For the handful of people that may have been following the various reviews that I have been doing, ya'll may have noticed that I have slowed down quite a bit over the past few months. For the casual follower of my reviews, ya'll might have also noticed that I've been plodding through shows that first aired several months (or even over a year) ago, and here it is the first day of Summer and I haven't even touched anything from 2012.
I think the problem can be diagnosed as a case of Anime Burnout. Or, more specifically, Anime Review Burnout, because I'm actually watching just as many of the cartoons as I always have, but it's a chore to get around to actually reviewing them.
The simple fact, which I have been obstinately avoiding, is that the amount of time I've been spent writing and ham-fistedly critiquing the shows far outweighs the amount of time it takes to actually watch said show. If it takes twenty minutes to watch an average episode of your average anime series, it should not take the better part of an hour (or longer) to whip up a full-fledged review complete with image scans and online blog reactions. I just sorta-kinda burned out on the whole process.
A little while back, I made the decision not to take on any new shows (as in the Winter 2012 Anime Season, much less the Spring 2012 Season or the now-upcoming Summer 2012 Season) until I take care of what I'm already working on. My plate is full, have to clear off room on my plate before I add anything new. This is why I haven't touched anything from the current year yet, even though I posted a "upcoming season preview" some months back.
So, here's the deal: I'm throwing any semblance of any sort of schedule out of the window. I've never really been concerned with being timely with reviews, and this just is a confirmation of that already-existing policy. I will continue to methodically work my way through reviewing shows from 2011 that I'm already in the middle of watching, episode-by-episode, until I'm done. Even if it takes until the end of the year. (At the moment, that's well over two dozen episodic shows from the Spring, Summer and Fall 2011 Anime Season)
I will completely finish off what I started, which means reviewing in full every single show (even if it's just the first episode) of every single series, movie, OVA, or special from 2010 and 2011. That's right -- there's still a tiny handful of shows (mostly odds-and-ends movies and specials) from 2010 that are on my place. The rate that I'm plodding away at right now (roughly an episode a day, or less) seems about the right workload for me, so it is going to take several months until I'm done.
When I am finally finished with that, in all likelihood around the end of this year, I'll do my comprehensive year-end review and rankings. THEN AND ONLY THEN will I finally take a look at stuff from this year. (I've heard there's some really good stuff, but I've intentionally avoided looking ahead or reading various people's reactions and reviews lest it taint my own views).
At that point, I'm planning on drastically changing how I do reviews. For example, for a series do a review of the first three episodes together as one review. Then those shows that get a passing grade, do a review of the next group of three episodes. Then if those get a passing grade, watch through to the end of the series. So, that means between one and three posted reviews for a series rather than one for each damn episode. And for many (but not all) specials, OVAs and movies, shortened reviews rather than a full-length post. The idea is to cut the amount of time I spend writing about shows by at least half, closer to two-thirds or three-quarters.
Up next (as in probably the next day), I'll be posting a long-delayed "Where Things Stand" post that summarizes the last four months of reviews. Then I'll keep working away at the remaining shows from 2011 I'm still watching (I'm close to wrapping up the Spring 2011 Season shows at this point). Any "season preview" posts for 2012 shows are on indefinite hiatus until I've cleared by queue of 2011 shows.
P.S. For those of ya'll who occasionally comment on my reviews either on Wordpress or on Livejournal, please be assured that I definitely do notice your messages. Even if I very rarely respond, I am listening.
Furthermore, in addition to all the crap that I'm reviewing here, I'm watching a whole bunch of other anime shows, currently I'm working my way through what's available on Netflix. Lots and lots and lots of dubbed anime on Netflix -- the decent, the bad, and the terribad. It's easy to have a dubbed anime show on the television while I'm typing away on the computer, so I can listen without having to keep my eyes glued to the screen for subtitled. I half-jokingly call it "Hilary Haag's Greatest Hits", because it almost seems like she's a voice actress in literally everything on Netflix. For better or for worse (mostly the latter). I'll do some sort of quick summary of that crap at some point in the future. There is some interesting stuff out there worth recommending. And even more stuff worth ridiculing.
So, that's the deal. I'm going to keep what I'm doing at my own pace, and finish off what I started before moving onward. I'm not touching 2012 until I'm done with 2011. The end. And as always, have fun out there, kiddos!