Posted by AidanAK47 on 14 April 2019 with categories: About

To those whom it may concern this is a declaration of my retirement from the Star Crossed Anime Blog and this is a needlessly dramatic sentence. However when I consider my five years on this site blogging shows I feel that some dramatic gravitas is warranted. Now this post will likely be very long so I suspect that most will skim it at best or declare TLDR before moving on but I really feel like giving at least one last post to explain how I got here, why I kept doing this and why I am stopping. After Psgels abandoned the site without a word I felt it would be wrong to repeat that even if my leaving will be met with little lamentation. So bear with me as I take you back to the days of yore when the animated TV adaption of Fate/Unlimited Bladeworks was about to air.

I stumbled upon Psgels really out of nowhere after my old hangout of cartoon-world forums went dead and for some reason or another just stuck around talking to people on the shoutbox and commenting on posts. You may be surprised to hear that back then there was a rather thriving community on the site and we all basically knew each other. It was nice and gave me a place to talk about my interests when the place I am from people don’t even know what anime is, let alone talk about it. Then came the time psgels decided to make this site a multi-author blog and indeed it did seem to be his means of distancing himself from the site. He picked out a number of people from our Shoutbox community to carry on the site in his stead and let me say that I was not actually one of them. As a matter of fact I was put forward by someone else for the sole purpose of covering the new Fate show and nothing else. Seeing as I was the person with the most knowledge about the franchise and was interested in trying to cover it, I decided to offer to do so. With that Psgels reluctantly gave me access to post to the site. Yes, reluctantly. You see dear readers, psgels did not actually like me and don’t take that to mean that I hold it against him. I gave him plenty of reasons to dislike me, potentially even hate me. Nonetheless he gave me access to the site, though made sure to contact me through a proxy email and not his real email address which caused massive headaches down the line.

So here I was writing up my posts on the two cour Fate series and rather enjoying it. It was rather fun to have an outlet for the knowledge I knew of Fate and to look at anime episodes critically but I most definitely came to learn that blogging is far more time consuming than I would have thought. Honestly who would have thought that those three paragraph posts could take upwards to one or two hours to write. It sounds small but when I take into account how much time I spent blogging it is rather mind boggling how much of my time it truly occupied. So there I was merrily blogging Fate/Unlimited Bladeworks to its conclusion and when I finished I found that every other writer was gone. Psgels handpicked authors whom he left the site to all vanished and I found myself on a boat without captain or crew. I can’t speak as to why they all left but I would say it was most likely that they underestimated just how much thankless work this hobby is and ever since I have made it a point to any new writers we recruit to have them know exactly that. A writer called Ninjarealist I believe was meant to be the helmsman but he was just a bit too sensitive for this kind of thing and once he was criticized for writing an excessively long post on Psycho Pass he pretty much left suddenly. He showed up once or twice occasionally afterwards but never stayed for long.

That’s how I ended up in charge of the site. Not because I was appointed by Psgels or by some passing of the torch but literally by being the last person at the helm. I could leave like the rest and psgels would become a tomb much like the other well known anime blogs at the time. But I didn’t and while I would love to say that I stayed out of a altruistic sense of keeping the site alive for the readers, that would be a blatant lie. Seriously if I was writing for you lot I would have left long long ago, the one thing I am thankful to you for is teaching me just how apathetic people can be to the work of others. I kept writing simply because I wanted to and I made a promise to myself that I would start writing fiction as a hobby when I hit the age of thirty and blogging was simply a means of ensuring that I didn’t lose touch with putting my thoughts to paper. I started doing previews, impressions, yearly summaries and indeed I wasn’t perfect. Coupled with the fact that I wasn’t Psgels nor was I ever trying to be but peoples feathers were ruffled regardless and I had to hear quite a number of times that I wasn’t as good as psgels for one reason or another.

