Retrospective and a reflection of InterestSOAP/Otaku Panorama

Just to tease SleepyNoYume, Imma leave this here

Well, Valence wrote an article on AOIA a while as a past reflection of sorts about AOIA and after reading it, I was tempted to do the same for Otaku Panorama. (Sorry Valence, this post might kinda seem like yours >.<)

It is now the start of May and as the writers rush into the mugging mode for our mid-year exams, I can’t help but think that our 1-year anniversary would be on us in a month. about 11 months ago, I started this blog by myself as a means of putting my thoughts forth. Twitter had a 140 character limit and I was limited by commenting on other’s blog. The logical step would have been to start my own blog. Hence, one night at the end of May, InterestSOAP was born.

I started the blog with absolutely no idea how to run one. I could barely understand the tutorial on how to set up your own blog and much less on the basics of composing a post. With all that troubles of setting up, It was a surprise I even managed to get a post out in the month of May (Just as a record, May 2011 only had 2 views throughout the month.)

I started out trying to copy other writers. At that time, I was unsure about my own writing style and my flair hence copying more popular authors would be a good start. Or so I thought. It didn’t hold true to me and limited my ability to convey my thoughts. I was a 15 year old trying too hard to sound sophisticated and mature. I mean, I was 15! The hot-blooded rush of pubertal hormones and rebellious thoughts rushed through my veins. When I go back to look at my past posts, I almost want to puke from how much of a prat I had sounded like. It didn’t even sound like me. In real life, I speak and write so differently.

It took a while, but I finally realized what was my own style after slowly trying out new styles and such. There was some posts where I completely abandoned the pre-tense of being sophisticated  and just dumped all my thoughts whilst trying to inject as much “fun” as possible into the post. No doubt those posts were disastrous.But shortly before SleepyNoYume came onto InterstSOAP, I finally found my own style. Much like Valence, I like filling my posts with small, subtle jokes and puns. I like using expletives and expressions in my posts. It made little sense grammatically but it held true to the way I wanted my posts to sound like. I also finally settled on un-chaining my “F**k all” attitude when it came to offering my opinions then trying to resolve conflicts in the comments (No doubt leading to many problems as I’m sure some of the readers would know off).

However, that was how I found fun in writing my posts. Because at the end of the day, that’s what blogging was all about. It’s not really meant for others. It’s just a platform to express your thoughts and opinions on some topics.

I also remember when InterestSOAP first started out doing episodics. We only began that during the Winter season last year as a trial to see if we’ll like it. As with any new thing, I’m quite sure the writers referenced others works rather often perhaps to the point of blatant plagiarism (Kinda like me until I edited my initial episodic debut). Eventually, we settled on a formula we liked. But it was still off-putting to me at first. There was this feeling of bland-ness when it came to summarizing the post. However, I realized it was neccasary to give a context for your own thoughts and opinions you give later on in the post. That’s where the real fun was. Giving your opinion of the plot and character developments and whatever little small thoughts you cared to put in. Conspiring what the next episode could offer.Whilst it was boring work to take screenshots and to summarize, I still found the joy in writing.

We have gone through quite a lot here on InterestSOAP. From gaining 3 new writers over the short course of a few months to finally breaking the 100 daily view barrier suddenly one fine day. I’m not very sure about the other writers, but I found that this blog was one of the best things I have ever started. For once, I could offer my opinions without others being too insulted due to my tone of voice (I still sound sarcastic and condescending no matter how hard I try not to)  and such trivial matters. I could meet like-minded individuals and have small debates with them. I could write all the crap I wanted and get my opinions of my chest without limitations. One of the most fun things was to be able to share my passion for artwork. As many of you guys know, I love spamming screenshots and artworks in my post. My record stands at 72 pictures in a single post.

Other memorable events included our unanimous vote to overhaul the old look of InterestSOAP and to give it a design all the writers would like. A rather funny story was one where I finally discovered what RSS is and realized for the first 9 months, the blog did not have one at all. How I came up with the blog’s name and how I had to edit it when the other writers came on is also a fond memory of mine. The difficulties the other writers had to face when writing their first post, much like I had at first is one of those bitter-sweet memories. I never had any help when starting out except for the occasional little snippet of advice (It took me 2 months to find the “Insert More Tag” in WordPress) so I was more than happy to aid my writers start out so that they won’t have to go through the same thoughts of giving up when they start blogging.

Or perhaps the time when I had mixed emotions from me exceeding Photobucket’s montly bandwidth limit due to our readers spam opening my pictures and such. One of the best would be when the 4 writers finally got together to do a post together. When we had that giant cooperation with AOIA to write the Winter Preview is also another notable marker in our history.


The blog was renamed Otaku Panorama after a majot overhaul, brought about by feedback and suggestions from the AniBlog Tourney. We spent 3 days just sorting out all the administrative mess that came with the change.

So, I look forward to our 1 year anniversary. We’ll surpass 30k views soon (we’re at 29k at the moment) and we recently broke 500 views in a day thanks to the ABT. Although the writers are all busy with our major exams this year, I hope we all can still find some time to update OtakuPanorama once in a while.

Perhaps our blog will even gain a fifth writer over the course of this year. I have many great hopes for OtakuPanorama and I have to thank all the readers for sticking with us this far. It was hard to start of all first as I felt that nobody was even noticing OtakuPanorama at all due to it’s age and perhaps it’s rather crappy content. But we slowly built up our rather small base of readers and I think we’re doing rather well for a blog that has not even hit 1 year of age.


About Manfred Tham

Manfred can typically be found hiding from people behind his computer screen or a tall pint. However you can easily contact him in any given video game where he will either insult you or be really nice to you. In addition his nerdiness transcends the digital plane when he partakes in the arcane rituals of rolling dice in both table-top and board games. Disregarding the countless hours he has logged into games, Manfred loves nothing more than cooking food to satisfy his craving for Northern European cuisine or to sip away from the many bottles of whiskies he fondly defaults to. Manfred is also what is commonly known as a “metalhead” with a penchant for both symphonic and power metal. Manfred summarises his life philosophy with a quote by Samuel L.Jackson, but it has been redacted for being far too vulgar.

Posted on May 4, 2012, in Anime, Manga, Otaku-ism, Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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