Tag Archives: blog update

College Time Again, Tik Tok, and the Animated Observations Rating System?!

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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Well, another year has passed and man…it was not a good one. I will skip rehashing what I said in my last update, but this year is going to hopefully be a year of growth for Animated Observations. I have a lot planned for this blog, and I hope you’ll be excited about it as well. But first, the boring stuff.

College…

“Two semesters left until I finish my Bachelor’s degree” is a sentence that, at least subconsciously, I knew I was probably going to have to write at some point but never actually thought about, and yet, here I am. Those who have followed me for a while now will probably know that the start of a new semester usually leaves me at least a little bit busy. I generally try to prepare content ahead of time, but occasionally, such as last semester, it does not work out.

By the time this update sees the light of day, I will probably have already started school. However, for this semester one of my classes is entirely online, and I only go to campus 3 days a week. This will hopefully give me more time to focus on both writing articles, creating content, and also the small, unimportant task of looking for a job 🙂

Tik Tok

While I still very much enjoy blogging and my normal format of sharing my terrible anime/manga/game opinions, I do still want to branch out creatively, and so I have decided to be hip with the kids and make a Tik Tok for Animated Observations. I’m literally 22 years old and writing that last sentence has aged me at least 40 years.

“What kind of content are you putting out on Tik Tok?” a reasonable person might ask. To which the answer is: Idk, probably a bunch of memes, but in all seriousness, I am hoping I will have time to do shorter form reviews and maybe practice some editing along the way. It will be a major work in progress, so I will not blame anyone who decides that it is not for them.

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Introducing the Animated Observations Rating System!

Now, I have been writing and talking about anime and various other things on this blog under various names for the better part of four years, and while in some of those reviews I may have conceded some sort of numerical score, I have never used them consistently.

The reason I am introducing one now is to give people a more straightforward idea of how I feel about a particular piece of media. “The Observation Deck,” the format I have more or less settled on for reviews, is necessarily more chaotic and less structured than a typical review, bouncing between different topics that seem important to discuss. These categories/scores will be an attempt at giving a more direct answer of “is this a good piece of art” or “does it at least have some value.”

I also want to say upfront that nothing about the inclusion of these scores is going to fundamentally change the way I do my reviews, it will simply be an addition on top of all the things I talk about. As well, at least for the time being, this scoring system will only be used in longer form reviews and will stay out of essays and other reaction-based stuff such as “Initial Results.”

In favor of keeping this update relatively brief, I will quickly go over the categories, associated scores, and general philosophy behind each one. I have chosen to use a 0-100 scale and seven associated categories. The overall theme revolves around going from below the earth into outer space, with scores getting better in proportion with the metaphorical altitude. Without further ado, here they are.

0-15/100

30 Miles Deep

This is a category reserved only for the worst of the worst. A piece of media in this category has little to no redeeming qualities and is genuinely offensive to watch, read, or playthrough. It can burn under the pressure of the earth for all I care.

16-30/100

Crusty

A piece of media in this category is also extremely bad. However, unlike in 30 Miles Deep, there are maybe one or two ideas worth salvaging that are just executed very poorly.

31-45/100

Lost in the Ocean

While I may not like it that much myself, I can at least understand why someone who likes something in this range would enjoy it themselves. There is enough good or interesting here that I at least have to concede that. Something like Beastars, which I do genuinely dislike, would end up in this category.

46-60/100

Surface Level

While the phrase itself has taken on a number of distinct meanings in art discourse, the category of Surface Level in the context of my reviews simply means any show that has roughly as many positive qualities as it does negative, or at least could be argued as such. It is solid (all pun intended), but not much more than that.

61-75/100

Achieves Lift Off

This is the range at which I would say a piece of media generally starts consistently being more positive than negative. A show that Achieves Lift Off has a solid foundation but maybe does not do as much as it could in developing its story, characters, writing, gameplay, etc.

76-90/100

Space Bound

A piece of media that is Space Bound has built upon its positives even further. It achieves a lot, and may even be innovative in some spaces, but just barely misses the mark for being, in my eyes, perfect or near perfect.

91-100/100

Stellar

The category of stellar is reserved for media that does everything or virtually everything right. Since I usually do not go out of my way to watch things that I know people have said are bad, on top of my generally more positive bias, there will probably be a decent number of properties that end up in this tier. However, that should not at all diminish their quality, as I would still consider them the best of the best.

Of course, no rating system is perfect. These categories and number ranges are completely arbitrary. One show that is Surface Level and another that Achieves Lift Off might only be 2-3 points away. The categorical distinctions are more for portraying my general feelings while the numbers are there as a more absolute metric. Overall, I hope this new system will help to create a little more clarity in my reviews.


