Saturday, January 17, 2015

State of the show: January 17, 2015

Okay, people probably saw the line about the show going on Hiatus.  It's more out of necessity than anything.

Please click the read more tag to find out the details.

Let me make this clear: I am not done producing my show.  It will end on my terms, no-one else's

But When I started doing the show with regularity, I was unemployed, and thinking while I hunted I could do this on the side and see if I could turn it into my regular job.
And dear god did I suck when I started.
While I believe I started having good content in the reviewer/critiquing sense in season 2 (2013), I don't think I improved my production values significantly until this last year.
I really liked how season 3 turned out overall, but It's been very time consuming to produce.

And Now I've been able to secure regular employment, and it's not been the smoothest of turnovers.

If you are curious, I now work replenishment/Restock at a Michaels Arts and Crafts in Schaumburg, Illinois, and have been since August.  The store happens to be a Few blocks from where Dashcon, that one tumblr convention, was held.
I'm willing to give out that information, as I literally drive 20 miles to and from work per day--as I've exhausted applying to literally every location possible within that radius over the last 3 years--so I doubt someone can pin down my home address from that information.

...No, I've still not caught the guy who sent me Lighting Returns.

But since I've started working, I've not had as much time to work on reviewer stuff as I have liked, and this was more prevalent in the last production block for 2014.  I've needed more rest and recuperation time.

This last episode of the Agito reviews was written in late september, a full Six weeks after I'd finished watching the series, and what was meant to be a few months off after I completed this last set of episodes and let them play before I got back to work, turned into me rushing to finish content for the buffer as production of them was delayed, and other things (Kamen Rider Taisen, the digimon fighting games review) Jumped priority.
Suffice to say, I hit burn out, and needed time off.
So I took it.  The agito reviews were originally intended to be released as part of a double-up month, all in december, I just decided to stretch them out into January to buy myself a little time as I took a december off before getting back to watching/playing stuff and writing up my reviews.
This six week void before beginning season 4 is simply that result.

Don't worry; I'm fully into production of season 4 content.  I have 8 full scripts ready to go, and am working on another 8 before I get to editing to rebuild the buffer, which should last through May, possible June.
...2015 is going to hit me hard.
Regardless, short Hiatus' are going to start being required between production blocks, as is shorter episodes when discussing topics.
IT's mainly so I can work to pad things out and balance doing this show with regular releases--which I REALLY enjoy doing--and work which I require to continue living.

Why does the show not cover my costs of living?
Dudes, It's only since around June that I started seeing regular money, and it's a good month when I get $40.   I make that any single day I work retail.
 The reviewer paycheck isn't all that good if you're not a big name that gets a lot of views, or part of a Big, notable site (and at this point that's only Channel awesome anymore if you don't just do straight-up video games), as everyone keeps reducing the payouts from ad revenue.  Blip is by far the best with regards to that, the second being Dailymotion; even with how poorly they tend to be run.
For youtube?  it apparently takes over a thousand views to even get $5.
I don't know about maker, but as it goes through Youtube and requires a regular successful youtube page to even apply to them, it's probably a similar quantity.
As it is, I've mainly rolled what money I have gotten from it (and my recent job) back into production of the show. Backdrop stuff, props I've made, equipment upgrades.
...possibly an impulse buy or two, admittedly.
But quite frankly, I don't have the viewership to warrant keeping this as my sole income base.  I still do it, as I REALLY like doing it.

And no, I refuse to do more midroll commercial breaks than one every ten minutes on average.  Even with the bumpers in and out of them, I too find them obtrusive.  It's a necessary evil for even getting that much back, however.

What happened to the Rise of the Critics/Independant Mayhem stuff?
Short of it?  Raven, our 'Boss' Ran into a string of real-life issues, couldn't afford to maintain the site's upkeep costs.  I'd been running the 'release the videos to the public after people have uploaded' stuff for a few months before while he tried to sort things, but it just fell through from lack of a user base.  Raven's doing better financially, but not well enough for us to try a 'by the critics/reviewers/web original producers, for the critics/reviewers/web original producers' thing again.  I've kept in touch with the people I met while we did that, most of us are back to our individual pages, or Manic Expression, another reviewer site that seems to be stable, just not as big as Channel Awesome and it's associates.

Why don't I Go On Youtube?  The Viewer base is larger, so that should offset things.
because every Tokusatsu producing company (especially Toei) are Dicks with respect to Content ID and takedowns.
It is not automated bots with them, it is directly coming from the company.
No copyrighted Audio? Watermarks? Snippets that last under 10 seconds?  The intent to inform/educate/critique/parody/advertise that qualifies for fair use?  It does not matter.  Literally every time I have tried in the past has received a near-instant takedown. I have attempted to argue Fair use repeatedly, and failed every time.
You might have noticed some videos not on my dailymotion page?  While dailymotion is better with respect to content ID, when it comes up They just will remove the video and not screw up your entire account, but any attempts to repost the video with differing edits that mediate the content will always, and I Do mean ALWAYS fail.
As It is, I started posting Vlogs and some of the review trailers on youtube the last few months to try and build a base to try again...and Toei even went after those, that are legitimately fair use, and they won such again.  As of right now, my account is locked, and it's going to stay that way for a while.

