Now that it’s finally June, the rather desolate spring season thanks to Covid19 is coming to an end.
After the breakdown I had on Twitter, I want to change things up to perhaps improve the content of this blog. Since I usually do some kind of life updates on season previews, I want to do some kind of monthly summary type of posts.
Back in 2013-2015, I shared some kind of updates in a weekly summary of titles I chose not to cover individually. What I tend to do with these monthly posts is to share not only what I am up to and have planned, but also mini editorials on anime-related topics I find interesting during the month but couldn’t write a whole post for. Also, I will also share my picks for this summer, providing that it doesn’t get delayed.
Coronavirus Impact on Anime Blogs
It’s obvious that, I have been frustrated by how things are going. It seems that I may not be the only one. It seems that everything is down in terms of engagement. When I look on other blogs, probably aside from a few exceptions, even some active ones are down too.
With most of the spring titles delayed, people are probably binging on older anime. On the other hand, people are probably doing other things such as playing video games or watching non-anime related content. I guess this needs a bit more insight.
Also, I do see a huge decline in ad revenue. Back in 2017, I started putting ads back on my blog to earn some money while I looked for a job. I settled with WordAds and surprisingly, they accepted me without needing Jetpack Premium.
Believe it or not, I earned way more with WordAds compared to Google AdSense, which I ended up closing the account for a measly $29 I earned during the 5 years of doing it. While I usually earn an average of $2.58 per month, I saw a huge drop. It’s usually lower in the beginning of the year and starts to pick up from there.
However, with the coronavirus pandemic, businesses are spending less on advertising. As a result, revenue dropped close to $1 a month with the average CPM for the month being $0.04. While I do not necessarily need the money that badly since I am fortunate to have a full-time job, Still, I feel bad for those who depend on the ad revenue. That is why I am not willing to even do it as a full-time job, especially since anime blogging is a niche topic. Still, I don’t really blog to earn money. The ads are only there to help fund future blog-related projects, which I also use my personal funds on too.
Coronavirus Impact on Buying Anime Goods. Time to Embrace Digital Distribution?
Aside from blogging, I haven’t been really buying anime-related goods. Besides titles being delayed, Japan Post pretty much suspended all international mail operations. Not to mention, the last time I checked, most of the USPS International Service Centers that process EMS, Airmail and SAL packages are closed due to Covid19.
In other words, you aren’t going to get your anime goods for a very long time. That is unless you pay for expensive shipping. The last imports I really got before the pandemic got worst is only four CDs. They are basically the opening theme of Koisuru Asteroid, two TrySail CDs (High School Fleet Film and Magia Record anime opening themes) and the ending theme for Magia Record anime.
Despite this, I don’t plan to import anything in the foreseeable future until we see a return to normal after a vaccine is out. Still, I have a Tamaki Iroha figurine on preorder that won’t release until the end of the year. Barring any album releases that I really want, I’m pretty much saving my money.
If you are wondering, I am saving money up for a Mac Pro desktop. I intend to use it for 7 years.Obviously, I want something that is upgradable and expandable if I’m going to use it for years, even if it costs a lot and also, I don’t like Windows 10. I’m very close to having enough money to purchase outright in a few months thanks to the stimulus check. This will pretty much replace my Hackintosh. If you are wondering why I need such an expensive computer. I run a lot of virtual machines as part of a lab to improve my IT skills, which use a lot of memory. Also, I do some software development as a hobby.
On the other hand, I have downloaded a few tracks off Ototoy, which believe it or not has lossless versions of some anime soundtracks, opening and ending themes. However, they don’t have everything. Still, they don’t even have Minase Inori’s full discography so far (excluding all three albums, Wonder Caravan, Trust in Eternity, and Kokoro no Somari), only tracks after her 2nd album release, Blue Compass. I still missing like 10 B-side tracks. I pretty much have all the albums she released so far and everything after 2018.
Regardless, I do see the future focused more on digital distribution since you can’t import anything from Japan without using FedEx or DHL, which gets really expensive. I already gone digital with manga ever since I bought an iPad Pro. Also, I am in the process of digitalizing manga volumes I haven’t read yet.
Blogging Changes and Improvements
In the effort of trying to regrow my audience, I want to shake some things up. I do realize that people do not want to read editorials and reviews filled with only text with only one image in the beginning. It has worked in the past, but now, not so much. I want to change things up by adding more images between a few paragraphs or if possible, add headings so you aren’t staring at a wall of text. That means spending a bit more time on finding the right image. At the end of the day, it will be worth it.