Have any questions about the new system or what I’m doing? Wanna let me know what you’ve been up to? Feel free to drop a comment down below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

As always, thank you to our Patron Jenn, they are incredible!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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2021 End of the Year Wrap-Up for Animated Observations

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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Another depressing year has passed as far as current events and politics, with COVID still as threatening as ever Democracy is on the verge of collapse…but, it was also a great year for entertainment, specifically anime and manga. Even more than that, it has been a great year on this site, and I want to open up this post by just saying thank you all to everyone who dropped a follow and who read anything from me this year. The growth, while small on an absolute scale, has been relatively enormous.

In order to commemorate such an awesome year for Animated Observations, I wanted to go through and talk about some of the developments that happened this year. Additionally, I want to talk about my plans for the future and what it will mean for the site. A “Spotify Wrapped” for Animated Observations, if you will 🙂

The Stats

Like I alluded to before, Animated Observations went through Some pretty big growth relative to how it was last year, so I thought I would share some of that with everyone here (All of these are as of the writing of this post and will likely change by the actual end of the year).

  • Followers on WordPress: Around 300 at the beginning of the year to now 427
  • Views (this year): 8,970
  • Views (site wide): 33,514
  • YouTube Subscribers: 5 (compared to none at the beginning of the year)
  • YouTube views: 145 (Again, compared to none at the beginning)
  • Facebook: 85 followers
  • Twitter: 92 followers
  • Getting our first supporter on Patreon

So yeah, an absolutely amazing year for the site, and it has definitely felt rewarding even during the times when I was feeling burnt out or not in the mood to watch anything.

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What I am Most Proud of This Year

I put out quite a few posts this year, to say the least. Maybe not as much as some of my other fellow bloggers, but definitely a good amount. Additionally, I got the opportunity to collaborate with a bunch of people on some great projects. So I wanted to share a few of the posts I really enjoyed making this year.

Hosting #TheJCS

This year was my first time hosting Jon’s Creator Showcase, and it turned out much better than expected. I can genuinely say that I enjoyed every post that was submitted, and even found some things that were added to my never-ending list of media to consume. Actually going through and organizing something like this gave me some insight on just how hard it is to be a community leader, and so I definitely have a lot more appreciation for all of the work Jon does for the community.

Princess Jellyfish: An Incredible Series

Probably the most in-depth I got with a series this year was writing about Princess Jellyfish, a show that, when I first watched it, was definitely good, but didn’t grip me with its opening episodes in the same way. Upon re-watching it however, I found that Princess Jellyfish is both deeply emotional and incredibly socially aware for its time. Mixed with some of my own revelations about gender identity, this quickly became one of my favorite series of all time.

Puparia: The Best Short Film on YouTube?!

I am joking a little bit, but in all honesty, I have seen quite a few short films on YouTube, and none of them can really claim to bring the same visual experience that Puparia does, outside of maybe a few. Analyzing this film as well as watching the documentary about Tamagawa’s process was honestly some of the most fun I have had doing research for an article this year. Whatever he ends up doing next, rest assured I will be there to talk about it.

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Blog Goals for 2022

I would love to capitalize on the success of this year and continue strong into the next, so here are some goals that I hope to works towards over the course of 2022. I guess you could also call these my New Year’s Resolutions as well.

Hitting 1000 followers on WordPress

1000 is definitely a big number for where Animated Observations is right now, and If I am being completely honest, I do not expect to hit it even by the end of next year. However, a big part of all these goals is to be more optimistic about my own abilities and the content I make here. So, whether or not I actually get there, I am making it my goal.

Hitting 500 followers across the social media platforms

In line with the previous goal, a reality creating things on the internet is having a strong presence on social media, and so I hope to do just that. Again, I am not realistically expecting this to happen, but having a strong goal to work towards gives me more motivation.

Making More YouTube Videos

This is the one I feel most strongly about considering how much I have utterly failed at it in the past. Thus, I am going to try and commit myself to make at least one video a month so that there is at least some consistency on the channel. Thus, if I fail in goal, there will be some sort of punishment, which I have yet to work out, but that will be posted publicly. So yeah, even more motivation.

Doing More of What You Want

Since I am nearing the end of this post, I want to say thank you again, since it definitely cannot be said enough. Having any amount of people wanting to read the things I write, let alone 400, is crazy, so it is greatly appreciated. As such, while I will continue making stuff I like, I also want to incorporate more of what you, my readers, want to see. I plan on releasing a sort of survey in the coming week asking those kinds of questions. For example, while I do not enjoy doing seasonal episode reviews as much as other forms of content, if that is what people want to read/watch, then I have no problem committing myself to that.

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Personal Goals for 2022

As much as I want to see Animated Observations grow, I do also have a life outside of making content, and so here are few things that I personally would like to achieve.

