Alice in Wonderland (I have actually ordered some more childrens anime so I might do some reviews on them once I receive them) and my article on discussing the benefits of a physical book over an e-book. After seeing the number of cosplayers at Supanova this year, I am also interested into looking into some cosplay technology, such as yesterdays post on the Neurowear Nekomimi.
To conclude this long history of The Otaku’s Study, I would like to first of, thank everyone who over the years has read this site! I am very glad you have enjoyed reading everything and I hope to have your continued readership as I make this site a bit more professional. I would like to state that the purpose of this site is to both promote titles in Australia, and more primarily, to promote the purchase of any otaku related products regardless of your location in the world. I would like to make a few special thanks to some people:
- Maestro – For letting me join the AnimeBlogger network in the first place.
- My Real Life Friends – All the friends of mine who have commented on my facebook wall for the last year or two and providing some good discussion on them.
- PR Teams - For all the Press Teams for Anime and Game companies that have been willing to provide me with updates surrounding their products and/or providing review samples for me to review. Off the top of my head, these include: Madman Entertainment, Siren Visual, Nippon Ichi Software America, Aksys Games, ATLUS, SEGA Australia, Ghostlight UK, and others which I apologize for not mentioning.
- Yatsushiro - A friend of mine who I met on the Granado Espada Community Crew. Has for the last few years, kindly informed me of updates and been someone I have been able to talk quite a lot about otaku products with. You can see his website: http://denofyui.wordpress.com/
- Readers and Commenter’s: Last but not least, is everyone who has accessed this site, even to access this specific write-up. I hope you have enjoyed reading my posts, and will continue to read my posts in the future!
Thank you everyone for reading my works the last five years, and heres to another five at the very least! I hope I will be able to provide you with an ever improving service and that you will keep reading this site for many years to come! Whilst I will not be getting myself a cake to celebrate the 5th anniversary…. 1 Cake for 1 Person sounds rather sickly no matter how good the cake, however if you are so inclined, feel free to use it as an excuse to have some cake, especially beneficial as an excuse if you are on a no-cake diet….
Thank you for reading!