Greg's introduction

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greg
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Greg's introduction

Post by greg »

My homepage: http://stevethefish.net
My YouTube page: http://www.youtube.com/user/stevethefishdotnet
My otaku room/nerd cave video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ep7d1DlBuc

Hey, I'm finally getting around to writing an introduction! Prepare for a textwall! I've been super busy over the past couple of months. To be honest, I have been applying for teaching jobs in Japan and doing interviews. But first, let me back up. I guess I can take info from the forum questionnaire I submitted.

I enjoy the nostalgia of discussing the good old days, of what I call the "golden age" of anime fandom. Before it became popular mainstream, and before anime became crappy. I'm 35 years old and I've been an anime fan for 22 years. Back in May, I did a couple of videos on me growing up as a nerd, and I describe how I became an otaku nerd in the videos too. The links are here:
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhGEahIyUC4
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD4LEY9ExrY

I watched Voltron and Robotech in the '80s and loved them. I also liked G Force (aka Battle of the Planets) and maybe a few other shows. But it wasn't until I was in the 8th grade in 1988/89 when a friend of mine re-introduced me into Robotech. He'd borrowed the RPG books and I would read through those, but we never actually played any games. I realized that I learned from reading my friend's Robotech Art Books that these shows were actually from Japan. I think I had checked out Frederick L. Schodt's book "Manga Manga" and began an interest in the genre. In the 9th grade, I had an assignment to read a book that was translated into English from a foreign language, and do a report on the book and the country's history and culture. Not having any ideas, the librarian suggested Shusaku Endo's The Samurai to read. It was a fascinating read about how the Tokugawa Shogunate closed Japan to the Western world. Then I began studying the historical context of the book, and reading Japanese history books. I was enthralled with Nobunaga's life and how he unified Japan.

So in the early '90s, I became like the proto anime nerd at my high school. I was probably the only one at my school, I suppose. The skater kids liked Akira, but their appreciation for the movie was mostly shallow. Everyone was like, "Japanimation? Is that like Speed Racer?" That got my geeky blood boiling. Everyone had to frame anime in reference to Speed Racer, because stupid MTV was showing it at the time. Around 1993, a friend of mine introduced me to BBSes, and in the local Phoenix, AZ area, there was an anime BBS called the Anime Archive. Eventually, we started having anime get-togethers about once a quarter and this was my exposure to fansubs. It just grew from there, and in college I had friends who were fellow anime nerds. Come to think of it, they were annoying, but I still loved them and enjoyed being their friends. One guy was at an Asian grocery store and went up to this couple and was like, "Hi, are you Japanese by chance? I really like Japanese animation." Turns out they were Vietnamese, and he embarrassed himself. Even if they were Japanese, that was still a creepy thing to do.

Oh, so backing up a bit, I was hesitant at first to watch anything that wasn't dubbed in English, but back then, as you know, unless it was from Streamline Pictures or US Renditions, anime was all subtitled. My desire to see shows like Kimagure Orange Road, Area 88 (I loved the U.N. Squadron game in the arcades), and Bubblegum Crisis motivated me to grow up and watch the stuff subbed. I soon realized that anime was much better subbed, since the dubbed acting was usually quite awful. There was a video rental store near my house that had a selection of anime videos, and I frequented there and eventually saw their entire collection. There was also a cool comic book store called Stalking Moon that rented out anime on VHS, so I went there too. After hooking up with the local BBS crowd, I was watching nth generation VHS copies of raw anime, following along with episode guides from Protoculture Addicts, Animag, and text files downloaded from the local anime BBS. I remember when that same friend of mine put together a Gundam model, and I flipped out how the fingers were movable. In high school is when I put together my first Macross Valkyrie model.

The Anime Archive BBS was a gateway to the FidoNet echoes, so I was on the Anime Echo, Robotech Echo, Star Wars Echo, and Blade Runner Echo at the time. Soon after came AnimeNet, which functioned like FidoNet, but it was compartmentalized into separate echoes for the various shows. It was much like a modern-day anime web forum in that regards, but of course it was all with dialup modems. I used a program called the Silly Little Mail Reader (or SLiMeR for short) that would allow me to download message packets off the BBS, read and reply offline, and then upload my posts when I reconnected to the BBS.