Losing Weight

It feels like a big part of my lack of motivation sometimes comes from my lack of energy, which is only further egg-on by my size. While of course I want to look my best, and I don’t shame anyone who is my size, being a bigger person definitely comes with some downsides. I have not weighed myself in a while, but usually my weight sits somewhere between 250-260. Thus, I’m hoping to drop at least 10-20 pounds come this time next year.

Getting Published

Whether it be self-publishing my work or going through an established outlet, I really want to get some of poetry published in 2022. Some of you who follow both this blog and Solidly Liquid will probably have noticed that my other blog has not been productive for most of this year. This is because, while I have been writing stuff, I feel as though my creative direction was not firmly established. However, that problem has since been solved, and thus I know exactly where I want to go with my work. After that, I am hoping to work on some short stories as well, and potentially get back to writing my novel that has been on the backburner for two and half years.

Conclusion

It feels hard to say that 2022 will be a good year overall, but given how far Animated Observations has come already, I can confidently say that 2022 should be a good year for us, at least.


I’m sure it is annoying by now, but just wanted to throw in one final thank you and say that I hope you all have a great Holiday season.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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Reflecting on COVID, OWLS, and My Priorities

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Listen, listen, inconsistency is my brand, ok? If I actually did a blog update every month, who would I even be at that point?

COVID

Seriously though, the last couple years of my life have wizzed by, so much so that it still barely feels real. I’m sure that is something that a lot of people who end up reading this will be able to relate to, as COVID response in the English speaking world varied pretty wildly, and as is the case in the U.S. was absolute garbage. Even as my neck of the woods has almost fully reopened, I still have yet to mentally process a lot of what happened.

I also do not mean to imply that it is in anyway over, because it is not. The country is still averaging hundreds of deaths a day, meanwhile our leaders have still done little to nothing in terms of dealing with the crisis. In addition, as was predicted by many, there are now new strains that are developing and quickly becoming the dominant form. These strains are not only more infectious, but also have worse effects on health. It has been truly terrifying to see this level of genuine apathy from both politicians and members of the public.

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Otaku Warriors for Liberty and Self-Respect (OWLS)

Those who are present in the ani-blog sphere may have noticed the lack of OWLS posts over the last year or so. Well, back in September, the group decided it was finally time to take a break after nearly three and half years of being active. As someone who has been only been with the group for about half of that time, I can attest to the insane amount of work that goes into making it function. Organizing and putting out that much content consistently took a lot of work on the part of everyone involved.

Even moreso than any individual member, what I admire most about the group is what it stands for. While generally speaking, there has been a good amount of social progress made when it comes to human rights and injustice, the tide of history does not just move on its own. While I definitely will not claim to have the same importance as frontline advocates, bringing attention to important economic and culture issues through writing about and analyzing media can be good work as well.

Now, those not in the loop might be wondering “what is going on?” Even though I am a member of the group, I do not claim to speak on behalf of everyone. However, given that most of the the groups initial members are inactive, it does not appear that the group is likely to return in any official capacity anytime soon. So, what does that mean for me?

Well, if the group does become active again, chances are I will probably return. However, I have also found an awesome group of creators in the form of #TheJCO, so that is where my main priorities are right now. Additionally, while they may not be OWLS posts officially, I still plan on covering social and political themes where it is relevant just as much as before. Where that type of content is housed in the future may change, but it will still be coming.

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Priorities

Doing anything consistently is pretty hard, especially writing and posting content. Given that it is really hard for me to focus on one passion, I have taken up a lot of different ones over my time since the beginning of COVID. Streaming, poetry writing, and of course continuing my reviews and such on this blog.

Part of me wants to think that I will be here, sitting at my desk writing until I find my death bed, but in truth, I have no idea what direction I am going in. In truth, I cannot sit here and promise anything. I know I said inconsistency is my brand, but it is a little bit frightening to think that one day I might not be doing something that I really enjoy right now. At this point, the only thing I can say for sure is that I want to continue improving what I put out.

Thank you all, so very much.


If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Reflecting on Streaming, My Experience so Far

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Hey friends, couple of housekeeping things before I get into the meet of this post. First, #TheJCS is still going on this month, so if you have not submitted please do so! If you are not familiar with #TheJCS, you can read my announcement post for this month which will explain everything in detail. Second, apologies for the late posts this week, getting back on a schedule has been harder on me mentally than I initially thought. With that being said, I wanted to take a bit of a break and talk about something I have been enjoying a lot recently, which is streaming.

I think its fair to say that a significant portion of the people who spent any significant time as a kid playing video games probably dreamed about playing them for a living. As it turns out, that has now become a reality for many people on the internet. Streaming has not only become popular, but the arrival of the pandemic last year made it a much more immediately available form of entertainment, since many then had the time to watch streams.

