2020 was an amazing year for Reasons to Anime. Traffic to the site increased threefold and we reached numbers of unique visitors and article views I couldn’t even dream off in 2019. For those interested, I’ll be going over some of my plans for the new year today. But first, I’d like to extend special thanks to three people who have been especially generous in helping me improve Reasons to Anime and increase the quality of my articles:
Curtis from Iridium Eye and Ospreyshire has been immensely patient and generous in advising me on how to be more aware of racially-insensitive content in anime. Equal rights and racism have been prominent topics throughout 2020 and this has made me pay more attention to the way anime presents people of color. Curtis’ blogs are a great resource for news, articles, and poetry on this topic, so I was very excited when he agreed to help me sort out my questions and look at some cases I wasn’t sure on. Thank you so much for your help!
I also want to express my endless gratitude to my personal friends Stian and Frida of Corrupt Save File. For years now they have been the first to offer me feedback and proof-read my articles before they go live. Their feedback has been invaluable and helped me vastly improve the original ideas I had for articles. Frida also graciously allowed me to interview her for my piece on I My Me! Strawberry Eggs which ended up being a bit hit. She also frequently recommends movies and books that resemble anime I just watched or address topics I am going to be talking about. I love you guys and we’ll absolutely watch some anime together when this pandemic is finally over.
Finally, I also want to thank everybody who read my articles, wrote comments, shared my work, and send me lovely e-mails. Your support keeps me motivated to write and constantly improve both myself and this website. Thank you and I hope we get to do even better in 2021!
Let’s get to the actual plans now.
Some brief data analysis
- The most popular reviews this year were for Hybrid Heart, Elfen Lied, and My Daddy Long Legs. Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai technically ranked #3, but this was due to the review being shared on the anime’s subreddit.
- When exclusively looking at reviews published this year, Beyond The Heavens, Re:Zero, and DNA² ranked highest.
- For contrast, the least-read reviews were older pieces for Sound of the Sky, Hetalia, and New Game!.
- The best-performing articles are overwhelmingly for ecchi series, but there is also plenty of interest for little-known anime like Hyouge Mono, old classics like Revolutionary Girl Utena, and nostalgic childhood series such as Shinzo. This nicely spans all of my interests, so I am not plotting any big overhauls for the kind of series I write about.
- There is also no obvious bias for negative or positive reviews, but articles with a critical title like “How Ancient Magus’ Bride caused me to stop buying manga” do perform significantly better. This example even outperformed the actual review for Ancient Magus’ Bride.
- The review for Helck was a massive success and provided a signal boost for a series that I wish more people knew about. Since I am going to read a lot more manga in 2021 anyway, I want to do more full reviews for series like Helck that are really interesting to me or unjustifiably obscure.
- While I am not prepared to turn Reasons to Anime into Reasons to Hentai, the Quick Anime Reviews (and Quick Manga Reviews) did open up the door to covering erotic series. Space Ship Agga Ruter was particularly eye-opening, so if/when a good hentai series presents itself, I am open to writing an honest review on it.
- On that note, I am cancelling Quick Anime Reviews and Quick Manga Reviews. These are articles that took a lot of time to write and many of the series put on them may have deserved full reviews anyway. The “Recommendations” articles are going to act as a more focused alternative.
- I want to try to publish certain reviews to coincide with appropriate holidays.
- All articles will now be scheduled to go up at 7:00 AM UTC+0 to make publishing more consistent. The current schedule of reviews on Monday and an article on Thursday will stay the same.
- I am going to make a general effort to improve headlines for each reason. Right now they are often more focused on sounding nice or enticing people to read on, so I want them to be more informative as well. Ideally, somebody should be able to just skim over the headlines and get an impression of the review’s main arguments.
- Right now, only other WordPress users can subscribe to Reasons to Anime. A field for subscribing by mail will be included at the end of reviews to fix this. (done)
- The old awards will be retired. They have long served their purpose by now and I keep forgetting to add them in.
- The spam and word filter introduced as a response to a brief influx of hateful comments will be upgraded and refined. I am going to look into getting some professional aid in this regard, because I want to make sure it won’t quarantine legitimate comments by mistake and cause unnecessary frustration. (est. Q2 2021)
- I am going to redesign the main menu to be more comprehensive and relevant. (done)
- The introduction page is in dire need of a rework to better explain what the site is about. (est. Q1 2021)
- Actual categories for Articles so I can retire the current, static page that needs constant updating. (done)
- I am going to begin working on a plan to transition Reasons to Anime to a personal server where I will have more control, customization options, and hopefully reduced upkeep costs. If this works out the way I want it to, then I am going to make the move in 2022.
- I’ll be taking a few more breaks throughout 2021 to stay on top of my health without messing up the publishing schedule. In particular, I estimate March and April will be messy due to a scheduled renovation of my house.
- I will be setting up a business e-mail so people can reach out to me without leaving public comments.