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There’s an old saying we’ve all heard, that goes “if at first you don’t succeed, try try again.” There’s another saying, however, that “The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Somewhere inbetween these two standards, I’d like to believe there hides an underlying truth… That while tenacity is an admirable thing to have, there comes a time when you have to admit to yourself that if something was ever going to be successful, it would have by now.

For me, that truth has recently come to define this blog.

I started The Fullmetal Narcissist in the fall of 2013, because I had just begun writing reviews, I didn’t know anybody who could host or promote my work, and I needed some sort of creative outlet in order to share my work with the world. I promised that I would post a new piece of work every Saturday morning, and while I might have missed a couple early on, having to push one or two of my releases to a Sunday, I’ve generally done a solid job keeping that promise.

The results, however, have been less than impressive. It took me a long time to gain any noticeable ground. It wasn’t until November of 2016 that I started getting more than 1K views per month, and I’m still at a point in 2018 where I might get more than 100 views a day once or twice a week if I’m lucky. On top of this, I have only recently, after just over four years of operation, broke the 100 follower mark… Which I might not have even pulled off if I hadn’t gotten drunk and bitched about my follower count in a comment on someone else’s blog.

In early 2017, my view count started to hit a plateau, getting perpetually stuck between 1.3K a month and 1.6K a month, so I got desperate, and started to pull some shenanigans to bring in more traffic. I printed out business cards(for 40 dollars) and took them to a local convention, where I proceeded to take pictures of people’s costumes, give them a card, and give them a date that their picture could be obtained. I then set up the gallery so that every picture viewed would be an individual view, and the traffic rolled right in… For exactly two days, before dipping back down to what it was before.

Having tasted this massive spike, I began to whore out that post, sharing it on different sites and tricking people into scrolling through by asking “Can you help me to identify these unlabelled characters?” I got views of 3.7K to 4.2K for three months before it slipped down to between 1.8 K and 2.2K, before I stopped pimping that post altogether, and now my views are right back down to the same plateau that they were before. Could I do the photo thing all over again this year, when the convention rolls around again? Yeah, but what’s the point, when I’m still just pulling some shady shit to make it look like my work is more popular than it actually is?

I like being proud of the work that I’ve done. For four years, I’ve written the work that I wanted to write, and I’ve written my reviews the way I wanted to write them, but the only time I’ve felt like any of it mattered was when I was blatantly cheating. I can pull an all nighter, wasting my nights off from work writing a six page essay on whatever title I’m currently fixated on, but once it gets posted, it’ll get maybe 7 likes and a couple of comments before being largely forgotten.

I could try to write new things, but that never works out either. I thought I might have a great idea on my hands with A Series of Tubes, but a year later it’s only been viewed about thirty times. I got really excited about Anime Analogues, especially with the topic of the first one, which was a topic I was genuinely interested in, but since it went up about three months ago, it’s been viewed six times. Yeah, you read that right, I’ve been doing this for four years and I’m still putting out work that only gets viewed six times. This is of course to say nothing of the reviews I’ve written that haven’t even cracked the 30 view mark after being up for several years, or the insanely time consuming Inconvenient questions posts that nobody seems to care about.

Do I think I’m entitled to success, or that I deserve peoples’ attention? No, of course not, I’d never want to be that kind of person. I have plenty of friends and acquaintances on WordPress who are having a much better go of it than I am, and I don’t feel bitter or resentful towards any of them. But I’m also not some pinnacle of congeniality and humbleness who’s going to ignore his own failings and just enjoy his hobby for the fun of it. Because this isn’t fun anymore.

I’m a 32 year old man who just recently started to pull himself out of financial crisis. I’m tired of pulling all nighters for no reason other than ‘the fun of it.’ I’m tired of keeping a strict viewing schedule, and not rewatching an anime once I’ve reviewed it. I’m tired of getting 3-7 likes per post while seeing everybody else that I follow getting dozens. I’m tired of feeling inadequate, like I’m putting time and money into work that’s just not good enough. I’m tired of all my reviews only getting one helpful rating on MAL.

I really hope I’m not sounding ungrateful, here… I do appreciate the people who’ve shown me support, because I would have stopped doing this a long time ago without all of you. There are a handful of people who read, like and sometimes even promote my work, and you’ve helped me through more than you could possibly know. In particular, I don’t think this blog would have made it to it’s third year without Jennifer Paetsch from the Little Monster Girl blog, and I’ve enjoyed getting comments from several others. All of you who’ve found this blog worthy of your time are awesome in my book.

If there is one thing I feel entitled to, it’s this: If I’ve fallen out of love with something that I’m not getting paid for, I have every right to walk away from it. I refuse to let my hobby become a job, because I actually do have a full-time job, and it’s my sole source of income. I’ve been intending to leave WordPress for a few months now, with the only thing keeping me around being my desire to complete 100 anime reviews, which I managed to do last week. Of course, that raises a question, and it’s one that honestly gave me trouble figuring out what to call this post… Am I retiring, or just going on hiatus?