In addition, you may notice the “Ask Me Anything” link on my blog. To interact with the readers, I decided to create a dedicated site that allows others to ask me questions. I basically used a plugin to make this happen. I decided against using something like Curious Cat since I want ownership of the answered questions. It’s currently in a beta phase, but you can ask questions anonymously. In the future, I will allow users to input their name.
For certain questions, I may choose to write a full editorial post for. If I do this, a link to the editorial will be the answer for the question. Also, I am now more active on Twitter and I highly recommend following me for opinions and thoughts on anime, manga, video games, and related topics. I also retweet various animated related stuff as well. Note that I don’t post anything political on social media.
Lastly, art commissions for the new blog mascot is coming in September/October. I still need to finalize the character designs and what poses I want.
Black Lives Matter and Fighting Social Injustice in Solidarity
While we don’t cover politics anymore, since it has been in the news lately, I like to share my short thoughts. If you haven’t seen the news lately, there are large protests against racial injustice around the world, especially with how the police treats Black Americans disproportionately. Also, prominent figures in Japan are speaking out too.
The answer is simple; racism and hate has no place in society. Everyone should treat each other equally regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. It’s good that people are protesting around the world in solidarity against hate, bigotry, and racism while fighting for equality. Hopefully, social justice, reform, and change for the better will come out from this.
What Have I’m Up to Lately and Plans For This Month
For the past few months, since March, I have been working at home (teleworking). Since my work basically involves with system administration working for a federal agency as a federal employee, I don’t really need to be at the office. While it’s nice not having to spend 45 minutes each way to commute, I do admit that It gets a bit lonely and I kind of miss working in Washington DC.
Sure, I am mostly an introvert, but after a while, it gets a bit tiring working alone after a while, hence the frustrations with the lack of interactions. Even so, I keep in touch with my family regularly. Yes, this the new normal. It will last until there is a vaccine or some kind of herd immunity. Thankfully, I live in a reasonably sized townhome, so cabin fever is not really an issue. Of course, Montgomery County, where I live in Maryland is still stuck in the first phase of opening. Most business are still closed or have limited services.
Aside from that, I haven’t been blogging much since my motivation went out the window before the big meltdown as mentioned before. I guess some may feel the same way with the declining interactions due to Covid19 delaying all the anime.
Besides trying to finish my backlog, in April, I decided to download Animal Forest: Gathering, which is the Japanese version of Animal Crossing New Horizons. While I only spend like 30-45 minutes a day doing daily tasks and such, it’s a fun game. It takes my mind of what is happening in real life. Also, I finished up Pocket Monsters Sword in anticipation for the expansion pack that is coming soon. Lastly, I completed Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX, which I will review soon.
Believe it or not, I have played video games and watched anime using a projector. Yes, with all this time at home, I am not going to play or watch anime on a small 32-inch television from 2004. Thankfully, I have enough money to pick up a decent entry-level 1080p Epson projector. While there is not much light much of the day, it still gives a good picture even on an off-white wall.
What are the plans for this month? Besides the awaited expansion pack for Pocket Monsters Sword and Shield, I want to finish up some manga volumes. My goal is to finish the first volume of Machikado Mazoku and probably read the second and third volumes of the Magia Record manga. Also, I intend to finish up the first season of Hidamari Sketch before the summer season starts.
Air Date: July 2020 Studio: feel. Believe it or not, I reviewed the first volume last year when the title received an anime adaptation announcement. Yes, the same author who created Hanayamata also made this title. From reading the manga, it’s a funny comedy of Ino joining an idol unit to save a dormitory. Not only that, there is some yuri pairing potential.
Note: Title delayed to October 2020.
Air Date: July 4, 2020
While there is not much on this anime, it’s basically based on a multimedia project. KLab and Kadokawa is working on it with a mobile game and an anime. They sum up the theme of idols in a world that can use magic. I guess we will find out what it’s really about once it starts airing.
In addition, the remaining 9 episodes of Houkago Teibou Nisshi will resume airing at the end of July.
While this is post is really long, feel free to share what you plan to watch this summer. Also, feel free to share your thoughts on the topics I shared in this month’s “What Is on My Mind for This Month.” ¶