Good evening readers, and welcome to our first State of the Herald address of 2012. Yes, I normally use this soapbox as a way to reflect on the year as a whole. Yes, it’s the middle of July. No, I haven’t gone off my rocker yet. And no, I’m not retiring, so stop asking!

Tonight, I’d actually like to discuss the behind-the-scenes happenings of the past seven months. As many of you know, we’ve undergone a number of changes in the past several months, as the general narrative shifted focus several times. From in-depth convention coverage, to business oriented looks at Right Stuf’s upcoming Lucky Penny line, I’ve tried to maintain a balance between the interesting and the analytical, the professional and the casual sides of anime as a whole.

Of course, I haven’t done this entirely alone. In September, Erin joined the Anime Herald crew (…duo?), with her debut article Two Girls and Totoro: A Tale of Anime Fangirls. Her witty style and ability to find the humor in just about anything proved to be a fantastic balance to the matter-of-fact style that I tend to hold. Since then, she’s been a valuable member of the team, and someone whose efforts I really can’t appreciate enough.

As many of you know, going into the new year, my own attentions were split fairly evenly between Anime Herald and, at the time, our sister site Anime Dream. It’s with some bittersweet news that I’m announcing that this won’t be the case any longer. As of now, Anime Dream is, for lack of a better term, fading away. While we haven’t posted anything concrete at the moment, there have been numerous talks behind the scenes, as we go forth and try to wrap things up. It’s something that has been tough to do, since this is where I got my start, and where I met some truly incredible people. It’ll be sad to see that final “going away” message hit the front page.

Still, there’s no time to sulk, no time to get too caught up on the past. There are great things to look forward to, after all!

For example, things have begun to really pick up here at The Herald. In April, we hit our first major traffic milestone, when we crossed 200,000 hits in a single month for the first time. And, as your numbers have grown, dear readers, so too have ours.

In the past month, we’ve added two new writers to our lineup: Benjamin Fennell and Joanne Seguinot. Benjamin is a former Anime Dream member, who also shares over a decade of experience in the industry. His offbeat sense of humor and propensity for long, rambling articles have become somewhat of a trademark, for better or worse. Joanne, on the other hand, is a fresh face that has yet to make a mark on the anime world. I see great potential in her, and I do hope that she can embrace her optimism and sheer love of the medium, as she ventures forward.

As the Anime Herald family has grown and changed, so too will the site. While I don’t expect to make major changes to the Herald itself (I’m pretty sure people will revolt if I change the visual style again!), I will be making a gradual changes, and implementing solutions that will ensure those who contribute get the credit they deserve. This isn’t a one-man operation anymore, so I do plan on making sure that this is evident, and that every one of our writers knows that they are valuable members of the team.

Anyway, I thank you for taking the time to join me tonight, dear readers. It is a truly exciting time for Anime Herald, and I am honored that each and every one of you has joined us to date. Without you, there is no Herald. And, as always, I want to thank our incredible contributors, who have saved my sanity time and time again. Really, you are all fantastic.