As you know if you read my ask.fm or my Anitwitter rantings or (occasionally) my blog, you’ll know that I have totally disavowed season preview posts. Thus, to preserve my dignity, I will not be writing a season preview post for at least another season before I probably change my mind because I can’t keep my mouth shut and want to hype up anime I know nothing about and want to do so badly enough to eat my words and mocking of season preview season and endure all the people who will (righteously) come to shout at me, “You said you’d never do a season preview and that they’re stupid! Look at you now, you hypocrite!”
Those days are coming, but they aren’t here yet! So for all my friends out there who are writing your season previews, here are 5 easy steps to writing a good season preview blog post. And for all of you readers who are sifting through piles of season previews and trying to decide what’s good or not, just check these steps to make sure the post you’re reading is worth your time. You’ll know how they’re supposed to be written after this; I trust you can make those decisions.
Step 1: Throw Caution to the Winds
When you sit down to write your season preview post, forget modesty, moderation, and realism! This is a season preview post! This is the most hypey of hype blog posts you’ll ever have a chance to write with the least amount of risk. It doesn’t matter if you get pumped up for a show like Glasslip that ends up being a surrealist drama instead of a nice slice-of-life romance—all you had to go on was a tiny plot summary, a studio name, and the notoriously inconsistent use of staff names to predict quality!
So, go ahead! Get hyped for anything and everything! Get negative hyped for things, if you so choose. Start hating on shows whose source material you haven’t even read! Do you see a character design you like? Awesome, awesome, everything is awesome! That show is going to be your new favorite anime of all time! Does the key visual have a protagonist with brown hair and sort of dead eyes surround by a bunch of really cute girls he probably doesn’t deserve? Decry that cancer; it’s ruining the anime industry!
For Readers: Does the post dispense with all pretense? Are they making rash, but interesting assumptions about the shows coming up? If so, LISTEN TO THEM.
Step 2: Pictures, Pictures, Trailers, Visuals
Listen up! Lots of people read season preview posts, so yours needs to be the most awesome, eye-catching, soul-snatching, reader-engrossing thing you’ve ever produced! This is one of your best chances to snag new readers for your blog and to make sure they get addicted to your incessant stream of anime-related rantings. And you know how you do that?
BIG PICTURES! SHINY IMAGES! MUSICS! VIDEOS!
This is the Twenty-First Century, people, the age of visual communication and instant gratification. If a new reader stumbles onto your blog and all they see is a gigantic wall of text with only itty bitty versions of those beautiful key visuals that production companies put out (except for the Log Horizon season 2 key visual—that thing’s an atrocity to the name of key visuals), you’ve already lost them. You have to give them a reason to stay, and if that means abusing a yuri fanart someone retweeted on Anitwitter, you abuse the crap out of that image. Just make sure it’s SFW. People read aniblogs to procrastinate from doing real world stuff. But back to visuals! The resources are there for you; make sure you use them!
For Readers: Does it look pretty? Are you entertained? If not, leave.
Step 3: At Least Try to Sound Excited
There’s nothing worst than reading a season preview filled with some elitist internet writer dude smugly listing off names of anime production staff and dully monotoning why Harem, Harem, Harem, Harem, Harem: The Anime is going to be absolute crap because it’s from Xebec and why Mature and Filled with Themes: The Anime is going to be AOTS. Yes, I know I said to through caution to the winds and make rash, ridiculous predictions, but c’mon! This is a brand new season of the greatest art form known to man! This is something you should be excited about, and your writing should show it.
I have complied a short list of writing techniques to aid bloggers in constructing a excited voice for their season previews:
- Abuse the exclamation mark!!!!!!!!
- Hyperbole is your long-lost best friend who came through 14,000 exploding cruise ships to reach you.
- Practice using active verbs: crushes, radiates, flashes, and torches are good examples.
For Readers: Do they sound pumped up? Are they ready for the greatest flood of great anime to ever grace your computer screen? If so, they’re probably delusional, but at least they’ll be fun to read.
Step 4: Make It Your List, Not Nobody Else’s
If you’re writing a season preview post, chances are you know at least a few other anibloggers who are doing the exact same thing. So, you’ve gotta stand out! You’ve gotta be unique! You’ve gotta offer something nobody else has!
Unfortunately, you’re also all writing about the same 40 or so shows that are coming out in any given season. And while picking different shows than your fellow bloggers might give you a bit of a boost, it’s not going to be enough. So why will readers come to read your blog, when they’ve already read about the same shows somewhere else? Because of you! Because you’re a winner. And you’re adorable. And everyone loves an adorable winner!
So strut your stuff, baby. Find a new angle, show off just exactly how adorable you are and people will love you for it (as long as you also are a winner).
For Readers: Is the blogger moe? Are they a little tsun? Are they über-genki? If so, stick around—you never know when they might clumsily trip and provide some quality hnnngg.
Step 5: Actually Write the Post
Writing’s hard. We all know this. Do what you have to do to make sure this happens. If you need to, schedule a bunch of stuff you can procrastinate from by writing the post. This is, often, the only way to ensure success.
For Readers: Do they actually have a season preview? If not, well…you can’t exactly read it.
And that’s all I’ve got. Good luck to all!
If you’ve got any advice for bloggers writing season preview posts or for readers looking for good ones, leave it in the comments so that others may benefit from your wisdom!