Not Everything needs a Review – A commentary

This post is out there for all the bloggers who have a review ‘backlog’ of sorts. This post is that little push of maybe you can afford to drop one or two of those reviews. Not because of any particular reason, but you just need that affirmation it’s okay to let one or two series slide once in awhile. Just finish the series, take the deep breath, and not review it. I know I certainly needed a bit of prompting to remember that.

Not everything needs a review.

That almost sounds contradictory coming from a anime/manga/drama/movie reviewer like me. The majority of my content is reviewing and commenting about popular culture, so saying that sounds… almost stupid.

Almost.

I promise there’s a meaning behind that phrase. I’ll get there. Not reviewing something, is not the same as not viewing something. I’ve watching several hundred anime, and read several hundred manga series and obviously not all of them have been reviewed. In fact a grand majority of them I couldn’t be bothered to write a proper review on even when I was watching them in a timely manner. That’s not to say these series weren’t worth it.

I have never found a series to be truly ‘unremarkable’ I.E. I have nothing to say on it. Every series has something about it that makes it review worthy. It can be the faults in characters, the world building, sound design, re-watch value, representation, the list goes on and on about things you can comment on after finishing something. Even if that something is a bullet pointed list, preferably with examples of why the whole thing sucked, that’s still something.

But just because a series has one of those things, none of those things, all of those things, doesn’t mean you have to review it/comment it on it. Because sometimes, despite many people, myself included, saying that blogging is just an outlet for our hobbies; we forget to enjoy the thing we talk about.

It sounds weird, but it’s very true. Recently, despite my desire to make the focus of my blog more music centered I only put out one Japanese music related post. Being 100% real, I wrote that blog late last month and it’s been queued for quite some time. In all honesty, I doubt that I will have any more music related posts this month since despite my unwavering love; I haven’t felt compelled to ‘review’ it. 

I hit what I guess would be called writers block with music. I felt that I was compelled to write about the topics I’ve written about before, Visual Kei, girl bands, etc. If I deviated from those topics to something else in the slot I set aside for them that it would be disingenuous of me. Which really sounds dumb because a) I do this for fun b) I really only write those articles for my own personal satisfaction c) I’m not a pro, nor is anyone holding a gun to my head saying I have to write them, so if I don’t want to I don’t have to.

For some of us though, that’s really hard to remember. The majority of the blogs I follow are doing this for fun, for the community, aka there’s very few of us going out there to seek profit or fame. If I, as a blogger want to completely re-vamp and change my blog content I absolutely can. That possibility is absolutely terrifying though, even if it’s just as simple as closing not to do something that you are already known for doing.

I’ve seen half a dozen films and a handful of dramas since starting this blog that never got reviewed; Call Boy (movie), My Brother Loves Me Too Much (movie), Flaming Attorney (Drama Special), Happy-Go-Lucky! (Drama), you get the picture. They’re unreviewed on Mydramalist by me, and on my blog. That’s not because they’re not comment worthy! Trust me, there’s plenty of comment worthy things in all of the above titles that all deserve their own blog posts!

But I made a choice, unintentional at first, and then intentional, to not review them. I’m not sure if this is just me, but at times rather then just enjoying a media my brain goes unintentionally into blogger mode. I might have crib notes on basic stuff that I just have to have. Sometimes I have whole episode synopsis’s in order to keep the story straight, a lot of the time I try not to keep anything because I just want to enjoy. My brain drifts though and I have occasionally found myself thinking, in the middle of something, “Oh, that moment needs to be discussed in my review”. Which, was something that seemed both so natural for me to think at the time, and so jarring at the same time that I paused what I was watching to refocus.

I don’t, we as bloggers don’t, “have to” do anything. We watch a thing, and sometimes talk about the thing later on in our blogs.

Obviously, if we don’t review anything ever, a staple of our blogs will disappear and that would make it harder to update regularly and well, that would suck. Another obvious point is you shouldn’t intertwine your review habits with medias you really love to the point where you get writers block on the subject (like me with Japanese music). My roundabout point is that, sometimes you have to sit back and just watch something without the intention of doing anything beyond that. No commentary, no review, just watching/reading/listening to the thing.

So for all you back logged reviewers out there that need this; I give you (not that you need it) permission to not review everything on your list.

Take the time to really just immerse yourself in what you’re doing, and that’s all you need.

8 comments

  1. Yep. I write about things because I enjoy doing so, but I never want to feel that I have to write about everything because then there’s the risk that it becomes a chore. I enjoy the discussion aspects too, but there are some shows where there’s not much to say that’s positive, negative, or interesting. I may, or may not finish a show for that reason. Bottom line, I want to keep things fun for me and those who share my interests.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes! A thousand times yes! I was talking about this briefly on Larth’s recent post. At the start of this year, I decided to focus on positive traits with reviewing, particularly where anime is concerned, that way I can go back to have fun out of it and making the most of my enjoyment. But that also taught me that it’s okay not to review everything that I consume. It can be so fucking exhausting, honestly. I did that for the longest time because I felt that as a *blogger* I HAD to do that. But if it stops being pleasant and goes into daunting territory, what’s even the point? Ya know? Excellent, fantastic post. Thanks for voicing what I believe a lot of bloggers probably struggle with, especially newer ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I first ran into this problem when watching Mob Psycho 100 near the beginning of the Spellbook and even though I have now written a complete post about the series (due to season 2), I think that was the turning point. Even though I don’t survive on reviews, I still feel the obligation to churn out content so it’s very much the same sentiment.

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  4. Ughhhhh I love this post. I would love to use french words but that would be a bit much ahaha lol I’d say in the last year I’ve stopped thinking I must review everything. Blogging does warp your watching time its a trippy thing that you can’t help overtakes haha. I’ve definitely learnt to shows I’ve not covered yet ill rewatch then write about them I find this way easier.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. […] Not Everything Needs a Review: A Commentary by RiseFromAshes (Phoenix Talks Pop Culture Japan) – You’d probably think someone who doesn’t subsist on reviews doesn’t need to peddle such content, but you’d be dead wrong on that front. Again, this is a post which says everything that needs to be said in the title, but sometimes it’s reassuring to have it be said to you, rather than having to realise it yourself (like I did when I was watching Mob Psycho 100 s1). […]

    Like

  6. Must say, I came here from Lita’s Post-a-Rama post and I absolutely love this post! I’ve been looking at my “to review” list and just sighing in defeat every time. Definitely needed this as a reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

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