The Anime Blogging Community is Rich in Content
Back on January 21, 2018, I published the first Other Posts to Crow About. My goal was to share with you my favorite posts from other bloggers. There’s a ton of good work out there, and I want as many people to see it as possible!
Since then, every week, I’ve picked my favorite five (sometimes more!) posts. I check all the sites on my Massive List of Anime Sites, which currently has 377 active sites. I really like how it keeps me up to date with the anime blogging community.
It recently occurred to me that I’d like to draw attention to the sites that I’ve enjoyed the most. So, with this post, I’m launching a new series: Other Sites to Crow About. Once a year, in late December or early January, I’ll publish a post that lists my five favorite anime sites, as measured by how many times that site appeared in Other Posts to Crow About, for the named year.
All of the sites out there have a lot to offer. That’s particularly true of these five sites.
Other Sites to Crow About – 2018
Since 2018 was the first full year of Other Posts to Crow About, I’m starting here. These five sites are the ones that have given me the largest number of favorite posts in 2018.
There’s a drawback to waiting until 2020 to recognize the sites from 2018. One of the top 5 has stopped publishing. I’ll mention it first so we don’t forget its contributions to the community.
An Inactive Site Would Have Been in the top 5
Anime Q and A, which is still available as of the time I wrote this, was one of the sites I began following early in my anime career. Cactus Matt ran the site, and he held the almost unique distinction as being someone who actually changed my mind.
Yeah, it’s a rare thing. I’m pretty pig-headed at times.
The site had an interesting question an answer format, so reading a post was like reading a conversation. I miss that site. It would have placed at #2 in the list.
Top Five Favorite Sites from 2018
Number 5: 100 Word Anime
Okay, this post is starting off way more depressing than I’d envisioned. Not only is Anime Q and A quiet now, but Karandi, owner and primary writer of 100 Word Anime, hasn’t published anything for months. I’m holding out hope for a return, though. Karandi set the bar for publishing quality posts, for marketing her site, and for community involvement. I just can’t believe she won’t return.
100 Word Anime didn’t just post interesting reviews. It also published some great think pieces, like the post “Friday’s Feature: The Importance of the Final Impression.” I really miss those posts, and I hope whatever she’s doing, Karandi’s okay.
Did I mention that I also hope she makes an amazing return?
Number 4: KAWAIIPAPERPANDAS
KAWAIIPAPERPANDAS comes in at number 4. Fortunately, the last post on TSUBAKIKURO666’s site was just yesterday (based on when I proofed this post). So, yea!
KAWAIIPAPERPANDAS publishes a mixture of reviews and editorials. Back in 2018, one of the posts that stood out for me was Violet Evergarden Episode 5: A Moonlit Garden. Violet Evergarden was such an emotionally complex and beautiful series that anyone who could capture its essence in blog form impressed me – just like this post impressed me!
Number 3: AngryAnimeBitches
AngryAnimeBitches has been around about 10 years, according to their Twitter account. In anime site years, that’s like a hundred. The site publishes interesting and insightful reviews of seasonal anime. In my own review posts, I like to include links to other reviews to enhance my readers’ experiences. AngryAnimeBitches is one of my go-to sites.
I mentioned earlier that posts able to capture emotional nuance and depth impressed me. That was the case with AngryAnimeBitches’ 2018 post, “Sora yori mo Tooi Basho Episode 12: A Place Further than the Universe.” It was a beautiful post about a beautiful series.
Number 2: Random Curiosity
Speaking of sites with longevity… The earliest post I could find for Random Curiosity was November 2004. That means it’s been around almost 16 years! There’re like the Gran Torino of the anime blogging space, except they look as young and spritely as Kyouka Jirou! Random Curiosity’s season guides are my absolute favorites, and they also publish top notch reviews. For example, take a look at “Planet With – 02”. Planet With was a hard series to review. I should know – I reviewed it! Random Curiosity made it look easy – their review of episode 2 captured not only the episode’s high points, but it placed the episode in context of the creator’s works. I gotta respect that level of dedication to anime.
