About the Blog

NOTE: Mage in a Barrel currently does not post regularly. That said, you’re certainly welcome to read the archives and leave comments. I do periodically check the comments, so if you leave one there’s a good chance I’ll respond.

About the Blogger

Hello! I’m iblessall, the founder of Mage in a Barrel—this is my blog, and all the writing you’ll find on the site is by me.

I started writing about anime first out of curiosity, then out of boredom, then out of a desire to channel (what was at the time) a new hobby into productive creativity, then out of wanting to continue to make new work for a loyal community, and finally out of inertia until, in August 2017, I stopped posting regular content on the blog. As the archives can attest, I was most active for a period of a little over 2 years, from early 2014 until about the end of 2016. And while I’m not done blogging, other priorities have slowly overtaken this project.

If this is your first time here, the best way to get a good idea of what this blog is all about is to check out my top shows list and to read through some of the posts in the “Review and Reflections” category. While my interests as a writer are varied, I like to thing that those things which are of highest priority to me are fairly obvious. These days, I prioritize creating blogs posts that stand on their own as creative works as much as they speak articulately about the anime being discussed—something I think has become even more unique as the star of anime blogging has diminished.

As a blogger, I’m definitely more of a postive type—a lover of happy endings, heartwarming stories, bright colors, beautiful landscapes, and moegirls. But I’ve also developed a taste over the years for stories that create beauty out of suffering and sadness. Call it optimism of another form, call it realism—in the end, I’m just looking for shows that are beautiful and valuable experiences. That’s what I’m looking for in the anime I watch, and those are the anime I most often like to write about.

I hope you enjoy your time here. Although I’m no longer as active as I once was, I’m still pretty proud of all the work I’ve done here on Mage in a Barrel and it’s still immensely gratifying that people continue to read my work.

About Mage in a Barrel

The core mission of this blog is to promote anime and elements of particular anime that I find to be beautiful.

You’ll find a variety of different posts on the site, some about themes, others about cinematography, others about my personal experience with a show, others just about the technical aspects of the writing. As I see it all these ways of analyzing a show are methods to unlocking deeper, more fulfilling, and more valuable artistic experiences.

A lot of what I write on this blog is to help myself achieve those experiences or just to process what I’m watching, but I no longer consider this solely a personal blog like I once did. Mage in a Barrel exists in the public sphere, and I consider myself to be writing for you, the reader, just as much as I’m writing for myself. My hope is that, through my work, you might discover new things to love about the anime I write about. If I’ve achieved that for even one person, it’s enough.

(If you’re wondering about the name of the blog, I wrote a post on it.)


Contact & Links

If you like my writing, I also wrote a weekly column on Crunchyroll for nearly two years.

Blogroll Policy

I only link to blogs I personally read, or whose authors I personally know. At this time, I am not exchanging links. Sorry!

Kyousougiga Demon Heart

Image Credits

34 thoughts on “About the Blog

  1. I finally just actually looked at your username and realized it says i bless all not some variation of isabelle as I had been reading it as.


    • I can let you know that you are not the first person to have been tripped up by this, or to have come to this revelation. It’s quite amusing for me, but then again, I look at this username constantly, so it’s not surprising that it’s pronunciation seem natural and obvious to me. 🙂


    • Hey there! Thanks for the compliment! I generally only link blogs I personally read (something I really need to put into this about page… >.>), but, again, I appreciate the offer! ^_^


  2. Hi i like your blog a lot im currently seeing your top 20 , i wanna know if you could put a review of steins gate,


  3. iblessall,

    I have really enjoyed reading your site. I am on a mission to learn more about anime so I can enjoy it with my 16 year old son. I so appreciate your reviews. My son keeps telling me I will love anime because I love Hallmark movies! I fully admit that I have been misinformed about the genre and positive influence some anime can have on its viewers. I look forward to following your blog!


    • Wow, thank you, Sherry! I think it is super cool that you’re reaching out to your son like this—I’ve heard far too many stories of how parents totally ignoring their kids’ interest in anime, which is such a bummer. I hope you two are able to find some shows you both enjoy! I hope my blog is helpful—and if you ever have specific questions about a certain show or want a recommendation or something, feel free to leave me a comment here or to find me on my ask.fm page: http://ask.fm/iblessall


  4. I noticed your Aniwords feature on Crunchyroll a few weeks ago and I finally followed the link to your site because I like the writing. I was amazed to agree with about 85% of your selections and orderings. I watch Anime for fun, artwork, music and not for something to give me nightmares. I am surprised you did not give yourself over to the surrealism of FLCL. I do cry way to much on things like Torodora. I guess our biggest varience is me being a atheist, but I mingle with all types. good art is good art.


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