Well-well! Welcome to the Toybox! How does it feel to be a Fellow Toyboxer? Better? Yeah, right. Nevertheless, here’s another weekly mega-post to body-slam your senses and high-kick your brain into gear, lol. This time, we throw another bloody fist into our ongoing otaku-blog battles, another smash into what all these estimated blog numbers mean, a new crash into some angry clickstreams, a new backflip onto some featured otaku posts, and a final flaming explosion of super chicks and supercops! Haha, will anyone escape the mayhem? Who knows? So let’s pump up the volume, load up our weapons, and launch the bullet-blazing show…
Part 1 of 5 > Ongoing Otaku Outlook
Ready for more mindless blog battles? Haha, me too. Continuing our otaku coverage from last month’s Assassins mega-post, you’ll notice that Website Outlook has updated its look. Newer and bluer, but kinda annoying in its arrangement too, lol. But no matter. Here’s the latest crop of estimated theoretical values.
Taking the 6K-to-10K range, let’s begin with Gordonator at $7081 USD.
14 Apr | Gordonator
Next is Otaku Dan at $7337 USD.
14 Apr | Otaku Dan
Led by Panther at $7877 USD.
14 Apr | Clan Blue Panthers a.k.a. Panther
Above these, within the 10K-to-14K range, let’s begin with Dancing Queen at $11870 USD.
14 Apr | How a Girl Figures a.k.a. Dancing Queen
Next is my Toybox at $12133 USD.
14 Apr | xJAYMANx & xJAYMANx_toybox
Led by Mimi-chan at $12468 USD.
14 Apr | Angry Loli a.k.a. Mimi
Lastly, beyond these, within the stratospheric 250K-to-500K range, lies Danny Choo at $290394 USD.
14 Apr | Danny Choo
Led by the unstoppable Sankaku Complex at $367292 USD.
14 Apr | Sankaku Complex
Wow. So what the frak do all of these theoretical numbers mean? Well, hold your horses, and I’ll take a swashbuckling stab at it below, lol.
Part 2 of 5 > Outlook, Analysis & Deconstruction
So here’s my swashbuckling analytical stab, lol. Extending the graphs from my Assassins mega-post, I’ve once again reduced the “Sankaku Complex” and “Danny Choo” paths by a factor of 10, in order to fit them onto the same graphs with mere-mortal otaku-bloggers, haha. But as you can clearly see (enlarge if necessary), the last 30 days represented a slow month for otaku blogs in general! My guess is that the season of final exams dealt a heavy blow to bloggers and their readers.
With one major exception. “Sankaku Complex” actually took a slashing swing upward!
Next, let’s omit the “Sankaku Complex” and “Danny Choo” paths to get a closer view of the smaller blogs. As I noted, almost all of the otaku blogs across-the-board either stayed level or actually fell in value. Most significantly, “Angry Loli” (Mimi-chan) dropped, due to her understandable studies, travels and other responsibilities. Yet remarkably, still catching up to their new URLs, “Puppy52 Art” (Chun-chan) and “Wawawawasuremono” (Meronpan) shot up in value! Congrats!
Good. Now that we have a better idea of the general activity within the otaku blogosphere, let’s return our focus to “Sankaku Complex” and “Danny Choo”. Based on these admittedly theoretical values, why is “Sankaku” able to skyrocket while “Danny” by comparison seems to be struggling?
Well, from my perspective as a blogger-reader myself, I’d say the distinction boils down to two elements: “interaction” and “identity”.
Interaction. I first visited DannyChoo.com as early as mid-2006, later becoming a “DC Member” in December 2006. Since then, I’ve followed Danny’s site off-and-on, submitting Mirai fanart in 2007-2008 and posting various “Member News” items along the way.
But I remember a time (in 2006, perhaps 2007) when Danny would still reply to comments on an almost one-to-one basis, even if he collected a dozen mini-replies in a single posted reply, hehe. Understandably, as his popularity has risen and his free time has shortened, his ability to reply to comments has diminished. I mean, it’s almost a surprise when we see him pop up in a random post, haha. We understand this. But at the same time, the anticipation of waiting patiently for his specific replies disappears.
25 Nov 2008 | Danny Choo Daily Reach
Almost as a remedy for his diminished personal interaction, Danny introduced “Member News” around April-May 2008 to foster “DC Member” interaction. But was there an unexpected side-effect? Maybe? Because in July 2008, the “Danny Choo” traffic stats shockingly plummeted to only a third of what they once were back in June 2008. As an attempt to explain the phenomenon, here’s what I wrote in Mimi-chan’s related post back in September, as well as my Zazzle follow-up post back in November.
