A Rising Tide Raises All Ships
Back on January 21, 2018, I published the first Other Posts to Crow About. My goal was to share my favorite posts from other bloggers with you. 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 shared 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.
I recently published My Favorite Sites from 2018, as measured by which sites showed up most often in Other Posts to Crow About. Now, it’s 2019’s turn!
While every site out there publishes work that deserves attention, I found that five sites consistently provided my favorite posts. Please let me present my five favorite sites from 2019!
Other Sites to Crow About – 2019
I’d like this to be a completely positive experience, but just as with my 2018 post, there is a site in the top five that is technically no longer publishing. Let me first present it as honorable mentions in the hope that a) the blogger is still out there happy and healthy and b) that they know that I miss their work.
Would Have Been Number 4: 100 Word Anime
We already talked about how worried all of us are about Karandi. So first, let me do the professional thing and say that of all the 2019 posts I liked from her site, her review of Midnight Occult Civil Servants resonated most strongly with me. Sure, it was nice knowing that someone saw the series in the same light I did. But I really thought she articulated her perspective in a way that invited others to enjoy the series.
On a personal note, I’d really like to know if she’s okay. I’m too old and have too many responsibilities to just up and fly to Australia looking for her. I wouldn’t know where to look even if I could; it’s a big continent. Plus, there’s the whole “Dude you’re acting just like a stalker” angle I don’t want to explore. But she was too talented, she put too much effort into her site, and she contributed too much to the community to just disappear.
I’m a dad. I worry.
Top Five Favorite Sites from 2019
Number Five: The Otaku Author
The Otaku Author kicks off the 2019 list at number 5. The blog’s owner, Lynn Sheridan, approaches reviewing anime from a perspective that I have a lot of respect for: he watches series in part to get insights into how to be a better writer. Believe me, I understand that perspective! Lynn had several outstanding posts in 2019, but one in particular stood out for me: the post titled Shelter (Space is the Place Blog Tour). It’s a beautiful piece about Shelter, which was a heart-breakingly beautiful short work. Please, watch the 6 minute Shelter video first, then read The Otaku Author’s take on it.
If that review is any indication of what Lynn has learned from anime, I expect to see his fiction on the best-seller’s list in the near future. You can’t have those kinds of insights without it informing your own writing!
Number Four: Shallow Dives in Anime
Shallow Dives in Anime prides itself on, as its masthead proclaims, giving us “bitesized thoughts on anime.” Dewbond’s site distinguishes itself not only by providing easily consumable posts. It offers maybe the widest variety of posts of any of the popular sites. On one hand, it’ll provide a refreshingly insightful character analysis of Issei Hyoudou from High School DxD. On the other hand, it’ll talk about the delightful aspects of a series like Monster Musume — with equal ease and insight. Based on those two series, you might get the idea that the site tends towards the adult, and you’d be right. The site even reviews an occasional hentai title!
That’s one of the great things about our ani-blogging community: there’s a great diversity of focus and topics. This site makes such diversity look easy. It’s certainly fun to read!
Number Three: Mechanical Anime Reviews
Scott runs Mechanical Anime Reviews, and as you might expect from the title, the site specializes in anime dealing with mechs. It’s an anime genre with a rich history, and I think that Scott had done a great job with his focus. For example, one of my favorite posts from this site in 2019 was “Martian Successor Nadesico: Of Conspiracies, Wrong Genres, and Media Literacy Problems,” one of the most illuminating and interesting posts I’ve read about Martian Successor Nadesico. I’ve read a ton of posts about the series, and Scott’s is the only one to dive into the series’ humor. In fact, I found the argument he presented about the show’s true genre to be compelling.
But that’s not all the site gives us! It also gives us some thoughtful and thought-provoking essays like “My Perspectives Of: Fanservice and Character Agency.” Fan service in anime can be difficult and divisive to write about, but Scott pulled it off just as easily as he did the mech posts. The site’s core focus, plus it’s forays into other anime topics, helped it land at number 3 for 2019.
Number Two: Confessions of an Overage Otaku
One of the first things I noticed about Dave D’Alessio’s writing on Confessions of an Overage Otaku is that all of the posts are interesting, and the posts about the craft of writing or crafting fiction are particularly interesting. He was equally adept writing about the intricacies of the character interaction in Ergo Proxy as he was at overlooked plot elements within Cowboy Beebop. Let that sink in for a second: Cowboy Beebop is one of the most scrutinized anime series like, ever, and he still found a new angle to bring to light! My favorite post of his from 2019 was his discussion of the level of meta in Re:CREATORS. Hint: The level was high.
But wait, you might say. You might point out that I love Re:CREATORS so much that I’ll just pick any old article about it to celebrate! Not so. Yes, I love Re:CREATORS. It’s probably my favorite series — anime or otherwise — ever. But that means my standards for posts about it are correspondingly higher. When I saw that Dave D’Alessio’s Re:CREATORS post is good, I mean it’s really, really good. That post was just one of the ones that helped Confessions of an Overage Otaku place at number two.
