10 Year Retrospective, Month #8: Throwback to August 2017 (FINAL)

Throughout our tenth anniversary year, we’ve been taking time each month to look into the past, not only to commemorate this decade in blogging, but also to see where we were and how far we’ve come as a site and collectively as anime fans. We’ve done this every month 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 finish our series by looking to August 2017.

TOP OF THE CHARTS: August 13, 2017

We’ll dive into anime a bit, but I want to us to look at what else was happening at this time in 2017. Here are the most popular songs, movies, and series on this day or during this week three years ago.

Top Selling Album
Lust for Life, Lana del Rey

Number One Song
“Despacito” Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber

Top Movie
Annabelle: Creation ($35.0 mil)

Most Watched TV Show
America’s Got Talent

CURRENT EVENTS: August 2017

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

  • A counter-protestor is killed during the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • Mudslides kill more than 1,000 people in Sierra Leone and leave thousands more homeless.
  • President Duterte’s harsh wars on drugs continues, while journalists in the Philippines are endangered when speaking out.
  • Hurricane Harvey causes extensive damage along the Texas coast.
  • ISIS takes credit for a terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain.

POPULAR ANIME IN 2017

I find 2017 to be one of the most fascinating anime years in recent memory, perhaps because of how little I expected of the series this year but how many delivered so strongly. The Ancient Magus Bride and Made in Abyss are absolute standouts and would be among the best series of any year, and were joined by excellent finds in ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept. and Tsuki ga Kirei (Land of the Lustrous is also a highly acclaimed show, but one I couldn’t get into). All of those series were extraordinarily beautiful, joining other shows like Inuyashiki and Just Because in delivering wonderful animation. Meanwhile, another beautiful anime from 2017 was the Kino’s Journey remake. I blogged through it episodically, and while overall the series isn’t quite as strong as the original, I personally like it just as well, due in large part to the amazing animation. It’s also more accessible than the older series.

A new major shounen series arrived in Black Clover, while another popular one returned in Blue Exorcist. And Dragon Maid attained a high level of popularity as well. I didn’t watch many episodes of any of those series, however, nor did I see any of the 2017 movie releases, many of which were movie adaptations of anime arcs, exciting fans of series like NGNL, Sword Art Online, and Free, or garnered a strong level of acclaim (Napping Princess, Lu Over the Wall).

WHAT WE WERE BLOGGING

As I mentioned in the last post, I was absent from the blog in 2016 and into 2017. The beginning part of this year continued the work of the previous, which meant lots of columns—primary from stardf29 (two in fact!), Lex, Medieval Otaku, R86, and MDMRN, with only the latter’s still remaining. An interesting tidbit is that the column that I think we’ve posted most often, Something More, was taken over by Samuru. Started as an easy way to produce weekly content and emphasize our place as the intersection of anime and belief, that column was a primary way we built relationships in the blogosphere in our early years. It became harder to maintain, however, when I stopped tracking the hundred and hundreds of aniblogs I once did, and when articles about religion in anime started decreasing in general (an unfortunate trend). Thus, the column eventually died because it no longer had fuel, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it returned again in some form one day.

But besides those columns, our writers contributed to other pieces as well, and those who didn’t write columns, like JoshW and Lynna, wrote plenty of posts as well. And then, officially on April 24th, some 16 months after I left, I came home, armed with an analogy about Shinji Ikari and Spike Spiegel. I was also full of ideas. I’d spent a lot of time writing for Area of Effect magazine the previous year, and through that experience had become a stronger writer, and now I wanted to put these better developed skills into use. It was just the right time, I think, because our leadership triumvirate of Japes, Kaze, and Lex was feeling burdened from juggling their own professional pursuits with managing the site. So I posted A LOT, with Attack on Titan, Oregairu, My Hero Academia, Studio Ghibli films, and the aforementioned Tsuki ga Kirei, The Ancient Magus Bride, and Kino’s Journey becoming the focus of many of these articles. We added new staff and platforms, leaned heavily on first impression pieces, started crafting proper anime and movie reviews, and said goodbye to many long-time staff members.

And that’s where I’ll leave this special 2020 series. What we did in 2017 is a foundation of what we’re doing now. The blog continues to move away from the column focus and be centered more on one-off articles, though we did add one major component in the Light Novel Club and saw the return of the TangleCast (I could do an entire article about the history of that!). We’ve also remained focused on our social media platforms, which create as much significant content as the blog.

The challenges are plenty, not least of all my continued attempts at leading effectively, but I am proud of these ten continuous years of anime ministry, through its iterations and many phases, and supported by the staff that have graciously volunteered and the folks, like you, who have joined along the way.

While this series ends, we do have more articles planned for the coming months concerning our anniversary, so please continue to stay tuned and see what we have in store!


I hope enjoyed this look into the recent past, both on a bigger, societal level and at Beneath the Tangles. Read the other posts in this special series. Featured illustration by jaokuma (reprinted w/permission).

3 thoughts on “10 Year Retrospective, Month #8: Throwback to August 2017 (FINAL)

  1. Judging from how I’m failing to quickly remember how that year went in terms of its latest otaku stuff past some names, I’m starting to feel more like an old man, hahaha! Well, that, and/or a guy with very different interests. Also, you made quite a comeback, huh? 😀

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