I’ll be honest, I have no idea. It’s possible that all I need is a break, and I’ll be back at full strength after I’ve had some time off to refresh myself. It’s equally possible, however, that I’ve lost interest entirely, and the longer I spend away from this site, the less I’ll want to do with it. One way or another, I’ve been going non-stop, full steam for four years, unmonetized, and it’s time for me to step away. I might be back in a few months, I might be back in a year, I might never be back. There’s one thing I’ll promise up front, though… If I ever do come back, the first thing I’ll review will be the og nineties Berserk.

If you miss hearing me bitch about anime, you can find the link to my Facebook in my Contact page.

Until then, so long, and thanks for all the likes.

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Am I phoning in this post?  No, silly, I’m using a computer.

But yeah, it’s the last post of the year, last saturday of the holiday season, and I don’t really have anything else to put here, so I’ve decided to show off the feline familiars that I’ve had over the years, as well as my admittedly crummy photography.

The gray cat is Shadow.  I got him when he was six.  The Orange cat is Vinnie, who I got when he was 11.  They both died this year, at the age of sixteen.

The black cat is Sgt. Pepper, who is 2 years old, and I just adopted him last month.

Enjoy!

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It’s been a while since the last one…  Probably not the best timing, all things considered, but hey, I’m grateful.

 

I was nominated by Yahari Bento, whom I am now following.
You can find this blog HERE.

Now, let’s see what I have to do with this honor…

Rules

  1. Display Award
  2. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you.
  3. Answer questions they’ve written for you.
  4. In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 bloggers and asks them 3 questions.

Three Combo Questions

  1. In your opinion, when does noon become afternoon?
  2. Does you wuv?
  3. How many asses have you kicked?

My Nominees.

  1.  Little Monster Girl
  2.  100 word Anime
  3.  Anime Girls NYC
  4.  I Drink and Watch Anime
  5.  Dailyamanga
  6.  Anime Gauge
  7.  The Otaku Judge
  8.  Bestestcat
  9. Fujinshei

Hey guys, Naru here, and I am actually really excited about today’s post. I’m writing it in real time, which I haven’t done in a long ass time, and I’m going to post it the second I’m finished writing it. I was originally going to post another article shitting all over The Nightmare Before Christmas, and while I still hate that movie, I wasn’t entirely pleased with how the post turned out. I was going to commit to it anyway, because I haven’t been able to get the Highschool of the Dead fanfic that’s been rattling around inside of my head onto paper, but yesterday while I was out shopping, I stumbled upon a perfectly timed opportunity.

I was out at a mall that’s about twenty minutes from my house, because it’s the only local mall that still has an FYE store, and I had a bag of trade-ins to get rid of. I do that a lot. While I was there, I sort of asked off hand if they had any Pumpkin Pete’s cereal still in stock, and while I had absolutely zero confidence that there’d be any, it turned out they had an entire case of the stuff that they hadn’t put out yet. And thus, I now have a box of cereal that cost 13 dollars.

For those of you looking for a little background, this product was inspired by a one-off joke in the first volume of RWBY, where it was revealed that Pyrrha was so famous that she’d actually been featured on a cereal box. She said the cereal itself wasn’t very good OR very healthy, and in a later Chibis short she seemed to be struggling to eat it while being filmed for a commercial, but somehow, it still wound up becoming an actual product, despite Pyrrha’s wishes. And now, in honor of her death, you get to enjoy two scoops of her ashes in every box!

Too morbid? Sorry. I’m just really excited about this. It’s not the first product tie-in cereal that’s ever existed… I had Pokemon cereal back in the day, I had some Star Wars cereal featuring Rey from The force Awakens(I still have the box), and the WWE stable The New Day got their Booty-O’s cereal turned into a popular FYE staple. Honestly, considering the burst in popularity over Mulan McNuggets sauce, I was surprised to see so many boxes of Strawberry Smiggles there, with nobody lining up to buy them. I mean, I like Rick and Morty, but I don’t LOVE it, so I can do without their cereal and shitty McDonalds condiments.

But I bought myself a box of Pumpkin Pete’s, and I’m going to try some for you today!

Here’s what it looks like in person…

Here’s a word search on the side…

The back, with a free cut-out mask…

I know how important these are for you.

Something tells me I’ll be finishing it before this date.

If this were the nineties, the small toy would be in the bottom of the box, and the larger toy would be mail-order.  Ask your parents, kids.

Funny, they kind of look like Lucky Charms…

These marshmallows aren’t dissuading that impression…

And yeah, it’s just Lucky Charms. 

Well, guys, that about wraps this up…  If you were curious about what Pumpkin Pete’s taste like, it’s just Lucky Charms.  Whether or not you’ll like them depends on what you think about Lucky Charms.  I think they’re okay, and pretty good in milk, and that’s the impression I got from Pete’s.