Number One: I Drink and Watch Anime
There are three things in the anime blogging world that are difficult to pull off. The first is publishing daily. Even when you take the easy route like I did by writing short, seasonal reviews every day, it takes time and focus. The second is publishing interesting, thought-provoking, and uplifting posts every day. That means being on your A game every day, seven days a week, 30 days a month, 35 days a year.
The third is even harder than the first two. The third thing that’s hard to pull off is writing interesting, thought-provoking, and uplifting posts every day for years. And that’s exactly what Irina of I Drink and Watch Anime did to earn the number 1 position for the second year running.
She’s equally at home writing about Beyond the Boundary (itself a tough series to write about), the top five anime to mend a broken heart (anime and psychology!), or the importance of the color palette in ACCA-13 (art direction!). Like I said in my list of favorite sites from 2018, I’m still trying to reverse engineer how she can break down complex topics so easily, while at the same time writing some astonishingly inviting prose. Need proof? Check out the number of comments. We’re in an era where the number of comments on most sites is on the decline. Not so on I Drink and Watch Anime. Those traits earned the site the number 1 position for the second year in a row.
Tip of the Iceberg
These sites were my favorite during 2019, as measured by the number of times the sites placed posts in Other Posts to Crow About during 2019. I think you’re probably already following these sites, but if you aren’t, you’re really missing out.
These five (well, six) sites are just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds of anime sites out there, and I maintain a list of them here. They’re all worth checking out!
Did I include your favorite sites here? What’s your experience reading the posts from these sites? Let me know in the comments!
24 thoughts on “Other Sites to Crow About – My Favorite Sites from 2019”
I don’t know what to say other then thanks so much. I don’t know if I really belong being on here next to some other great people.
Also, I miss Karandi too. I just hope she’s ok and doing well at whatever it is she is doing.
“I don’t know if I really belong being on here next to some other great people.”
Like I said to Raistlin0903 in another comment, I really hate to compare sites or people. So, I just showed what sites gave me the largest number of posts that I enjoyed and wanted to share with my readers!
I just went through an audit, so auditor-speak is fresh in my mind. I can attest that Mechanical Anime Reviews placed at number 3 for 2019 based on the number of times I featured its posts in Other Posts to Crow About.
Audits are exhausting…
“I just hope she’s ok and doing well at whatever it is she is doing.”
I hope so. I used to work in disaster recovery, so my mind immediately goes to the worst case scenario. I hope that’s all it is.
Well, as you know I really am worried about Karandi too. I just hope that wherever she is, she is doing well. It’s definitely not been the same without her😢
This was a great tribute! I’m pretty much at the limit of blogs that I follow. I wish I could follow more people, but I don’t want to just follow sites and not be able to read posts that they release. That for me would simply not be right, and also not for the people that release the content. Every year though, some bloggers stop writing, and I can follow some other sites again, so posts like these are very convenient😊
Of course I have been following Scott and Irina for a long time now, and I know they both are absolutely top notch bloggers, not to mention both amazing people😊
I hope that I can eventually follow the others mentioned in this post too, as I know that you promoting them means they are just as good😊
“I’m pretty much at the limit of blogs that I follow.”
That’s a big issue — so many sites with so much talent, but so little time. That’s one of the reasons I run Other Posts to Crow About and now Other Sites to Crow About. If you can’t read all of them all of the time, then maybe you’d like to read some of them some of the time!
“I hope that I can eventually follow the others mentioned in this post too, as I know that you promoting them means they are just as good”
I really hate to compare, you know? But what I say is that I have no doubt that if you can make time to read the other sites in this list, you’ll enjoy their posts.
BTW: I liked your new index! It’s always a good idea to help readers find your content!
Absolutely! And it’s a great way to discover new talent in this way. So in that regard I really think it’s awesome that you are doing it!😊
So, really thanks for taking the time to put these posts together😀
Also thanks for the kind words about the index! I’m pretty happy with it myself, and the trick is now to keep it updated, but that’s luckily something that is very easy to do😊
Wow! That’s not just a shout-out (to all of us), but a real endorsement. Thank you major league big time! doumoarigatougozaimasu!
I hope Karandi’s well as well, and the others on this list are some of my favorites as well. Great minds, I guess 🙂
You’re welcome! Now that you mention it, it is an endorsement, isn’t it? I like the sound of that.
I don’t always endorse anime sites, but when I do…
I also miss K as well. A lot of people have asked me but sadly I really don’t have any more information than anyone else. Other than it was indeed a decision motivated by her position at work. Considering how K is, I’m sure she’s killing it whatever she’s doing.
As for the mention. Crow, I’m actually at a loss for words. You are way too kind and I am going to have to work really hard to live up to that description because I’m not quite there yet but man, it’s so great to read. I really appreciate it.