In fact, I’d pinpoint it to sometime in April-May when DC first launched the ability for readers to submit Member News. Once he did that, he triggered a double-edged effect~ (a) the amazing and inspiring interaction of readers and bloggers, but at the same time, (b) shifting away the burden of providing news from his own unique perspective, to the eyes of his members ~~ both newbie and veteran (we were all newbies at one time) ~~ at a flooding pace and scope difficult for the busy reader to match, without getting turned off by it.
Coincidentally, or perhaps as another related side-effect, Danny inspired many readers to launch their own otaku blogs. In fact, quite a few Toyboxers agree with this inspirational experience. Perhaps dozens, if not hundreds, or even thousands of other bloggers too. So this “amazing and inspiring interaction of readers and bloggers” was able to evolve and flourish *beyond* the specific DC sphere, as part of the general otaku blogosphere as a whole!
More recently in April 2009, atop Danny’s reduced *personal* interaction, as well as the evolution of *external* blogger interaction, came the further unsettling news of a guest blogger. Yup, another unavoidable indicator of the shift of interaction, another shift from Danny himself.
But is this shift in otaku “interaction” enough to explain the fall of “Danny Choo” and the rise of “Sankaku Complex”? Here’s where the concept of “identity” enters, hehe.
Identity. For the purposes of this limited discussion, I’m going to categorize the bulk of non-commercial or non-streaming otaku sites under two headings: “news site” or “fan site”. So if a site doesn’t directly sell otaku merchandise or stream anime videos, then it should fall primarily under the “news site” category (like “Anime News Network”) or the “fan site” category (otaku blogs like yours and mine, lol). If I missed anything, let me know. But for now, those are my general definitions for otaku sites, hehe.
Since the beginning, unless I’m mistaken, “Danny Choo” has always been a fan site. At one time, for a long time, his site title used to say: “Danny Choo : Anime, Figures, Idols, Gundam, Otaku and Events from Japan.” Which definitely sounds like anime fan’s site, hehe. But simultaneously and amazingly, at one time, his site was also the best place to catch the latest anime news and Japanese news! Moreover, while the “DC Member News” sections give the initial impression of news, they’re more-often-than-not fan-based posts, especially when compared to “Anime News Network” articles. But is there anything wrong with that? Nope, not at all, as long as you understand the site as a “fan site” in general.
Are there any other indicators that “Danny Choo” is a fan site? Sure. Besides the “Member News” fan posts, a recurring portion of Danny’s own posts feature “giveaways” or prizes to otaku gladiators who successfully complete a series of questions or tasks, hehe. While these giveaways require (or enforce) member-comment activity in order to participate, it’s still rather cool. But it’s not something you’d typically find on a “news site” if at all. On top of that, another healthy portion of Danny’s posts are devoted to his attractive mascot sisters, Mirai & Haruka Suenaga (in fanart and merchandise). Again, rather cool! But not something typically featured on a “news site”. Again, is there anything wrong with this? Nope, as long as we consider his site as a “fan site”.
So what’s the big deal? If “Danny Choo” holds the identity of a fan site, so what? If Danny needs to enforce a certain level of comment participation, so what? Well, nothing really, there’s no big deal. I mean, if this is a non-commercial or non-news site for the fans and of the fans, there’s no concern at all. In fact, if that’s the case, if pleasing loyal and devoted fans is the primary benefit, then declining page views or dropping blog worth shouldn’t be a big deal. Nothing to worry about, lol. Right?
Right? Well, when “Danny Choo” launched its new portal design in August 2008, it also changed its site slogan to: “Your portal to Japan. Life in Japan, figures, subculture and more.” Which sounds less like an anime fan’s site and more like a news site. Or perhaps a tourist site like the Japan National Tourism Organization website. Doesn’t it? Which kinda makes sense too! So which is it? Is “Danny Choo” a fan site, a news site, or a tourist site? Or is it all three? I think that’s the dilemma or the disappointment of its readers. The loss of identity compounded by the shift in interaction. In a nutshell, an “identity crisis”.
Sankaku Complex. Meanwhile, in yet another coincidence or related side-effect, another otaku blog-site emerged from the “DC Member News” interaction and fragmentation of April-May 2008 to overtake “Danny Choo” (in terms of estimated blog worth) just one year later. That blog-site is “Sankaku Complex”. Shocking? Amazing? Most impressive, to say the least, hehe.
