It's been almost 9 years since I first started Animania. In that time I've written 312 posts to this site. For the curious, here's a breakdown of the number of posts I've done over those last nine years.
As you can see when I first started I posted a lot. In addition to reviews, I used to post random anime & manga news that interested me and my monthly purchases.
My reviews were never the best of reviews I fully admit; they certainly aren't professional reviews that could be used as sources on sites like Wikipedia. They were just my views on some of the various works I've watched/read over the years along with the occasional reactions to anime news I had.
As you can also see after about 2008 my posting declined and it kept declining. Somewhere along the way I kinda lost interest in posting. It isn't that I stop wanting to share my views on anime and manga with others, rather I think it was a combination of this site becoming "work" versus a hobby and realizing that while I enjoy sharing my views but actually aren't that many of you reading them.
It's something I realized quite a while ago and I tried to fight it. I expanded my scope to include video games with an anime twists or art style, nonfiction books on Japan or Japanese culture, and even manga inspired comics. I updated the software that runs the site. I gave myself permission to change how I do my reviews and just wing it every time. I set a schedule so that I can assure I was posting at least once or twice a month. I started using Dragon NaturallySpeaking to help me dictate posts when I was too tired from my day job to type.
As you can see this year I've actually done more posts that I had in the last two years combined. But in the end, it still was work and I realized that it now takes away from my pleasure in simply reading manga or watching anime because of the back of my mind I start thinking about having to write a review for it.
I'm also someone who has a lot of pursuits that she follows. I have two other blogs besides this one and I enjoy photography, I play video games, I used to paint, I have a house that constantly needs attention, and so forth. In truth I have too many pursuits, to the point that I don't get to enjoy the ones I want to the most because of spreading myself too thin and actually stressing myself out of the fact that I'm not spending time on all of these different pursuits.
And so tonight I decided that I would put it into one of those pursuits and that is Animania. I know for me this is a good decision and nothing made this clearer than how easy it was to make. I have archived the site because I could never destroy my own writing and maybe one day I'll find a use for it or I'll merge it into another site or something. But for now, this is my farewell to the handful of you who visited the site.
I do thank you for coming by over the last 8+ years. I thank you for your overwhelming enthusiasm for my Sailor Moon episode guide. I thank you for the fact that not once but I can recall in the last eight years that any of you bash me in the comments on the site for my views. In today's increasingly hostile Internet that's actually a very rare thing so I appreciate it.
I hope you can forgive me my selfish indulgence in taking the site down to focus on other pursuits.
Thank you and goodbye,
Summer, AKA Collectonian
P.S. I do realize that I'm shutting the site down without ever having finished my top 10 manga countdown. So if there was anybody who anxiously wants to know what those last two were here you go:
#2: From Far Away by Kyoko Hikawa - I love how Hikawa incorporated language barriers in her treatment of this classic shojo series about a simple girl who finds herself transported to a world where she is considered the "Awakening" who will bring forth the mysterious Sky Demon Izark. If the series that honestly takes multiple readings understand some of the political stuff going on although that's not the main focus of it, but it's worth it. Noriko and Izark's story is beautifully told with a richly layered plot and beautiful artwork.
#1: Mars by Fuyumi Soryo - when I set out to make this list there was never any doubt of my mind as to what the top two entries would be, nor which of those two would be the top one. I have read this series so many times I have lost count. I can easily read it multiple times the year and I enjoy it every single time, it makes me laugh and cry every single time, and any time I talk about manga with somebody I'm probably going to recommend it. Sadly it's out of print in getting harder to find, but it's worth the effort if you are a fan of shojo series to hunt down every volume of Kira and Rei's troubled romance.
Soryo's handling of the various characters and how incredibly complex they are is amazing, and her adept handling of the artwork, even when dealing with such technical details as the racing bikes is a pleasure to behold. Sure being from the late 90s, it is considered "dated", but that really doesn't detract from the story that all and it's only really obvious in the art style and the lack of everyone running around on smartphones.