February 2018 Update: Time For a Change


Moving house is a pain in the butt. This is true no matter which country you’re in. This month, I moved house to west Tokyo. I really like where I’m living now because I’m within cycling distance of most of the anime studios in Tokyo. But moving to a new house was actually way more stressful for me than moving to Japan in the first place, mainly because it was my first time going through a Japanese real estate agent, buying my own furniture and setting up gas and electricity and whatnot. So in a way, this past month has felt like I’m finally moving into Japan for real.

I also happened to meet my fellow ANN Tokyo Correspondent for the first time last January, and this was the first month where we ate out together after going to an assignment. Since ANN is an international organisation where most of its members work remotely, I don’t often experience that feeling of socialising with my colleagues. My life has been all over the place in these past few months, but now I’m starting to feel like I’m settling into my job. It’s a nice feeling.

At the same time, I think it’s time for a change.

If the last few months have taught me anything, it’s that I’m tragically bad at handling stress. I may seem like I’ve got my act together in public, but I scream and punch things when I’m alone.

It didn’t help that I experienced my first real dose of internet harassment this month. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have gotten off so lightly, considering that my work is now quite visible. But maybe it’s because I’ve been so lucky that I was completely unprepared about being called a pedophile after my interview with the The Ryuo’s Work is Never Done! author was published. What hit me in the gut was seeing people I considered friends on Twitter apparently agreeing with these accusations against me, all because I didn’t grill the author hard enough in my interview.

said ai

I was so shocked and depressed that I didn’t get out of bed until after midday, even though I was supposed to go to an event that day. When I finally arrived at the event, it was just about to end. I was at a complete loss about how to write about it afterward. I blamed myself for being so incompetent. This culminated in me becoming so stressed that I started crying in frustration after I got home.

Long story short: Don’t harass people or call them pedophiles without proof because you’re almost guaranteed to shit on their day and affect their productivity.

At least that whole incident ended up working out in the end. I ended up writing that event report, even if it wasn’t as detailed as I would have liked. But I do wish I was better at keeping my composure. More than internet drama, my obsessive attention to detail and perfectionism has been crippling.

After all, the main reason why I got so stressed about writing that event report was because I kept thinking that if I couldn’t write a good report then I shouldn’t write a report at all. You see, I normally research every event and anime that I write about. For example, I even read the Violet Evergarden novels in preparation for reviewing the anime. So when I didn’t put in the appropriate time and research, I became reluctant to write anything at all. Canipa eventually convinced me that writing something is always better than nothing, but I put up a lot of resistance at first.

In the end, I doubt that many people read that report, but if you did read it, perhaps you can appreciate the feeling that went behind it.


In light of that experience, I want to be less of a perfectionist. Of course, I still want to strive to produce good work, but that’s very different from the “all or nothing” approach I’ve been taking so far.

At any rate, writing all of this down has made me feel better. I know that nobody’s expecting me to be perfect. This is all much easier to say than do, but I’ll try to stop stressing about things that don’t matter in the scheme of things.

Next month, my goal is to take it easy and have fun!

ai gif

Before I go, here’s a list of the other articles I wrote this month. I’ll be making a habit of this, if only to keep track of my writing.

The Making of a SHAFT Heroine

Review: Macross Delta: Gekijō no Walkūre

Review: Fate/Apocrypha (Episodes 13-25)

Over 180 New Figures Announced at Winter Wonder Festival 2018

A Look Into the Art and Animation of Girls’ Last Tour

Design Festa Gallery: Happy Meow Year

Review: Maquia – When the Promised Flower Blooms

A Look Into the Art and Animation of Land of the Lustrous

I also helped a bit with articles that my co-workers wrote. Recovery of an MMO Junkie Director Causes Controversy With Anti-Semitic Tweets, for example, was mainly written by members of the Interest team, but pretty much the entire ANN staff got together and contributed ideas about how best to frame that article in the most respectful way.

