The last post of 10th anniversary week comes from me. The originator, the creator of the site you are reading. I am the man with the plan, the boss with the sauce and so on and so forth.
Aside from indulgent self-congratulations done Barry Horowitz style I don’t have much to say that hasn’t been said already. Well other than “Happy birthday to us!” Yes we have hit double digits in age. It’s only downhill into old age from here right? =)
But seriously, it’s great to see that the current roster of contributors have such nice things to say about their time here and have experienced some form of personal growth in their writing skills or have had their lives enriched through an opportunity afforded to them through this site. If you missed their musings, you can catch up by reading the articles below:
I have watched this project grow from being a bit of a one-off that I did on the side to what is now (for better or worse) embedded into the fabric of my life.
Would I have traveled to so many places in America if it were not for my interest in J-Pop? (And to some extent K-Pop) Maybe, but I probably would have just been a regular spectator instead of press. Which is fine, but you know, that “access” and all.
My frequent trips to Japan also tie into this site. I don’t believe I would be going so often if I had not invested in learning about the artists I write about and realizing the only place I can really see them perform in their element is in their home country.
I’m certainly glad that I can now reasonably save to go every year since there was a rather large gap between my first trip in 2007 and my second in 2012. Now I go every year if I can.
And even though I usually go for a vacation there are some site specific purposes for heading to the land of the rising sun every year be it a travel log or reports on concerts that I have been fortunate enough to attend. At least I’ll have something written down about the stuff I did should I ever start hitting senility early.
So what about the growth of the site from 2006 until now? Well I believe that there was a small reputation of this place being opinionated very early on and that grew exponentially as the years have gone by. Part of this is because I was (or perhaps still am) rather unforgiving when it comes to something in the fandom I disagree with or find completely absurd. I try to choose my words a little more wisely than in my youth these days but not much has changed in regards to my attitude as I have gotten older.
I believe that with the current balance of contributors we have perhaps this is a friendlier place to visit. Or at least it’s got a few more varied viewpoints other than mine. So if you think I’m a jerk, there’s at least someone else here who might be on the same wavelength as you.
Now comes the more difficult part of this retrospective. What do I feel are my best works over the 10 years that this site has existed? It should be no surprise that I have the highest post count of all who have written for the site. So yeah, there’s a lot of stuff to sift through.
I have narrowed it down to a select few commentary articles. Why commentaries? Well reviews are fairly subjective and I feel they don’t necessarily show my writing style as much. Whereas commentaries are pretty much about as honest as I get.
Anyway, I’ll do my best to describe what I was thinking at the time when I wrote them.
The best (or worst) of Greg
This is probably one of the rare times when I got political and also asked people to send money to a cause that needed it. And at the time it was a response to some social media bullshit (as much of my commentaries seem to be) that I felt was insensitive and a little uncalled for in the wake of a major natural catastrophe.
My introduction to the AKB48 fandom was not a nice one and spurred on by a Twitter conversation that went sideways I wrote this as a way of getting my point across and as a general way of telling folks with certain character traits to chill out.
I will not name the parties involved in this altercation but suffice it to say I probably have achieved more in my short time in AKB48 fandom then they have ever. For them I have a Stone Cold salute right here.
I was invited to write an article for Idol Minded and this is what I came up with. Comparing professional sports teams and wrestling to idol fandom. It sounds like there’s nothing related at all, but strangely there really is.
Answering a reader question about the trend of attractive young idols hooking up with older, less attractive men and thinking about whether it brings hopes to all the average Joes out there.
The odd time I come out and defend Morning Musume, despite not really liking them a lot since the graduation of the many of the pillars of the previous generations.
Detailed accounts of my first AKB48 and NMB48 handshake events containing plenty of information for first-timers and those who want to live vicariously through others.
A more recent article that attempts to give some helpful advice to those who are unable to contain their excitement for Morning Musume ‘16’s upcoming appearance in Houston. Combining some of words of wisdom and of course small shots at the idiocy within the fandom.
Yeah. That’s it.
As for the future of this site? As ToZ said in his article, we’re trying to put a more concentrated effort into providing a consistent stream of content to all of you. It’s a slow process, but I think we’ll get there eventually.
I also would like to add more contributors, but I’m fairly picky about who gets to join us. So yeah, it’s kind of tough when certain expectations are required and few actually meet them. I’m just being honest. Don’t be whipping out the H bomb over that.
As I have said before. I would like to thank all of the past and present contributors for all you have done. And of course, all of you readers out there who continue to visit.
On to the next decade and beyond.