I Struggle to Shine…

It’s time for me to be nostalgic… and cheesy…

Tomorrow is like an empty canvas that extends endlessly; what should I write on it?

I was literally going with an uninspiring title like “tl;dr”, as I’ve been just sitting in front my laptop, blankly staring at my screen, mulling what to write for some time. The recent events in Japan sure have rattled me and when you have lots of work on your plate, you don’t really have time to mull, for that matter even think. Though, it has been a lazy weekend (thank god, no work!), so I’ve managed to clear up some backlog (KnT roundup, hells yes!) and populated my drafts at Metanorn. However, if you have caught onto the drift, the above lines are inspired by Durarara!!’s OP “Complications” lyrics:

Kagirinaku hirogaru mashiro na ashita ni nani wo egaku?

Tomorrow is like an empty canvas that extends endlessly; what should I sketch on it?

Genjitsu ga someyuku makkura na ashita ni nani wo egaku?

Reality begins to stain the canvas black; what should I draw?

Mogaki kagayaku.

I struggle to shine.

And with that my full year at METANORN is COMPLETE. Yes, it was exactly last year that I did my first Drrr! post and I’ve gone over that one-year milestone that every aniblogger dreads. According to popular belief, one year is the burnout time for an anibloggers (for some even sooner), but I would like to think the opposite of me, taking inspiration from the many seasoned anibloggers around me. After all, I’ve done more than 200 posts already and whatever the situation is, I always take out time for my home away from home. It feels like yesterday that I went on a search rampage to find sites where I can actually talk about the animu I’ve so become obsessed with. One of them was Metanorn and within a month, I saw a Writers Wanted Shoutout. I did apply after a lot of trepidation and Kanzie accepted me wholeheartedly. I couldn’t even believe it but there I was, ready to review Durarara!! and Kimi ni Todoke in the beginning. I haven’t ever looked back since and been lucky to meet many brilliant anibloggers and likeminded friends, who have become my online family (much love to the buddy and blogroll sites).

Izaya, you just cursed this post didn’t you? Because I featured you in pink… Of all days, Metanorn faces named server issues while I’m posting, which is still being fixed so it’s inaccessible in most of the countries… =.=;;

You would ask, what do I get out of it? Why do I even do this? Interesting questions and I would just say, I took it as a challenge after Kanzie told me she couldn’t continue with Metanorn anymore. I remember thinking how it would feel if Metanorn went down and what would all the regular followers say about it? I guess my digital marketing background and obsession with the fandom helped in deciding to take the full reigns of Metanorn, while I followed up with migration to a new URL after a few months. I have always tried my best to improve our content and offer something innovative now and then. You will soon see just how but let me rant on to my heart’s content.

I was pretty new to the concept of aniblogosphere when I joined last year, not new to blogging or even writing but writing about anime? Hells yes, as it’s tricky business after all. I took time in adapting to the site’s format first and then later worked on improvements wherever I saw them. I chose the Team Blog way because in no hell I could have continued to dish out four episodics per week along with the usual music releases forever. Having a fulltime job is tough and there are days, when I can only clear the spam and keep contact with my team mates. Though, it’s in my nature to do everything at 120% because that is the only way I know. I don’t believe in kaam-chalao (Urdu word to describe work at less than optimal level), work so I struggle to do better and shine like ginga bishounen?! You wish…

Puns aside, my aniblogging strategy for Metanorn is a three-step process (sounds very corporate but hey, I can’t deviate from my profession):

  1. Planning: What type of content we should write about (episodics, music, editorials, tl;dr, recommendations, news/views, etc.), what are the hot cakes of the season (series wise), Contests, Competitions and Surveys (Polls, preference surveys, new spin on an old topic, etc.), seasonal offerings for the readers and surprise projects. Teehee.
  2. Organizing: The most important element in a Team Blog is communication. Together we stand, divided we part; sounds cheesy but that is exactly how it is. We try to stay connected on almost daily basis and chat up whenever we are on MSN. Emails threads are our primary contact, while we have an internal communication dashboard that is used for announcements. Different members are made responsible for different posts so rather than burdening a single person, we do a lot of shared work. This not only builds the team but helps in making all those hilarious tag-team reviews.
  3. Delivering: Ideas can curl up and die if they are left alone for too long or are expected to mature overnight.  Our Ideas Bank (yes, we do have one xD), currently has at least five matured ideas that we are working on. There is no ETA as yet but we will not take a year to make it a reality. Planning and organizing is a BIG part of a team blog and if you don’t preplan and always end up on adhoc-content, reader amusement would remain at a low level. Surprise your readers, that is how things remain fresh off the press~

