I’d like to elaborate on this, because it might come in handy for anybody who wants to run a community in the future.

I think of situations that need moderator attention as being in one of three categories.

The first is routine. This includes things like deleting obvious spam, splitting threads and moving posts that got off-topic. These are all easy enough, unless you get lots of them at once.

The second is personal touches. Somebody posts an unflagged spoiler, something NSFW, or just inflammatory. We’ll hide the post, and message the user, explaining why it was hidden, and what they could do to improve it. The key here is assuming that there’s no malicious intent, and the person simply made a mistake, they may be used to communities with a very different tone, or English might not be their first language - I’ve said things myself that were accidentally insulting, because I didn’t realise it had those connotations in English.

There’s also a myriad of less clear-cut things that go in here, like things that are only offensive to people from certain backgrounds that just aren’t widely known outside of those communities (“trap”), or things that have different connotations in different parts of the world (various expletives in Australia, for an easy one).

Now, the trouble here is that this approach requires empathy and making a genuine attempt to understand the person you’re talking to, and why this situation arose in the first place. It’s emotional labour, and empathy is very much a finite resource. By the (n)th time you explain the same thing to different people, it’s easy to get irritated. Keeping things fair and consistent here also requires a bunch of back-office coordination, and the emotional labour that goes into that.

Some communities are much colder about this - strict rules, strikes or warnings, little attempt to understand the people involved. This is less emotionally draining, but tends to result in communities that are much less personal, and selects for people who already fit a mould, rather than attempting to bridge our differences. There’s no right or wrong way to do this, and it’s not binary - you can have a bit of both, and it all depends on what kind of community you want to create.

The third is conflicts. No matter how like-minded your community, they will happen, and you will need to deal with them.

This means mediating, deescalating, and attempting to understand where both parties are coming from. If somebody is clearly acting in bad faith, it’s easy enough to just tell them off. But most of the time, you’ll find that there is no right or wrong, only two different viewpoints.

This is where things gets really fuzzy, and emotionally demanding. Every conflict is different, and if the two (or more) sides can’t be reconciled, there isn’t a right answer. Pick a side, and no matter which one, people will be upset about why you chose that particular one. A big enough fight will also come down to the leader(s), whose ultimate responsibility it becomes to settle it.

When people think of moderation, they tend to think only of the first kind - routine moderation. But the bulk of your moderators’ time and emotional resources will likely be spent on the second or third. Those are the ones that need capable moderators, good back-office communication, and enough timezone diversity that there’s always somebody at hand to deal with whatever comes up.

Basically, wherever you all go after this, please be nice to your moderators. Most of their work isn’t visible, but they work hard behind the scenes, and the best ones are noticed most when they leave.


If there’s no exaggeration here and it really is “a job that’s taken a massive toll on (y)our lives” then you’re doing something wrong my dude. This really shouldn’t be as hard as people are making it out to be. The difficulty should come in short bursts, usually attached to new members or a single event, but for the most part (in my experience) it can be pretty relaxed. Even for the troublesome parts, moderation bots lighten the load. You’d have to be doing something seriously wrong to think moderating a server is a difficult task. The only way it’d be hard is if you make it so.

Just delete the message and type “wrong channel” or “tag spoilers” or something. You don’t need to go out of your way to bring it into DMs or to tell them “what they could do to improve it.” Attaching such gravity to a simple task only adds pressure to the person being told off. That’s such a weirdly cold and formal method of something so basic.

That doesn’t have to be less clear-cut at all. Just establish a rule for it. One server I mod isn’t very strict and has a simple “No hate speech and defamation” rule. This is paired with examples of such words (fag being a notable one due to its multiple meanings around the world) and is also often coupled with a rule to be respectful to other members. If someone says one of the very bad words, it gets auto-deleted and the user gets an automated warning. If they try to avoid the filter after the fact they get a stricter telling off; in this case the server has a 3-strike system. Using bad language is one strike, and avoiding the filter would be 1 strike, so that person would get 2 strikes in total. We are however leniant if the words were used in quotation or as a sensible part of our after-hours discussion channel.

Another server I mod is a lot stricter due to its 3* larger memberbase—not even allowing swear words—and will auto-filter all swear words out. Anyone using bad language intentionally (or avoiding the filter) gets told off and then temp banned if they argue back.

With these two public servers combined (giving a total 2k members to manage) this example topic of language maybe becomes a problem that a mod has to attend to every few months. It’s really minor.

That kind of communication isn’t hard. If you’re not able to act as an individual, just ping the mod role in your staff channel with a quote/screenshot of the offense and ask 'em if it’s worth pressing. Get a couple responses and then act. For minor cases you don’t even need to do that because, at least for most places, there’s an understanding that mods are individuals with different degrees of leniancy. They won’t all be as forgiving as each other, and that’s a natural part of server dynamics. Heck that’s a natural part of any social structure.

The right answer is to punish all the sides. Set some clear rules and some openly established punishment system and then if someone breaks a rule, abide by the punishment system. Super easy.

