Anime Herald began as a bit of a dream, founded in 2010 as I was helping to turn the lights off at Anime Dream (RIP). At the time, I was working full-time while going to college for a computer science degree. With $25 and a WordPress install, I was able to launch the Herald on a shared server.
Since then, we've grown into a very real player in the market, providing the news on the latest happening in the industry, reviews of titles new and old, and interviews with icons like Naokatsu Tsuda, Lisa Ortiz, and Shoji Kawamori.
That's to say nothing about our AniWeekly news and blog roundupsthe ongoing Herald Anime Club discussion group, and our Nerdy Talk podcast.
Over the years, though, I've come to detest this. I've always held the belief that we should be able to exist independently. Most of all, though, I've always held a belief that you, the reader, should be the core consumer. You, the one in the chair. You're an intelligent, charming person who deserves more than to have your news crushed into sterile soundbites. You shouldn't have to suffer through that dry, soulless, sanitized mire that appears in a few leading publications.
In short: You. Deserve. Better.
You, my magnificent reader, deserve a simple sanctuary of the geeky, where everything is clean and easy to read. You should be able to expect an ad-free haven, where quality content is delivered to you daily, with no strings attached.
You shouldn't ever have to worry about your experience getting bogged down because of a sluggish ad script, whether you're on your tablet or your computer. You shouldn't have to deal with those ugly interstitial banners that just add an extra step to your daily fix of all things nerdy. You deserve better than to suffer through pesky pop-under banners, irritating skyscraper spots, or bothersome content bombs.
You. Deserve. Better.
I, and the rest of the team love writing about anime. Being able to discuss and share our thoughts on the latest shows, and the industry at large is something of a dream for us.
But, since day one, this has been a volunteer operation. Every article, every review, and every column has been written 100% gratis, with nobody drawing a paycheque. All revenues have gone into paying for infrastructure - the server, backups, and what have you - and just about all shortfalls have been paid for out-of-pocket. I'd like to be able to change that.
I'd like to continue to offer them a free and independent platform for commentary and discussions. And, more important, I want to be able to pay our fabulous team, who contribute countless hours to the goal. We've challenged publishers, and broken stories of corruption. We're not afraid to stand tall as we deliver the truth, and we've proudly stood up to players in the industry when push comes to shove.
With your funding, I'll continue to build Anime Herald ad-free, without any skins, banners, or brand deals. As our existing ad agreements expire, we will not approach renewals. We'll be able to continue to bring high-quality content without the burdens of sponsorship, and we'll be working, first and foremost, for you.
Nerdy Talk Podcast
Nerdy Talk started as a bit of a lark, as the team sought a platform to just let loose and discuss the goings-on in the anime industry. While we've had a few setbacks in the past, Nerdy Talk has firmly become a part of our overall identity. Featuring yours truly and with a crew of Herald team members, this (roughly) monthly session mixes the thoughtful with the quirky, as we discuss the comings and goings of the anime industry. There's no filter here, so you can see how we *really* feel about those niggling topics like Anime Strike's big entrance to the anime world.
We're still kind of forging new ground into this frontier. However, we've begun publishing unboxings of some of the hottest Collector's Editions to hit the market.
I'm glad you asked! Every week (give or take), we'll be publishing backer-exclusive looks behind the scenes of some of our biggest articles. We'll also be diving into the archives of classic content from fallen sister site Anime Dream.
For just a buck a month, you can get early access to all of these pieces.
For $5, you get some real power in the way we work! As part of our "Hera's Helpers" tier, you'll be able to vote for topics in our Nerdy Talk podcast, as well as which shows we'll cover in the Herald Anime Club, among other things. Your vote gains equal weight to our team, so this is a pretty powerful position!
In short: You. Deserve. Better.
You deserve to have a place where you are the person who matters most. We want you to want to read our content, not be pitched product after product. I do have a few milestone goals, which are as follows:
- Pay for infrastructure
- Pay our team
- Make a living doing Anime Herald full-time
Anything more than that would be mind-blowing, and give us the freedom to expand our team, and our scope to relevant degrees.
As of now, all of us at the Herald work full-time. Some of us are writers, some are tech gurus, others are coders. While I'd love to turn this into my career, it's up to you to determine whether I do or not.
In the interest of full disclosure, I want to be 100% upfront in my interests, so I want to be clear about what you are and are not funding, along with all other sources of income. In the interest of transparency, all changes will be disclosed immediately as they occur.
Day Job: In my day job, I am a software engineer. In the interest of privacy, I won't disclose a specific organization, but I work in the healthcare industry.
Review Copies: Since day one, it’s been our policy to disclose whether review copies are obtained from a publisher or not. This has been our standard from day one, and it will be our policy in the future.
Our Agreement With You Isn't What You’re Funding: Again, I emphasize that we are 100% independent. With that in mind, I trust that you're a mature, intelligent individual who can understand that we will say things that you don't always agree with. And that's totally okay! Being able to discuss our differences is a fantastic thing, and it's something that I've always enjoyed. But keep in mind that, if you fund us, you're funding the fact that our writers' personal views are their personal views, and we don't care who likes it when we share them.
That's about all of the important items. if anything else arises, I'll be happy to talk about it.
This is a whole new world for us, and we're placing our entire trust into you. It's frightening, but it's exhilarating. We've met some incredible people over the years, though, and we have incredible faith in all of you to give us a chance to be fully, utterly free from the shackles of the ad-supported treadmills and revenue funnels.
Whether you back us or not, I hope that you continue to support us, no matter where you end up.
For now, though, sit back, and get comfortable. We'll talk nerdy to you.