Obligatory Shiki pic~

Anyway, enough with Metanorn Leaks and onto at least trying to finish this post. This one year has been one hell of a trip—in a very good way. After ten series successfully blogged, 1,000 words on average written per 200+ posts and amazing response, I am just not bored of aniblogging and see nothing but to continue. You can say, my enthusiasm injection comes from managing Metanorn. This completion just reminds me of one fact: Metanorn is going to be three-years-old this May. Yep, a big milestone to be reached and I can only wish and hope we are around many more years to come.

Of course, I couldn’t have done it without my team, every one of whom has helped me keep the site alive, especially Will, who has been a big contributor in running different modules of the site. Metanorn Team, thank you for listening to me most of the times, even when I do bug some of you more than others. Thank you for keeping with ultra ambitious projects and putting more time than I could have imagined from each of you, which has made Metanorn what it is today. To all the old and new members, thank you so very much. Also, how can I forget our AWESOME readers/lurkers? THANK YOU for hanging out with us and such interesting comments. They make our day, they are that awesome! Also, chatlog amuses me to no end and I might be posting some of the excerpts one day.

Before ending this post, I have an announcement to make: I have three special posts lined up, one of which is something we’ve been hinting around the site for some time. Yes, we are definitely working on something, but the magnitude of that project was so big that we couldn’t keep the Valentine’s Day deadline. Would you hear about it soon? Depend on it! Work is still being done as I write this but you’ll hear more about it soon enough.

So, yes, THANK YOU for all the cheese! Even if I’ve switched to extremely healthy food these days, I will munch on some cottage kind and eat Strawberry Häagen-Dazs in hopes of entertaining you all for many years to come.

Yoroshiku Onegaishimasu~

PS: If anyone’s curious about the main image, that’s Reiko Natsume; I can’t wait for the third season of Natsume Yuujinchou!


The Boss lady of Metanorn, who makes it all happen. An animanga enthusiast, who watches/reads almost anything that strikes her fancy. Just beware of her Death Perception and always keep her happy. Regularly found at @KyokaiTM & #[email protected].
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67 Responses to “I Struggle to Shine…”

  1. Hana says:

    I approve of the ice-cream eating (Though B&J’s is also yummy). Seriously though, congrats on the milestone (thought you’d been doing it for longer, for some reason, idk…), and thanks for all the FUN you guys bring to the ‘sphere, not least of all those joint Arakawa posts that I enjoyed reading so much over the past 12 months! Wishing you guys all the best! 🙂

    • Kyokai says:

      I love B&J’s too… *drools* Though, I’m kind of staying away from it for some time. xD

      Thanks you for the wishes, hon. Looking forward to keep on entertaining you with more amusing posts. xD

      *First comment cookie*

  2. *clap clap clap*
    Take a bow, Kyokai, cause you more than deserve it!
    Thanks for your hard work on Metanorn!
    And no worries about the burnout thing, I’m sure you’re an exception xD

    • Kyokai says:

      *takes a bow*

      Thank you, Star-chan~ <3 And yeah, I'll definitely be sticking around. :3

  3. Foshizzel says:

    YAY Kyokai! congrats on a full year! Woooooooooo!! It’s funny most people got started blogging through Durarara! I know that’s what got me interested in doing it 😀

    Many more years to come! Thanks for all your hard work helping us with posts and thinking up all kinds of fun things for us to plan.