Then in October of 1994, the SysOp of the Anime Archive introduced me to the World Wide Web, and it was so incredible to see HTML pages with anime images alongside text! That winter in 1994, after my first semester of college, my parents got me Internet access. I started discovering Brian Edmond's Bubblegum Crisis site and Hitoshi Doi's anime pages. While I was sick in bed in January of '95, I taught myself HTML and created my own website. Remember when people had "anime shrines" for various characters? I decided to create a Sailor Mercury Shrine. I think it was around that time that Sailor Moon had started broadcasting on TV, and there were many of us college guys who had the guilty pleasure of watching the show because, heck, it was anime on TV and we hadn't seen that in ages! Anyhow, I soon got sick of the idiots who would e-mail me about the page and all the dumb girls, so I gave that Mercury Shrine to somebody else. Similarly, I had inherited the Linna Yamazaki Shrine from a guy, and my page became the new home for that. AnimEigo had a link to my page on their BGC page for the longest time.

I was on anime newsgroups, mostly rec.arts.anime.games because I was into import Super Famicom games. I created the Anime Super Famicom Web Resource Center page as a result of my obsession with anime-related games.

Gosh, remember those GeoCities, Tripod, and other sites where people had personal homepages? So many of them sucked, but at least it forced some sort of creativity. Now in the age of Facebook and blogs, there's no real creativity anymore and everything looks the same.

Anyhoo, back to December of 1994, I picked up an issue of Mangajin magazine because it had an article on Japanese rock bands and such. I was into stuff like Shonen Knife and Pizzicato 5, so I wanted to read the article. In the back of the magazine, there was an ad for pen pals by a company called ALC Press. It was free, so I signed up. A charming, cute girl named Mayu wrote me back. Over the years of writing hand-written letters to each other at least once a month, we finally met in person during my first trip to Japan in '98. I spent a month in Japan, and did a homestay with her family for a week and she came back to Arizona to stay with my family for a week. You can read more about this trip to Japan here. It was then when we decided to become long distance boyfriend/girlfriend. She visited again the next year.

My second trip to Japan was the winter of 2000, right after I graduated college. You can read about that trip here. I proposed to Mayu on that trip, then later I was hired to teach English in Japan. That was a great experience that lasted for two years. We moved back in 2002, but now it's time for us to move back to Japan.

OK, so what do I think about anime these days? For over the past 10 years or so, the decent shows have been few and far between.

Here's from the questionnaire:
8) Name your top 10 favorite animes that were produced prior to the year 2000 and give a very brief explanation of why for each.
Dairugger XV: Vehicle Voltron was my first true introduction to anime (Speed Racer doesn't count)
Macross: I loved Robotech as a kid.
Bubblegum Crisis: I love the Blade Runner-inspired visuals and plot, and this was my introduction to subtitled anime. I love Sonoda's character designs!
Dirty Pair: Sexy girls and space opera. It's like Barbarella meets Cagney and Lacey.
Kimagure Orange Road: Beautiful, artistic, wonderful romance comedy.
Gundam series: It took me a long time before I got into this show, but I love the space opera elements.
Gall Force: Great space opera, great character designs by Sonoda.
Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Excellent space opera that's like watching a historical drama like Tora Tora Tora.
Romeo's Blue Skies: charming story.
Future Boy Conan: I don't think I should have to explain why I like this show!
So that's 10. I could go on, but there's already so much to write.

9) Name your three least favorite animes that were produced prior to the year 2000 and give a very brief explanation of why for each.
Dragonball Z. The first Dragonball was okay, but Z was pretty stupid.
G Gundam. It ruins the Gundam name with its spastic crap.
Evangelion. It started out great, until about halfway it went psychotic. Maybe the writer stopped taking his meds or something.
Last edited by greg on Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Daniel
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Re: Greg's introduction

Post by Daniel »

Oh, but this was a textwall that was such a joy to read. Welcome to the board; glad to have you.

I have to admit that I spent more than just a little bit of time looking through your site and YouTube page.

I'd like to have the AnimePast Links page be a central place for links to all the great pages that the members of this forum are working on. Would you mind if I stuck links to your pages there?


