Monday, 30 June 2014

The end of an era...

When I fired up this 'blog on a whim at the start of 2008, the world was a very different place - Crunchyroll and legal streaming were still largely irrelevant (particularly to someone based in the UK such as myself), fansubs still ruled the roost, and Twitter barely existed in anything like the hugely popular form that it does today.

It was that environment that led to the creation of this imaginatively titled affair - put simply, I had nowhere else to talk about the latest anime, or to store my thoughts in a manner that I could easily refer back to for my writing work elsewhere when circumstances demanded me to recall some forgettable series that somebody had unfathomably licensed for home video release. Although this was a place for public consumption and discussion, my aims were always personal; I just needed a repository for my stream of consciousness, so that I could easily grab an image for a series or remember that episode x of series y was a particularly good one.

Although having this information to-hand is still undeniably useful to me, times and circumstances have changed. The UK now gets to enjoy the vast majority of content legally streaming online, and material that doesn't stream to the west at all is becoming rarer and rarer - this in turn gives me an outlet to write about the latest anime both in my capacity for the UK Anime Network, and also now in a regular monthly streaming anime column in MyM Magazine (which you can buy and read on iOS devices too, don't you know).

These opportunities have also brought me to a realisation - that to properly facilitate my work for those publications I need to work smarter, which ostensibly means watching more, writing less and making what I do write cover the latest anime in a broader sense. In other words, episodic blogging simply doesn't make sense to me any more, nor is it a good use of my time when I can throw some images and comments into storage elsewhere ("the cloud" is a dumb buzzword but cloud storage is a beautiful thing), offer up some immediate thoughts via Twitter and then save my full musings for writing about batches of episodes or series as a whole elsewhere. Worse still, at times over the past year in particular I've found myself not watching particular shows simply because I don't think they'll be interesting to write about episodically - a corruption of my enthusiasm which I'm sure you'll agree is fucking insane.

It's a harsh reality that I've been pondering for a couple of months, but now seems like the time to stop prevaricating, make my decision and retire Hanners' Anime 'Blog with immediate effect at the end of the spring season, having completed writing about every spring show (apart from M3, but fuck that series).

The site will stick around forever, of course (by which I mean until Google go bankrupt in some kind of fireball of a technology bubble bursting or something), and it might even spring back into occasional life if something which doesn't legally reach the UK absolutely demands that I write about it, but to all intents and purposes this is the end of a journey that began over six years and 3,800 posts ago. For those of you who followed my musings, be it casually or regularly, thank you all for reading - if you feel even the slightest inkling that you might miss all of this nonsense as much as I'll probably miss vomiting it into a WYSIWYG interface, then you should probably follow me on Twitter or keep up with my long-form writing at those links further up the page.

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