RobBarracuda Bids Farewell to Swim Squad

Y’know, in about 4 months from now, it’ll have been approximately 2 years that this blog has been up. Yet I still remember things starting out like it was practically today. Getting the email from Abigail, jumping into the Skype chat, and getting right to work on articles and whatnot. I still remember spending an entire week researching just to get everything in place for that first piece I did about the 2015 Adult Swim Singles Program. Things were moving along at a nice pace from there, and it felt good every time a piece of mine went up on the blog. I like to think I covered a nice range of stuff during my time here, from discussing Adult Swim originals of all stripes to doing weekly Toonami write-ups, and of course, covering all of the block’s various musical endeavors. It felt so exciting and gave me such this rush of energy to be able to discuss the music of the block with anyone willing to read those articles. The most surprising part of doing all those Adult Swim singles recaps was occasionally seeing the music acts themselves sharing the articles. Often it was the more underground people (Shantih Shantih, Low Estate, etc.), but occasionally one of the more big-name artists would post a link to them, and that felt really cool. I still distinctly remember acts like Kitty, Sannhet, Thelonious Martin, and even Captain motherfucking Murphy retweeting articles and thinking “holy shit holy shit oh my god, this actually happened”.

But there was more to this blog than just that, though. Everyone here put their fair share of work into everything: Abigail keeping things running consistently during her time here (hope you’re doing well, whatever it is you’re doing right now), cedric_alpha, meowth etc. doing weekly Toonami reviews and occasional other reviews, Kris doing Rick and Morty + Mike Tyson Mysteries recaps, Benjamin’s efforts to cover the online shenanigans of Adult Swim, and others. Everyone who worked on this site did their best to keep things going and be enthusiastic in their output as possible. There were some pretty neat results among all of that extra work, often getting noticed or RT’d by some pretty big names (probably the biggest being when Tim Heidecker RT’d a random article regarding his Decker web series). Also, shout out to the guys who run the official Mission Hill twitter account. Seriously, them noticing us was pretty sweet.

Oh, and the single best thing that I think ever happened on this site: the April Fools article about One Punch Man airing on Toonami last summer. While it eventually turned out to be true, at the time it was just a silly gag that Abby came up with for fun, but when it posted, it actually got around quite a bit. The highlight of it was when someone sent the article to none other than voice actor Ben Diskin via Twitter. It’s probably mean on some level to be happy about tricking a voice actor like that, but… come on, y’all gotta admit that was pretty funny. No disrespect to Ben, by the way. He’s a great voice actor and a cool dude, probably. Idk, I don’t know him in real life. Although I wish I did.

…wait, where am I going with this?

I took everything I did on this blog as a sort of personal challenge, most notably with my various Toonami recaps. In my time here, I fully recapped 4 shows: Mitchiko & Hatchin, Samurai Champloo, Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency. Each one was distinct enough for me to have to adapt and evolve how I wrote recaps/reviews and stuff each time. With Mitchiko, it was a more thematically challenging show to write about than most of the others. Samurai Champloo had me confronting a modern classic that I had literally never watched before until its Toonami run. Iron-Blooded Orphans forced me to re-encounter a franchise I never liked and see if I could maybe finally get into it (spoiler: I didn’t. In fact, if there was one thing I didn’t like during my time here, it was the Gundam fanboys breathing down my neck whenever I published a recap). And last but not least, Battle Tendency was a chance to go in-depth about something I already knew and really loved to explain why it works and why I loved it. All of these helped me grow as a writer and change my style into something I was much happier with to use elsewhere.

So where do things go now? Well, as some of you may know, I already do work for the website Surreal Resolution (@SurrealReso on twitter), a site which our own cedric_alpha is also associated with. I will continue to write there and produce my podcast Decibel Boost there, and I will take whatever I learned doing this blog and apply it to future endeavors (follow me on twitter @RobBarracuda for more updates/memes). So to everyone who read this blog for the past year and a half: thank you so much. To the rest of the Squad: good luck on your future endeavors. Perhaps this blog may resurrect in the future, but that’s just a pipe dream for now. Until then though, Stay gold.

Bang.

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