68 CommentsEditorials / By Scamp /

Comparing 8 popular anime discussion forums

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You saw the latest episode of Super Title Robot Anime Harem Can’t Be This Explosion and thought it was pretty great/terrible. But you want to see what other people thought of it. Maybe you want to tell other people what you thought of it. So where do you do this? Well, apart from the fact you are on a blog and therefore you are already reading what other people thought of the latest anime, but let us leave that point aside and engage in this piece of near-meaningless analysis anyway. I’ve compiled 8 different places people post and discuss about anime on the internet and compared their strengths and weaknesses. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but if you want to argue otherwise, by all means leave a comment because huzzah for discussion.

My Anime List

mal

Overview: MAL’s main draw is its anime listing features, so most of its truly sizeable number of users never visit the forums. MAL does make the forums quite easy to see on each anime’s page though, so it draws in a lot of people making edits to their lists. Double bonus points for MAL having a feature that sends you to the latest episode discussion thread when you update your list if you so wish.

Ease of use: High. Search for the anime you want to discuss. Go down to the forums section. Click on the forums for whatever the latest episode was. You do have to have a MAL account, which is not complicated. Older forum discussion on past episodes are easy enough to find. It’s only let-down is occasionally the entire site breaks and forums become impossible to use, but that’s rare enough for it not to be a deal breaker.

Discussion intelligence level: Low. The main problem with MAL’s forums is everyone who posts in the thread rarely comes back to reply, so it’s not really a discussion thread. Hence it’s primarily a sentence or two of reaction and that’s it. In that sense, MAL is great for getting that raw numbers reaction. The fact each episode discussion starts with a poll of how much you liked the episode really helps add to that raw reaction data. But discussion-wise, it’s crap. What little discussion there is usually comes down to two people yelling at each other while everyone else ignores them. Sometimes someone makes a sub-forum for more general discussion, and they are always terrible.

Humour: Medium-low. This tends to be a general rule of discussion, but the quicker the response time, the funnier the responses tend to be. As a connoisseur of comedy, this is a little saddening, but there you go. Sometimes MAL humour can come from people being really stupid, but stupidity holds only brief amusement. However there are some legitimately funny people posting on MAL and can sometimes come up gold in the forums. It can highly depend on which series forum you read though.

Newbie friendly: High, albeit that’s mostly because nobody will argue with you because nobody actually replies to each other. There is a community, but it’s only a very small percentage of people who use the forums that actually know each other, while most everyone else gets lost in the sea of usernames. If you act incredibly stupid or offensive someone might call you out, but you just don’t have to look at that forum ever again like everyone else who uses it.

Final words: Easy access raw reaction is what to use MAL forums for. They’re stupid, but so are most people in the planet and at the very least the MAL crowd can usually spell correctly. Actual discussion is basically non-existent though.

Reddit Anime Board

reddit

Overview: Reddit is based on a karma system where what gets read and what rises to the top is determined by how many people ‘upvote’ the post. The anime subreddit top rated posts are usually either some latest news that you could have found out yourself by reading literally any anime news site, or someone showed off their anime fandom by making something, like a Spirited Away birthday cake or whatever. I find those types of things to get kind of old after a while, but the site does have latest episode discussion too, albeit usually only of the popular stuff (good luck finding an Arata Kangatari thread).

Ease of use: Medium-High. Reddit is relatively easy to use, all things considered. If the episode just came out, it’s usually on the front page. Otherwise searching for “gargantia” or whatever in the search bar (and making sure you limit it to forums on the anime subreddit) and you’ll find it pretty easy. The way the threads are structured aren’t like a typical forum thread, with nested replies making everything awkward to follow. The nested replies however do make it easy to follow a discussion going between two or more people. Posting is relatively easy too.

Discussion Intelligence Level: Medium-low: You would think the karma thing would make intelligent posts rise to the top, but often it’s just some dumb pun sitting at the top. That said, once you actually get down into the actual longer posts, there is more intelligent discussion to be found. Admittedly ‘more intelligent’ in anime forums style means they can actually string a few sentences together, but baby steps. Nested comments means people actually talk to each other, unlike MAL’s ignore everyone status quo. The actual users I’m not convinced are any more intelligent than MAL users, but the format allows them to actually talk to each other.

Humour: Medium-low. You’d think the format on Reddit would facilitate humour better than any other of these forums, but after reading through several, the humour level is really no better than MALs. It’s puns and memes for the most part, which both are very low down on the laugh-out-loud chain. I’m not sure what to blame this on, so I’m going to blame it on the community. I get the impression that Reddit’s anime community is very young, which fits given it’s a relatively new forum anyway.

