RIP O-New, Barely Even Knew You

As you may have heard, a prolific blogger hung his hat up earlier last month. He was one of the few people from the aniblog community who semi-regularly followed my blog, and I’d always remembered him as a silly guy with silly posts and that goddamn ugly orange color scheme on his blog.

But because of that silliness and the complete disorganization of his blog, I didn’t want to put O-NEW on my blogroll. There was a time when I had this “ideal” anime blog in my mind, and I only put blogs that adhered strictly to long, winding paragraphs of nothingness of my blogroll. The longer and the smarter each post sounded, the better. Then one day I had a realization. John Sato’s comment on Mushy’s final post hits home. I’ll quote the entire thing just for kicks:

When I first encountered O-NEW in the 2012 aniblog tourney, I think I saw something similar to what you described here. It was a confusing, disorienting mess of anything, everything, and nothing all at once. Posts had no point, were borderline pretentious, had all sorts of nonsensical puns and pieces of wordplay for the sake of making nonsensical puns and pieces of wordplay. But something about it intrigued me, so I kept on visiting.

It was only much later that I finally realized what it was that made me keep going back. I realized that I was wrong. I realized how fun O-NEW was! It was a place to be free, to do stupid things with puns for the sake of doing stupid things with puns! It was a place to relax, to think out loud, to exercise my sense of banality and ridiculousness, a sense that is elsewhere utterly suppressed. In the depths of depression (inspired by various things, a large workload being one of them) last Fall, O-NEW kind of saved me. It told me to calm down, to take things easy, to be silly and have fun.

Then I even had the honor of writing here! I got to make silly puns about bugs and sickness while waxing (as you said, just waxing) about emotion in anime or the oddities of a manga series. Anything, everything, and nothing could happen here. And that was what made it special.

I deeply regret not writing more in my time here (I still have “WRITE SOMETHING FOR O-NEW” on various to-do lists), but I’m glad I had the chance to do it at all. This has been a unique place for me, one I’ve come to cherish greatly.

You did that. As you said, you were O-NEW. So thank you, Mushy. Thank you for authoring this wonderful, wonderful thing. I’m sad to see you go, and if you stay gone, I want you to know you’ll be missed.

In any event, it’s been good, boss.

I wish I could have said it better than that. I, too, saw O-NEW’s underlying purpose: to have fun. The rigidity of Sea Slugs! and the long flowing posts of Altair & Vega may tickle Kabitzin and vuc’s fancy (fancies?), but neither of those blogs had the pure, overflowing joy that emanated from every post on O-NEW. Mushyrulez and redball wrote about whatever they wanted.

In retrospect, kielmaru’s Shit Storm was also like this. And even further back, my own blog used to have that same flavor. When you read any of the early posts, you see everything that the big blogs would never even think of doing: disorganized posts, lots of posts about things other than anime, not many pictures with a lot of text, and basically anything that the Otaku Elimination Game picked on people for doing.

More than three years later, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that the lesson to draw from the Otaku Elimination Game was not how bad the other blogs were. Instead, we should all have embraced the flaws of aniblogging and “otaku” culture that each OEG post was pointing out. In effect, the OEG guys were the anti-chuunibyou reaction personified – their narrow and restrictive view of “otaku” and their criticisms of the aniblogging community may have been born from an ex-aniblogger who deeply resented his own mistakes of youth. Of course, this probably was simply a facade they put up to mask their simple goal of trolling.

But in any case, their comments and criticism were way over-the-top and should have been a sign to the aniblogging community that their own criticism of other blogs was simply a bad idea. I judged O-NEW, and Shit Storm, and my own blog. That’s why I changed domains so many times. Like Mushyrulez, I was in a transition phase, trying to escape the naive, messy posts of my early anime blogging days. But where I deleted my old blogs, Mushyrulez kept chugging… and one day last month, bam. In his own words,

O-New was ultimately a work of supreme chuunibyou. Chuunibyou four years ago and still chuunibyou today. But I will change. Really, I am O-New. O-New’s ups and downs, lefts and rights, Bs, As, selects, starts—all ebb’d and flow’d with my ocean of life. And now, as my life drifts increasingly further from the sea-gluten, I’ve decided. I will change. I will grow up. O-New is my adolescence and my adolescence is over.

Thank you, everybody. These three years have completely changed my life; for better or worse, the experience remains, and once or twice have I gleamed that untraveled world that I shall seek again, and tomorrow, and forever and onward.

Thank you. Thank you for helping me through the years, for teaching me how to write, to talk, to listen and read closely, to appreciate life and beauty and art and chinese cartoons. To you who’s showed me the light: thank you for releasing me from my self-imposed chains. The caged bird has sung and can fly once more.

Mushy’s clean cut from the anime blogging community is not unlike my desire to delete my old blogs – we both simply wanted to grow out of our old selves, to become something less childish and more adultlike. But where I tried to trash my adolescence, Mushy has embraced his own.

Still, I don’t think his decision was the best one. The desire to end adolescence is something that comes naturally with… well, adolescence. In my own experience, “growing up” is a lifelong process, and nowhere along the line has somebody truly “grown up” or found that “adolescence is over.” Instead, we continually find things that capture the same childish spirit that came with every Mushyrulez post for years.

So I hope Mushy will return, or find something else to which he can fully devote his exuberant spirit. In the meantime, I wish him the best of luck.


3 Comments on “RIP O-New, Barely Even Knew You”

  1. Mushyrulez says:

    i’m still adolescenting wrt making bad music though it takes a bit more :effort: than writing bad words. also, just started this new project which is similar in scope to o-new’s sheer stupidity and thoughtlessness—arranging every single toe hoe theme, and on a strict onewesque schedule too. hooray for not growing up

    psssst something to note: i never intentionally tried to be silly, it’s just that i never successfully managed to be serious

    • flomu says:

      Glad to hear you’re still alive and kicking. I’ve never heard anybody say “toe hoe” before, wow.

      Go pair up with Anime Instrumentality and perform at anime conventions or something

  2. […] title is a reference to rip o-new […]

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