Anime Almanac’s New Look – Now 70% More Moé!

It’s been only four months since the Anime Almanac had it’s relaunch at the beginning of the year, but the result has been phenomenal. The blog has had more readers in the last couple of months than it ever did when I was Blogsome. So in order to ensure the site continues to grow, I figured it was time for a facelift.

The “Old” Look

One of the biggest problems with the site’s old design was that I was using an image of Yuki from “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya” in my header. See, I’m not all that artistic, so I couldn’t possibly create original artwork for the site. So I did the easy thing… find a nice image off of the internet, and copy-paste it onto my site.

But obviously stealing images like that doesn’t look all the professional, and since I’m going to be officially “press” this summer, I better start acting like one. I can’t hand out a business card with a copyrighted Yuki image on it, can I?

Not to mention that those bastards over at ANN also started using the image in their weekly manga review section… So there goes my hopes of making the image my branding.

So I asked the help of my friend Datura to create a completely original image for the site. Dat understands how to push the right buttons to get to the otaku heart, and often exploits them for her own profit. Whenever she needs me to do something for her, she calls me “senpai” and starts talking in the most moé way possible. She’d get me every time with that. So if there was a person I can rely on to appeal to an otaku audience, it would be her. I commissioned her for the new project.

The task was simple – I need a mascot to become the new “face” of the website. I liked the idea of having a girl reading a book, like Yuki did in the old design. I always thought of the book as the actual “Anime Almanac” and Yuki was reading it to learn about American otaku culture. So I wanted to bring out that idea a little more by having the new mascot reading a book with the words “Anime Almanac” written in katakana. Sure, not everyone knows how to read Japanese, but it would be pleasant surprise to those who do.

“What exactly do you want the girl to look like?” she asks.

You know, something moé. The kind of stuff I normally like.

“Oh, so short blue hair and glasses?”

… yes… and maybe cat ears… (>_<)

I’m just too easy to read.

Within days she had sketches ready for me:

All of it looked fantastic. We worked out which sketch worked the best, and she went to work on coloring. The result is the beautiful image you now see in the banner of the site.

I guess that because she is the moé anthropomorphism of the website, she should have some kind of “-tan” name, but quite frankly, I can’t think of any way of making the word “almanac” sound cute. If you can come up with one, let me know. Otherwise, she will only be known as the nameless Anime Almanac mascot.

So thanks to Datura for the wonderful new look of the website. She does work for commossion, so if you need any kind of anime artwork done, please send her an email at inoxiacommissions {at} gmail {dot} com.

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