By education, I'm first and foremost a sinologist, though having had enough years of study in Japanese (first to aid my primary studies) to be able to watch most shows in raws and really appreciate the level of translation many fansub groups offer.
By specialisation, I'm a historian and linguist with regard to pre-dynastic China, with a recent interest in pre-modern trade routes.
By interest, I'm a historian, mainly dealing with pre-modern Europe and its connections with Asia, and focusing on pre-modern economics.
By occupation, I'm an editor for an academic publisher, mainly dealing with the field of sinology, and a reviser/terminologist for a translation services bureau, focusing mainly on legal cases in a European context. (So I'd like to be able, in my free time, to finally not mind errors of spelling, grammar and style overly much.)
On messages, friends and clubs
As my work is mainly commission-based, my work days and hours vary greatly. Add to that the fact that I'm a particularly slow writer (and a rambling one at that) and this will mean that I'm often unable for quite longish stretches of time to reply to any message, or only very succinctly.
That said, I try to reply to each and every message or comment I get when able to.
Everyone is free to send a friend request. I don't dismiss random friend requests out of hand, especially not if they're accompanied by at least something of an introduction. Elitist bastard that I am, I generally will have a look at the type of conversations someone has with others and accept or decline based on that.
I will decline most club invites or will be only present as a ghost member, for the simple reason that I'm busy enough as it is. The fact that I have something in my list is not a reason for me to accept an invite to a club focused on that, nor is the fact that I like it if the club in question is little more than an appreciation club. There has to be a purpose and focus to the club for me to accept.
On my ratings
As I learned from my lists, I seem to have a tendency to award lower scores than the average user. This is mainly the result of wanting to have an average rating of 'average'. As such, the default rating will be a 5, only to be deviated from if a show is better or worse than the majority.
I try as much as possible to remain fair and objective when awarding scores, awarding scores for what an entry conveys more than whether or not I liked it.
Someone who feels a sudden need to browse through my lists will most likely note a few inconsistencies in scores awarded, with shows that were mostly alike having wildly differing scores, or scores awarded to shows that they really did not deserve. There are a few reasons for this.
1. Time. The more I watch and read, the more difficult it is to be impressed. Older entries will tend to deviate from the mean more strongly. As I generally can't very well recall these older entries, a general adjustment of them towards the average score seems unjustified.
2. That small difference. Two shows that are overall very much alike may have an element or a focus of attention that really stands out, even if it isn't the main subject of the show itself. If such an element or focus is particularly well (or disastrously badly) done, this may have tremendous effect on overall appreciation, as it may make or break the depicted setting and the suspension of disbelief.
3. Emotional focus. Some shows are simply out to have an emotional effect on its audience. They tend expressly not to pay much attention to brilliance of story or characters and whatnot, but are simply out for the laughs and tears. As such shows generally either work or don't respective to one's own likes and dislikes it is often untenable to even try remain objective, so why do it?
And then, there's Cossette, which I love and to any criticism of which my reaction will be akin to the on-line version of plugging my ears with my fingers and singing out real loudly. Sometimes, one just has to admit that one loves something without a reason and brooks no differing opinions, justified or not.
On my reviews
Someone who is inclined to have a look at all reviews I've written for this site may find that, for all the posturing about wanting to keep my ratings at around 'average', almost all reviewed entries receive a lot of praise and are rated highly. There are two reasons for this.
1. Most of the reviews started out as posts in the Critics and Connoisseurs club, focused on whether an entry is or is not all-round good. Posts on highly rated entries consist of why I believe them to be good and can, therefore, easily be adapted to reviews, but posts on less highly rated ones talk about why they aren't good enough, meaning that elements are evaluated against a bar instead of on their own, making for poor starting points for a full review.
2. The problem of most average entries is that there is so little to say about them, as there is little that distinguishes them from others. Talking about average entries would mostly entail a summing up of what they do not have, defeating the purpose of a review. Genuinely bad entries generally possess more qualities that can be discussed, but are in the main not worth the time and effort to discuss them.