Despite having slipped down the arduous 12 Days slope, I’d like to seize this opportunity to reflect on the year and what it means going forward – a few day’s shy of through a glass’ first blogiversary.
Towards the end of last year’s top anime retrospective, I mentioned that 2016 wasn’t an especially good year for me. And it wasn’t. But without dwelling on its maudlin intricacies, I will say that I have taken purposeful steps towards implementing a number of changes in my own personal life which has resulted in improved positive functioning. My anxiety may remain this ever-constant, flitting ‘round the edges of my conscious whenever I find myself smoothing down my shirt before a presentation, uneasily gripping a pint glass in social situations, gingerly stepping out into a bustling throng – but I’m trying not to let it define me. To that end there are countless works I long to personally engage with, yet find the notion of publishing my heart in a public sphere devastating for it invites reproach, jeering in private spaces. Even typing these words on a brisk winter afternoon, my pulse thrums at the notion of willingly subjecting myself to such an achingly personal process; grimacing at ‘I’ and ‘my’s.
My first blog post was an ode to The Idolmaster, and even now I find it all too fitting. Hagiwara Yukiho’s portrayal of an anxious mind struck a fierce chord within me, similarly finding solace in aesthetic persuasions with war paint slathered on each morning a way of battling forward; my own personal rebellion. Beyond The Idolmaster however I have attempted to write about the dearth of shows I find myself most affected by. No one had written about the remarkably lucid approach to gothic horror Dezaki Osamu had employed throughout Onii-sama e. No one had waxed lyrical regarding the profoundly lofty allusions to romanticism strewn amidst the bucolic meadows of incestuous romp Yosuga no Sora. No one had written about Inside Mari’s sexual politics, its stark attempts at recontextualizing a superficial and at times problematic genre. Having gotten in far too late on the aniblog game it seems, most have drifted over to anitube. But I find myself most at ease softly expressing myself through the written word.
My blog entries have been linked by publications I regularly read, endorsed by figures within the community I admire. And yet I find myself shying away from seasonal introspection for a voice murmurs there will always be more adept, established bloggers than I able to speak at length, poised and confident, regarding my few lines of hastily scrawled observations penned in a word document; damning allusions emanating from the screen with each monochromatic pixel. I mustered up the courage to write about Land of the Lustrous before the familiar intimidation seeped down to my marrow, bringing an icy chill. My worst enemy is me, and confidence takes an awfully long time to build. It is not something done instantaneously, instead a gradual progression through each of the bricks you muster up the courage to pick up yourself. Perhaps writing blog entries of this nature is an extension of that.
Going into through a glass’ second year, I’d like to continue what I’ve been doing – but make more of an attempt to reach out to other bloggers, perhaps. Dispelling the haze of nervousness when it comes to commenting on articles I’ve been affected by, nervously retreating through settling with shy like-this-post’ing and giddy praise in discord channels. Although my 12 Days of Anime plans for this year unfortunately came to an abrupt halt, intimidating voices returning with a vengeance, I am determined to finish next year’s run.
In closing, I wish to sincerely thank everyone who has read my blog over the past year, or retweeted my posts – it means more than you could possibly imagine. I wish you all a merry Christmas, and desperately hope that 2018 is better for each and every one of us.