I see the Linna Yamazaki shrine :) Is she still your favorite anime character?

I happen to have a page up on the BGC DVD set, which I do believe was AnimEigo's first DVD release: http://animepast.net/Museum/Anime_Home_ ... 281998%29/

I've also got Crash on LD, which I liked. I didn't much care for 2040, though.

My otaku room/nerd cave video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ep7d1DlBuc
Oh my.

You know, looking at that video made me think that a "Figures/Models" section of this forum would be worthwhile to make. So I made it :)

I also see that you're into other stuff like Star Wars. Which gives me another good idea: an "Other TV/Movies" forum section has been born ;)

I also made a "People" section as well, just for good measure.

To be honest, I have been applying for teaching jobs in Japan and doing interviews.
I am also trying to make my way to Japan. I'm much more qualified to be working in the tech industry, but I'm thinking of dabbling in the English teaching arena. I'd love to talk to someone who's actually had experience being in Japan as a gaijin. I'd assume that you've been asked the question "So, what's it like in Japan" about a million times, but if you wouldn't mind discussing it for the million-and-first time, I'd be happy if you made a thread about it. There are lots of people out there who like to say what they think about Japan, but it would be nice to speak to someone who actually knows what he's talking about.

It was a fascinating read about how the Tokugawa Shogunate closed Japan to the Western world. Then I began studying the historical context of the book, and reading Japanese history books. I was enthralled with Nobunaga's life and how he unified Japan.
I am also completely enchanted by Japan's culture and history. I've just started reading through Miyamoto Musashi's 五輪書. I'll probably make a topic about it sooner or later. I'm reading it from here, which has a plethora of other information on him: http://www.geocities.jp/themusasi1/index.html

Around 1993, a friend of mine introduced me to BBSes, and in the local Phoenix, AZ area, there was an anime BBS called the Anime Archive.
You might like the Old Digital Stuff section of the site, which has a fair amount of old digital goodies on it. Much of what's on there was taken from the Venice FTP server.

Gosh, remember those GeoCities, Tripod, and other sites where people had personal homepages? So many of them sucked, but at least it forced some sort of creativity. Now in the age of Facebook and blogs, there's no real creativity anymore and everything looks the same.
Oh yes, I remember quite well.

Well, I can't promise that the AnimePast site will be any better than what else is out there, but at least it's different, you gotta give it that at least ;)

Anyhoo, back to December of 1994, I picked up an issue of Mangajin magazine because it had an article on Japanese rock bands and such. I was into stuff like Shonen Knife and Pizzicato 5, so I wanted to read the article. In the back of the magazine, there was an ad for pen pals by a company called ALC Press. It was free, so I signed up. A charming, cute girl named Mayuwrote me back. Over the years of writing hand-written letters to each other at least once a month, we finally met in person during my first trip to Japan in '98. I spent a month in Japan, and did a homestay with her family for a week and she came back to Arizona to stay with my family for a week. You can read more about this trip to Japan here. It was then when we decided to become long distance boyfriend/girlfriend. She visited again the next year.

My second trip to Japan was the winter of 2000, right after I graduated college. You can read about that trip here. I proposed to Mayu on that trip, then later I was hired to teach English in Japan. That was a great experience that lasted for two years. We moved back in 2002, but now it's time for us to move back.
Wow, congratulations :)

For over the past 10 years or so, the decent shows have been few and far between.
I see that you are like me in putting the general boundary as to where anime really plummets at the year 2000. I'm liking the list of anime that you say you are into; I'm sure that we'll find lots to discuss.


Anyways, welcome!
Daniel

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Re: Greg's introduction

Post by Brain Trash »

So help me god, Robotech seriously functioned as the gateway title for roughly 85% of the Western Otaku generation of the mid 80's. I can't even begin to keep count of the sheer staggering amount of anime enthusiasts I knew that had been around since a few years prior to my entry who almost unanimously trace their roots and interest in the medium squarely back to that show. For all its faults (and like nearly all anime that was heavily localized for U.S. mainstream television during the 80's and 90's, its faults were legion), it seriously was one of the big touchstone gateway titles along with the likes of Battle of the Planets, Star Blazers, Akira (that'd be mine), Bubblegum Crisis, Project A-Ko, Dirty Pair, Ranma ½, the original Tenchi Muyo OAVs, Sailor Moon, and (god help us) Pokemon, Dragon Ball Z (in its later Cartoon Network era), and Gundam Wing.

