Back in late March, I had an idea for an April Fool's event. I thought it over and decided it would be better to save that one for the tenth anniversary next year, but a related idea seemed to have potential for the ninth. "Five-Minute Anime" would basically be the same sort of thing as Five-Minute Cheese before it: an event that would let me hit some targets I'd been considering, and could continue afterwards as a part of the real site.
Riding high on my recent success with BSG fivers, I jumped into the anime thing without fully planning it out. I knew a couple of the series I wanted to do, but I didn't decide all of them up front. That would take the fun out of it! April Fool's fivers don't have to be as long as regular ones, so surely I can just write one every couple of days until I get tired of it, right? Right? Deshou?
Yeah, hindsight. Turns out that even after nine years of doing this, my eyes are still bigger than my stomach. It's easy to say "show A was silly, show B's an easy target, been meaning to do something with show C". But sitting down and writing full parodies of them is harder than I took into account. And then there's that little problem that I'm a perfectionist -- I don't post anything until I'm happy with it. Even worse, I wanted to be fair, or at least accurate. It wasn't good enough to just make fun of a show without knowing what I was talking about. (You wouldn't believe the level of research I put into that Sailor Moon fiver. You all owe me a beer. A manly beer.)
In retrospect, I should have called off the event as soon as it became evident that I couldn't keep the schedule I'd intended to. But that, too, is easy to say in hindsight. From my perspective at the time, I had loused up two A1 events in a row, and I'd be damned if I'd let the same thing happen this year. I determined to keep at it until I got the damn thing finished and finished well, or until the sun exploded, whichever came first. This may have been a result of my brief exposure to Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, but probably not.
Time passed. It had the temerity to keep doing this even though I still only had parts of a couple of the fivers. I marked with painful awareness the day Five-Minute Anime became my most overlong A1 event to date. Months rolled on; I have a feeling there are entire anime series that came and went while this event was still "in progress". Of course, I had RL problems too and those had to take precedence... except that those problems came from the same source as this problem, namely procrastination.
So why have I never cut my losses and given up? Because I'm pot committed. That's a debated concept; not all poker experts agree that there's really such a thing. But I don't have money on the line here. All I know is that eventually I'll be looking back on this whole thing as history. I'll wince at the memory; that ship has sailed. But I'll wince less if I at least finished it properly.
So that's why I'm still doing an April Fool's event in December. The good news is that our long site-wide nightmare really is almost over now. 5M.net will not enter 2010 as 5M^_^. [ED: Not for long, anyway.] And when the remaining items are published, it'll finally be clear where I was going with this thing all along.
So will I still be using that tenth-anniversary April Fool's idea?
Hell, after this mess, I don't know if I'll even use it for our twentieth.