I myself had never really thought much about streaming before I got my PC. After all, I do not really like having eyes on me while I do things, and, at least initially, I was not super keen on letting other people watch me play games. At least, not in a live environment.

However, after trying it out for the last few months or so, I have come to a couple observations. First, as it turns out, I actually don’t mind people watching me that much. As of the writing of this post, my highest consecutive viewer count is six, and most of my recent streams have had about two to three people watching. Most of the time it just feels like hanging out with friends while we each do our own thing.

Second, While having better setups can definitely improve the quality of a stream, having a dedicated streaming setup is not actually necessary. When I initially asked my friend to help me build a PC, it was supposed to be a budget build. This was because, at the time, I had not interest in streaming and mainly just wanted a more efficient way to get work done. But, as it turns out, you can still have fairly good quality without crazy good specs on your computer.

Third, I have definitely come away from my streaming experiences with a new perspective on it. I used to be of the somewhat ignorant mindset that streaming is fairly easy from the perspective of being an entertainer. While I do think it can be easier in certain respects, communicating with an active chat while also doing other things is significantly more difficult than I initially thought.

Overall, I have had a great experience with streaming so far. While it may be more difficult than I initially thought, I definitely want to continue. If you want to join me on my Stream journey, feel free to drop a follow on my Twitch. As of right now I have been focusing on Smash Ultimate and Hearthstone, but I do plan on playing some anime related games in the near future. If you have any thoughts on what games I should play, feel free to drop a comment down below.


If you did read this far, thank you for indulging me. Regularly scheduled content should resume on Sunday.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Hosting The Jon’s Creator Showcase for May 2021 #TheJCS

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

So yeah, I was pretty quiet for most of April, I apologize to everyone that was expecting stuff from me. School has been kind of a pain for me mentally the last couple weeks. But, with that soon being out of the way, Its time to announce that I will be hosting #TheJCS for the Month of May 2021!

Since this is my first time hosting the event, there are probably quite a few people reading who are unfamiliar. The Jon Creator Showcase, or #TheJCS, is a event held once a month where creators of all kinds and sizes are invited to submit things they have worked on in the previous month. This can be blog posts, videos, podcast, or whatever else you feel like submitting. While I do mainly cover anime and gaming here, these posts can be about basically whatever, so feel free to share what you care about the most. Hence, since this month is May, I’ll be asking for your creative endeavors from the month of April. The host of last month’s #TheJCS was Crimson of A Nerdy Fujo Cries, so please give their post a look as well.

As for submissions, The primary and preferred method is going to be Twitter. I will link the original tweet below, when submitting please use #TheJCS and tag me @JScheibelein. Additionally, when you submit this way, be sure to tag three other creators so that we can keep the chain going and get as many people as possible in on the action, and have them do the same. This will simplify the process on my end and guarantee that I see all of the submissions. If, however, you do not have a Twitter and would still like to participate, please email me using the Animated Observations email: theaniwriter@gmail.com.

I will be taking submissions all the way until the end of May 30th so that everyone has time to figure out what they would like to submit. I was originally going to keep submissions to just one per person. However, I noticed Crimson modified hers to include extra space for posts about “Jujutsu Kaisen.” To celebrate my first time hosting, and because I’m a shill for my favorite anime, I’ll allow two submissions provided that one of them focuses primarily on “March Comes in Like a Lion.”

For any other questions you might have, feel free to reach out to either me or Jon Spencer via social media or email. With that being said, I cannot wait to see all of your wonderful submissions!


Are you planning on joining #TheJCS? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Joining #TheJCO: A mini-Update

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

More than two posts in a week?! Blasphemy I know.

This post, as the title might suggest, is more of a blog update. “An update on what?” you might be asking? Well, I’ll tell you if you give me a minute, sheesh.

As of couple days ago, I have officially joined a collective of bloggers and creators known as The Jon Spencer Coalition, or #TheJCO.

If you want a more detailed description of the organization, go ahead and click here, but basically it is a group whose goal is to help everyone in the group grow, by way of supporting and collaborating with each other. As of right now, the group is limited to those listed, but this could change in the future. Additionally, we want to create an online community through which people can discuss and share there interests.

Now, if you’ve gotten to this point that means you at least care a little, I’m assuming, so I’ll explain why I joined. Basically, I enjoy interacting with a lot of the people who were already in the community, so I figured this would be a great excuse to hang out with them even more, and help with them becoming bigger and better creators.

If that sounds like something you are interested in, then feel free to join the Jon Spencer discord and come hang out, I promise that you probably won’t get eaten.

and…yeah, that’s it, I think? yeah.


If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

A Quick Update Because I am Incredibly lazy

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Hey friendos! So, I know I haven’t put out any kind of update in a while and I feel really bad about that, because I said that I would make them a regular thing. But, to be honest, every time I establish an actual time window, I never actually find that much to write about. So at this point I think I’m just going to limit update to whenever I have something important going on, which might mean they come more or less often depending on what’s been going on. Speaking of what’s been going on:

Streaming!

