Happy new year everyone! Are you doing well? No hangover?
2022 sure was quite a year for me and this website. A year of changing plans, overhauls, and more controversies than I had anticipated. This year’s video also ended up being a significantly bigger ordeal to put together. It might have said v2 in the URL, but it was more like v200. Anyhow, today I wanted to take some time to reflect on the past year and put forth some ideas for the future.
- Reasons to Anime was visited 53243 times last year, during which articles our articles were read a total of 67614 times.
- This is slight increase over 2021, though the numbers of that year were inflated due to controversies.
- The best performer was the review for Bible Black, which was read a total of 6051 times.
- Following that, the most popular reviews were those for Hybrid Heart, Kanokon, and Revolutionary Girl Utena. RGU did get a boost from Twitter outrage, but that only accounted for a few hundred extra readers.
- The most popular, new articles were The Golden Age of Isekai (2102 views), Growing Out of Anime (818 views), and Political Correctness Mr. Popo (642 views). The article on High Guardian Spice and the Top 50 Worst Anime remain very popular too.
- The worst-performing article was Recreating Drinks from Bartender, though I wrote that piece fully expecting it not to take off.
- The worst performing review was Haunted Junction.
- Subscriptions rose to 334.
- The biggest sources for traffic were Google searches and the WordPress app.
- The vast majority of our audience is from The United States, which accounts for just under 50% of all traffic.
- India, Canada, The Philippines, and the UK are the runner-ups for most visitors.
- The last spot in terms of traffic is shared between Angola, Tajikistan, Liberia, the Caribbean Netherlands, Guernsey, Aland, Curacao, Seychelles, Dominica, Mauritania, Rwanda, South Sudan, Mayotte, Bermuda, Gambia, Timor-Leste, The Northern Mariana Islands, Congo – Brazzaville, Mali, Swaziland, Guinea, Haiti, Cape Verde, Afghanistan, St. Martin, and Kosovo. Please step it up a bit lads.
By my amateur analysis, this marks a turning point in favor of critical reviews. In some cases this is because a critical opinion sparks outrage, while at other times people seem to enjoy it when I dunk on an infamously bad series. Still, positive reviews are not “unpopular” by any means, so I am going to keep striving for a healthy balance between positive and negative reviews.
I will be looking into how to improve reviews for series with confusing titles, however. Were it not for the timely announcement of a new entry in the series, my review of Bartender would’ve likely gone largely ignored. The title doesn’t immediately bring to mind anime and is too generic for search engines. Same with other low performers like Haunted Junction, Are You Lost?, and The Reflection.
I am also seeing low traffic on older reviews for shows that have since had sequels come out. These are literally outdated and I’m assuming that something in the algorithm (or people themselves) realize this. I’ll be looking into retiring these reviews or re-reviewing their series.
As for articles, the statistics support my existing hypothesis: people are more interested in broader discussions about anime and trends, rather than specific articles that only talk about 1 show. These are also more fun to write and let me flex my researching skills, so I am going to embrace this trend for sure.
Of course, controversial articles are another type of surefire hits. At this point I think my critique of the High Guardian Spice controversy is going to outlive the cultural relevance of the show itself. As much as I like seeing the numbers go up, writing about social justice topics like this is kind of a pain. Months down the line I still need to police comment sections just to filter out the idiots or reply to people. It’s not material that I want to actively seek out, nor do I intend to censor myself. I will keep posting possibly-controversial articles when appropriate.
As a final note, it’s clear that the shift towards hentai has been a lucrative one. Bible Black was the chart topper for sure, but other erotic reviews did fairly well too. They’re just not very popular with my usual readers, many of whom have been loyally turning up week-after-week for 5 years now. While I may still write about them from time-to-time, I’ll only do so for the truly significant works.
My New Year’s Resolution
This is usually where I’d post a laundry list of proposed changes to the site, but truth be told… I am kinda happy with the way things are now. the redesign was a major success and a lot of my old gripes have been resolved. Outside of working on some automation on the backend, I don’t have any big, amazing changes in mind.
Instead, I want to publicly share a challenge that I had in mind. The shift to working from home has dramatically changed how much I read. It used to be my go to activity while on the train to and from work, but now it’s something I rarely get around to. Volumes of manga are collecting dust right now and I long ago uninstalled all my relevant apps. This is something I want to change. So…
In 2023, I will read a full manga series for every day of the year.
365 manga for 365 days. I realize that sounds over-ambitious, but I think it ought to be doable. I am setting some rules as well, though these will mostly serve to plug any easy ways out:
- Only manga that are finished count and only if I read them to completion.
- Doujins, anthologies, and oneshots don’t count.
- Only manga that I started reading in 2023 count, unless I re-read earlier volumes again.
- In the case of any ambiguity (i.e. whether a series counts as 1 manga or several ones split up) I am going with whatever AniList has it listed as.
- By that same logic, manwha and other non-Japanese manga count if they have a listing on AniList.
- Every manga that I own physically must be completed.
I’ll use the monthly Behind the Scenes post to update everyone on this challenge.
A great big ‘thank you’ goes out to everybody who showed up to read my articles or even share them with other people. This has been a great year for the site and it couldn’t have happened without the support of readers like you. Thanks you so much.
Additionally, I wanted to specifically thank a number of people who have helped me make Reasons to Anime a better site with better content.
- Taluun and ImoutoHeadpat from the Anilist community, for organizing a groupwatch with me and providing feedback on articles.
- Deneolan for being my usual anime-watching buddy.
- TwistedRiver for her feedback and support behind the scenes.
- Curtis from Ospreyshire and Iridium Eye for his support and feedback.
As well as the numerous other anime blogs that have supported Reasons to Anime over the years.