- January: Different Platforms, Familiar Faces
- February: Filling in the blanks of Anime History
- March: Starting a blog / Zael in Japan: Arrival in Tokyo
If you’re familiar with the anime community on twitter, or the blogosphere, chances are you’ll have heard of a yearly ‘event’ of sorts, where bloggers gather around to reminisce on anime-related experiences of the past year.
If you don’t know what on earth I’m talking about, I’ll direct you over to Scamp’s explanation of it over on The Cart Driver
This is my first time doing this, as Falling Through The Bed only came into being this year. Thus I’ll also be putting my own little spin on it. For each of the twelve days, I’ll be talking about a specific relevant ‘event’ that occurred in each calendar month, starting with January. A chronological tale will hopefully be formed from this.
Also, as a bonus, most of you will be aware that back in November, I went on holiday to both Japan and China, I’ll be sharing some stories and pictures about that too in each 12 Days post from tomorrow onwards, they’ll be on the second page!
The First Day of Christmas – January: Different Platforms, Familiar Faces
It’s time to recount the tale of how I got where I am now, how you know me, and the key events that have formed my current self. For some of you, this tale will already be a nostalgic one, as we travelled it together, for others, I hope it’ll be interesting…
As a young teen who got into anime in 2009, I was developing as a fan totally isolated from the online community, independent but convergent evolution if you will. It’s quite odd to think about really, it’s not like I wasn’t tech-savvy, or that I didn’t find myself trawling about the web and posting on forums, but I did so for mainly video game related things. I guess I just never felt the impetus to jump into another new, scary, virtual landscape.
That changed in 2013, a good four years later, and almost by chance. You see, it all started on a little-known site called Reddit, where there exist countless sub-fora for pretty much every topic known to man. I was pulled onto the site because it became an invaluable resource for a League of Legends player who wanted to keep up on both the esports side of things, and all the anecdotal game knowledge and advice, also memes.
Considering the type of game League was, there was a large crossover between this subreddit and the anime-related one, /r/anime, so it wasn’t long before I stumbled over there. I was taken immediately, “people are actually analysing this stuff? I can find hidden gems? I can learn more about the industry?”. Not only did I find myself sucked into watching more and more airing anime in order to keep up with the ongoing conversation (conveniently, Attack on Titan had just started airing), but my then-cursory knowledge of all things anime suddenly exploded, and has only been growing exponentially ever since.
Right now you may be thinking how this is all relevant to January 2015, that backstory was necessary to explain the next stage. You see, on reddit, I ended up making friends with a great many people, funny people, smart people, amiable people, ones who I became invested in even outside the fandom. Whether through discussion, analysis or dumb smalltalk, I ended up encountering a roster of prevalent faces consistently, they know who they are, shoutouts to you!
However, as time went on, and the migration to social media and personal blogs grew, I ended up interacting with these same individuals through more informal platforms like Twitter. I actually started doing this in early 2014, with maybe 2-3 people, but as the year rolled on, I spent more and more relative time on this platform than Reddit.
By the new year 2015, the migration was complete, I had completely stopped commenting on reddit as I integrated into the self-curated tightly-loosely knit virtual cat’s cradle known as ‘AniTwitter’. Quickly, I started to meet completely new people, who I’ve since formed strong bonds with. As time and news spread, more people I knew from /r/anime ended up joining in, in particular a huge wave of them near the end of that year. It wasn’t long before I was comfortably wedged and secure in an absolutely lovely clique of my own. This was a feeling I’ve never really experienced before in my life, which is why I cherish this space a lot, and why it means so much to me.
AniTwitter is a pretty wacky place, both welcoming and insular, expansive and tiny, but due to its quickly updating nature and short message size, in addition to being devoid of the strictly-defined topical boards and threads of Reddit, it’s inevitable that you begin to understand the people you interact with more intimately, learning about their life, their sense of humour and their various other interests and hobbies. It’s basically a virtual coffee lounge, filled with all your best friends, there’s a bunch of chatter, jokes, memes and occasionally an insightful conversation, and it’s all happening perpetually, persistently. It’s not surprising then how tangibly this space has carved a huge impact in my daily routine, my idle thoughts, and– my nameless heart.