Newbie friendly: High. Despite being a pretty small board, it’s young and welcoming, two things which go hand in hand. Doesn’t take long to get used to the reddit format, and even displaying total newbishness won’t hurt you too much because people are whoring out for karma so tend to be happy to help.

Final Words: As much as reddit might have a bad reputation for its Mens Rights boards and weird libertarian side, this doesn’t extend into the anime forums. Still some misogyny sure, but no more than any other place on the internet. They’re not actually very smart or knowledgeable about anime, so I find the dialogue more tedious than engaging. They’re dumb but welcoming.

AnimeSuki

animesuki

Overview: A traditional forum through and through. If you have seen any forum, you have seen the Animesuki forums. The main site lists torrents, albeit its not really the one-stop shop it used to be for that. Forums are still thriving, albeit like any traditional forum, it has the tendency for a few people to take over the thread.

Ease of use: High. Currently airing anime clearly marked. Forums easy to navigate. Actually has a search functionality. Old forums simple enough to browse, even if find that specific forum for an older anime isn’t as easy as it is on MAL. Setting up an account is about as rote as anywhere else on the internet. This is your plan white shirt of anime discussion forums. If you have spent any time on the internet, it’s easy to use.

Discussion Intelligence Level: Medium-high, although I’m sure they think it’s stratosphere levels high. I hadn’t visited the site in years, but the reputation Animesuki forums had was there couldn’t be a forum base more stuck up their own backside. Didn’t see any obvious cases of this in my more recent research though. The people there definitely know more about anime than MAL or Reddit do. People actually criticise the anime in meaningful ways and there is discussion between people. You’re not going to get discussion on deeper themes or directing, but at the very least you will get discussion of the plot’s effectiveness and pacing. Unfortunately it tends to be the same people over and over again, which means you’re getting a limited viewpoint.

Humour: Non-existent. I have never seen a funny post on Animesuki. Laughed at people’s self-righteousness perhaps, but not their cutting wit. I think the long-form forum format (now there’s a tongue-twister) doesn’t breed humour in general. As I said back on MAL, the reason is probably because the reactions are delayed so the instant-reaction humour isn’t there anymore.

Newbie friendly: Medium. Again, I’m not sure if the users are still stuck up their ass, so take what I’m saying with a pinch of salt. It’s a fairly close-knit community so a newbie will stick out, doubly so if you say something stupid. But neither is it actively hostile to newbies. You’ll probably have to do some lurking before posting, but otherwise you’ll be safe.

Final words: About as bog-standard an anime discussion forum as you can get, but that’s fine. It’s a formula that works, and the users are definitely a level above MAL or Reddit. What it lacks is that broad instant reaction that MAL or Slash Aye has, particularly since the same people tend to hijack each thread, but such is the issue with standard design forums anyway.

Slash Aye

c

Overview: 4chan is more than just that one anonymous board you hear about occasionally in the news. That’s just their random board. The site is otherwise split into various other boards, with the anime board being one of the biggest alongside the video game ones. Each individual board still have a similar tone as their infamous random board, which is largely by design. You can post anonymously with incredible ease, and the community look down upon posting with a name attached.

Ease of use: Medium-Low. Theoretically it should be really easy, since you can just bash a few words into the box and hit post. No faffing about with accounts or any of that nonsense. Problem is the site is not very intuitively designed. Finding a specific topic or anime or whatever is not easy at all. If you want to talk about a specific anime, you’re generally better off just making a new topic altogether. There are sites that archive old posts, but since 4chan deletes threads after a period of inactivity, there’s no chance of going back to that thread and replying with something of your own.

Discussion Intelligence Level: Low. Actually to be fair, you will find the odd intelligent post here and there, but they will always get piled under heaps and heaps of people being shockingly stupid. It’s not the unaware stupid for the most part, although there is still plenty of that. It’s people arguing over taste with no further analysis to back that up. I think the userbase is definitely smarter than that of Reddit or MAL, but the format doesn’t allow for it. Derailing an intelligent discussion is practically a badge of honour.