Number 1: I Drink and Watch Anime
This probably comes as a shock to absolutely no one, but the number one position for 2018 belongs to Irina for I Drink and Watch Anime. This site not only publishes daily, it publishes high quality posts daily. What also amazes me is not only how accessible Irina makes even complex subjects — it’s how much fun those posts are to read! Do you know how hard that is? Once I figure it out, I’ll tell you, but what I can say right now is that I’ve dedicated my life to figuring it out, and I’m not there yet. And I’m, like, really old. A great example of a 2018 post was “ Shelter is Poetry in Motion (and a project for us).” Shelter was heart-breakingly good; this review was its perfect companion.
I’d Say “Check Out These Sites…”
I’d take this time to encourage to check out those five sites, but I suspect you’re already doing that! Within a field of high-quality sites, these five managed to capture my attention more than the others, and that’s saying a lot. I hope that this post reminds you of some of the wonderful posts these sites treated us to in 2018.
As a reminder, you can see the list of sites I check weekly here. It’s divided between active sites, inactive sites, and sites that have changed subjects.
Do you have any sites that were your favorites in 2018? Let me know in the comments!
14 thoughts on “Other Sites to Crow About – My Favorite Sites from 2018”
There’s a whole lot of folks worried about Karandi… If she decided to quit or step back or whatever, that’s entirely cool. But I just want to know that she’s OK.
That’s where I’m coming from, too. At my job, I’ve had folks look at me strangely when they find out I watch “that Japanese animation.” But even if management ordered me to stop publishing anything about it, and even if I were to agree to such restrictions, I’d say goodbye.
My home situation prevents me from traveling very far, and of course COVID ain’t helping. So I can’t go looking for her. That, and Australia’s surprisingly big…
I’m still trying to come up with ideas of how to find out if she’s okay, but I’m still drawing a blank.
AIUI, folks have talked to Irina, and she doesn’t know either.
I’m lucky, pretty much all my friends are nerds/geeks of some stripe… and I’ve been a weirdo for so long my family has long since simply accepted it.
I can’t find anyone who knows anything. The most recent information was from her Patreon fans, who thought she was just stepping back for a little while. Even her LinkedIn profile is silent.
Well, I can’t visit Australia, and I wouldn’t know where to start if I could.
I hate not knowing. Also hate not being able to help.
Thoughts and prayers just don’t cut it…
Interesting list, I’m subscribed to Irina’s blog but as for the other four these are some cool links to check out someday. Thanks!
And wow, 16 years since “Random Curiosity” started? Sounds like a good one.
Random Curiosity’s an impressive site. All of the top five are, but their longevity is itself amazing. What a commitment!
Those are certainly some amazing picks!
Thanks! I really think each of them deserve their place on the list.
Excellent choices! 🙂
Thanks! It was a lot of fun, though tinged with sorrow, to go through my older Other Posts to Crow About to count how many times these sites showed up in Other Posts to Crow About. And some of them are still delivering high quality posts today!
This is an excellent list. For once, I’m actually familiar with almost all the sites on the list too!
Cool! Glad to hear it!
I keep saying this, so I feel like I’m repeating myself. But I’m just amazed at the quality of work these sites produce. Not just once or twice, but consistently and over time. That’s just cool.
Man, I became a bit melancholy after reading this post. You were so right about anime Q and A. I loved Cactus Matt’s posts, and it was such an original idea to post reviews. I really loved that.
We have both talked about how we miss Karandi. Honestly I am also worried about her. I haven’t heard anything back from her, despite sending her some messages, and of course I respect that, but I also at the same time am worried that she’s not okay. I just hope that wherever she is that she’s happy and doing well.
This was a great tribute, and some very good sites that were featured here. I’m not following all of them, (there is simply a limit to how much one can follow) but I will keep them in mind to maybe add them at some point😀
“I loved Cactus Matt’s posts, and it was such an original idea to post reviews. I really loved that.”
Me, too. I respect his decision to back away, and I acknowledge that he had solid reasons. We’re just a bit poorer because of it.
“I just hope that wherever she is that she’s happy and doing well.”
Me, too. I just can’t think of any reason she’d just disappear. I remember how proud she was when she hit 10,000 views in a month. She loved her site.
In fact, I had hoped that this post would be primarily celebratory. But as you said, it ended up having a melancholy tone.
“there is simply a limit to how much one can follow”
If it weren’t for my weekly post celebrating my favorite posts from the anime community, I wouldn’t have time to read everything. There’s just so much! And honestly, that’s a great problem to have, from a reader’s perspective anyway.