The Anime Origin Story Site

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davemerrill
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Re: The Anime Origin Story Site

Post by davemerrill »

Drew, your tale of attending comic book shows for an afternoon of shopping and wandering, and then discovering the REAL convention and wanting to be there every minute, well, it's pretty much what happened to me; my brother and I got taken to a one-day Creation comic book show, and we bought some comics and it was pleasant enough. Then we found out about the Atlanta Fantasy Fair happening that summer, and went to that expecting it to be an afternoon's worth of entertainment, but found out it was three solid days of videos and comics and games and people in crazy outfits, and we've pretty much never been the same.

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Re: The Anime Origin Story Site

Post by SteveH »

Drew_Sutton wrote:So, apparently response has been great! Lauren got back with me a couple weeks ago and my story was published earlier today!

Should be any minute now she'll get back to you, Steve!
I hope so! I was wondering!

I always worry I talk too much in 'shortcuts', then I worry I'm talking too much about things people already know. worry worry worry. The Prozac doesn't help at all! :)

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Drew_Sutton
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Re: The Anime Origin Story Site

Post by Drew_Sutton »

SteveH wrote:
Drew_Sutton wrote:So, apparently response has been great! Lauren got back with me a couple weeks ago and my story was published earlier today!

Should be any minute now she'll get back to you, Steve!
I hope so! I was wondering!

I always worry I talk too much in 'shortcuts', then I worry I'm talking too much about things people already know. worry worry worry. The Prozac doesn't help at all! :)
Never worry about that - it's always someone's first time hearing about something, especially when it comes to fandom in the Before Times!
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mbanu
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Re: The Anime Origin Story Site

Post by mbanu »

Fun trivia in #116:
I don’t think fans today realize that back then fans had no translations at all sometimes. Can you talk more about this? Why wasn’t it boring to watch a show when you didn’t understand the dialogue? About what year or age do you recall first getting dubbed and subbed shows?

As to “why wasn’t it boring,” I think this fed into the “otherness” I mentioned to begin with. It was… special. I mean, it was something you really couldn’t get any other way. (At least to my knowledge. And to any level of convenience.) I was learning where this stuff came from, including Robotech‘s source itself. And if that required a bit of effort, well… It was effort well worth giving! In many ways, it made it less boring. You could get a lot out of just the visuals and sound by itself, and piece together “what they’re saying” even when you don’t strictly-speaking know what’s being said. It added a tinge of… mystery to things, somehow. And it certainly made things amusingly to learn about later, when actually seeing the dialogue! I’d get the occasional scripts and synopses downloaded from BBSs, but that was infrequently enough as well. But you would be surprised how much continues to sink in just from repeat viewings!

The tape I mentioned with Warriors of the Wind and MADOX-01 on it were my first official sub and dub exposures, which was probably in ’92. But that didn’t mean “and after that, subs were broadly available!” Those were two of a very small number of exceptions throughout high school. In college that changed, but in a different way. It suddenly became easier for me to collect localized manga. Starting with Ranma 1/2 and picking up pretty much anything they or Dark Horse did, I finally got acclimated to translated works, but anime was expensive and my college clubs weren’t anime-related. Magic: the Gathering started to take up all my time and money, at that point.

It really wouldn’t be until the Sailor Moon DiC broadcasts that I picked up anything more commonplace (and even that would serve to cement my dislike of dubs). Anime East ’95 got me a “duffel bag of Ranma” that would be passed around among us (old school friends, new Magic: The Gathering friends, new college RPG friends), so even at that stage it was still access to raw Japanese content (this time full broadcasts, with commercials!) which was getting people into the habit. It was maybe not their first exposure, but it would prove to be the strongest exposure for them, too.

“Common access to subs” would probably come in ’96 and beyond. That comic shop I’d been going to since ’89 started expanding into anime, so I could rent quite a lot there. (And specifically he got subtitled tapes, whereas Blockbuster would only have a smattering of dubs.) And from there we would start making trips into NYC Chinatown, which was the bootlegger/importer’s paradise! Anime-wise that meant rampant distribution of fansubber’s content. $5/tape or cheaper when you bought enough. I really couldn’t afford the “two episodes for $35-40” which was still commonplace at that time. So I’d rent, or bootleg.
(http://www.animeoriginstories.com/116-cthellis/)

1996 as when subs became the norm is an interesting perspective; that would put it at the absolute tail end of the "Old School" era, with Toonami starting up in 1997. I guess that's interesting to me because I hadn't realized the Golden Age of VHS fansubs, with wide availability and slick distributors like Kodacha with their purple tapes was so narrow -- AnimeSuki started in 2002, and by 2004 BitTorrent was 25% of all Internet traffic, so things ramped up pretty quickly. (^_^;)
mbanu: What's between Old School and New School?
runesaint: Hmmm. "Middle School", perhaps?