And for all I could say against Robotech as show, if nothing else I can't say a damn negative thing against the generation of fandom that it spawned, the vast overwhelming majority of which (in my experience) were wickedly smart, extremely well informed and knowledgeable, and incredibly engaging to talk to. Far more than can be said for the surges of fandom spawned by a few of the above mentioned titles...

Also Jesus Christ, that Edmond website is STILL up? Good lord, I haven't thought about that place in forever.

And hey, easy there on 90's MTV Greg. Any channel that was willing to air Running Man and Yotoden was an ally and friend to all anime fans of the time; and considering the rest of what MTV was airing in its animation blocks at the time, an ally and friend to anyone with a love for quality animation in general. MTV of the past decade and change on the other hand... yeah, I don't think anybody with an IQ above that of a mountain goat will argue against it being anything other than a skid-mark on the collective of modern popular culture. But still, credit where credit's due and so forth.

On a similar note, its funny because a huge, huge chunk of the anime fans I knew and hung around with the most growing up would most certainly apply as the “punk skater” types (among other labels), but they tended to be some of the smartest fans (of anime, foreign movies, horror, underground comics, or whatever else) that I'd ever known in my entire life, as well as probably those with easily the best eye for truly unique and innovative titles and works in those areas; far more so than most who one might classify as more traditionally “nerdy” types or what have you. And their appreciation for and understanding of something like Akira was anything but “shallow”.

As a kid I learned way, way more about anime, manga, chanbara, wuxia, Hong Kong heroic bloodshed, and countless other (back then) obscure genres and mediums, and moreover about much, much BETTER and more interesting titles in those categories from guys with Cobain hair, excessive flannel, doc martens, Punisher skull tattoos, body piercings, and skateboards with Black Flag logos sketched on them than I ever did from the more straight up four-eyed, acne-scarred, pocket-protector wearing, D&D playing crowd, for lack of a more flattering description. Same goes for video games and the like. I think there was tons more overlap there between both sets than a whole lot of people these days tend to realize.

So yeah, fun with stereotyping! I'm certainly not trying to belittle your post or anything by the way, just comparing and contrasting.

Oh yeah, and while there's a bunch of your questionnaire answers that I agree and disagree with (but definitely more agree with than not), I think that most of us can unanimously agree that G Gundam is brain cancer.

All that said, welcome to our little retirement home. :P

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Re: Greg's introduction

Post by Daniel »

Brain Trash wrote:Also Jesus Christ, that Edmond website is STILL up? Good lord, I haven't thought about that place in forever.
Sounds like a proper link is in order. I've placed a link to Edmond's site as well as Doi's and a few other things here.

I'll think about this later as well, but if there's anything else that you guys think would fit on that page, do let me know!

Brain Trash wrote:Any channel that was willing to air Running Man and Yotoden was an ally and friend to all anime fans of the time
Just how much anime did MTV show? I was never into music, so I tended to stay away from MTV...

Brain Trash wrote:On a similar note, its funny because a huge, huge chunk of the anime fans I knew and hung around with the most growing up would most certainly apply as the “punk skater” types (among other labels), but they tended to be some of the smartest fans (of anime, foreign movies, horror, underground comics, or whatever else) that I'd ever known in my entire life, as well as probably those with easily the best eye for truly unique and innovative titles and works in those areas; far more so than most who one might classify as more traditionally “nerdy” types or what have you. And their appreciation for and understanding of something like Akira was anything but “shallow”.


As a kid I learned way, way more about anime, manga, chanbara, wuxia, Hong Kong heroic bloodshed, and countless other (back then) obscure genres and mediums, and moreover about much, much BETTER and more interesting titles in those categories from guys with Cobain hair, excessive flannel, doc martens, Punisher skull tattoos, body piercings, and skateboards with Black Flag logos sketched on them than I ever did from the more straight up four-eyed, acne-scarred, pocket-protector wearing, D&D playing crowd, for lack of a more flattering description. Same goes for video games and the like. I think there was tons more overlap there between both sets than a whole lot of people these days tend to realize.
People are surprising, aren't they?