    • Kyokai says:

      Aww, thanks, Fosh! :3

      I guess Durarara!! has that flair of extra talk of when you get obsessed with it, you just can’t shut up about it! 0.0

      Definitely a lot more year of ruling the world and torturing loving my team. Fufufufuuu…

  4. baka_girl says:

    Congrats, Kyokai-san! *throw confetti & fireworks*
    Really, in just one year, you make this site become better & popular. Awesome indeed! xD
    Actually, I kinda miss the time when you started writing in Metanorn. Back then, when I visit Metanorn, all I can see was Kanzie & Tsui post. Well, maybe because I didn’t visit that much last year 🙂
    Anyway, please keep entertaining us readers and lurkers! Looking forward that three special post you mentioned here 😀
    Ganbatte ne!

    • Kyokai says:

      Aww, thank you, Wi-chan! <333 I got really attached to it. :3
      I'm still amazed at the fact that it's been a year already. A very busy yet fulfilling year.
      Hopefully, you enjoyed the three bonus posts~ ^^

  5. Overcooled says:

    You survived a full year! Now it’s time to start all over again~

  6. Namika says:

    Congrats, Kyokai~ ^O^
    I’m gonna say something SO CHEEZY and stupid now, but there’s no way I could hold that back ^^” As an otaku, I was practically raised by Metanorn. Knowing near to nothing about anime in the end of 2009, when I discovered Metanorn, I learned everything here during this year, so .. Minna daisuki!! ^O^
    Good luck, and let Metanorn strike ten times greater milestones !!!! <3

    • Namika says:

      But now I feel REALLY embarrassed for saying this ^^”

      • Kyokai says:

        It was not cheesy and stupid at all! I kinda felt proud hearing that; we make more otakus come to life? How is that not awesome?! XD

        Definitely a lot more milestones coming around. Thanks for all the support! ^^

  7. MikADo says:

    i loled on obligatory shiki pic and the strawberry hagen daz XD congrats on your survival Kyokai :3 I would have joined metanorn if i had the ability to write, but my literature skills fail me ; ( so i have to take on the pleasure of reading the posts others make and post comments and enjoy :3 metanorn i knew a year ago and now seems very different, but it still has the air of passion and enthusiasm for anime, and thats going to be the reason why i will stay here… not to mention i will be expecting great posts from you : ) Again Congrats and I hope to see this post again next year :3

    • Kyokai says:

      Shiki is necessary after all! :3

      Thanks, Mikado, for the encouragement~ We love our regulars and it’s always nice to logon to Justchat and chat up all the regulars. We do our part but our regulars is what makes Metanorn so enjoyable.

      Depend on more upcoming stuff? Definitely! ^^

  8. Renn says:

    Congrats on your first full year! That seems like a huge milestone from where I’m standing. xD

    Thanks for your hard work at this blog. 🙂 I just started looking at aniblogs this year, and Metanorn has always stood out to me.

    Can’t wait to see the three special posts. 😀

    • Kyokai says:

      Nice to see you here, Renn. xD

      Thanks for the compliments. It still seems a bit weird to me that one year has already gone. I hope you stick around to see more years pass so that I can make a comment like this on SJ too. ^^

  9. Tofu says:

    THREE YEARS!!??! WOAH!! That’s impressive (I must of forgotten ^^”) But hey, good work for your milestone accomplishment, I hope you’ll continue to stay as the head boss of Metanorn Kyo cause all sites are built around the readers and writers, with one writer gone or especially the head boss, Metanorn wouldn’t be Metanorn any more ;D

    I LOVE CHEESE~! xD *random*

    I would say some cheesy lines but I can’t think of any at the moment, but one thing for sure is that, these past few weeks were great fun, and I’m sure the future in front of me as a new writer would be filled with happiness and joy and friendship amongst a multicultural community who have come to share one thing: there love for the fandom ^^ Being a new writer on Sekijitsu, I’ve learnt so much, and met more people, getting comments is (as I’ve heard in the past) really, really… heart filling? 😛 I don’t know how to say it, I enjoy getting comments and just replying back (but I have a feeling I might not reply as much in the future due to my laziness at times) but don’t worry guys, I still read them ^^ It’s like I’m accomplished something once I publish my post and I’m wondering in my chair…what else can I do to help Sekijitsu?? xD But with RL it’s hard to accomplish that…

    Well anyway, that my share of my short reminiscence of a few weeks back XD I’m really liking your Shiki picture and I can’t wait to see what’s the UPCOMING post about ;D Although I believe I know what it is already~

    • Kyokai says:

      Thanks, Tofu. I’ve been very fortunate in getting so many regulars and I assure you I’m planning to go nowhere and will always be around hopefully.

