Why Mage in a Barrel?

As I expect most of you have probably noticed, there’s a new banner at the top of my blog! You probably have also realized that the words scrawled across that banner by my barely sufficient graphic design skills say, “Mage in a Barrel,” not “Life and Anime.”

Take this as the official announcement: the name of my blog has changed to Mage in a Barrel.

So, why the name change? While I’ve only been blogging seriously since February of this year, Life and Anime has been the name of the blog since my first post on Cowboy Bebop‘s first episode back in June of 2013.

There are a couple reasons: 1) Life and Anime, while probably an SEO friendly name, has always struck me as a somewhat generic name and, while it expressed my goals for the blog at the beginning of its existence, my writing style and focus has evolved since that time. 2) I was bored of the other name. 3) MiaB is a slightly more unique acronym than LaA. 4) Mage in a Barrel has a few more layers of significance for me than Life and Anime.

The name Mage in a Barrel is a reference to the first episode of Blast of Tempest. In this episode, we’re introduced to Hakaze, who is the mage in a barrel, a girl who preserves through remarkable circumstances and eventually arrives out of the past into the present day in a blaze of light. I’m not so egotistical as to compare my arrival on the aniblogging scene to Hakaze’s triumphant emergence in the present, but I certainly relate with the action of coming out of the past into a chaotic contemporary world. As you all know, I’m one of the more conservative anibloggers in terms of morals, etc. and inhabiting the anime blogosphere/Anitwitter has exposed me to a wide range of disparate ideas from my own. It’s a wild world out there for a kid like me.

The tagline I came up with for the blog’s new name is as follows: “An Anime Blog for Those Who Want to Find Light in Unexpected Places.” A little Disney, a little cheesy, but I think it expresses well the main focus of the blog now and (ideally) in the future. I like the idea of sticking your head into the barrel that is the anime fandom and not knowing what you’ll see inside, but being pleasantly surprised to find something different inside. Like light. Or magic. Or just something worth having seen.

The most important takeaway, though, is that nothing’s really going to be changing around here anytime soon. I’m planning on sticking to my current schedule (Highlights of the Week on Wednesdays and Anime Artwork Adventures on Fridays), working out a show or two to do episodic posts on each season, and larger projects as I watch other shows or as they strike me. Thanks to everyone who has stuck with me all this time and continues to read. I may like writing a whole lot on its own, but I like writing for an audience a heckuva lot more.

Soul Eater

Note: At least one person has asked me why it’s Maka on the banner and not Hakaze. It’s because Maka’s my favorite character, and that’s that.

12 thoughts on “Why Mage in a Barrel?

  1. I meant to say at some point that I liked the new banner! Very you. 🙂 Though if I were you I’d probably change the alt-text when you hover over it.

    You’re totally right about the anime fandom being so big and crazy, I’m surprised by how quickly you’ve managed to get your foot in the door everywhere. I was watching anime for like five years before I even realised anime blogs were a thing. =_=

    You’ve probably noticed since I tend to comment here quite a bit nowadays, but I do quite like your blog. It’s got this nice, welcoming atmosphere that makes it a pleasant place to hang out. I’ll be looking forward to whatever content you drum up from here on out ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I’m glad you like the banner, since you’ll be looking at it for a long time! I should have tracked the hours I spent on it/learning how to work GIMP, but it was probably at least 7 or 8, maybe more. (Does the alt-text not say “Mage in a Barrel”? That’s what I see…)

      As for the fandom and getting my foot in the door, I like to think that I do offer a fresh, different voice that people aren’t used to hearing. Part of me suspects people like positivity and light and joy and the things I like to focus on more than they’d like to admit, but I don’t want to project too much.

      Finally, thanks! It’s been great to have you around, both as a commentor & someone to chat with on Twitter! As for the welcoming atmosphere, you can probably direct your thanks to based SHAFT, Chitoge-chan, and the soft colors they drew her in.

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  2. My own love of Zetsuen no Tempest aside, I really like the new name. As you say, it’s less generic (and just more fun in general) than the old one; I’d assume that even people who had no idea about the reference would still find it pretty cool.

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    • No need to put your love of Tempest aside! It’s very, very welcome here! & yeah, that was my hope—that it would stick out a bit more and that newcomers to the show or the blog would find it interesting.

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  3. I also a bit conservative when it comes to moral and ethics, so i tend to be strict when it comes to it. But for me, being exposed to different ideals can really give me a new insight on viewing things, so it’s not all bad.

    Anyway like your new banner and blog name. Glad i am not the only one who like Maka. She’s quite rare for shonen protagonist.

    Like

  4. I drop by once a week or so, but often enough to get the Mage in a barrel reference as well as the choice of Maka. I did watch Blast of tempest because of a recommendation here, and quite liked it.

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