As someone who’s had a slight dabble with anime culture (in Digital Asia class), I was immediately interested in Kris’s project idea of creating short anime video reviews and analysis. His background in the area, which consists of JRPGS (Japanese Role Playing Games), writing anime reviews and anime art styles convinced me that he was knowledgeable enough to make this project work. When I asked Kris why he chose this idea, he told me that he had written anime reviews in the past and had received good feedback on them, which convinced him to translate into a video format.
From his project pitch and beta, Kris identified that his Instant Anime project aimed to create relatively simple but interesting content that could engage an audience and adhere to the short and visual economy. Therefore, in the past few months, I have observed with real interest in the ways Kris has developed and modified Instant Anime, from his original prototype, all the way to its current iteration.
Kris’s methodology, in creating and iterating Instant Anime, can be separated into three different stages: Producing, Aggregating and Curating. Each of these three factors, but particularly the curating, were essential in helping Kris to constantly modify the iterations of his project.
The producing phase for Kris mostly consisted of anime media consumption, as well as the filming and editing of videos, which he originally aimed to make once to twice a week. In addition to producing and editing the videos themselves, Kris also spent a significant amount of time producing content for various social media accounts, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The content produced for the social media accounts are generally memes relating back to the latest video, as well as shortened clips of the video itself. In doing this, Kris has made it easier for his content to be seen and therefore gain further traction.
The aggregation of Kris’s content has been a key step in forming different iterations of Instant Anime. With 8 videos on YouTube so far, and several more on the way, as well as regularly updated social media pages, which consists mostly of related memes and shortened clips of his videos, Kris has ended up creating new avenues through the frequency of his aggregation and also increased his viewership on his videos.
One of the best moves Kris has made for his project, particularly in regards to curating, is using several social media networks to share his work. Creating an Instant Anime profile on Twitter and Instagram, as well as frequently sharing anime-related sub-Reddits and Amino forums (which I wasn’t familiar with), Kris has managed to gain a fair amount of feedback from viewers. As a result of some the feedback he received, Kris actually decided to add some complexity to his videos, which he originally thought would be a hindrance to the audiences enjoyment.
Project Trajectory & Iterations
Throughout the semester, Instant Anime has gone through various iterations that have been influenced both through the feedback received, as well the sometimes lacking activity in regards to viewership
In the first video which Kris showed the class in his project pitch, it was evident that he was still trying to adapt into the video review format. In agreement with the feedback he received on the video, I felt (and still feel) that Kris was speaking a little too quickly and his hand movements proved quite distracting. Additionally, due to Kris’s desire to make the video as short as possible, the discussion seemed to be slightly rushed and lacked a little bit of depth. However, for a first video, I found myself incredibly impressed by Kris’s editing, which usually is the hardest part of video producing. Unfortunately for Kris, the next few videos received little-to-no feedback or engagement, which made it harder for Kris to identify what he could improve.
The second iteration of Instant Anime involved a major rebranding, i.e. changing the name to from Instant Reviews to Lunaris- Instant Anime, creating a new YouTube banner as well as creating more complex videos. The Instagram account also went through a major haul, with the incorporation of a rainbow coloured scheme and the use of bite-sized clips of the videos to drive traffic. These changes hugely benefited Kris, as his content began to gain some traction, particularly on YouTube. The sudden traction of his content is also definitely a result of his consistency in his sharing of videos on Reddit, Twitter, Amino and his revamped Instagram account.
For me, the most exciting and innovative change in Kris’s project was his decision to collaborate with other projects (Simulation Mindy). Kris’s 7th video, and my personal favourite, saw him talk to a simulated Sim called Mindy (designed by a fellow student) about anime and unsurprisingly things got weird. It’s a hilarious video which I also felt was the breakthrough video for Kris, as it revealed a potentially different direction for future content that could really take off. With another collaboration in the works, Kris has found a great way to further innovate his project and create more interesting content.
For Kris’s next iteration, it appears that he’ll be more focused on maintaining momentum, rather than making huge changes. Having said that, in his project beta, Kris stated that he wants to start filming videos behind a more visually and content related background, such as a wall covered with anime-related posters and figurines. This makes a lot of sense, as this will allow Kris to share a little more of himself and makes for a better aesthetic.
Keep Making Collaboration Videos
If the collaboration with Simulation Mindy has shown us anything, it is that Instant Anime has a lot of potential in terms of collaborative content. When I last spoke to Kris, he did confirm that another collaborative video was on the way.
Keep Producing Regularly
Although I know that it’s a lot of work to produce and edit videos regularly, it is incredibly important for Kris, particularly as he is still establishing his brand, to continue to post regularly. His last video was posted two weeks ago and although I know that a video is currently on its way, it’s essential that Kris posts around 1-2 a week, as he stated in his project pitch.