I’m not exactly sure why, but I often receive e-mails asking for advice on how to write anime/manga reviews “correctly”. Not that I’m complaining on being asked. It’s just that I don’t consider myself a reviewer unlike many anibloggers. I’m more of an entertainer, unintentional commedienne, occasional translator, and—my favourite—fandom promoter. A mouthful, I know, so simply call me “otaku blogger”.
I technically don’t write reviews. Instead I ramble, share my opinions, fangirl over half-naked bishounen, or just write whatever I feel like writing. Sometimes I even write detailed analyses similar to reviews, but I don’t call them reviews. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have anything against reviews. In fact, I enjoy reading well-written reviews by my favourite bloggers. I just don’t like writing them. Period.
On a previous post titled “From Book Reviewer to Aniblogger”, I shared with you my past as a book review blogger. During that time, all I wrote were book reviews. I created my own format that I followed religiously. It was exciting at first, not to mention profitable, but it gradually exhausted and stifled me. That’s why now as an aniblogger, I don’t pressure myself to write reviews. I want the freedom, flexibility, and creativity to write whatever I want to write about anime, manga, and the otaku fandom.
I don’t believe that there’s a “correct” way to write reviews.
Now let’s return to the topic: the “correct” way of writing anime/manga reviews. As you can already guess from what I just said, I don’t believe that there’s a “correct” way to write reviews. I think that popular and influential anime reviewers only set the standards on how to format reviews, but their reviews are not necessarily the only “correct” way to write them.
Of course in academics, you learn the “proper” way of writing reviews, along with the “proper” way to write different types of essays and reports. However, the Internet is not a university. Unless your blogging style is academic writing, I don’t think it’s necessary to religiously follow something deemed as the “correct” way of writing reviews, especially if you’re a personal blogger.
Think about it. Would you like your reviews to be the same, virtually indistinguishable to a thousand other reviews on the web? If you don’t mind this, then go ahead.
Aniblogging is NOT always about writing anime reviews.
Realize that you have the freedom to be as creative as you want, even in writing reviews.
I’m not saying to stop writing reviews. Not at all. What I’m saying is to realize that you have the freedom to be as creative as you want, even in writing reviews. Feel free to create your own format. You don’t have to copy what others are doing. Always remember that writing reviews is not the only route in becoming an aniblogger.
Take me for example. I don’t write reviews, but I don’t run out of things to blog about. I know that some of my posts are review-like. But like I said, they’re more like ramblings and occasional analyses rather than official reviews.
Why do you want to write reviews “correctly”?
I mean, what’s the reason why you want to write reviews “correctly”? Are you being evaluated by a professor or an employer? If so, then I’m certain that you would have received some kind of training to write them already. Go ahead and write reviews in the way you were taught. Do you want to attract more readers to your blog? Hmmm. Rather than writing anime reviews “correctly”, I think writing interesting and entertaining posts are much better ways in acquiring loyal readers. Do you want to be taken seriously? Trust me, even when I seem like I don’t take things seriously half the time, people still take me seriously as a blogger. . .I hope. Ehehehe. Or do you hope to qualify as a professional anime reviewer? If that’s the case, then I don’t know why you’re reading this shady post of mine. Ahahaha! Best of luck, my friend.
Many anibloggers believe that writing anime reviews is the only way to become an aniblogger.
As you can see, I’m not showing you the “correct” way to write anime/manga reviews because I don’t believe that it exists. My purpose for writing this post is to show you other available options in aniblogging besides writing reviews. I’m quite amazed how the majority of new anibloggers I encounter believe that aniblogging is all about reviewing. That’s not the case at all. I’m a proof that you can become an active aniblogger without writing a ton of reviews.
Don’t feel limited when it comes to blogging. Unless you’re working for a big-time publication that requires you to write reviews in a specific format, you’re free to blog however you want to blog. Find your own blogging style. Carve your own place in the blogosphere following your own terms.
However, if you really desire to write reviews no matter what, write it in whatever way you want. Create your own format. You don’t have to copy others’ methods. You never know. You might become so big someday that your original format of writing reviews might just become the next standard copied by other anibloggers.
That’s all for today, folks! Thank you for reading. Do you write anime/manga reviews? If so, do you follow a specific format?
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