But how? Is there a trick or gimmick here? Well, while “Danny Choo” as a fan site is no stranger to ecchi or eroge topics, “Sankaku” has plunged full-force into the pornographic arena. Some may call that a gimmick. But is that alone enough to fuel this site’s rise? From my perspective, I’d argue no. Even if you ignore or eliminate all of the pornographic or hentai posts, “Sankaku” would still primarily fall under the category of “news site”. No question about that. Whether you hate or love the topics, whether they involve anime or not, there are more posts here touching upon socio-political and socio-economic themes than “Danny Choo” and “Anime News Network” combined for the same time period. From Prime Minister Taro Aso to Japanese xenophobia. Which is rather difficult to do.
Yup, “Sankaku Complex”. A “news site” without mascot fanart or merchandise (yet?), without otaku giveaways enforcing comment activity, without other bells or whistles. A “news site” which boasts blatant pornographic fillers as well as controversial social and political articles. All of it, on top of the traditional anime, manga, figure, and eroge content. Hehe, I may not agree with it 100%, but that’s still tough to match. Either as a “fan site” or as a “news site”.
Deconstructing Danny. Heyyy, whether you enjoyed or despised my honest assessment as a long-time “Danny Choo” follower, here are three fiction-styled “Deconstructing Danny” posts, lol.
The biggest fans are always the harshest critics, eh? >_<;
Part 3 of 5 > Demographics, Clickstreams & Angry Toyboxes
Okay, my Tantalizing Toyboxers, enough analysis and assessment! Let’s have some fun! During my outlook-related net travels, I came across these fascinating demographic statistics for my “Toybox”. According to this particular website, as of last month in March 2009, my “Toybox” “attracts a slightly female slanted, teen audience”. Yup, that’s what it says. Female teens, lol.
If you take a closer look (enlarge if necessary), compared to the 58% female line (general audience), my site attracts 113% of that 58% reference line. And compared to the 40% teen (12-17) line (general audience), my site attracts a whopping 343% (over 3 times) of that 40% reference line! Holy crap, lol.
Scrolling down further, compared to the general audience, my “Toybox” makes the largest impact of 191% (almost 2 times) of the 38% reference line among households with kids 12-17. Duh, lol. That makes sense if my site already attracts teens in that same bracket. Furthermore, of course they’ll be less affluent and less college-educated in that age bracket. Still amusing nonetheless, hehe.
But the next couple images may partially explain why “female teens” even bother to visit my “Toybox” at all. Yup, “Angry Loli” also known as Mimi-chan, lol. According to the statistics at another website, the “Toybox” represents 13% (the 3rd highest) of her preceding upstream visits, as well as 10% (the 4th highest) of her following downstream visits! Among sites like “Google”, “Facebook” and “Danny Choo”, that’s unreal!
Then flipping it around to my “Toybox” clickstream statistics, “Angry Loli” represents 19% (the 2nd highest) of my preceding upstream visits, as well as 15% (the 2nd highest) of my following downstream visits! Hahaha, like I said, unreal!
Wow. I should really thank “Angry Loli” for her clickstream contribution. Again. Thanx, Mimi-chan! Which may also explain the “female teen” slant of my audience, lol. I mean, I knew our respective blogs shared a reader overlap, just by glancing at the parallel paths in our theoretical blog values. Plus it’s evident that “Danny Choo” has definitely helped “Angry Loli” as much as “Angry Loli” has helped my “Toybox”. But I didn’t realize our blogs were linked that strongly! ^_~
Part 4 of 5 > Featured Otaku Posts of the Week
Speaking of “Angry Loli”, I’ve decided to introduce a brand-new feature into my weekly mega-posts: “Featured Otaku Posts of the Week”. Nifty, eh? Who knows if I’ll keep it from week to week? But it sounds cool, don’t it? Hmm, let’s see. There’s no set of criteria written in stone. Just otaku posts which happened to stand out or stick out in my brain the most, lol.
The first one is Mimi-chan’s infamous “K-On Sucks (rant rant rant)” post on Wednesday, 15 April 2009, hahaha.
Here’s my reply, hehe.
@Mimi-chan: Yeah, I’ve mentioned on my blog that there seems to be nothing new. Each of them seems like clones of characters we’ve all seen before. But there’s nothing wrong with that! Nothing wrong with cute and cuddly! I’m just surprised at all the hype that this is something earth-shatteringly different. Simply because it comes from KyoAni? ^_^;
P.S. Due to a challenge, I just started “Akikan”. Haha, in just one episode, the over-the-top concept has already made me laugh out loud more than “K-On”!
