3+ Years, 500 Posts, and Counting…

I considered doing a 3rd Anniversary post in August, but since I wasn’t far off  from 500 posts I decided to wait and share the regular stats along with something different.

 

Categories

First I’d like to share the same type of rundown I’ve done the previous two years.

Please see my post from Derailments of Thought’s one year anniversary for the original breakdown.

 

Last times stats, as of 403 posts:

~36% reading reviews (18% of total manga, 9% comics and 8% prose)
~28% wrestling related
~19% gaming related (13% boardgames, 6% video games)
~9% movie reviews
~6% mystery box reviews
~2% other

 

Current stats, as of 500 posts:

~34% reading reviews (17% of total manga, 9% comics and 8% prose)
~31% wrestling related
~16% gaming related (11% boardgames, 5% video games)
~9% movie reviews
~5% art reviews
~5% other

Pretty consistent overall, with the wrestling percentage growing and the others dropping just a touch in turn. As I’ve mentioned previously those posts do tend to be longer in general, so the actual percentage of my writing focused on wrestling is probably closer to half. I dropped the mystery box percentage as I’m no longer reviewing those (and haven’t been for this entire update period) so it belongs lumped in with “other” now,  and my features on various types of artwork are increasing in number so that category gets its own line now.

Nothing unexpected here, but it’s still interesting to see broken down into categories. As with previous years the final ~5% catch all category is not to be overlooked, as some of my most interesting experiences end up outside of my comfort zones and can be found there. 

 

 

Specific Post Details

Derailments of Thought is 100% a personal hobby blog, and my little corner of the web is generally pretty modest in terms of views. More than half of my posts garner under 20, and the “highly viewed” posts generally end up with a few hundred. This is fine, and I greatly appreciate everyone who takes the time to read. I’m pointing it out for context for the extent in which a couple of my pieces have deviated from the norm. I’m sharing this short list because I find the mix of subject and other little details interesting.

 

 

Here are the top 5 posts from the blog in terms of views (the counts could be off by a few, but these numbers have generally stabilized):

 

5. A Suitably Marvelous Followup   357 Views

A few years ago Chigusa Nagayo tried to expand her brand a bit with NYC based shows for the US branch of her promotion Marvelous. They were an interesting experiment, and the third and final one she ran featured the wrestling debut of Mio Momono, who I believe to be the fastest rising star in wrestling. There was a fair amount of interest in this endeavor and when I wrote these up I remember getting linked to by a Japanese blog. Why this second show in particular, which was the only one of the three that didn’t feature any visiting Joshi talent wrestling, has been looked up the most I’m not sure. Although it likely has something to do with Kimber Lee and Patrick Clark in the main.

 

4. Welcome to Shimmer  500 views

Around the time of my favorite independent wrestling promotion’s 10th Anniversary I was inspired to write a piece talking about a few DVDs from Shimmer’s run that would be good starting points for new viewers. With the number of excellent talents that had gone on to WWE (including my favorite wrestler, Kana/Asuka), I added context highlighting appearance of those wrestlers appearances on the shows I had chosen. Last year I went back to this post and edited it to add further information regarding participants in WWE’s Mae Young Classic. I link back to this often as I really like the way it came out, I adore introducing new viewers to Shimmer, and I still think the three shows featured are wonderful places to jump in to watching. This (and other pieces I’ve written) has been shared on social media by Shimmer themselves as well as others, which was a wonderful compliment.

 

3. Raven’s of Thri Sahashri Beginner’s Guide  549 views

I adore board games, and have written about several and played tons more. A couple of years ago I stumbled upon a fantastic little 2-player cooperative game called Ravens of Thri Sahashri, that has extremely interesting asymmetric game role and a hook of no talking (players are supposed to communicate what they want the other person to do through the gameplay choices they make).

The drawback of its uniqueness and depth is it has a rather high learning curve, and it’s tough to get into from just the rulebook (although all the information is in there somewhere). I decided to write what I called a “Beginner’s Guide,” both to help others and to get things straight in my own mind. I offered some basic strategy hints and walked through the rules in what I thought was a more accessible way. I state in it that it’s not supposed to be a rulebook replacement, but by the time I was done it essentially is.

