Once More Into the Breach: The Aniblog Tournament

As you might have guessed by the title, yesterday marked the start of my match in the second round of the Aniblog Tournament. You may have also guessed that this post is the type of post that at some point, maybe after trying a bit of bribery or trash-talking or arguing for my superior worth, I’ll ask people to please go here to vote for The null set. And you’d be right on both accounts, but I’ll try to keep this interesting for you nonetheless.

Three Reasons Why You Should Vote For The Null Set

1.   I Have a Cute Nephew

And I have the pictures to prove it:


If that’s not a good enough reason to vote for me, I don’t know what is.

2.   I’m From Youngstown and I Know People

Sure some cities have nice sounding nicknames like ‘The City of Brotherly Love’ or ‘The Big Apple’ but my hometown has cooler sounding nicknames:  ‘Mob Town, USA’ and more recently ‘Murder Town, USA’. And don’t think these nicknames are misnomers, in the 90’s, for instance, Youngstown had the highest per capita homicide rate in America for many of the individual years of the 1990’s and we were either #2 or #3 all the other years.

3.   I’m Part Elven

If J.R.R. Tolkien is right about how elves develop a yearning for the sea the first time they get near it then it’s conceivable that I’m part elven because I seem drawn to it. Look how often it’s come up on my blog, here and here and here. In two months I’m going on a week long vacation at a beach house and that’s in addition to the beach trip I just went on (found a bunch of nice sea glass) and another trip sometime in June. Here’s some new pictures I took on the most recent visit.

Isn’t my blog the most awesome, so go here and vote for The null set now. ;)

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Okay, so this list wasn’t a serious one, though, everything said about me true. I do have a cute nephew and I’m proud of being from Youngstown and I do enjoy going to the beach. I included being from Youngstown because it is an important part of who I am. If you look past the nicknames and the murder rate and the inability to park your car on the street because sooner-or-later someone will break the windows in – I still think of it as a great place to live, it’s got the second largest urban park in America behind Central Park in New York City; the people are by and large good, hard-working people; and I’m optimistic the worst of it has past and the future will be a better one for Youngstown.

Now for the serious list as to why I think people should vote for The null set.

Three Reasons Why You Should Vote For The Null Set

1.   Unique Philosophy to The Null Set

I wanted The null set to be a successful anime blog and not wither away after a few short months. To do this, I needed to find something that would separate this blog from other blogs and I needed to believe that whatever this blog did, it had some importance to my potential readers.

What I eventually came up with as The null set’s mission is to get people to watch good anime, even if that means trying something they normally wouldn’t and to steer people away from wasting their time with bad anime. This influences everything I do, even if it’s not apparent. I normally write my anime posts as if the audience reading them has not seen the anime in question which means including as few spoilers as possible, among other things. The types of anime posts I write mainly – impression posts of new anime, series reviews, season previews, and seasonal/yearly anime awards – are designed with this mission in mind. I’d rather have people spending time watching good anime then spending time reading what I have to say about good and bad anime.

2.   Wider Variety of Content

I have only the highest respect for episodic blogs and their ability to cover the same shows week in and week out; I’d probably burn out quickly if I tried. I think the format, however, is very constricting and it would limit the quality of my blog since many of my most read posts and the posts I’m most proud about wouldn’t fit into that format.

For example, there was my rebuttal to Mr. Sherman, president of Bang Zoom, about the impending death of anime in America and from a couple of years ago, my two-part (1, 2) rebuttal to the “documentary” that Otaking put out. There’s also this post where I used the licensing patterns of the anime from 2008 to show that instead of blaming fansubs, maybe studio execs should be looking at the shows they license; the post still holds up well though there’s been some more licensing of 2008 anime shows since I wrote it back in November.

From time-to-time I like to pit two series or two characters against each other to see who would win. The most read one remains the Haruhi vs. Gurren Lagann one I did back in 2008 but the one I had the most fun putting together was the Haruka Minami vs. Ibuki Ikaruga battle because I was surprised by the winner.

