From the Cagayake Girls single.

Like a more general anime blog, the sort that would hew closer to the stereotype, I have been keeping track of K-On as the episodes appear. Judging by the flow of messages on Twitter, this is Not A Good Thing. Mind you, it's not as though this anime blog is so well-known as to attract Twittered attention, but the messages are posted as a general rage against the blogosphere, and as such I am caught in the splash damage of the AoE.

Mugi with sparkles and other people.

The primary complaint appears to be a lack of diversity in reading material. I can sort of relate: if the entirety of the Animeblogger Antenna was taken up by reviews of Gundam models, I would give up for the day and go play City of Heroes or something. Therefore, a blog feed consisting of endless K-On posts would not hold much appeal for anyone who is not interested.

However, the title of this blog would indicate that K-On is likely to be a major part of my bloggable thoughts. I don't have to blog about it, in the same way that I didn't blog about Hidamari Sketch despite my great liking of it, but it should not be a surprise that I might post something K-On-esque on a regular basis.

And if I am not to blog about K-On… why? What is preventing me from doing so? Why shouldn't I blog about what I want to? Do I have some responsibility towards my readers, whoever they are, to post mainly stuff they would want to read about?

These are not rhetorical questions. I do think it's a fascinating topic. I've asked these questions before, to myself and to others, and the only thing remotely resembling an answer I've received is "it depends".

Mugi and yuri goggles.

One aspect of this answer is that I am free to post what I want, and everyone else is free to not read it, based on the title and excerpt in their feed reader. A related question then arises: how important are readers to me? Do I care if I lose my entire audience?

Personally speaking, I do not really need a zillion hits on my stats or whatever, but I'd like at least some (preferably more) people willing to comment when I'm being too weird. It serves the purpose of a sanity check, to bring me back in line with The Common People: when I created a story arc in the City of Heroes Mission Architect, for example, I needed people to tell me that the dialogue was way overdone (I still think it's too emo, but then I'm in the middle of rewriting it) and the custom critters were too difficult. So I need some readers, but I do not need many readers.

A great many real life examples illustrate very clearly the dangers of being complacent with regards to keeping one's audience, no matter how modest the critical mass is. So in this sense, I do have some responsibility to post about stuff that readers want to read.

Mugi Kyun Attack.

What do readers want to read? From the stats counter, this blog may as well be renamed "Nanoha GamerS", but I've overused that joke, so I'll speculate that people who come across my blog are likely to expect, well, moe. Reading further, they may alter their expectations to include a general mellow attitude towards bishoujo anime in general, a clear lack of interest in Manly Shows, and passive-aggressive sniping at impoliteness by other bloggers and blog commenters. If I start deriding the latest bishoujo harem comedy anime for no reason other than its genre, then readers will probably check to see if it's April 1st. Audiences tend to want something different, but not too different.

And they probably do not expect anything more than amateurish off-the-cuff remarks. I can go "the blogger may be considered an opinion leader within the framework of Katz and Lazarsfeld's multi-step flow theory via their simulated identity rather than their real-world identity (Booth 2008), defined in some part by their online social relations as noted by Dalsgaard (2008)" but then that seems like far too much effort to read, much less write or research, especially for a blog about cute anime girls and the ogling thereof. (See: Rembrandt comic book.)

That, I would think, is the extent of my responsibility to my readers: to present myself (or to be more precise my blog) as a viable option, but not necessarily an alternative, for them to spend a few minutes every week reading, and obtaining some measure of enjoyment from that activity, but still remain true to what I want to write about. In other words, you may not like what I'm talking about, but how I say it should be at least somewhat entertaining.

It's like a standard bishoujo moe harem comedy anime: there may be plenty more of its type out there, but I try not to let it impact my enjoyment of this anime, at this time. Lamentations over the state of the industry comes later (or, in my case, not at all; I'm perfectly happy with the endless stream of bishoujo anime being churned out); now, we watch.

Lovely white bikini.