I haven’t promoted this one in particular nor reshared it at all. It became my 3rd (2nd actually until a month ago) most viewed post simply by people searching the game’s name and presumably looking for rule clarifications, etc. I hope it’s been helpful.

 

2. A Ray of Light Gone Too Soon  1,095 views

This is the most recent post on this list, and the toughest to talk about. In early 2016 professional wrestler Ray was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and summarily retired. She was always pushing herself and there always seemed some outside hope of recovery and a return. Sadly she passed away last month. This tribute was incredible hard to write and felt woefully inadequate. I’m touched it’s been read so much and I can only hope that means I managed to do some justice to someone I truly adored watching perform that was taken from us too soon.

 

1. Japan Cuts 2017: Mumon: The Land of Stealth   1,953 views

Until the post about Ray this review of a movie I saw at Japan Cuts (a Japanese Film Festival held every year in New York City) had 4 times the views of anything else I’ve written. Even now it’s still about double. I had no idea the fame of the main actor of this when watching, it was just a movie I really enjoyed. I’m grateful I was able to convey those feelings well, and for the way the review was shared on social media among the actor’s fandom. Someone even asked to translate it into Japanese, and the two versions are cross linked. A cool outlier for my modest little blog.

 

——-

 

I wrote less (post count-wise) this year than in the past, but still a good turnout I think and this blog is still an important outlet for me. I greatly appreciate everyone who’s read, shared, and or commented on things I’ve written.

Please stick around for much more to come. 🙂

How Time Flies…

Last Summer (2016) I took a look at some stats breaking down my posts here for Derailments of Thought’s one year anniversary.

I’m a few months late for a second anniversary post, but seeing as I recently cleared a total of 400 posts (which is frankly mind boggling) this seemed like a good time to look back again on what I’ve been writing about.

Last time’s stats, as of 213 posts:

~37% reading reviews (22% of total manga, 12% comics and 3% prose)
~26% wrestling related
~14% gaming related (10% boardgames, 4% videogames)
~12% mystery box reviews
~8% movie reviews
~3% other

 

Current stats, as of 403 posts:

~36% reading reviews (18% of total manga, 9% comics and 8% prose)
~28% wrestling related
~19% gaming related (13% boardgames, 6% video games)
~9% movie reviews
~6% mystery box reviews
~2% other

 

Pretty consistent overall. The mystery box percentage halved overall because I stopped getting/reviewing them right around that one year mark. Wrestling percentage is pretty stable at about a quarter of my posts, but like I mentioned last year those tend to be significantly longer than some other categories so I’d guess it comprises about half of my actual writing. Games of all types and prose reviews have been a bit more of my focus recently than comics and manga, so those ratios are shifting a bit. I expect the gaming percentage to continue to grow as I have tons of games I want to share thoughts on, although those reviews are also time intensive so it’ll be an ongoing process.

Nothing unexpected here, but it’s still interesting to take a quick look at. The final ~2% catch all category is not to be overlooked, as some of my most interesting experiences end up outside of my comfort zones and can be found there. 

Still going strong, and still really enjoying writing up thoughts and assorted ramblings in this space. Please stick around for much more to come. 🙂

NYAFF 2017: Mrs. K Review

Last year at New York Asian Film Festival I went to a screening of the wonderful anime film Miss Hokusai. This year’s NYAFF is winding down and yesterday I saw the Malaysian action movie Mrs. K.

 

Note: I general try to keep reviews relatively spoiler free, but I will be addressing some general trends and developments in the plot here.

 

mrsk

 

Although admittedly previously unfamiliar with star actress Kara Wai, it’s easy to immediately recognize the experience and skill she possesses once she takes the screen. Her portrayal of the titular housewife with a secret past is nicely nuanced and shines in the early portions of the film when she’s confidently displaying a dangerous edge lurking below cheerful, comedic moments. If this is indeed her last action role, in a lot of ways is an appropriate one to go out on. Particularly affecting are the downright BRUTAL fight scenes, loaded with hatred and really feeling like the characters are trying to kill each other instead of the dance like choreography sometimes used that would have been horribly out of place in this film. They’re uncomfortable to watch in parts, but perfect for the story and extremely well done.