Humour: Medium. Tempted to rank it higher because it can produce moments of absolute pure magic when the hivemind react in a singular fashion that no other site can recreate, but those moments are very difficult to find. For the most part it’s completely asinine attempts, mistaking calling people faggot cum-slut whores for humour. Not that the words faggot, cum-slut or whore cannot be used in a way that would be humorous, and I personally prefer shock humour to puns. But on Sash Aye they’re mostly used by people who substitute offensiveness and rudeness for humour.

Newbie friendly: Bahahahahaha no. Good fucking luck trying to post there as a newbie. For a site supposedly known for its ‘anything goes’ policy, you have to learn the jargon and etiquette before even attempting to post anything. That’s just the practical side, you’ll also have to learn to mentally steel yourself for their attitude and derailing and shocking pictures and all that. If you are really that determined to join in the discussion, start by lurking the site for a while. All this newbie unfriendliness is intentional because the regulars don’t want the uninformed ruining their board.

Final words: The thing about Slash Aye is that many of the perceived problems are completely by design. Trying to take away the rudeness or thread derailing destroys the core of what makes the place unique. Well, actually I do think the place could do with a greater attempt at shutting down pathetic ‘nuh uh ur taste sux’ posts, which is ultimately why I can’t stand the place. There are ways to eloquently explain why your favourite anime is terrible while still keeping the lingo and abrasive tone.

Neogaf

neogaf

Overview: The larger a gaming forum gets, the probability of there being an anime forum approaches 1. I just invented that theory, but I think it’s pretty accurate. I went through a couple of big gaming forums and they nearly always had some anime forum, sometimes even entire subforums to themselves. I picked Neogaf because of the others I visited, SomethingAwful was trapped behind a paywall, Giantbomb wasn’t big enough, and the people on Gamefaqs were so mind-numbingly stupid that I could feel my brain trying to escape.

Ease of Use: Low. The anime forums are just tossed in along with the ‘everything else’ category so it’s a bit of a trawl to find an anime-related forum. Plus it has no search bar. If I want to find what Neogaf is saying about Valvrave, I have to google “neogaf valvrave”. After that it’s just a regular old forum when it comes to reading the posts. Making a post yourself though, you need an account, and that’s next to impossible. First your e-mail needs to be from a paid e-mail account, so no luck to gmail and hotmail users. Even if you get that, they have to approve your account. The guy on twitter who told me about this said it took a year for his application to get through.

Discussion Intelligence Level: Medium-high. Gaming forums for the most part aren’t the best place to get good quality discussion on anime because the people there aren’t very knowledgeable, but Neogaf seemed to be the exception to that rule. Conversation was spirited and fairly in-depth, basically at the same level as Animesuki.

Humour: Low. One thing I’ve noticed about these gaming forums’ anime boards is the people there are way more laid back. I guess it’s because they found like minded folks on a forum not dedicated to that topic, so they’re just happy to have found each other. So that’s why there’s actually some humour next to something similar like animesuki, but for the most part it’s pretty dry stuff.

Newbie friendly: Low. Oh sure, the people there are grand. But considering what it takes to simply get an account? Nope, not happening.

Final words: What are you doing on a gaming forum discussing anime anyway? Oh sure, if you’re a regular of that forum through gaming then it makes perfect sense. A lot of anime fans do play games, so that’s why these boards often appear in gaming forums. But if you’re not already involved with a gaming forum, find somewhere better.

Anime Blogs

blog

Overview: For the most part, discussion about ongoing anime happens in the episodic blogging format, where the author writes their thoughts about the latest epi-oh fuck it you know what an episodic blog is since you’re already on one. The format and appeal differs from site to site. Random Curiosity has a comment thread big enough to practically be a sub-forum in itself. Sites like Star Crossed are mostly built around cult of personality. But most episodic blogs are pretty similar in design and appeal.

Ease of Use: Medium-high. Navigating each individual site is generally very easy and any blogger worth their salt will make it easy to follow their writing and format. The most difficult part is, oddly, finding the blog you actually want to read. Anime Nano is generally the best option. Search for the anime in question and flick through the blogs until you find one you like. From there, reading the rest of their stuff is fairly easy, and you get the bonus of knowing that the quality level will stay the same because it’s always the same writer.

Discussion Intelligence Level: Medium-high: If I was just counting the blog posts themselves, it would be high. Not that bloggers are incredibly smart or anything. I’ve read plenty stupid blog posts in my time, but they’re still miles ahead of your random forum poster. Even the quality of a Random Curiosity post, generally considered to have the least critical episodic posts around, are still far ahead of the kind of crap you read on a forum. Blogs are probably the only place you’ll find discussion about things such as directing and themes and whatnot. What I’m deducting points for is the comments section, a big part of the discussion, being mind-numblingly stupid on the rare occasion a site gets popular enough for the comments to not be bloggers jerking each other off.

