Ain’t no Absolutes: Bigger Numbers, Nonzero Numbers, and ‘Bad’ Opinions

I haven’t really done any kind of cleaning up of this blog since I started it a little over a year ago, so if you do a little digging, you can kind of tell that I originally intended for this to be more of a visuals-focused breakdown blog.* I started out the usual way, covering episodes week to week and churning out an occasional review. Obviously, that’s a bit different now. There are a couple of reasons why that approach has mostly gone out the window:

1. Episodic anime blogging is an extremely over-saturated medium. There are at least five blogs expressing any given opinion on any given show on any given week, with varying levels of prose. Most of them have existing followings. It’s not an efficient use of effort to take two years to try and build up a similar following to a commentator with a similar style, even if you do think you can write better.

1. a) Episodic anime blogging has a definite niche it can fill, but it has a number of shortcomings. For the discussion to advance past where it is right now, we don’t need more people talking about the same thing, we need to have people talking about different things.

2. I like to tinker around with spreadsheets. It’s just something I find fun. Too, looking at anime from different perspectives can lead to surprising insights on the medium itself that deepen my appreciation for just how much effort goes into it.

3. As a long-time worshipper at the churches of Neo Ranga and Futakoi Alternative, I’ve dealt with a lot of BS over the years to the effect of “it’s ridiculous to even say that show A is better than show B”. Beyond all the other neat things numbers can do, pretty much any metric available does a pretty good job of unsettling this debate. Some people use “number A is bigger than number B” arguments to assert that one show is better than another, but most numbers are actually telling a story of a world very far removed from such absolutes.

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