Aniblog Tourney – Round of 16 vs. SSAB (Updated)

And so it goes – we’ve reached the Round of 16 and a touch matchup against Sea Slugs Anime Blog. I’m surprised to still be alive in this thing – but since I am, let’s keep it going a little longer! Please click here to vote!

Further thoughts after the fold…

Kabitzin has posted his case for SSAB, so I feel as if I should at least weigh in with my thoughts.  I’m not going to compare blogs or even discuss SSAB, because that’s not what this is about for me.  I don’t honestly want to win if it means knocking down somebody else (apart from the occasional silly al Qaeda dig).  This is a one-man operation and in relative terms, a new blog.  I’m happy to have made it this far, to be honest.

My case is simple – LiA is what it is.  Blogger is a limited platform and my under-the-hood skills are similarly limited, so I optimize the site as best I can within their 70’s-era technology and live with the results (though as always, I’m happy to accept assistance from anyone who would care to offer their help).

Content-wise, I want to quickly reply to the charge that I use screenshots as a substitute for a “proper summary”.  Simply put, I use screenshots as a service to the reader (cue Misato Katsuragi here), and to highlight something that strikes me as cool or funny.  I don’t use detailed summaries on every post because one of the first things I learned was that if you write for your own tastes, your writing will be more authentic.  I never wanted to see long summaries in anime blog posts – in most cases I’ll have already seen the episode, so I don’t need the blogger to tell me what happened. I want analysis, so that’s what I provide in my blogs.  I noticed very early on that the more summary I included in a post, the less I really cared about the ep I was writing about.  In short – I was just using it to fill space.

I guess what it comes down to for me is that LiA is a personal blog, and it reflects my tastes as a writer and where my interest lies (in the writing rather than the presentation).  If that’s a fault I’ll humbly admit to it.  I try wherever possible to offer something different – there are plenty of sources for thoughts on Fate/Zero (as there should be) and I won’t ignore a show simply because it’s popular – but there aren’t many places where you can find coverage of Hunter X Hunter or Ginga e Kickoff.  My criterion is simply whether I like it or not.

I think providing one blogger’s honest view of anime as it exists today is more valuable than summarizing the popular shows of the day – it’s certainly more fun for me.  SSAB is a good blog, and there are lots of other good anime blogs out there – I’m just trying to be one of them while expressing my views in an honest way.  In terms of Aniblog or anything else, let the chips fall where they may – this is a labor of love for me, otherwise I wouldn’t put in the many hours it takes to maintain LiA in a manner I can be proud of.  The greatest reward for me is the growth I’ve seen over the last year – so many more readers and active participants in the discussions that if you’d told me then that this is where the site would be today, I’d never have believed it.

Thanks to everyone who’s supported me in the tourney, and to everyone who just stopped by to check out the site.  And especially, thanks to the readers who’ve helped the site grow so quickly and who make it so much fun to be a part of.



  1. F

    Its a destined battle!

    …or something like that.

  2. I'll be Gon to your Hisoka.

  3. F

    Thats one way of putting it.

    BTW, my BOSS put up some thoughts on this matchup.

  4. H

    Personally I like episodic blogs more than the other kind of anime blogs out there, mostly because I find it a useful tool to figure out what I want to watch, and I like the analysis you have here since, well, after I've seen an episode I don't want people to tell me what I saw, I want people to tell me what they thought. Sometimes I go to forums for that and sometimes forums are full of scary, crazy fans and I go to blogs instead (and stay away from the comments section). Not entirely sure why SSAB had to post their "case" for voting for each blog, I thought us voters already knew who to vote for? 😛

  5. K

    Just wanted to start by saying that this was in no way meant as a "diss" or anything, but rather as constructive criticism. I noted that the stylistic differences with summaries are just that: stylistic differences. You are correct in writing in a way that you find enjoyable, and I noted that I was nitpicking. The web stuff is a legitimate beef (the site is seriously slow…), but one that is quickly if not easily fixed. Learning to write well, however, is pretty hard and generally takes a very long time.

