Officially beginning updates on May 29, 2004, Anime Paradise was a basic anime fansite, modeled after popular fansite LELOLA.net. Originally the site simply consisted of founder Evan Minto and a few of his friends posting the occasional anime news and updating an archive of episode summaries, character biographies, and images.
In 2005, the site began featuring occasional video game coverage, and eventually expanded to officially cover anime, manga and video games. Due to this shift in coverage (and the fact that “Anime Paradise” was also the name of a hentai site), Evan renamed the site Ani-Gamers on its second birthday in 2006, and revamped the layout to match the new name. The third birthday saw the addition of a “news blog,” hosted through Blogger, that would later become the full Ani-Gamers site. This blog was host to the Super Smash Bros.-themed article series “Dojo Day,” the first recurring column on the site. For a while the site also had forums, but they drifted out of popularity as time went on.
On September 28, 2007, Ani-Gamers launched “uWrite,” a mostly failed attempt to gather user-generated content from readers and publish it on the blog.
On March 27, 2008, the site updated to “Ani-Gamers 2.0,” which saw a new layout and the unveiling of the eye-controller logo that we still use today. This new blog format also helped bring in more contributors, which turned Ani-Gamers into a team-run blog. Later that year two more updates changed the layout and brought most of the old content onto the blog, thereby solidifying Ani-Gamers’ blog format.
After a few failed attempts, Evan released the first Ani-Gamers Podcast — an interview with video game composer Andy Brick — on April 16, 2008. The podcast is still running today, though its format has shifted a couple of times along the way.
On October 17, 2009, Evan announced a new sitewide policy: no reviews of fansubs or scanlations (except for unlicensed anime/manga series more than 5 years old). In 2010 the site changed its layout once again. (The changes were admittedly not as significant as previous versions, but nominally this was classified as “Ani-Gamers 3.0.”)
Most recently, the blog went through a slump of sorts over the course of the year 2011, concluding with a complete drought of content that fall. In January 2012, in response to this slump, Evan launched “Ani-Gamers 4.0,” another new layout that allowed for greater flexibility when searching for posts. However, this time it was also coupled with a new backend — Tofu, Evan’s custom-built content management system — and a renewed push for articles and podcasts from the Ani-Gamers team.
… And that’s where our story ends. For now at least…