Episode Commentary De-Emphisisization

After thinking a little on bateszi’s post, Thoughts on blogging; mass-market episodic anime blogging, I’ve decided to de-emphasis my episode commentary posts.

I have no problem with opinion and commentary on an episode-by-episode basis, and enjoy a good in-depth piece.

Back when I started writing my Petite Princess Yucie and Seven of Seven, I didn’t know anything about existing anime blogs. I simply wanted to write. I decided, “I’d better put in an episode summary as well, for anyone unfamiliar with the series. After write a number of entries like this (but without posting anything yet), I thought, “Why would I want to read commentary on a series I haven’t seen?” If I was interested in the commentary, I’d want to actually see for myself what I was reading on. I removed the episode summary parts, although for these two series, the summaries can still be seen in the structuring of the commentaries.

For other series, such as A Little Snow Fairy Sugar, it’s pure thoughts and commentary. Sure, I allude to what happens in the episode a little here and there as it pertains to moving from commentary on one piece to another, but that’s expected. After all, it’s hard to comment on something without pointing out what you’re commenting on. Rather than taking a little time out to say what happened, I explore what happened:

It’s only after we know everything we need to know about Saga’s personality, strictness, and social relations when the titular character, the Snow Fairy named Sugar, may be introduced. This pace pleased me, whereas other series might have started out with Saga and Sugar’s meeting within the first eight minutes, leaving little time to get to know anything about the characters individually.

When writing like this, it’s easy to write over ten paragraphs of insightful commentary. Or at least ten decent sized paragraphs of commentary.

Maybe I just like to speculate on where things will go, such as with Janggeum’s Dream:

And the young king, I keep wanting to refer to him as a prince due to his youth. If he’s king at such a young age, then something may have happened to his parents, leaving him orphaned and having to take his place as king earlier than normal. I don’t know anything about Korea’s past, or if they had castles and kings, so I don’t have any information to go on beyond what the series presents to me. It’s actually rather exciting in this way.

With Princess Tutu, I take it in a different direction, leaving out commentary and instead focusing on what music is used where:

Up until Mr. Cat’s entrance, “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy” was probably the most recognized piece played during this AKT, but the piece heard here might be even more well known, at least in the USA. The piece associated with Mr. Cat is from Felix Mendelssohn’s piece, “Wedding March”, written for William Shakespeare’s play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

Because of the special nature of those posts, commenting on them is enabled, whereas it’s often disabled on my episode commentaries. Actually, I also have something in mind for Cardcaptor Sakura episodes, and that will have comments enabled as well. I hope one day many people will participate in those posts.

De-emphasising the episode commentaries also removes all images from the front page of the site. Nice. I’m going to have to start putting random (but relevant) images in posts to spruce up the front page just a tiny bit. But not image for this post. It’s way after my bedtime.

2 Responses to “Episode Commentary De-Emphisisization”

  1. bateszi Says:

    Though we probably have diverging tastes in anime, I’ve added you to my Google RSS reader and I’m looking forward to seeing where you go with this new direction. And indeed, do enable comments more often on your posts, it’s a great feeling to interact with your readers :)

  2. Chris Says:

    Thanks for the comment! Yours is a blog I’ve been reading for a while, and quite enjoy. I think the only series you’ve mentioned on it that I had seen was Princess Tutu =P My episode commentary posts are, naturally, less accessible than a lot of editorial posts, as my episode commentaries are commentaries on an episode. No summary, no review of what happened, only thoughts and comments on what happened and what can happen.

    I try to enable comments on all non-episode summary posts, but I might just expand that. It’s something to think about. The main reason for disabling them on episode summary posts is to avoid anyone posting spoilers. However, I have such a backlog of “episode commentary” posts (enough for me to take a vacation through December before running out of posts) that I generally finish writing commentary for a series before I get the first episode’s commentary posted.

    The episode commentaries are easy to write as it’s putting my thoughts and speculations to words. The Princess Tutu ones are much more work as I’m ensuring I’ve correctly identified every piece of music in an episode, am referring to the offician Japanese handbooks to see if I missed anything, and am adding screenshots to make it visually easy to say, “Okay, this scene has that music, I see,” when looking at the page.

    The Cardcaptor Sakura posts will be even more work, but those will be “living” posts, posts which may be updating randomly over time to increase what they have in them.

    Once I get all of this sorted out, I might modify the feeds linked to on the main page to “Site-Related Posts”, “My Thoughts/Comments I Posted Elsewhere”, “Episode Commentary Posts”, “Japanese Language-Related Posts”, so someone can catch posts without having to sift through the signal-to-noise ratio of high noise (episode commentaries).

    I do thank you for your original post, as well, as it put me to the thought of de-emphasising the episode commentaries, which puts a better signal-to-noise ratio on the main page. I’ve been wondering for a while how to handle my non-episode commentary posts being bumped off the top post slot after a day or two, and off the main page completely within two weeks. (Case in point: I’ve had a Janggeum’s Dream episode summary post recently.) I like the way I’m doing it now.

    Man, I really do seem to write only long comments, as someone mentioned to me (in a good way).