      All the best of luck with your journey with Sekijitsu and I’m curious to know, what were you thinking about the next post? Because I think that was the Metanorn matchmaking one and no one knew what it was all about. xD

      • Tofu says:

        I was actually thinking of a podcast but I was wrong when I saw the matchmaking one. THEN! Just yesturday, I saw a podcast post and I was like: I KNEW IT! xD

  10. Amutofan123 says:

    Wow, a whole year! Congrats! I would never be able to make it that long. Anyway, I certainly appreciate all you have done for Metanorn. This has become such a great place where I can make friends who share the sames interests I do.

    • Kyokai says:

      Thank you very much. It’s been a great experience and with regulars like you, it’s just amazing to share similar interests and fangirl to my heart’s content. ^^

  11. Joojoobees says:

    Congratulations and thanks as well, for all of the hard work you do, because it pays out to all of us who enjoy coming to Metanorn on a regular basis.

  12. anaaga says:

    i want to see nyanko-sensei NOW. is it really announced?

    congrats on making it through your first year. some people don’t last that long.
    i’m not gona give u any cheese because i hate being embarrassed over stuff. tsundere i am
    three things? hmm i’m actually curious about it now.

    • Kyokai says:

      It has been indeed announced! I can’t wait as well. It’s going to be sooo goood! Thanks, and I hope I remain to be the exception to the one year rule. ^^

  13. Kushi says:

    Congrats on your anniversary Kyokai! I’m sure just as Metanorn has grown in team and readers with your support, the Metanorn team and the readers will be here to support you when you’re feeling burned out~
    Keep on going! fighting!

    • Kyokai says:


      You know what? Comments like these make my day. Gambari-masu~ ^^

  14. Bass says:

    OMG it’s finally here. I can’t believe it’s already a year for you in metanorn. It seems like only yesterday when Flags and Mint stole you for some guest posts >_<

    200 posts in a year is amazing, that is quite a publishing rate. Metanorn has grown so much since you took over and I have no doubt it's gonna throw tons more in the future.

    Here's to another year for you with us and let's beat that dreaded blog death for another year XD

    • Kyokai says:

      Hahahaaa! Oh yes. It srsly seems like yesterday that we were doing those epic chats and talking nonstop and planning new things for Sekijitsu.

      Thank you for all the compliments, I guess, being passionate in what I do is what increases my drive. I have become a comment/feedback hound for sure.

      Here for more years and breaking that curse? Hell YEAH! ^^

  15. Mint says:

    What a year, huh? It’s been fun seeing Metanorn grow and change over the years, and it’s definitely been flourishing under your mad leadership skills, Kyo. ;D It does seem like just yesterday when we met, lol.

    Here’s to many more!

    • Kyokai says:

      I sure blended a lot of things but it has been fun managing things. I have more fun for this than work but yeah, amazing friends made. <3

      Definitely many more. Cheers!

  16. Reaper says:

    Don’t let up Kyokai! You’ve been doing a great job torturing watching over Metanorn like its guardian! Metanorn and Kyokai forever!

  17. Reaper says:

    having said that…i’ll take this opportunity to ask how do I get a display pic with my posts? I’ve been wondering for some time…

  18. amado says:

    hmm, so that means I was here around the time you also joined metanorn…

    I found metanorn when I was looking for anime blog sites who were blogging durarara.
    so thanks to you, I found metanorn as one of the sites I usually comment on and visit.

  19. Starry says:

    I shall continue reading Metanorn until the end of time! 😀

  20. Sebz says:

    congrats on one year! ^_^

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