Some HD readers may be aware that for the past few months a competition has been going on with the goal of providing recognition to meritorious anime blogs in a variety of categories. Setting aside the inevitable problems associated with classification of sites as “blogs” related to “anime” and then further arbitrarily dividing them based on content, for a first time effort the project seems to have gone off rather well and as of today has born fruit, with the winners being officially announced.

This post is not about them.

HD made the final round of nominations in three categories: “Figurine”, “Art / Doujin / Visual Novel”, and “News”. It seems the voters couldn’t quite figure out where to place us, as we ended up taking what was arguably the broadest category of the lot: “Art / Doujin / Visual Novel”.

Now, to me those three items belong together about as much as “Agnosticism, Dimension Door, and Vivisection” or “Aperture, Dramatic irony, and Velocity of an unladen swallow”. Since the individual topics are so broad and there are so few blogs that discuss them it seems to me that any award presented in this (what can only loosely be termed a) category doesn’t carry much weight.

The award does however serve the purpose of bringing attention to some truly superb sites, and in that spirit I’m taking the opportunity to highlight the other awesome nominees in the top 10 list for the “Art / Doujin / Visual Novel” award:

Mou Yamete!

A blog on all things bishoujo game produced by the superlative Hemisphere. Here is a secret: he is far more into mainstream eroge than I am, and you should really be reading his blog if you prefer games that other people actually talk about in civil society or have a ghost of a chance of being made into anime. He knows his stuff.

Ex-Fansubber Hitorigoto

Hinano’s soapbox for things that cross her mind regarding anime, manga, the doujin scene, and many other topics. Leaning more toward the “art” and “doujin” components, her blog shows some of the enormous contrast within this nominating category. PS: buy her doujinshi.

Radiant Dreamer

According to his description Radiant is a professional artist in the video game industry, and this blog was established to showcase his hobby – using Photoshop to manipulate figure images in artistic ways. His work further showcases the huge variety of blogs nominated for this category, and is definitely worth checking out if you’re a figure fan.

Eroge Review

We bounce back into the “visual novel” corner with the recently established tag team blog of Nargrakhan and Ayyo, two veteran ero-gamers and reviewers united under one of the best domain names ever with the goal of bringing no-nonsense looks at Japanese PC games to the English speaking world. A must read for any eroge fan.

Canned Dogs

Zepy’s blog surely needs no introduction. As its subtitle says he’s been “canning the site” since 2003, and for over half a decade has been providing reliable news and opinion on almost all aspects of Japanese 2D culture. I admire him as a senior blogger, a master of brevity and wit, and If you don’t read his site you are missing something important.

Tenka Seiha

I’m not very familiar with this blog, but it seems to be run by a fellow named Aroduc. He has graced this category primarily by virtue of diligent work in the doujin game arena, it seems – yet another corner of a category that is truly cavernous in scope. Check it out for his English adaptation of Battle Moon Wars.

Heart’s Content

The blog’s subtitle is “cute makes right”, and there’s a whole lot that is right about the art of Sixten, who also blogs about anime and related stuffs when not creating pages of one of the most adorable manga I’ve seen online in awhile. Check it out for artwork that is both technically capable and positively adorable.

Akiba Blog (English)

If you’re in search of a zany, nigh-incomprehensible Engrish look at the daily happenings of the benighted streets of Japan’s otaku Mecca, this blog’s for you. One of the most hilarious takes on otaku culture you’ll ever see – I hope they never hire a native English translator, the current presentation is solid gold.

Moogy’s Anime Blog

A blog recently launched under the auspices of Moogy that in addition to anime also contains discussion of visual novels, doujin games, and other otakuist topics. Content thus far is rather sparse, but spread across an eclectic field that typifies many of the blogs found nominated in this category (if anything is typical about them).

I’m honored to have been included in the ranks of such accomplished fellow bloggers with as wide a range of tastes and abilities as those represented here.

I’m also made acutely aware of the shortcomings of this first round of “Anime Blog Awards”, which are too numerous to detail in this post; despite the confusing categorization, disparate levels of participation by blog creators and readers, and other factors, if nothing else these awards have provided a framework for letting people know about cool stuff that’s out there that might be overlooked, and for that I applaud them.

I’ll be keeping an eye on the development of the ABA project and wishing them well as the navigate the hazardous waters between popularity contest and undemocratic hegemony. This first round seems to have succeeded in appearing free and mostly fair, if plagued by statistical anomalies created by low participation; they seem to have pulled off the difficult feat of not pissing anyone off too terribly, so here’s hoping they live another day to herd the cats of the anime blogging community behind their banner.

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Shingo talked extensively with one of the ABA coordinators both prior to and following the project’s launch. In those conversations he was gradually converted from a position of skepticism to a neutral posture regarding the awards, and thinks that as long as they’re helping little known sites get the exposure they deserve it’s a Good Thing. He hopes to take a more active role in the process next time.