    I hope you reconsider about offering any criticism of SSAB. If you'd rather leave it as a comment at SSAB, that's fine, because I really do love blogging anime and welcome any help in getting better at it. Regardless of the results of the poll, I am glad I took a chance to discover and read LiA and I enjoyed your posts a lot.

  6. I didn't see it that way at all, don't sweat it… I just thought it was worth stating my case, more or less. My philosophy from the beginning has been to not talk about whoever I'm up against, but there's no reason I can't talk about my own blog!

  7. A

    I always go to two sites first after I watch an episode and the two sites are RandomC and LIA. At first it was in that order. Now since Divine has left I find myself coming here first. That is in no way a diss to the new staff a RandomC its just that GE covers most of the shows I watch and I just like reading his thoughts. Also he puts out his post in a timely manner. LIA might not be the most flashy site but you can tell Enzo puts 100% in all his posts and he truly loves writing about anime. You have my vote GE.

  8. Thank you, nameless friend!

  9. B

    I'll second anon up there, I only really visit RandomC anymore for shows that I like but aren't blogged here (Tasogare Otome x Amnesia) but if Enzo is blogging a show this site is generally my first and last stop.

  10. Well, I appreciate it. Can't blog 'em all – I did try Tasogare, but it just didn't quite connect for me.

    BTW, there might just be a fun reason to visit RC in a couple of days…

  11. K

    I did mention that it would probably be an average anime. Watchable but not really completely memorable.

  12. l

    What reason? Stop teasing, damn you!

  13. I

    I don't know, Sea Slugs sounds like a great name for a blog, I mean it's such a delicious title. It has an appetizing range of menus and specialties. And what a waitress, she oozes of brilliance.

    I'm on the fence with this one Enzo.

  14. B

    Well naturally the name is great, any time a reference to Azumanga Daioh is made it's bound to be awesome ;).

  15. If it comes down to names I have the Albert Brooks vote locked up. Both of them.

  16. C

    I wished LIA had more commenters though…

  17. e

    *moar cheerleading*
    I occasionally visit other blogs but this is by far my favourite one and my sun and stars, oh gracious writer XD.
    I used to visit both RC and psgels a lot more in the past (while being born in Italy in the '80s I was very lucky in terms of being able to enjoy both vintage classics and the macross and gundams & seminal majokkosin basically real time, I'll always be thankful to psgels especially as his posts helped me to select among the 1999-through-2007 anime… what a crazy two years of custom best of catch up I went through and it wouldn't have been possible without his blog )but I simply enjoy your blogging style more than anyone else's ultimately. I only wish gaguri would post more, Ha Neul Seum is mostly a dormant blog now but his recs in his own way were as valuable to me as yours…
    I've realized you tend to blog either shows I like or shows I might be interested to watch… but even when a certain series is not my cup of tea I just enjoy reading your thoughts and their presentation nonetheless. You're articulated, have a good vocabulary and an excellent grasp on grammar (asides from the occasional typos – human, too human – and your penchant for it's instead of its <— ironically enough, as prone to typos as my non-English native speaker self is, I tend to notice such stuff immediately ) and you manage to be both polite and respectful (if not deliciously sarcastic) even with trolls.
    I like your sense of humour and that you can be serious and devote so much time of your life to blogging yet you don't seem to take yourself too seriously. You like anime but are not 'limited' to write only about to that. And you're cute too (btw hubby, you rock both with and without the beard).
    For my taste this is the best episodic blog content-wise and one of the very best for reviews. I wish you the best and deserved success both for this tournament and the next, and the next, and the one after that…
    Vote for a good blogger, vote for a good man! *final cheerleading pose*

  18. S

    Good luck Enzo sama! You know who I voted for 😉

  19. J

    Mmm while you're at it, lemme say two things too…

    -About the No Summaries thing: I'm one of those people that are perfectly fine without summaries. Screencaps over summaries? F*ck yes! People who just watchedthe episode and come to read your impressions usually don't read the summary; they just *watched* the whole thing themselves. Screencaps are useful too, because when time passes and you'd like to rewatch certain episodes but you don't remember exactly which one it was, the screencaps are an easy way to find out.