Occasionally, I help out with the news reporting too. For example, the news articles Sword Art Online: Alicization Anime to Cover Entire Alicization Arc and Tomori Kusunoki Performs Ending Theme for Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online Anime were written by my colleagues, but I relayed the information from the stage show where those announcements were made. I was also physically present at Wonder Fest when the new Danmachi and Goblin Slayer anime were announced, but my colleagues handled the news reporting. I just watched on in awe at how quickly and efficiently those articles were constructed.

Unfortunately, I was too busy to write any articles for Crunchyroll this month… maybe next month. That’s all for now!


  1. Harassment was one of the biggest things I considered before jumping into ani-blogging and I still don’t know how I would handle it. Sorry that you had to deal with all that and I’m glad to see that you’re feeling better.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve been really enjoying your articles lately! (they’ve been coinciding with my interest a lot which is a plus) and I’m looking forward to whatever comes next. Hope you have fun this month!

  2. Sorry to hear people have been giving you trouble. I always try to dodge internet drama, but that’s probably something you can’t avoid when you write for the biggest anime sites online. Suffice to say though your write-ups for the various events in Japan have been fun to read, and I appreciate getting more insight on the development of anime and light novels, etc.

    Hope you find some time to have your own fun in Japan! I personally always liked to go to random small towns and walk to their various shrines and temples. Always felt peaceful to me.

  3. Thanks for the article!
    I found your interview with the Shirow Shiratori very well done, balanced and in short simply good!
    It’s sad that people get angry with you for being objective, polite and open and not looking for some kind witch hunt.
    I wonder if most of the people who used you as a scapegoat, even watched the anime.
    Most of the time those people only see their own problems, which they cannot admit to themselves, when they react so irrationally.

  4. I’m so sorry this happened to you – since I don’t hang out much on Twitter, I had no idea. Harassment is an ugly thing, and I’m sure anyone else would have been equally shaken by it.

    On a more positive note, congrats on moving into your new home! I can certainly understand how stressful (and expensive!) that is in Japan. No matter how well you speak the language, moving house here always seems to be such a big deal, and several times more complicated and time-consuming (and again, expensive!) than it needs to be. On the other hand, getting through all that hopefully makes the success that much sweeter.

    • I got off really lucky with my move. No Reikin and a month of free rent! I’m still not quite sure how I managed it. Moving was still expensive, but definitely not as expensive as it could have been. So I’m really grateful for that.

      Thanks for the kind words and encouragement!

      • Wow, very lucky indeed! I just helped a friend move house a couple of days ago and even though it was pretty much just across the street, it still cost him big time. That reikin’s a killer!

  5. Shoot! Online harrassment is terrible, no matter to whom it happened. I hope that you can recover from this soon. And I’ve always liked how much of a perfectionist you are, so please keep up the good work!

  6. I’m on twitter much less these days so I think I pretty much missed all the harassment stuff, but I’m very sorry you had to deal with that. I wouldn’t wish internet harassment on anyone, but especially not on someone I consider a good friend.

    Beyond that, though, I think your resolutions for work sound wise & I hope they help you be less stressed about things. I feel like I’m always looking for that balance between commitment to my work & keeping time for myself, but at least when I leave the office I can kind of shut it all down to a degree.

    Hang in there, and I’ll continue to look forward to your work. ^_^

  7. That’s definitely something i have to keep in mind if i wanna make blogging and novel my bread and butter.

    Im not usually a person who comments, but i will say good luck in your future ventures and that things work out okay. Hopefully something like those accusations dont happen again and ruin your career.

  8. I popped here by looking for information about the author of NHK ni Youkoso. I was surprised about the part with Evangelion? It felt like everything was linked as I finished the movie End of Evangelion yesterday. Anyway, thank you for your hard work.
    Wish your luck and courage!

  9. It’s so cool that you’re living in Japan. I might do that someday too with my girlfriend. Hope you can maybe write some tips or advice in how to do so.

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