Brain Trash wrote:Oh yeah, and while there's a bunch of your questionnaire answers that I agree and disagree with (but definitely more agree with than not), I think that most of us can unanimously agree that G Gundam is brain cancer.
I watched the first few episodes, but I couldn't make it any further...

I like the original, which I've got on Japanese LD.

Zeta was great as well.

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greg
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Re: Greg's introduction

Post by greg »

Brain Trash wrote:And for all I could say against Robotech as show, if nothing else I can't say a damn negative thing against the generation of fandom that it spawned, the vast overwhelming majority of which (in my experience) were wickedly smart, extremely well informed and knowledgeable, and incredibly engaging to talk to. Far more than can be said for the surges of fandom spawned by a few of the above mentioned titles...
Yes, Uncle Carl was both a blessing and a curse. He hacked up Macross and Windaria and re-wrote stuff as he saw fit, but if it weren't for him, anime fandom in the USA wouldn't have gotten off the ground. Once upon a time I had a friend who was several years older than me, and he was watching Harlock and Starblazers (Yamato) back in the day. Those shows were just barely beyond my time.
Brain Trash wrote:Also Jesus Christ, that Edmond website is STILL up? Good lord, I haven't thought about that place in forever.
Yeah, and I've kept my site all along, too. I miss those bare-bones, no-nonsense mid-90s, Mosaic/Netscape compatible websites from back then. I've kept my website basic-looking out of respect for the golden age of the World Wide Web, and also because I'm too lazy to learn snazzier HTML.
Brain Trash wrote:On a similar note, its funny because a huge, huge chunk of the anime fans I knew and hung around with the most growing up would most certainly apply as the “punk skater” types (among other labels)
...
And their appreciation for and understanding of something like Akira was anything but “shallow”.
It really depends on the school you went to. The punk/skater crowd at my school were more of the flannel-wearing in 85 degree Phoenix heat type, and also into godawful Grunge music. The super-nerd types all listened to Metallica and heavy metal, for the most part. I was a misfit among misfits, and I didn't have any friends outside of school. Nobody else was into dreampop music like I was, and nobody seemed to be as interested in "Japanimation" as I was. I was alone most of the time. The only constant in my high school life was watching Blade Runner and The Empire Strikes Back (plus The Wrath of Khan on occasion) on weekends.

At my school, only the skaters seemed to know much about anime, but their knowledge was mostly limited to Akira. One girl saw my Lum shirt and said she looked like Time Gal. Most everyone was like, "Anime? Is that like Speed Racer?" (Speed Racer was being shown on MTV constantly in '93-94. (I graduated high school in '94.)

As a kid I learned way, way more about anime, manga, chanbara, wuxia, Hong Kong heroic bloodshed, and countless other (back then) obscure genres and mediums, and moreover about much, much BETTER and more interesting titles in those categories from guys with Cobain hair, excessive flannel, doc martens, Punisher skull tattoos, body piercings, and skateboards with Black Flag logos sketched on them than I ever did from the more straight up four-eyed, acne-scarred, pocket-protector wearing, D&D playing crowd, for lack of a more flattering description.
Interesting. I didn't mean to disparage anyone, but in my experience, this really wasn't the case. Either that or it was the fact that nobody liked me anyway in high school, so I never met anyone who was knowledgeable in the areas I was interested in.
I think that most of us can unanimously agree that G Gundam is brain cancer.
I hate that show. One guy can fracture the armor of a Gundam just by kicking it or punching it, like he's some shaolin monk or something in that show. Puketastic. I hate encountering those who say that G Gundam is the only "good" Gundam show, in their opinion.
AnimeSennin wrote:I like the original, which I've got on Japanese LD.
Wow, jealousy time! I'd love to get the original show. I was thinking of getting the LDs, but apparently it's finally getting a proper North American DVD release with subs.