This said, I use to read your Grancrest reviews before we started doing collabs and I was super intimidated by how incisive and well thought out your reviews are. So the feeling is mutual is what I’m saying.
“You are way too kind”
Nah. I’m actually cruel and vicious, though I am honest. I just shared the facts. You earned the #1 position (second year running, no less!).
“So the feeling is mutual is what I’m saying.”
Thanks! I appreciate that!
I guess all we can do is be patient and wait for Karandi. She had made the conscious decision to put blogging on hold completely due to her job, so hopefully thats going well for her. Didnt expect the social media blackout im sure she has her reasons for that, too. I just hope she isnt working TOO hard at whatever shes doing, and that shes still enjoying anime or other things.
“I just hope she isnt working TOO hard at whatever shes doing, and that shes still enjoying anime or other things.”
And I totally get how one month can turn into nine, especially in this environment. I hope that’s all it is!
Great list! I whole heartily support your number 1 pick!
I hope Karandi is safe as well. I even asked Irina-Senpai if she knew something since did the collab!
I think I have seen her liking some posts since her disappearance . I had a dream about her once.. well more like a few bloggers went to search for her.. which shows it was on my mind not to long ago actually.
I wasn’t familiar with the number two on your list but I gave them a follow! If I can now actually clean up my Reader I might catch more of them! Thanks for the post! And cheers to six amazing bloggers!
” well more like a few bloggers went to search for her.. which shows it was on my mind not to long ago actually.”
Well, maybe if we divide up the continent…
Nah. Australia is still too big.
I know she stepped away deliberately, but my understand was that she intended to return. That’s why I’m worried.
“I wasn’t familiar with the number two on your list but I gave them a follow! ”
Awesome! I think you’ll really like the content.
Thanks for the mention. Not bad considering I only have a handful of posts from 2019 still on my site after the big URL change.
As for my writing, If all goes to plan, I may be starting a web novel in the new year… so that might be exciting.
I figured that’s why I had to adjust the URLs! I’ll eventually have to go back for the rest…
“As for my writing, If all goes to plan, I may be starting a web novel in the new year… so that might be exciting.”
Awesome! I’m looking forward to reading it!
I found a search replace plugin that goes through all the code. That saved me a bunch of time when I made the switch.
I’m writing it as my NaNoWriMo. Will start posting it once I have given it a good edit. Excited to see how it does once it’s out in the world…
That’s a great idea. Thanks for the tip!
One of these years, I’m going to join NaNoWriMo. I’m still writing beats… The trilogy’s plots are too intertwined for me to pants it.
At least, that’s my excuse!
Well, you have 11.5 months to get those beats down. That said, I’m probably going to keep going and try to do NaNoWriMo all year…
“Well, you have 11.5 months to get those beats down. ”
By that time, I really hope to have the beats for the first four books done — the prequel, which’ll be the lead magnet, and the first trilogy. I already have the prequel plotted…
“That said, I’m probably going to keep going and try to do NaNoWriMo all year…”
That sounds like a great goal. I need to do that — set a specific goal and measure against it. I know there are people who work two jobs and still managed to kick out multiple novels a year. I just don’t have any excuse not to.
Sounds like a plan. I’ll look forward to seeing it come to fruition.
I view writing and blogging as my third job behind the day job and family life. I’d like it to become the day job, which is probably why I’m pushing myself so hard. My goal for next year is to get four web novels up and running. Of course, I don’t plan on just writing a chapter at a time. I’ll write and edit a full book at a time and then start releasing the chapters.
This NaNoWriMo is me getting an idea of what sort of timeline I can work within. It’s a longer game plan, but it makes sense to me…
I don’t like Facebook much, but there are a few interesting groups/pages. One of them is 20BooksTo50K. Have you see it? They have some interesting ideas about writing becoming your primary job over time. I like their approach because it doesn’t encourage anyone to do something dangerous like quitting and writing full time without knowing if it can work.
The core idea is to get a body of work out there, because each work, if well received, is great advertising for previous works. If you can get 20 books out, you can earn $50,000 a year.
More, if you’re popular, but 50K seems like a reasonable target.
Just something to think about!
Yeah, I’ve been in that group for a couple years now. I think there was less than 2k people in when I joined.
I agree, it’s a good philosophy and it makes sense in the same way that the more posts we have the more views we’ll get on a daily basis. I’m also aware of how much money they throw at advertising.
I’m going to try something a little different, especially as I’m very much geared towards writing serialized fiction. I have come up with a plan around web novels that I want to try out. If it doesn’t work, then I’ll still have the novels and can always republish them.
I should have figured you’d be in that group!
I’m really interested to hearing how your approach works. Good luck! Please do let us know, if it’s not divulging anything you’d prefer to keep to yourself!
As it’s just wild speculation at the moment, I’d rather not document it just yet, but it you want to discuss DM me. I’d be interested to see what you think of the plan.
Once it’s not speculation and I have some results, I’ll be happy to put something more concrete together that I can share.