Ha Neul Seom’s One Year Anniversary
December 9, 2009
Well it ain’t ten billion years but it’s still a year! Time sure flies when you’re having fun. I wonder where one begins when making an anniversary post. Oh yes, stats and graphs!
Over 60,000 hits, over 70 posts and over 800 comments. Not too bad if I say so myself. Although just this morning I saw something hilariously unexpected on my wordpress page.
Apparently my Top 50 entry was posted yesterday on reddit, StumbleUpon (although I was the only one to ‘review’ it haha), /a/, livejournals, facebooks, random French and German forums, as well as other blogs. It wasn’t all happy news though, as I was called a blogf*g, artf*g, shi*y Korean blog, among other not so pleasant things.
But enough stats, let’s talk a little about what I’ve been doing for a year while blogging in this lonely isle. I graduated with a Bachelor of Design in Architecture last year, but my marks were average at best so I’ve been working under my father while using bad global economy as a sad excuse. So basically it was a dull year of minimal development. This is all going to change however, as one of my father’s friend in Busan (city in Korea) offered me a position in a design firm he works for! So after my trip to my father’s holiday house in Gold Coast, I will be working in Busan as a junior architect for several months, before coming back to finish my MArch (Master of Architecture) degree in Sydney. That’s my plan anyway, but my plans haven’t been working exactly spectacularly for the past few years (insert sad laughter). So we’ll see. There isn’t much else I want to talk about myself, but you are free to view how I look like in real life here. That’s right, I’m that bad black cat with my human pet (he’s of pure Korean breed btw).
Let’s now move onto what I think of blogging after a year of doing it. Firstly, what does Ha Neul Seom mean anyway? Literally meaning “Sky Isle”, I chose it as the blog’s title for few reasons. Firstly, I like the sound of it. It’s also an allusion to Miyazaki’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky, one of the greatest animated movies there is. But more importantly, and for me personally, it is evocative of a certain alter situated in Korea called Sisa-dan, where thousands of scholars used to take governmental exam hundreds of years ago. During foggy days, what seems like an ordinary alter on a hill is transfigured into an island floating over sea of clouds. Just as a flower can exist between rocks only in imagination, Ha Neul Seom is a place where I write about a medium capable of transporting you from an ordinary world, to a floating island surrounded by mists.
A year of blogging also reminded me a lot of Kim Ki-duk’s movie, The Isle. I loved its setting, it was an incredibly picturesque lake with a small number of floating cabins (where people fish), as if to reflect the loneliness of each people stuck in his isle. People want to connect, reach out to other isles from their own, and the same goes to many fans of anime. But anime is such a niche medium, and one that will likely earn you much ridicule. You can choose to be cool by just being a fool, but it’s much easier said than done. Then why not find a better platform, another terminal of connections, one that is more comforting than the terrifying reality behind that keyhole. And we discuss and connect, taking delight in connecting with others who share similar preferences, maturity, intellect or whatever the common point of gravitation maybe. For many of us, this is another poisonous part of blogging.
And lastly, because it’s becoming too tl;dr, I wanted my blog to be more of a museum than a journal (created more picturesque archives section in my vain pursuit for it) and a towering pagoda over ruined pedestal. That’s what I strive for anyway.
As for the future of Ha Neul Seom, this anniversary post will be my last until I get I get settled. One thing for sure, the blog will never permanently be closed. I will always write as long as I have time to watch quality anime to inspire me, and fans to discuss them with me. I will not be able to celebrate the holiday with you guys, but I’m sure you’ll all have fun with 12 days of Christmas or what have you. Hopefully most of you will still be around when I do come back.
And last but not least, my thank you to all my regular/past supporters!
2DT, animekritik, bateszi, Cello, coburn, Flash Sword Irene, kadian1364, Kim, Kitsune, ghostlightning, IKnight, Martin, Milkymagic, muhootsaver, Mushroomsamba, omysth, omo, Owen S, Sasa, schneider, Shadowmage, Sorrow-kun, TheBigN, usagijen, Vendredi.
Honestly, I did write a detailed ‘thank you’ for each wonderful person above but I didn’t like how it sounded like my top 50 anime post (the feeling that I didn’t like at all). So here it is, a group of people I highly value, who I am eternally grateful for in their own ways, whether it be razor sharp insights that changed the way I view things, supporting me and giving me confidence in my early days, sharing our love for quality titles that very few know about, or actually watching those titles that I recommended and coming back to talk about them with me. I truly appreciate what you guys have done for me, I really am.
And also thanks to few others who didn’t comment here but I still am thankful for:
Ben for his excellent analysis of technical merits of animation, which I also strive for in my visual analysis. And also for complimenting me for my post on The Secret of Kells, which was a great support coming from him. Speaking of that movie…
Tomm Moore (director of The Secret of Kells) for complimenting my analysis of the film on his own blog. I sometimes feel pretentious for analysing visual details of an anime (since I obviously know more than the people who actually made it, right?), and it gives me immense confidence to know that my insights and opinions ‘flattered’ a guy who actually made the movie!
Nyo for mentioning me in this post.
introspect for writing awesome posts that no one comments on.
Rove for talking about underrated gems and Korean movies with me on MAL, and also urging me to make a blog of my own. Seems like she moved one from anime, I only wish her the best.
Wabisabi for pretty much inspiring my blog. Wonderful content, sophisticated author. But to paraphrase introspect, a coil of children do not orbit a central mass. They revolve around each other.
And finally, thank you to all the lurkers, readers who occasionally drop by to comment, and random people who came via google image search to say how much Avatar rocks!
So what was the best thing about Ha Neul Seom for you? Your favourite post (if you have any)? Or just feel free to just drop by and say hi before I leave for holiday then straight off to Korea. In any case, thanks for everything, and have a wonderful holiday.
With much love,