10 Year Retrospective, Month #4: Throwback to April 2013

As we celebrate our tenth anniversary on Beneath the Tangles, we want to take some time each month to look into the past, not only to commemorate our ten years, but also to see where we were and how far we’ve come as a site and collectively as anime fans. For most months this year, we’ll do that by looking back at a particular year and at the month corresponding to that year. For instance, we started this off by looking at January 2010. Today we throw back to April 2013.

TOP OF THE CHARTS: APRIL 16, 2013

We’ll dive into anime a bit, but I want to us to look at what else was happening at this time in 2013. Here are the most popular songs, movies, and series on this day or during this week eight years ago. Isn’t NCIS still on the air?!

Top Selling Album
The 20/20 Experience, Justin Timberlake [Amazon]

Number One Song
“When I Was Your Man,” Bruno Mars [Amazon]

Top Movie
Oblivion ($13.5">37.1 mil) [Amazon]

Most Watched TV Show
NCIS

CURRENT EVENTS: APRIL 2013

Here’s what was happening in the world eight years ago this month…

  • Two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring hundreds, many severely. A manhunt began for Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, during with the latter was killed. Dzhokhar was eventually tried and sentenced to death.
  • The UN received reports that the Syrian government used chemical weapons in its civil war
  • An explosion in a chemical plan in West, Texas kills 12 and flattens a large portion of the town.
  • Nicolás Maduro wins a special presidential election held to find the successor to Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.
  • 186 are killed and thousands injured in an earthquake in southwestern China.

POPULAR ANIME in 2013

I don’t think there’s been as much buzz for any anime in the last seven years as there was for Attack on Titan in 2013. As it nears the end of its manga and anime runs, the series remains popular, but when it premiered it was so bold and shocking and mesmerizing, that it was all we as fans could talk about. Also, it was really weird and very good. We’re all used to it now, but the strangeness of the titans’ appearances and gaits was just as important to viewership as how fearsome they were, and the odd sense of the humor in the series also elevated it. I was so fully in that’s it weird that now, I only catch up on the manga in chunks about once every six months, and have left the anime entirely.

Two other shows caused quite a stir as well—Free! not only excited an entire generation of anime fans, it ended up being pretty good, too, while Kill la Kill marked the return of duo Imaishi (director) and Nakashima (writer) in a series perhaps louder and more bombastic than Gurren Lagann, if not quite as well received. One of the better shows of the decade premiered in Silver Spoon, and my all-time favorite (and fodder for a ton of content on this blog), Oregairu, aired its first season, only showing a few hints of the epic romdramedy (I’m going to copyright this word) that was to come.

Other series in 2013 included The Devil is a Part-timer Golden Time, and Log Horizon. The movies were more impressive: Garden of Words, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, The Wind Rises, and Patema Inverted all premiered in Japan that year.

WHAT WE WERE BLOGGING

This is it. I can see it just from browsing the titles and seeing the sheer number of articles in 2013. This was the year that I started getting overwhelmed with blogging, putting far too much time into what I was doing with the necessary support and rest I needed. It’s like everything I watched turned into an article, which is why that year is riddled with so many posts about largely forgotten series like Oreshura and Kotoura-san, as well those about series I didn’t even enjoy, like Little Busters and the second season of Oreimo. I also tried a lot of different things that year. The Untangled column, in which I answer viewer questions, was most active in 2013 (though I should not here that we’ll have a post in this series coming up next week!), and in the biggest experiment of all, I started hosting a summer study through Google Hangouts which used Set Apart as a study of the Bible and Haibane Renmei. It was a success in that, though I don’t feel I did a particularly good job with the material, I was able to connect more intimately with a lot of folks, including one of our great supporters through the years and Annalyn, who would later be a co-leader on this blog.

I don’t think Japes would mind me sharing his Communicator (Haibane Renmei) cosplay

Speaking of Annalyn, she wasn’t part of our team yet, instead still focused on the great work on her site. However, the other two members of the leadership triumvirate came on in 2013—Kaze through his most unusual approach to writing about anime and Christianity and Japes, someone I was really excited to use, but really couldn’t figure out a fit for at the time. He started with us officially by writing a column called Anime Today. So when I say I lacked support, I didn’t mean staff—this was probably the time I felt most connected with our staff. It was about seven or eight, small enough that I could still know everyone fairly well, but large enough so that I wasn’t burdened with having to write so often. I just did almost out of compulsion—the support I needed was prayer, and I wasn’t doing that much myself nor asking for it from our community. We now have prayer groups and I pray daily for the site, and I know that’s made a difference.  By the way, in 2013, we started our FB page (though it wasn’t until this year that we started a FB prayer group).

My favorite posts were those that I really cared about, whether it mean the series or topically. If I stayed a little more true to that and prayed more often (or at all), maybe I could have avoided the burnout that was coming.

I hope enjoyed this look into the recent past, both on a bigger, societal level and at Beneath the Tangles. We’ll keep up this throughout 2020.


Read the other posts in this yearlong series.

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