Where Anime & Motivation Collide
A Q&A: with Theo J Ellis of Anime Motivation
Theo J Ellis is the founder of Anime Motivation, an anime industry expert, and a prominent blogger. He’s widely known for creating and popularizing anime quote trends (amongst other things). We had the pleasure of speaking with him about his experience in both Ani blogging and building an online anime community, as well as his thoughts on modern-day anime fandom. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did conducting this interview.
Hello Theo and thank you for the interview! Would you like to introduce yourself?
I’m the founder of Anime Motivation, featured in the Crunchyroll Anime Awards. I’m from Manchester in the UK but I like the laid-back attitude of the countryside more than the city. And I hate peanuts and raisins with a passion
You’re very well known as the founder of Anime Motivation, How did that get started? Did you first get into Ani blogging with this project or did you have any other websites before?
Well, I’m flattered, but Anime Motivation got started because I couldn’t find the anime quotes I wanted. So I made a modern website dedicated to anime quotes, the first of its kind as far as the amount of quotes back in 2016 and having quote images.
Ultimately I wanted to help people solve the same problem I needed solving, and once I saw how much people wanted and appreciated it, I went full throttle. And that goal has evolved over time.
Anime Motivation was my first “anime” blog, yes, but I had other websites unrelated years before it came about. That’s probably why I had an easier time than others as far as knowing how to run a website and building it into something.
What do you enjoy most about Ani blogging? What would you say is the greatest satisfaction of being an Ani blogger?
There’s always something to learn and there’s always content to share. Anime is what I’d call a “third party”. Meaning if you make content it’s based on a product you don’t create yourself necessarily. So there’s always more anime, anime games, movies, shows, and related products being made all year round. So it’s impossible to not have something to talk about.
I like that about the anime industry. Especially because of how unique the anime industry is compared to other forms of entertainment. It’s not something anyone can do because the knowledge is specialised, and being a curious guy with a somewhat different background, that only makes the game of being creative and bringing my own flavour more fun because of my perspective.
I guess what I’m saying is the greatest satisfaction is the challenge and the joy I get out of anime in general.
What has been your proudest moment or best result in Ani blogging so far?
There’s a lot, it’s not just one.
Knowing my content has helped people dealing with depression, stress, etc. That my message has touched people (good or bad), having Crunchyroll personally reach out, as well as Kadokawa and others, Anime Motivation being recognized, invitations, hiring people, reaching millions of fans… There’s been a lot of “proud” moments. Going viral is cool which I’ve done more than once, but it’s nothing compared to the impact and things like that.
Having impact feels more real and lasting, virality is just something that goes away as fast as it came.
Where does that drive to be your own boss come from? How do you stay motivated to keep the site up and running?
I’ve always wanted to have my own businesses. I was the guy in college selling clothes, phones, merch, whatever I could get my hands on. It’s how I paid for my own things no matter how big or small. It’s an independence thing.
After starting my “real” business a few years before Anime Motivation, I never looked back. I also went through a lot of shit during those years and lost a lot, so my drive comes from that as well and plays into the consistency you see with Anime Motivation.My eyes are glued to the future (how consistency is built) and I have no interest in being held down by the past.
I know you’re tired of being asked a thousand times but can’t make this interview without asking what are some of your favorite anime? Like I know you love DB, Hinamatsuri, Code Geass, Jormungand, Violet, You’re under arrest , Bakemonogatari, Akame Ga Kill, so what are some others we don’t know like recent favorites or something?
Haha, yeah I get it. Some more anime you don’t know (older and recent) are:
- Shadows House.
- Akiba Maid War.
- Chainsaw Man.
- Kino’s Travels
- A Certain Scientific Railgun.
- Kokoro Connect.
- The Eminence In Shadow.
- Call Of The Night.
- Urusei Yatsura 2022.
- The Disastrous Life Of Saiki K.
- Fate Zero.
- Cells At Work.
- Skip Beat.
- Happy Sugar Life.
- Full Metal Panic.
- Eureka Seven.
- Madoka Magica.
- Summertime Rendering.
Some are my all time favorites (Skip Beat, Fate Zero, Re:Zero), while others I like in general.
Does Theo J Elis read manga? People know you are all about anime & all but tell the fans like do you just watch anime or do you enjoy reading manga as well? If yes, what are some of your favorite manga?
I have to admit – I mostly watch anime and its been that way for years. Though in recent years I do peek at manga panels every now and then, and get interested in certain manga that way, I spend less time on it in comparison.
Some manga I like:
- The Demon King’s Daughter Is Too Kind.
- Gal Gohan.
- Ice Guy And The Cool Female Colleague.
- My Awkward Senpai.
- Gunsmith Cats (old school).
- A Story About A Very Ordinary Couple.
You can tell I like wholesome manga a lot.
How many different anime do you watch at once?
Right now I’m watching:
- Chainsaw Man.
- Bleach: TYBW Arc.
- The Eminence In Shadow.
- Urusei Yatsura 2022.
- Akiba Maid War.
- Bocchi The Rock.
- My Hero Academia S6.
They’re seasonal anime and 2022 is stacked with some of the sickest anime shows we’ve seen in a while. Otherwise, I try to watch just one series, with maybe one more tucked away.
