Welcome to Through The Painting’s second iteration of 12 Days of Anime Christmas!

You can read the full details of this project on appropriant’s blog here. Essentially, bloggers are invited to, well, blog for the 12 days leading up to Christmas on anything they want. It’s an exercise in getting bloggers off their lazy couches and actually write, but more importantly, it’s an opportunity to achieve a sense of community in true holiday fashion.

I intend use this post to reflect on my blogging adventures this year, and to catalogue the series of 12 Days posts that I hope to write this year. Without further ado, let’s begin with some highlights:

Translations

Half the reason I made this blog was due to my passion for languages and translation, which I admittedly did not do much of last year. So, when fellow blogger Karice mentioned on twitter about a backlog of articles that she wanted to translate, I offered to help. Long story short, I translated the Rakugo Shinju Interviews, which ended up being the most-read articles on my blog.

Karice was an enormous help. I learned my Japanese online, learning to parse sentences based on grammar guides, song lyrics, and some raw manga I read. Therefore, when I was translating, I would often miss details, which made me rely heavily on context and translating fairly liberally. Sometimes I would misunderstand sentences altogether. Thankfully, Karice was there to correct my mistakes and offer suggestions. These translations literally could not have existed without her.

I was also surprised by the sheer amount of technical knowledge I had to learn, from processes of manga-drawing to traditional Japanese aesthetics. If you want to translate the technical stuff accurately, you really have to make sure you know what you’re talking about.

Next year, I…hope to do more translation. It’s incredibly time-consuming, and if I’m translating from Japanese I definitely need a proof-reader. But the finished product (and the page views ^.^;) are quite rewarding. If time permits, I hope to continue this.

Articles in French and Chinese

I learned French in school. I can read quite well and hold a somewhat decent conversation. This year I’ve been trying to find (and join) the French anime community on Twitter and WordPress. However, I have a specific preference for analytical/critical work, which I haven’t yet been able to find. Si vous avez des recommendations, laissez-moi savoir.

Nevertheless, I have tried to write my own articles in French. In writing my seasonal retrospectives in French, I tried to kill two birds with one stone: to record my opinions on airing shows, and to practice expressing them in French. This has resulted in me looking up every almost other word, trying to figure out how to express English concepts and phrasal structures in French. Because I haven’t found a French anime community, I have limited viewership and therefore limited feedback on these posts. However, based on the what feedback I’ve managed to get, the posts seem to be coherent at least. In the future I hope to continue them, but at least try to make them shorter so they’re easier to write.

I’m also natively fluent in Chinese, although I almost never have the opportunity to write in it. I have been also quite disconnected from the Chinese anime community, due to an unfamiliarity with their popular sites and forums. (Also I think to participate you need to sign up with a phone number from mainland China or something). Nevertheless, I tried writing an article in Chinese, which, although it wasn’t very difficult to write, it…well performed poorly because I had nowhere to promote it. In the future, I may only translate from Chinese to English if something piques my interest.

Twitter

Oh god that’s an enormous time sink. I love the community I’ve built around me and learned a ton about anime production and sakuga appreciation, but I think I’ve spent way too much time goofing off instead of blogging.

It’s OK I love you guys.

In Summary

I started this blog, and indeed the entire Inksquid persona, as a diversion and an outlet for my anime fandom and creative energies. Last year I set the goal of blogging whenever I felt like it, which sort of evolved into writing one season review per season and hopefully content every month. Next year will be busy, so I don’t have anything promised. I’ll try to keep up with my (hopefully still French) season reviews, and hopefully a translation (most likely in installments). And if anything else piques my interest, I will for sure write a short blog post on it.

Best wishes for next year,

Ink


List of Articles for 12 Days:

Day 2: The Everlasting, Ephemeral Youth: Tamako Market and Love Story

Day 3: That one time I wrote a Fanfic

Day 4: Kiku finally performs for Shinnosuke, and other great moments of Winter

Day 5: The adorable text messages in Tsuki ga Kirei’s ED, and other great moments of Spring

Day 6: Yoshino’s Realizations, and other great moments of Summer

Day 7: Girls’ Last Tour and the Drunken Moonlight Dance, and other great moments of Autumn

Day 8: My Heart Cries Out ~ I Call Your Name: Anthem of the Heart’s Polyphonic Mash-up

Day 9: Coco Weaves a Beautiful Narrative

Day 10: [Secret Santa Review] Garden of Words (with bonus Chihayafuru!)

Day 11: Best of Anime, 2017, part 1

Day 12: Best of Anime, 2017, part 2

Note: featured image taken from American Museum of Natural History shop: https://shop.amnh.org/holiday-squid-greeting-cards.html/