UEM! is Now on Patreon!

When I started this blog, back in the summer of 2015, it was an offbeat idea I had to keep myself busy with something other than the revision I should have been doing. It was my first real venture into the many communities of anime lovers online. Over the year-and-bit that’s passed, I’ve made many friends, and annoyed a few more people than I should have with my endless rambling about why we need to question what makes anime, and all art, ‘good’. I’ve made so much progress as a blogger, and it’s all thanks to you guys.

Among the readers I’ve picked up, some fantastic conversations have been made. Some of the best have come from more recent articles, posts that are more than just elaborations of opinions. I’ve been tapping into wider reading and research, into theories about art and how we appreciate it, old and new, to fill this blog with new ideas which are challenging and developing my own.

I recently wrote a post defending my pursuit into seeing anime from an academic lens. Now I want to follow up on that post by cementing this blog’s vision – to bridge the gap between popular anime and puzzling academia. To spell out exciting theories in relation to anime we’re all familiar with. But to achieve this – to further the work of channels like Pause and Select and Philosophy Tube in making the academics make sense – I’m going to need some help.

Today I’m launching a Patreon.

If you’re new to the site: Patreon is a crowdfunding platform, used widely by bloggers, youtubers and all manner of other online content creators, that enables you to support the work of people you love to read, watch and listen to. Vitally, it helps small creators grow if people sign up to support them for as little as a dollar a month. Funding from Patreon helps people buy the resources they need to make more of the work they want to make – more of what you want to see from them.

I’m already too thankful for the community I’m part of for helping me get exposure and feedback on everything I write. I’ve made some blunders, but also some amazing friends who have helped challenge me and shape the direction of this blog for the better. To all of you who read UEM! and join the conversations around anything I write, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Your support so far has only made me want to take my writing further.

My dream for this blog is to establish regular reading of valuable academic texts, and to have every article I write tackle an issue somewhat in response to something I’ve read. I’m regularly inspired by content I find on Youtube and in my general milling-around on the net, but there are many books I want to get my hands on, and sink my mind into, that I simply can’t afford as a jobless student trying to dedicate all their time to studying (and staying sane).

Oxford University gives me a wealth of resources to access during term-time, and many online studies to keep myself busy with while I’m away. But even with the privileges they offer, I’m still left with many gaps when it comes to getting into anime academia. Furthermore, I won’t have those advantages forever.

I’m setting up this Patreon to help fund my future research. Every cent you offer this blog will go directly back into helping it continue to deliver a fresh perspective on how we can be ‘critical’ of this medium we love. I’ve never planned to make a living out of this jumble of words and poorly-chosen screencaps; anything my readers give me, be it pageviews or pledges, is always going to be for the good of the growth of this project and its work. I’ll have to make a living out of something someday, but for now, while I’m still in the whirlwind of my degree, I just want to make some cool articles on stuff.

You can see the reward tiers and milestones I have via the link above. Every pledge, no matter how small, helps me so much at this early stage. Pledge $10 or more, however, and you’ll deserve a say over what I write about. $20, and you can tell me what to buy.

If crowdfunding ever reaches $20 in total, we’ve achieved the start of the dream: I can start to afford a new book a month – maybe two if they’re cheaper ones – and my Patreon-only feed will give an account of anything I buy. Future articles will then start drawing on what I get to read because of your donations. But I don’t want to just reiterate what I discover; I’ll be trying to develop the ideas I explore, and apply them in new and exciting ways.

Every milestone after that is another increase in what this project will be able to produce. A book a month may become a book a week. I want to pursue other avenues, like more traditional series reviews (which for now have been shelved in order to focus on articles about wider critical issues), and – once I have a place of my own – a Youtube channel, which may eventually eclipse this blog and reach a much wider audience. I have high hopes that complicated theories can be woven into all kinds of discussions on anime and art that everyone can appreciate – discussions more and more people will want to join.

I’m working with my sister on polishing up a new avatar, logo and look for the blog. In the meantime, every dollar is a huge boost to the opportunities I have going forward. It all goes into the books I read and the conversations I create, about what Objectification really means, and how realistically idealistic Subaru’s stupidity is in Re:Zero, and all manner of other ideas that pop up as I watch anime with the amazing, expanding community of Western fans it has.

This blog would be nothing, however, without so many other bloggers and youtubers always keeping me on my intellectual toes. With that in mind, 20% of all Patreon earnings will go back into Patreon, into other creators, to help fund their work, because their work helps fuel me with so many ideas.

Check out the page and, whether or not you have any change to spare, let’s have some great ideas together.

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