Talking with Digibro: Unifying the Fandom

“I came away with the impression… “an otaku I could depend on” “

~ Mitsuro Kubo

You are listening to Senpai Coast to Coast – the best damn anime podcast! This episode, as the title implies, I sit down to talk with Digibro and as we discuss the issues of the fandom we try and think of solutions. The honest conclusion is that better communication and collaborative efforts are better for us all – and something we should strive for. This is part 1 of 2 parts, so make sure to subscribe to catch the second part when it comes out!


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Opening Theme: Koi no HEAT WAVE by Granrodeo

Ending Theme: Kunimichi 127-go Sen no Shiroki Inazumi by Kishidan

-Raising the Level of Communication-


YouTube anime personality extraordinaire, and self described “Otaku Gonzo Journalist” Digibro has been making videos since 2012. His channels, Digibro and Digibro After Dark, focuses on the analysis of and personal thoughts of anime.Recently he made the video, On the Need For A Cabal of Anime Gurus which was the cause for this interview.

Digibro | After Dark | Twitter

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  1. It’s nearly 2:00 am and Josh drops a podcast with Digi…I guess I’m staying up tonight

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Josh, I checked the audio on this page and the audio in the RSS file on my podcast app and the audio is associated with the previous show (the Gundam show with Lauren Orsini).


  3. I’m glad I’ve befriended some of the WMC guys already. Good to get in before they take off and become anime superstars.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This podcast is too legit! Always a good listen.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I come from digibro’s subreddit great podcast I will make sure to check more of your content.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This was an excellent episode. I can appreciate what Digibro is trying to do, and maybe I’ll even go check out more of his videos, but I think that, based on how he talks about his channel, maybe I am beyond the type of fan that he’s trying to capture? I dislike the click-baiting titles, and the extent to which he uses hyperbole, and I especially dislike the focus on “story” as he puts it, over facts. But those are things that he does use for a reasonable purpose, I suppose, as long as he isn’t using less-than-truths intentionally to make the story more click-baity. My biggest issue with channels like his, or certainly more often, Misty Chronexia, is when they make an erroneous comment and a lot of fans just eat it right up. Digi is pretty good and I don’t really have an issue with most of the information that he shares(I mostly just hate his sometimes condescending and deliberately inflammatory presentation), but guys like Chronexia… oh boy..
    I think Digi is pretty much right on the money as far as jealousy goes too. It’s not really jealousy as much as it is people who are well informed lamenting the fact that guys like Chronexia or The Anime Man are constantly spitting out horrible misinformation to their hundreds of thousands of subscribers and just perpetuating ignorance in the fandom, all while people who actually know what they are talking about, even on the most prominent anime websites in existence, are getting a 10th of the traffic. That’s really depressing.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. can you talk faster, feeling like you have me waiting for your next word gets annoying fast


  8. About unifying the fandom and spreading accurate information… here’s my two cents. I agree with Digibro when he says that no matter how good your information is, you need to present it in the right way to attract attention from the fandom. So if Digibro is up for it, why not have him share his scripts with people like Canipa, just to point out any factual inaccuracies before the video goes to air? Digibro can create videos in whatever style he likes, but he doesn’t have to use the “Gonzo journalist” label as a shield for himself in case he gets his facts wrong. That’s what peer reviewing is for.


  9. I’d do believe it is after – but if you’re trying to say that the info should be vetted before proliferated I’m not sure that’s fair. As an artist i think that would be a nightmare. Plus half the time it’s new information that’s being shared.

    I mean, he and I dissagreed on the Aum Shinrikyo comments made by staff in an Eva interview, how would you rectify that?

    (PS. Hope I didn’t misinterpret what you were saying – I feel like I made a pretty big assumption.)


  10. One thing you brought up in this conversation that I’d like to mention again: a sort of “otaku summit” seems like the height of gatekeeping. I’m still relatively new to anime fandom in general and, while I like to think I’m a smart guy who would be into something like this, I recognize that I’m still too new to recognize a lot of important names or ideas that would be relevant to discussing certain topics. I still don’t know the specifics of what exactly a “key animator” is, or what specifically the person in charge of series composition does and how that differs from a writer. Personally, what I’d like to see (and what I’m considering launching, if no one else will) is a wiki dedicated to compiling analysis, with a system in place to allow better analyses to rise to the top, whether it’s a rating system or a collection of trusted curators.