In fact, I was one of those who encouraged her rant and told her how proud I was when she posted it. Well done! I just hope she’s enjoying all of the anonymous trolls who “chose to be offended” by her rant! I’m tempted to retaliate with: “Awww, another troll beating up a girl? How sweet! Sounds like another little tsundere boy in love. Awww. Mwahaha.” But I won’t, lol.
The next one is Otaku Dan’s introspective “Why Do We Blog?” post on Thursday, 16 April 2009.
Here’s my cool reply, lol.
@Dan-man: Haha, thanx man, didn’t expect this!
While I don’t think “famous” is the best term, I definitely agree with the allure of “popularity” or “acceptance”. Everybody wants to be accepted for who they are, right? But when they do it simply to fit the expectations of others and not for themselves, that’s when it starts to become a chore or hassle or disappointment. Been there, done that. Yup, popularity is very alluring. Especially during the height of my early “Mirai Suenaga” fanart days, lol.
But inevitably, when those heights crashed, I went thru those same crossroads. Who am I blogging for? Why blog at all? Is it worth it? And so on. I mean, my Blog 176 still has zero comments, lol. But I don’t regret making that post. I had a great time writing it… Ultimately, I think I came to the decision to go on, not only for myself, the love of writing or the love of anime, but also for others in the community who love anime too. Maybe not a million or even 100 others, but for those few who’ve become familiar names or faces. Like u or Blowfish or Panther or Mimi-chan. Those who make me think or laugh or yell “WTF?”, lol. Not only on my blog, but on theirs as well.
I think that’s the best form of self-promotion of all.
Finally, here are the twin posts on the latest “YouTube” situation. Otaku Dan’s “Taking You Out of YouTube” on Friday, 17 April 2009. And Mimi-chan’s same-named “Taking You Out of YouTube” on late-late Sunday, 19 April 2009.
Here are my respective replies. First, Otaku Dan.
@Dan-man: Hey, u finally posted this!
Sorry for the delay. I think I’m getting burned out at work, lol. But yeah, developments like these are always a bit scary. While I agree that a company exists to make money, there’s also a responsibility to the consumer not to sell poison or change up the product whenever the wind blows a different way. Unfortunately, the current economic winds are pretty harsh.
In the video, I definitely like the MTV analogy. Back in the 80’s, it was truly and genuine music videos 24-7. But over the decades, actual music has taken a back seat (way-way-way in the back it seems) to random shows that hardly link to music anymore. Which seems to be the path of this new “Hulu Tube”… Maybe if MTV started out with these random shows, it wouldn’t have been such a transformation. Or if YouTube started out with this “new” format to begin with, there’d be no reason to miss the “old” format. But alas, things don’t usually evolve that way… I suppose when popular trends reach a certain level of success, they can no longer escape the chains of the corporate world. Or can they? ^_^
Then Mimi-chan. Basically the same reply, hehe.
Heyyy, okaeri! So u just got back and the first thing u do is post on your blog? Hmm, I’ll need to speak to your brother about that, hehe… But throw some thanx to Otaku Dan. He first mentioned it to me while I was watching “Act One” of the *YouTube* Symphony Orchestra, haha. Kinda ironic, eh?
Yeah, developments like these are always a bit scary. While I agree that a company exists to make money, there’s also a responsibility to the consumer not to sell poison or change up the product whenever the wind blows a different way. Unfortunately, the current economic winds are pretty harsh… I suppose when popular trends reach a certain level of success, they can no longer escape the chains of the corporate world. Or can they? ^_^
Cool, eh? I might do these “Featured Otaku Posts of the Week” after all!
Part 5 of 5 > Supercops, Super Chicks & Super Kicks
Wow, have you read the latest controversy surrounding Jackie Chan’s “anti-freedom” and “Chinese need to be controlled” comments on Yahoo and Sankaku Complex yet? You have? Good. Well, believe me, I didn’t plan it at all. When I watched Jackie Chan’s “Police Story 3: Supercop” (1992) over the weekend, I had no clue! Sheer coincidence!
Well, if you’ve been following my Cops post (“Police Story 1”) and Tigers post (“Police Story 2”) over the past few months, you’ll know that I’ve been watching the entire “Police Story” saga, hehe. This time, we come to the biggest and baddest in the series, featuring action-film star Michelle Yeoh!