And Herotaku?
I'm glad to be part of Herotaku, but it's another newer site that's still building up it's userbase.  I'm more than happy to contribute to get it working towards taking off more significantly for all of our sakes, but again; making sure I can live properly inevitably takes priority.

Is there any other way you can get back to doing this more regularly?
Well, I'm still shooting for at least one scripted video a week, so that's not going to change; but IF you are not aware, I have a patreon which can REALLY help to offset costs and reliance on Going to work and not doing the show.  I have some long-standing goals for donations, such as Za Worst series I want to start on at some point, which I will also be updating with some other request I've been receiving and changing the tiers and rewards to reflect some changes in plans.
Mainly as I've been able to secure a better camera, so that goal is no longer applicable.

I'm shooting for around 30 minutes or less per video this year, as the 40+ minute ones have been becoming hell.
So you won't really be getting 'more' content, just the same amount of time spaced out a bit more, which I've been honestly reluctant to do, as I ramble on a lot as it is.
...I am not good at being concise, as then I run into the dreaded "You forgot this!" voice.

So what's coming in season 4?  Well, here's a little list of what I have planned.

Tokusatsu in review; travelers dimension police
.Hack/Retrospective: .hack//G.U. Vol 3: Redemption

Tokusatsu in review: Denji Sentai Megaranger
Tokusatsu in review; Power rangers in Space

RPG Hell: Mass Effect 2

4th Anniversary review
Tokusatsu in review: kamen Rider Ryuki
Tokusatsu in review: Kamen Rider Dragon Knight

Anime review: King of Braves Gaogaigar

RPG Hell: Kingdom hearts

Tokusatsu in review: Ultraman Tiga

RPG Hell: Disgaea 2
Tokusatsu in review: Garo: makai Senki

Tokusatsu in review: kamen Rider 555

Movie review: Digimon: X-Evolution
RPG Hell: Digimon World 4

I am also intending to get the side-garo content that occurs before makai Senki (Byakuya no maju, red requiem, Kiba gaiden), and the last of the .hack content (second era novels, GU trilogy, Link, Quantum, Vs/The World)  finished this as you can tell, I am really trying to be ambitious with this year on top of my real-life workload.  So this schedule may be subject to change.

But here is my promise to you all.  That Patreon?  One of The new Goals is going to be going back to doing this full time; but Only If It's for something I can live off of.  I'm sorry, but that's how it has to be.

I am not abandoning the show, far from it.  I just can't make it my main priority anymore.

Shinta reviews will return for season 4, in march 2015


  1. Looks like your all set for the year. Once you review Tiga all that's left is for you to review a Metal Hero series and then you'll have reviewed at one series from each of the Big 4 of Toku. Also looking forward to your Kingdom Hearts episode of RPG Hell.

  2. Good to see you have a schedule ready for when you end your hiatus.

    I can totally understand the difficulties of not having proper funding for projects and needing to get an actual job that pays you properly. That how things are for me. (Mind you I never had a review show like yours. But I did need money for personal projects.)

  3. Goodluck with your Job Shinta Hopefully I enjoyed the review looking onto Toku reviews etc. And yeah the issue with youtube videos (Toei content) being taken down that is some thing I know better I mean One year I found some clips of toku mainly sentai or something Now those videos are gone I think Megaforce Cast had video etc loaded there those are gone as well. Though I wish you well on your future and hopefully get to see your vlogs after hiatus

  4. Get some well deserved rest, you not only need it but you deserve it. I and many other fans will definitely wait patiently for your upcoming reviews. I would like to ask a question regarding JRPGs, aside from the .Hack series and the FF series, do you also play the Tales of series, the Atelier series or the Neptunia series?

    1. I have tales of Graces F, I intend that to be the first one I do.
      Neptunia I'm on the fence over, to be honest
      I'd not heard of the Atelier series at all. I'll consider it.
      *Wiki's* OOOH~! Steve blum and Mary McGlynn in Eternal mana...

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Tales of Graces F is a good game, though the prologue can be a bit long, and the story put more emphasis on friendship, but it is still a good game.

    The Neptunia series, if you don't mind game references humor plus fourth wall breaking and a bit of fan service plus visual novel style+RPG gameplay, then you can give it a go. Though beware that the first game is not that good, but it did improve in later series. But to me, the definitive games would be the rebirth series which are remakes of the first 3 games which is available for the PSVita and later on Steam.

    Aah... it seems you are interested in the PS2 title, but I think the Atelier series really got popular in the PS3 games. Be warn that the Atelier games also have time management.

  6. Well I might not watch in March because I'm not familiar with Dimension Police and I tuned out of .hack after legend of the twilight bracelet. You know I"m gonna be back for April because in space was where I first grew out of power rangers but I wish I didn't.