Well, it's been a long, hard road, but we've gone a long way in the last few months.
Less than six months ago, we were in limbo, living off a pop-up ridden ezBoard, relying on a web designer who had to take an emergency trip to a New Mexico farm without notice (or modern communication) and even unsure whether we would ever restart.
And the problems weren't just on the site - THEM proper was reeling from a series of events that left our personal lives and the fate of the club in a state of disarray and shock. I won't go into that any further, but needless to say, for quite some time, I simply could not put my full energy into maintaining this site.
But there were too many people who wanted this to keep going, myself (obviously) included.
When we asked for help, it arrived. By the truckload. And it's still rushing in, with people coming out of the woodwork, from literally around the world, donating time (and money) to keep THEM Anime alive.
You guys rock. I don't say this enough, and I am totally optimistic now about why I do this in the first place, why I'm an anime fan, and why I'm also a member of anime fandom.
Older visitors may notice a few changes.
During the first six years of our existence, we took on just one guest review (from J Austin Wilde), and refused any submissions from non-THEM members. This was intended as a means of keeping tight editorial control over the site, as despite the occasional differences of opinion within the club, we wanted to keep the quality of reviews consistent. However, as time passed, we found fewer and fewer club members able or willing to donate the time and effort needed to keep this site running. Newer members simply hadn't seen the amount of anime that our review veterans had covered, and quite frankly, our writing quality began to slip some. I'm still editing some older reviews even to this day - it's a cleanup job that never seems to end.
In the end, I broke down and decided to test out several reviewers who were regulars at the boards. Lo and behold, the reviews were exactly what we needed, and while many of our newest reviewers have never attended a THEM meeting, they have taken up our mantle and written with all the spirit and enthusiasm that THEM stands for as a fan organization.
While the heart of THEM remains here in Arizona, I can honestly say that as a group, THEM Anime has transcended this and gone forth around the world, with readers-turned-reviewers who are every bit as capable as we are. This gladdens me to no end.
I have so many people to thank here - from Pete Harcoff, who has given us an incredible web design job, to the dozen and a half new reviewers who have joined up in the last few months, to Dave, who has been dealing with our web host to ensure we have an online home and as co-founder of THEM, continues to be a link to the very beginnings of this organization, to my wife Christi who has been there for me even despite my tantrums and panic attacks and general malaise and anxiety over this project, to all of you for reading, supporting, and appreciating our work and what we do as a free service for anime fandom.
I simply can't thank you enough, so I'll thank you in the only way I really know how ... I'm going to keep on writing reviews as long as there are people willing to read them.
and as always,
- Carlos Ross
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