I also enjoy dabbling with Photoshop because it exercises my creative side a different way then writing does. The result is often posting wallpapers that I’ve made. The Soul Eater ones (1, 2, 3) have been the most popular; my Toradora ones actually got linked to by a Japanese anime blog which I thought was great. My favorite wallpaper was one I did for Bakemonogatari that splices Araragi and Mayoi onto a picture I took while on vacation at Washington D.C.. I also once tried out vector tracing using Muraski from Kure-nai. And I also sometimes take the time to stitch together those pan-up shots the animators do of a really awesome outfit/character. The latest was one I did the other day after watching episode 5 of Katanagatari and I might as well share it with you know as thanks for reading this far down.

There’s also those posts that are hard to categorize except to say that something about the anime I was watching or manga I was reading at that time interested me and I wanted to share. There was a recent post about fixing a joke I read in the Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei manga, there’s this post where I mention anime songs that make me cry, the post about how animators seem fascinated with the night sky, a post about how anime needs more mature characters, and the post where I talk about When an Anime Becomes a Keeper.

3.   Winning Would Do The Most Good For The Anime Blogosphere

I struggled with how to word this one without sounding presumptuous and I still don’t think I quite got it right. I’m not saying that my anime blog is super important or even more important than my opponent, Bokutachi no Blog, but the feedback I received during the first round and pressure to make my blog competitive for the second round pushed me to improve The null set and winning in this round will push me even harder to improve the quality of The null set to make it competitive for the next round. I have several ideas that I think would make very interesting posts which have been kicking around in my brain for a while now, waiting for a good time to get written, and trying to win in the third round would be a very good reason to get them written. I’m even thinking about bring back my weekly anime review.

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So, hopefully, something I said has convinced you to go here and vote for The null set in the Aniblog Tournament; I’m currently behind by a little bit but with your help, I might just win.

Yes We Can! With your help The null set can win.

I wasn’t going to try the bribery route but I just had an idea that attempts to bribe while still keeping within the parameters of running The null set like normal. If I win my second round match-up, I’ll watch and write a series review of any one randomly selected anime (up to say 40 episodes in length) picked from a list generated of people leaving a comment at this post saying that they voted for me and the name of the anime they’d like me to review. Of course, I can’t verify if the winning person did, in fact, vote for me but I’m willing to trust in my readers. And  no matter the legitimacy of the comment, I’ll still be reviewing a show I haven’t done yet and I’ll only do it when I win so it’s a win-win for everyone involved.

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13 thoughts on “Once More Into the Breach: The Aniblog Tournament”

  1. Oh, you’re from Youngstown? Are you a big Kelly Pavlik fan?

    Loved reading the three real reasons though. Best of luck!

  2. Am I able to suggest something like Queen’s Blade? :3

    It was an easy pick for me. I read this blog and I don’t find Bokutachi to be the kind of stuff that’s up my alley.

    And my pick? Totally a joke. Or is it?

  3. Really? I find the more “proper” reason to be crap and the first few reasons to be so awesome that I should vote for you.

    Got to know your audience more, mate, got to know your audience more :P

  4. @RP: I’m not much of a boxing fan in general but I am a Kelly Pavlik fan. Youngstown has produced a fair amount of boxing champions over the last few decades.

    @zzeroparticle: You can pick anything, as long as it’s not something I already reviewed. I know that opens me up to being forced to watch something horrible but I’ll take one for the team, if that’s what it takes.

    @Impz: Thanks for the comment, I’ll keep that in mind. :)

  5. I agree with the statement above me. That 5camp guy’s got nothing on you. Scamp, on the other hand, is an entirely different challenge.

  6. ^who’s 5camp? :/
    (that was sarcastic)

    LOL nice post. Of course, it’s just a friendly competition so to our team we’re using this tournament to see what kind of blog attracts people and how we could improve our own, but I’m glad to see that others are taking that initiative as well. good luck.

  7. Whoo! Of course I voted for you!

    I guess it was a little biased thought because yours is the only blog I suscribe to. U.U;

    But I always read your posts! You taught me about Shaft; it was amazing. And I enjoy your insight, even though I don’t always agree -cough cough-.

    Anyway good luck and keep it up! ;)

  8. Excellent photos and nice stitching of that girl from Katanagatari :) I also like Yotsuba banner :)

    Tsk, tsk… All those Obama tactics… Look where they lead us :P

    I wish you good luck, just keep in mind what winning or loosing rounds in this tournament actually means ;)

  9. Can’t argue with the adorable nephew in reason one to vote for you, haha. What REALLY got me was the Elven reference though; love for Middle Earth goes beyond the realms of blogging.

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