Never anything concrete either, I think in all my time writing I only got one piece of legitimate criticism that wasn’t just “You’re shit because you aren’t him”. Given time I feel I improved, for one I think my anime previews were far more accurate that Psgels simply on the grounds that I took the time to read the manga/light novels. Mario reached out to me through MyAnimeList and after clarifying that blogging isn’t fun and games, I handed over a writers account I managed to obtain from a rather humorous troll incident. Mario has been with me ever since and I more than anyone is surprised that he stuck with it so long. I also had help managing the site from K-Off who sorted many things I couldn’t but unfortunately a problem was present. I wasn’t the administer of the site so my control was limited and the only person who could change that made sure that I would have no means of contacting him. I managed to contact psgels eventually and finally was given admin access to the site to finally manage it properly. I could give Mario proper author access and take on new writers while making much needed changes to the site. Thus things have continued to today where we have a bunch of writers keeping the site going and I feel comfortable enough to hang up my cape and move on.

So why have you given up Aidan? Is anime not good anymore? Have your old hands broken from frustration as the industry has become dominated in Isekai/idol/harem/gacha fanservice crap? No, definitely not. There have always been annoying trends in anime and I have always held the belief that anime is not worse as judging the medium as a collective is a fallacy. You get good years, you get bad years and sometimes out of nowhere you get masterpieces. Nothing has really changed and I have lived to see shows I watched when airing become classics over time. When I finished Steins;Gate I saw people call it good and great but nobody was claiming it a timeless classic. Cut to now and you see people using it as a measure of golden age quality to condemn the anime of now. I still love anime and plenty of times I had a show reignite that old flame within and have me excited for each new episode. But I am thirty now and the time has come to fulfil my old promise of writing fiction as a hobby over criticizing it. I got some stories I want to put on paper, regardless of how bad or good they may turn out being. But most of all, I am just tired. I have a full job and my time has gotten more limited as I take on more responsibilities within it. I find that as I sit down to write up a new post for a show I am going through the motions and becoming increasingly apathetic to it.

I am tired of writing down that this character doesn’t work, why this show doesn’t have good pacing, why this animation was great…frankly I would prefer to get back to a time when I can sit back and just enjoy it instead of trying to clarify reasons week after week why this episode succeeded/failed. The time when I have to do a new anime season preview makes me groan because it always seems to come up so fast and takes so much work only for it to happen again three months later. I feel so emotionally drained as I come to terms that I most likely will be stuck in my current job for the rest of my life, the increasing likely possibility of me dying alone, my growing annoyance/exasperation in dealing with people in general and some instances where I feel like I am going insane from the day to day mundanity of life. But those are topics a bit too heavy for an anime site and don’t start getting concerned for me. I am using quite a bit of hyperbole and for the most part am content in my life. If there is something that disgruntled me it’s that I never seem to have time to enjoy the things I am actually interested in. When you are a kid you have all the time in the world with nothing to spend it on and when you are an adult you have tons of stuff to spend time on but no time at all. Life is always about extremes, isn’t it?

So that’s it, I’m done. Now there will be some points where I will come back, namely to cover the newly announced second season of Re:Zero and the remaining Heaven’s Feel Movies. Maybe even an occasionally review if I feel like it. I will also be helping out Mario if things get a bit hectic but mainly as a supporting role as I will be handing over the site administration to him. As the first to join and the one who spent the longest time with the site I feel he’s earned it. What happens to it from now on is up to him. Basically you should take this as my main farewell to this site as I will be less and less active with it until the point that you won’t see me anywhere at all besides my old posts. My first post on this site was in October of 2014 and here in 2019 I say goodbye to it. It’s hard to look back on it and realize that I spent five years of my life doing this. Even knowing that I still am confused on how exactly I feel about that. Proud? Was it a waste of time? Futile? Pointless? Fruitful? Just a series of mixed emotions that all mainly all culminate in a feeling of “Well it was something to do I guess.” When thinking about it I guess it is testament to just how much I care about anime that I can sit down and spend five years writing about it without anything in return.

I remember a time when I was watching cartoons on TV with this strange want in my mind for these shows to do something more. Then I stumbled on an anime and wanted to watch more episodes so I jumped onto the internet to find a pretty primitive anime streaming site that only had 20 or so shows on the sidebar. After I finished the show I got curious about those other shows on the sidebar and with that I tried some show called Death Note. Honestly that first episode of Death Note was a euphoric moment for me, an eye opener that showed me that animation can even make shows like this. From then I was addicted and everything was awesome until the point that I started to see the tropes and my taste refined to a point that I needed a certain calibre of show to satisfy me. Now I am a grumpy near middle aged man and there is a certain moment in my life that I am looking forward to. I have a bookshelf filled with blu-ray anime which is my handpicked best of the best. One day I will be a retired old man that will sit down in front of a impressive cinema system and watch each of those one by one. Then I know I will remember that old feeling, remember just why the hell this medium is so important to me and why I spent five years just writing about it. Only to then to fall in love with again just as I did oh so long ago.

