Here I am, finally taking my final steps in the blogosphere on Anime Viking. And I have been okay with it for a long time, no longer trembling as I did when I first set out on my journey a decade ago.
Yes, it’s been that long.
Unlike beginnings, I have a tendency to find it far easier to write about the endings. I can still feel incredibly tense when writing the very first words, whereas near the end I often know exactly what I want to write down. But enough of that! In case you didn’t catch on – and I don’t blame you, after all this blog has not been regularly active in a long time – I was mirroring my very first post just now. It’s hard to pass up the chance!
Still, to think it’s been 10 long years. It’s difficult to believe, as on one hand it feels like time has passed with a lot of change, yet some things still feel the same. WordPress is as popular as ever, there’s still a lot of recognizable faces I see around online, and I’m still just about as nerdy and in love when it comes to anime, video games, and cats. Especially cats.
However, there’s also a lot that has changed over the years, both for myself, but also just in general when it comes to blogging. The times were very different back then. Anime blogging was hugely popular, and it wasn’t uncommon for some of the really large ones to have comments reaching triple digits per post. Nowadays, one such site (which is still going!), can barely reach double digits – if even half of that. There was also a lot of personal relationships between bloggers and a real sense of community; with co-blogging, idea exchanges, and seasonal events. One might even remember a certain blog tournament, that may or may not have been as enjoyable as disastrous as it sounds.
While anime blogging does still exist much to my surprise (and the aggregator site Anime Nano is somehow still working hard 15 years later), it would be a lie to call it the same as before. But I might also be out-of-the-loop. Still, from what I can tell blogging has been replaced by Youtube as the primary form of sharing one’s thoughts on anime. Twitter has also become the new normal when it comes to sharing and discussing moments from the recently airing series, thanks to its increased character length and improvement of chaining replies. It’s fascinating as these two platforms were the opposite of popular back then, yet here we are.
Blogging was very prolific, and sometimes there were even quotes from popular sites on the back of manga volumes or anime DVDs. As for me, I was actually contacted by various legitimate businesses when I was active. I’m not talking about being paid to write about products, but rather joining forces with writing sites or in one case even a local licensing company. Not to mention being able to share some of my posts on Crunchyroll! If I was sought by so many, I can only begin to imagine what more notable bloggers were contacted about; some have after all become official writers on Crunchyroll, Anime News Network, and more. Makes me wonder how things could’ve turned out had I accepted any offer.
As for Anime Viking itself, it was a very fun time overall. It could be stressful at times, no doubt as I felt a completely irrational pressure to write frequently and impeccably, but it also allowed me to muse over things and meet so many people I still talk to today. And I will forever treasure the ARIA merchandise I was gifted by someone I would’ve liked to call a friend back then.
When I made my very first post as a young fledgling, I remember being overwhelmed by the amount of kindness and comments I received. I remember being told my writing was easy to read and fluffy in a comforting way. It was such a warm welcome into the blogosphere, and it’s sad that many sites and people have vanished since then. Without them, I never would’ve written for as long as I did. I had so, so, so many ideas written down. Looking through my needlessly detailed master document, there’s still a ton of unused ideas that I would’ve been able to write for years even if I wrote multiple times per week. Some of these even include fully fledged blog posts, or refined drafts, that just haven’t been published!
This said, not everything on the blog has worked out. Writing about my favorite anime quickly became a challenge as I was unable to put into words why I adored some series, and some older blog links redirect to spam websites as this blog’s custom domain has since long expired. But I did get to do some bonkers ideas, so it all evens out. It’s still hard to wrap my head around how popular Anime Viking was during its peak.
With the risk of undermining my efforts, I do find it interesting to read through my older posts. It all feels so very distant, and my writing has come a long way since then (or at least, I hope so). This is slightly amplified by the fact that I no longer engage with anime in the same manner as before; I cannot for the life of me fathom how I had the time to watch a dozen of series per week!
If I were to write about anime now, I would instead be talking about revisiting older franchises or similar. In fact, there have been times when I’ve been about to write lengthy texts about something, but I’ve had to stop myself as the ideas often came flowing when I was about to sleep. And as much I could write about having played the fantastic visual novel Aokana – Four Rhythms Across the Blue, reading my first light novel in the form of Bottom-tier Character Tomozaki, or finally diving head-first into the sprawling franchise of A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun… I felt okay with keeping these thoughts to only myself. In a sense, it’s very liberating.
And so, it’s finally time to end blogging and bring some closure. It has been 10 long years, with ups and downs, but a decade nonetheless. Perhaps there’ll eventually be a day when a new blog, or something similar, is created to share my thoughts about just about anything.
I wish to thank everyone that has read Anime Viking over the years, those who read this, and everyone I still keep in touch with. In one way or another, you’ve stayed with me until my final steps. I now know how the journey went.
Until we meet again!