10 years. I have been blogging for 10 years as of April 6th, 2021. How am I still here? I dunno. Maybe we will find out together as I go on a spiel, reflecting on my blogging career up to this point, repeating parts of my “humble” beginnings, time on top, descent back to the “midcard” and where I go from here. For those brave enough to read my ego stroking come along for this bloated personal reflection.
Short version: I love this. I hope to keep going for years to come. I am grateful to the friends I made and appreciate most of them still dropping by or keeping in touch. No giveaways sadly.
Long version: Read on.
First up an abridged origin story. As mentioned in the past it all began in the mid-late 1990’s with the Howard Stern show and some hidden VHS tapes. That is how I discovered women could be sexually attracted to each other and engage in sexual intercourse. I even saw what a “futanari” probably looked like (Do not ask). I was born and raised in a cool and loving family that over time converted to Christianity. Most readers can guess what that meant. In high school I got my first sampling of yuri in anime from Love Hina, episode 25 if I remember correctly. This next part is something I imagine most 80’s-90’s kids can relate.
I stumbled upon Strawberry Panic…and the rest was history. It forever changed my life and I understood the beauty of media centered around love between women, or at least media featuring lesbians falling in love with each other. I discovered “Shoujoai.com” (RIP) and met people who enjoyed yuri since Aruba, despite touting freedom of expression, is primarily Catholic and Christian. Only recently did they, supposedly, pass a same-sex marriage bill (Do not quote me on that). In 2011, for reasons I cannot recall, at the start of my college years, I created my own WordPress blog called “The G-Empire“. What began as a run of the mill Aruban otaku blog that talked and reviewed anime, video games and other stuff that interested me, grew to become something more. During that time I followed a Spanish yuri blog called “Michirumagazine” (It’s recently been privatized), which is where I got the idea of creating English Yuri Anime and Yuri Manga lists. Also during that time I shared my G-Views on forum sites like “Generationotaku” (RIP) up until the last one I frequented before stopping, that of “NIS America“.
This went on until December 2014 when I was like “Maybe I should turn this blog into a fully fledged yuri one”. Thus “The Yuri Nation” was born. I of course lost traffic for a bit thanks to the name change but it was for the best as I quickly got the peeps back and then some. From Mid 2015-2018 I daresay I was at the top of my game. I was one of the go-to yuri blogs in the West. In wrestling terms I was a “main eventer” in the “Yuri Community” or at least in the upper midcard. I had lots of fun with doods and peeps through yuri award ceremonies, tournaments, the Hall of Fame (which I REALLY need to update one day) and more. I had enough support to get video game companies to acknowledge me a little bit. Heck, you know you made it big when there were some in the internet underbelly that wrote about how much they thought you were a stinky pile of booger anus doodoo. Always a sign of being moderately popular. Even the expected “How DARE a six foot, 220 lb handsome hairy Sasquatch of a MANLY MAN run a blog celebrating lesbian media!?” was thrown my way. Fortunately criticisms were far and few. Despite having brief moments where I considered retiring, support from fans and the good friends I made over the years kept me going. One of the best things to come from blogging were my bosom buddies. Some still around while others got swamped with work or real life forcing them to leave the blogging gig and/or yuri loving. Either that or I did not mesh with some people. That is part of life. You get along with some but not all.
Of course someone’s time on top is not eternal. Blogging and media coverage evolved, favoring editorials and in depth dives while the episodic style became less popular. Other yuri bloggers and content creators such as YuriMother and The One Called Ach stepped up their game and got the ball rolling, spreading the divine word of yuri goodness, helping continue the yuri community’s ultimate goal of global yuri conquest. Even comrades like Team Euroninja found a steady balance to provide content while keeping their spot. Yuri, while still having a ways to go, had grown in power. Meanwhile my time on top had clearly come to an end. It felt like I had become one of those wrestling legends who got cheap nostalgia pops or, to be more specific, a wrestler in their late 30’s to mid 40’s (I am 33 at the time of this writing) who can still wrestle pretty good matches but no longer considered a main eventer. To be honest, I am cool with that. I had my time on top and stroked my ego in a comedic sense long enough. Let more talented and capable content creators lead the charge to yuri greatness while I continue doing my thing as I always have grabbing the attention of longtime supporters and the interested.
