About

Yeah it's a pixie cut, want to make something of it?
Karen Mead, in one of her rare jaunts outside

Hi, I’m Karen Mead, and this is my blog. Once I was a newspaper reporter, and wrote about things like plans for new sewage treatment plants and legislative redistricting. Then I woke up one morning and thought “Wouldn’t it be more fun to write about anime, and games and comics and stuff?” and started doing that.

I’ve been blogging here intermittently ever since 2010. If I seem familiar somehow, but you’ve never visited Otakusphere before, you may have read some of my articles and reviews at sites like Anime.com, The Fandom Post, and the J-List blog.

Why “Otakusphere?”

The main reason why this blog is called Otakusphere is because I heard the word once and thought it sounded cool; it would be nice if there was a more interesting story behind it, but that’s what we’ve got.

However, considering that I like to write about material that can run far afield of typical otaku interests, it may be useful to think of a kind of “sphere of interest” that Otakusphere attempts to cover. In the dead center of the sphere you have anime, my main focus, and as you get further out, you get Japanese games, visual novels, cosplay, Jdrama, and so on. At the periphery of the sphere you even have Western stuff that can’t be considered otaku-media by virtue of not being Japanese in origin, but has enough commonality with otaku media that it’s likely to be of interest to some of the same fans.

Basically, most of what I cover fits comfortably under the label “anime blog,” but I cover some other stuff if I’m passionate about it and think readers would enjoy it. There are limits though; you will probably never read detailed episode recaps of Knight Rider on Otakusphere. Probably.

Approach to Analysis

I think of myself as a fan first, critic second. Some might assume this means that I’m easier to please than most critics (which may be true), but that’s not really what it means. When I say I’m a fans first, I mean we want to write about the show– or the game, or the manga, or the book, or whatever. If writing about the piece happens to involve academic-style criticism, because it fits, I go with it. But I never write about anything with the purpose of making it fit into any kind of critical framework.

I added this part here because while I may sometimes write things that seem anti-criticism (although hopefully not anti-intellectual), I’m not opposed to using the tools of academic analysis when they’re the right tools for the job. But that’s all they are, tools, and they don’t excite me; the media itself does.

Now, if you want to talk about tools exciting someone, try taking my Dad to Home Depot; Now there is a man who loves his tools.

What is Going on With All Your Tomb Raider and X-Men Posts and Whatever? Are you ever going to finish?

I have a bad habit of starting massive blog projects that I then only chip away at over the years. I am technically in the middle of blogging all of the Tomb Raider games (currently in the middle of TRII), but keep being stymied by tech problems. I’m also working my way through X-Men The Animated Series, slowly. I can’t promise I won’t start some other massive project of questionable relevance that I will only update sporadically; that just seems to be how my mind works. I don’t know if I’ll ever finish any of these projects, but I would like to keep going with them and see how far I can get. If you want to see more of any of these things, leave comments on the posts and let me know you like them; it’s easier to make time for these things if I know I’m not just doing it strictly for my own amusement (although that is sometimes motivation enough, because I am just that obsessed.)

CONTACT:

Need to contact us about some special project, that will hopefully entail billions of dollars? E-mail Karen at Karen {a} rangoric.com. Okay, billions of dollars don’t need to be involved, you can just say hi if you want.