The Review Heap: 2020 Direction(s)

Okay, roughly 8 months into the blog now and as I mentioned in my ‘About’ section, the new year is time for me to assess and look ahead a bit 🙂

The plan for The Review Heap was just to review (nearly anything) at my own pace.

So far so good on that front – I have no schedule and I post anywhere from 4 to 0 items a day. That’s something I think I’ll keep because I like to stay flexible where I can, and also be able to adjust post frequency based on how busy either of my jobs become at different parts of the year.

Of course, I could schedule posts for any ‘lean times’ but I’m not sure whether I’d be consistent enough even trying that. I think that instead, I should stick to posting at my own pace.

With that sorted, what will I change?

Maybe not a whole lot.

Basically, I’d like to review more of the mediums listed in the menu. So far, I only have 1 game review up, 1 music review and 3 books. Room to grow there, right?

So that’s going to be part of 2020’s focus for sure. Below I have a few more specifics but I’ll add that I know animation, especially anime, will be the core focus here. I do have a few US-productions reviewed at the Heap but I’d also like to learn more about the animation of other continents.

Specifically now:

  • 1. More Anime

Okay, but which ones you ask? Well, as you probably know I don’t have a theme here and I’m also not able to watch a lot of seasonal stuff while it’s live, so expect more from a range of eras and genres but only a few ‘current’ shows.

However, some of these titles are maybe due in the first few months:

  • Buccano!
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service
  • Black Lagoon
  • Samurai Flamenco
  • Count of Monte Cristo
  • Perfect Blue
  • Shigofumi
  • The Twelve Kingdoms
  • Gunbuster

Beyond those possibilities are works I’ve seen over the decades, some I’m only discovering now and a few I have to review from memory almost, while others might end up getting a heap of images + analysis, the way Ushio and Tora did. (I also have a tiny ‘what I’m watching now’ widget too but it’s buried at the bottom of the site while I’m using this particular theme.)

There are also more than a few big-impact anime that I just haven’t got around to reviewing yet, such as Astro Boy, Neon Genesis, Cowboy Bebop, FMA, GITS etc and I’m super-keen to write them but I’m mostly paralysed by the question what could I hope to add to the discourse? They’re so massive and so storied that it’s hard to bring much new to the conversation.

  • 2. Post Break-Up Albums

That heading is a little misleading, I realise.

What I mean is, as part of expanding my musical focus here, I was thinking of making a themed-post where I occasionally look at some albums that were released after the break-up of a big band/after an artist moves on or changes direction.

For instance, The Plastic Ono Band or Curtis for instance. Maybe even Pictures at Eleven, which was Robert Plant’s first solo album. But I don’t want it to be so narrow as when one person leaves a group, for instance there’s Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell, which is what the band did after their singer left, instead of the other way around.

Ideally, I’d have something a bit like this on anime or perhaps directors or studio shifts perhaps.

  • 3. Discussion Posts

I’ve only written one of these I think, and it was to explore the idea of what is a classic – and it was long and rambling post, even for me, but it was really helpful in letting me figure out what sort of metrics I should use to judge a text. So maybe if I try more discussion based things I could make them a little more topical, not sure.

  • 4. Collaboration Posts

This is something I’m super-excited about 🙂

Once the endless threat of bushfires in my area eases for a while, I’d like to announce my first collaboration at The Review Heap, focusing on the film Tokyo Godfathers. Collaboration is something I used to do a lot back in the poetry world, so I know I’ll enjoy the process here just as much. I’ve also been thinking about other ideas and hope to approach a few folks/am open to ideas from anyone during the year.

  • 5. Book Idea

This is very much in tadpole stage. (Yep, I skipped over ‘embryo’, because in a sense, I have already been building material for a possible book by accident – I’ve got nearly 100 reviews here so far it seems).

HOWEVER, of all the things I want for 2020 this one is by far the most up in the air.

Since my blog has no theme it’s hard to know where to focus any potential book. Sure, it could be a collection of reviews but I’m no ‘film cricket’ (to quote Homer Simpson) and so no-one in the reading public is going to seek out my thoughts, nor would it be that interesting perhaps to re-read these reviews in a compiled form.

And I certainly don’t have anywhere near the viewing experience to create anything close to an encyclopaedia-style collection either, even for a single decade or sub-genre.

Invariably, this project might end up being something fun, just for me. And knowing me, I’d end up going the whole hog a bit too, and commission cover art and editing too 😀

So, who knows about that one!

And thanks!

For the previous items on my list, that’s where I’ll start and we’ll see how it goes. I should also add that I’d like to keep up with what everyone else is up to around the community, as I’ve met great folks and found a whole heap of new titles that I should watch, so my list is growing at a kind of alarming rate 😀

And finally, a big thanks also to everyone who visits me here!


14 thoughts on “The Review Heap: 2020 Direction(s)

  1. With series like Bebop, don’t worry about necessarily trying to bring a new angle. Most people that have seen shows like that, will jump at any chance to talk about them.

    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with for a book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point, thanks Lynn 🙂 Maybe I’ll bump CB up the list a little for 2020.

      And thanks, I’m still thinking but it’s tough to see what parameters I should set – but I think it’ll be mostly fun no matter what I end up going for.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I must admit that I have great fun reviewing music and books when I have the opportunity. Different media inspire different discussions. . .

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Those are some great goals. Ooh, I’m looking froward to reading your thoughts on Perfect Blue and Gunbuster. Those should be great to review and not just because I reviewed Kon’s directorial debut film. Haha! You also get major props for being the first aniblogger to talk about Curtis Mayfield. That’s awesome and the fact we both have the same first name or from the same state isn’t the reason why. I’ve liked a bunch of his songs for years and I’ve been getting back into some old-school soul, funk, and R&B.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I hope I can do those two justice – feeling the pressure, lol

      And yes! Another Curtis Mayfield fan – he’s been sampled so much over the years I would have hoped that more folks would be aware of his stuff, so much is just fantastic and even the uneven albums have at least one or two killer tracks.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome and I hope so, too.

        Yes! That’s totally true about him being sampled and covered for decades now. People even get shocked when I tell them that he wrote “People Get Ready” and not Bob Marley.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great idea with Dylan – and there’s all the pearl-clutching with his electric stuff too.

      Hopefully I can get to ‘Perfect Dark’ in the next couple of months or sooner. (I definitely need to watch it again to keep it fresh, it’s been a year now since I last saw the film and I definitely don’t trust my memory that well when it comes to trying to find the tiny details that I sometimes like to try and include.)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Maybe I’ll also try an silly game for other music posts – this one re: albums, something like ‘re-single’ an album, whereby you find an album you like but felt ‘song x’ should have been released as a single instead of ‘song y’ etc


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