The topic of Laserdiscs is something else I love. When we would get together for those Anime Archive BBS get togethers ("GTs"), the guy who hosted the meetings had a monster collection of anime LDs. He was a fansubber, too. He did so much for us, but in return he had soda spilled on his sofa and my inconsiderate friend would want to stay too late at his place instead of calling it a night around 11pm and just go home.

Here's my LD collection. We just recently re-watched Future Boy Conan with our daughter who is now old enough to appreciate shows like this, but unfortunately the very last part of the final episode of the series has succumbed to LASER ROT! NOOOOOOOO!
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Re: Greg's introduction

Post by Daniel »

I couldn't help it: here's an LD topic.

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Re: Greg's introduction

Post by greg »

I had repied to AnimeSennin's first reply, but maybe I must have closed the window without submitting the message.
AnimeSennin wrote:I'd like to have the AnimePast Links page be a central place for links to all the great pages that the members of this forum are working on. Would you mind if I stuck links to your pages there?
Yes, feel free!

AnimeSennin wrote:I see the Linna Yamazaki shrine :) Is she still your favorite anime character?
Yes, she was always my favorite. Not so much in terms of personality, but in the looks department. I've always had a thing for short, black hair. Plus, Linna wears glasses on occasion too.

I didn't care for BGC2040 either. Part of what made the original BGC so incredible was Sonoda's artwork. Replacing his character designs with those that seemed more approrpiate for Tenchi Muyo or something just didn't feel right.
AnimeSennin wrote: You know, looking at that video made me think that a "Figures/Models" section of this forum would be worthwhile to make. So I made it :)

I also see that you're into other stuff like Star Wars. Which gives me another good idea: an "Other TV/Movies" forum section has been born ;)
Here's a newer video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg-cQAr8yb0
We moved to an apartment in February.
I am also trying to make my way to Japan. I'm much more qualified to be working in the tech industry, but I'm thinking of dabbling in the English teaching arena. I'd love to talk to someone who's actually had experience being in Japan as a gaijin. I'd assume that you've been asked the question "So, what's it like in Japan" about a million times, but if you wouldn't mind discussing it for the million-and-first time, I'd be happy if you made a thread about it. There are lots of people out there who like to say what they think about Japan, but it would be nice to speak to someone who actually knows what he's talking about.
Japanese guys, on average, just can't seem to do well with the English language. Thus, they are weak as computer programmers. If you can do well with the Japanese langauge and computer programming, you can get a job in Japan doing that line of work. It's a common misconception that just because Japan is the home to so much innovative tech products, the society as a whole must be adept at using computers. This is not the case at all. They have been way behind in Internet usage this whole time, and still many people use their cell phones rather than regular e-mail to send messages. Only hardcore nerds know how to put together a computer tower, and most people just buy laptops or pre-packaged compact desktop computers. Unlike North America, not every household has a computer.

So about Japan... I don't really know where to start. I do get asked this quite a lot. I don't mind answering. What really amuses me is when people ask me how I learned Japanese. Well duhr-hey, maybe by studying? Stupid. Sometimes I'm tempted to answer them with, "The mothership hive-mind has programmed me to be adequate in the Japanese language."

You can read quite a bit about my experiences with living in Japan on the Greg's Life section of my website. I lived in Japan from 2000 to 2002, so you can read up on there. Ever since moving back in '02 though, we still visit Japan once a year. The site is full of stuff about Japan, photography, otaku shopping sprees, and random nerd musings.
You might like the Old Digital Stuff section of the site, which has a fair amount of old digital goodies on it. Much of what's on there was taken from the Venice FTP server.
Wow, those images are sure nostalgic! I remember downloading those way back in the days of Archie and Gopher, before FTP became the standard.
I see that you are like me in putting the general boundary as to where anime really plummets at the year 2000.
Yes, anime has become rather sad. Particularly noticeable is the lack of space opera and fantasy shows. Sure, there are some examples of decent anime to come out recently. Not every recent anime from the past 10 years sucks. However, the general tendency is towards the moeblob girls and effeminate, angsty boys for the protagonists, and recycled plots with no spark of originality. Comparing filler anime of recent times to the filler anime from the '80s, I'd take the '80s stuff any day. Maybe it's the nostalgia glasses, but I think that the stuff nowadays is far more "cookie cutter" than the older stuff, with predictable plots (or zero plot whatsoever), characters with way over-stereotyped personalities, etc. Old anime would have an occasional episode that had some T&A, but now that become an artform in itself called "fanservice."

