With February coming to an end, it’s time to share my thoughts on posts that I found interesting during the past month.
Also, I want to address my anime blogging frustrations as I am becoming increasingly upset. This is mostly due to the lack of comments, people not following directions of not to like posts on WordPress Reader, but instead leave a comment, promoting my content on social media, or linking it back. I’m just really frustrated after 5 years of my blog stagnating and not growing at all. While I have touched on some of this in my anniversary post, but I want to share my overall thoughts.
Table of Contents
- Addressing my Anime Blogging Frustrations, Lack of Comments, and The Feeling of Isolation from the Anime Blogging Community.
- Anti-Asian Racism Awareness – Asian Lives Matter Too
- Unsurprisingly, Pay for Japanese Animators Are Still Egregiously Poor
- The Idolmaster Starlit Season Release Date Announced, but PC Version is Region Locked?
- Now, For Some Good News: Ashley Taylor Lives, in the Japanese version of Magia Record
Addressing my Anime Blogging Frustrations, Lack of Comments, and The Feeling of Isolation from the Anime Blogging Community.
I feel really frustrated and upset over the lack of comments since it hasn’t recovered since 2016. I feel that with people commenting less, this makes me feel that I’m doing something wrong, and my content is not meeting expectations. Moreover, I’m also feeling socially isolated from the anime blogging community since I’m receiving fewer comments compared to other blogs who receive more than two comments on most posts. This of course includes my replies.
Overall, this in turn is hurting my motivation to blog. Not only I have fewer ideas to write editorials about since readers aren’t commenting and sharing their viewpoints, this also makes me feel that my content isn’t good enough and I’m wasting my time. What is the point of spending hours writing and proofreading my content when nobody is going to read it? Furthermore, Discord as people suggested in the past is not a viable alternative to this, nor it solves this issue.
Overall, I feel that likes are the problem. People bring the toxic mentality of social media and expecting instant gratification and liking posts without reading it or just glanced at it. Despite putting a notice telling readers not to use the like feature on WordPress.com Reader and leave a comment instead, people do it anyway. This makes it plainly obvious that “likes” are a meaningless indicator of success as people don’t read my content. He or she just click like when I told them not to. As a result, I decided to permanently disable this feature.
As expected, they don’t realize that this and the lack of comments really triggers and upsets me. I want to ask those who ignore my notice, why are you not commenting on my posts? Also, what can I do to encourage you to do so? Either way, by leaving a like, you are not supporting my content, you are just making the problem worse for me.
Of course, I don’t want this vicious cycle of becoming frustrated and feeling hopeless to continue. I want to improve my content so engagement on my blog can grow and reach up to the level as it did in the first half of the 2010s. Nevertheless, I want your input and I will consider them as I try to overcome this challenge. I just don’t want a repeat of last year of myself becoming frustrated, becoming nearly burnt out, and wanting to give up all together. Also, I want to reach out to others in the community and make comments or link back on their posts. This is as long I have something to say.
Either way, please be respectful and refrain from using the like feature on WordPress Reader on my posts. There are other ways to “like my content” that can benefit me such as promoting my content on social media, commenting, and/or linking back to my post. There is of course a chance that I will make a comment back on your post if I have something to say. If we receive more engagement, this will motivate myself to create more non-episodic review content. I will become confident that the content I’m creating isn’t a waste of time.
Anti-Asian Racism Awareness – Asian Lives Matter Too
While browsing, it seems that a recent post by the Manga Therapy, which brings up an important point about the western Anime fandom from an Asian-American perspective. The thing is, while I’m a Chinese American, I have faced racism and of course bullying during my childhood. This is mostly because we were raised in an affluent suburb in New Jersey, which had a very small Asian population with being majority white.
Believe it or not, I was bullied during my childhood. It’s mostly because of my race as some bullies used racial slurs against Asians during elementary school. Moreover, I’m more interested in computers and video games than other interests like sports. Yes, hobbies that are considered nerdy. I know full hand how the model minority hurts us. My parents had to fight hard to get me out of special education, which I shouldn’t been placed in. I was placed in Special Education because I couldn’t pronounce certain sounds, especially /l/. The thing is, in Asian languages like Japanese, /l/ sound is not used.
