Yea I gotta be honest here, I haven’t been doing all too well. I generally try to be upbeat when doing these monthly posts, but I’ve been feeling pretty listless all throughout August.
A major factor in this is my ongoing legal battle. All the way back in March/April I had construction done to my house and apparently being able to flush is an optional feature on toilets these days. The company I hired blames pre-existing issues with my house for the problem and wants to charge an additional 3k to fix it. However, attempting to prove them wrong is going to be an expensive and time-consuming venture as well, which may get bogged down in months of mediation if we can’t reach an agreement ourselves.
This coincided with a surprising downturn in traffic for Reasons to Anime. Daily visitors went down by 70% literally overnight, with only a few days matching the regular activity of months prior; some days struggle to even meet a quarter of what it used to be. I’d love to investigate this phenomenon and find a solution, but I’ve had no energy for it at all and don’t even really know where to even start.
It’s a shame, but I am determined not to let this affect my output negatively. I am thankful for everybody who visits this site and enjoy my content, doesn’t matter if it’s hundreds of people or a few dozens. September is already fully planned out and frequent visitors may have noticed that I started posting extra content. Besides the feature reviews on Mondays and articles on Thursdays, I am now also posting reviews on Saturdays under the “Brief Thoughs On” label. These reviews are directed at shorter anime & manga, which have been underrepresented on this site ever since I retired the Quick Reviews.
In spite of the overall reduction in traffic, I do have to say that I am excited with the reaction to several reviews & articles. Sword of the Stranger and the article about “beginners’ anime” did incredibly well, and the list of best English OP/ED songs was also well-received. That article almost didn’t happen actually, because the embedded videos had suddenly stopped working mere days before the article would go live. I had to upgrade my license, convert the videos, and host it all myself, necessitating a big rework that I only barely managed to finish in time.
Another article that required last-minute attention was the Dance in the Vampire Bund review, for which I owe some early readers an apology. The final draft for the review listed the hentai manga Yupiel as a recommendation, but this was changed the night before publication because I was concerned WordPress would take issue with its explicit cover. The review then went live with Hellsing as a replacement recommendation, but the description still said Yupiel. Apologies for the confusion that may have caused.
To end this month’s Behind the Scenes post, I’d like to make another recommendation. Last month I directed people to some great articles by fellow anime reviewers, but this time I’d like to point people towards a video game that a friend of mine helped develop. Helios is a social VR game that runs on Unreal Engine 4 and acts both as a goofy hang-out for VR enthusiasts, as well as a framework for user-created VR experiences.
These VR social hubs always look very cool, but experience has told me that VR goggles and my actual glasses don’t get along well. Helios does offer a desktop-only mode, so that could make the difference if you too struggle with wearing headsets for prolonged periods of time. Check out the Steam Page for more information.