    -If the comment interface & format could be updated, it'd be very much appreciated 🙂 Just a personal opinion, but I think the Preview and 'Comment as:' buttons could use some redesign. Plus, a small note somewhere telling you how to write in italics or other fonts/functions would be coolsauce.

    But anyway, considering it's a one-man-army blog, this is incredible stuff Enzo. Still trying to figure out how you do it, and how much hours of sleep you must get per week…

  20. The only way I can change the comment system is to adopt a third-party one. That's a definite option, but it would slow down the site – and I'm trying to achieve the opposite there.

    Use the <> and "i" for italics, <> "b" for bold…

  21. d

    Lemme try these fancy type thingy, GE.


  22. d

    wha! It worked! Hooray~~~! Now I have new powerful friends, uhuhuhu.

    BTW, I had to research further since you didn't mention about having to close it with /i or /b. (it wasn't accepting them outright before).

  23. A

    Lemme try that too..

  24. A

    No spoiler tags??

  25. Nope, not unless I go third party commenting and slow down the whole site.

  26. l

    Good luck Enzo, I will certainly vote for you.

    Oh, one thing: Screw summaries, I only read your posts AFTER I watch an episode anyway. I agree with Sea Slugs on the website part though.

  27. B

    I checked out Sea Slugs and while I liked their website format clean and simple, I didn't like how the episodes blogged were set up. Each post had two separate paragraphs where one was the summary of the episode while the other was the blogger's thoughts; I didn't like that. I like how GE incorporates his thoughts while integrating the plot to the episodes into one full post (I also like your final impression's posts too). It adds a flow with authenticity; I follow that commenter Anonymous's foot steps. I liked RC because of its numerous writers, and readers could find one or two bloggers in particular for their anime tastes or writing that they may like. For me, I liked your entries GE, so when I heard you had a blogging website, I had to check it out. It wasn't until you blogged Natsume Yuujinchou Shi that I followed your blogs; furthermore, when RC didn't blog Kimi to Boku S2, and I found out GE was blogging it, doooh boy, I was staying here for sure! I've yet to fathom how you, alone, can post various animes while posting them in a timely manner. Which is why I feel this website should have more exposure, this blogger is awesome!
    Before, I used to go to RC then visit Lost in America but now I must check out your blog first. I really appreciate the wide range of animes you take on (Ginga Kickoff, Shirokuma Cafe) and despite this work-load, you manage to put your heart to each post. Your humbleness is noble, but I feel you should win this tournament! Good luck to you!

  28. S

    As an anime blog site owner, and as a writer, I truly respect and admire the work you do at Lost in America. The way you put things and your passion as well as the regular updating make this my current favorite blog to read (And I'm a very picky reader).

    Its also with great pride that I list you as one of My site's Affiliates, Friends and on my blog roll.

    I do agree that this site could use some work design wise, and blogger just isn't the best platform. If you'd like to like help with setting up a WordPress site with a custom design and what not, I'd be more than happy to help set you up.

    I believe you know of Anime Evo's design. I'd be more than happy to help you set something up for Lost in America as well, as well as discuss some hosting possibilities should you be interested.

    Either way, let me know if I can be of some assistance, as I am truly a huge fan of your writing and work here!

  29. S

    Errr… what I meant with Anime Evo's design is that I custom designed and coded that, and I'd be more than willing to do the same for LiA.

    Personally, while design matters a lot to me (I'm a free lance web designer and College Art student) I still think you're writing trumps most if not all blogs today. So yeah,

  30. Thanks, Setsuken – extremely kind of you on all fronts.

    I'm about to head into an even more insanely busy period in my life, and the notion of migrating the whole site right now is a pretty harrowing thought. Think there's anything to be done speed-wise within the confines of blogger itself – with the actual code or some such?

  31. C

    Export blogger tools to wordpress

  32. E

    I love your blog. Really. Despite not leave comments, I read.

  33. Merci, Emilie!

  34. l



  35. Indeed! That was unexpected. On to the elite eight!

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