38 Responses

  1. Avatar FoundOnWeb says:

    AidanAK47
    We all owe you a vote of thanks. 5 years is a long time to stick to a thankless, time consuming job. Let us know when your first book comes out.

  2. Avatar Crixdec says:

    Hi Aidan,

    Long time lurker/reader on site(I do comment sometimes on shows I watch like Mob and Dororo). I am sad to see you retire but at the same time understand why you are. I’ve been reading your posts since when you used to do manga write ups(the earliest I can remember is around the EVA manga right when the chapters dived into Asuka vs the MP EVAs). Honestly I can’t even remember how long ago that was since it does remind me of how old I am(just a bit younger than you turning 28 this year). As a lurker I do want you to do I do value your write ups and opinions, infact the only reason I watched Planet WITH was cause of your anime preview(it’s on my todo list to read Santoshi Mizukami’s manga). I guess this might come off as all jumbled but I just want to say thank you for all the write ups and opinions. I really did enjoy them.

  3. Avatar David says:

    Aidan,

    Thanks for all the time and hard work put into the blog.

    As someone who doesn’t read manga and follow anime that well, I’ve always looked forward to your ratings in the anime previews as it gives your readers a good barometer on which shows are worth following or not.

    Also, I’ve also in particular liked the reviews of an anime after the season ends.

    Sad to see you leave but thanks again and all the best to your book.

  4. Avatar Ninja says:

    Yo Aidan, sad to see you go man.

    Just gotta correct you on one thing first, Ninjarealist was the guy who bailed on the site. I was just a random in shoutbox.

    I’ve been lurking for way too long though, sorry I didn’t contribute more during your reign. I did apply to be a writer at one point, mostly to improve my writing skills, but my trash writing didn’t make the cut.

    Other than your dislike of shoujo, we have pretty similar taste in anime so I’ve really appreciated your opinions on this blog over the years. You may have dreaded those seasonal posts but know that they were my number 1 go to every season. Back in the day Psgels was the guy I came to in order to find unusual opinions on anime and discover overlooked hidden gems. You were the guy I came to in order to see a well fleshed out opinion that closely reflected my own.

    Despite what others may have said, you did a great job taking over for psgels. I’ve been reading this site since 2007, and it would have been sad to see it die, so thanks for keeping it alive.

    Hope to still see you around here in the future, and good luck with your writing endeavors.

    • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

      Ah damn, let me fix that. I swear I always get you two mixed up.

      Might as well mention I have no plans to take up writing professionally. Writing fiction is mainly going to be a hobby. Maybe I might stick something I write on Kindle and make a few bucks but I have no real expectations of anything big coming out of it.

      Thanks for coming out again to say goodbye. Truly appreciate it.

    • Avatar SuperWooper says:

      We may or may not be recruiting a new writer in a couple months. Looking over your (admittedly brief) post, your technical ability is fine. If you want to reapply, and the writing sample you provide is more than a simple summary of events, I’ll vouch for you.

      • Avatar Ninja says:

        Thanks Wooper, I’ll keep that in mind.

        My technical ability is about as good as any average person with English as a first language. But I am clearly aware of just how lacking my own writing skills are. Neglecting them for so long certainly didn’t help. So if I do decide to give the writing application another shot please give the position to whoever’s submission is actually best.

      • SuperMario SuperMario says:

        The plan we have right now is to recruit new writer(s) a month before the start of next season (since this season is already too late, thanks mostly for my superior time-management). So if any of you are interested in trying, save this in your calendar. :))

  5. Avatar Animosh says:

    Overly long or not, this was very interesting to read. As someone who started following this site relatively recently, I wasn’t aware psgels had such a complicated history, where it only narrowly avoided death. It’s also interesting to see your honest thoughts on administrating and blogging for this website. I do sometimes wonder what keeps bloggers going, given the thankless and time-draining task it no doubt is, but like the other commenters here, I’m glad you stuck with it despite it all. Psgels may be small, but it does have its own little identity (centered around the more “serious” side of anime, and perhaps the higher-than-average age of its readers and writers, and the more down-to-earth look on the medium that comes with that), and I enjoy being here a lot.