Another reason I went back down to the midcard was over time I was not churning out content as much as I used to. The tournaments and awards stopped around the end of 2018. Ironic as it was one of the best years in yuri history, 20-Gay-Teen. I still did my thing but not as awesomely as in my peak era. I also cut down my coverage to anime and video games with the occasional Western cartoon. Manga became too difficult for me to keep up with and I do not focus much on live-action lesbian media. Perhaps it has to do with the fact this has always been a passionate hobby and not something I am paid to do. It is fun, and still is. Otherwise I would have probably ended it in 2019. That and I am only one guy. I am thankful to everyone who offered to help via manga and video gamge reviews and updating the Yuri Manga List but naturally they have their own lives and are not expected to make this a full time gig. Them lending a hand is more than appreciated.
Speaking of 2019, July 2019 to be exact, the blog changed its name a 2nd time to “The Yuri Empire“. The “yurination” pee jokes popped up from time to time and were no big deal but once Twitter got touchy enough to repeatedly remove my blog link from my Page there, it had to happen. Thus, The Yuri Empire rebranding. In hindsight I should have gone with this since the first name change. It was glaringly obvious but, eh. It is what it is. Ultimately no harm done besides the expected brief 2nd traffic slowdown. That brings us to our old pal, 2020. How has the pandemic affected me personally and as a blogger? Not much. I already was not much of an outgoing person. Sure, I went on awesome family vacations and hung out with my homeboys and girls but I am not a “party animal”. Forced to stay inside with the family and adhering to social distancing was no issue. I kept in touch with my online and offline peeps and while it is not the same as in person interactions it helped maintain my sanity. Plus my ultimate secret to aniblogging longevity still worked just fine. I was one of the fortunate few who was not hit very hard. We had tough times, and still do, but it is all far from torturous. We are getting by, thank Almighty GOD.
So what is my ultimate secret to aniblogging longevity? I like anime, video games, cartoons, pro wrestling, late night talk shows (mainly the monologues), VTubers and occasionally stroking my ego in jest (After all. The first step to a healthy life is loving yourself). Basically I focus on multiple forms of media at a time and not just one. That along with the fact I usually do not ask for much to be entertained. The stereotype of a “cynical adult” does not apply to me. I enjoy almost all kinds of yuri media…except Maria Holic. Fortunately the dark age of yuri, where lesbian characters were depicted as psychotic villains, were often killed off or lost the girl to a guy have died down in media, animated anyway. It is still prevalent in live-action, so I do not have much reason to get upset at the yuri I consume. The “victories” and “hopeful future” conclusions outweigh the “disappointments”.
So here I am, 10 years later and ready to kick butt for 10 more. Through all the ups and downs, times where I considered retiring or felt like I was no longer needed as yuri content creator, I kept going because I owe a lot to this blog. Yuri love in Aruba, as far as I know, is almost nonexistent and this blog introduced me to some great friends. Some I wish to meet in person one day. Awesome guys and gals who are fun to discuss yuri with on the blog, Twitter or elsewhere. Friends who help make the hellhole that is Twitter tolerable. Friends and frequent visitors who come to my pad to share their thoughts on episodes or shows. Even the ones who often disagree with me, for some reason come here instead of checking out more deep diving/critical content creators. Every one of you are who help keep this blog going despite the content being relatively unchanged. At the end of the day I am just a yuri loving guy who created an otaku blog into a yuri loving blog that welcomes everyone interested in the genre or what I have to say about the shows and games I cover.
Thank you to the homeboys, sexy ladies, game companies, mangaka/comic artists, VTubers and people more talented than I for the trust and support. Here is to many more years of relishing fun and wonderful stories about girls and women falling in love with each other. Not the nicest broski on the block (as some of you know) but for everyone who is still here from year 1 or even year 9, you have my eternal gratitude.
Yuri shall conquer the Earth.