Humour: Medium. This one depends wildly on the blog in question. There are bloggers who are very dry, like Lost in America, and others who do try to inject humour like Metanorn. Where anime blogs tend to shine in this regard is when they get their hands on a truly terrible show and you delight in watching them break down as they tear apart the show in question.

Newbie friendly: High, with one caveat. If there ever was a place more delighted to see new people, it’s anime blogs. There is no form of foreplay more effective than saying to a blogger “first time commenter”. That’s only if all you’re interested in is reading other anime blogs. Starting your own blog means you get to spend at least a year, probably more, toiling away writing post after post of in-depth analysis with nobody reading or responding. You need to have innate narcissism to get any enjoyment out of blogging, because it sure as hell won’t be from the discussion.

Final words: Frankly, anime blogs are not for discussion. As in a back and forth between people about the merits or otherwise of the latest anime, there’s just not much of that at all, even in the more active comment threads like Random Curiosity. You are there to read that blogger’s voice. It’s a one way interaction for the most part, and any comments left are purely reactionary to the post. This is because the blogger adopts a higher position than that of the respondent, and is more like people fielding questions to a politician at a press event than a round-table discussion. That definitely has an appeal though, because it’s basically the only place to get long-form critique of anime.

Microblogging platforms

twitter

Overview: Twitter and tumblr. Twitter is where I do most of my anime discussion, and tumblr is growing at a phenomenal rate with anime fans. Their format lends themselves to very short-form posts. Twitter by pure restrictions and tumblr because everyone there is too lazy to read anything that’s not expressed in gif fashion.

Ease of Use: Low: Getting it set up is the biggest hurdle, because finding the relevant people to follow is the hard part. There really isn’t an easy way to find a lot of people relevant to your interests. Finding anything about the anime you want to read about is pretty difficult too. The search function on twitter and tumblr are bloody rubbish and will give you the most bizarre mix of content that’s impossibly to parse. To use microblogging in any useful way, you have to get deep in there and become part of the system.

Discussion Intelligence Level: Medium-low. Sometimes it’s worth remembering that ‘intelligence’ can be done in short form as well as long-form. The benefits of microblogging is you can choose who you follow, so you can make sure you only follow smart people. That cuts out the worst parts of any forum in that you don’t get the stupidest people derailing the conversation. That all said, 140 characters and series of gifs really don’t allow for much room, and the ease of posting means even smart people get lazy and moments of cleverness are more fluke than careful craft.

Humour: High, although again it depends on who you follow. If your tumblr feed is full of people posting pictures of gifs of the latest moeblob girl going moe moe kyun, or even worse, you follow a bunch of social justice warriors, then yes your feed won’t have much humour. But most people I see post clever images and comics. What’s great about both tumblr and twitter is the retweet/reblog function means the funniest posts by people you don’t follow still get into your feed. Twitter in particular has a natural tendency to promote the best content from every other anime discussion/creative forum, so you get the best of both worlds.

Newbie friendly: Low. The sites themselves really try to ease the signing up process and promoting the people you can follow, so kudos to them for that. However you’re there for anime, and that’s pretty difficult. The best starting point is to find a starting person to follow and follow the people they follow and retweet/reblog. It does take time to build up a worthwhile following count, and it’s pretty easy for a newbie to be totally at a loss what the hell they’re supposed to post themselves now that they have this big public forum to rant on.

Last words: Social media is where discussion worldwide is going, and forums have been on a steady decline for years, so you should probably get yourself on twitter anyway. But it’s pretty baffling to a newcomer why this kind of stuff is so popular. It takes a long time of cultivating a list of interesting people to follow to make it worthwhile. It’s fantastic and dead easy once you get into it though, and it’s where I personally do most of my anime discussion, apart from this blog obviously.

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67 Comments

  1. mikeRx
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    How could the discussion intelligence level of /a/ be anything other than “nonexistent” or “IQ lowering?”

    • Scamp
      Posted June 21, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      Because we’re grading on a comparative scale

    • sage
      Posted June 21, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

      The discussions can actually make average or even subpar shows more enjoyable. http://imgur.com/a/oniKM

      Sturgeon’s law applies.

      • Fadeway
        Posted June 22, 2013 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        Ah, that thread was a ton of fun. I think this applies not only to average shows though – any intelligent/humorous discussion about any show makes it better (the extreme example being Madoka).