Streaming was always something that looked interesting but I never really had the tools to do. Well, now that I have a half-way decent computer, I can do just that, and I have been. I’ve only had a few streams so far, and so far the streams have just consisted of Hearthstone and…well, yeah just that. However, I do have plans to stream other stuff, plus if there is something specifically people would like to see from me, I am more than happy to hear suggestions. Its been more so just something fun to do while I am sitting at home, but if I definitely wouldn’t be mad if you dropped a follow.

Writing Poetry

I have found out something extremely important about myself over the last couple of months. It is something that I think I knew about myself but just did not want to admit: I hate writing longer things. As much as I enjoy writing and will probably continue to do it for the rest of my life, unless I am getting paid to do it, the chances of me finishing a novel are pretty slim. My attention span is not long, so it takes me a while to even finish one project. Poetry works for me because I can spend more time obsessing over specific lines making sure they are perfect, which, if I tried to do with an actual novel, I would literally never finish.

So, because of this, I am spending most of my time writing on poetry and flash fiction. Currently I have plans to enter a number competitions, and I will also be looking for journals to submit to as well. If any of you know of journals that are looking for poetry submissions, feel free to leave those links in the comments as well.

Nintendo is a Trash Company

I know this isn’t as important to most of you reading this, but I want to bring to light to it anyway. For those who do not know, Super Smash Brothers has been around for a long time, and for a large part of its history, there has been a strong grassroots competitive scene for all of its games, even fan modes like Project M. Recently, Nintendo has become a lot more active in shutting down events and organizations it does not like, despite the fact that they have pretty much no infrastructure of their own for a competitive community.

Now, I totally understand that, as the publisher of Super Smash Bros, they have full rights to green light broadcasts and distribution, as well as shut down whatever they do not like, even without any justification. However, apart from being a bad business decision, the shutting down of events related to both Melee and Ultimate because the competitive scene not being how they envisioned people to enjoy the game just feels wrong. Competitive players of these games are usually the most dedicated fans, and many of them have made it their livelihood to play and create content for these games.

Basically what I’m saying is that if you care at all about smash, it might be worth sharing some support on social media. Most people have been using #freemelee and #savesmash. The idea is to just create enough noise that eventually Nintendo will have to address it in some capacity.

Getting Back into Seasonal Anime

While I still do not want it to be the entire focus of this blog, I do plan on getting back into seasonal watching. It is still enjoyable to watch a show while its airing and talk about it with others. Here are some of the shows I plan on watching:

  • The Promised Neverland 2
  • Log Horizon Season 3
  • Dr. Stone Season 2
  • Beastars Season 2
  • 2.43: Seiin Koukou Danshi Volleyball-bu

So, if you are planning on watching any of these, stick around for coverage.


If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

A Bit of Reflecting and Where to Go From Here

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

I apologize, but as many of you might already know, I am not particularly great with having posts planned ahead of time, and while I certainly would not want to bore any of you into not coming back, I hope you indulge me, at least for today, in a bit of catching up and just chatting about the future. On a side note before I begin, the next two Wednesdays will be used to finish up “AnoHana,” at which point we’ll be starting something new, and Sunday’s posts will still probably have an element of randomness to them.

It feels like at least half of my writing this year has begun with some variation of “things have been rough” or “people are really suffering” and at a certain point, as cruel as it may sound, admittedly, it just comes off as repetitive. Still, I repeat it nearly every time because, to be blunt, I am angry.

I know the situation was very different in other countries, so for the international readers, understand that I am referring specifically to the U.S. for what I am about to discuss. However, I don’t think its controversial to say that a literal inanimate object would have handled the pandemic a lot better. Any amount of leadership and forthright, swift action would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives. Instead, were stuck in a situation that is so bad that millions more have lost their jobs and we are essentially counting on two Senate races in a historically conservative leaning state to have any chance at a functional national government.

The likely reality is that one, or both of the democratic candidates, Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, will lose, meaning Republicans will have a weak grip on the Senate, but a grip nonetheless. If this is the case, the election of Joe Biden will likely mean nothing except a few reversals on Trump Era policies which were mostly reversals on Obama Era policies. In other words, nothing will fundamentally change, and Republicans will still hold an unsettling amount of political power.

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Now, I recognize that as an upper-middle class white dude, a lot of this still doesn’t affect me, but there are two points to this. First, It is important to understand the idea of voting in the interest of the majority rather than rich minority. Second, Since Republicans have a vested interest in denying the reality of Climate Change, since many of their campaigns are funded by the Fossil Fuel industry, the only chance that any of us will be able to continue living on a reasonably habitable planet is if we elect people who are at the very least willing to listen to activists and scientists. Since that group of people does not exist within the Republican party at the moment, our only choice is to support another fundamentally flawed party.

