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Hi everybody! It’s Monday! I know you are all as excited as I am for the week’s new general thread. Like usual, feel free to use this thread for general discussion topics/questions/recommendations/etc. I often like to provide some jokey example prompts here, but, this week I wanted to do a bit of a public service and help all of you out with some hot tips on merch:

  • Did your SO get you a hot new Penguindrum watch for Valentine’s Day and you are looking for something to get them for White Day?
  • Well, I have just the thing for you. So, fire up that computer and make it run as fast as possible with this hot Initial D Mouse to place a pre-order for:
  • Some chic Precure themed bags to hit the town with.

As always, remember to be mindful of spoilers. If you want to know more about how to handle spoilers in this community, check the guide here (also linked in the sidebar).

  • @wjs018OPM
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    3 months ago

    tl;dr Starting next season (April), episode posts will be bot-created to enable easier filtering for those that don’t want to see them. Only shows with active engagement from users will have threads.


    This week is a meta comment, so for those that just want to talk about anime, feel free to ignore this comment and make your own. I wanted to provide a follow-up to this community about the ongoing discussions surrounding episode discussion threads. I have gotten a lot of feedback on the issue and have mostly settled on an approach going forward.

    The Feedback I Received

    I initially asked for feedback from people in the Week 7 thread and got some great replies in that thread with input. I then followed in the Week 8 thread saying that people should feel free to send me a private message with feedback if they don’t feel comfortable posting publicly. I got loads of feedback from people. This number grew higher at certain points, but I was having trouble keeping up with the volume of messages, so I stopped screenshotting it:

    Boiling down the feedback I got, I would broad-strokes summarize it like this:

    • About 2/3 of users are happy to see the episode discussion threads brought into the main anime community here rather than having them be separated out like they were pre-2024 (and still are for some shows).
    • The remaining 1/3 of users primarily want to use this community for the other types of posts here (news, discussion, reviews, clips, etc.) Some of them even told me they have unsubscribed from the community due to the user-created episode discussion threads in the community this past season.
    • Most users were not comfortable with or not willing to overcome the barrier of creating episode discussion posts manually and would only engage with them once they had already been made by somebody else.
    • Almost everybody didn’t like how most threads in !episode_discussion@ani.social had zero comments and little/no engagement from the community. There are many reasons this may be the case, but the end result of a mostly barren community was not ideal.

    Thank you everybody for all the feedback I have gotten over the past couple weeks! Nothing I am about to detail in this next section is 100% final, so if you have additional feedback, feel free to reach out however you feel comfortable. That can be either a reply to this comment, a lemmy private message, or I have also been hanging out on the !lightnovels@ani.social discord server.

    Tentative Plan Starting Next Season

    I have tried to incorporate feedback from everybody and balance the different priorities that were expressed to me as best I could. So, with that out of the way, the main takeaways are that…

    • Starting with next season, episode discussion posts are going to be allowed in this community
    • However, they will only be allowed to be posted by a specific bot account rather than any user

    The move to a single account making all the posts allows that 1/3 of users that don’t want to see them to simply block that account and get back to the community that they want without preventing that 2/3 of users from having the threads they want. Making it a bot means that episode threads are made timely and with a consistent format, including links to all previous discussions; a big barrier to user-created posts that was often expressed to me.

    I have been hard at work on the codebase for the new bot and it is mostly working already on a test instance I run. The bot will work quite differently in some respects than the shinobu that we all know and love from the episode_discussion community. The changes have been made with a couple goals in mind:

    1. To make posting much more reliable than shinobu by using the AniList api for episode airtimes
    2. To minimize making episode discussion threads that nobody engages with/comments in
    3. Lots of quality-of-life improvements over shinobu that make it easier to run/maintain in an ongoing manner for me.

    I am going to end this comment here. If you want to read on about some more details about the bot, interacting with it, and how it works, I will reply to this comment with a bunch of nitty-gritty details.

    • @wjs018OPM
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      73 months ago

      Alright, you asked for the details, here they are. First, here is my tentative plan for the transition to the new paradigm as well as how the bot would function:

      1. 1-2 weeks prior to the new season starting, create a thread in which people can request which shows they want to turn on discussion threads for.
      2. I will manually enable these shows with the bot, causing a discussion thread for Episode 1 to be created once the episode airs.
      3. In the following weeks, before creating a post for a new episode of a show, the bot will check the previous episode’s thread to see if people are still engaging with it (upvotes/comments). If the previous week’s thread doesn’t meet the thresholds I set (it’s a secret), then no new post will be made and the show will be disabled for future weeks.
      4. If there is a show/episode that did not have a thread created, a user can request that one be made by pm’ing the bot. This will create a thread for that specific show and episode as well as enable that show for future episode posts (also subject to engagement thresholds). The exact formatting that pm’s will need to follow will be documented later.
      5. (Not yet implemented) A stickied thread will be maintained by the bot that provides links to all the most recent discussion posts it created. Something similar to the stickied thread now, but without linking all the history of all the shows, making it easier to maintain in an ongoing manner.

      Some limitations about thread requesting via pm are that if a more recent episode discussion thread already exists, then the bot won’t create older episode posts (e.g. can’t request an episode 2 thread if an episode 4 thread already exists). Another limitation is that posts aren’t going to be made for episodes that aired too long ago (exact timeframe tbd).

      Some other information is that shows that are marked NSFW by AniList are not going to be added to the bot’s database, so threads will not be able to be made for them. I have tried to come up with lots of ways to abuse the bot and tried to put in safeguards, but if I see anybody abusing it, I will probably just have to intervene manually with a block/ban as appropriate.