        /a/ was underestimated here. You can find good posts in practically every thread (though some do have none while others have a disproportionate amount of them). Already mentioned, many readers are really experienced and knowledgeable, but everyone takes joy in shitposting, dropping a gem then proceeding to bury it in memes and mutual swearing, assisted in part by those who are actually new. If you ask a reasonable question while following the etiquette of the site and tone of the thread, you usually get some pretty insightful replies.

      • Scamp
        Posted June 22, 2013 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        Maybe I just have bad luck with /a/, but the ratio of good posts to shitposting is 50 billion/1. There are definitely knowledgeable people there, much more so than most other sites, but they get buried far too quickly.

  2. Shinmaru
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    fucking linkbait bullshit

    • Scamp
      Posted June 21, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      Next post: 23 Pictures of Shinmaru’s Face Photoshopped Onto Baboon’s Bottoms

      • Shinmaru
        Posted June 21, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

        From where are we getting 23 pictures of your ass?

      • Inushinde
        Posted June 22, 2013 at 3:10 am | Permalink

        I’ve got you covered

      • Hanasra
        Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        I want to the pciture of you guys IRL
        So I can stalk you whenever I’ve the chance

  3. Nazaren
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Real title: “Please follow me on Twitter! – Scamp”
    And I totally would if I felt like learning how Twitter worked, but I’m gettin’ old and dinosaur like, and it might make me feel dumb. Maybe though…

    I’ve posted on the MAL forums a scant few times, with largely in-depth and comprehensive walls of text on SERIOUS issues, and maybe garnered one or two replies. And then it’s buried by “loved this ep!” or “more like shinsekai YURI amirite!?”. But I lurk quite a bit… there are a few intelligent gems in there. It’s also rife with spoilers who don’t understand the difference between manga and anime threads.

    GameFAQs… oh god. I’ll live in /a/ before I ever go back there for anything besides FAQs and daily polls.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 22, 2013 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      MAL is kinda similar to /a/ in that regard. There are some genuinely knowledgeable people in the forums, but they inevitably get buried. With /a/ it’s shitposting, while MAL has asinine “loved dis ep” comments

  4. Posted June 21, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    From reading this, I concluded that I was right to stay away from Reddit and Tumblr. :P

    And while I’m sure a bunch of people like to read me break down regarding bad shows, many more (including me) have gotten tired of it, especially since I prefer to say something new each week and bad stuff tend to repeat the same problem each week after 5 episodes or so.

  5. Posted June 21, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Akira wrote something when he peaced out about how social interaction on the internet tends end up as “people talking at people” instead of “people talking with people,” and this tends to be pretty true especially when plenty of things people say on forums go unanswered and ignored. In my eyes, Skype generally tends to be the best for anime discussion since you’re actually shooting the shit in real time, but it can be difficult finding a group of people to jump in with when you’re not in the know.

    Where anime blogs tend to shine in this regard is when they get their hands on a truly terrible show and you delight in watching them break down as they tear apart the show in question.

    This is why we need awesome shit like Guilty Crown running every season or something. Or maybe a TV broadcast of Mad Bull 34. I don’t know, something great like that.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 22, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Actually the best place for anime discussion is IRL, but lol good luck finding people you can do that with

    • Ramiel
      Posted June 22, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      ewww, I find that most of the time discussing anime with people face to face is awkward as fuck, especially when they have shit taste. Inside you want to call them out on it, but on the outside your like “oh, you liked SAO huh…t-that’s cool…”

      • Erif
        Posted June 24, 2013 at 6:13 am | Permalink

        This is hilariously true.

      • Hanasra
        Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        I have some IRL friends that can be asked for serious discussion on anime. But even then, they are people who I have met first in a forum, and happened to met them face to face because our forum have occasional gathering. But even then, only one person among those friends of mine that capable of having similar level of intelligent discussion. Meeting up a people like that IRL is like finding gem on a coal mine. Most person I’ve seen to like anime IRL have taste like SAO or the such.

        But yeah, having discussion face to face when you met someone with similar taste and seriousness level is more rewarding. Though you must have at least 3 people to not to get bored so quickly.

  6. Shinmaru
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    On a more serious note, I will say that Twitter has encouraged me to watch more anime than pretty much every other source of discussion combined. There’s just something about seeing people enjoying stuff that makes me want to watch it.

