With summer behind us, things are beginning to change in Rhode Island. Leaves are turning brilliant oranges, reds, and browns. A brisk chill begins to fill the air, as if beckoning the coming winter.
Here at Herald Headquarters, change is also upon us. In 2020, we’ll be celebrating our 10th anniversary. On September 19, 2010, we opened our doors for the first time. It was a trying period, filled with the uncertainty of a post-bubble anime world and a general uneasiness that seemed to circulate at any given minute.
With ten years down, it’s time to set our sights on an all-new horizon. The anime world is vast and brilliant, filled with amazing individuals and a seemingly endless parade of wonders that grows by the season.
With this in mind, Anime Herald will be undergoing a few changes starting next year. Some of these shifts will be tiny, while others will be reworks to the way we operate. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive right in.
Our Future: A Fanzine For The 21st Century
In 1992, I was introduced to a subculture of friends, comrades, and allies that helped me to really find a place in this crazy world. In those days, there was a wild spirit that seemed to run through everything, as fans talked, shared, and debated.
We made friends as we fawned and fangirled over shows like Sailor Moon, The Slayers, and Ghost Sweeper Mikami (Google it). Our hunt for new shows, new content led to rivalries and friendships alike. There’s no doubt that I made friends as we bonded over titles like Maze and Utena, and I can’t deny that things got heated when someone made off-color comments about Fushigi Yuugi’s Nuriko.
I’ll spare you the Ranma shipping charts.
In the background, capturing it all, was the fanzine. Fan-published periodicals like The Atlanti and The Rose were the front lines of each anime fan community, delivering insights, commentary, and hot takes to anyone who wanted a copy. They were sparse, and often quickly photocopied, but they were our lifeline into a world that would otherwise be inaccessible.
These crazy collectives sought to build the community up into something magical, and really spread the word of how amazing anime could be at its very best. In this day of blogs and social media, I have to admit that I’ve found myself longing to recapture this spirit. With our tenth anniversary upon us, I honestly can’t think of a better time to really try to do this.
For the first two weeks of 2020, we’ll be closing Anime Herald headquarters. During this period, we’ll be taking a few days for a much-needed vacation. After that, we’ll be hard at work preparing for our big reboot, as we edit articles, prep our publishing schedule, and make tweaks to the site to reflect the changes to come.
To really show our dedication to this direction, in 2020, we have a special bonus for our Patreon patrons. Anyone in North America who backs us for $25 or more through the year will receive a print edition of Anime Herald. This publication will be a keepsake and a chronicle of our history that compiles our very best works, as chosen both by myself and our incredible team. It’s our “thank you” to folks who have put their faith in us over the course of the past decade.
Cover art by Blacksun Creations; Layout by Lydia Rivers
The News Desk is Going Dark
As of January 1, 2020, Anime Herald’s news desk will close its doors for the last time.
Our daily news section, which officially launched in late 2014, quickly became our most popular section. Every day, we have countless fans checking in to read up on what’s going on in the greater anime world.
Despite its popularity, I have begun to worry that we’re losing our way in the go-go 24-hour news cycle. The hyper-focus has pulled our attention away from the values that we find important as an organization.
We need to begin to slow down and deliver more thoughtful, nuanced takes on what’s going on in the world. We need more pieces like our expose on Anime Bento and our article on ScarfingScarves’ legal battles with Anime Matsuri’s John leigh.
As a news desk veteran of eighteen years, I assure you that this decision was not taken lightly. In fact, it fucking terrifies me, as I’ve always been the type of person who can bring a bunch of sources into one short-form, digestible article.
But, in the name of delivering a bigger and better publication, it’s a sacrifice that needs to be made.
I want to take this opportunity to step forth and reiterate our commitment to reporting without fear of what takes us on. In this day and age, we certainly need to be ready for anything, and I am confident that every one of our team members is up to the task.
We want to be a publication that is equal parts fun and fearless. We want to be able to deliver articles that bring a smile to your face, as well as pieces that make you think, or just rile you up about the most important issues that affect our community today.
Focus on the Community
We’ll be shifting our focus to the greater fan community with the closing of the news desk. We’ll be bringing in more longreads and commentary pieces, as well as renewing our call for Origin Stories.
In short, we’ll be doing what we can to show how brilliant this community is at its very best.
It’s been an honor and a pleasure to be able to operate Anime Herald for so long. I want to thank you for putting your faith in us, and I look forward to making this little slice of anime fandom into something truly special.
In 2017, we adopted the motto of “you deserve better.” It’s time for us to step up and prove it.
Thank you, and good night.
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