This has been an incredibly eventful month for me, to the point where I felt like I had enough material for a Behind the Scenes article while we were only 2 weeks in. Where to even start…
First and foremost, I got to go on a trip again for the first time in a looooooooong while. I went to Amsterdam together with a friend (hi Dennis!) to go see De Nachtwacht while it is being restored. We ended up exploring as much of the Rijksmuseum as we could and then hit up some stores hoping to score some anime and games.
The American Book Center in Amsterdam has long been one of the go-to places to buy manga when in The Netherlands, but I am sad to report that it’s not worth it anymore. They used to have two entire bookcases full of manga, a separate hentai corner, and then another row of smaller bookcases elsewhere that also had mostly manga on it. Now much of this space has been annexed by regular comic books, leaving only the few smaller bookcases that also share space with tabletop roleplaying stuff. I did end up getting the At The Mountains of Madness manga, but having to crouch around like an archaeologist exploring the ruins of a once-decent shop for them was not a great time.
Covid and its aftereffects are far from over, though. We popped into the Game Over? to look for some games, but only 2 customers could go in at a time and this is a popular stop for gaming enthusiasts. I really wanted to have a good look around, but other people soon lined up to get inside and that just made me feel so bad. I only ended up getting some old PC games and a few Atari Jaguar titles. After that we went to Utrecht to eat & drink at my favorite pub, but it turned out that the owner had lost/fired all her personnel and now couldn’t handle reopening. She ended up arguing with patrons and got angry when people decided to leave, at which point we reluctantly headed out to find another place too.
And that was all just in one day. Throughout the rest of the month I took vacation from work, had the first gaming get-together with my friends in months, developed an interest in Pathfinder, and bought a new pair of glasses because my old pair literally fell apart while I was reading. That makes it sound like I have very active life, but don’t worry, I am still the same lethargic hermit as always.
As for Reasons to Anime, things have been wild. Several articles like the defense of Hanebado and my critical review of Devilman turned out to be very popular. Several older articles also got a surprise boost in traffic, which is always really nice. I put a lot of effort into touching up older articles and fixing grammar issues/typos when I find them months later, so it’s nice to know that people still read those pieces as well.
Interestingly, somebody actually reached out asking to buy Reasons to Anime. I know I said that I was looking into ways to offset the costs of running this website, but outright selling the whole place seems like a case of throwing the baby out with bathwater. I really enjoy what I am doing here and the knowledge that so many people are enjoying my writing is worth far more than the couple of yearly subscription costs I have to deal with. Seeing familiar and new faces pop in every week, reading the comments and checking out what others have been writing on the same series, it’s not something I am willing to give up.
On that note… maybe I should actually give a shout-out to some of these people. I am grateful to everybody who links to my articles and shares my reviews, but I don’t do any of these weekly content round-ups, so I rarely get a good chance to share what other great reviewers have been up to. I hope this makes up for that at least a little:
First and foremost, EggheadLuna shares my critical views on the 1972 adaptation of Devilman in a piece aptly titled Not My Devilman. It is a harsh review that outright calls the show “defective”. It’s good to know that I am not the only person that was feeling severely disappointed with this anime.
I already linked to Biblionyan’s competing review of Earl and Fairy in my original review, but while browsing their blog I also ended up seeing an older review for BPS: Battle Programmer Shirase. I really enjoyed that series and haven’t seen anybody else talk about it before or since. Biblionyan wasn’t as excited about the show as I, but I really enjoyed their review and recommend checking it out if you’re interested in obscure, niche anime.
And finally, be sure to check out the collaborative review between Scott from Mechanical Anime Reviews and Ospreyshire from The Iridium Eye. Together they discuss Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture, a colorful anime movie adaptation of the longstanding fighting game franchise by SNK.
As for next month, look forward to a little bit of everything. We got 5 feature reviews coming up that are all over the place in terms of genre, format, and when they were released. I am also really confident in the articles I got lined up, including another music-themed top 10 article. Thank you for your time and I hope to see you all again next month!