HeraChanFour years ago today, Anime Herald somehow became a thing.

It was a venture born partly of frustration, partly of sheer adoration of anime as a medium. When Anime Herald was in its formative stages, I was still at Anime Dream, serving as the outlet’s News Editor and PR contact. It was grueling, seemingly thankless work, but it was rewarding.

Still, I was never one to sit still for too long. I’m a person that likes to jump out and take risks with content. I was the one that did crazy things, like review a show in his Twitter feed, or spend weeks hunting down convention staffers for an in-depth article on what goes on behind the scenes of a con. Anime Dream was winding down, and things were sitting on the back burner for increasingly long periods of time.

Rather than wait, I decided I’d cut the line a bit. I bought hosting space, installed my CMS, and set up a simple stock theme. It wasn’t pretty, but it was an anime site. And, with a simple 100-word introduction, the dice of fate were cast.

In those early days, it was a bit awkward. The first few months were filled with rambling commentaries and offbeat editorials. I wrote reviews that went nowhere, and commentaries that were terse beyond belief. It was a feeling out process, filled with experimentation and education. Not everything worked, but it was a chance to get a grasp on the content itself, and to find a real voice.

As the years passed, we’ve grown and evolved greatly. We’ve grown from a side project into a mid-sized publication, which serves nearly a quarter million readers a month. Even better, we continue to grow with each passing day.

Through Anime Herald, I’ve been honored to meet a number of truly amazing people. This doesn’t include Matt and Ben, who are dear friends from the Anime
Dream days. That’s not to say they’re not great people, because they are totally awesome.

Instead, I’d like to take a moment to really recognize the folks I’ve had the pleasure of meeting over the years, who’ve been valuable sources of conversation and insight, and whose own unique perspectives have contributed, be it directly or indirectly, to the site you read today. I’d like to offer my thanks to the following:

  • Anthony & Dorian: What can I say? You two are the best writers I could have asked for. You’re insightful and witty, with fantastic views on the anime world, and I’ve come to see you as valuable friends. I want to thank you for your efforts over the past year and a half. You’ve been fantastic, and it’s truly been an honor working with you.
  • Ken Haley & Sam Kusek: I want to thank the both of you for having the faith in me to co-host the From East to West: the Superheroes of Japan & America panel at Anime Boston 2011. It was an amazing opportunity, that I still treasure today. You two are fantastic, and I hope that we can continue working together in the future.
  • Our contacts at Viz, FUNimation, Sentai Silmworks, Section23 Films, Right Stuf, NIS America, and Idea Factory: Without you, we’d be out of a job! Kidding, kidding. Your support, especially in those fragile early years, was invaluable for us. It’s been a pleasure to have all of you as contacts, and I hope that we can continue to work together.
  • Our friends in the industry: You guys just plain rock. You’ve been incredibly helpful over the years, and you’ve been so willing to give a look, a nod, or a slap to the head when we need it. You’ve helped us grow and mature over the past few years, and we do appreciate it.
  • Our friends in the AniBlogging circuit. This goes to the Reverse Thieves, Prede, Humberto Saabedra, Erica Friedman, and way way too many more to count. Your support and criticism over the years has been a true blessing, and something we’ve come to greatly respect. Thanks for those kicks in the butt when we need them.

And, most important, thank you, readers, for your four years of support. I don’t know if I say this enough, but you are what makes Anime Herald tick. You are the ones who keep us coming back, day after day, to create the content you love. I can only hope that, over the next four years, we’ll keep growing and evolving, so we can continue to produce articles that make you smile, laugh, and think.

Thanks for joining us these past four years. It’s been a hell of a ride, and I can only hope that this train continues to roll into the next four.