    • Posted June 21, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      Or not enjoying stuff, for that matter. It’s also a great place to get new manga once in a while.

  7. fathomlessblue
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised you didn’t write anything about ANN, even if I can pretty much guess what you’d have to say on that. Also, any thoughts on Anime Planet? Sadly, I’ve never really visited that often, but it’s hard to hate a site that tries to keep a dedicated Popee topic going, & awards silly badges for anime viewing achievements.

    I once tried a hip, new retro project called Anime Under The Bridge, that bypassed the mainstream internet entirely by graffiting reviews under aqueducts and the like, then trying to promote on the spot discussion by enticing homeless people over with the promise of free food/booze. It was going quite well for a while, until they all became self-proclaimed expects and started arguing with me over every single point. “No Terry, I don’t want to have another discussion about the inherent misogyny in the Precure franchise, just drink your damn soup!” I think he works for MVM Entertainment now… bastard!

    • Scamp
      Posted June 22, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Skipped ANN and Anime Planet because their forums with discussion of ongoing shows aren’t really all that big. Plus they’re basically the same as AnimeSuki except smaller. But respect for Popee at the very least

  8. gedata
    Posted June 21, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/2000121-anime-and-manga-other-titles

    how bout these fellas? Not many folks post here, and these guys tend to repeat themselves and there are alot of jerks among em

    • Scamp
      Posted June 22, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Gamefaqs had the absolute stupidest anime forums I came across

      • Embok
        Posted June 23, 2013 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

        As a regular there I want you to go into more detail about why it’s so terrible. Come on, it’ll be fun.

        You should read the topic for Shin Sekai Yori ep 8, it’s hilarious – http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/2000121-anime-and-manga-other-titles/64648524

      • gedata
        Posted June 24, 2013 at 12:41 am | Permalink

        hah that episode lends itself to such reactions. Makes me wish I was following it weekly, rather than marathoning itwhile it was in it’s second half.

  9. Rait
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    Out of this list (aside from blogs) I use MAL, /a/ and tumblr.

    Only place where I actually post though are blogs (the cart driver, Project Haruhi). I only use MAL for list and some clubs for getting new information and /a/….well I have been lurking it for years and it’s a habbit now. Tumblr is just for nice looking pictures.

    Where I’m most active is acutally my country’s anime forum. Our population is low (Estonia) so we have only one anime communty and one anime forum. Well only one anime forum with a bigger user base anyway.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 23, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      There are thousands upon thousands of anime forums across the world in many different languages. It’s kinda neat to get linked to random south american anime forums every now and then

  10. abc
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 12:42 am | Permalink

    I got into anime because of /a/ but I don’t even go there often anymore. It’s good if you like fast-moving discussion, anonymity, and are a jaded asshole. Please don’t go there, they don’t want you anyway.

    I’m actually a member of Something Awful, which you mentioned in the gaming forum section, but it’s actually not mainly a gaming forum, and it’s pretty different from the likes of Neogaf or GameFAQS. Pretty high humor and discussion values and fast-moving, but then again, 10bux.

    Overall, I think what site is best for each person depends largely on their tastes in anime.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 23, 2013 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

      General rule of the internet is that any discussion quality is improved by 1 bajillion per cent when you introduce a paywall. I’m sure it’s more intelligent than MAL, but not bothered enough to get passed that paywall just for this post

  11. Rihan
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    but who was Misc Anime crew?

    Well granted the Misc doesn’t really qualify as a discussion forum, its the only place along with MAL I’ve ever been to for discussing anime. In fact those are the only two forums I frequently visit.

  12. Redcrimson
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    I think ADTRW is the best anime forum on the internet. Sure, Something Awful hasn’t really been relevant for like a decade, but the massive entry barrier and strict moderation leads to a relatively older userbase, actual intelligent discussion, and nigh-extinct shitposting.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 23, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      I have been there before, but only a few times and not enough to do a review based on memory. So for now, lalala paywall

  13. Posted June 22, 2013 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    I find it interesting that the simple search bar separating AnimeSuki and Neogaf puts the former at Easy to use and the latter at Hard to use.

    I’d put Reddit at super low for discussion intelligence level. It’s shitty posts through and through. And pictures of moe girls.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 22, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Or, you know, the fact that it takes a year for your account to be approved before you can post anything

      • Posted June 24, 2013 at 4:42 am | Permalink

        Did not read that part. I guess that’s why it’s not gamefaq level.

    • Langer
      Posted June 22, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      I like Reddit…I just stay the hell away from /r/anime.

