Announcement: Welcome to Daily Streaming Reviews!by Zac Bertschy, Aug 29th 2014
So a little less than a year ago I'd been in long talks with Bamboo Dong about leaving The Stream behind. For those who don't remember, The Stream was an attempt at doing Shelf Life for streaming anime series, ranking them in order from best to worst, dropping shows as they slowly become unwatchable and singing the praises of the best the season had to offer.
It was a pretty great idea until it became clear that it wasn't; the concept of covering 30+ new shows 4 times a year is totally unsustainable for one person to handle. So I went back to the drawing board. I tried a variety of solutions, including having two people on the column, or finding someone who actually watched all of that material on their own and wrote about it by virtue of being some manner of perpetual motion machine that could produce that much content without exploding. None of those were good ideas.
Then I realized something: the amount of content and the diversity of genre in a season of anime is basically akin to a full network TV primetime schedule. It's enough programming to fill out 2 or 3 channels 7 nights a week. So why aren't we treating it that way? You wouldn't hire one person to cover everything NBC, CBS and ABC has running in primetime, right?
So here we are: Daily Streaming Reviews. We hired a bunch of writers we're really excited about. Every single day there will be reviews of the previous day's streaming shows (although there will also be plenty of same-day reviews). For the end of the summer season, we're covering a total of 31 shows.
Here is your list of who's covering what, in alphabetical order:
Black Butler: Book of Circus
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
Sword Art Online II
Terror in Resonance
Sailor Moon Crystal
Invaders of Rokujyouma
Bladedance of Elementalers
Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun
Momo Kyun Sword
Free! Eternal Summer
Akame ga KILL!
Blue Spring Ride
And now, some frequently asked questions!
When will reviews be published?
Either the day of or the next day. We're starting a little late here, so for today's launch I'll be publishing Wednesday's shows, which all include a catch-up piece and this week's episode. We will publish Thursday's shows as the reviews get turned in.
How often will reviews get published and where?
Throughout the day most days. Some days - like Thursdays and Saturdays - are jam-packed with 7 shows airing each day. Tuesday only has 2 series airing that day so it'll be light. Right now we're publishing these reviews to the main feed of the site, but we can't flood it out, so there will be a 30-minute gap in between reviews just to create a buffer. Remember if you don't want to see streaming reviews in your main feed just change your newsfeed options.
Where can I go to find an index of every show that's part of this?
We're still working out some indexing stuff on the backend - eventually you'll see these listed under the 'new anime' tab up there - but for now you can head here:
For a list of everything that's been published so far.
Wednesday and Thursday shows are all well and good but what about the stuff that aired through Tuesday?
For this launch we'll be posting series mainpages, with links to the catch-up article and the newest episode, as they air. So today you'll get Free!, Love Stage!! and Bakumatsu Rock for sure, along with whatever Thursday shows come in, and maybe some Friday stuff too. Come Saturday we'll publish the series mainpage for those shows as the reviews for their latest episodes roll in, likely late Saturday afternoon through Sunday. It's a rolling schedule in general - unless there are delays, you can expect to see new episode reviews within a day or so of their initial airing, and often sooner. We're trying not to put hard and fast rules on when exactly things go up - delays happen, but the goal is to get these up as soon as possible after the episode airs while still giving the writer time to think about and analyze the episode in context with the rest of the series and write up something worthwhile.
What's the grading system?
Standard A B C D F with plus and minus as necessary.
Why aren't you covering shows from last spring that are still going, like Mahouka?
Because we have limited time and finances for this project. As much as I'd like to have done that, the reviewer would've had to find time to write a catch-up article that covers 17-18 episodes, and it would've expanded the number of shows we're covering to the point where our freelance budget couldn't handle it. We also didn't want to wait until October to launch, so we went with this. Once the summer 1-cour series end, we'll start fresh with the fall season. If a show from the summer is continuing through fall, the reviews will continue as well.
Why are you covering Naruto but not One Piece?
We had a volunteer for Naruto who had actually watched every episode of the show! Amy McNulty will be your guide through Naruto and we're stoked about that. I'd love to cover One Piece but nobody in our crop volunteered, so I have to keep searching for someone who has been following the show since the beginning and watches it every week to write up One Piece for us. Drop me an email if you'd like to be that person!
Will writers be allowed to drop shows if they just can't stand them anymore?
We're strongly encouraging people not to drop shows. Some series might become slogs, but we'll never dip into "hatewatch" territory where the article is just looking for snarky reasons to rip the show apart. That doesn't mean negative reviews won't happen - heck, some of these shows are debuting in the Daily Streaming section with D grades as it is. If a show reveals itself to be of poor quality over the season, you can expect the reviews to reflect that, but generally we're asking the writers to stick with it and give a full evaluation at the end. In the event that a show is driving someone crazy we'll do our best to reassign it. I can't promise nothing will ever get dropped, but we'll do everything we can to try and finish what we start, even if it's getting into Garzey's Wing territory.
What's to become of Preview Guide?
Preview guide isn't changing, it'll stay the same, although you may see some contributors to Daily Streaming Reviews pop up in the Preview Guide.
Okay! Hopefully that answers most of your questions but if you have any others at all, please comment on this post in the forums and I'll answer everything I can as fast as I can. We're very excited to launch this project and we hope you enjoy it!
Executive Editor, Anime News Network
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