Obviously I don’t care about the result of the Discord, and I don’t agree entirely with Kanon’s (if I understand it right) disregard for Kaza’s clearly solid ideals, but moderation really shouldn’t be as big a deal as it’s being made out to be. If it’s really becoming a big emotional strain for moderators, then either your community is incredibly toxic, your mods are inhumanly sensitive, or your process is so ill defined that it requires case-by-case care and attention. I know you guys had an oppressive atmosphere over there some years ago, but I seriously don’t want to believe it’s become bad enough to have notable effects on the mental health of staff. You guys know better, right? Like… What kind of hodgepodge operation must you be running to have a system that actively damages the mental health of your volunteers? That’s not a working system. Did no one think “this should be improved” amidst all the turmoil, or did they just accept the false idea that it’s normal to work for an unhealthy system? You really need to treat yourselves better, don’t opt-in to undeserved stress.


I knew this would happen soon since we stopped getting weekly updates on key news during Spring.

I think it was bound to happen sooner or later though. International Key fans mainly know Key through their anime rather than their visual novels, and Key hasn’t really had any anime that stood out post-Angel Beats unfortunately. The Little Busters anime adaption was unable to live up to the previous Key anime titles, Charlotte had very mixed reception, Rewrite unfortunately didn’t have a very good adaption, and though Planetarian was amazing, it was severely underrated due to being an ONA series. Even Kud Wafter won’t do much considering the quality of the source material. It was only a matter of time before international Key fans diminished in numbers.

Though I think the timing was just right. Key has entered a new era with Summer Pockets. Maybe they’ll be able to get an entirely new group of fans with this upcoming era, and a new Key community can form one day somewhere else.

I’m very grateful to have been in the Kazamatsuri community for a while. I hope all the admins and moderators will have a good break after Kazamatsuri closes down. Even though I’ve left Key and the community for a while, it was still a part of my experience.

Just like Key starting a new era with Summer Pockets, the Kazamatsuri community should do the same. View this as the start of a new era for all of us as people.


With all due respect Taka, I do agree with your last paragraph there. And that’s exactly the reason why, last year, we decided to change our entire moderation system to a values-based system, as is described by @liclac. I think the pains that @Aspirety has pointed out were during the times that we didn’t improve our moderation style, and it did indeed take a toll on our mental health at that time. But we have become a better place now in terms of moderation, and with this values-based moderation system, it hasn’t been as mentally stressful on us staff.

However, the fact of the matter is that this type of moderation does take effort; effort that we are no longer able to give any longer moving forward. And, as much as I appreciate your suggestions, I feel like that kind of moderation style could only work in a place where the staff are able to stop caring about the perception towards the community that does that. Like, your suggestion of:

I can’t tell you just how many times we have done this on discord and simply said “Bring it to the forum” and we’re greeted with flak for our decision. Similarly, we have also tried your suggestion of using clear-cut rules with a strike system, only for it to be circumvented through loopholes and the like (I can imagine people contesting the definition of “hate speech and defamation” should we enforce said rule).

Perhaps it could be doable, but again, that would require us to stop caring about how people, as individuals, perceive our community. And that’s something we can never sacrifice. We can never coldly look down on members and think “Well, they broke our rules, bye bye to them”; we have always wanted to try and understand their motivations and push them to become better. If anything, I would say it’s exactly this style of moderation that has made Kazamatsuri what it is (as opposed to the numerous other large communities on the Internet).

And while I do say we are unable to do it, many think that others may be capable of taking over. Sure, it’s a possibility, but it is also a risk. And the result of that risk is, well, as I said to Helios:

I would go so far as to say that if the Kazamatsuri discord becomes the place that I fear it could, I would log out of discord entirely because, I swear, all the other discord servers that I am a part of are insufferable, and I have yet to find one that has brought me the same kind of acceptance that Kazamatsuri has.

It may be selfish of me and the rest of the staff to want to cling on to this old discord with no purpose, but if this disappears then, frankly, we have nowhere else to belong. In that case, I would much rather see another community, with the same purpose of discussing Key stories, thrive with a style of moderation that suits them. I’ll definitely join that community and participate, but I doubt I’d be able to gain the same sense of belonging that I had gained here.


I have never really liked online forums or any form of social media as they generally have a rule system and a certain number of strikes that are either unreasonable, or enforced in a way that will punish you even if you don’t break them, the reason I stuck with Kazamatsuri (The only social media I actually use as well as youtube, if it counts,) is because of this reasonable system that Kazamatusri has that really is what has been a major cause for the sense of community I have experienced. So as much as I agree with Takafumi’s method that should cause less of a burden on the moderators.

I think that this is the cause for why the community is so strong as a 3 strikes system feels very much a dictatorship, the entire understand the motivations, make the experience with the moderators feel person to person and not like talking with that cranky boss from work. I do truly do respect the effort you moderators have been putting in to create this community, so thanks Aspi, Pepe, Liclac and the others who I aren’t aware are moderators. I personally think your method in moderating has been very effective.

Also kinda unrelated, but from what I have heard on the podcasts, I think your a cool guy Pepe, good icon too.