What is the anime that you have marathoned through the fastest?
Good question. Made me laugh a bit. I’d say The Disastrous Life Of Saiki K.
That anime is golden and one of the funniest comedies I’ve ever seen. Akame Ga Kill would be another I’ve “marathoned” through along with Cells At Work.
What is your least favorite genre of anime?
The HAREM genre. Tied with Ecchi. I mention both because they’re usually paired together. The one thing I don’t like about the genre is not the reason many complain about (fanservice being the main complaint). For me, it’s the lack of creativity, effort, and overall quality of this genre.
I’ve even written about it. When it’s good, it’s solid. But when it’s bad, it’s nothing special.
Good Ecchi in my eyes would be Food Wars, Saekano, Kill La Kill. And good Harem would be Haganai, Quintessential Quintuplets, Nisekoi.
Which anime do you think deserves a sequel or another season?
Slayers. That franchise has too much potential given the amount of content behind it (despite being old school). The story is forever evolving as well just like DBZ or any shounen you can mention in a similar style. If White Fox studios picked it up, or maybe J.C Staff or A-1 Pictures they could easily turn it into something.
Maybe a reboot would be better though.
I feel the same way about Shakugan No Shana and Gunsmith Cats.
If you could have any anime superpower, what would it be?
I wanna say teleportation or flying, but the ability to read minds (like Saiki K) is what I lean towards. In fact, I need to get the whole package like Saiki (he can do more than just read minds as a result of being psychic).
I’ve read your post about starting an Ani blog. When we were starting out it helped us a lot. For those who haven’t, I’ll link it down here but tell me one thing in short: a lot of people are interested in Ani blogging for the money-earning potential these days. So, what is/are the most crucial realistic things you can say regarding that topic!
If you’re really going in for the money, the traffic and the countries it comes from determine everything if you’re gonna be running only ads. Western countries, especially the USA make a lot more than most. But you wanna get as much information and knowledge as possible to find ways to make money and in ways that work well for you.
What I really wanna say though is don’t waste your time unless you plan on bringing something to the table. When I started it was 2016. I got through the backdoor and broke into the industry by giving something different that no one else was doing. That made the money part easier if that’s important to you.
If you come into the industry and just follow what’s already out there, you’ll quit because the results will speak for itself. And you’ll struggle to make any real progress.
I’ve seen all kinds of websites (even before 2016) disappear over the years. A lot of them vanished for similar reasons. Add your own spin and be fearless with your opinions. That’s not to say you have to be a b*stard to make a point. But it is to say if you don’t give your all into your thoughts, ideas, and opinions, then the impact isn’t gonna hit in the way you need it to. And that’s regardless of what your overall goal is (to inspire others, entertain, etc).
People ask me this question a lot and now I’m asking you as a junior. You’ve been there..done a lot. So what do you think!? Youtube, Social Media & all other different things platforms coming one by one everywhere. So will blogging still be relevant do you think? What is the future of Ani blogging or blogging as a whole you think?
It’s a good question, especially for anyone new getting into it.
As far as where I think blogging will be, regardless of anime, let’s just say blogging ain’t goin anywhere anytime soon. It will evolve as it always has. They say over 400 million internet users read 20 billion blog posts a month, so it’s not an issue as a general rule.
Regardless of people spending a lot of time on:
- YouTube (or YouTube shorts).
And social media in general, many of those people STILL run to Google to search for information, answers, solutions, recommendations, etc. And many of them still subscribe and visit websites willingly (without google) to see what’s coming next. That’s true for news, entertainment, blogs specifically, or a mixture.
You can’t eliminate websites with social media, a thing that changes as far as which is more popular in the moment than the other. And you can’t get rid of blogs by extension since people always want information (even written form rather than video or audio).
People still read books in the millions on Amazon for example. Written word isn’t dead, the environment’s just a bit different.
The bar for quality is really what matters going forward with blogs since there’s so many now. It has to be good enough for people to want to read it. For anyone getting into blogging or even people who have been doing it for a while, now it’s about being spread out and if possible, taking the content from your website and finding ways to share it on these social networks. Or just creating separate accounts with similar but unique content relating to your blog or theme.
That’s if your goal is to get the maximum amount of attention from your blog at all. It’s not 2005 anymore where people only come to your blog. Nowadays attention is spread out, and you can grab it from multiple places by aligning with the trends so to speak.
Always focus on your talents and strengths though, because quality (or lack of it) will always show. It’s about the right platforms, not every platform.
And this is all about our interview with Theo Senpai. Once again thank you for dedicating part of your time to us! Last but not least, do you wanna say anything to our audiences?
Consider why you wanna do what you wanna do, and that’ll make everything easier down the line.
Thank you so much for your kind words. We really appreciate it. We don’t wanna brag but it’s a fact: Theo J Ellis was incredibly quick in responding to our request for an interview. He delivered some informative answers that certainly didn’t disappoint. We loved his enthusiasm and the quality of his answers, and we’re sure you will too!
He’s also currently working on a new project called theojellis.com, which aims to help people find their inner strength and motivation through the power of anime. So go check that out. Also, don’t forget to follow him on social media (links below) to keep up with his latest articles and content related to anime & all. Thanks again, and have a great day!