      They get too fixated on Madoka, Haruhi and Evangellion (fair enough, they’re decent anime, but they should really give it a rest once in a while). Aside from that it’s mainly “look at these wallpapers”, “look what memorabilia I bought” and “look…moe!!” (all of which I believe have their own subreddits anyway).

  14. Jolon
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    /a/ was pretty unfairly slandered here. It isn’t a welcoming place, but discussion is generally well-informed with a working knowledge of who is who in the industry, and most posters have a lot of anime under their belt besides. Humor, speed of discussion and depth of discussion can all be pretty high, and it still has regular threads about old classics like Legend of Galactic Heroes.

    It is best without its detractors, though, so defending it is a little counter-productive.

    • Ramiel
      Posted June 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Also, the 4chan format has improved a lot, especially with 4chanX and the Catalog system. When it comes to currently airing anime, it’s almost guaranteed that you can find a thread on any current show just by glancing through the catalog.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 23, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Someone pointed out to me on twitter that with some plugins that filter phrases like faggot and so on, you can improve your viewing there massively

  15. Pusswookie
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Man, I sure am excited to be able to contribute to this discussion forum about a number of popular dis..cussion forums on…one of the- aforementioned…discussion forums.

    Did you plan this?

    At any rate, if finding the right people to follow on Twitter is such an arduous journey, then perhaps you should give a few suggestions [people that you yourself follow] for those of us who’re just starting out. After all, Bertrand Russel once said, “The only thing that will redeem mankind is social networking.”
    Or something like that.

  16. Posted June 22, 2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I don’t think it was wise to compare social networks to forums and then against other forums. And then blogs… You could have made it pros/cons of forums versus social sites or compared them separately. The type of users they attract are different and the sites themselves have different goals.

    As someone with a forum, an active user on many forums, and former Anime-Forums.com moderator I must agree it’s harder for forums. I would not say forums are going away but big money behind social sites makes things tough. Big social sites have unique methods of gaining traffic, many developers, and funds for advertising.

    You could have mentioned misogyny as an issue without MRA for Reddit, but mentioning both makes it seem as though you’re against equality for men.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 23, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      The contrast was completely intentional. Anime forums are dying out so just comparing forum by forum would be missing out where most people talk about anime nowadays. It’s like train companies only comparing themselves to other train companies when actually all their commerce is going to air travel.

      Also lol at your final line. Because men have so many problems with misandry

      • Posted June 24, 2013 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, so shame on them for trying to do something with the problems they do have.

      • Scamp
        Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        If you think that’s what the mens rights movement is about, then you a very naive

      • Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

        No better or worse than feminism.

  17. Stef
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    The article format is definitely the best there is to convey information and it forces the writer to think a bit about what he’s saying. But yeah, if you’re looking for the water-cooler effect it’s not where you’ll find a good sense of community.

    Also, 4chan’s very design is the death of knowledge. It’s Neil Postman’s nightmare come true.

  18. Ramiel
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    While /a/ can be downright frustratingly stupid, it certainly never manages to get boring like a lot of other forums can, and the fact that it is in the moment and fast paced much like a giant chat room makes it fun, even if you are just shitflinging.

    Another thing is that the ease of image sharing is helpful for discussion of visual mediums such as anime and manga. People can easily post manga pages or screenshots to discuss (or turn into jokes). This is something that Reddit fails at and most other forums don’t even attempt at.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 23, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      I dunno, I find shitflinging pretty boring myself, particularly since it’s all the same kind of shitflinging.

  19. Hanasra
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    I have a personal dislike for twitter, because twitter could make a (blog) writer lazy to write anything worth a read if they can just rant out their hate and get re-tweeted. Well, this is seem unfair and pretty biased. It just my dislike for twitter comes from a favorite and blog writer of mine that write many interesting stuff about video games and storytelling stopped doing it because I found out that he prefer ranting over twitter instead.

    I really greatful to you three, because all of you are active on twitter (especially Shinmaru and Inushinde, compared to Scamp) but still able and want to write up blog stuff that is worth reading, discussion and mind excercise. Again, I express my thanks and hope three of you still actively writing times to come.

    In regarding to discussion, I prefer to follow writing of specific person(s) that their taste similar to mine and/or able to get their point across with strong argument. For serious discussion, my skill in english usually didn’t catch up with my mind so I usually delete wall of text that I write for a response because I found it to have poor structure. But in my opinion, discussion could be meaningful and less prone to name calling if the member actually know each other. That’s what I got from my personal experience anyway in my native board forum.