    Anyway, really interesting interview to listen to, just because Digibro is someone whose content I’m often disappointed by but whose opinions I usually agree with and Josh is someone whose content I usually enjoy but whose opinions I don’t often agree with. Interesting dichotomy as a listener.

    Liked by 4 people

    • This wiki idea is a good one!

      Liked by 1 person

    • You still need people to decide what analyses get to be on top. Which is why it’s an impossible ideal to implement – most of the time the people you’ll be ranking will have higher knowledge than your own curators, and those people won’t be willing to join something rendering their work into a mere footnote.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, sure, you could be defeatist about it. I’m aware that what I’m proposing has its flaws, because it’s still just an idea I don’t currently have the time or talent to bring out of the conceptual phase. But I think any resource allowing people to find analysis is better than no resource, so I don’t quite see the point of writing the idea off before there have even been attempts to implement it.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. @DaLadybugMan, sure you can call it defeatist, but anime history offers plently of examples of this not working out. Take Anime-Planet’s fansub discussion subforum, where fansubbers would compare and discuss different releases (by different fansub groups) of same episodes. As it turns out, the people making the most valid points were the translators producing the best work anyway, everybody else was contributing noise. Egos were hurt, some people lost motivation to continue. In that case there was only one specialization to deal with (translation), but in case of anime analysis there’s plenty of angles to look things from.

    I think a better way is for the collective to point to authorities when we recognize them as such.

    I also don’t agree it’s selfish to ignore delivery. I hate producing output if it’s not under my terms, and I think actually producing things is better than worrying about that. Why should we do all these extra things that are just getting in the way of actual delivery and hampering our motivation? The people who care about our output will find it, and converting a generation of disinterested fans to something they’re not is also kind of useless. I’ve been through that several times, in the long run it doesn’t work.


  12. Great show — thanks!

    I see where Digibro is coming from, but I think it may be misguided… a lot of this info he hungers after can only develop in groups that have some degree of separation from one another.

    The best example I can think of is the distinction between ANN’s Encyclopedia and their ratings section; globalizing access to “what” like the ANN Encyclopedia does provides a good source for cultures to grow, by allowing people to have a finer understanding of what they are looking at while remaining value-neutral. However, if you try to use the ratings system to steer people towards good shows and away from bad shows, certain methods of interpretation become highly unlikely to develop. Like with sakuga, a lot of great animation bits are in shows that are poorly rated, because they are not rated from the perspective of sakuga — if everyone were part of a global anime community that did not value sakuga in shows that were (say) poorly directed, in order to develop it would have to first find a defense against constant attacks that you were “wasting your time watching terrible anime”, which brings us back to what the isolation provides to begin with.

    For building an understanding of anime that bridges subcultures, I think it is better to have temporary contacts, like during conventions, or through adding structure, like when Mechademia attempted to add the annual academic journal process to anime blogging.

    That said, there does need to be more of a massive push on the “what” side. While places like ANN’s Encyclopedia are valuable, they don’t have much oversight (mirroring the Wikipedia problem), and are largely the long shadows of a few individuals. (For instance, if it hadn’t been for Helen McCarthy’s monumental paper encyclopedia, I doubt that the ANN Encyclopedia would have had enough seeds to start growing in the first place.) This also tends to cause limitations from other perspectives — ANN’s Encyclopedia is almost completely silent on anime commercials and original animated music videos, for instance, and has limited interest in pursuing webgen Niconico type animators like Takashi Taniguchi who are not part of the traditional anime release cycle. This leads to people starting their own sites like the Animator’s Corner, and to some degree of re-inventing the wheel again and again.

    I have a lot of excitement for next-gen compiler sites like Sakugabooru or the licensed anime crawler, because they add access without indoctrination; I think that’s really the secret to globalizing the anime community.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great interview, listening to your differing opinions is extremely interesting.


  14. FYI the thing on Aum affecting Evangelion was always attributed to a quote from Azuma Hiroki quoting Anno. A conversation between them where they mentioned Aum was also documented but hasn’t been translated; here I think (can’t read):


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