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 June 2015.
TOP OF THE CHARTS: June 18, 2015
We’ll dive into anime a bit, but I want to us to look at what else was happening at this time in 2015. Here are the most popular songs, movies, and series on this day or during this week five years ago.
Number One Song
“See You Again” Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth
Most Watched TV Show
NBA Finals, Game 6, Warriors def. Cavs, 105-97 (4-2)
CURRENT EVENTS: June 2015
Here’s what was happening in the world eight years ago this month…
- Most of the 458 aboard a cruise ship die after it capsizes on Yangtze River
- Donald Trump launches his candidacy for President of the United States.
- The U.S. Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage in legal in all states.
- Nine are killed when a gunman opens fire in a historic African-American church in South Carolina.
- In sports, Serena Williams wins her third French Open; the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup; and the aforementioned Golden State Warriors win the NBA Championship
POPULAR ANIME IN 2015
…This was not a great year for anime. Most of the notable series that aired in 2015 were holdovers from previous years, and the same goes for the year’s most popular series. There were some notable exceptions, though. Among the more enduring series to premiere in 2015 were Overlord, Gate, Himouto! Umaru-chan, Snow White with the Red Hair, Ore Monogatari, and One Punch Man. The last series in that list, of course, took the community by storm. Even those of us who aren’t particularly manga readers knew about OPM and how it was perhaps a deconstruction of shounen or at least a send up of it in some way. I’m not a huge fan of the show (though I did enjoy the second season more), but it was certainly an interesting concept.
The movies weren’t much better—lots of summary films. But one of my favorites came out as well. The Boy and the Beast, which remains my favorite film from Mamoru Hosoda, premiered that summer. It’s an excellent, moving film, and I recommend you check it out if you haven’t. Another gem from 2015 was the Everything Becomes F: The Perfect Insider, a moody, creepy, surprisingly humorous series that desperately needs another season (or two or three).
WHAT WE WERE BLOGGING
I mention continuing series above—those were the shows that fed our blog during 2015, and especially early in the year. We discussed Death Parade, Shirobako, and of course, Oregairu, pretty often, for instance, and had a post for every episode of Your Lie in April (and a few more in addition). Our Holy Week series, though, focused on visual novels and anime that weren’t necessarily current and we dove into Key, a studio that a number of us adore (I finally got to write a Kanon post, something I’d been wanting to do for years!). And as always, old favorites like Spirited Away and Toradora gave us plenty to discuss.
One thing I noticed at the time was our heavy reliance on columns. There are positives there, especially this feeling it helps create in our audience of what to expect and a more personal engagement with our writers. But it got a little ridiculous. Going through our archives, I found a place where we had six straight days where are articles were column posts. I wish I go back and keep the great ones from folks like Annalyn, Japes, stardf29, Samuru, and Medieval Otaku, and dismiss the ones that kind of dragged, likes Something More and Top 5 + Guest.
Overall, though, 2015 was a good year for the blog. We were writing a lot of good content, and we had new staff people coming in and others moving on in a real healthy way. But in my mind, something was lacking. By the end of the year, I had decided to leave Beneath the Tangles, and like the folks that took over, I can’t remember exactly why. My farewell speech now seems disingenuous. Thinking back, I do believe it was mostly burnout. Despite the aforementioned content and group we had, our audience had decreased by nearly 50% from our heights as a result of being part of a dying platform (but not dead yet apparently!) and changes in how Google pushed people to our blog. We put in a lot of effort and I could not see the impact; all I could see was discouragement. But I could leave without feeling like I lost everything since Japes agreed to take over the site, and I had social media accounts growing. There was a safe place to land.
2016, a year where I wasn’t part of Beneath the Tangles, would be the most important year of this blog of all.
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.