The acting is excellent in general, with the supporting cast matching Wai’s level in their portrayals of both friend and foe. I’d like to give special mention to young actress Siow Li Xuan, portraying Mrs. K’s daughter in a role that required a delicate balance of determination and fear. She’s does an incredible job and seems like a big star in the making. Her perilous situations and the accompanying danger is one part of the tense atmosphere the movie generates and maintains with intimidating villains, slow building dread, and harsh confrontations.

The plot is where I think the previously mentioned excellent elements are let down. Specifically in the lead role. The idea seemed to be a return to her old ways for the titular Mrs. K when her past comes back to haunt her. Several descriptions of the movie talk about “a woman who will do anything to protect her husband and daughter.” The problem is she’s entirely reactive in her efforts to deal with the threat (which she initially underestimates, somewhat causing the problem in the first place), and largely ineffective in what she does attempt. In a lot of ways she’s as much a victim as her kidnapped daughter. Yes, she puts up a hell of a fight at every turn and shows great devotion to trying to set things right, but her daughter is a hundred times more proactive in trying to get away than her mother is in trying to rescue her and the biggest hero moments of the film are given to Mrs. K’s husband (a gynecologist who’s only previous familiarity with guns or violence came from being taught by his wife).

I’ll stop there to avoid even more explicit plot details, but the story progression seemed off overall and changes to either a few of the resolutions or more explanation of why characters acted as they did would have done wonders. There were also few instances of the antagonists’ actions not making a whole lot of sense, seemingly for the sake of having a cool scene, and the pacing felt uneven to the point of distraction in places.

It’s a bit of a shame, as again things like the daughter’s personal arc, the visceral, brutal fights, and imaginative, striking visuals are excellent. And Wai’s performance as Mrs. K’s is fantastic. I just can’t help but think of how much better this could have been with some tweaks to give her more to work with and make the main character’s story and struggle as strong as the actress playing her.

 

A Year and Counting…

It’s the one year anniversary for Derailments of Thought. Time flies.

I had been writing book and game reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and BGG for a few years, but had in the back of my mind expanding to a space where I wasn’t as constrained by format or content. I’ve really enjoyed writing here, from my standard reading reviews to more varied posts about art, food, wrestling, etc. I posted 213 posts during the year (most of which were new writing), which boggles my mind.

Some pretty predictable breakdown stats:

~37% reading reviews (22% of total manga, 12% comics and 3% prose)
~26% wrestling related
~14% gaming related (10% boardgames, 4% videogames)
~12% mystery box reviews
~8% movie reviews
~3% other

I actually feel like the wrestling percentage should be higher, but that’s probably because those reviews tend to be much longer than the reading reviews so they compromise a larger portion of my actual writing than they do post count.

It’s been interesting / fun to write this year’s Japan Cuts reviews, as my reviews for last year’s festival were pretty much the first things I wrote for this.

Anyway, here’s to many more random ramblings from me to come. 🙂

I LOVE ME

So I stumbled upon an interesting link while perusing Twitter that led to a blog entry with the same title that I gave this one. The challenge at the end (as well as the blog itself) was both fascinating and terrifying, and this is perhaps the most difficult thing I’ve ever written.

I LOVE my determination to turn setbacks into opportunities.

I LOVE that I know the value of enjoying games and hobbies.

I LOVE my brain and the way it sees the world.

I LOVE my dry, twisted sense of humor.

I LOVE my love and appreciation for art.

I LOVE being a good friend.

I LOVE being able to face my problems with a blend of logic and empathy.

I LOVE being good with children, and my ability to make them smile.

I LOVE the peace I feel from music.

I LOVE that I’m taking steps towards lifelong dreams and goals.

I LOVE that I’m there when my loved ones need me.

I LOVE ME.

I challenge everyone who reads this to write down how they love themselves today.

Now I’m going to hit publish before I succumb to my self-conscious impulse to delete this whole entry. Great exercise in acknowledging the positive though, which we should all do more often.