Ready for some fake subtitles? Haha, let’s go! Here’s Jackie’s girlfriend played by Maggie Cheung. Maggie: “Really?”
Maggie: “Did you really say that the Chinese people need to be controlled?”
Jackie: “Sure did. Here’s the proof.”
Maggie: “But why? I already control you.”
Ah, security director Michelle Yeoh. Michelle: “I control you too.”
Michelle: “Control flows through the barrel of a rifle.”
Michelle: “Bang. You’re dead.”
Michelle: “Control also flows through a fake smile.”
Michelle: “Like this.”
Jackie: “Oh, you mean, control like this?”
Jackie: “And this?”
Michelle: “No-no-no, Jackie, not like that.”
Michelle: “Control like this!”
Michelle: “Like a kick to the gut!”
Michelle: “Or balancing like a crane!”
Jackie: “Yeah-yeah, whatever. You’re not the boss of me.”
Michelle: “Yes, Jackie, I am.”
Jackie: “And if I say no?” Michelle: “You’ll find out soon enough.”
Michelle: “Wait! Did you hear that?”
Michelle: “I think your fans wanna kill you.”
Michelle: “Ya-ha! You’re dead.”
Michelle: “Any other fans wanna die?”
Michelle: “Shit! Where did Jackie go?”
Michelle: “Ya-ha! You’re dead too!”
Jackie: “Oh God, why did I say that?” Michelle: “Don’t ask me. You’re the supercop.”
Maggie: “I must control Jackie.”
Michelle: “Jackie, don’t you want me to control you?”
Maggie: “Is that him?”
Maggie: “Shit! What’s Michelle doing there?”
Michelle: “Shit! What’s Maggie doing here?”
Maggie: “Dammit! Is that him?”
Maggie: “Jackie, tell me the truth. Is Michelle controlling you?”
Maggie: “Tell me the truth!”
Maggie: “Why her? Why can’t I control you?”
Jackie: “Over there! The helicopter is over there!”
Michelle: “Dammit! Where?”
Michelle: “Ohhh. There!”
Michelle: “Those damn obsessed fans!”
Michelle: “I gotta get outta here!”
Michelle: “Jackie fans are the worst!”
Michelle: “Haha! Gotcha now!”
Michelle: “Holy crap! Ahhhhh!”
*SMASH!!!* Michelle: “Ouch! Fuck!”
Michelle: “Goddammit, Jackie!”
Jackie: “Sorry-sorry! But we have to catch those fans! They took my favorite shirt!”
Michelle: “Crap. Where did Jackie go?”
Michelle: “Get off! I’m taking this bike!”
Jackie: “Ahhhhh! Why did I say that?”
Jackie: “Ahhhhh! Sorry-sorry! I’ll never say it again!”
Jackie: “Ahhhhh! Oh no!”
Michelle: “Dammit, Jackie. Why do I always save your ass?”
Michelle: “Ya-ha! Now give me Jackie’s favorite shirt!”
Michelle: “I’ll say it again! Give me…”
Michelle: “…his favorite shirt! Ya-ha!”
Michelle: “Shit! Where’s that shirt?”
Michelle: “Here it is! Give it to me!”
Michelle: “Oops! Sorry, I didn’t mean it!”
Michelle: “I didn’t mean it! Jackie! Where’d you go?”
Hahaha, that’s it! That’s the end of the fake subtitles, lol. To find out the rest of the story, you’ll have to grab the DVD! But before we leave, here’s a final photo of the elegant, graceful and beautiful Michelle Yeoh. She definitely stole the show! Can’t wait for Michelle Yeoh’s “Supercop 2”, which is a totally different film from Jackie Chan’s “Police Story 4: First Strike”. Go figure, lol. But at least, it’ll star Michelle!
There you have it, my Tickled Toyboxers! Did we body-slam your senses and high-kick your brain into gear? Did we throw enough bloody fists into our ongoing otaku-blog battles? Enough smashes into what all these estimated blog numbers mean? Enough crashes into some angry clickstreams? Enough backflips onto some featured otaku posts? And enough flaming explosions of super chicks and supercops? Hahaha, who’s counting anyway? But let’s give our whole-hearted thanx to Mimi-chan, Otaku Dan, Danny Choo, and Sankaku Complex, as well as the incomparable Jackie Chan, Maggie Cheung and Michelle Yeoh! Without them, my mega-post would only be a post, hehe… And don’t forget to pick up this DVD, okay?
Till next broadcast. Peace. Out.
Jackie: “Oh, you mean, control like this?”