Of course, there is the special education teacher saying that “you won’t amount to anything in life.” It’s not until high school that I got out of the program. However, this impacted my potential. Despite this, I proved that teacher and the special education department wrong. I earned excellent grades in undergraduate and graduate years of college. While my first job didn’t go so well, but I have passed my probationary period on my second and received a promotion.
Even so, while everyone mentioned support for Black Lives Matter in the Anime Blogosphere to fight for racial justice for African Americans, nobody brings the same amount of attention the injustice Asians face with the increase of racism since the pandemic started. This is a good point Manga Therapy brings up as nobody in his anime/manga social circle brings this up. It’s not too surprising because of the myth.
While Asian Americans in general enjoy almost the same amount of success as whites do when it comes to employment, home ownership, and household income, this doesn’t mean racism is non-existent against Asians. It still exists, but unfortunately it gets ignored as shown by my personal experience, fighting it is difficult and it usually gets ignored. Systemic racism hurts all minorities, including Asians. Asian Americans in the past faced immigration bans (Chinese Exclusion Act), inhumane treatment during World War II (Japanese American Internment Camps), and so on.
The recent racism and violence that Asians face in America shows that things haven’t changed. Yes, this in despite of most Asians being successful. Moreover, a certain president who shall not be named of course encouraged this racism against us. Yes, to shift the blame of his poor handling of the pandemic. Of course, we are paying the price with Asian-Americans experiencing hate speech and violence that can lead to murder.
I think it’s important to speak out against Asian hate, especially as fans of anime, manga, and Japanese media we enjoy. While it’s important to support Black Lives Matters, activists can’t become indifferent and ignore the injustice that other minorities face, especially Asian-Americans. To end systemic racism, we need to fight for racial justice for everyone.
Unsurprisingly, Pay for Japanese Animators Are Still Egregiously Poor
Just recently, the Animator Dormitory Project published a video sharing the breakdown of earnings of a new animator in 2019 in their first year. As expected, it doesn’t look that good. Ryoko in a recent video shared her monthly salary chart. As seen below, she only made a few hundred dollars a month.
While the January pay looks low since she took a break, her average was 74,000 yen, about $670 a month. Despite being on the higher end with first year animators making about 30,000 to 50,000 yen a month ($270 to $450 a month), it’s still shockingly low.
While I wrote a whole editorial about animators facing poor wages and working conditions, the pay improved a little. Despite this, this is not a living wage, especially given that any other jobs will typically pay better than an animator would. In comparison, I currently make $72,750 (GS-11 Step 1) a year working in Information Technology in the federal government. Still, this shows that the Japanese animation industry still needs to do more to pay their animators fairly.
The Idolmaster Starlit Season Release Date Announced, but PC Version is Region Locked?
While I haven’t been paying too much attention to the developments of the new Idolmaster game, it finally has a release date. It’s coming out on May 27th. The new game features not only 13 idols from 765 Production, but 5 selected idols from each spinoff. This includes Cinderella Girls, Million Live and Shiny Colors. It will apparently run on the Unreal Engine 4 and releasing on the PlayStation 4 and PC. In a way, this is like Love Live All-Stars with bringing the different idol spinoffs together.
The thing is Bandai Namco seems to hate their western fans as the PC version believe it or not is region locked. Even with a PC release, there is no English translation. On the other hand, it’s available in Chinese and Korean. While the region lock is a non-issue since I already pre-ordered the Starlit Box, it’s a shame other can’t enjoy it. That is, without buying a PlayStation 4 or 5 and importing the game.
Now, For Some Good News: Ashley Taylor Lives, in the Japanese version of Magia Record
In an unexpected announcement, Ashley Taylor finally lives. That is, after the English Magia Record server shut down last year, which I am still salty about. She is apparently getting her own dedicated event too. The story will probably be like the one on the English server but expanded a bit. Still, it’s good to see her back and Amaki Sally should be happy to see that the magical girl she voiced won’t go to waste.
With that, feel free to share your thoughts on the topics I shared this month in the comments (please, don’t use the like button on WordPress Reader). As always, we have done these posts since June. These posts come out towards the end of each month. Feel free to check them out:
- June 2020 (Initial Start)
- July 2020
- August 2020
- September 2020
- October 2020
- November 2020
- December 2020
- January/February 2021