Was it worth 13 bucks?  Yeah, insofar as I get to add the box to my RWBY collection without fear of moths or rats tearing it open, but food-wise, no way.

Next week, I’ll be posting a review of one of the first anime I ever saw, so get ready for the exciting conclusion of Otaku-tober!

It’s finally here!  I promised it, you’ve been waiting for it, and now that my fourth annual Studio Gainax month has concluded, it’s time to see almost 170 pictures of cosplayers from my local anime convention, Tora-con!

All of these photos were taken with permission, as well as a promise that they’d go up online for the individuals involved to get their copies.  Having said that, if you’re in one of these, and you’d like to have it removed, contact me through whatever method on my Contact page appeals to you the most, and I’ll take the photo down, no questions asked.

Also, I’m in the process of labeling the pictures, but I’m ashamed to admit I don’t know all of the characters, so if you could comment under an “Unknown” photo who the character is, I’d appreciate it.

As for the rest of you, get ready to see what kind of awesome costumes these true anime fans were able to come up with!

Right, so, my good friend Jennifer Paetsch nominated me for this award, and I’m flattered to once again be receiving one.  I’ve got to be honest, though, I’m more thrilled by the gesture from her than I am for the award itself.  Miss Paetsch was the first person to really support this blog by offering likes to my work, she granted me a fantastic interview that I urge you to read, and I’ve been commissioning header artwork from her since last fall.  If you’re in need of artwork for your personal or public sites, I highly recommend contacting her, as her prices are fair and her work is well worth the investment.  You can find her blog at https://jenniferpaetsch.com, and the creator of the award, Okoto Enigma, at this clicky thing.

As for these awards themselves, I’m not crazy about them.  I don’t hate them, as they carry a symbolic honor, and they do tend to create surges of traffic, but they feel too much like chain letters for my taste.  I apologize to anyone that may offend, it’s just the way these things feel to me.

And now comes the part where I have to do stuff.

1. You found something in a drawer you forgot. What is it and what is it for?

Likely a cord to something.  Either for a gaming device I’ve stopped using or for one of my cameras.

2. Favorite day of the year?

I’d honestly have to say whenever tora-con is.  so many happy memories.

3. Cake or death?

What kind of cake?  If I choose cake, does it turn out to be a lie, and I get death anyway?  i need to know these things.

4. Do you prefer spicy, sweet, or savory?

I’m honestly not sure what savory means…  But I don’t like things that are too sweet or too spicy, so Savory sounds just vague enough to pick.

5. How many pets have you had in you life and what were they? Tell us about them!

I grew up with mostly dogs…  I had a border collie/cocker spaniel mix named Midnight who was partially disabled, and didn’t learn to bark until she was well past 10 years old.  This was after we got her a new companion, a black Lab named Lucky, who had a biting problem and had to be put down a few years after Middy’s passing.  We then got Lady, another cocker, who lived until 15, as cockers tend to do.

When I started living independently, I got into cats, and weirdly enough, I’ve to this day never had a kitten.  I got them all as adults from friends who couldn’t keep them.  The first and main one was Shadow, a gray Maine Coon who’s picture I included in my Cat Soup review.  I got him when he was six, and soon after I took in a black barn cat named Jack, who, according to all evidence, was around 18 when I got him.  He died around 20, and Shadow was clearly depressed over it, so I replaced him a year later with an orange cat named Vinny.  I had to put 16 year old Shadow down a month and a half ago, a day before my birthday.

He’d been aging for a while…  He’d started developing arthritis in his hips a few years prior…  And he slowed down in his later years.  He stopped grooming, leaving the care of his fur to me.  I’m pretty sure that he was ready to go long before I was ready to let him, and oddly enough, in his last week before he lost the ability to stand up and move by himself, he’d shown signs of being oddly nostalgic over the old toys he could no longer play with.  Anyway, I found a vet that would take him on short notice(FUCK Banfield), and he passed comfortably.

Time to pick some people, and probably eventually get around to telling them!

My questions:

1: What’s the square root of pie?
2: In your opinion, at what exact time does noon become afternoon?
3: Do you think ostriches ever get jealous of the flying birds?
4: What’s your favorite alchemist-related anime from 2003?
5: Do you think western animation should be considered anime?

The only reblog i’ve ever done, and quite possibly the only one I’ll ever do.

Congratulations, LMG!

Jennifer Paetsch

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter then you probably already know that I got my 3D Designer certificate which basically is to show that I know how to use Autodesk Maya to build models, animate them, use special effects, render images, etc. As a next step, I’m learning Blender and creating some work and a show reel. I’ll post updates here on my blog, but not as many or as often as I post on Twitter and Instagram.

Thanks to all my fans and friends and Patreon subscribers who have been very patient and supportive as I achieve my goals! I can’t express my gratitude enough. You are the best!

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