Looking back at the top posts from 2020

We posted a lot of great stories in 2020. Occasionally we got lucky and people actually read them. Here is a list of the most-read articles from last year.

10. And you thought there was never anime in 2016

Rem is cute

This was part of a series of posts I never finished called A Decade Under the Influence…of Anime. It was an exploration of mental health and career development through the lens of the anime I watched over the last ten years. It was also when I revived the website, which hadn’t seen an update in seven months.

It’s hard to say why this entry performed better than the others. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the adorable picture of Rem.

Will I ever complete this series? Who could know? I also promised to release an audio version, but that never got past pre-production.

9. Verizon’s stream of the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade features bewildering Pikachu segment

Pikachu dance

The popularity of this story was a happy accident. I was writing a fluff piece about Pikachu being in the parade when I found Verizon’s bizarre stream. Why a company as rich and powerful as Verizon couldn’t get permission to use the audio from the parade is anyone’s guess.

It performed well because I was one of the first people to put the Pikachu segment on YouTube. I don’t normally upload videos to our channel, but I needed a clip for the article. That clip received over 6000 views. If only those 6000 people followed the video to GONZO.MOE.

8. Everything is bigger in Texas except anime voice actor wages

Silver condenser microphone with black pop filter

Writing this article was unbelievably stressful. I was making some bold claims, and if I couldn’t back them up, I would piss off a lot of people. The reputation of the website was on the line.

Everyone deserves safe working conditions and a living wage. This is not up for debate. Anime is a billion-dollar industry built on the exploitation of the people making it. We talk a lot about how poor animators in Japan are treated, but we forget about the people who translate anime into English.

7. AnimeLog unlikely to destroy Funimation and Crunchyroll with its 360p release of Fantastic Children

Fantastic Children

More of a shoot-from-the-hip rant than a proper article, writing this was extremely gratifying. Provocateurs cheered when news of AnimeLog broke, saying it would trigger the collapse of the North American anime industry. So I couldn’t help but write about at the hilariously inept implementation of the service when it was finally made available to users outside of Japan.

6. It’s complicated — my relationship with Toonami, the anime gateway drug for a generation

Tom from Toonami

Stories like this are my favorite to tell. It’s part history lesson, part self-discovery. The focus may be on my journey, but it resonated with people in my age group because many of us went through the same beats.

It’s also an example of history being written by the victors. People have claimed for years that Toonami is responsible for creating a generation of anime fans, but this is only partially true. From my perspective, Adult Swim and Anime Unleashed were much more influential.

5. Hetalia’s popularity and the downfall of Funimation’s English dub production

This was Luna Hollenbeck’s second article with us. It struck a chord with our Facebook audience. Some people saw the picture of Hetalia and angry-reacted without reading it. Others claimed it was clickbait, which led to a headline rewrite. Is it hyperbolic? Sure, but Luna argues her point about simulcast dubs negatively impacting product quality well.

4. An open letter to voice actors

Vic Mignogna, Scott Freeman, Quiton Flynn, Chris Thurman

Another banger from Luna Hollenbeck. This is a response to the numerous anime and video game voice actors that have been accused by fans of engaging in inappropriate (and sometimes criminal) behavior.

3. Bleach voice actor accused of sexual assault, harassment

Quinton Flynn

This is not the kind of story I wanted to write, but the fact that many larger sites still haven’t covered it tells me that I had to. It’s been nearly two months since the allegations against Quinton Flynn broke on Twitter. As far as I’m aware, he has yet to make a statement.

2. Amidst sexual assault allegations, Quinton Flynn may be filing harassment charges against accusers

I wasn’t planning to write a follow-up to this story since I felt that I had said everything that needed to be said the first time. However, the continued radio silence from the mainstream geek sites forced my hand.

This time I spoke with Krissy Rose, the woman behind the BewareQFlynn Twitter account. She told me that she received a call from a detective stating that harassment charges were being filed against her. What was strange is that no paperwork had been filed, leading her to believe that it was a bluff.

1. Funko is not involved with Vic Mignogna’s Pop!-inspired ‘Animation Figurine’

Vic Mignonga standing next to a computer screen on a garbage

I’m still laughing about this one. With almost 2200 views, it is the most read thing I’ve ever written in my life. After Vic Mignogna teased his “big announcement” for Ultracon, I thought it would be funny to write about it after it turned out to be a knock-off Funko Pop! figure.

The reason this blew up is twofold. First, we’re the only site that wrote about it. Of course, we are. It’s not exactly newsworthy; it’s just funny. Secondly, I published this before Funko made a public statement.

It’s a continued trend in my life that my most well-known work is always what took the least effort. When I was in a band, our hit single was an off-the-cuff joke song about a fictional bar hookup. Similarly, this article is a joke that only took 15-minutes to write.

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Gary Piano
Fake Anime Fan. Professional Audio Boy. Founder of GONZO.MOE.

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