Ok, so I rambled for a little about U.S. politics for a while, “but what does that have to do with the blog?” You might reasonably ask. The answer is, well, a little.

Many of you reading this are probably aware that OWLS, the Otaku Warrior for Liberty and Self-respect, has been put on hold for a while. However, in the years that have passed since I joined the group, I have come to seriously respect the original mission of the group, which is the promotion of equality of all groups, regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, etch. As such, I would like to take on that idea more regularly. Once I have a bit more free time, I would like do actually research on issues and then relate them to anime and gaming in a serious way.

In what form that will take I have no ideas, as one of my big goals this year still is to start making YouTube content related to the blog. Whether that will happen next week or on December 31st is honestly not a question I can answer right now, but when it does come out I want it to be of good quality, which is why I am going to try and learn how to edit so I can realize this goal.

“What kind of content would you be making?” You might reasonably ask again, to which I would say something you can’t find here, but what that is exactly I still don’t know. Maybe a podcast with fellow bloggers, a series of video essays, a joke series, or a mix of everything. Either way, I want to make something special, not because I feel like I have to, but because I still want to prove to myself that I can.

Well, I think I have rambled for long enough. If you’re still reading at this point just know that I appreciate you greatly. If there is anything in particular you would like to see from me, feel free to leave it in the comments section below, and it will be taken into serious consideration.


For all my fellow bloggers reading this, what are your plans for the future? Let me know that in the comments section below as well.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Animated Observations Update #14: The Road to Fusion Fight 2 and Other Stuff from Last Month

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

As I am sure it has been for many of you as well, my last month was hectic. Not only did school start again, but most of my classes have already shifted online, and since I for one do not learn particularly well in an online environment, the adjustment period has been strenuous. Still, a lot of good stuff also happened in the last month. As I mentioned in my last post, I was able to get my first PC, and I have been slowly but surely catching up on my work load. With that being said, here is a quick update.

The Next “Fusion Fight” is Coming Soon!

For those unaware, during the month of July, along with the organization OWLS, I hosted a short story writing competition called “Fusion Fight,” in which writers were tasked with writing a short story in 500 words or less while combining at least two genres.

I had a great time hosting the event, and from what I could tell, those that entered it also had a good time. Given this information, I decided it would be a good idea host another such competition. Currently, I have not had time to come up with many details outside of the fact that it will be hosted during the month of October, and that it will be available to enter for one month. However, I have created a discord server for the competition that anyone who is interested in can join.

I plan on releasing the final details of the competition at the end of the month, when the competition begins.

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Doing YouTube…Yeah, About That.

So…yeah, I honestly don’t really have a good excuse, for you folks or myself. I wanted to get into making YouTube videos this year, and i even bought I microphone back in march for that very purpose. However, my own laziness kind of caught up with me, and well, here we are.

Still, there is no time like the present, as the ever present and somewhat questionably assertive “they” always say. I have been thinking about what kind of content I would want to make on YouTube, but regardless of what it ends up being, I would definitely want it to be different than the blog content, so that you all have a reason to go there instead of here.

I might just spend the last few months of the year experimenting with different kinds of content, so let me know what kind of videos you all would like to see.

Getting Back to it!

I also recently started back as a columnist for another semester at The Daily Beacon, my college’s newspaper. My first article back is already up, so if you would like to go check it out, feel free to do so.

Concluding “Aku no Hana.”

It has been a while in the making, but I finally finished Shuzo Oshimi’s “Aku no Hana” (The Flowers of Evil). I honestly can’t say enough how much I enjoyed the series, and I definitely want to check out more of Oshimi’s work. So, if you enjoyed the “Aku no Hana” series, be sure to stick around. It is highly likely I will be covering more of Oshimi’s work in the future.


Thanks for reading. What have you all been up to? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

“Fusion Fight,” an OWLS Mini CONmunnity: Anime is Never Cancelled Event Winners Announcement

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

Ok, so maybe that title is a bit of a mouthful, but regardless, the time has finally come.

With the month of July having come and gone so to has “Fusion Fight.” For those who are unaware, Fusion Fight was a short story writing competition that was hosted by myself and OWLS, a blogging collective focused promoting equality and respect, as part of the OWLS Mini CONmunity: Anime is Never Cancelled. Today, after a slight delay due to the need for a little bit more time, I will be announcing the winners of “Fusion Fight,” as well as featuring their work on this post. Without further delay, lets get started.

