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 50% chance I’ll get back to you in a timely manner. If you have something urgent, you can reach me by email (see below).

About the Blogger

Yo! I’m iblessall, the author of Mage in a Barrel. And I have the best worst taste in anime. First off, thanks for stopping by! I love writing about anime and I love sharing that writing with others. It means a lot to me that you’ve come by to visit my blog.

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 just to read through some of the posts on the front page of the blog. While my areas of interest are varied, my fundamental concerns, I think, are evident in all of my posts.

I’m a practicing Catholic, which means that my faith and the worldview that faith facilitates inform the way I think, respond, and write on this blog. While I don’t consider this to be a “Catholic” anime blog, nor am I interested in proselytizing, my spiritual leanings inevitably seep into my preferences, opinions, and criticisms. Thus, you’ll find that my interests in the Three Transcendentals—Truth, Goodness, and Beauty—are my utmost concern here.

I’m also a hopeful person, what someNekomonogatari Kuro 4 people might call a “Positive,” which means I like happy endings, heartwarming stories, bright colors, beautiful landscapes, and moegirls. Although I take most of my writing fairly seriously, I really enjoy the sillier ways to be an anime fan. Best girl wars? Love them. Shipping? I’m a proud sailor. Absurd literary interpretations of undeserving shows? I do that, too.

In the end, I’m just looking for shows that are beautiful and valuable experiences. Bring me joy, bring me hope, tell me something about the human condition I didn’t know before. Say something meaningful. Let me have fun. Challenge me intellectually. All these results, and many more, make up the sorts of things I look for when I watch an anime.

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. I’m a writer by trade and education, but I love to dabble in different aspects of anime, so you’ll find that sometimes I’m writing about themes, others about cinematography, others about my personal experience with a show, others just about the technical aspects of the writing. In my mind, 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 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.

(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

Thanks for reading, subscribing and watching. I hope you find what you’re looking for. Let me leave you with this poem, “A Way of Looking,” by Elizabeth Jennings. It speaks to the ways in which we are often privileged to see our worlds in new ways. My hope for this blog is that you find new ways to see through my writing, even as I do the same.

It is the association after all
We seek, we would retrace our thoughts to find
The thought of which this landscape is the image,
Then pay the thought and not the landscape homage.
It is as if the tree and waterfall
Had their first roots and source within the mind.

But something plays a trick upon the scene:
A different kind of light, a stranger colour
Flows down on the appropriated view.
Nothing within the mind fits. This is new.
Thought and reflection must begin again
To fit the image and to make it true.

33 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. 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


  3. 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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