So overall, the quality of anime really has degenerated, in my opinion.

There's a difference between a show that features moe characters and a show that is essentially just a collection of moe characters and little else. It's been established that there definitely is a list of stereotypical moe personalities, and it's like you can just put them up on a wall, throw darts at the stereotypes to choose them, then insert them into a show where nothing really happens. Episode 1: A trip to the hotspring! Episode 2: Who's bra is this? The cups are big! Episode 3: Homework is boring! Episode 4: Let's go to the beach! Blah blah blah. The moe element is what drives the show, not the show's plot.
Last edited by greg on Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Greg's introduction

Post by Daniel »

greg wrote:I had repied to AnimeSennin's first reply, but maybe I must have closed the window without submitting the message.
Ack, that's too bad. I usually compose my messages in a text editor and then just paste them into the forum message entry so that I don't lose any work due to such things.

You're quite welcome to just call me Daniel, by the way. :)

greg wrote:Yeah, and I've kept my site all along, too. I miss those bare-bones, no-nonsense mid-90s, Mosaic/Netscape compatible websites from back then. I've kept my website basic-looking out of respect for the golden age of the World Wide Web, and also because I'm too lazy to learn snazzier HTML.
As for AnimePast, it's probably obvious that I also like the old simple look.

In any case, I'm trying to chronicle (or, trying to get a Wiki system up so that everyone can chronicle) all of worldwide anime fandom prior to the mid-90's. Without a rock-solid site structure, one that has a proper place for such varied and voluminous content as well as a way to navigate through it, once content starts getting put up, the site would topple over onto itself. So that's another reason why the site looks as it does.

greg wrote:AnimeSennin wrote:
I'd like to have the AnimePast Links page be a central place for links to all the great pages that the members of this forum are working on. Would you mind if I stuck links to your pages there?

Yes, feel free!
Done! Thanks!

greg wrote:Here's a newer video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg-cQAr8yb0
We moved to an apartment in February.
Wow :) Your room is a whole lot more interesting than mine, that's for sure. My room is mainly just stuffed with VHSes, LDs, and DVDs.

I like the sprites that are on the walls :)

greg wrote:Japanese guys, on average, just can't seem to do well with the English language. Thus, they are weak as computer programmers. If you can do well with the Japanese langauge and computer programming, you can get a job in Japan doing that line of work. It's a common misconception that just because Japan is the home to so much innovative tech products, the society as a whole must be adept at using computers. This is not the case at all. They have been way behind in Internet usage this whole time, and still many people use their cell phones rather than regular e-mail to send messages. Only hardcore nerds know how to put together a computer tower, and most people just buy laptops or pre-packaged compact desktop computers. Unlike North America, not every household has a computer.

So about Japan... I don't really know where to start. I do get asked this quite a lot. I don't mind answering...

You can read quite a bit about my experiences with living in Japan on the Greg's Life section of my website. I lived in Japan from 2000 to 2002, so you can read up on there. Ever since moving back in '02 though, we still visit Japan once a year. The site is full of stuff about Japan, photography, otaku shopping sprees, and random nerd musings.
Interesting. I've been perusing that section of your site since you first gave me the link. I'll get back to you about it sometime.

greg wrote:What really amuses me is when people ask me how I learned Japanese. Well duhr-hey, maybe by studying? Stupid. Sometimes I'm tempted to answer them with, "The mothership hive-mind has programmed me to be adequate in the Japanese language."
:lol:

greg wrote:Yes, anime has become rather sad. Particularly noticeable is the lack of space opera and fantasy shows. Sure, there are some examples of decent anime to come out recently. Not every recent anime from the past 10 years sucks. However, the general tendency is towards the moeblob girls and effeminate, angsty boys for the protagonists, and recycled plots with no spark of originality. Comparing filler anime of recent times to the filler anime from the '80s, I'd take the '80s stuff any day. Maybe it's the nostalgia glasses, but I think that the stuff nowadays is far more "cookie cutter" than the older stuff, with predictable plots (or zero plot whatsoever), characters with way over-stereotyped personalities, etc. Old anime would have an occasional episode that had some T&A, but now that become an artform in itself called "fanservice."