Runner-up: “Ghost Toast” by Miyo

Genre(s): Ghost Story

Twitter: @miyorator

Brandon lives in a quiet neighborhood in Missouri. One night after finishing all his homework, playing a video game and eating all his dinner, Brandon wanted a midnight snack of toast. He opened the fridge and scoured for the white and blue patterned packaging of his favorite bread. He opened the bag and grabbed the middle slice for extra freshness, popped it in the toaster and drowsily waited 3 minutes. He stared at the digital clock on the oven, reading 12:43 AM. KACHANG! The springs startled him awake enough to grab his single toast slice and head back into bed. As he lay in bed biting off the crust of his toast, his eyelids became heavier and heavier. Soon, he succumbed to his drowsiness and fell asleep. A half eaten toast in his hand. That night, Brandon dreamt of an angry toast who had not fulfilled his purpose in life. The toast in his dream grew to the size of a building. Dream Brandon tried running but his feet felt slow and heavy. Brandon woke up at the sound of his alarm set for school. Brandon laughed at how child-like his nightmare was and got dressed for class. But first, he would have a slice of toast for breakfast. When Brandon opened the fridge again, The familiar blue and white bag was gone. “Mom do you know where the loaf of bread is?” Brandon called out to his mother in the living room, watching the news. She yelled back “Bread? I haven't bought any yet since last Tuesday. I'll grab some after lunch.” “ No I just had some toast last night, it was right here in the fridge.” Brandon retorted. Brandon's mother turned around from the couch and assured Brandon that she had not bought any bread in the last week. “Maybe you dreamed of toast, Brandon. I'm going to pick up a loaf for you today, OK?” His mother said. Brandon closed the fridge and stood there in the kitchen for a moment, trying to recall if he really HAD eaten toast the night prior. Did he really FEEL the heat from the toast last night? Had he truly CRUNCHED the crispy crust which was his favorite part of a toast? He retraced his steps for a moment and looked at the clock like he did last night. Oh crud! It was already 7:40. School starts in 20 minutes! Brandon grabbed his backpack and tied his shoes as fast as he could and ran off. “See you later, mom!” “Bye Brandon, Love you!” She turned to shout as the door shut behind Brandon. As Brandon sprinted his normal path to school he couldn't remember if he had his school I.D. with him, In case the hall monitors catch him being late to class. He reached into his left pocket and felt no card but felt sand. He stopped running to feel the large quantity of it in both his pockets. When he turned his pockets inside out, toast crumbs fell out like a crumb waterfall.

One thing that was apparent among many of the competitors in “Fusion Fight” was a love for ghost stories. This is understandable, given how immediately interesting the prospect meeting the deceased is. However, just cause it was done a lot, does not mean it was not done well. Miyo’s entry mixes a ghost story with a bit of humor, as she describes a young boy Brandon and his obsession with toast. The story overall has a lot of charm and funny moments, which can be great in combination with the supernatural. For that, Miyo was the runner-up in this event.

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2nd: “The Frailty of Murine and Legomorphs” by F. Abel Fox

Genre(s): Ghost Story/Suspense/Horror

Twitter: @FableFantastic

Prize: $20

My Dearest Gwendolyn,

In an earnest attempt to qualm my tremors, I hastily write what well could be my final letter. It satisfies me to know you’ll never witness me in such a dreadfully woeful disposition. My complexion bleached; my lineaments crooked. The result of my clumsy stairway descent that left the veneer utterly blood-soaked. Be assured that with my sincerest of convictions, this was no mere accident.

I am absent of delusions. Swearing by my unsullied name that I have been bewitched with a rancorous specter. The floorboards moan, temperate dusks are meddled by a sudden December wind. Gwendolyn, your swift divarication should have left my pensive mood flared by crippling loneliness. I do not feel alone, I am not alone. My imperceptible visitor lurks, and frightful I am they wish upon my eternal agony.

His ghastly entrance commenced with mere clouds of dust and the occasional float of cobwebs. Too burdened by your exit, I paid no consideration to these optic tricks. A damn fool I’ve been, dismissing these as erratic phenomena. Gnawing marks across the mopboard? Simply, it must have been a rat. Well I’ve dealt with vermin Gwendolyn. Many times, have I witnessed the dropping of the hammer onto murine and lagomorphs alike. But never have I tangled with as beastly of a rodent as their barb indicates.

Not ‘til the vulnerability of my recent burdensome slumber did I face the miscreant. His contour hollow, and his visage bringing immeasurable unease. Awoken from my trepidation, I dashed knowing my survival rested on a hurried escape. I reached the stairwell, but as I went to descend, I was clutched by the ankle.

That is what hurled me forward causing the aforementioned accident. Wheezing and crawling like the wounded animal I was, it was you who gave me the strength to persist. Few cracked ribs and a protruding tibia would not prevent me from slinking into the study where I now retreat.