I’d like to bring a different perspective unto this, and one that doesn’t deal that much with moderation but still does. I bring this up not to derail current discussion but thought it best to say so upfront to avoid confusion.

Over the past few months I haven’t been around Kaza or the Discord so I do not pretend to know the inner workings of it; however, what I would say beforehand is that as that as time went on it felt better to not get involved in order to avoid either messing up the flow that the members were looking for or to avoid causing confusion or discomfort to others. It would stand to reason, and it is important to know, to take fault with the confusion and misunderstandings that I created, and to think about what is best for the family even when I’m in the wrong. Positive thoughts and attempts indeed!

This said, some of the comments that were said about me were approaching discrimination, and I did not feel comfortable talking to someone else about it because I was responsible for setting some of the misunderstanding for that in the first place, and there was a silent acceptance and misunderstanding of the situation. There wasn’t any negative intentions anywhere, and again I apologize if I’ve hurt or offended anyone, but I also don’t know exactly what I should apologize for if anything. After all, the best critic you have is your own and it can be wrong.

The forum itself was becoming more of a place for Key discussion and the Discord for more social chatting and that matched the new Kaza values so my participation on the forum went down naturally due to being a bit too slow at getting reading done! This said, I still gave Vitamin C at least a decent amount of effort figuring that it was something that one could contribute to without knowing as much as others. The end result of that felt like something that split people apart instead of just being about fun and learning and experiencing new things, and it still stings because I don’t like some of the things I said or thought at the time too and wish it was better for everyone, but sadly there will never be anything else like it again or other chance to do it differently.

For a time being, I decided to just let things play out among the family, stay quiet, and donate to the Patreon for everyone else because the thought of not donating anything at all was just abhorrent, wrong, and not the values that I stood for. It also felt like there was a chance that things could turn out wonderfully as the news rolled on too! Sadly, sometimes heart and effort is either not enough or can make things worse for others, and I can understand how hard and exhausting it can be to please everyone or to even attempt to build a community. I do hope that the heart and effort showed still did more good than not but the great thing about life is that it is up for you to decide. :slight_smile:

EDIT: For now though, Little Busters is almost done because only Kanata’s route is left, I’m still doing a lot of looking into learning Spanish or Japanese, and reading a lot about science and eastern philosophy. Taoism and Shinto is quite fascinating.


…Still waiting for Masa Kaga After to be released-

Jokes aside, even tho I became inactive in the site’s latter years, this site has always been my go to place for key news/talks. It’s sad that it’s about to go away, but I understand why it has to happen.

Great job everyone, especially to the admins.
I’ll see if I can attend the last discord party. :slight_smile:


HAHAHA :hiii:
I just came back to this community, thinking I could finally be a part of it. And now I find out that it is shutting down in less than a month
I was a lurker here for a long time, so although none of you know me, I love this website. I liked checking about news and reading people’s thoughts on Key.
Well, hopefully I’ll be able to get some RLDev help in this last month. :sweat_smile:

Wish I could have been a part of this community.


Yeah it honestly really is sad.
It’s really unfortunate, I only joined recently but I never really got to interact with the community.
I’ve always loved Key’s works, but when I joined it was kinda dead already so I didn’t really know what to do.
Well I hope everyone did enjoy this forum, it does seem like everyone here did enjoy it.

Good Luck to you guys.


What… Noooo! I JUST signed up! xD
Well, it’s a shame. I’ve become a huge fan of Key Studio over the year, I’ve met your site several times in Google, and just when I decide to be a part of it, it turns out it will soon close T_T. The site looked great! You did an awesome job, that’s for sure. I hope you have no regret.

(By an incredible coincidence, I read this post while Faraway was playing in my playlist. The feels, man…)



Given a number of circumstances and an increase in patreon donations, we’ve decided to postpone the closure of Kazamatsuri until the end of the year. As such our farewell party will be held on New Year’s Eve instead. We won’t be postponing any further though.

Hope to see you all at the party :ai:


12/7 …

I was treated quite poorly here and had nothing but negative experiences with this community. Good riddance

I just found out the news today, and I am shocked that Aspirety and Kazamatsuri is closing down. I wish this was not happening. Had good times with him at Anime Expo 2015. I wish Aspirety and the community all the best.


Um, I’ve never been to Anime Expo :yahaha:


Guess this is the last day eh? if you guys wanna creating new group for Key discussion or any sort like that feels free to invite me, I’m on Discord or FB to contact.

The path ahead may splitted up for us. But remember, we used to be united in here. The memories of laugh, joy and cry will be forever in our heart, no matter wherever we going in the future. :ai:


I guess this is a last day of Kazamatsuri.
Even I’m just recently joined. But being here is the best thing in my life.
So it’s sad to see this forum is being closed.
However I will still support Key and Visual Arts.
So, this is it.

Glenn, sign off.


@yumemi to tell you the truth, I was sent here to get you. I’m taking you to your new workplace. Your co-workers and new costumers are all waiting for you, and you’ll be able to work to your heart’s content.


Thank you, Mr. Customer, that sounds wonderful


Looks like Kazamatsuri will be closing now. Just want to say Thank you everyone for having me here, I have had a great time being in this community.