  20. Posted June 23, 2013 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    >(good luck finding an Arata Kangatari thread)
    Why would you want to discuss Arata Kangatari?

  21. Posted June 23, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I agree with practically all of this. On MAL, you should give some credit to the Comments portion of user profiles. That and small community IRC channels are my favorite go-to places for episodic discussion. The great thing about the Comments section is that the level of discussion is exactly however high/low you aim it to be. Some users have truly in-depth discussions spanning pages and pages in length on singular episodes. But if that’s not your thing, writing a line or two in response to someone’s question is cool too.

    • bob_john
      Posted June 24, 2013 at 6:07 am | Permalink

      If you don’t mind me asking, what are some IRC channels that have good episodic discussions? Most of the ones I’ve been to have people posting a few words and not really talking about anything.

      • Scamp
        Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        I’ve never got into IRC myself, and they’re mostly very tight knit groups anyway so it’s not exactly the best place to just jump in

  22. Erif
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Can anyone recommend an anime forums with a small, close-knit community? I’m kinda of turned off by huge forums because you can’t get to know the people very well.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      You should try The Cart Driver Dot Com :D

  23. Billish
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    I… actually appreciate this post quite a bit. I don’t have the time to find these things on my own (even if it’d take 3 seconds, as opposed to 2) so I’m glad they’re outlined for me.

    Not first time poster, dont be happy.

  24. Posted June 24, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Scamp, I think /a/’s strong use of images does warrant getting mentioned. Reaction images spice things up, some images are priceless, the image quality is generally very good and it’s an A+-tier place for pictures of cute girls. As someone whose instant messenger activities mostly revolve around spreading cute girls’ pictures and whose twitter activities mainly contain “hahahahah look at dis dumb anime fan”, “kyoani go sug digs” and “wow cuet girls would bone fuck yeah my fetishes”, it’s somehing I sincerely appreciate.

    Also, you can inspect porn threads without painfully having to confirm that you’re at least 18 years old. That’s worth a usability bonus point, isn’t it?

    • Scamp
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      I don’t find posting a reaction face or fapping to cute girls to my interests, so no, I don’t count them as positives. Particularly when posting a reaction face is the standard put-down when someone expresses an opinion you don’t agree with

  25. Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    As someone who browses anime/manga forums from time to time, I find that MangaHelpers is a good place to have discussion if you were to talk about manga.

    When you mention MAL being stupid, this reminds me of a time where I posted something “significant” and someone responded with a stupid .gif.

    It’s funny how social media blogs talk about posting on forums to promote yourself and your blog, but anime forums really are a mixed bag.

    About “innate narcissism” being the factor for blogging, I guess we’re all narcissists in a good way somewhat?

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      In the words of the great executive transvestite Eddie Izzard: That’s what narcissism is all about, is looking in the mirror and going “god, I like to have sex with myself”.

  26. Kiseki
    Posted July 5, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Ahh, but no LJ.

  27. Hanasra
    Posted November 17, 2013 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Just joined Neogaf few months ago and I could said that the forum actually newbie friendly in some kind of the way, thanks to the moderation. As long as you backed up your assertion with argument, nobody gonna risked their account by dissmising your argument with calling you a junior. The moderation strictly shun upon anyone by calling new member with junior unless the said member show their own stupidity in someway or another.

    The overall taste is rather mixed. There are those who blindly chased moeshit, while there are also those who lament the industry not having enough LoGH and Mushishi. It just the discussion for ALL anime contained in one place, so having a serious, focused discussion on one particular topic for long period of time might be difficult. Well you can create a singular thread, but prepared to get burried by other off-topic threads.

    That’s a the report from a NeoGaffer :)

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  29. Posted July 27, 2014 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    The funny thing is, I spent quite a bit of time going through Google, typing in things like “Anime forum”, etc., and kept hitting walls. Sure, there are tons of results, but literally every single site I went to had literally no activity. Nada. Dead.

    I registered at plenty, tried posting, and had to wait days to get any replies. There are, maybe, a few boards on each forum that have any activity left.

    It’s disappointing, since I used to love going on Anime forums, with thousands of other active users, and wasting hours posting pointless crap, making and requesting signatures, avatars, etc. Active Anime forums seem to be a dying breed. It’s sad to see the state things are in currently.

    On the other hand, Manga boards are thriving more than ever. Go figure.

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