R.I.P. Steven DenBeste

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I was sorry to learn of the death of pioneering anime blogger Steven DenBeste. He did a lot to spread interest in anime and encourage people to take it seriously.

He first gained fame back at the turn of the century as a political blogger (generally right-wing but very pro-science.) Back then, of course, the right-wing blogosphere was a great deal more civilized than it is today. His posts were well-informed and tightly reasoned. Back around 2002 his site, USS Clueless, was one of the leading voices in favor of George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. That didn’t work out well but it’s worth remembering that at the time the policy was supported by most of the leading U.S. politicians, including Hillary Clinton.

After that he apparently got sick of political blogging and started a new site called Chizumatic, devoted to the decidedly non-serious subject of anime. Except he did take it seriously, writing long-form articles that subjected an anime series to the sort of detailed analysis that one might give a respectable literary work.

There had been anime blogs before, but nothing like this. He inspired many other bloggers (including me) and helped give the whole subject a bit more respectability than it had previously enjoyed.

As the years went by and his health deteriorated he stopped writing the long-form pieces but he continued to post regularly almost until the day of his death. (Mostly about fan-service.) These pieces kept his site popular right to the end.

So long Steven! You will be missed.