It’s not exactly common knowledge, but today is actually the official second anniversary of the Ani-TAY blog; the anniversary of the rocky start our grand experiment in an anime Kinja blog. Somehow, we’re still here! It’s second anniversary week at Ani-TAY, so join us as we kick it off.
Throughout the week we’ll be taking a look back at a lot of our history. Our reviews, our evolving art assets, our own favorite posts, and (of course) our old shames. In this first article, we’ll take a look at some of my favorite posts in the last two years.
This was the first “year” of operation and one of our roughest. The initial birth of the Ani-TAY blog was a tumultuous time, as all change is. Prior to this, Ani-TAY was a tag used on Talk Amongst Yourselves, the reader-run Kotaku community where I had done my 2013 Anime Marathon, an endeavor now just a legend. Between migrating to a new home, finding the direction and editorial balance we needed to make a community-run anime blog work, and just working out the difficulties with striking out in such a unique capacity, it was a busy but relatively quiet year to the outside world.
No post like this would be complete without the post that really started it all. Back in early 2014, we put together a collaboration, which was pretty unprecedented on Kinja at the time. We pulled together some of the members of the community and knocked it out of the park in a way that I believe cemented the mission statement we eventually had.
This was one of my opinion pieces after the blog was in full swing finding our footing. While there is a degree of preaching to the choir, it more than illustrated my thoughts on an issue I’ve seen brought up time and time again.
In another opinion post, Rockmandash experienced a very lively comment section, probably the most lively at the time, surrounding his views on dark and edgy anime. It was one of our more visible moments.
This was one of breakouts, particularly at the time it was posted. SeanStan sent out our first year (2014) with a bang, giving the Ani-TAY blog quite the hit when it hit Maintaku (that’s Kotaku for you new folks).
This was our second year, and it’s really where things started to take off. While 2014 was our growth year where we found our wings, it was 2015 where we soared. With more collaborations than ever before, more reviews than I want to count, and some great new authors, we had nothing to stop us.
While it was one of my busiest years, it is definitely my favorite watching everything unfold.
FruityDrinks launched a new collab that still continues today on the first day of 2015. Every day we posted one of our favorite opening or endings. It’s a tradition that, while sometimes has had some issues, has continued to the present day. Fantastic way to start off
One of my first acts in 2015 was to finally get a third admin on the blog. That person was one of the few I would trust with editorial control: MementoMorie. It was a pretty big moment for the blog, not just because I gave up some of my... unassailable control of the blog, but also because it further cemented the direction of the blog.
A favorite of mine and many others is the famous Valentines Day edition of the Sunday Ani-TAY Café, another Ani-TAY article tradition that continues until today.
Koda posted one of his opinion articles in early 2015 right around the same time that many were really getting behind sports anime around Ani-TAY, a love that would later extend to shows like Baby Steps and Haikyuu!
As seen here, Exile continues a now long-standing tradition and/or arms race of animated .gif review images as he reviewed Kantai Collection. This glorious wall of text can give even the Great Wall of China a run for its money. Like China though, we take pride in our giant wall.
In this special edition, Maelwys delivered on-the-spot investigative reporting into the events of April 1, 2015. It was a crazy time with insane plot twists, but luckily Mael was on the scene through it all.
The accidentally incredibly humorous Food Wars Recipes series from SeanStan kicked off with his Gotcha Pork article. Sean and company set out to replicate the fancy dishes from Food Wars in real life, while at the same time desperately trying to copy the cinematography of the show. The result was one of my favorite articles on the blog.
One in a long tradition of Ani-TAY humor articles that will never stop, the Summer 2015 Anime Preview was an article where each contributor attempted to form a coherent synopsis of the show based on the title and image only. The results, actually weren’t too bad in a couple of instances. Good guesses!
Yet another Ani-TAY tradition that is still going today. Every once in a while, we have a movie night where we all hope on a Discord chat and watch a movie together. It’s always fun, and occasionally you might discover a new favorite.
This was a re-edit of the original review I wrote for Muv-Luv in Spring 2014. Muv-Luv was the trigger for a great many things, and eventually became a significant pillar of Ani-TAY’s popular culture, being one of the most lively subsets of the community. Muv-Luv has given rise to many big moments for Ani-TAY, many of which were my favorite moments in our history.
As seen here, the .gif arms race is very much in full effect. This article was one of the smash hits of 2015 and a fitting close to the year. In the spirit of a great deal of articles that have been on here, this was a collab, and probably one of the biggest we’ve seen. Also one of my favorites.
And now we find ourselves in 2016. After the success of 2015, 2016 has been a relatively quiet affair once again. At the same time, the great .gif arms race continues.
The Animasochists is a little group of people inside the community bound together by their willingness to subject themselves to the worst our medium has to offer. Together, they decided to take down the worst of 2015 together in a article that we’ll never forget for all the wrong reasons.
The arms dealer behind the ongoing .gif wars showed us how he does his work. It’s a fascinating look at how this war I helped start has completely outstripped my ability.
Already one of our biggest articles this year, long-time resident Ishamael gave us his thoughts on the sequel to the nostalgic hit Dragon Ball Z. It’s a great addition to our excellent line of opinion articles.
I also want to toss in a shout out to ShadowHaken for his unflinching dedication to being our number one on-the-scene reporter. No one article stands out, but he’s certainly put a great deal of effort into his reporting.
It’s been a fabulous two years on the Ani-TAY Blog and I only had space for so many instances of our favorite moments. Some of our other great moments have been the many filler guides, Taykobon, and the Advent Calendar.
In this week of the second anniversary, you’ll notice a lot of old shame, like our old title, slogan, and images are back. In addition, we’ll be admiring other aspects of our history throughout the week. Stay tuned for more throughout the week!
Before we go, let’s appreciate the evolution of the blog’s branding from its amusing beginnings.
Anime Talk Amongst Yourselves (April-June 2014)
Ani-Talk Amongst Yourselves (July 2014-March 2015)
AniTAY (March 2015-Present)
Together Forever Alone (April-June 2014)
Everything Anime And Beyond (July 2014-Present)