    So, like the others, I’d like to thank you for keeping the website alive despite it all! Now enjoy your well-deserved retirement. :)

  6. Avatar swa says:

    It’s sad to see you go, have a good life. It would be nice to read some new articles and reviews from you in the future, but don’t feel guilty if you don’t really want to put up with that when the time comes.

  7. Avatar Nayrael says:

    This was a very interesting read to be sure. I didn’t know that psgel’s leaving almost killed the site this way, that he didn’t like you (now I’ll forever wonder why), and that it only narrowly survived, all thanks to you. It’s quite a complicated history to be sure.

    I hate to hear that you got so many haters. Makes me sorry I was just a lurker, should have commented more often myself and left a positive reply. Though you were not psgels (nor did you have a reason to be), your blogging posts were excellent and remained one of most important reasons for me to keep returning to this blog. It’s rare for a blogger to be both critical and open-minded, but you managed to fulfill that niche.

    As someone who is also closing thirty (I am going to be 29 this year). I very much understand these issues with hobbies. Not only is there not enough time, but while you are young you think you have all the time in the world so you are not spending enough time to make proper progress, and now you barely have energy for much of it. And as a writer myself, I wish you all the best in your own writing endeavors!

    Overall, thank you for saving this site, your excellent blog posts, and spending all these years here! May you have a lot of luck in what comes after!

  8. Avatar nodbgp says:

    Like most people who commented I`ve been lurking around for a long time, some times making a comment or another, sometimes just disappearing, anyways, when psgels quit I was sure the site would go down, or that at the very least I would stop showing up, the fact that I`m still here in 2019, is if nothing else proof (although not conclusive ehehe) that you did do a great job.

    Well, this was a great write up, being the same age I can relate to a bunch of things, so just wanted to leave a “Thank you for what you’ve done and good luck on the road ahead.”

  9. Avatar nevon says:

    I’ve been also lurking here for around, I dunno… eight years? If I remember correctly, I found the site when searching for Uchuu Kyoudai opinions when it just started.
    Ever since then, I’ve been visiting it semi-regularly. Just wanted to say, I really appreciate the seasonal reviews. Even if I haven’t visited for one or two months, as soon as I remembered that a new season is upon us, the first thing I did was visiting here. (And also, the Ep1 reviews. Sitting through all the garbage just for an early impression is tough enough)

    So thanks for that.

  10. Avatar Amagi/Sixtus66 says:

    I understand you. I spent ~5 years on an anime forum nearly a decade ago that was very important to me during that time. I was reviewing all types of series and always reviewed them properly, meaning that wrote giant text dumps mixed with screenshots for every series, sometimes even wrote that much for a single episode. But after a while I realised how tiring it was and how much it affected my enjoyment in anime. I dropped out and like after a year or so I noticed how much more I enjoyed anime now that they weren’t linked to responsibilities anymore. I hope the same happens for you.

    I am also in my early 30 now and the mundane every day life is driving me mad. Similar to you I decided to say damn it to a bunch of online/offline activities that were rather stealing my free time than making me happy and concentrate on creative stuff and currently I am happy with that. I draw a lot of fanart that’s quite popular among certain fanbases and draw an own manga/comic too while carefully writing down the script for the next one that will be more complicated, storywise.
    I hope you won’t lose the motivation to write your book(s), creativity is something that keeps me alive and I feel like it’s one of the nicest things other people can do. Still hope I might see you in the shoutbox every now and then, even if said now and then only happens once or twice a year.

    • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

      Truthfully while I intended to start writing short stories in January it’s now April and I haven’t even started. I could blame covering Neverland for that but honestly I just seem to keep finding reasons to put it off. With this official break from the site I am hoping I can get my act together and start.

      I will still be around. Likely chiming in on the shoutbox at times and definitely talking with the other writers.
      Thanks for commenting and keep up with the fanart. I used to be able to draw back in my graphic designer days but sadly I lost touch with it.

