It’s weird. For someone who can’t even remember his own birthday, I sure don’t seem to have difficulty remembering when I created and started writing reviews on Anime Instrumentality. Part of it lies in the difficulty of the blogging task. Surviving for 365 days straight without dying isn’t hard; billions of people succeed in doing just that every year. But maintaining a hobby for 365 days where, at times, the process of doing so often seems like work and quitting is so easy to do? That’s much harder. These milestones then become that much more important than a silly birthdate.
So with April soon over, it’s time to acknowledge that Anime Instrumentality has passed its third year in existence, with all of the privileges that the milestone brings. For one, it puts us in a class alongside other blogs that somehow aren’t sensible enough to die at the commonly-observed two-year mark. Also, there are quite a few curmudgeony benefits that come with age that’ll explain a bit later.
But first, the reminiscing! That naturally leads into my attempts to come up with a series of posts that try to cover a wider topic so that they’ll bring some diversity to the steady stream of review after review after review. Last year’s focus was on all of the anime music, both BGM and OP/ED, from 2000-2009 (indexed here for your pleasure). That series was a whole lot of fun to write and people enjoyed the snippets that I put up. This year, as you can probably guess, the focus is on anime composers. In the interest of completeness, we’re finding that this series is actually very challenging to write about, mostly because listening to a composer’s entire discography is no small task. Still, we’re having fun with that and you can expect Taku Iwasaki’s profile to come out sometime in May.
A lot of other things happened too. The Aniblog Tourney brought us into the mainstream (and scaring away our hipster fanbase for good). I attended Anime Expo as a member of the press corps, albeit, for Original Sound Version (but still got an article about Megumi Nakajima and May’n as well as an abridged concert report out of it anyways). We also scored an interview with the jazz arranger, Rasmus Faber (and you really should check out his music!). Oh, and we also doubled our dedicated staff, adding Aftershok and Yu to the team, encouraged others to contribute guest posts, and through that, possibly discouraging anyone else from creating a site wholly devoted to anime music critiques/reviews. That last bit is kind of a shame, but what can you do?
I mentioned above that the three-year mark entitles me to certain benefits. Not to the point where I can pontificate like what Andy Rooney does every week (if Anime Instrumentality reaches the five-year mark, I’ll think about it then), but close. A few examples:
- When normal, average people take me out to karaoke, expecting me to join in and sing Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga songs with them, I’m allowed to be totally shameless in picking and singing anison while they look on, wide-eyed in shock, surprised that I can sing in Japanese (with the aid of Romanized lyrics written on a piece of paper). Besides, I’m not familiar with any Top40 song that’s come out in the last 20 years in the States anyways, so it’s a bit of a lost cause to expect me to know the tunes that everyone else knows.
- I can loudly proclaim that the music today is worse than the music from ten years ago, abetted by the idol phenomenon that prizes looks over ability and whose fans have the attention-span of a gnat as they move from idol to idol with no concept of loyalty. And then sheepishly admit that I don’t really listen to idol-pop. In all seriousness, the only issue I have with idols is their ubiquity. Sometimes, I wish they’d just go away, but most of the time, they’re pretty easy to ignore.
- Complain when shows with good music (I’m frowning at you, Cross Game) never get a soundtrack release. Complain when shows with good music only issue soundtrack releases bundled with the DVDs/Blu-rays. This latter issue is actually becoming more and more commonplace. While I can see why the bundling happens (I doubt soundtrack CDs sell all that well unless it’s for something like Macross Frontier), it absolutely drives me nuts all the same. Sometimes, we get lucky like we did with Working!! and Kara no Kyoukai’s soundtracks. Sometimes not. All I can say is that Madoka better have a standalone soundtrack release or I’ll quietly rage. Or find some more productive way of showing my displeasure.
So yes, Anime Instrumentality might be old, but it has not quite reached the point of being crotchety just yet. Either way, we look forwards to seeing faces old and new as we venture into our fourth year of existence!