SteveH
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Re: The Anime Origin Story Site

Post by SteveH »

I think it's a mistake to look for any single point source in the overall events of the times. It's more messy, a stew or a twisty Venn diagram.

There is:

-more anime being produced in Japan that was of interest to the American taste

-Computers were faster, more powerful and cheaper

-The internet was growing by leaps and bounds, ensuring regular contact around the world. Usenet. IRC. AOL.

-fans were becoming aware of the IDEA of subtitling and upon discovery, more people jumped to see if they could do it too. Not always out of any beneficence, mainly for the 'street cred' cranking out subs was thought to have.

-Laser Discs and box sets

-Japanimation rooms at media cons evolving into their own conventions

-American comics dabbling in manga

-Virgin/Island World pushing Manga Ent. in every record store in the USA (and this is where Musicland Group began their importance in the anime world)

No simple answer. :)

davemerrill
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Re: The Anime Origin Story Site

Post by davemerrill »

Yeah, I don't think you can look at one person's statement and try to generalize their experience as anything other than their experience. One person's "golden age of VHS fansubs" is another person's "how could anyone watch that garbage". One person's "old school era" ending is somebody else's start point, and when this person says "common access to subs", I don't think they're talking about anything other than the access he (or she) had at that particular time and in that particular place.

Like, every year we do AWA and I meet attendees who aren't young, aren't new fans, have had an interest in anime for a while, but have never come to AWA because for whatever reason the show just didn't intersect with their lives or their social circles. When we were running the anime club I'd meet people with TONS of great anime on VHS who didn't join any anime clubs, had no interest in swapping tapes with strangers, they just did their thing quietly. There are people like that all over.

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zimmerit
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Re: The Anime Origin Story Site

Post by zimmerit »

Yeah, so much of this relies on your personal experience and the availability of tapes in your area, particularly in the pre-internet era.

By 1996, legal subtitled anime had been available for about seven years and arguably the biggest anime film of 1995 was co-produced by UK-based distribution company.
Sean // zimmerit.moe

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Drew_Sutton
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Re: The Anime Origin Story Site

Post by Drew_Sutton »

That's all very true. While I was fortunate to live in a large metro with an active anime fan community, and early-ish access to the Internet, I was always jealous of West Coast fans/fandom (especially around SF Bay Area or LA) because of larger Japanese or Japanese-American communities that gave them better access to tapes or networking to get tapes.

I found this blog floating around the facebooks earlier today, really strikes a chord in the Anime Origin Story theme: Loryn Stone's My Life As A Late 90s Otaku. It's a well presented cross-section not just her personal journey into anime fandom at a very specific snap-shot in time, but incredibly relatable. She even mentions a few things I haven't thought about since the late 90s - desktop themes, WinAmp skins, and uncomfortable moments watching anime with your folks around. Really cool piece.
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Re: The Anime Origin Story Site

Post by SteveH »

One thing I forgot to mention in my post above is the importance of Cartoon Network and Toonami in that sweet weekday afternoon 'kidvid' timeslot- 3 to 5 PM est. THAT, that kidvid timeslot mainly on local UHF stations, is where most fandoms grew and Toonami on cable was just about the only game in town for that in the late '90s.

The tipping point was when they shifted from running 'dead' syndication packages (gotten for no cost due to barter exchange) to buying up new content where suddenly, there's 'new' Sailor Moon, 'new' Dragonball Z and people were losing their minds then Gundam Wing happened...

MAN the gals loved them some Bishi Boys back then, didn't they? :)

I really wasn't paying that much attention to Cartoon Network back then, for a long time they were a 'higher tier' channel you had to pay extra for, then when that shifted to 'part of basic cable package'...well, I wasn't able to afford cable. But thanks to AOL and dial-up modem I could read about it. :)

hm. Here's a question for the house. I am 100% sure Cartoon Network and the Toonami weekday afternoon created anime fans. Kids who would come home from school, turn on the TV and hey, what the heck is that?!. My question is, does the current late Sat. evening Toonami slot CREATE new anime fans, or is it now just really for those already 'inside'? What out there in the wide world can a kid stumble across that makes him or her want to watch an anime series? Is it now ALL 'word of mouth' and underground? I mean, I see how young many of the fans are at cons, there's no afternoon cartoon block they could have chanced upon and gotten hooked. What's the starting point for the current generation?

davemerrill
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Re: The Anime Origin Story Site

Post by davemerrill »

that might be a good question to ask on social media towards the parents of the 6-10 year olds - I have no idea how children are watching TV these days. From what I see among relatives and friends with children in this age range, "TV" is something that's on in the background while they watch Minecraft videos on Mommy's tablet.

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