  11. Avatar Nimroth says:

    Been lurking here for 9-10 years at this point, though rarely commenting.
    While it would be a lie to say that I always agreed with your critique or opinions(which is true for pretty much any other writer including Psgels), I do appreciate that you kept the blog running, as for me this site is been what has kept me interested and in touch with the medium even at times when I didn’t have the time or motivation to actually sit down and watch anime.

    • Avatar evafan says:

      I do not know any other site where the previews go like “Waste of time, potential 0%.” The last remaining anime blog I follow.

  12. Avatar evafan says:

    Oh man. I’ve been lurking here for that long already? I’m sad now, you also made me play DokiDoki Literature Club and Subarashi Hibi… Good luck.

  13. Avatar Caitlyn says:

    Thank you for keeping the site running! Taste and writing style can be different, but you’ve brought this site to a sustainable state, and that’s no small feat at all! Mario, Lenlo, Wooper and those who had contributed since you took over are great writers and critics — many thanks to you for bringing on and inspiring good people.

    Please do visit. Enjoy life and all the best to your writing endeavors!

  14. This is a strange thing to wake up to but I can’t say it wasn’t unexpected.
    I can relate to this more than you might expect.
    I came here in 2009 to makeup for the fact the videogame forums I was on fell apart/got sick of me a few years before.
    And I can safely say that this site had a far greater sense of community than those websites.
    On the age thing I can probably add that you’re not alone, in the sense that I’m almost 35.
    I never wrote for anyone other than myself, on my end I never really cared if people disliked what I wrote.
    I kept writing for myself to keep in practice and get my thoughts out too (although in my case also to feel a sense of being truly alive), I expect nothing much out of my endeavors to put a book together and I don’t really mind either.
    I gave up on the idea of long stories because all I had were ideas, overly ambitious that’d never worked in a large story, so I just stuck to writing shorts/small narratives to get my ideas across.
    Might as well say part of the reason I put you forward to psgels was to keep the blog alive, because its a place where I could go to be around people when irl no-one really has the time to see me anymore nor I they, also obviously with us both being Irish I can relate to being from a country that is largely alien to to the stuff I’m interested in whether it be anime/manga/whatever else.

  15. Avatar zeroyuki92 says:

    I’ve been lurking here since the time when you took over the ship. So personally you –the maou guy– is the face of psgels in my mind and the reason I stayed here, along with only 2 other aniblog sites that I still follow.

    I actually like your overly long paragraphs, including this post as well. Good luck with whatever you plan to do in the future!

  16. Also for those reading,around the time of that troll incident, there was a troll that kept filling up the shoutbox rendering it un-usuable at times for conversation, an anonymous hacker appeared and we voted by majority to solve the problem to have the site hacked.

    And Aidan, I know neither of us really care about this, but I never particularly disliked or liked you strongly and I know it was similar for you when it came to me, it doesn’t really bother me that you thought I was boring/pretentious/lacking the ability to care all that much.
    I found your manga recommendation posts occasionally useful and read your posts even when I wasn’t following a show, you managed to get me to read spirit circle too.

  17. Avatar Angelus says:

    I always come to this site to check and read reviews of potencial anime I would like to watch , I’m 30 years old so I don’t have the time to try them, I know how the community works, I worked in a fansub for more than 7 years…anyways what I mean is thanks for all your efforts and writting , see you in space cowboy :)

  18. Avatar Vonter says:

    Good luck on your next step in life. I mean like any job there’s always there ups and downs, this industry is on constant change, so trends we have now are likely to phase out at some point in the future. Variety is the spice of life, and sometimes videogames are cool, others you pick up really good books, on others movies strive for new ideas/trends, and one month a new animated series is best from the west and other times another one is better from the east.

    I do get also as a writer at different points of one’s life there are things that bother oneself more than others, just years later thinking one may have been very kind to one show and maybe too harsh or another.

    Anyway. Good Luck.

  19. Avatar morganwestridge says:

    I appreciate your hard work on the site, and found your history of the blog and your experiences on it interesting.

    I especially enjoyed the regular previews, so don’t think the time spent doing those was wasted. Good luck with your fiction work. It takes a lot of dedication, but your experience “putting yourself out” to the public with regular blogging over many year should help with one of the big hurdles, which is having the guts to submit stuff.