Even while enduring this unholy infliction, the reminiscence of you tickles me. Your elegance silhouetted by the glistening glitter of the moonlight. The frailty of your boney hand enraptured in mine. Your haughty and neglectful demeanor; alas has it all been lost to oblivion? Never shall I forget our final twilight. The repugnance of staring into your vibrant irises glaze. Your breath shallows. The fade of warmth from under my palms clasped around your larynx like a Burmese python.

Must all love be cursory, Gwendolyn? Certainly, this must not be the case between us. For these scribbles I write you postmortem must ascend beyond the mortal plane and reach your current haven.

It has returned, returned to ensure that time’s arrow comes to cease. I hear his pattering steps Gwendolyn; the bronze doorknob is slowly oscillating with a disturbing intent. This impending departure causes me sickening apprehension; a timid-ness rotting my core.

But I guess that is the price to pay, to be a father of an unborn son.

A story like “The Frailty of Murine and Legomorphs” is one that can be somewhat intimidating at first. After all, their are a lot of pretty obscure words and phrases. However, that is arguably what makes the story so good. F. Abel Fox was able to build on the identity of a Knight in danger, describing his sorrows and current adventure in a letter to his wife right before he dies. Fox not only does a great job of building to the reveal at the end, but makes the knight seem relatable in a way that most knight characters do not, and for that he earned second place.


1st: “Ms. McCloud and the Cream Soda Ghost” by Koji Kojou

Genre(s): Romance/Ghost Story

Website: Bikkuri Book Club

Twitter: @KojiKojou

Prize: $30

Part 1

I rubbed at the tender spot on my arm. I knew from my previous experiences in gym class that there would be a bruise there later.

I would have liked to say that I had gotten the injury from something fun like dodgeball or basketball, however…

“Don’t worry!” Ms. McCloud put her hand on my shoulder. “You’ll be able to jump rope someday!”

Please don’t say that out loud, I thought.

“Are you going to the library again?” she continued.

“Yeah. I need some relaxation time.”

“Make sure you stretch so you don’t pull a muscle while you’re reading.” She chuckled.

“How are you allowed to be a teacher?” I asked.

“I teach Gym, remember? I’m barely a teacher.”


Part 2

I usually went to the library to read, but today was different…

On my way there, I stopped at a vending machine and made sure to buy a certain beverage. The can felt nice and cold in my hand. The bold text on it read “Rutger’s Cream Soda.”

I heard a rumor recently. Allegedly, a ghost stalked the library when the lights were out. It didn’t spook or scare people. No… It craved cream soda!

Today, I would put this story to the test!


Part 3

I watched from behind a shelf, waiting for something to happen.

Maybe the whole thing is fake after all, I thought.

That was when I saw it: a small girl in white, glowing softly in the darkness, reaching out to grab the soda from the table I had placed it on.

I blinked my eyes a few times to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating.

She’s here!

I dashed out from cover, my phone ready to take a picture.

The ghost began to flee, and I pursued the apparition as fast as I could, until…

CRASH!

Everything went dark...


Part 4

A young school uniform clad Karolyn McCloud sat at a diner booth across from a meek girl. 

“C’mon!” Karolyn pushed a cream soda float towards the quiet young lady. “I got it for you!”

“Th-thanks…” the girl whispered.

“You don’t have to be lonely anymore!” Karolyn said, grinning. “I’ll be your friend from now on!”

“B-but… I can’t play sports with you because… you know… my heart condition.”

“That doesn’t matter! We can still hang out, right?”

Blushing, the girl looked down at the soda in front of her and smiled.

“Y-yeah!...”


Part 5

“You okay?”

I shot awake and looked around. I was back in the library, with Coach McCloud standing over me.

Must have been a dream…

“Looks like you hit your head,” Ms. McCloud said. “C’mon. I got some ice packs in my office.”


Part 6

Once we arrived at our destination, we found the most peculiar thing…

“Odd,” Ms. McCloud said, picking up the ice-cold cream soda can from her desk. “This is the third one this week. No idea where they’re coming from.”

On the side of the can, a heart was drawn in the condensation.

Like I said before, many of the contestants in this competition opted to write a ghost story, but in the end only one story could get first, and although there were many fantastic entries, “Ms. McCloud and the Cream Soda Ghost” was the only story the judges had an immediate unanimous decision on. Not only does this story have a immediate charm and interesting characters, its payoff near the end, though subtle, was heartwarming to say the least. It also managed to perfectly combine the ghost story and romance genres. Because of this, Koji Kojou is the winner.


Special shoutout to both Lita and Ashley for helping me judge this event, it honestly might have been a bit harder to make a decision with out them, so please go show them some love too. Also, I mentioned in my update the other day that while I don’t have any immediate plans of hosting another Fusion Fight, I certainly am open to and interested in doing so. If you would like to see another competition like this, please leave a comment down below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!