And readers should keep in mind that this is a hobby, and if I am no longer enjoying it or do not have the prospect of a pleasant reaction in the near future, then it is my responsibility to myself to stop, until the happy bits return. This is a major part of why I've not written a Card Captor Sakura episode summary for a while: I still love the series, but I'd like to keep loving the series and naming it as my number one anime of all time. If I force myself to write an episode summary, I'll soon associate the Bad Feelings with the show, and my love of the show will be tainted. I am rationing my viewing to prevent burnout on that one specific anime.

Meanwhile, I continue to make Nanoha GamerS comics because I don't care if I get sick of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, or the Nanoha franchise in general. It holds no special place in my pantheon of Favourite Shows, except that it's quite easy to make fun of in a non-malicious manner, what with taking itself Very Seriously.

So it goes.

Ui is dragged in.

11 Responses to “Too Much Of A Good Thing”
  1. EcureuilMatrix says:

    … TSUMUGI!

  2. Silverdragon15 says:

    I think that's the first K-On article comment that didn't start with Mio, great work.
    I read whatever you put out, and then comment on whatever I like. I wouldn't have you on my RSS feed otherwise.

  3. Balorn says:

    Write about what you like. It's not as if we're paying you for this, and we're (as far as I'm aware) not being paid to read it, so those of us that like it will stay, and those that don't are welcome to find something else. And I don't doubt there will be a number of people who are happy to keep reading.

    Me, I stay because I like your writing. The subjects you choose tend to appeal to me, I've noticed we have many similar opinions, and as a bonus, you generally use proper spelling and grammar (which seem to be lost arts to many).

    As for K-On, I've been enjoying it, but I've been watching it at a weekly anime club and we started in late so I've only seen up through episode 3.

  4. Irishninja says:

    I'll echo what Silverdragon and Balorn said.

    I read your blog because I like the way you write and am generally interested in what you write about. Our tastes in specific flavors of bishoujo and bishoujo anime do not greatly overlap, but because I like bishoujo and you like bishoujo, in general, I always find something of interest or amusement in your blog posts. I suspect that many of your readers feel the same way, or else they would stop reading. :)

    So as long as you don't suddenly start writing about Gundam or the (admittedly really cool) mecha designs of Macross, or something of that nature, I think you shouldn't be too concerned about alienating your readers. :)

  5. shanejayell says:

    I'm rather liking K-On, and look forward to you writing on it. Or writing on whatever else strikes your fancy. *lol*

    Read the manga too?

  6. Kalium says:

    Have I recently told you that you verge on thinking too much?

    Not that I'm really in any position to comment about that.

  7. Author says:

    Having an appreciation for readers is nice, but within reason. Once you start comment baiting, for example, it's a spiral to the end that you cannot escape, even if it brings out a greater popularity for a while.

  8. ETERNAL says:

    I think it really does depend. We do this for fun, after all, but no one likes to read the same thing over and over (which is why I skipped many Toradora posts, even by people I normally read). I've found myself not writing things that feel too pointless and overdone, and I've also written a few posts that I knew in advance would hardly garner any comments or views due to obscurity. Intentionally following or not following the popular opinion usually isn't a good idea, but I guess it all comes down to balance in the end. No one wants to scare away readers with obscurity, but you don't want to get lost in a sea of episodic impressions and K-ON imagedumps, either.

    On the bright side, I agree with what you said about reading for the writer rather than the content. I think every blogger hopes that at least some people read them for the person writing the content as opposed to the content itself, because that assures that the writer can write what he or she wants – or disappear for a few weeks – and not jeopardize their readership.

  9. Aanusha says:

    Reading this post way too late actually, but, erm, the allegations (so to speak) point indirectly towards me, right, right? ^_^

  10. Vindex says: Muaaaaaaaak!!! (K) 8·)
    One of the greatest anime series I've seen ^^

  11. shanaroo says:

    sub– hehe me like those pictures but the talking it's too much my name is myo im from japan i love those series but this site for this person talkes alot stupid person