So overall, the quality of anime really has degenerated, in my opinion.

There's a difference between a show that features moe characters and a show that is essentially just a collection of moe characters and little else. It's been established that there definitely is a list of stereotypical moe personalities, and it's like you can just put them up on a wall, throw darts at the stereotypes to choose them, then insert them into a show where nothing really happens. Episode 1: A trip to the hotspring! Episode 2: Who's bra is this? The cups are big! Episode 3: Homework is boring! Episode 4: Let's go to the beach! Blah blah blah. The moe element is what drives the show, not the show's plot.
It's too bad that things are shifting so much toward CG and moe, isn't it? I like hand-drawn gekiga artwork and action anime. :)

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Brain Trash
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Re: Greg's introduction

Post by Brain Trash »

greg wrote:
Brain Trash wrote:And for all I could say against Robotech as show, if nothing else I can't say a damn negative thing against the generation of fandom that it spawned, the vast overwhelming majority of which (in my experience) were wickedly smart, extremely well informed and knowledgeable, and incredibly engaging to talk to. Far more than can be said for the surges of fandom spawned by a few of the above mentioned titles...
Yes, Uncle Carl was both a blessing and a curse. He hacked up Macross and Windaria and re-wrote stuff as he saw fit, but if it weren't for him, anime fandom in the USA wouldn't have gotten off the ground. Once upon a time I had a friend who was several years older than me, and he was watching Harlock and Starblazers (Yamato) back in the day. Those shows were just barely beyond my time.
Let's not forget that Macek also founded and ran Streamline Pictures, which basically as a whole seemed to function almost as something of an attempt at an apology to hardcore anime fans of the time for Harmony Gold's proto-Saban/4Kids practices (though many at the time still didn't take very kindly to it due to some of their more oddball dub translations, as well as their refusal to do subbed releases for anything other than Akira for the longest time, unlike most of the other major licensing companies).

Still regardless of what one might think of their dubs, its impossible to argue that Streamline probably had easily the single greatest eye for truly original and barrier shattering anime titles of any Western licensing company that's ever existed before or since. Streamline didn't merely just attempt to bring anime to the attention of the Western mainstream, they also took incredible pains to make sure that people truly grasped the staggering diversity in both genres and target demographics that anime of the time aimed to embody (unlike a great many other companies, particularly in later years, who tended to pander solely to the lowest common denominator with cookie cutter, unchallenging titles).

In other words, Streamline wasn't merely trying to market anime; they were marketing some incredibly progressive ideas and attitudes about what animation as a medium in general (beyond even just anime) was capable of as an art form and who it could appeal to. Ideas and attitudes that have sadly all but completely evaporated along with their company not terribly long after they went belly up.

For all the awful butchery that Harmony Gold was responsible for (and it was a maddening amount), Streamline did more than its fair share to balance out the equation and do far more good for the image and reputation of anime in the U.S. than almost any other company has ever done since then (if anything later companies, and I'm looking at FUNimation in particular, have tended to take giant steps BACKWARDS in terms of how and who they market anime to). For that alone, Uncle Carl should forever be remembered fondly by anyone with a genuine love for not just anime, but for progressive, truly adult oriented animation as a medium of any culture and nationality.

Yeah he may have completely gutted Macross, Windaria, Birth, the Lensman TV series, and damn near came close to a few others, but unlike other hatchet men like Haim Saban, he also gave back plenty more to Western anime fans in return via Streamline. I adore the crap out of the un-dicked with Macross and Windaria as much as the next person, but I'd say that getting titles like Barefoot Gen, Neo-Tokyo, Robot Carnival, Lupin III, Golgo 13, Dirty Pair, Akira, and tons more essential classics in their (more or less) proper form certainly more than makes up for it.

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Daniel
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Re: Greg's introduction

Post by Daniel »

There was an interview with Carl Macek on ANN awhile ago. If either of you haven't listened to it, you really should: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/anncast/2010-01-14

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