  20. I just realized I´ve been following this site for more than a decade. And still to this day this is my go-to place for info on new anime. I´ll be turning 40 shortly, and for 1/4 of my life I´ve watched lots of awesome (and shitty) anime thanks to you guys. I really appreciate all the work you´ve done here, Aidan. Here´s hoping that Star Crossed Anime Blog continues for at least another 10 years!

  21. Avatar Mentar says:

    The old Greats never really go, they only fade away :)

    Enjoy your time off, and I hope that you’ll still check back with us every once in a while! Thanks for all your work and all the best to you!

  22. Avatar The-Egg says:

    By trudging through the swamp of mediocre anime you have saved me countless of hours.Enjoy your retirement,and all the best.

  23. Avatar sat says:

    I just came back recently and i didn’t even know psgels was gone LMAO.
    But there is a reason why i kept coming to this site over the others, and i guess you are also a part of the reason why.

    Good luck with everything!

  24. Avatar Gaby says:

    Thanks for all your efforts. I wish you lucky in your future projects. Don’t despair over being 30. Embrace and make the most out of it. The best is yet to come.

  25. Avatar AstroNerdBoy says:

    Good luck. Before my life became so busy, Psgels was a place I frequented. And after years of review writing, I do understand the desire to just toss in the towel. I haven’t quite hit that point, but there are times when I’ve been close. 😅

    Anyway, all the best to you!

  26. Avatar Nena says:

    Thanks for all your efforts… Its been a pleasure. Tjis is the best anime blog.
    Good luck in your new adventure !!

  27. Avatar Ajuma says:

    I’ve been reading this blog from the time Psgels was managing it till now and I never felt the posts quality has dropped once. It has been my favorite for ages until it became the only blog I opened for the last 5 years.
    I am always coming here to decide what to watch next and what series to pick up each season. Guilty of never showing appreciation for your hard work, but I’m sure many more people have been appreciating your work (silently) this whole time and making very good use of the time & efforts put on it.
    I wish you very good luck in your life, job, hobbies and concerns. Thank you.

  28. Avatar KTravlos says:

    Let me just say thank you for keeping one of the favorite things in my life going, and letting me contribute in my small way, when I can.

    With Respect
    KTravlos

  29. Avatar Joe says:

    I’m sad to see you go. I’ve been a long-time reader of this site for at least a decade now. I’ll be honest, I stopped reading and commenting as frequently once psgels left, but I’ve always been appreciative of how you’ve kept the site alive. Thank you for your work. It would have just been too sad if the site had died but you put in a lot of work toward keeping it alive.

    If you or the others on the writing team ever need another writer, let me know. I am busy myself and can’t offer much but I might be able to cover one show per season or something. To be honest I had toyed with the idea of offering to write in the past, but didn’t think my contributions would be needed or appreciated. Maybe if I had gotten involved earlier you wouldn’t have gotten burnt out.

  30. Avatar Copern says:

    Long time lurker/reader here since the days of psgels. I just want to thank you for all the work and time that you’ve put into keeping this blog alive. This blog has been the only blog that I have regularly read and visited for the past 10 or so years. I’ve tried a few other blogs but have always come back to this one for a variety of reasons.

    I definitely looked forward to the season previews as it helped me avoid wasting time (for the most part) on garbage shows immensely. Although I might not have agreed with your point of view on some shows, I still appreciated reading it regardless. Then again it was also the same with psgels and other writers as well. When psgels essentially disappeared, I was actually worried that the site would fade into obscurity. However, you did a great job at keeping this place running through all the crap it has gone through. Thanks for all you have done and best of luck on your future endeavors.

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Another week, another episode of Dororo. This time we learn the mystery of Dororo’s back, meet a new demon and get a lot of parallels to their current overall situation. Lets jump in! Starting off, Dororo once again is a bit disappointing on the production front. There were a number of dull or sliding stills, […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 2 [Trainer Sakonji Urokodaki]

Welcome one and all to the 2019 Spring Season! My name is Lenlo, and I am Shounen Trash. This, is Kimetsu no Yaiba, now with cute demon sisters, mysterious old men the the high possibility of developing a drool fetish. Sounds weird? Good, lets jump in! First off, production. Its Ufotable, obviously Yaiba looks fantastic. […]

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