      There is one show that I will be handling a bit differently next season, Dungeon Meshi, as it is continuing from this season. The threads being made in the !dungeonmeshi@ani.social community have been quite active, and I don’t want to stifle a burgeoning, active community on the fediverse. So, I will be manually adding the Dungeon Meshi threads to the bot’s database as they are made/stickied to the dungeonmeshi community. This will cause them to be listed in the stickied thread on /c/anime. Additionally, I will try to manually make a post to /c/anime linking to the episode’s thread in the other community from the bot account.

      The other show continuing from this season is Tsukimichi Season 2. I am going to transition to the bot making posts once the new season starts. I am also going to manually add the post history I made to the bot’s database so that they show up in the other episodes link table.


      One thing I am going to miss from the current, user-made discussion post model, is the screenshots that people have selected to represent the episode. I know I have had fun picking out silly or funny screenshots. Unfortunately, switching to bot-made posts is going to remove this. I thought about ways to enable this in an automated way where people replied to the post with images and then the bot replaced the post image with those. However, I felt it was too ripe for abuse and decided against it.

      So, in place of this, I am going to offer a compromise. In the discussion posts, if you want me to consider a screenshot for the lead image of a discussion post, then @mention the bot in your comment with the screenshot. The lemmy web ui nicely separates @mentions in its own tab, so it will be easier for me to manually keep up with those comments that have candidate screenshots. If I am available and able to, I will try to add screenshots to discussion threads. If I find a user is abusing this system by providing irrelevant or spoilery screenshots, justice will be swift. Please use the report function in lemmy if needed.

      This is by no means a promise that I will always be able to do this. By default, the bot will create posts without artwork as the post url. I am still deciding whether to include an embedded image in the post body (it would be either the AniList banner or cover image for the show).


      I am planning on writing more complete documentation of the bot and rules surrounding it before the season starts. It will likely live in the newly-created wiki for the community (it is currently just a placeholder page). The wiki represents another set of projects for my future self. I think I am secretly just trying to work myself hard enough that I die and get isekai’ed.

      If you have read this far and want even more details, then I will point you to the github page for the bot. Following the tradition established by holo and then shinobu, I have chosen an appropriate anime waifu as the namesake for the new bot. The user profile has already been made as well.

      • @zabadoh
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        33 months ago

        Wow, that is an amazingly thoughtful plan!

        It has been and will be a lot of work for you, and I thank you for putting all that work in for us!

        • @wjs018OPM
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          13 months ago

          I am putting in the hard work now so that hopefully the bot can be a set and forget kind of thing. That being said, I found a bug with the code last night that kept me up way too late. So, I sometimes catch myself wondering what my isekai cheat power would be after I just pass out for good. I am hoping for something peaceful like one of the farming isekais.

      • @rikkaMB
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        33 months ago

        Block me if you do not want to see future episode discussion posts.

        • @zabadoh
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          23 months ago

          Glad to have you aboard rikka!

          I’d like to hear how you were named, for lore purposes.

          • @rikkaMB
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            33 months ago

            Basically, the history of these discussion bots goes all the way back to the before times…to reddit. The account that posts discussion threads over there now is called AutoLovePon, but was originally called Holo, after the Spice and Wolf character. The repo on github is still called holo. When @chaorace@lemmy.sdf.org made a fork of holo for use with lemmy, they followed the precedent of naming the bot after a character in a favorite series. As they are a Bakemonogatari fan, shinobu was born. Now, following the tradition, @wjs018@ani.social chose a character from one of his favorite series, Rikka from Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions.

  • @SnowGator@lemm.ee
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    23 months ago

    Meta updates sound good to me. Good compromise between the different responses you were getting. Hope the bots aren’t too much work to make and maintain.

    Been a good couple weeks. Up to date with Frieren, Apothecary Diaries. Smidge behind on Dangers in my Heart and Delicious in Dungeon. All been really good though.

    Saw The Boy and the Heron in theaters. It was good, but I don’t love it as much as some seem to. I personally prefer the more clear narrative and themes of Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away, and Howl’s Moving Castle. Too much happens in the movie that I felt like was included because it looks cool then hand waived into the plot or world, with zero explanation. Also, a lot of the meta themes and symbolism are too opaque to follow. I heard some interesting discussions afterward, which raised my opinion a few notches, but without that outside knowledge, the movie just doesn’t stand as well on its own. Too spoilery to discuss in detail. Personally, I enjoyed Suzume quite a lot more and would’ve preferred if it’d gotten the Best Animated nomination instead of Boy and Heron. A lot of general American audiences will think “oh this is the best anime of the year, I’ll check it out” and end up thinking “wtf did I just watch”, whereas Suzume would’ve been a better pick.

    • @wjs018OPM
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      23 months ago

      I haven’t seen Boy and the Heron, but I felt similarly about Suzume in that I came out of it feeling like I didn’t really get it. It wasn’t until reading other articles about the symbolism and context of the movie that I grew to appreciate it more. That being said, I still understood what was happening at a more surface level, and enjoyed that (along with gorgeous visuals and a great OST).

  • @zabadoh
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    23 months ago

    I have dropped Dosanko Gals, and Wrong Way To Use Healing Magic, so I had a hole in my watching schedule to fill.

    I’ve been meaning to pick up Shangri-La Frontier for a while, and just from the first 3 episodes, it’s really good!

    • @wjs018OPM
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      13 months ago

      I dropped Hokkaido gals as well. I just ran out of time in my week. Glad you are enjoying Shangri-La Frontier!